Jump to content

1:32 3D Printed RAF Boeing P-8A Poseidon

Recommended Posts

Talk of Scimitars in another thread - and the possibilities of 3D printing larger versions - has flagged that I haven't shared progress on my 3D Print apprentice piece of the last 18 months - a Boeing P-8A Poseidon in 1:32...


I've been trying to learn Rhino 3D design software and, as part of this, purchased a Creality Ender 5 Pro FDM printer - and a Sonic Mini 4K resin printer.


To cut a long story short, I was looking for something to test print - found a good looking 3D model online for sale/download - found out how to scale and modify the .stl files and, well, I now have a Poseidon airframe in glorious 1:32 o'vision.


Airframe parts printed using HIPS (the same material as plastic kits) - detail parts for engines/cockpit/undercarriage etc.. will be printed on the high-resolution resin printer...




Fuselage and wings are printed as separate sections, bonded with Revell Contacta cement - which works perfectly and is hugely strong.




Top front of fuselage - and cockpit section - are still separate to allow for an interior to be printed/assembled/painted.


That's a 61cm/24" steel rule next to it - and tiles are 30cm square...








A lot more work to be done - but have proved to myself that anything is possible - if not entirely practical!  :)


*If* she eventually comes together, I'll put her in RAF colours.


A huge THANK YOU to Tim Perry, of this parish, for his advice, help and encouragement. 😎


Happy to post more info/images on how I got to this stage, if there's interest...



  • Like 38
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Iain Ogilvie changed the title to 1:32 3D Printed RAF Boeing P-8A Poseidon

Wow, that is amazing! Far too big t be practical! Looking good.


I'm a plebeian when it comes to computers and CAD and 3D but I'm happy to watch.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Well, it's like this.


It started as a 'wonder what I can test print' moment - which resulted in 'I wonder if I can print a CFM-56 engine pod' - using the PLA filament that came with the printer. These have now been reprinted using HIPS filament instead.


And the exhaust is a separate part - hence 'wonkyness' in photo:




As that worked, and I'd acquired some rolls of HIPS filament (High Impact Polystyrene), along with a printer enclosure so that I could print at higher temps, with no draught issues - we escalated to 'I'll just see if I can print a nose' - in this case a 1:32 737-800 nose...




From there I just carried on to see if I could - and, well, it appears I can - subject to a lot more work, obviously.


Tail sections - next to a Tempest II in the same scale:




Until we ended up with this:




Parts are strong, and very light. They glue easily with Revell Contacta - floor and bulkhead in 2mm styrene sheet:




And these were first test prints on my 4K resin printer - cockpit panels. They need tweaking for more depth - but are based on Boeing drawings - it's amazing what the Flight Sim boys draw up to print at 1:1!  :)




I call it my 'Apprentice Piece' - and it hasn't really mattered if it got finished because it was serving it's purpose as a learning exercise.


Now the basic aiframe is there it's not actually as mad as it looks - and the wings are separate whilst I work on it.


If I do carry on - which is the plan at present - it will fit in my wife's car as a complete airframe. And *if* finished it can live in the garage - or go to a museum/squadron - we'll see...


So, yes, a lot of madness about my method, but it's been a hugely rewarding learning experience so far - and gives me ideas for lots of other things I'd like to try - if I ever get the time.



  • Like 18
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great work so far & great potential for larger scale models of the bigger jets.  Kind of reminds me of those big travel agent et models you used to see in their windows.  How easy is it with only very basic CAD experience?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see. So, you really are trying to prove the 'nut' in 'Aeronut'. Inspired lunacy is what I say - brilliant work! It looks very good, and I wasn't aware there was a printer that used good, old polystyrene. Now if you would only print out a 1/32nd scale B-36...


Best Regards,



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, bar side said:

How easy is it with only very basic CAD experience?


I have a little prior 2D CAD experience - and lots of vector art program experience - but I'm still very low on the 3D learning curve - something this project is inteded to fix as I'll have a lot of detail things to draw up.


The source file for the Poseidon is available to buy and download here for printing at 1:100 .


I've taken these files and enlarged/cut up/tweaked in a program called Meshmixer - which has been reasonably straightforward to get my head around.


As the 3D model was designed to be printed a lot smaller a lot of the detail has been removed and will be re-done - and the trailing edges are thick - so I'm using some traditional model bashing techniques too...


48 minutes ago, Learstang said:

I wasn't aware there was a printer that used good, old polystyrene.


A good FDM printer should be able to print HIPS - you need higher nozzle and bed temperatures, and you need an enclosure to keep ambient temps reasonably high whilst printing.


I'm running around 232 deg C nozzle and 92 deg C bed - and I'm using a PEI bed which gives great adhesion and helps prevent print distortion.



  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the interest everyone - I wasn't sure whether it was worth posting!


A few people have asked if I could do some additional prints - and the answer has to be no at present.


Several reasons:

  • I don't own the source files these prints are based upon
  • I simply don't have the time, or capacity, at present - and I'd only end up letting people down
  • The airframe, to date, has taken approximately 4 weeks of almost constant running on the printer!


Using HIPS as a print material works brilliantly - easy to bond, easy to sand and it takes paint really well. The surfaces do have fine layer lines - but a quick sand and coat of Halfords Primer sorts that.


Wings are made up from multiple print sections - 8 each side - with a 2mm styrene central 'spar' (backed up with 2 x 2mm stainless steel rods running root to tip.


This is what I'm mainly using to bond:




Wing and tail prints :




Cowling loosely placed:





  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Main sections of fuselage have 6mm diameter acrylic rod to align - before bonding:






Have incorporated cut-outs for weapons bay and undercarriage bays:




Will be working on her as and when, inbetween other projects and as I learn the fine art of 3D modelling in more depth...


Blue skies,







  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Impressive and fascinating Iain.


The FDM printed fuselage and wings look very sturdy and also look to clean up very nicely (I guess that both qualities have at least something to do with using HIPS).  I’d be interested to know what sort of size/fidelity and other factors dictate the switch over point from the FDM to the resin printer.  Is there much of an overlap in capability?


On 7/13/2022 at 9:55 PM, Iain Ogilvie said:

The airframe, to date, has taken approximately 4 weeks of almost constant running on the printer!


Worth it :D

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a fantastic project, and I'm guessing thar we'll see more of this in the future. 

Good luck with the rest of your project. 

And if you start selling them I'll take one in the smaller 1/48 scale please. :D


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...