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1/32 MH-53E Sea Dragon - 3D printed / scratchbuilt

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Cheers everybody, 


it looks like I have found my next big project after finishing the big Viking - something pretty much out of my comfort zone. The CH-53E / MH-53E is a more than fascinating aircraft and among my all-time favourite helicopters. Based on a free nicely proportioned and correctly dimensioned Sketchup model I have found a few years ago, I have spent hours making the file printable on my newly acquired Creality CR-10S FDM printer. Over 100 hours of printing later, I have an almost complete CH-53E fuselage in 1/32nd scale:








The fuselage was printed using PETG; my first trials with HIPS were not very successful as I've experienced enormous warping and bad layer adhesion, despite rather high temperature settings and the enclosure I've built for my printer. PETG does not sand as nicely as ABS or HIPS but is very easy to print and much easier to sand than PLA.


The rotor will be more difficult as the CAD data is not complete - most of it will have to be scratchbuilt. There is no interior either, so all of this will have to be made from scratch as well.


I have to admit I am not yet 100% sure if I will build a CH-53E or a MH-53E as both of them are impressive and important aircraft. The CH-53E will be easier to build as I have the sponsons and external fuel tanks; the MH-53E is a bit more tempting as it is even more special than the CH. Time will tell. In the meantime, if anyone has the 1/48th scale Academy MH-53E in his stash, I would be very interested in getting high-res scans of the instructions and the decal sheet. Would be great if someone could help me with that. :)


What do you think - CH or MH? And no, Airforce versions are not an option and building both of them is not really an option either... ;) 

Edited by Starfighter
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25 minutes ago, thierry laurent said:

Hi Ben,


So, you put the P-3 aside to start another "small" project...?




Have you the French "Landing zone" monography?




The P-3 is not forgotten, but I want something a bit less complex and smaller for now. Well, a large scale helicopter is not exactly less complex than a P-3, but it is smaller and easier to handle. 


I have all the Landing Zone books indeed, but the photos are extremely small, perspectives are not ideal and printing quality is very bad. It's nice to have them, but they are not as good as they should be.

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Well it better be a CH-53E!  HMH-461 to be specific!  IRONHORSE!!  .....sorry for yelling, I got excited.  It’s been 2003 since I last flew one but I remember The Hog well.  Happy to be a resource!

Definitely excited for this build, I expect great things ahead!


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Go Ben Go!   Man you never cease to amaze and inspire with your subject choices and execution.. Good luck on the new Big 'un , I'll definitely be watching. I second Timmy's sentiments,  Ironhorse would be cool =-)  

Pic included for motivational and educational purposes only =-) 



CH-53E 1984767.jpg

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