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monsterpartyhat

1:144 T-16 Skyhopper Scratch Build

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Catching up on prototype #2, I started combining pieces that didn't need to be separate and adding slots and tabs for slide-fit construction and alignment. 

 

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Building a visible cockpit is actually possible....

 

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For the next prototype I've got even more alignment tabs and slots, and I'm about to start tackling how to fit the wings on with guaranteed alignment, because that's currently "hold and pray while the glue sets". 

Edited by monsterpartyhat

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Really like this one, @monsterpartyhat   

 

Your original result is nice enough, but your IKEA flatpack ‘kit’ is next-level. Looking forward to further updates. 

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1 hour ago, GMK said:

Really like this one, @monsterpartyhat   

 

Your original result is nice enough, but your IKEA flatpack ‘kit’ is next-level. Looking forward to further updates. 

 

Thank you! Once I got this cutter machine and determined it could accurately cut down to 0.5mm, making the pattern more assembly-friendly just started to fall together easily. 

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Threw a quick and slop paintjob on #2 - white fine surface primer on the bottom and Mr. Surfacer 1000 gray on top are a pretty good color match, with Tamiya Dull Red for the horribly-masked-but-I-don't-care red stripe :)

 

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I'm also starting to think about how to detail this with greeblies, and possibly how to cast the greeblies as well so I can make a nearly complete kit out of it. One of the inner wing pieces from the Bandai X-wing vehicle model kit works nicely as an "in spirit if not detail" version of one of the studio model greeblies. 

 

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A few more pics of the assembly process - it's pretty quick!

 

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I've moved a few tabs around, added a couple more, and fixed a few of the minor alignment issues you can see here. I'm getting closer to a solution for the wings. 

Edited by monsterpartyhat

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Since I'm visiting my in-laws for the holidays and away from my models, I'm working on this project virtually for the moment. In order to properly tackle the wing mounting, I thought it would go better in 3D than purely in 2D, so I completely re-drew the 2D pattern in Sketch-Up, entirely out of .020" thick slabs (since that's what it's being cut out of). 

 

So, I've gone from a 3D model (made for rendering, not building) to a 2D pattern, to a 3D model of the 2D pattern that I can assemble virtually. It's been a cool process - I found a half dozen small misalignments and inaccuracies that crept in while I was going back and forth working purely in 2D. Plus, now I have a form I can experiment with without producing an endless stream of physical tests, and I've worked out attaching the wings with a set angle. 

 

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Edited by monsterpartyhat

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I just put in a Shapeways order for these parts. In theory, they'll drop right into place within the styrene framework. If it works, I'll work on the rest of the greeblies and make silicone molds to cast them in resin. 

 

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It's just pure Science Fiction.

Tomorrows' modelling at it's finest.

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I've done a LOT more 3D modeling in the last couple of days, and having finished modeling the gun about an hour ago

I'm pretty much ready to call it done (although I still need to model the sensor vane, or whatever the hell it is, on the main wing). 
 

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And I've organized the 3D printed parts into a file that I can get printed in one go, laid out all ready to be molded directly once it arrives. 

 

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Now comes the boring part...where I have to have *patience* while the prints arrive from Shapeways, get fitted, and wait weeks more for any revisions....sigh. Tons more in-progress pics of the 3D modeling in the flickr photo album for this project

Edited by monsterpartyhat

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Thanks! I actually never intended to go this far with 3D modeling the parts - I was just going to do the rear engine and a bit of the underside, but it's amazing what a week of downtime with the family will motivate you to do 😆

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As soon as I got home, I ran off a test of the updated pattern. 

 

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The Cricut machine doesn't currently have enough control to actually get the panel lines engraved along with the cuts, so instead I use one of the pens to have the machine draw them, and then I scribe them by hand with a ruler laid over the lines drawn by the machine. 

 

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Wiping the ink off results in impromptu panel lining.

 

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The pile of tiny parts:

 

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Some of the smallest slots and tabs aren't working - they'll need some tweaking so the tabs fit into the slots - cutting them exactly the same size doesn't work when you're talking about 1/2mm styrene, as it's just not strong enough to force in for a tight friction fit. The most critical part works, however - the slots for angling the wings. 

 

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Now the biggest challenge is patience while I wait two weeks for Shapeways - there probably won't be an update until the greeble prints arrive. In the meantime, I'm starting to model some other parts I've wanted for a while for additional concept-drawing inspired models.

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Cricut (makes note of that name for future purchase and sends mental reminder to download sketchup for Mac)

 

really impressed with this. I’m very intrigued to see what you are going to model next!

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You can still download SketchUp 2017 - it's the last desktop version that can be used free for unlimited time. SketchUp 2018 is now limited to 30 days before you have to buy a $500 license :( (they introduced a free web version - ugh). It takes some work to make things printable, but it's a really intuitive 3D editor. I actually set out to learn Blender over the holidays, and went back to SketchUp after 4 hours :). 

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Posted (edited)

Ooh cheers - I’ll have a look for the 2017 version!  I’ve used 3D modelling software in the past (Catia v4) but I’d never heard of sketchup until I saw you using it. I’ll find a link today!

 

quick question though; sketchup Make or Pro?

Edited by The Chief Smeg

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, The Chief Smeg said:

Ooh cheers - I’ll have a look for the 2017 version!  I’ve used 3D modelling software in the past (Catia v4) but I’d never heard of sketchup until I saw you using it. I’ll find a link today!

 

quick question though; sketchup Make or Pro?

 

Sketchup Make - Pro is the $$$ version. About the only thing Make is missing is CSG operations. 

 

https://www.sketchup.com/download/sketchup-make/mac/thank-you or https://www.sketchup.com/download/sketchup-make/windows/thank-you (bypasses the registration page)

Edited by monsterpartyhat

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Well, look what arrived sooner than expected! I wasn't expecting these until Monday. 

 

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Two sets of the preliminary greeblie prints from Shapeways. I've already got most of one set mounted to the most recent prototype build - I'll have shots of that up soon. There will be some minor revisions and another round of prints before I cast them (well, I may make a V1 mold of this round anyway, since it's so small). 

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Aight, this is turning out better than I imagined - the physical model basically matches what I modeled in SketchUp almost perfectly. I've assemble all the 3D printed pieces onto the styrene frame. I used music wire to connect the gun to the lower chassis, with .047" music wire running through both the gun body and the lower chassis, with a small length of 3/32" styrene slipped over it for the chassis -> gun connector. The single piece of music wire that holds those together also extends through the bottom of the gun to form the model support, just like the original studio scale model. 

 

The barrel of the gun is a piece of .032" music wire with aluminum (err, aluminium) tubing slipped over it. Drilling the holes in the various tiny parts with an 0.8mm and 1.2mm drill bit in a pin vise was a bit fraught, since they're so small, but the Shapeways fine detail plastic both sands and drills very nicely. I've updated the 3D models so that a couple of the holes I had to drill will just be part of the 3D printed masters. 

 

I put a couple of quick coats of white primer on it, and tomorrow I'll paint the rest. 

 

Here's a mix of photos, with the raw parts and primed. 

 

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That looks superb  - thanks again for those links you posted; got sketchup loaded onto my MBPro and it all works. 

 

Loving this!

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It's done! Painted, decaled, and detailed.


I'm going to make a silicone mold of the second set of 3D printed parts, in case I need to make any additional alterations to accomodate molding before ordering the final masters. I've already modified the parts to have a couple of the mounting holes for the steel wire pre-"drilled". After making the mold, II'll be building up a second T-16 with the Shapeways parts, which will be heavily weathered, instead of the clean studio model type finish.

 

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Highlighting the value of a decal stash - the black-bordered-yellow-bar came from the decal sheet for a 1:72 scale Hasegawa F/A 18. 

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11 minutes ago, Photon said:

How do you get the Sketch-up files into a form your cutting machine can deal with?

 

It's a slightly involved process.

 

* It starts with the Milling Tools extension. That lets you set a "ground plane" for each part that you want to export for cutting.

* The extension can then generate new two dimensional faces of every 3D part that you've set a ground plane for it on. 

* Then I arrange those faces in a minimal arrangement to minimize material waste. I do this in SketchUp, with the camera in parallel projection mode in a top-down view. With the ability to snap vertices to each other, this is pretty easy in SketchUp.

* Then I group the faces, adding additional lines to fully enclose them in a rectangular face, merge them all down to a single object (i.e. a bunch of co-planar faces)

* Then I export that to SVG using sketchup-svg-outline-plugin

* Then I open the SVG in a vector editor (I'm currently using TouchDraw, which has its quirks, but it does what I need) and make sure the whole thing is a single compound path, and re-save as SVG

* Then it's ready to import into the Cricut software (which imports SVG and DXF)

 

It's not as complicated as it sounds written up like that, but it is a bit involved and took a bit of experimentation. One thing to note -- SketchUp doesn't do curves. Circles and arcs are just a lot of straight segments, which will take a LOOOONG time to cut. So I replace those with bezier curves manually. 

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Absolutely outstanding - and more thanks for explaining how you project the 3D model onto a plane. Extracted faces and then ‘nesting’ for cutting! :clap:

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