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  1. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 1, 2015, 12:28 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #101

    Spent most of yesterday breaking the model into sections to be able to print successfully. Have printed about half, these are rough and ready pics of where I have got to with a 1/48th test print.

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    Realising for 1/48th small production I will have to get a master pro printed, the surface unevenness on what you can see is a fraction of a mm but still requires some work to get it perfect, black of course makes it look worse than it really is.
    The co-polyester material does cause some weird surface artefacts that you don't get with PLA, however the parts are really strong and you can wet sand the surface. It feels like something between ABS and acrylic, and glues together brilliantly with EMA plastic weld.

    Have yet to get prices, but have found a local-ish place that can do 0.016mm resolution in resin to cast from.

    Printing wingtips now while working on finalising the engine section slice.

    Jon

    Missiles - I think they must have used some artistic licence with the missiles as they don't match anything I can find, the smallest Russian air-to-air missile is this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-60_(missile) but it is 2 meters long

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The one being carried is pretty close to the correct scale size of about 1.2m long with the launch bay around 1.7m.
    Last edited by Firefox3D; Nov 1, 2015 at 1:14 PM.
  2. Formerly GELForever Martin-El's Avatar
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    Nov 1, 2015, 3:12 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #102

    Fantastic!
    Scale looks perfect and the nose looks super-sharp. Look forward to seeing more..!
  3. Duncanator's Avatar
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    Nov 1, 2015, 10:49 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #103

    Nice test prints! I can't wait to see more!
  4. rbeach84's Avatar
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    Nov 2, 2015, 8:44 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #104

    Wow... thanks for sharing your process; really cool stuff!

    Regards, Robert
  5. p51's Avatar
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    Nov 2, 2015, 2:56 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #105

    Firefox3D said: View Post
    Missiles - I think they must have used some artistic licence with the missiles as they don't match anything I can find
    Yeah, missiles in movies have usually been made way too small or way too fragile looking (or the launcher is always way too close to people standing around if it's a ground-mounted missile). It's something that people into aviation always get ticked about.
    I studied Soviet-block aerial and ground launched weapons for the DoD for a while. The missiles in "Firefox" were the creation of an art director, not anyone at the Detal design bureau.
  6. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 2, 2015, 6:16 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #106

    Thanks for confirming my suspicion p51, I'm guessing they did the downsizing as otherwise it would only be feasible to have one missile in each bay, as it is the depth makes little sense as it impinges on where the engine should be. Would have made a whole lot more sense to have missile bays in the mid section under the fuselage when you think about it.

    You know I said I my mood might change over the inner wing part....

    Yep you guessed it, now I have it in my hand in 3D I can see something I thought might be the case, it's not quite right, so fix and print again. Realised sectioning it slightly differently will help anyway, also have improved the print settings so I can print faster with less of the odd surface artefacts.
    That main body section took around 10 hours, fine setting 0.12mm layers. I think I can knock at least an hour or so off that. Timing is a bit irrelevant as now I have ironed out a couple of bugs I can leave it printing overnight without the fear of coming back to a plastic horror show in the morning!
    Last edited by Firefox3D; Nov 2, 2015 at 7:59 PM. Reason: spelling
  7. rbeach84's Avatar
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    Nov 3, 2015, 12:06 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #107

    In my experience, all printers require some kind of 'baby sitting'...

    R/ Robert
  8. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 7, 2015, 9:57 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #108

    A Firefox nose with panel lines

    Was a bit pissed off as the part came loose from the bed with about 5mm to go, hence no nost in the pic. Was my own fault as it nearly happened with the previous one, I had beefed up the under canard support but still not enough. Going to build a base into the model to ensure proper adhesion next time.

    This is a very quick "pull part off bed, light sand, coat of plastic primer", so yes there is touch up to be done but really quite happy.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    They are around 0.3mm at the surface V cut so I know I can sand a touch more before priming from this test.

    The lines look more over scale in the pics than in real life. They will lose some definition in moulding and painting as a kit part so should be about right. I think any less and they either won't print right or will disappear under the paint finish.

    No horizontal lines built into the print as when I tried it they don't stay sharp enough, easier to just do them by hand.
    Last edited by Firefox3D; Nov 7, 2015 at 11:54 AM.
  9. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 7, 2015, 11:49 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #109

    This will be a multimedia kit, high resolution 3D printing for the very small parts such as the defence pods either to include as is or add and cast as part of the model. Probably some brass etch parts for the wing leading edge details since the brass matches the original look, tiny vanes on the tailfins etc, maybe the intake vanes also as they should be 0.5mm thick in 1/48th scale.

    Had an idea for detail between the intake vents, this didn't exist on the model as they knew it would be in shadow so didn't bother. Basing it on what a mach 6 plane would need and the stealth type intakes. Without these it will be a bit of a realism let down when you get it on eye level.

    Thinking of vac forming some the main parts which makes sense for a closed cockpit version as the whole front topside could be done in clear so there is no hassle of aligning the cockpit section join. Although there is a chance of hi-res 3D printing the canopy then adding 0.25mm clear PETG,

    Absolutely no commitment, but if you are interested please drop me a pm, just trying to gauge an actual interest level past the few who have posted.

    Just to get an idea, could you include if you have a preference to a gear up flying version on some kind of stand or a gear down with cockpit open option type. This is for a 1/48th scale.

    I will be doing a 1/24th if there is enough interest but I think only one person wanted that size so far * edit now 2 *

    Thanks

    Jon

    PS I had said I was looking at getting the whole thing hi-res pro printed, however the cost was so that will not be happening hence the above.
    Last edited by Firefox3D; Nov 8, 2015 at 3:51 PM.
  10. Formerly GELForever Martin-El's Avatar
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    Nov 7, 2015, 5:05 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #110

    Gear up version for me all day long -
    And what of miniature Mitchell? Is the pilot figure an option? And please say you're providing accurate decals
  11. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 7, 2015, 6:29 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #111

    Pilot is still in the works so to speak, the free model I have is not too far off, but facial accuracy is going to be tricky as all you will see of a face is about 3x3mm!

    As there are only the Russian five point stars needed for decals should be able to find a detailing set the right size, haven't got to looking at that yet.
  12. rbeach84's Avatar
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    Nov 8, 2015, 12:28 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #112

    Firefox3D said: View Post
    Pilot is still in the works so to speak, the free model I have is not too far off, but facial accuracy is going to be tricky as all you will see of a face is about 3x3mm!

    As there are only the Russian five point stars needed for decals should be able to find a detailing set the right size, haven't got to looking at that yet.
    Jon, if you need artwork, I can punch out vector art for the stars in about 15 minutes, if you have the relative sizes needed (with vector art of course, just enlarge or shrink as needed... though I've had some problems with folks using certain drawing tools not being able to cleanly import Open Office /Draw files... but since OpenOffice is open-source, anyone can add it to their apps with a free download, so why not.)

    Cheers!
    Robert

    PS: You might include missile fins on a PE fret, too, if you're doing that particular detail...
  13. p51's Avatar
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    Nov 8, 2015, 12:45 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #113

    I talked with a former member of the Russian Space program today (long story as to how that happened). We started talking about Soviet movies, such as "The Road to Berlin" and the participation of a Motorized Infantry Regiment as Napoleonic troops in "Waterloo" and the subject of 'Firefox" came up. He said he'd heard of the movie even before the fall of communism, and the news was told the movie was about a Western secret agent working with traitors to steal a top secret plane that posed no real threat to anyone, killing several Russians in the process. He said, "Frankly, I didn't believe that until I much later saw the movie. It was one of the few times they were accurate in telling us about something going on America!" To this day, he said, he has no idea why the movie was made and why people love it, when the Eastwood character is clearly in the wrong the entire time. "Even in Russia at that time," he said, "they'd never have made a movie like this!"
    I'd never really thought of it from his perspective.
    That said, it still doesn't make me like the movie much less than I do. It's still such a cool film!
  14. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 8, 2015, 3:22 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #114

    Thanks Robert for the offer on the decals, will take you up on that For the missiles, might go hi res printed masters. Worked out the bigger, but very similar missiles I have in a cheap Mig-25 kit at 1/72 scale are almost perfect scale for a 1/24th Firefox, also the Eduard 1/32 Phantom resin exhausts are almost exactly the right size for a 1/48 Firefox, but don't think they would look right.

    That very thing crossed my mind a while ago P51, if it was a Russian stealing an American plane.....

    Quick update, spent most of yesterday working out panel lines, fixing the tailplanes so I can test print them attached to the model, and resolving the printing issues I have had.

    Discovered as usual with complex systems it's a combination of things

    1 Print head had dropped off vertical a tad due to a non ideal bearing adjustment arrangement, fixed with locking washers and a bit of 1mm hips to stop it moving again.

    2 There is an optimum combination of maximum acceleration settings - set purely by testing as there is little documentation, fastest - which looks smoothest turns out is not always the best when the print turns more than a 45 corner, set this right in combination with a good print speed and corners come out significantly cleaner.
    I'm guessing this is something pro machines have permanent settings for or they handle the calculations on the fly. I'm probably my own worst enemy here as I want perfection and the quality is still better than a lot of stuff I have seen printed on considerably more expensive printers.

    3 If you change something important remember or make a note, otherwise you start a big print with too low a bed temp setting and your part comes off 2 hours in see top of pic below

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The wingtips were done with previous print settings, so they can be better I think. Exhausts are ok just to have a complete assembled aircraft, but needs pro printing really, or a simple printed support core to stick brass etched segments over, just brainstorming there.

    Middle section currently re-printing as I have corrected (hopefully) the wing section, then get the engine section started over night, realised it makes sense to actually break it down into more segments so you can optimise the print settings.
    The one that failed in the pic above was mostly down to a low bed temp, but realised the high cross infill in the fuselage section required to print the base of the small intake near the top of the part causes a tensioning effect as the upper part cools and pulls on the sides levering itself off the bed.
    So printing that middle front part of the fuselage on it's own up to the rear of the canards, then rear of canards to nose separate so the canards bond to the bed and don't require wasted support material.
    I know for the actual master I will end up redoing most of this but I and I guess quite a few of you reading this want me to get on with it and show me the plane!
    Last edited by Firefox3D; Nov 8, 2015 at 3:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Nov 8, 2015, 3:45 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #115

    I'll go with the dear-up version on a stand every time, thanks.
  16. Duncanator's Avatar
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    Nov 9, 2015, 12:18 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #116

    Definitely would prefer a gear-up model. Planes look much more elegant when flying.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I bought a large resin kit of the Firefox many years ago, and after trying to work on it for a year, ended up tossing it in the bin because it was crap.
  17. rbeach84's Avatar
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    Nov 9, 2015, 3:16 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #117

    Fascinating process! Really appreciate you sharing it along the way...

    One thought on the exhaust cans; perhaps print a plain part and then detail it by hand to create a master suitable for a resin cast?

    Also, how long and what diameter on the missiles? Perhaps a 1/72 MiG 25 load out would be the basis for a 1/48 scale version (though, frankly scratchbuilding missiles if someone wants is a rather simple task, compared to other things)

    Regards, Robert
  18. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 9, 2015, 8:40 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #118

    Duncanator said:
    Definitely would prefer a gear-up model. Planes look much more elegant when flying.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I bought a large resin kit of the Firefox many years ago, and after trying to work on it for a year, ended up tossing it in the bin because it was crap.
    Was that the Studio 2, sounds like my disappointment level was about the same as yours.

    It's looking like gear up on a stand is pretty much everyone's choice, and I already bought detailed landing gear oh well...

    I have an idea for a cool stand, have to draw it up.

    Hi Robert, the detail is so fine at 1/48th by hand is not an option really. I think the solution is to get thin detail pieces hi-res printed and fit them over a self printed core then cast a master from that.

    The missiles are these https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisnovat_R-40 they are not that dissimilar to the film "designed" ones but about 4 times bigger.

    Have reprinted the main body section, found you have to print slow and enable settings which add more print time to get a better finish, took 12 hours, then another 3 for the front neck as I have called it.

    Have spent an hour or so surface finishing what I have, looks like skimming the surface with the 3M red filler first is the way to go as it fills the small imperfections enough that one good coat of primer should do the trick.

    The redone inner wing part is just about perfect now... finally. Holding it up to pics it matches about as close as I am going the get, especially as that feature does vary from model to model. There is just a little high spot in the geometry near the front, probably less than 0.5mm but it catches the light.

    Done some work on the tailplanes, the blending around the step was not right. Also needed to fatten them up slightly as I had them truly wafer thin. If they don't cost too much for the kit I will get hi-res masters printed so all the small fins and defence pods are accurate.

    Got to finish the tailplanes before printing the rear section as they will print better as part of the whole rather than separately. Realised I am probably going to have fun catching the detail strakes around the exhausts, if it looks like it's going suck on the first test print I will remove them then do them with some fine evergreen strip.

    Spoke to a moulding supplies place today, pricing wasn't as bad as I thought, and they are no distance away so no expensive shipping.
  19. Duncanator's Avatar
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    Nov 9, 2015, 9:51 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #119

    I don't remember who made the resin model I tossed out. It was about 2 feet long and the body was cast in solid resin. Heavy! I got it in the early 90's, like 1990-91. Was that Studio 2 kit around back then?
  20. rbeach84's Avatar
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    Nov 9, 2015, 9:57 PM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #120

    Jon, the 3M Acryl White Glazing putty is the best for this application as it is finer and tougher than the 'red'; it allows for an extremely fine feather and a great polish if desired. Used to be 'Acryl-Blue' but for some reason they left out the pigment and discontinued the blue formula... but same stuff otherwise. Granted, the formulas you have available to you in the UK may be different... I just found the red I could get here in the US to be a poor product for modeling work.

    For what it's worth...

    Regards, Robert
  21. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 10, 2015, 7:17 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #121

    Duncanator said: View Post
    I don't remember who made the resin model I tossed out. It was about 2 feet long and the body was cast in solid resin. Heavy! I got it in the early 90's, like 1990-91. Was that Studio 2 kit around back then?
    Sounds like a different one, got mine about 2006 and don't think it had been available that long.

    rbeach84 said: View Post
    Jon, the 3M Acryl White Glazing putty is the best for this application as it is finer and tougher than the 'red'; it allows for an extremely fine feather and a great polish if desired. Used to be 'Acryl-Blue' but for some reason they left out the pigment and discontinued the blue formula... but same stuff otherwise. Granted, the formulas you have available to you in the UK may be different... I just found the red I could get here in the US to be a poor product for modeling work.
    The red stuff is ok for testing and sands fast without taking off any more plastic, but yes it is soft and certainly not ideal. I was thinking of trying flexible bumper filler as it seems to have a similar makeup to the plastic I am using.

    What is the price of the white acryl over there can only find it at an absurd price on amazon.
  22. RCnut's Avatar
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    Nov 10, 2015, 7:56 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #122

    I made my (Studio 2 models) crap Firefox kit 1/48 scale in the very late 90s,Granted it wasn't the most accurate kit ever but I didn't have the luxury of screen grabbing etc, I released the larger one (1/24) in the mid naughties ish, which I think is mildly better lol.
  23. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 10, 2015, 9:21 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #123

    Sorry no offence meant, I think it was the fact the pic on the box was a movie still if I am remembering right, but it did not match what was inside, that I found annoying.

    Yes you are right there were no great resources back then to work from, in fact what was there?
  24. RCnut's Avatar
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    Nov 10, 2015, 10:01 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #124

    Firefox3D said: View Post
    Sorry no offence meant, I think it was the fact the pic on the box was a movie still if I am remembering right, but it did not match what was inside, that I found annoying.

    Yes you are right there were no great resources back then to work from, in fact what was there?
    Yep I can understand that. Like when they say contents may vary (Slightly) lol. Anyway I used to long for a VCR that had a really good pause button alas they were beyond my reach.
  25. Firefox3D's Avatar
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    Nov 10, 2015, 10:27 AM - Re: Firefox MIG-31 movie aircraft #125

    RCnut said: View Post
    Yep Anyway I used to long for a VCR that had a really good pause button alas they were beyond my reach.
    That just revived a memory of me tracing the outline of the plane off the TV, did have a decent VCR but it kept dropping out of pause to save the tape!

    Love your Jerry Anderson work by the way, the Skydiver and Stingray are works of art.

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