Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft

Discussion in 'Studio Scale Models' started by Firefox3D, May 26, 2015.

  1. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    Been a lurker here for a while, created a new account as couldn't remember my old one!

    Always loved the Firefox plane after seeing the movie at age 14 in '82, thinking someone has got to do a kit of it, but it never happened. I picked up a Studio 2 kit many years later, but it was miles off right. I contacted Kurt at the thinkinrussian website about it and he kindly supplied me with 2D plans he had. Spent some considerable time working those into accurate vector (Coreldraw) drawings to make slices to build new sections for the Studio 2 model. In doing so realised how bad the Studio 2 kit was and after a week or two of work building a new nose and new engine section, realised how much more was wrong and gave up on it.
    Was further disappointed that the other Firefox model here http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=681 never made it to sale

    So decided to take matters in my own hands and build an accurate model myself. In trying to create isometric drawings from the 2D plans I realised they were probably only a quickly drawn starting point for the model builders since areas from the side to top and bottom views didn't actually line up, not much out but certainly not a finished plan. I think they were the plans drawn that appear on the table when Baranovich is talking to Gant about the plane, "Remember to think in russian Mr Gant, you cannot think in English and transpose, do you think you can do that", yes I have watched the film a few times...

    So have spent many, many hours with screen grabs from the bluray release, a very useful early copy of Cinefex magazine, and some excellent photo quality movie pics picked up from good 'ole ebay. I was able to get enough references so I could see where it needed tweaking. There are not many places in the film where you get a true flat top, side and bottom views and you hardly see the back at all, but luckily there are some good reference pics from Cinefex, not sure I can post these here?
    It is possible to "fix" some images by perspective correcting in Photoshop so you can get at least get an accurate front to back or side to side relative dimensions.
    Once I was happy that it was about as close as I was going to get without an original filming miniature to hand, I started a 3D model.
    Had been using Google Sketchup for other work so was fairly competent with it, and there are so many incredibly useful plugins you can do just about anything you can do in the more expensive packages easier and possibly faster, certainly cheaper.
    I still have a way to go, most it it past where the wings meet the fuselage is just roughed out at the moment so I can get the same view as reference pics and clear screen grabs and overlay them. In doing so realised I probably didn't need to spend so much time on the 2D plans as there were still parts that were not right when viewed in 3D, live and learn.
    I'm hoping to be able to 3D print most of it as I invested in a 3D printer for other prototyping work, and had wanted one for ages anyway, so was a good excuse :)
    As it's a 3D print it can be any scale really, but want a big sucker so going for 1/24 which makes it about 31 inches or 80cm long, still tempted to do a full 1/12 63" studio scale one, but I don't know where I would put it.
    I have done a couple of test prints of the nose, which is a bitch to get right, and having it in my hand helped me see where it was still slightly off, so have made adjustment and I am confident it's pretty * close to perfect, tell me what you think.

    Few screengrabs showing the starting 2D plans and where I am currently, last one shows the canards swung back, which you see for all of about 3 seconds in the film, but looks cool.

    Thanks

    Jon
    Firefox plans.jpg Firefox 1.jpg Firefox 2.jpg Firefox 3.jpg Firefox 4.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
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  2. JediG60racer

    JediG60racer Sr Member

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    Cool! A few years ago someone put in the time to make a movie accurate model, but then had some tragic family circumstances arise which precluded him from taking it to kit form to share with us. I still have all the pictures saved of his work in progress.

    Would love to see a well done, accurate kit made of this incredible plane.
     
  3. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I saw the thread about a year or so ago when I discovered the RPF. I was following a thread on the construction of the model kit the same guy was doing on scale model aircraft forum, which was before he did the 3D model. I guess after the family tragedy he just didn't have the time to work on it. I did try to contact him from his old website at the time but got no reply.
     
  4. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Looking good, FF3D! I will be eagerly awaiting your next post.
    Regards, Robert
     
  5. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement, I actually have to finish this as I promised Kurt at the thinkinrussian.org website I would do it as he has wanted an accurate model for years like me.

    Was trying to get the model in exactly the same alignment as one of the clearest screenshot points in the film, couldn't quite get it spot on. possibly never will as there is probably a small degree of lens distortion going on that I can't correct for, maybe a bit of perspective bend in Photoshop might do. Anyway I can tell the * end is not quite right, which I kind of knew. But can see what needs altering now, I think the top of the engine section needs a bit more curve to it and and the rear mid section needs to be lower in relation to the engine pods.

    The sweep of the wings doesn't line up quite at this angle but they do match with a plain top and side view so I guess it must be perspective distortion, and yes the tailplanes are definitely not right yet. The front nose shaping also look slightly off here but again they line up with other less distorted shots.

    Firefox comparision.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  6. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Aye, you're getting very close now! Canted tail 'feathers' have been biting draftsmen for ages; look what Monogram did with their F/A-18 kit (1/48 scale) - too short top fins. At least the landing gear will be easy! IIRC, they used F-4 Phantom landing gear for the 'full scale' prop... keep up the good work.
    R/ Robert
     
  7. Roboto

    Roboto Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking good ! That's impressive SketchUp work there sir.
     
  8. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Hi Robert,
    Yes, I too am a total nerd when it comes to to Firefox info :), already have the F4 undercarriage courtesy of a free to use model from 3Dwarehouse, just have to get it the right size as the drawing wasn't to scale. I couldn't find any model of the Phantom that had been produced in 1/24 to use as a donor, only 1/32 I think by Tamiya and maybe Revell.

    I think the ejector seat was from the same plane, not sure if I read that somewhere or assuming it. I know some of the cockpit display parts were from an F4.

    Thanks Roboto, there are some fantastic free plugins out there, the one that has proved the most useful is Curviloft which will build meshes from curve to curve or skinning by selecting an outline, example below. The blue object was built from selecting the outline then just clicking skin.
    Firefox curviloft.jpg
    The wings were built in a similar way, create cross section slices and then skinning in between, took quite a few attempts to get the starting slices right though. You could build something complex real fast if you had the outlines of the slices through an object like a loaf of bread using this tool.

    Jon
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
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  9. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Did a test print to check some new filament. Discovered you can't print super thin edges to wings, partly a limitation of the print nozzle and partly the slicing software. Couple of other glitches which was caused by me wanting a fast print so there was no infill or overhang capture hence the missing bit top of the canopy.

    The second pic makes the relief from the printing look worse than it really is, I know after a light sand and primer coat it smooths out.

    DSCF0469.JPG DSCF0473.JPG
     
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  10. Martin-El

    Martin-El Well-Known Member

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    Jon -

    What you've done already looks amazing and I sincerely wish you every success with this, my grail piece that (not unlike yourself by the sounds of it) I've been disappointed/let down by time and time again. I also owned the Studio 2 and while I enjoyed the scale the nose was so completely wrong that whilst trying to modify it I managed to ruin the kit completely lol.
    By the rendering of the nose/cockpit alone you've convinced me you're the right guy to see this through so I hope it goes all the way to kit as I will be the first in your queue. While the 1/24 would be ideal I can't help thinking one roughly 14" would look great in a Detolf.
    I have been building a picture file of this plane (though there's so little out there) for some years and would like to share it with you even if you have most of it already. I also just noticed you're in my hometown!!
    Please keep us updated and anything I can do to help shout me up - lets get it done this time..!
     
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  11. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Hi Martin,

    I just had to look up what a Detolf was, thought it was some sort of acronym I hadn't heard of - my brain came up with DETailed Oversize Light Firefox!

    The model can be printed any size, I started off building it at 1/24 in software, then realised it was easier to make little adjustments with it full size. I scale it back down to print as I think it makes it easier for the printing software to handle.
    The 1/24 scale was partly because it's half the 1/12 studio scale ones, and details such as panel lines should be printable, still need to do some testing for that. Also details such as the thickness of the cockpit frame and the engine intake vanes come out almost exactly 1mm in 1/24. I have done test prints around 1/32 scale that still looked good, a 15" or 1/48-ish one should work.

    I will set up a photobucket (think that's the one?) album with some of the rare pics I have accumulated, including my Studio 2 rebuild pics. I have done many web searches going back quite a few years, but you might have something useful I don't have.
     
  12. Martin-El

    Martin-El Well-Known Member

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    Jon -
    Your version of Detolf sounds far more interesting to be fair, lol.
    As the cabinet of choice for most collectors displays these days I thought you may sell more kits with buyers knowing in advance they can display it.
    That being said, sign me up for both that and a 1/24 :)
    I know its early days but you should also consider a helmeted pilot figure. Will's was nice but the proportions made it look a bit cute.

    Anyhow - here's a link to everything I've collated over the last 10 years -
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/63mprs4azkw3lbp/AABKOC6ifPDFhajWRWW1ZE2fa?dl=0

    Much of it is random but things like the only surviving example of the large miniature at the WB museum is worth having. You'll also see my Studio 2 buildup having passed it over to a really talented painter friend of mine. The finish was great but I'd sanded the nose down to the point where it was too soft to save.
    And has thinkinrussian.org closed? Couldn't find it at all during a search last night.

    Anyhow - hope this is of some use and do keep posting your progress here knowing you have your first order in place :)
     
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  13. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    This is fantastic. So pleased to see another accuracy-focused FF build at long last! Great work Jon, and heck yeah for 1/24 - or 1/12, even more so.

    You should be able to print the wings with a pretty acceptable edge, for 1/24. I'd print them in a vertical orientation with the leading edge downwards, probably using raft and maybe putting a sprue between them for stability. What machine and slicer software are you using, and what's your nozzle size? Obviously, the smaller the better for thin pieces.

    Same history here - Firefox tragic since I was 15. I think we pretty much all obsess over the stuff that was cool when we were that age for the rest of our lives. FF is an itch I need to scratch, dammit. :)
     
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  14. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Hi Martin,

    Thanks you for the WB Museum pics, really useful, had no idea it was there. It would be a bit of a trip for me to see it, *....
    Do you live over there now and take those?

    They have confirmed one thing, that there is a small taper on the bottom flats of the engine section after the undercarriage doors towards the exhausts. It's not much but one of the big poster prints I have show it also, it's so subtle I thought it was camera lens bend.
    Talking about the engine exhausts in the first pic it almost looks like they are made from painted cardboard as they are so thin and warping with time

    Have posted a variety of pics, there are a few organized subfolders, I cleaned up one of your pics - the polaroid of someone with the studio model outdoors as I thought it was worthy of a better look.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bz-XCi-Q52kXeE1ONlFLUHhjUTQ?usp=sharing

    Don't like to criticize any ones work but Wills Gant pilot figure was a bit off in proportion, chances are he would have reworked it I think. I hadn't thought about the pilot figure yet, maybe I can find a similar "donor" model to work on.

    An X-wing pilot might be a place to start but has anyone done one?

    Hi Nwerke,

    Excellent avatar btw :) Been reading the thread about the studio scale Narcissus you are involved with if I have that right, haven't got to the end yet!

    Have a working partner/friend who lives just inland from Brisbane, haven't been over to see him yet, but he has been to the UK a few time, he came from here originally about 20 years ago.

    Printer is RepRapPro Ormerod 2, seemed to be the case if you didn't mind having to build it yourself from a kit and the fettling/swearing involved setting it up, and a few cheap mods afterwards, you can print as well as something 5 times the price.
    Also I know if anything goes wrong it's easy and inexpensive to fix myself. Plus the build size is pretty big, in fact I am going to mod it so I can print up to around 40cm high, currently about 19cm max.
    Did some fettling today, changed the cooling fan to something that doesn't sound like an aircraft on takeoff, and installed custom firmware which has added some really useful print controls so you can change the print speed and extrusion while printing. I think it also runs smoother and tracks corners more accurately now.
    Have been playing with software, Slic3r seems to be the only one that works 100% with my printer. There are some plugins for Cura 14.01 that will work and I briefly tried KisSlicer, but they both causes some scary mad actions with movement that had me rushing to hit the stop button!
    The latest experimental version of Slic3r does seem very good, has just about all the features you could ever need. I was tempted to buy Simplyfy3D, but a couple of people have reported issues with the Ormerod due to it using relative extrusion, which is also the issue with Cura.
    I have only been printing about 2 months so am still learning, things like silver filament looks cool, but is a bitch to get to stick to the bed, probably whatever colouring makes it silver also makes it set slower and behave more elastic than other colours. It printed a 1/32 test Firefox nose pretty good, there's a pic in the 3D print folder.

    Currently running with the standard 0.5mm nozzle, I probably will get a 0.3mm as I think at 1/24 scale it should be possible to do enough detail for the cockpit, hopefully.

    The test print was done as two pieces and glued together. The seam is around halfway through the canards, with the seamline being the base of the print for each piece. I do have the canards super thin, at the thickest point where they contact the body they are about 3mm max vertical thickness. You get a bit of flex there, but they are strongly attached since they are part of the print, and you wouldn't have the nightmare of trying to glue them on level!
    Beefing them up a bit will work, even it they require a bit of smoothing by hand to the edges. Could possibly leave hollows to push something like 1mm round steel though to give more stiffness?

    Printing the main wings shouldn't be a problem as they are not razor thin, and it's just the case of orientating the print so subtle/shallow angle changes don't happen from one layer to the next as it can look ugly, such as the shoulder or top of the head of a figure.

    Haven't mentioned this yet but planning on having an aluminum subframe for the 1/24 as I think it will need it, especially if someone wants a landing gear down version. Essentially a round or rectangular section tube front to back, with a cross spar that lines up with the rear landing gear bays, that way all the landing gear will go into metal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  15. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Just looking at the WB museum pics now and can see the canards are drooping with age

    .... aren't we all :)


    This isn't particularly relevant but the ice landing model built by another team is different in subtle and a few major places.

    The canards are much lower down and the side windows deeper and wider, it could be an illusion but the body section looks a bit thinner also, that could just be the fact it's not a composite shot so there's no edge bleed. Also little surface detail and looks almost black.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  16. Martin-El

    Martin-El Well-Known Member

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    "Firefox tragic" is a great term lol.
    I wish the WB pics were mine (I would've shot hundreds more!) but apparently its part of a VIP tour where photography is not permitted so those are the only proof I've seen. Did you also notice the helmet in the acrylic case below? Really pleased that still exists.
    As far as the miniature is concerned I'm amazed it's still in such good condition although Jon you have a very keen eye for all the idiosyncrasies which is really encouraging-
    For the pilot base figure I would suggest looking at '60's era astronauts as Gant's helmet was a modded NASA one as I recall...
     
  17. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Hi Martin, if you are not too far away you are welcome to pop round to see the work when I am further along.

    I did see the helmet, I hadn't thought about it but it does look like the ones the X series test pilots wore. Did have a quick look for pilots and found a free to use X-wing pilot which might work as a starting point.

    Spotting the idiosyncrasities is just a byproduct of starting at pics of the plane, yes "Firefox tragic" does seem very fitting, LOL
     
  18. Martin-El

    Martin-El Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the Tyseley area so would love to see it when you're further in if that's ok :)

    Just found this - not news exactly but some decent shots of the clamshell and a positive ID -
    http://www.michaelmcevoy.net/flight-helmets.html

    Thanks for all those great shots from your archive - the Atari game is surprisingly well-rendered. Do you have the Japan Program? There are some nice shots I can scan up for you from there...
     
  19. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Unbelievable, you are about 3 miles from me, I am in Great Barr.

    The Atari games pics were screenshots from playing the game on a PC emulator called MAME, is that the one you mean?
    I think I lost it with a hard disk crash. It was hard to play even with a games controller as I could never get the calibration right. Loved it in the arcades, had top score on one in Newquay when I was on holiday, remember getting looks of respect from some older girls in the arcade who must have been watching me play, was going to act all suave then I stood up out of the game and discovered they were about 6 inches taller than me. Decided just to act cool and leave...:facepalm

    I think Atari must have either guessed what the back of the plane looked like, or just couldn't be bothered with the tricky bit between the engines.
     
  20. Martin-El

    Martin-El Well-Known Member

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    It gets weirder -
    I was born & raised in Great Barr lol.

    Seen pictures of the Firefox arcade game but never saw it in real life - probably for the best as I'd have to have been wrestled out of it :)
    I'll scan some pics of the * Programme and post them up.
     
  21. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Hahahahahaha! I'm in Perth. No, the other one. I wish I was as close to you guys as you are to each other! Now you're gonna find out you're related. LOL. Pretty sure I played the Firefox arcade game too but my memory sucks. I do recall seeing the machine but that's all.

    “it's so subtle I thought it was camera lens bend.”

    Yep definitely real. It’s one of the problems with the design, like the Jawa crawler, the Nostromo and various other 70s/80s movie models - there are a ton of unexpected odd shapes designed to befuddle the eye, haha.

    “Been reading the thread about the studio scale Narcissus you are involved with if I have that right, haven't got to the end yet!”

    Haha, neither have we. There’s big news coming up fairly soon though, I believe.

    “Printer is RepRapPro Ormerod 2, seemed to be the case if you didn't mind having to build it yourself from a kit and the fettling/swearing involved setting it up, and a few cheap mods afterwards, you can print as well as something 5 times the price.”

    I had a brief look at the site yesterday (didn’t have much time, we’ve got an extra floor going on the house starting today – builders erecting scaffold right now – eek!) It does look interesting for the price. I’ve built one printer from a kit (Makergear M2) and it’s for sure the way to go IMO; these are not machines you can treat as if they were fridges or TVs. Building a kit gives you a great deal more familiarity with the stuff you’re gonna need to get familiar with sooner or later anyway, extended swears vocabulary included. :lol

    “Also I know if anything goes wrong it's easy and inexpensive to fix myself. Plus the build size is pretty big, in fact I am going to mod it so I can print up to around 40cm high, currently about 19cm max.”

    What’s the standard build volume? I could be interested in something larger too, looking down the track. The M2 is a good machine but only has 20x20x25cm, decidedly not the biggest on the market. Forces me to be smart about parts breakdowns though.

    “custom firmware which has added some really useful print controls so you can change the print speed and extrusion while printing. I think it also runs smoother and tracks corners more accurately now.”

    Now that I would love. You can do it via G-code of course but that presumes you know in advance that you’re going to need to. A proper (not G-code) pause function would also be pure gold.

    “I have only been printing about 2 months so am still learning, things like silver filament looks cool, but is a bitch to get to stick to the bed, probably whatever colouring makes it silver also makes it set slower and behave more elastic than other colours.”

    Yeah, they all have their own quirks. I’m still working my way through different colours; the consensus seems to be that clear PLA is easiest, with various other colours getting trickier and ABS a good deal tougher. (Are you using ABS btw? You’ll want to be unless you plan to mould and cast this? PLA has a lifespan, it’s biodegradable in the medium-term timeframe. Much easier to print though.)

    Do you have a heated bed, and are you using blue tape or kapton? Hair spray? I stuck it out with nothing but the heated glass for months, which was stupid. I get much better results on kaptop, with hair spray – even for PLA. The other big mistake I made was ignoring everyone’s advice about measuring your filament. Reel to reel it really, really, really varies in thickness. I thought I could just eyeball it and of course I was dead wrong.

    Definitely get a smaller nozzle. Mine’s .35mm so I can print details down to .7mm. I’m mostly using Cura at present, it does 90% of what I need and the visual interface is golden. I am really interested in your remarks about Slic3r as I gave up on it last year during their “we forgot how to generate support material that isn’t like rock” period. Might have to take another look.
     
  22. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    “The seam is around halfway through the canards, with the seamline being the base of the print for each piece.”

    Ah right. Makes sense, precludes being able to sweep them, though.

    “Beefing them up a bit will work, even it they require a bit of smoothing by hand to the edges. Could possibly leave hollows to push something like 1mm round steel though to give more stiffness?”

    Exactly, there’s no hardship sanding an edge. Steel or brass rod for sure - you’d want to leave a bit of a tolerance – make the holes 1.2mm or something like that – but it would work. Personally I would print them as separate pieces with a matching hole in the fuselage, so you cut the rod with 5 or 10mm excess sticking out of the wing and it takes care of the alignment for you. Or a slot in the fuse, so that you can do the sweep-back thing if you want to, haha. Treat the fins and wingtips the same way IMO.

    “Haven't mentioned this yet but planning on having an aluminum subframe for the 1/24”

    Good plan. :thumbsup

    “.... aren't we all “

    LOL!

    “I wish the WB pics were mine (I would've shot hundreds more!)

    RIGHT there with you.

    “but apparently its part of a VIP tour where photography is not permitted so those are the only proof I've seen.”

    Arrrgh, noooo, why is it always the way?!? I know Will B had some good pics of one of the minis; he only ever published a handful though, they’re the ones with the 2001 timestamp. Is it the same model?

    “As far as the miniature is concerned I'm amazed it's still in such good condition although Jon you have a very keen eye for all the idiosyncrasies which is really encouraging-“

    Seconded! :thumbsup :thumbsup
     
  23. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    The 3D printer did nearly go out the window a couple of times in the first week with many uses of the F-word in conjunction with the C-word and the W-word, last one rhymes with banker.

    Most of them were down to the steep learning curve, two were down to production problems, the cable to the heated bed failed literally inside the crimp joint after initial testing, handy to have an electronics background with things like that and a test meter to hand.
    Then I thought I had a extruder motor or mainboard failure, turns out they had failed to mention that with a firmware update (as a safeguard, AAARRGGHHH!) the extruder motor will not run unless the hot end is at at least 180 degrees. It seem obvious to me now but people will think that something has failed and waste hours like I did, even the tech support people didn't know! Sorry just needed to vent that ;)

    Build size is quoted at 200x200x200mm you can squeeze 210 on the y-axis, but the z is actually more like 190 max, realised I could gain 4mm by adjusting the bed lower but as I got it pretty much dead on level by hand/eye it's not worth it. As the construction is quite simple and elegant all you need to be able to print higher is a piece of 20x40 ali extrusion and think it's 12mm chromed stainless steel round bar, possibly a better ali reinforcement bracket that hold the Z to the rest of the printer, but that's easy to make with bit of 5mm ali and a 3 holes with a drill press.

    Bed is heated and they recommend by default you kapton tape it, which I agree with as I tried printing straight to the glass top and it stuck but probably half the force required to get it off, ok for small bits, but wouldn't be reliable for large parts. I can use ABS, but the stink it gives off is nasty and where I have the printer at the moment not really workable, but I can move it to a bigger workshop where the fumes wouldn't be that big an issue, but would then maybe need an overall cover to keep the temp up over the whole part to avoid warping.

    However I have done some research into PLA as I thought biodegradable meant it would literally rot away with time, but I think they overplay the biodegradability of the material. I can't find the blog page now, but a guy who started early in 3D printing left some in a compost pile for 4 years and nothing happened to it. Seems to be unless you get it near to a constant long term 60 degrees C nothing actually happens. I know it gets hot in Oz, but I think you would die before the model! Also if you seal the surface with paint it further stabilises it.

    There is also another good alternative from makesolid.com called PET+, does cost quite a bit with shipping as it is only sold by them in the US as far as I know. There is a testing vid here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpFZEl-cXv4 no affiliation btw, just found out about it from a tech mailshot.

    You can pause mid print no problem, I have had random odd glitches printing simple things where it seems to add the next x,y change to the current move, but seems ok with anything complex, or maybe the glitch is so small you they don't show.

    Yes on the filament variation, I thought the greater unevenness on the test print was the filament, possibly is some of it. Then realised my X-axis belt was a bit slack due to a minor accident caused by the endstop sensor wiring coming loose which resulted in a fairly horrible grinding sound as it tried to move the head into the Z axis column, and forgot to check it afterwards.

    I had some medium priced black PLA that printed really well, there did seem to be some variation in the thickness, but the printed results look good even though the black shows any surface unevenness more.

    **EDIT**

    Found another similar material produced by Colorfabb http://colorfabb.com/xt-copolyester might get a sample to try as they have an EU store and pound to euro is a good buy at the moment.
    Yes the supports were not great in Slic3r but I think they have improved them, having said that a number of people seem to say build the support into the model so you know what you are going to end up with. I did this with part of a figure print as neither Slic3r or Cura would add support material to places that turned out needed it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
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  24. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the canards, I think it must have been another model they used since I can't think of a way to have them in the normal position without an ugly gap where the back edge would need to go when they sweep back, and conversely infront when they are swept back, in fact you can see the gap infront in this one

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bz-XCi-Q52kXeE1ONlFLUHhjUTQ?usp=sharing > Nose Canards detail

    Using the steel rod method for mounting you could have both normal and swept interchangeable, having the rods meet and interlock inside the model so they stay level.

    I will scan the whole Cinefex mag pages when I have time as they cover some details of the models construction. I think the reason the model has survived is that it is mostly resin so pretty * tough, there is a pic of the guys working on the moulds.

    Also added a couple more pics to the Studio Model folder here:

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bz-XCi-Q52kXeE1ONlFLUHhjUTQ?usp=sharing
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
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  25. IEDBOUNTYHUNTER

    IEDBOUNTYHUNTER Sr Member

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    WOW. Just noticed this thread. Im working on a 1/18 scale Firefox. Its ready to print as money allows. Great to see another getting done. Ive been dying to do this project since i finished my X jet. Cant wait to see yours.


    Al
     
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  26. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Hi Al, just out of interest where did you get your starting plans from?

    Jon
     
  27. IEDBOUNTYHUNTER

    IEDBOUNTYHUNTER Sr Member

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    A friend of mine whos into Firefox and has been doing research for many years had it drawn up. And we are going to print it out and mold and cast it. Its scaled to 1/18 for now. We may make a larger version after, we both like large scale models
     
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  28. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    “The 3D printer did nearly go out the window a couple of times in the first week”

    I know that feeling. I still get weird mystery failures that are sods to track down and can’t print adequately with ABS; the stuff just will not stay down. I’ve not yet tried blue tape – it should work on Kapton, but even if I get adhesion, the print head itself clearly isn’t happy. The stuff is just that bit too viscous at any temperature; it jams all the time and I end up having to strip the head. I’ve got an E3D aftermarket head but haven’t installed it yet. Got to try that.

    “extruder motor will not run unless the hot end is at at least 180 degrees.”

    Yeah, that’s fairly universal I think. You don’t want to be trying to drive a 1.75mm solid through a 0.35mm nozzle. Re the bed, you’ll need to re-level it from time to time. Automatic bed levelling is a nice feature to have that has been coming in with some newer machines, but I wouldn’t pay a large premium for it. The huge number of quite small build-volume machines is something I don’t get; you have to ask why they don’t provide for enlarging Reprap types at least, as part of the design. I’d get frustrated with anything less than a 250mm long bed. (300mm would be nice, print a helmet with that. Been eyeing off Taz machines lately.)

    “However I have done some research into PLA as I thought biodegradable meant it would literally rot away with time”

    Well that’s a little reassuring, but my understanding was that it’s something like ten years ish, and it does weaken/rot/something or other. Ten years would have seemed like forever once, but decades seem to fly by these days…
    We get up to about 45 deg C here in summer but there have been days over 50 in some places, fortunately Baghdad weather is rare and yeah, don’t think I’d survive it. :lol And yeah there’s quite a few new filaments coming out, bit by bit. (Laybrick is a lot of fun for printing buildings, for example.)

    “You can pause mid print no problem”

    Huh? In Cura, or some other host? Belts are a problem if you don’t keep them good and tight. Mine have started to leak fibreglass so I suppose I’d better find some spares. Re PLA colours I like blue and green, for some reason they’ve worked best for me out of all the coloured stuff. I’m using some red PLA right now that’s way undersized at 1.3mm. Upping the feed rate to a value which worked took a crazy amount of experimenting; in the end I’ve found a feed rate thickness setting of 1.72mm only is what works. Any more than that is far too much. Surprising. The red stuff also doesn’t produce as nice a finish, for some reason.

    “Yes the supports were not great in Slic3r but I think they have improved them, having said that a number of people seem to say build the support into the model so you know what you are going to end up with.”

    It’s not a bad way to go but I go with Cura ‘line’ support 90% of the time; it’s effective and easy to remove. I think about print orientation a lot and design overhangs on an angle wherever possible, avoiding the need for support.

    Re canards, it’s been an age since I’ve watched the film, but don’t we see them move? Sliding doors would be my guess. But yeah - steel rods for both versions would keep it nice and simple.

    IIRC one of the flying models was converted into a stage model. It might have been epoxy-glass construction for light weight. Not sure about the others, they might be heavier polyester-glass.

    OMG, 1/18. It’s getting like buses around here. You wait for hours, then three come past together. :lol
     
  29. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    "I know that feeling. I still get weird mystery failures that are sods to track down and can’t print adequately with ABS; the stuff just will not stay down."

    ABS printing does seem a bit of a nightmare that's why I was looking at alternatives, the one thing people talk about are Elmers glue stick, basically the glue stick you used as a kid to stick paper together. Also something I saw yesterday mentioned PEI sheet which I had never heard of seems to to work very well http://reprap.org/wiki/PEI_build_surface

    "You can pause mid print no problem”

    "Huh? In Cura, or some other host?"

    You can pause with the standard web control interface, the custom firmware fork someone called dc42 did adds the speed and extrusion control

    "The huge number of quite small build-volume machines is something I don’t get; you have to ask why they don’t provide for enlarging Reprap types at least, as part of the design. I’d get frustrated with anything less than a 250mm long bed. (300mm would be nice, print a helmet with that. Been eyeing off Taz machines lately.)"

    Yeah, I went to an expo about 2 years ago and all the print machines had tiny build volumes, and were about £1000, crazy. I mentioned increasing the Z axis on mine, thinking about it it wouldn't be that hard to increase the Y also. I was tempted by a brand new unused Taz machine on ebay UK a little while ago, it sold for about 1/2 retail, but that was still about twice what I paid for mine.

    "Re canards, it’s been an age since I’ve watched the film, but don’t we see them move?"

    One place but it's a pretty much a top down shot which that frame is part of, obviously they tried to hide it.

    "IIRC one of the flying models was converted into a stage model. It might have been epoxy-glass construction for light weight. Not sure about the others, they might be heavier polyester-glass."

    They aren't specific in the Cinefex article, it does say they were trying to do carbon fibre for the RC ones but was too tricky in a short time so used straight epoxy is the wording. The RC ones flew well in testing but they didn't end up using them as where they were shooting the ground was to rough and the wind too severe.
    "OMG, 1/18. It’s getting like buses around here. You wait for hours, then three come past together. :lol"

    I know but things seem to happen that way, all or nothin', least we are working on different sizes, lol
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  30. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    First want to say thanks to Will who started the original Firefox project on here as I found out the 2D plans I started with were actually drawn up by him. Wouldn't have got this far without his help.

    Been working on the rear section for the past few evenings, needs some smoothing and detailing but think I have got the complex end of fuselage section right.

    Firefox rear 19-6-2015.jpg

    Going to add some panel lines and do a test print of the engine section over the weekend to see how it works out.

    Bit ahead of myself but started looking at colours. The original paint job is going to be near impossible to replicate, take the often asked what colour is the Millennium Falcon (hope saying that doesn't bring anyone out in boils) and multiply it by about 10. There was a basecoat upon which many layers of shading and lacquers were added. So I started looking for a base colour which covered the majority of the paint scheme. Spent a few hours looking at car colours and for some reason Toyota/Lexus seem to have a wide range of shades similar to what I was looking for. Found a handy website with multiple pictures of the same car colour in different lighting conditions, so armed with a few possibilities visited my local car paint supplier.
    Took a number of pics in daylight of about 20 different colours in the same colour palette, noted my phone showed them a bit over blue to real life and came home. On uploading the photos was pleased to see they appeared less blue on screen so it was going to be ballpark right. Quickly realised that what I thought was my starting point colour was way too blue and light, but luckily in a random last 4 selection hit one that is very close.

    Firefox colour.jpg

    Second from left highlighted in black. If you base the colour on the full scale one or the ice flow model you will probably think I am loosing it, but the 1/12 hero is pretty close to that overall. It will need darker almost slate grey shades and silver/blue, in fact the colour to the right of the highlighted colour in the pic would probably work well for the lighter shades in misted over the main colour.

    Jon
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  31. Martin-El

    Martin-El Well-Known Member

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    Superb Jon - Keep it coming :)
    I also wasn't aware Will was responsible for the renders - he really did his homework
    The colour choice is fascinating - as it appears a different shade in most every shot I guess its subjective but its great to have a starting point.

    Did you see these? found them while searching for thinkinrussian.org
    (which does seem to have disappeared :(

    Mig31Four_3.jpg Mig31Eight_3.jpg

    Looking forward to seeing these test prints..!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  32. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Jon I'm right there with you on colour. For me it's the hero miniatures every time; that's what gets the bulk of screen time and that enigmatic bluish silver-grey has always been fascinating to me. I think you've done a great job finding a good colour match there and can't wait to see it on a model. It's rare to see a fan model built in anything other than black and that just doesn't work, for mine! Others will disagree of course but I'm delighted you're going this way. :)
     
  33. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Held off the test printing as I realised that there were a few things off, and decided it wasn't worth doing before all the structural parts were done. So many small tweaks, you realise how accurate you can be when you are moving things only around an inch in real scale terms on a 63 feet long plane!

    Anyway, the inset sections around the exhausts I am calling done after many hours tweaking, mainly because there was never any real detail there as the engines are always lit on the hero so there didn't need to be as it would get obscured.
    Had a hard time getting it right as I had made a couple of assumptions about angles of certain pieces which I realised were wrong, once those were corrected it was a eureka moment as it started matching the reference pics, had a celebratory cup of java over that one ;)

    Took a bit of artistic license with the exhaust manifolds as they are kind of plain. So found reference pics of the SR-71 Blackbird engine internals and detailed them in a similar fashion, after all it's the only plane that's got anywhere near the Firefoxs Mach 6...

    Tail planes are mostly there, they were slightly undersized and the tilt angle was wrong, now they match the hero shots. Built the defence pods, undecided if the ones by the engine should be blended in or left as is. That section comes out with the engine internals on the hero and I think there may have been two sets that were a bit different - one lit and unlit as some of the shots just don't seem to show the same thing.

    Have done a bit of test printing of the exhaust manifold sections which were a pain as the edges get so thin, needs a bit more adjustment on print settings for that.

    So current state
    Firefox rear 27-6-2015.jpg

    and a close up with lighting/shadows
    Firefox rear 27-6-2015 engine detail.jpg

    More tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
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  34. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    It's great isn't it, when your project starts matching the ref in multiple self-reinforcing ways and you know you've got it right, haha.

    Looks good! :thumbsup
     
  35. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Had some 3D printing problems, kept getting issues, partly down to cheap filament, and partly down to learning optimal settings for what are complex shapes. Kept getting problems, and after starting the same print 3 times, realised I was going through - insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome situation!

    Realised I was trying to print probably too fast, and with not enough infill, trying to save time on prints, but probably wasted more time in the process. I was trying to get the print time down as most of the complete engine section was quoted at about 12 hours, which sounds a long time but not a big deal if you leave it reliably printing overnight, and it is quite a big portion of the model.

    I have pinned down what the main problems are including a banding effect I was getting on the engine exhaust, which seemed to be down to certain layers getting infill rather than just a perimeter when the thickness went from somewhere between 2-3mm, turning off infill and adding more perimeters fixed it, but have realised it's down to a default infill overlap to perimeter setting of 15% causing a bulge.

    I had to stop the rear section print shown in the pics about 3/4 through, again know why it happened and how to stop it, but though what the hell and kicked of the rest before going to bed last night, sure enough it screwed up in the same way, see the insanity quote above!

    Anyway nearly threw it in the bin this morning, but coming back to it this evening quickly glued it together and realised it didn't look that bad, al least it looks right, which was why I was doing it. There are shots of the exhaust version 1 and 2, version 2 I split it into two parts and I realised I was going to have printing problems otherwise. To give a sense of scale the entire engine section in this one is about 200mm wide.

    Firefox rear test 03.jpg

    Have also tested producing panel lines, the test slices shown are about 8mm high and the panel "cut" lines about 0.5mm wide, you can see the 0.2mm layer resolution in the second one. I don't think this will reliably work at anything less than 1/24th scale, maybe 1/32.

    All pics in this folder https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bz-XCi-Q52kXR2QwR2h6SEQ1cjA

    Have some new material quality filament on it's was which from what I have read will help with some of the issues I am having, and I need to mod the printer to stop the show stopping issues. What happens is you get a small curl or lift on a perimeter edge where there isn't complete infill, this seems to be a trait of using PLA filament as it stays soft for some time, good for layer bonding, but bad for stuff like this. When that happens high enough the Z axis sensor by the head runs into it and either a) knocks the part off the bed, or b) if it's stuck well enough, as in this case case it causes the drive belt to skip so everything after that is offset or in other words screwed up.
    Might not happen with the new type of material as from what I have read although you print at a higher temp is sets (glasses) faster, really hope so as I have 2.2kg coming to make to price reasonable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
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  36. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Your 3D print experience sounds a LOT like mine, haha. Did any of your problems also stem from filament diameter consistency issues? I had a lot of trouble with that before I realised the experts really meant it when they said it makes a huge difference, aheh. I've started paying a lot more attention on that front, and slowed my prints down. I go with about 22% infill for most jobs. I find you can usually leave a printer going overnight without supervision and expect an OK result provided the reel isn't badly wound (ugh, that's cost me a few print jobs) and you have good initial bed adhesion (which is why I almost always use rafts). And, obviously, that all your other settings are good for the reel you're using.

    Try playing with your settings for lifting the head - there should be some Z axis settings that could help with that curl problem. Also, your bed fan - does it have a shroud forcing the air around the nozzle/on to the part? If not there's bound to be a mod part on Thingiverse. One of the first mods I made and is great for *everything* to do with PLA. Oh yeah - also, check your "time per layer" setting. If it is too fast, especially on a small layer (i.e. especially if you don't have infill - sounds like the case here) - the print is retaining too much heat and you get warps etc. Um, and playing with bed fan speed too.

    And nozzle temperature haha. Oh god these things are a nightmare of interrelated settings factors ain't they? :D

    I use 10% infill overlap most of the time. You shouldn't get bulges even with 15% so I'd check that filament thickness if you haven't already - if the system thinks it is eating less plastic than it really is, that's when I get bulges.

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS you pretty much have to adjust your settings for each new roll of PLA. When you find something that works well stop experimenting and just get on with it, is my advice. Don't be me, I keep trying different colours and makes, can't help myself.
     
  37. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Small update, worked on the tricky geometry of the wing to fuselage shaping and the intake inlet cut outs which flare outwards so the narrow tips nearest the front of the plane are as wide as the front fuselage widest point, something people seem to miss.

    The wing body join looks a bit obvious at the moment as they are two separate pieces of geometry so there is no visual smoothing being added by the software.

    Done a few other things, found some subtle shaping and angles on the front of the underside intake/gun port, added the rear underside fins and defence pods. Keep checking by using the match photo feature in SketchUp where you can adjust the perspective to get an almost perfect match to any of my reference pics.
     

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  38. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    You are really, really nailing this thing down! :thumbsup

    It's never really occurred to me before but this thing is actually area-ruled. I wonder if that was intentional or a complete accident? Pretty amusing and probably a one-off for fictional aircraft!

    You should post some comparos against the refs.
     
  39. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    I have had to use a combination of Photoshop and Coreldraw to create this as inside SketchUp unless you can zoom in and out it it's really hard to see what's going on!

    Realised I saved it after I was trying to line up what I have now realised as slightly sagging wing-tips, so my model is tilted towards the camera a tiny bit more than the hero orientation, like 1 degree or something, but it doesn't affect the horizontal dimensions. I will do some more, but they take time.

    This is one of the best pics to match to as it looks like it was taken at a distance with zoom, which I have found reduces the distortion artefacts somewhat.
    Firefox hero comparision.jpg

    Forgot to post this, using this pic from Cinefex, I scaled and overlaid dimensions in Coreldraw, gives a good scale reference as the mount pipe must be 1.5 inches diameter, as far as I can tell that's what they used, certainly from that sizing it scales the hero correctly.


    Firefox hero mount scale.jpg

    Realised this is probably the shot where they are moving the canards back, sorry about the male nudity, must have been hot in there!
     
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  40. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Niiiiiice! Thoughts:

    * that nacelle section really isn't as tall as I've always thought
    * on the nacelle outer side walls, is there a facet demarcation at the level of the wing, which carries aft?
    * or is that only a panel line and change in the line of the sweep of the trailing edge of the nacelle?
    * do you need to move the leading edge of your lower main intakes forward a little, possibly?
    * I think you need more of a 'step' back to the main nacelle at the lower edge of the nozzle shrouds.

    Overall, mindblowingly close to perfect.
     
  41. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    If I have the right part you are talking about there are various small changes in angle, if you can mark the bit you mean I can answer better.

    I think it's because the angle is a little off in my view, and the hero is mostly in shadow there, I looked at that area against a number of shots right back at the beginning, I have a side on shot to compare too, if it is off I will show and fix it.

    Ok that bit lost me, lol, can you point it out?

    Thanks, makes the insane amount of time I have spent on this worth it.

    Jon
     
  42. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    OK, marked up both pics. Yeah, I didn't describe the 'step' thing well. It's just perspective - the shrouds seem like they could maybe use a tiny bit more sweep-back, low down? In the photo there's a gap vs. the triple rocket booster bit, which doesn't appear on the render. Hopefully the marked up pic explains what I'm rambling on about. :)
     

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  43. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    That whole section has a lot of small angle changes, a rear parallel projection view shows it best, pretty much none of it is straight.
    Firefox rear parallel.jpg

    The triple booster bit - TBH I wasn't 100% on that part, but I think I have worked out what it is, so thanks for the poke. Will have a go at it later.

    I don't think they were thinking that technical about the booster jets, but if it "was" a real Mach 6 plane, the main turbofans would be near useless above mach 4-ish. Actually people talk about being able to see the engines from the front, you actually never would as there would have to be a mechanism like the SR-71 Blackbird to slow down the incoming air to below the speed of sound other wise you get a shockwave inside the engine = REALLY not good.
    So I "think" the boosters would be ramjets/pulsejets fed air by the big underwing intakes, basically just compressing the air by reducing the volume it passes through and throwing fuel in. This is what the classified Aurora aircraft is said to use.
     
  44. astrang1

    astrang1 New Member

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  45. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    That just doesn't look right somehow... too short or wrong proportions? (the kit noted in prior post, not the work being done here...)
    R/ Robert
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  46. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    I don't have enough time this evening/weekend to describe how wrong that one is, that makes the Studio 2 one look like a masterpiece, LOL

    Actually it looks more like one of the prototype models before they got to the final design, maybe that's what they were aiming for...
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  47. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Well, if even a non-guru like me can *see* there is a problem, then it is pretty far off from accurate. It is recognizable in a distorted lens kind of way, granted. Good enough for the unwashed masses, perhaps...

    R/ Robert
     
  48. 32buds

    32buds Well-Known Member

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    Timeless hobbies 1/72 firefox.... Think I'll give it a miss. There are more accurate lego models out there!
     
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  49. Firefox3D

    Firefox3D Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  50. Martin-El

    Martin-El Well-Known Member

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    Those scans are a gift- thank you!!
     

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