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Cap'n Wannabe

1/32 BN-2 3D print scratch build. Is this too much for me?

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Given my current profession is that of a 3D modeller/draftsman, I thought it might be time to really challenge myself.  This may get somewhere, it may get nowhere, so we'll see..

Anyhow, I kind of like the BN-2 Islander....don't ask me why, I just do.  So I've decided to try my hand at designing a kit in 1/32 - it's a fairly boxy shape, so shouldn't give me too much difficulty.  Originally, it was going to be 1/48, but somebody else is doing one...

I've had a 3D printer for a while now, and recently found a material that suits really well - HIPS, or High Impact Polystyrene.  The test pieces I've printed sand well, cut well, and glue just the same as kit plastic, so it seems to me to be a logical choice.

So far, all I've done are some sketches, and I'm using an Airfix 1/72 example to assist.  Unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of drawings of the BN-2 online, but I *did* find a Trislander with some dimensions (not all, but I think enough to make a start..), and have been using this as the basis for my kit.

The first thing I noticed about the Trislander drawings is that it is not scaled correctly, ie, scaling it so the Y-dimensions are "perfect" means that it needs to be stretched in the X direction to make those dimensions fit.  However, this was easily overcome, so I started to trace the drawing.  I've now got to the point of almost having the fuselage profile done, and once a couple of edumacated guesses were made, it just needs a little tweaking.  The only thing left to do is the nose and windscreen.


I've been doing the tracing in Autocad, with the idea of getting it mostly right there, then importing it into Inventor to do the 3D stuff.  Inventor is parametric, so it's a very simple matter to apply a scale parameter to all the dimensions.....I'll be able to make it any scale I wish.




Here's a photo of the Airfix fuselage lined up with the sketch....as you can see, it's an almost perfect fit.



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Posted (edited)

I'll be watching this closely as making an Islander in 1/32 or 1/35 is on my 'one day' list.  Like you I have gathered drawings off the net and an unassembled Airfix kit.  I want to build an Islander to make an Rhodesian Air Force aircraft. 

Edited by dcrfan

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Thanks gents...

Having a look at the CAD model this morning, I noticed something was wrong.  Turns out I'd misread my verniers when I measured the Airfix kit, and so the fuselage was too wide.  And the windows are wrong. Still, it was just a test, so it doesn't really matter.

I also did a google search for Britten-Norman (I thought Pilatus had taken them over or something, but they have their own website) and found a brochure for the Islander complete with a dimensioned 3-view.  Again, not all dimensions are present, but I can work with them.  I also emailed their design department asking for more info....we'll see how that goes.

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Islanders are cool. I've always had a soft spot for them and I've no idea why! I'm very excited to see this come together.

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