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About MoFo

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    Arise... again.

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  1. Side note about the fact that most FDM prints aren't solid... I just imported one of the envelope sections into the print software to see how long it would print if it was solid. 209 days, 10 hours and 55 minutes. Yikes! If I did the whole thing as 100% solid prints, it'd take 748 days and weigh 90kg (about 200lbs). Yet another reason why 3D printers aren't the magic machines most people think they are.
  2. So, with the exception of the tail bulge, it appears they've made all these changes - antennas on the wings and nose, searchlight, correct pitot. Interesting to note, they still include the pitot with the extra vanes. That was used on the P. But they only include one style of parabrake fairing, and the nose isn't really correct for a P (PD/PDS had a plug, and completely different panel lines). I wonder if the 'clean' pitot was a last-minute correction? Or is the tooling designed to let them swap out the nose and parabrake parts to release a P in the future?
  3. You mean you're not sick of seeing 6' long airships at all the model shows you go to? To give a sense of scale, here are a trio of test prints I ran, all at 1/1000. On the bottom is a WWI-era Q-class Zeppelin - the one that I scratchbuilt previously - which was already massive in 1/144. Above that is an R-class WWI Zeppelin. These were the first of the 'Super Zeppelins', larger and more aerodynamic so they could carry a heavier payload (nearly as much as a B-52), higher, in an attempt to avoid British air defences. On top is the Hindenburg. It almost looks like a different scale. Extrapolating that to the 1/144 version, I've also run test prints of the gondola and engine pod. They look tiny in the CAD renders, but will be quite substantial on the actual model: Again, these are being produced on an FDM printer - the simplest, cheapest, but crudest of all 3D printing technologies. When you read about Makerbot, or the Dremel Idea Builder, or just general 'hobbyist' 3D printing, it is an FDM printer. They work sort of like a cross between a computer-controlled Etch-a-Sketch and a glorified hot glue gun, using motors to precisely extrude layers of plastic on top of each other, to create a finished product. The up side is that they're relatively inexpensive to build and run, relatively simple to operate, and relatively fast to print, but the down side is that they're poor at reproducing really fine details, so the're ill-suited for most modelling purposes. An FDM printer will work well for a Zeppelin because it's basically a big, smooth shape; if it was full of panel lines and fine surface details, they would look terrible. I'll be using this printer to produce the Zeppelin's envelope - the balloon itself - but detail parts like the gondola and engine pods will be run on a different kind of printer than can render finer detail. These parts were run at .04mm layer height, which is *extremely* fine for an FDM printer (it's about half the thickness of a sheet of paper), and has generally resulted in nice, smooth layers. However, you can still clearly see the stepped-look on shallow angled places like the bottom of the gondola. However steeper, more vertical angles look pretty good. Fortunately, most of the final prints will be steep angles, like this. A quick sanding and a heavy coat of primer and the parts should be smooth. This is ultimately why I bought the printer in the first place - it was a ton of work filling and sanding my previous Zeppelin, and the parts weren't as crisp as I would have liked. If I can get a sharper, more precise balloon with less surface prep, I'll be thrilled. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the fidelity on the engine pod - you can see the slightly recessed clamshell doors on the front. Not perfect, and not as detailed as I'd like, but if I was going for a simpler display piece rather than tons of internal detail, it would actually be usable. Lastly, something that interests a lot of people... FDM prints are rarely *solid*. There are a bunch of reasons for this - it's much faster since you're printing far fewer lines with each layer, and it saves an enormous amount of material; plus the finished parts are still more than strong enough. So the software used to generate the code that drives the actual printer - it converts your 3D object into individual layers and plots the movements and settings for each layer - can also 'scoop out' the inside of each file and generate a honeycomb-like 'infill' to maintain rigidity. Hence, this grid-like pattern visible on the bottom (or, top) of the gondola. The printer itself isn't actually all that complex or sophisticated, it's the software that runs it that's smart!
  4. Started adding windows; revised the tail planes yet again: Full view along the bottom, showing both updates. It's quite busy underneath, actually. There are also a number of cargo hatches, but I'm probably not going to add those to the CAD - FDM printers don't do fine recessed details well, so it will be easier to either scribe the doors, or add some sections of decal film as 'raised' panels. And a view with the engine pods in place: Next it needs reinforcing strips along the envelope, and some subtle scalloping to the facets. And locating points for the vents up top.
  5. F-4EJ Stencils in 1/48 Blue on Blue scheme

    Platz has done decals for the scheme.
  6. Some updates: I've revised the tailplanes and have split both them and the gondola off of the main envelope. They'll be printed as separate parts and should(!) just tack on later. The tailplanes were actually pretty much completely re-done - I wanted to tweak the geometry of the upper and side planes (which are all the same), and then created the lower tailplane (which is different). I'm still debating whether I should add surface details to the parts. The skin is basically smooth, with just a subtle colour difference from the structure visible, and smooth parts will be easier to print and finish, but because they're such large pieces (each tailplane is almost a foot long) it needs some detail to break up the large expanse. (...and looking at this pic, I see a few more things I need to tweak!) I've also started roughing out the engine gondolas. These have clamshell shutters at the front, to regulate airflow to the radiators. I'm *really* tempted to engineer some kind of functional solution for that... And lastly, now that the gondola is split off, I can begin detailing the interior. Complete with easter egg.
  7. Eduard 1:72 MiG-21MF has arrived

    Excellent prediction.
  8. It's interesting, because I usually have the opposite problem - when I'm designing parts, it's easy to forget how tiny they are. I constantly have to remind myself that details which feel crude and clunky and terrible when you're zoomed in on the screen are actually only .1 mm thick and will be fine on the finished piece. Never used Blender. I'd like to get into some of the sculptural software like Blender or ZBrush, but it's an entirely different skillset and approach to modelling.
  9. I bought an FDM printer last year, specifically with an eye to doing some more airships in the future. Well, I found some sweet-fool drawings of the Hindenburg a while back, and spent some time on it over the weekend. The problem is, apart from punching the basic dimensions into Solidworks and having a general feel for the size, it never really sunk in just how big it would *actually* be in 1/144. I knew it would be about double the size of the Q-Class Zepp I'm building. I knew it would be noticeably longer. And I knew that as a result, it would be a more massive object. But I’ve been too focused on modelling it in CAD to really step back and understand the full scope of the beast. Just now, I plopped a model of my existing Zeppelin next to it to render a comparison and was like, ha ha ha, it really IS bi.... oh, crap... maybe I should get a tape measure. It’s 5’ 7” long and 12” in diameter. Gulp. Having some serious second thoughts right now. The thought of sanding and painting something that big is terrifying. I have no idea where I'd even put it. And I've got half a dozen once-in-a-lifetime-type builds in the queue as it is. But dang... it would be pretty awesome. Still, I'm pretty pleased with the way the CAD is progressing:
  10. AMK 1/48 F-14!!!

    The clean wings are new. They showed off the opened wings in early February, but the clean ones haven't been posted before. Which should also answer the question as to whether the kit will be released on April 10. (it will not)
  11. Small suggestion: rather than trying to replace all the images in every post, just upload all your Backfire build photos in a gallery, and link to it in the first post. That way we still get to see all your great WIP shots, and you save hours of time laboriously editing all your posts.
  12. No. The thickness is standard (required) on any omega-shaped part; you wouldn't be able to extract the part from the mold core if it had curved, undercut geometry. The thicker walls could potentially lead to sink marks, but they won't cause flow marks.
  13. Only if they were mounted via a single post, embedded in the B-52. :) (anyone else remember that particular FSM Reader Gallery entry?)
  14. AMK 1/48 F-14!!!

  15. Duke Cunningham has a website

    Better than his last website, I guess... https://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/tcp/