The Three-Engine Blockade Runner Project

DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This project is to build a "studio scale" model of Joe Johnston's original three-engine version of the Rebel Blockade Runner from Star Wars. It may have been considered as the deign for the Pirate Ship at that point, I'm not really sure, but I'm going to call it the Blockade Runner for this project.

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I'm approaching the project as if I were working in the model shop, was handed the sketch and told "make it about 32 inches long". This seems like a decent size, big enough to detail but not so big as to become unwieldy. It's also, coincidentally, the size of the Millennium Falcon model built for Empire.

The model will be built using a hybrid of technologies, designed using 3D modeling software and fabricated from plexiglass and styrene as were the original models, but also using 3D printing where appropriate. Details will be interpreted from the original sketch was well as the actual Blockade Runner built for the film but I will also feel free to change up or add cool things as the model evolves. That's half the fun of doing this kind of project. Nernie kit parts will, for the most part, be drawn from the same vintage kits used by the ILM model makers back in the day.

My goal is to get the model done in time for this Spring's So Cal RPF Prop Party, an ambitious deadline, to say the least!

The first step was to model the overall structure of the Blockade Runner, scale it to the desired length and resize the major components to fit available sizes of plexiglas and Plastruct tubing. The computer model will get more details added as the project moves forward, especially to those sections which will be 3D printed.

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Construction began by "laying the keel" as it were. The main structural hull is comprised of 2 1/4" and 2 1/2" diameter plexiglas tubing. The trapazoidal bulkhead plate to which the three engines attach was milled from plexiglas sheet using a CNC router. I've made the bulkhead hollow to allow for wiring to light up the engines.

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3DImpact

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oh, I'm going to be watching this! I always loved that Joe Johnston sketch and design. Great choice for a project!

Dan
 

Jkirkon

Well-Known Member
Subscribed to this.

I love watching, and learning from guys like you, Dave. This is a fantastic subject to build!
 

joberg

Master Member
Oh boy...Dave is at it again;) No need to say that it'll be a great build/tuto for everyone here (I'll take detailed notes Dave(y)).
 

moffeaton

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I LOVE this! I was, funny enough, playing around with this last year, before things "clicked" for me in Rhino.
This is as far as I got at the time. Needless to say, I like yours better ;)

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DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks Jason! Mine went through a lot of iterations before it got to where you see it. One of the challenges is to interpret the sketch which has a lot of built in wide angle distortion. Working out proportions that are pleasing to the eye and look good from a variety of angles. I like to think this would be the same process the model makers would have gone through in developing the designs, albeit with pencil and paper on a drafting board!

I got a bit more done today on the structural components. The side plates were milled out of acrylic using the CNC.

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Studio Kitbash

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oh crap, there he goes again....

Why do I feel like I'm about to voluntarily and happily part with hundreds of dollars in order to participate in some of this magic???

Please tell me you are NOT going to make these files publicly available, NOT sell nurnies to dress it up, NOT sell complete armatures, and otherwise NOT offer me further temptation to the already distressingly addictive Y-Wing project of 2016 that continues to eat up large swathes of both my wallet and imagination.

And whatever you do, Dave, do NOT make so-perfect-you-can't-resist-them Tree Ornaments out of them next year... cuz you know I'll buy it.

When DaveG opens up a new build thread is the time I am most often quoting Oscar Wilde: "I can resist anything except temptation."
 

DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just saw a guy that just finished the same project? Have you seen it? Rossi replicas.
I know of a couple of 3 engine blockade runner projects but I've not actually seen them, nor do I want to until I've finished mine. Don't want to be influenced by other versions.

SK - I'm not planning to make this an open source project... but a Christmas ornament... who knows!
 

monsterpartyhat

Well-Known Member
Just saw a guy that just finished the same project? Have you seen it? Rossi replicas.
It's not the same project -- different drawing for inspiration, different # of engines, and his is a modification of the Randy Cooper Corellian gunship model, not a full scratch build. Cool stuff, but pretty different :).
 

DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
First couple of 3d printed parts off the Form2. The two part trapezoidal shroud that goes on the front of the engine section.
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DaveG

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here's the armature hub for mounting the model. I machined the hub out of 2" diameter aluminum bar stock. It has a 3/4" cross drilled hole with keyway for the mounting rod. I plan to display the model using a side mount only so I didn't bother with a top/bottom hole or front and back. There are also some small holes running through the length of the block for wiring.

The block was machined with recessed areas and was inserted into the fuselage tubing and carefully aligned. A two part adhesive was injected through pre-drill holes in the acrylic tube into the recesses between the aluminum and the inside of the tube. Once set the block is not going anywhere!

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