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Unique Desktop Models for Dummies

yasotay

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I have been admiring the work here for years. The work here and at whatifmodellers.com has had me wondering; what might the best way to have unique desktop models made? By "unique" I mean ones that did not get past preliminary design. As those of you who have been here for a time know, I am mostly focused on VTOL. I have done the obligatory internet search and found most of the reputable (or at least the pictures look that way) companies that do presentation models. As expected "unique" does increase the price. So I thought I would ask the experts here if comissioning a modeller would be better than going with a company?
 

allysonca

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There are a lot of us that do custom models to plans, but it can be a tad expensive to execute. Depending on the size and the amount of detail the prices can be up to as much a couple of thousand or more. One sometimes can not really appreciate the amount of work that can go into one single model.
 

Hobbes

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An increasing number of unbuilt designs is available as model kits. 3D printing is another possible source (look at e.g. Shapeways). On eBay, I see a fair number of unbuilt designs done as wooden models (e.g. seller Scalemodelcompany).
 

yasotay

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Thanks for the responses gentlemen. Certainly aware of time/expense associated with the work. Will see what the 3D options have to offer.
 

Richard N

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You should post your request for models on the whatifmodellers.com forum, since they already build for their own satisfaction and would probably do it for less money than for those who do it to pay the bills. Most individuals who have wanted me to build something for them had a totally unrealistic idea of the time and expense involved and I passed on their projects.

I rarely build static models for myself since my real modelling hobby is flying models. If can't buy a model or kit of something I want to fly, I build it myself from scratch.

You know what you want. If you can't get someone to build it for you, the only way to get what you want is to build it yourself. It is never to late to learn new skills and keeping your mind and hands active will help you stay sharp. When I was a kid, my father introduced me to flying models and I developed my skills as I built each new airplane. I later used models I scratch built to get my first model making job with an industrial designer.
 

overscan

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There are various Ebay stores located in the Phillipines which will make such models cheaper than a true professional like Allyson. However, you do really get what you paid for.
 

allysonca

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One of the problems with the PI models is all too often they just get it just wrong. The mahogany wood is soft, trailing edges thick, and all too often crooked assemblage. They are getting better and the paint is often great, but they always do canopies in a plain old grey, and never try to reproduce the cockpit work that the original factories used. Clouds reflected like Northrop, Blacks and Whites like Grumman, 3 tone blues like NAA.... and never try to reproduce the stands that mimic the originals. As a collector for well over 50 years there is a base knowledge that a noneducated maker misses. Case and point, I had used a factory in China that made outstanding models for the Chinese military as well as the Russians. All were done with clear canopies, but they never could get the finished paintwork to a high standard. It would have been perfect to send a blank to the PI for the finish - then we would have had a winner. Also, the fillers were poor grade and immediately shrunk, thus destroying a great model. Here is an example of where we had to fill in the shrinkage of an unpainted example. Metalwork was outstanding. I had them make a 1/32 B-36 with gear down that was great, but the shrinkage was almost immediate. Colors were ALWAYS wrong and they never could understand how to do Stars and Bars. Tried to train them but I was too difficult for them as I was picky. Sheese.......

For fun here are some examples. The blue is an attempt to fill the cracks that developed. An oh god, the Viet Nam Camo brown was hideous.

Wasted 2 years on this project........

616353

616354

616356







616355

616357
 
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allysonca

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An increasing number of unbuilt designs is available as model kits. 3D printing is another possible source (look at e.g. Shapeways). On eBay, I see a fair number of unbuilt designs done as wooden models (e.g. seller Scalemodelcompany).
I speak from experience on this. We've received 3D printed models in parts for finishing and know that this is not that great of a medium and requires a LOT of work to eliminate the sharkskin finish. Also, the larger the model the worse it can be. Depending on the programming, there are a lot of the small details that need adding, and the resin/plastic is nasty to work with. I use printing for enlargements of my animation sculpts and I have a 4-foot Whimpy Kid next to me here in my studio that was a ton of finish work. Acetone and a heavy applications of filler primer and sand, sand, sand, sand is needed. Admittedly a lot easier for enlargements, the medium still requires work and artistry to make a model presentable.
 

Hobbes

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That depends on the material used. Shapeways WSF is coarse and difficult to sand, while FUD has much higher resolution, is easier to sand but does not accept enamel paint.
 

allysonca

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I posted these over in the Sea Control section, BUT they are very worthy desk models, albeit a tad large. Thought you would enjoy them. If everyone likes boats I can post some other examples of the modelers art. 616508616509616510616511
 

riggerrob

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Quality of 3D printed models varies with layer thickness. If printed quickly (layers 0.3 mm thick) quality is crude, but if printed slowly (layers 0.1 thick) details will improve . Mind you, more layers take more hours to print and you pay for both time and weight of filament.
 

bobbymike

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Anyone want to make me, to my specs, a CPGS ballistic missile with multiple SWERVE RVs?
 

riggerrob

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May I suggest a hat you download a beginners’ 3D modelling program like Tinkercad or Fusion 360? TinkerCAD is aimed at teenagers learning the basics of computer assisted rafting so is a good introductory program.
I am currently working with a more expensive program called Solidworks.
Learning curves can be steep, but fortunately there are dozens of tutorial vid www.youtube.com

You do not need to buy your own 3 d printer as there are dozens of shops that will cheerfully print your files. However, the cost of out-sourced prints soon adds up to the cost of buying your own 3 d printer
.
Hint: I am having great fun learning how to use my Ender 3 printe It only cost me $300. I will need two or three years to learn all its capabilities. I bought it 6 months ago and the company has already moved on to the Ender 5 model. Innovation is rapid and you can often pick up last year’s model for cheap.
 
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