Rocket Pastiche! The Bradbury

A very loyal and regular customer of late keeps sending me images of rockets he’s found on the internet. And UFOs. He and I share interest in the retro design aesthetic.

Here are the latest forays into 3D printed rocketry:

The Bradbury

Ray Bradbury’s “Martian Chronicles” was a TV mini-series based on Ray Bradbury’s anthology about mankind colonizing Mars.

13330354_1720153491574195_1632851997_n.png

13336434_1720154241574120_474247183_n

My friend send me images of the models used in the show:

13348893_1720154708240740_39610033_n

He was hinting rather strongly that he would like a couple of these. So I made them.

Bradbury-Built-01

Bradbury-For-Scale

Bradbury-Wing-Rockets-05 Bradbury-Wing-Rockets-01 Bradbury-Wing-Rockets-03 Bradbury-Bottom-01  Bradbury-Built-02  Bradbury-Tail-Detail-01 Bradbury-Upper-01

The interesting thing about this rocket is that the mini rockets on the ends of each wing rotate. They rotate in order to stay parallel to travel vector when the wings scissor outward. I modeled my version landed, and even included the gangway tube.

But not satisfied with that, I modeled a version with scissor wings. I sent the three rockets to my friend (he bought two), the scissor-wing version being a bonus. I didn’t take photos. I’ll print another one later showing the scissor-wing action.

Interestingly, my friend has been in contact with the man who created the original rocket prop and he’s quite interested in what I’m doing with my models. He offered to animate the CGI model I created.

Quick Kitbash #1 – Jetpack from Flame Trooper Pack

star-wars-flame-trooper-01-s

Oh dear, Hasbro, what have you done? Your once fine fully articulated 12″ figures have become the stuff of nonsense. You can’t even bend elbows to hold the nicely molded rifle you put in with your Stormtrooper figures which are now hard plastic shells with almost no movement at all.

That said, I bought the Flame Trooper with a purpose in mind – at least your accessories are still useful.

Note: the flamethrower backpack!

star-wars-flame-trooper-02-s

I knew immediately that this had potential!

Materials and Tools

You will need:

  • 1 Force Awakens Flametrooper 12″ Figure
  • 1 Dollar Store Chess Set – cheap, hollow chess pieces
  • 3/8″ Black Braided Elastic (from Fabric store)
  • Wire cutter
  • X-Acto knife (or sharp blade)
  • Binary epoxy cement
  • Drill or Dremel

That’s it. Literally.

Step One

flametrooper-jetpack-01

Gather your gear. Note that here, I have two white and two black pawns. This is for a second option I will discuss later, but will not do here in this tutorial.

The larger black pieces are the King and Queen. Make sure you use the two largest pieces whose bases are identical. This may turn out to be the Bishops or the Rooks. Doesn’t matter much. You can also use the white ones for this, but I found with the nice black/white contrast already on the flamethrower fuel pack, the black looks nicest.

Step 2

flametrooper-jetpack-02

Using either an X-Acto knife, carpet knife or wire cutters, cut the body off the base of the King and Queen.

Step 3

flametrooper-jetpack-04 flametrooper-jetpack-03

These will end up covering those hex bolt protrusions on the bottom of the flame pack.

Step 4

flametrooper-jetpack-05

Cut a slot about 1/4″ or less in the base. Note on the jetpack there is a pipe-like channel that prevents a perfect cone from fitting over the rounded tank. This slot will clear that space.

flametrooper-jetpack-06

Two jetpack cones ready to attach.

Step 5

flametrooper-jetpack-07

flametrooper-jetpack-08

Mix half and half clear epoxy cement carefully with a toothpick.

Spread some on the inside rim of the hole and slot you cut into the bases.

Attach them, making sure the slots fit over the protrusions on the tank, with the hex bolts as centered as possible.

Step 6

flametrooper-jetpack-08

Cut the base off the black pawn.

Epoxy it to the base of the white pawn, base to base.

flametrooper-jetpack-09

Jam (with friction, or you can epoxy it if you like this method) the flame hose into the head of the white pawn as hard as you can.

Step 7

For now, the last step is to remove the peg that is used to insert the pack onto the Flametrooper figure. Use wire cutters.

NOTE: There is a metal bolt inside the peg. The wire cutters can cut through it. Otherwise, use the dremel.

The Harness – COMING SOON

Here it is, without harness.

flametrooper-jetpack-11

flametrooper-jetpack-10

If you think a one-handed control (with gimbal joystick head) is goofy, we can make a dual handle control using cording and two pawns, drilled into the body of the fuel pack.

The elastic braiding will be strung through the rounded tubular frame on the inside of the pack, using the Dremel and a drill to make an aperture for it. Using heat to seal the ends of a length of braiding, we will use small screws with washers to secure the ends to the pack.

WERBLZ ARE HERE!

WERBLZ_LOGO

They came to Earth from whatever Oort cloud or Nebula in which they were born – created – formed – hatched? – in search of a better place. First, they came as they were. Needless to say, they thought they were doing rather well, socially. They thought they were fooling us. They thought they were fitting in. But with exposed brains inside jars of gas they didn’t exactly make the social scene. And their unfamiliarity with that pesky gravity, they just didn’t stay put.

WERBLZ_FIRST_WAVE-small

Soon aware that they were not blending in as well as they thought they were, they tried something else: BERDLZ!

WERBLZ_SECOND_WAVE-small

Though this new ruse failed initially as well, they vowed to keep trying. They observed humans going about the course of what they called JERBZ! and took hints from those activities, hoping these new guises were more successful.

WERBLZ_THIRD_WAVE-small

And they vowed to keep trying.

WERBLZ_FOURTH_WAVE-small

WERBLZ are available on my ETSY store. Not all designs will be available right away. Waves will roll out as I can make them ready.

ETSY Description:
They came to Earth from whatever Oort cloud or Nebula in which they were born – created – formed – hatched? – in search of a better place. First, they came as they were. Needless to say, they thought they were doing rather well. They thought they were fooling us. They thought they were fitting in nicely. But with exposed brains inside jars of gas they didn’t exactly make the social scene. And with their unfamiliarity with this pesky new gravity, they just couldn’t stay put.

Try as you might, however, you just can’t knock them down. They will just get back up and try again.

Comes with colorful Gravitronic Stabilizer! (Colors vary.)

Each WERBLZ is designed, 3D printed in bright, colorful ABS plastic, and assembled by Sean Huxter.

NOTE: THESE ARE NOT FOR KIDS. They are made from small parts, and each contains a 1″ metal carriage bolt head for weight/werblaility, and held together by Krazy Glue!

 

GI Joe Jetpack V2.0 – The Evolution of the Cotswold Heli-Pack

jetpack-v2-complete-01

My latest project for Cotswold Collectibles is one they have been after me to do for a while now, ever since I showed it to Greg Brown at the Dallas GI Joe Convention.

regular-joes-at-my-dio-upright
(Cross-eye stereo pic)

But I was very concerned that certain aspects of the design were fine for me, knowing what I know about it, but I was very hesitant to sell it to others due to extreme fragility in more than one aspect of the design.

 

Breakable Design

at-jetpack-with-helmet

The harness, which is a hard pipe harness that hinges down over a body and clips into place using two swing-arms and c-clamp clasps, is very clever, and works perfectly. But unless you are very careful, it can break incredibly easily.

atapfp-harness-handles-joysticks-both

Then the clips that hold the engine housings onto the body are also relatively breakable. It might take some force, but they could break because they were printed vertically.

When you print a thin cylinder on a layered 3D printer, the layers fuse, but those layers are never as strong as a single layer is. A cylinder printed upright will snap like a twig very easily. The same cylinder printed sideways will be very hard to snap but will also not be very round.

atapfp-shoulder-harness-pushed-in

It’s a trade-off. I created the first jetpack to look good, and not be terribly strong.

 

How To Fix It So I Could Sell It

How could I change the jetpack to make it so that I could confidently sell them without worrying someone would easily break it?

 

Harness

First, I harkened back to the Backpack Drone Carrier which I designed a couple of years ago. It held my aerial drone, and was a solar charging base as well as a launch pad for it. This used a harness made from elastic straps, and 3D printed connectors and strap adjusters. When I designed that, I wanted nothing to do with sewing. A complicated elastic harness might mean sewing strap bits together. I came up with a way that does the whole thing with one continuous length of elastic strapping with no sewing at all. Just heat-fusing the ends so they don’t fray.

jetpack-v2-testing-06

The jetpack was in itself an homage to, and a continuation of, the backpack GI Joe Action Pack sets of the past, especially the Turbo Copter. Those used straps as harnesses, either flexible plastic or elastic, clipped to a chest piece with metal clips.

Since that worked rather well, I thought I might be able to get away with that for the jetpack. So when I began work to completely redesign the jetpack, I had this new harness in mind from the beginning.

I created holes in the body that the strap would go into. I also designed it to screw together with 3 simple screws, but those screws would also clamp the elastic in place. I used a sawtooth strip on both the cushion seat and the front of the body piece to sandwich the elastic tightly, and it would not slip. Screws then go through the elastic to hold it in place on the body. Where the elastic folds in half, it fits into the chest harness piece and is clamped in place again by two screws.

PIC OF INTERIOR SHOWING TOOTH STRIPS AND HOLES FOR STRAPS – apologies. I still don’t have this pic!

The ends of the elastic are then fed into the strap adjusters and strap clips which fit nicely into the chest piece for an adjustable – and practically unbreakable – harness that I could now be confident could be sold to collectors without fear.

 

Engine Housing Clips

The original design printed the rotating engine arms upright, which makes for a perfectly smooth cylinder for easy rotation. However, that meant the clips that held the engine housings in place could be broken if enough force was applied. The layers could snap, breaking the clips.

So the solution was easy. Print the arms upright as usual, but make the clips separate pieces printed sideways. Sideways, the layers are both flexible and very strong. It would be practically impossible to break these new clips. They would get glued into the arms for a solid hold, and again, this makes the design much harder to break.

 

Complete Redesign

atapfp-jetpack-back

My original jetpack was bulky and clunky and not terribly smooth. This was fine for a prototype or proof of concept, and it served me well. But again, not something I thought was aesthetically pleasing enough to sell. So I came up with a new concept which was much smoother in overall design, a bit smaller, and would have smaller engines, and would fit into the Adventure Team Vehicle without the racks I had designed, (though a quick redesign of the racks made those useful again anyway.)

jetpack-v2-concept-sketch-02

I began with tessellated cubes and used lattice deformers to warp the shapes into something cool and resembled my concept.

I soon had this ready:

jetpack-v2-early-model-01

I was able to take the functioning part of the thumbwheel and arms directly from the old model without much alteration, except to make them a bit smaller.

I redesigned the engine housings just a bit to allow for the hub and spokes to work better. Those were incredibly hard to assemble as they were, and were not feasible as originally designed.

I was going to print the struts (spokes) flat in order to make a stronger central hub overall, but I didn’t want to lose the smoothness. So I deepened the slots the struts fitted into on the hub, and then created sliding slots for the assembled struts into the housings so they could slide into place, rather than be snapped into place awkwardly and with some danger of ruining the parts.

 

Why The Hub Bub?

Why the hub at all, you say?

jetpack-v2-testing-07

The engine housings themselves were designed to mimic the Dyson concept: air being pushed into the housing, and then pushed out through a ring around it, using an aerodynamic shell to funnel the air into a stable column. This, exaggerated to jet power, would provide enough lift for a human. It does not require that hub or struts.

The hub is there so when you remove the housings for storage or carrying, those can clip to the body. They are completely non-functional, though I did put a jet intake vent on it for looks.

jetpack-v2-testing-01

 

Problems With The Thumbwheel

The thumbwheel provided an issue. Originally designed to snap together very tightly, and not easily comp apart (so you could pull the engine housings off without fear of pulling out the rotator arms) this new version was giving me difficulties in assembly which involved a clamp to push the arms onto square posts on the thumbwheel.

However, I found that the thumbwheel bent during assembly and the arms would never snap fully onto the posts.

jetpack-v2-diagram-explaining-thumbwheel-prolem-01

I knew why. The post that goes “through” the thumbwheel actually was not a solid post. It was a shell and a part of the thumbwheel. So when you pushed hard on both posts, the thumbwheel itself collapsed a bit and the clamping process could not get the arms fully onto the wheel.

I could fix this by printing the thumbwheel with denser support, but I think there’s a better solution: Design the post solid, and make it exactly the same size as a hole in the thumbwheel. The 3D printer would see these as two solid walls and not make a solid of them, but print them almost as if they were two parts. This would mean clamping the arms onto the posts would be easier because the post would be solid, and not just look solid. It should work.

 

Sellable Product

With these changes made, tested, iterated on and approved, I was able to start printing.

One of the other original reasons I was a bit hesitant was that this thing took a long time to print. Scaling it down a bit helps, and having two printers certainly helps. And having a fairly nice lead time before they would be needed helps. I believe printing 30 of these won’t be too bad. It may take more than a month, but would be worth the time.

I’m eager to get these into the hands of collectors and gauge their reactions. I anticipate a quick sell-out of the first run.

 

Approval

I sent the jetpack, along with a dark green ATV rack-mount for it, (along with some color swatches I printed along with my own designed carabiner) to Greg for approval. The upper brass liked it apparently, but liked the rack mount so much they wanted to offer it up at the same time as an optional companion piece. So now I have to print some of these as well.

jetpack-v2-atv-rack-01

Luckily there are only three individual parts, each have to be printed twice, and the pins four times each, in order to make one working rack. The two main parts are symmetrical so they work on both sides of the vehicle cargo bay, but with one part’s leg reversed. It’s quite a clever design if I do say so myself. The same legs work on either side of the tilted bay, but each one angled upward and the platforms snap to the legs.

IMG_4964

IMG_4965

Of course the finished rack will not be in green, it will be in black to complement the ATV and the jetpack.

 

It Ain’t Always Easy

I was once intereviewed by an Afinia PR person. We chat on occasion and she loves it when I show her my latest 3D printed thing. She once asked me how often I get failed prints. I replied “Almost never.”

And that’s true. Sure, it happens sometimes. I’ll wake up, check the printer and find a huge hairball, but that is remarkably rare. Just a shade more often, I may get a print that has somehow caught on the print head and forced the print bed to skip, causing an offset.

The most frequent issue (and this happens more than I’d like, but still fairly rarely) is stress cracking. This is when the layers don’t fuse as strongly. I get it on some filaments even at my highest heat setting.

So it was frustrating to find out that when I had printed about a dozen of the body fronts for this project, a closer inspection showed me that I only had 3 good prints. Sigh. And it seems to happen mostly on my H480. Less so on my H479. The H480 just had its print head replaced a few months ago. You’d think it wouldn’t lose heat.

Anyway, it’s all part of the 3D printing process, and I’m just glad it’s a rare event.

ADDENDUM: On stress cracking. Yes, I sometimes get some depending on heat, but the frustration I was experiencing printing these jetpacks, I now realize, had to do with me buying a batch of old, outdated filament. I bought a 3 pack of yellow Afinia Premium ABS filament from a third party vendor on Amazon. It was when I was using that that I had so many jetpack bodies with stress cracks. I should have known there was a problem. These reels did not come in boxes, but in their mylar sleeves, which were scuffed up and buckled badly like these reels had been sitting in someone’s warehouse for a loooong time. I then ordered some fresh ABS from Afinia and did not experience that stress cracking.

I felt I should clear that up.

 

Final Words

Cotswold released the catalog, and here it is.

10603700_10153323580246105_4568967436257400936_n

12794593_10153323580231105_4127349986574339382_n

I created 30 jetpacks and 25 ATV racks, my thinking was about half the people who buy the jetpack would have a vintage ATV in their collection, so I figured 15. We kept getting orders, so Greg Brown at Cotswold kept upping the order until we got to 25, almost a 1:1 ratio.

Not bad.

We are currently working on future projects! Keep your eye on this space.

UPDATE: I created a blueprint and instruction sheet for the Heli-Pack:

Cots_Heli_Pack_Blueprint

 

New Board Game Concept – Space Junk

SPACE JUNK – A Boardgame – by Sean Huxter

bookmark-title

Am I stupid? I’m exposing my new board game concept long before I have a working prototype. Won’t someone steal it?

I kept my first game concept, SP’LUNK, very tight to the chest until I had it tested enough to declare it ready. Still don’t know what to do with it. I am not up to Kickstarter-publishing it. I may begin submitting it to game companies.

No. First, this idea is not new. It’s not the first Space Salvage game. Check out Salvage Team, and even Firefly.

But what I want to do with this game is make a fairly fast, easy family game that can be played in an evening, even a couple of games, and not frustrate people, not make people do math, or think too hard about add-ons, statistics, and other stuff.

Like Ticket to Ride, it will be fairly simple, and fun.

Concept

I came up with the concept after 3D printing a model of the Rocinante for a friend of mine. It is a model freely available from Thingiverse, but it’s so low poly that it’s a bit embarrassing.

But it had this strange feel to me like it was a board game piece, enlarged. Low detail, bulky, solid, could easily be used (if shrunk down) as a board game piece.

Then I thought about The Expanse (the show the Rocinante is from) and the idea of space salvage came to me immediately. Not only would the game take place in the asteroid belt, it would consist of players who are “belters”, people who live in the belt and get by on space salvage.

Themes of Firefly come to mind as well of course, but Firefly is more about skullduggery. “I aim to misbehave.”

The idea is to crew a salvage ship in the belt and survive. Find and bring in salvage, lost cargo pods, lost fuel pods, and also a vital commodity in space – water, in the form if ice crystals.

The Board

The board will be made up of small hexagonal spaces, hopefully made up of a fairly large sheet of fabric, to take up a nice table top space. Lots of room to move.

I found a great piece of fabric on eBay that fits the bill perfectly!

space-junk-board-large I intend to paint the sheet with astroids and planets, stars and even nebulous cloud, but those are decoration only. They do not affect gameplay. Anything that affects gameplay on the board will be placed on the board during setup and/or play.

space-junk-board-closeup

The hex grid will be indexed by a two-directional indexing system. Since a hex grid can be indexed in three directions, a random location is hard to find in a hex because the angled rows will not be equal in length. Die-rolling a random location would be impossible.

So I intend to work on a two-dimensional index system. One just follows the hexes across a vertical wall, and the other has to have a zig-zag line, but as long as you know which way to zig-zag, it works exactly like a quad grid.

The Pieces

The pieces will be 3D printed.

The first pieces used will be the Salvage Ships themselves. Currently I will have 6 pieces, each a solid primary or secondary color, with detail, but not overly detailed, each of which will sit atop a black base, itself hexagonal, so it can fit on the board easily.

I concepted out six bulky, utilitarian ships on paper, and colored them solid. Over this past weekend, I modeled four of those, and fitted them atop a base.

ships-all

The Bull
ship-bull

The Ram
ship-ram

The Rhino
ship-rhino

The Elephant (or Mammoth, or Mastadon)
ship-elephant

The Gorilla
ship-gorilla

The Bear
ship-bear

 

Space Debris

Stuff that is found floating in space is open season for salvage. At this point I have three main salvage resources:

Cargo Pod
cargo-pod

This contains mysterious cargo. Value depends on a dice roll, or other factors

Fuel Pod
fuel-pod

This will add to your ship’s fuel reserves, randomly rolled.

Ice Crystals
ice-crystal

In space, water is a precious resource, worth its weight in … life. So finding water is a huge win.

Crew
troop-01

Crew members will feature in the game. Not quite sure how yet, but I was actually thinking crew decide how far you can go in a single turn, but that may be better done with fuel cells. Perhaps it decides how many tasks you can have at a single time, or each one gives a small bonus to something. There will be a maximum, I’m thinking six being a full complement (but that’s subject to determining what they are for), and with events and tasks, you can lose crew members. You can hire new ones at a space station, or perhaps pick some up at rescue missions, etc.

 

Mission Cards

Mission cards are dealt at setup. Each player picks 5 cards and must keep 3. (So they can discard 2 missions they find distasteful, too difficult, or too low reward.)

These are kept secret. Only at the end are they revealed, and if you were successful at any, you reap the rewards, which add to your score total. Highest score wins.

Mission cards can be collecting, action or other.

Examples:

Mission: Collect 7 cargo pods and 7 ice crystals. Reward: 1,000 Credits
Mission: Dock with a space station 12 times
Mission: Thwart 4 tasks from any one player

Task Cards

Task cards are not secret. You reveal them as you get them, and these usually contain simple, fairly immediate things you can do, and the rewards can vary greatly.

But also as the Task Cards are visible to everyone, other players are free to try to thwart the mission. If a player completes someone else’s task first, or prevents him/her from completing it, there is a reward that is usually half of the full reward for the same task.

Examples:

Task: A derelict ship has been detected at B24, R8. Dock with the ship and move all food supplies to your ship. Reward: 1,000 Credits. Thwart Value: 5,00 Credits.

Task: A passenger ship has sent out a distress signal. Detectors have located the ship at [D20], [D20] Rescue the passengers and crew. Reward, 5,000 Credits. Thwart Value: 2,000 Credits.

Tasks often involve “detecting” things that were not on the board prior to the card being revealed, but ship’s object detectors reveal them. This usually means the card specifies the object to place there, and a roll of two dice locate it (using the grid coordinate system I mentioned earlier.)

So suddenly something is on the board, and players can race to that location and reap the rewards, and others can try to stop them.

Space Stations

space-station

Space stations are placed on the board at setup time, and are stationary bases ships can dock at and do business. Business may include selling salvage, refueling, taking on new crew (crew count and loss of such will be a part of gameplay.)

Crew

Each ship has a crew. The captain is a given, but the crew (10) is expendable. Crew is kept track of by tokens held by each player. A ship operates best fully crewed. As you lose crew, the ship moves slower, or other disadvantages happen. Crew can only be gained by docking with a space station and spending money to pay them.

Winning

The winner is the player with most credits when the game ends.

End conditions come about in several ways.

Any one player achieves all 3 missions, and the game is over, (or that player can hold off on announcing if he’s behind, and can announce it later if he thinks he can win.)

Any player pulls the Game Over card (buried deep in the bottom third of the Task deck.)

I think we need one or two others, but I have not yet thought of those.

ETSY Thoughts

After the Cotswold Commission (30 Heli-packs and 25 ATV Racks) my next project I promised myself was to open up an ETSY store and see what sells, and how I can manage the sales, given only two printers and only 24 hours in a day, a lot of which I spend working and sleeping.

Well, I’m going to try it. For now, here are some items I will be putting up. The costs I put down here are likely going to be larger than these, but I thought I’d see what they look like anyway, just for my eyes. (I will edit this later.)

Rockets

(Measurements are approximate)

Apollo 42

$65

This rocket is about 8.25 inches with engines deployed, and 6.5 with engines stowed. This one has four articulated engines that swing out. Glow-in-the-dark canopy.

rocket-apollo-42-01

rocket-apollo-42-04 rocket-apollo-42-05 rocket-apollo-42-03 rocket-apollo-42-02

 

Tridart

$50

This was the first of my odd concept rockets. I was playing with shapes and tried to come up with something elegant and royal, and would fly, but no one had seen before. 8″. Glow in the dark windows.

rocket-tri-dart-01 rocket-tri-dart-03 rocket-tri-dart-02

 

Luxury Liner

$40

An odd concept that came to me one day, and I just wanted to see how it played out. 7.75″. Glow in the dark windows.

rocket-luxury-01 rocket-luxury-03 rocket-luxury-02

 

Ring Rocket

$55

Another odd concept I wanted to try. This one has an engine intake inside the body, and a ring rear. Unique in design. 7.75″

rocket-ring-01 rocket-ring-04 rocket-ring-03 rocket-ring-02

 

Silver Bullet

$40

My favorite. Elegant, simple, truly captures the retro design aesthetic that I love. Could be right out of a 1950s Sci Fi movie, but entirely my own. 8.25″

rocket-silver-bullet-01 rocket-silver-bullet-02 rocket-silver-bullet-04 rocket-silver-bullet-03

 

Father’s Day

$25

My first rocket. Modeled after a sketch on a Father’s Day card my daughter gave me one year. I loved it so much I kept it, and when I got my 3D printers, this was the first rocket I modeled for it. 5.75″

rocket-fathers-day-01 rocket-fathers-day-03 rocket-fathers-day-02

 

Rocketeer

$30

Funny story. A friend with a Corgi wanted me to model and print a Corgi with a jetpack. I did. Later, I took the rocket elements from that jetpack and modeled this rocket. 6″

rocket-rocketeer-01 rocket-rocketeer-03 rocket-rocketeer-02

 

G0G0

$25

Modeled after a T-shirt I have, this rocket was one of my first forays into rocket modeling for 3D printing. 5.25″

rocket-gogo-01 rocket-gogo-02

 

Oddity

$50

Based on a photo sent to me by a fellow modeler, this is a new rendition of what I call my Oddity rocket. Nice contrasting red with a turquoise blue and silver fins and struts. I use a sewing pin for the tip antenna. 8″ (8.5″ including antenna)

IMG_5466 IMG_5467 IMG_5468

 

Hogarth

$40

A very simple child’s toy rocket from the Sputnik era. 7.5″

rocket-hogarth-01 rocket-hogarth-03 rocket-hogarth-02

 

Rocket Jockey

$55

Another design that harkens back to a simpler time of 1950s Sci Fi movies. This one has a cockpit and a sewing pin for an antenna. 8″

rocket-jockey-01 rocket-jockey-02 rocket-jockey-03 rocket-jockey-04

 

Tangerine Nightmare

$45

A rocket taken from a simple sketch I saw, this one is meant to be a racer. Glow-in-the-dark blue canopy, bright bright orange with white stripes. 9.5″

rocket-tangerine-racer-01 rocket-tangerine-racer-03 rocket-tangerine-racer-02

 

UFOs

These are a few of my UFOs, some of which are meant to be modular in design so you can match different tops to different bottoms.

These will be going for something around $25 – $35 each depending on features.

 

Space 1999 Items For Sale

shapeways-shop-front

I have made some items for sale on Shapeways that pertain to Space:1999, the TV show.

These include items I’ve blogged about before, mostly during development when the models were printed on my home printer. Those were ok, but the size (especially of the smaller scaled items) meant that my home printer’s integrity was nearing minimum – ie: It was nearing the smallest scale I could print well.

However, Shapeways can print at a higher resolution, and I found the results quite clean and presentable.


 

Dinky Scaled Eagle Pods

The wonderful Dinky Eagles, produced in the 1970s, are revered by toy collectors and fans of the TV show. They came with one pod each, and Dinky made two versions: one with a passenger pod, and one with a freighter pod. The passenger pod was surprisingly accurate, though the freighter pod looked nothing like the pod used in the TV show. It was fun, however, and had a magnetic winch and four hazardous waste containers. But completely inaccurate.

So I made a pod model that plays the part of two of the alternate pods from the TV show: the pallet pod (which is a flatbed pod suitable for carrying multiple waste containers) and a winch pod (which is used to hoist and store containers in the nuclear waste depots.)

shapeways-dinky-eagle-pod-with-winch-01

Here is the Dinky-scaled pod, which comes in two pieces: The pod itself, which is a flatbed pallet pod, but with a second part that is the winch.

Here it is as seen in the TV show:

eagle-winch-pod

A little paint and you can have a very accurate model. However, since the toy is not weathered, the pod works pretty well completely untouched. (Though it’s advisable to paint the underside legs and engine bells.

Here is the pod alone, without the winch:

shapeways-dinky-eagle-pod-empty-01

I also have available on Shapeways the nuclear waste container. (Originally I modeled this in multiple pieces so I could print it at home in white and black so the black stripes would be clean and perfect. This didn’t translate well to Shapeways. The parts were too tight. So I made a single solid barrel available instead.)

It is hard to see with these photos, but the flatbed is ridged like the original, not smooth. The Shapeways render makes this more obvious:

shapeways-pallet-pod-rendering-02

This is what the pallet pod looked like in the TV show being unloaded by conveyor belt:

You may notice the bars at the top. These do not exist on the real pod model, but for the Dinky to pick it up and drop it, those had to be added. And the mechanism feels great! Fits perfectly!

eagle-unloading

Here is my home-printed pallet pod with containers, next to the Konami version.

eagle-freighter-pods-dinky-konami-attached


 

Dinky Scaled Laboratory Pod

This has been in demand. I have had a lot of people in Gerry Anderson or Space:1999 forums request this one. It’s now available on Shapeways. It’s the Laboratory pod, seen here in a highly accurate larger model.Eagle20Lab1

Here it is, printed on my home printers, cut up into appropriate pieces and printed in two colors:

dinky-eagle-lab-pod-01

dinky-eagle-lab-pod-02 dinky-eagle-lab-pod-03 dinky-eagle-lab-pod-04

dinky-eagle-lab-pod-05

This is Shapeways’ rendering of it:

shapeways-dinky-laboratory-pod-01

Booster for Dinky Eagle

A companion piece for Laboratory Pods.

Shapeways-Dinky-Booster-03

Shapeways-Dinky-Booster-04 Shapeways-Dinky-Booster-01 Shapeways-Dinky-Booster-02

This is the ETSY preview image:

625x465_14599257_8828642_1465176082


 

Dinky Scaled Passenger Pod (Replacement)

Sometimes people buy an Eagle incomplete, or they lost their original passenger pod. This is a vairly accurate pod that replaces the original. Fits perfectly, and is a bit more show-accurate than the original.

shapeways-dinky-passenger-pod-01


 

Here are links to the models, if you are interested:

Dinky-Scaled Pod (acts as either pallet or winch pod)

Dinky-Scaled Winch (sits on the floor of the flatbed pod)

Dinky-Scaled Waste Container (sits on the floor of the flatbed pod)

Dinky-Scaled Laboratory Pod (does not yet have the booster pack on top)

Dinky-Scaled Booster Pack (goes well with Laboratory pod)

Dinky-Scaled Passenger Pod (good for replacement of lost pods)

 

I also made available decal sheets (which you can print on sticker paper or decal paper) that wrap around the barrels, and looks like this (this is a sub-section. The full sheet includes many more copies of the barrel decal and the Alpha symbol, and also contains the smaller Konami version.

eagle-decals-detail-01

You can download the full sheet as a PDF (very clean vector art) here – Dinky And Konami Eagle Decal Sheet PDF File – and the instructions on how to use them here – Dinky And Konami Decal Instruction Sheet PDF File


Konami Scaled Eagle Pods

I also created Konami-scaled Eagle Pods, which are just over 4cm long. They fit nicely into the Konami Eagle, and do not need extra “stuff” on top of the pod to make it fit like the Dinky did.

Here is a photo of one. I painted the winch barrels grey. You don’t have to.

Winch Podshapeways-konami-eagle-winch-pod-05

shapeways-konami-eagle-winch-pod-01

shapeways-konami-eagle-winch-pod-02

And the whole kit, unassembled:

shapeways-konami-eagle-winch-pod-06

Shapeways rendering for better detail:

shapeways-konami-winch-pod-rendering-01

Pallet Podshapeways-konami-eagle-winch-pod-04

Here it is unassembled, (shown with decal sheet, not included, but you can download it at the bottom of this section)shapeways-konami-eagle-winch-pod-07

Shapeways rendering (for better detail)

shapeways-konami-pallet-pod-rendering-01

These two pods come as two different models, rather than a single pod, with add-ons. This is only because I made the Dinky version more efficient, and have not had time to convert the Konami pods. But this way, you don’t have to share the pod itself. Get the whole kit for either the Winch or Pallet pods.

Konami Scaled Winch Pod (all parts, including winch barrels and housing, legs, engine cones, unassembled)

Konami Scaled Pallet Pod (all parts, including 8 waste containers, legs, engine cones, unassembled)

eagle-decals-detail-01

You can download the full sheet as a PDF (very clean vector art) here – Dinky And Konami Eagle Decal Sheet PDF File – and the instructions on how to use them here – Dinky And Konami Decal Instruction Sheet PDF File


 

Moon Buggy

I won’t go into too much detail here, since I don’t have a lot of photos of these, but for now you can find links to my Moon Buggies on Shapeways, and see the few photos I do have.

What you should know, however, is that they come in two separate pieces you must order separately because Shapeways does not offer a convenient way to package projects that require multiple parts:


Moon Buggy for 22″ Round 2/MPC Eagle Model

This version is scaled to the new 22″ Eagle model kit.

Note: This one is far more accurate. I worked with an Amphicat enthusiast to fix some scaling and proportion issues, as well as adding a fair amount of more accurate detail. This one adds ridge detail at the back, the engine vents, engine bumps under the seats, even exhaust ports, more accurate dash, and a lot of other details you would not catch in the smaller ones. I also made the wheels more accurate.

I don’t have the 22″ Eagle, so I can’t show a photo posed next to one, but here are the Shapeways renderings:

shapeways-22-inch-scaled-moon-buggy-body-rendering-01 shapeways-22-inch-scaled-moon-buggy-seats-wheels-rendering-01

22 Inch Scaled Moon Buggy Body – Comes in yellow, so you don’t have to paint it.

22 Inch Scaled Moon Buggy Seats and Wheels – Comes on a single sprue. Simply clip and glue. Comes in black, so you don’t have to paint it.

I recommend going there and using the 360 degree preview (blue box in the image row).

Here are some images of the same model, printed on my own home printer: Even this is pretty darned good, though the Shapeways resolution is higher.

moonbuggy-22-inch-05 moonbuggy-22-inch-08 moonbuggy-22-inch-09 moonbuggy-22-inch-10 moonbuggy-22-inch-03 moonbuggy-22-inch-04 moonbuggy-22-inch-02

 

Here it is, pictured with two 12″ PE Eagles, alongside the 12″-scaled version.moonbuggy-22-inch-11

 

Moon Buggy for 12″ AMT/ERTL/Product Enterprise

This version is scaled to go with the 12″ Eagles.

12-inch-scaled-moon-buggy-01

As with the Dinky, it is available in two separate orders from Shapeways:

shapeways-12-inch-scaled-moon-buggy-body-rendering-01

shapeways-12-inch-scaled-moon-buggy-seats-wheels-rendering-01

12″ Scaled Moon Buggy Body – Comes in yellow, so you don’t have to paint it.

12″ Scaled Moon Buggy Seats and Wheels – Comes on a single sprue. Simply clip and glue. Comes in black, so you don’t have to paint it.


Moon Buggy for Dinky

This model is very small, but poses nicely with the Dinky Eagle:

dinky-scaled-moon-buggy-01

The model comes in two parts:

Dinky Scaled Moon Buggy Body – Comes in yellow, so you don’t have to paint it.

Dinky Scaled Moon Buggy Seats And Wheels – Comes on a single sprue. Simply clip and glue. Comes in black, so you don’t have to paint it.

 


Stun Gun

I make a 1:6 scale Stun Gun available to fit 12″ Action Figures like this one:

shapeways-stun-gun-held-by-brigadier

This gun comes in two pieces for convenience:

shapeways-stun-guns-x4-sfw

Easier to paint this way. Also, the guns themselves can be printed in silver. Some painting will be required to add the colored details. I show one here that I left in white, as a proposed Commander’s Special, or VIP Special version.

shapeways-four-stun-guns

1:6 Scale Stun Gun Bodies (x4)

1:6 Scale Stun Gun Grips (x4)

 


Mattell Eagle Mini Stun Gun Replacement

The wonderful 3″ Eagle made by Mattell in the 1970s came with figures and scaled hand-weapons. People often lost these.

This is an awfully small size to print, so detail is a bit less than perfect, but if you want replacements for your lost Mattell Eagles, these aren’t bad.

Mattell Replacement Stun Guns

 


Launch Pads

The 1970s original Moonbase Alpha model kit was inaccurate in many ways, not least of which was the scale of the landing pads. The problems are described in this blog entry from a while back.

moonase-alpha-original-kit-box-cover

The main issue is that there are only 3 pads. There are 5 surrounding Moonbase Alpha, and for those who want to make a more accurate version, you can purchase a version of the landing pad scaled to these original ones.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I added a tiny bit of detail. The house now has a docking arm.

shapeways-moonbase-alpha-landing-pad-rendering-01

I made these in two scales – to match the original, oversized landing pads, and I made a version scaled accurately to the rest of the Moonbase model kit parts.

shapeways-landing-pads-both-scales

There was a later re-issue of this kit, just a couple of years ago by MPC/Fundimensions that fixes this problem and provides 5 accurately-scaled landing pads. But if you can’t find that, or need extras:

Moonbase Alpha Landing Pad Original Scale – with docking arm

Moonbase Alpha Landing Pad Accurate Scale – with docking arm

 


 

Cargo Crates

I modeled these to fit 44″ Eagles. A lot of people scratch-build these, and I figured they might like a set of crates to fit:

shapeways-44-inch-scale-crates-01

44 Inch Scaled Cargo Crates

I scaled these to fit the Product Enterprise and 12″ Eagle Model Kits, but found the detail gets lost so I didn’t bother putting them up on Shapeways.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to My Lovely Wife!

house-brooch-01

As posted here (and I have not posted since, to keep it “live” for a while) I gave Carol a 3D printed gift for our Silver Anniversary. It was a Narwhal 3D printed in sterling silver, on a base of brass.

narwhal-finished-01

So for Valentine’s Day I thought I would follow that up with something else she loves – our house. And brooches. She absolutely loves brooches and has a very nice collection. What better, then, than to 3D print her a brooch of my own design based on our house?

First, I opted not to go with silver, because of cost. I thought a brooch might be better priced under $50. In sterling silver, it would have been more than double that. And I’m not discounting it for later. Or even Shapeways’s new material – aluminum, which, due to the printing method, is more expensive than stainless steel, which is what I went with.

I first took a model I created a year ago based on our new house:

our-house-ornament-pair-01

I consolidated the various separate parts into one and began simplifying the model, squashing it into a very thin bas-relief type sculpture, and ended up with this:

house-brooch-3d-model-02

First, I printed it on my own Afinia H480 printer to see if it would hold detail and be worth doing at all. It turned out fairly well considering the size and detail:

house-brooch-test-print-01

I had it printed in two different materials as a test. One in stainless steel, and one in nickel, thinking they would both be silver, but one shinier, and perhaps nicer, than the other. I got them back, and to my surprise, one was nearly gold in color. Since the house is grey, I wanted it in silver, so I focused on that one.

house-brooch-03

The middle one was printed in ABS plastic on my own Afinia H480 printer, as a test. I’m honestly not sure which brooch was which, but one is stainless steel and one polished nickel.

So next I had to design a Valentine’s Day card to put it in. My concept was of a foam-core card with a rectangle cut out, and the brooch fitted into that rectangle tightly. Then a collage of colored paper would be used to form a picture of our garden with the house planted firmly in the middle. I used a magazine and cut out various images to match grass, trees, and used a heart-shaped hole punch to cut out red paper for a small Japanese Maple I planted in the yard, and her beloved blue hydrangeas that line the front of the house.

house-brooch-card-open-01

I put it in a parchment envelope I made simply, and used hand-torn red and pink paper to cut out hearts for both the envelope and the front of the card.

house-brooch-valentine-envelope-01 house-brooch-card-closed-01

The card itself is two pieces of foam-core wrapped in a crimson-red sheet of paper, scored and folded along the seams, so it would open nicely, and that the two cut-outs would hold the pin in place.

The pin, by the way, had no brooch pin attached during printing. That would have proven impossible. So I simply bought jewelry brooch pins from Michael’s Craft Store and used a binary epoxy to attach them to the backs.

house-brooch-04

And try not to tell Carol I got the wrong year on it! I brought over the 2015 from the Narwhal base, and forgot to change it!!! Grrr.

I then pinned the house brooch to a piece of corrugated cardboard and glued it to the card, holding it firmly in place.

 

 

25th Anniversary Gift for Carol – A 3D Printed Silver Narwhal

narwhal-finished-01

This is the story of my 25th Anniversary gift to my wife, Carol Hobbs. This is the story of how it came to be, and why.

 

Background

In the winter of 1978 several whales became trapped under the ice in Hall’s Bay, Newfoundland, on which lies my hometown of Springdale. Several humpbacks and a rare Narwhal. Rare, because they are high arctic whales, and rarely get this far south.

Throughout the winter, locals kept a large hole open so the whales could breathe. In the spring, an ice-breaker came in to the bay close enough to the hole that the whales could escape. Not all of them survived the winter. The belief is that mid-winter, one made a run for it, but Hall’s Bay, while being very deep, is also very long, and one humpback was found dead. The rest, though, we believe survived. They were gone the day after the ice was opened up.

narwhal
“Springy”, as some of the locals called this young Narwhal, whose tusk was not yet fully formed.

One one particularly nice day, Carol skated out on the perfectly smooth ice, and spent some time with the whales. It was amazing. My friends and I skated out there as well on a different day. Here we were, mere feet from the edge of this twenty-foot-diameter hole, and these whales kept coming up and getting air. The big humpbacks made a show of it, but the little Narwhal would kind of surface quietly, we’d get a glimpse of her, and then she’d dip silently down into the water again.

Carol wrote a poem about the experience, which has been published multiple times, and is one of my favorite poems of her large body of work. The poem was called “Narwhal”.

Narwhal

Hall’s Bay is a china plate.
I skate far out to the breathing hole
where the men chop the ice away.
The echo of auger and axe
grapples the lip of hills.
They are building a lung for whales –
a pair of humpbacks, a narwhal
surfacing through the slush.
The little narwhal lingers,
mottled back steaming.
Its eye oily in the dark cup,
me mirrored in the eye-slick,
the horn spiraling into brittle air.

-Carol Hobbs

On her birthday in 2010, I gave her this installation, which hangs on our wall in our new house, at the base of the stair under a tall window. (Seen here in our apartment previously)

2010-12-10-narwhal-gift

I framed a copy of her poem, with a print of Springy the whale. Under it is a shelf with brass brackets holding about 18 inches of a narwhal horn. Not a real one of course. That would be priceless. This is a casting in dental polymer of a real one, one of a rare few that someone was lucky enough to get a full casting of. (They also make available a 5 foot version.)

 

The Silver Narwhal

Last year, after our 24th Anniversary, I realized that the next one would be the big 25. Silver. I began thinking almost immediately what to get Carol for our 25th Anniversary that was silver.

At the time I had printed some things at Shapeways, an online 3D printing service. They keep adding materials and services, and at some point they introduced 3D printing in precious metals. They print the item in wax, then use the centuries-old lost-wax casting process in whatever metal you like, including solid gold and platinum.

So this was perfect. I would create a silver narwhal for her.

As time was getting on mid-year and I found myself with little time for 3D modeling and printing, I searched the web for models that would suit. I found a whale model that was very similar to a narwhal (without the horn) and downloaded that.

I found a splash model (as part of something else) and separated out the water splash.

I created the base myself (a simple oval, with an indented bottom, and an inscription.)

I smoothed out the whale, because I thought that in the Shapeways preview software that the facets of the original model would be noticeable in metal, and posed the whale in the water base I had created, using a boolean subtract to remove the bottom of the whale.

Here is a test print I did on my own printer.

narwhal-my-own-print-01

The horn is a simple standard toothpick. It works!

I then cut some interior space out (waste of silver) and sent it away to Shapeways for a silver print. I had the option of raw or polished. I felt the whale should be polished, shining as if coming up from the ocean, covered in water.

This wasn’t cheap, and I was nervous at how it would turn out, being my first metal print.

Then it arrived:

narwhal-bagged-02

In a nice, soft microfiber bag to keep it safe.

And then I opened it:

narwhal-unbagged-01

Wow.

I couldn’t believe how it turned out. It was perfect!

narwhal-closeup-01 narwhal-closeup-03 narwhal-closeup-04

Emboldened with confidence, I sent for the base to be printed in raw bronze. I opted not to have it polished. Two polished metals in the same piece would be harder to see. The two shiny metals would compete with each other for attention.

I forgot to photograph the base separate, but it turned out very nicely. I was worried because a portion of the wave was suspended above the water, very thin, splashing out past the base itself, and my own printer had issue with that. Shapeways printing, however, did not. It was great.

Here is the base’s bottom, with inscription:

narwhal-underside-inscription-01

So I used a binary clear epoxy to bind the pieces together:

narwhal-finished-02

Then I used my Dremel to carve a spiral into the toothpick, then stained it with the same stain we have on our front porch, which Carol and I put down this summer.

I varnished it, and used binary epoxy to attach the horn.

 

The Presentation

How best to present this? I thought it should come in a box, like a piece of jewelry, but not have her expect jewelry. A cubic box I found at Michael’s Craft Store would do the trick:

narwhal-box-01

This one has a magnetic clasp, and a deep interior:

narwhal-box-02

Perfect.

So I stained this box in the same stain we have on our back deck, which Charlotte, Carol and I did early in the summer:

narwhal-box-03

And a few coats of semi-gloss satin varnish.narwhal-box-04

But that couldn’t be all. I had to have something inside to hold the piece. Most jewelry boxes have a velvet covered sponge insert. I knew it had to be an insert, and it had to hold the piece firmly in place.

So I used my own 3D printer to create an insert that had a perfect inset for the base: A quick test print for fit:

narwhal-base-test-print-01 narwhal-base-test-print-02

And then I printed the full insert, much thicker.

And then what? I had decided to cover it with some kind of fabric, and I had only to decide what. I found this nice watery blue batique at Michael’s, and cut it to shape and wrapped it around my insert:

narwhal-base-final-wrapping-01

I used a spray adhesive, and an elastic to keep it in place while it dried.

Then I used a plastic version of the base and a clamp to push the fabric into the aperture I had cut:

narwhal-base-final-wrapping-02

Testing it with the final piece showed it would work perfectly:

narwhal-base-final-wrapping-03

But it would still flop around the box, (which would not be good, and might, indeed, break the wooden horn.)

So I 3D printed another part that would fit inside the cover of the box and hold the whale down while the box was closed:

narwhal-base-final-wrapping-04

I used an oval cylindrical shape, and then used the actual whale model (in 3D) to cut out a part of it that would ensure it fit down exactly over the whale’s back and clamp it down while the box lid was closed. It could go nowhere:

narwhal-base-final-wrapping-05

Used contact cement to glue these inserts firmly into the box. I used a stand-in piece in place of the metal final work, and held the box closed with a clamp while the inserts dried in place:

narwhal-box-05

And this is what it looked like when finished:

narwhal-box-interior-01

But that was not all. I needed a finishing piece: A silver engraved plaque. I went to Things Engraved in our local mall and got the perfect oval silver plate and had engraved on it: “For Carol On Our 25th Anniversary, Love, Sean”

narwhal-box-with-plaque-01

And that’s the complete package.

I gave it to her on our anniversary and she loved it.

narwhal-finished-01