1/48 3D printed B-wing

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Jimw100

Well-Known Member
OK, so following on from StevenBills' 1/48 Y-wing thread (which I unceremoniously gatecrashed). I purchased a B-wing 3D model and now I'm printing it out. Hopefully I can show you the mistakes I make and hopefully you can all give me some advice on how to fix them! I have basically bought every Star Wars model I can find in 1/48 and now I've started making my own.

The plan is quite simple - print out the B-wing at 1/48 scale (this already sounds more simple than it is) and then build it. I will probably at least light the engines. I normally end up lighting the laser cannons and cockpit as well, even though my Arduino programming skills are so limited that I very rarely get the lasers to fire when I press the button. And I normally put so many lights into the cockpit that I can't fit the whole thing together. I usually include an internal battery to add Play Value for the kids.

The model itself is quite small scale. I worked out that if I want it to be the same height as wookiepedia tells me a B-wing is then I need to print it at something like 152.76% scale. Somehow I got this massively wrong with the first print, and it was huge. I think I probably upped the size in the cad programme and then again in the slicing programme. Rookie error. V1 at the top, v2 and v3 below.

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I stuck all the cockpit pieces together in tinkercad and printed them out in one go, but because of the supports inside it was quite awful looking. I then separated the back wall from the rest and printed it again. Much better. Below is version 2 versus v3.

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I printed out a pilot (having modded the helmet into a more B-wing shape, and the arms and legs into a slightly more natural pose) at what I think is the right scale and, as you can see, he is a bit big. I might try sanding him down until he fits and see if it looks weird. I don't really want to reduce the size of the whole model to fit him, as I think it will end up too small. You can see in this picture - his head shouldn't come above the back of the piece behind him.

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Currently I can't really see a way I will be able to add much lighting to the cockpit. I could print all the control panels in translucent resin I suppose? I tried putting small holes for fibre optics in the back wall, but they didn't print as holes. I think because they were too small - 0.3mm, but I don't see why that happens, as there are plenty of other details that are smaller than 0.3mm that print fine.

Just in case anyone gets excited, as always my aim is not to build a model that is 100% film accurate, it just has to look "Star Wars" and not be too awful in terms of fit and finish. In terms of the shape and details of the model I am relying 100% on whoever built the 3D model. It looks close enough for me though.
 

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Jimw100

Well-Known Member
I've now lost count of the number of cockpits I have printed out, but I think I have one that looks good. I decided to remove the consoles and print them separately in transparent resin so that they can be lit up. In order to fit LEDs in I routed out a channel in the piece below the consoles which should fit a few SMD LEDs in it.

fullsizeoutput_2ae0.jpeg

I also adjusted the height of the lower part of the cockpit seat so that the pilot is basically sitting on the floor, but he fits in nicely. Although I did have to cut his feet off... I think the scale is right, based on looking at pictures of the 1/72 bandai B-wing.

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I then worked out that I wouldn't be able to "glaze" the cockpit canopy unless I printed it separately, so back to the printer for another go! The model usefully comes with a buck which you could use to vacuum mould a canopy, which is great. Except that I don't have any ability to do vacuum moulding, so I will likely just use thin acetate.

I started on printing the rest of the cockpit pod as well. I'm not sure whether I'm going to be able to keep the ability to revolve the cockpit without breaking the wiring. I know other people (Christopher Olsen in particular) have used copper tape to create a contact that allows for rotation, but I am very doubtful about my ability to get that to work reliably.
 

Jimw100

Well-Known Member
Looking forward to this!

Where did you get the source files from? They look pretty amazing

I got the files from CGTrader.com. They are good - not perfect but much better than I could do! The only real problem I have with them is that the more rounded surfaces are actually faceted - I imagine this has to do with the design software used to create them.

I printed out the rest of the cockpit tube and the main gun - both were slight failures unfortunately. The gun was ok, but one of the holes I modelled into the secondary laser went too deep and ended up going all the way through the outer gun pod bit (I could, of course, have avoided this if I had checked properly).

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And I had also included holes to route small LEDs through from the main wing - two holes at angles which intersect with the hollow barrels of the two main lasers. I obviously forgot to include one of the holes:

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The cockpit tube had a couple of issues too. One, the supports for one of the overhanging rings ended up leaving divots when I removed them.

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I could perhaps have remedied this with filler but it would have been very fiddly, so I just printed it the other way up, which avoided needing supports in this area. We'll see if that works. The slight rim where this overlaps the cockpit itself was also so thin that it broke when I removed it from the supports. So I went back to the CAD and added in an extra 1mm ring to strengthen it. Now its printing again.

fullsizeoutput_2af0.jpeg
 

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Jimw100

Well-Known Member
I nearly forgot the other part I printed - this one actually worked well! I put all of the main engine components together to print in once piece, added a big cavity (which will hopefully fit a battery, adafruit itsybitsy and other electronics) and I effectively "cored out" the engines so that I can print the centre piece in clear resin to be lit by an LED. In theory those should just slot in. Time will tell

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StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looking great so far! What I've found with 3D printing is that it's a whole 'lotta trial and error. Lots of wasted prints and material. But once you get it all dialed in, it's a lot of fun! Now I just gotta get back to that Y-Wing of mine...

SB
 

Jimw100

Well-Known Member
Looking great so far! What I've found with 3D printing is that it's a whole 'lotta trial and error. Lots of wasted prints and material. But once you get it all dialed in, it's a lot of fun! Now I just gotta get back to that Y-Wing of mine...

SB
You're so right. I have just come to the realisation that unless I want to spend half my life doing really awkward sanding I am going to have to 'build' the whole model on the computer (as in put all the individual parts together) and then shrink one part of each interfacing join.

Getting these bits to fit together (even as roughly as this) was a lot of effort. And I think I'm going to reprint the main engine section, as it is a very tight fit for the electronics at the moment and I can make a bit more space inside.

fullsizeoutput_2b34.jpeg fullsizeoutput_2b32.jpeg fullsizeoutput_2b2e.jpeg
 

Jimw100

Well-Known Member
That looks amazing! I would love to have a resin printer, but the resin smell is not conducive to apartment dwelling, lol.
I was really surprised at how little smell there is. I use water washable resin as I don’t want to be messing around with tons of alcohol etc, so I don’t know whether the non-water washable is more noxious.

I just have the printer on the counter top in my kitchen with the window open a little bit, and I make sure I tape the bottom of the lid when it is actually printing something. I put on a mask and gloves when I’m cleaning prints but really the smell of resin is negligible unless you have the top open.

Obviously it’s quite subjective and you may find you’re more sensitive to it.
 

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bwize

Sr Member
Ya, the typical resins stink I am told. I did not know about the water washable resins. That might be a game changer and I may buy a resin printer in the future to complement my current FDM printer, lol.
 

Jimw100

Well-Known Member
very nice work so far, sorry to hear of your pilot losing his feet!
Haha, he'll be ok! Thanks. I haven't updated this in a while but I think I've now printed all the main parts (including re printing the main engine part with a bigger cavity for electronics and a hole for a charging cable in the middle of the 4 engine outlets). I just need to print the transparent cockpit parts and central engine parts, which I have been putting off because it means using resin that needs to be washed with IPA and I don't really have a set up for this. Then I can start putting the led's and wiring in! Sadly it doesn't look like I'll get time for that any time soon.
 

holtaa

Active Member
You might find that assembling the model in your software and scaling them all together works well. I got a resin printer a couple of weeks ago and after the trial and error found that I got much better results this way. I put all the pieces together, saved it and then renames copies of this file, deleted all the parts not needed in each print. The one source file ensured I did not make a mistake as I went.

I am using water washable resin too (I don't think the smell is too bad, but the wife does so the printer lives in the garage) and have noticed some deformation of parts - I think it must be from my print orientation or support placement. Evidently still lots of trial and error to go

Your B-wing looks great so far.
 

ringleheim

New Member
It's look great so far! I wish Bandai would do more in larger scales; this should have been available from them in 1/48 scale IMO.

I'm anxious to see your next installment!
 

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Jimw100

Well-Known Member
It's look great so far! I wish Bandai would do more in larger scales; this should have been available from them in 1/48 scale IMO.

I'm anxious to see your next installment!
I really wish Bandai had done it too, then I wouldn’t have had to print it myself! Sadly my understanding is that their main market is Japan and the Japanese market want smaller scale models
 

Hagoth

Well-Known Member
Really cool project here. I love what can be added to the modeling process with 3D printing. I've long wanted to do a 1:48 scale B-Wing. Thank you for the inspiration by example!
I find fixing other peoples 3D files so they will print well and fit together with proper clearances is a very time consuming part of the process. I have a program that allows me to increase the STL resolution and get rid of the facets or I just use the original as a template and remodel everything myself.
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I really wish Bandai had done it too, then I wouldn’t have had to print it myself! Sadly my understanding is that their main market is Japan and the Japanese market want smaller scale models

That makes sense, I never really thought about that. The only reason I mention it is that I have a dream where Bandai starts producing 1:24 scale models, can you imagine...
 

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