My 3D Printed 1/38 scale Imperial TIE Fighter model


Sr Member
Hi everyone,

I'm really excited to finally be able to show the results of the 1/38 scale Imperial TIE Fighter model which is a project that I commissioned a few months ago. This has been created to be the same scale as the Kotobukiya cross-section X-Wing model (based on the size of the figures used in that model). All proportions / sizes have been matched to the eFX TIE model which is one of the best references available for the ANH TIE.
Here's some photos of the basic prints that Shapeways did for me. If anyone has access to a higher quality printer, I'd really like to get another print done which doesn't have the "sandy" texture that is seen on the basic Shapeways print material. Send me a PM if you can help. Thanks!


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Here's a couple of photos of the loosely assembled model. I still need to get the "Koolshade" panels printed so they can be inserted into the wing stars.

Dude that is killer... as for the texture you have a couple of options. Shapeways has several material choices... I believe the frosted ultra detail ahs "less sand" - but it costs more. I'm afraid to think about what printing that bad boys costs.

light sanding
several coats of primer to even out the low spots
combination of both (probably the best)

Jedi Dade
Well impressed. I'd love to be able to create things in 3d. First ship I'd model would be the "VC's" ship from 2000ad comic. The Gary Leach version(older 2000ad readers will know what I mean).
I print with pla and always use Smooth-On XTC-3d to coat my models. Smooths them right out.

In addition to using the 2A:1B ration add 25% of acetone and it greatly thins out the product and I'm able to get into nooks and crannies that have lots of detail and eliminate any of the striation associated with pla prints.

Good luck and that model is a beauty!

Thanks guys.

Here's a photo with the wing star sitting on top of the full size paper print that I did of the wing. I think this will look great once it's got the Koolshade panels in it.


For those who are interested, here's a comparison showing my 1:38 print next to the supposedly 1:48 Fine Molds model parts.

It's impressive that you can print this. Very cool! I notice that there's a lot of faceting in the sphere and cylindrical parts. Can't that be ironed out?
Yes, there is a lot of faceting. I wasn't expecting it to be so noticeable but I'm hoping they can be cleaned up a bit with some careful sanding. Fingers crossed!
I'm going to get some more parts re-printed using the next detail quality material. (The cockpit window, top hatch and rear hatch so hopefully they will look a bit smoother and won't need so much clean-up).

It's impressive that you can print this. Very cool! I notice that there's a lot of faceting in the sphere and cylindrical parts. Can't that be ironed out?
Hey Chris, looking great.

I guess you had this printed in the standard white plastic, correct? There are several options for you...
- having it polished by Shapeways will affect some of the fine details
- coating it with SmoothOns XTC3D
- having it printed in Frosted ultra detail

I got myself a bottle of XTC, but still have to try it.
Even if printed in frosted ultra detail (best detail/ highest cost), there´s STILL some cleanup required. In addition to that, the frosted ultra is known to have problems with reacting to some paints (-> surface not drying).

Waiting for printers with even better solution myself ;)

Thanks for the advice guys. I'm desperate to get this thing cleaned up so it can be assembled and painted and put on display next to my Kotobukiya X-Wing.

Here's the final set of comparison photos. This time, it shows the 1/38 scale printed parts next to the Revell Easy Kit (which is where the pilot came from for my 1/38 model). Just goes to show how "off" Revell were with the scale of the pilot compared to their model.

Did you get the WSF option or the polished WSF? If parts are small enough, they'll tumble them in ceramic media to smooth them out and make them less sandy.
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