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Vigilante


Dandiego

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Ok here is my new project.

 

First a little history. I grew up on the China Lake naval base in the late 50's and early 60's. Yes I am that old. Anyway I would see all of the Navy jets flying over the town almost everyday. And when I got a little older I could ride a bus out to the airfield on Armed Forces day and walk around the real jets. Early jets are in my blood.

 

So where to start?

 

Here is where. Years ago I started a 1:48th Vigi and with the Cutting Edge conversion I began building an A3J. Got pretty far along but...you know how it goes. Shelf of Doom for at least 15 years. So this is my starting point. I will use the SOD model and try to reproduce it in 1:32. Yes I will look at 3 view drawings but this is my main reference. With some calipers, some crude drawings and basic cad knowledge I am off.

 

RGOWrNS.jpg?1

 

First I began with the central fuselage. Basically a rectangular box with some rounded edges. It was too big to print all at once on my machine so....2 pieces. You can see that I have incorporated some cutouts for the MLG bays.

 

SHQazlI.jpg?1

 

WbC2fhh.jpg?2

 

Almost 7 inches tall already.

 

KSwmeJD.jpg?2

 

I have also added wing roots onto the fuselage sides.

 

22Vl3sC.jpg?1

 

I tried designing in some tabs to aid in alignment and construction. They didn't print as well as I had hoped.

 

rXu3dqK.jpg?1

 

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Here are the intakes still sitting on the print stage.

 

m11MYTI.jpg?1

 

Lots more to come.

 

Dan

 

 

 

 

Edited by Dandiego
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Well......that's a great question. And I don't have a good answer.

 

The biggest parts that I have printed were the wings on my F-16xl.  They were quite rough. My little, cheap, printer doesn't produce a very smooth surface so I start by sanding the surface with 100 grit sandpaper. Then I apply some heavy primer and repeated this cycle until it gets smooth enough. What is smooth enough? It's smooth enough when you get tired of sanding.

 

On my F-16 I glued on a thin sheet of plastic to the top of the wing. This worked the best.

 

If there is some better method to smooth out the prints I am all ears.

 

Dan

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have you tried automotive high build primer? i used that on my Pucará and it worked nicely. you may have to decrease the size of the parts about 0.5mm to incorporate a thick layer if the surface is very rough. lay the piece down on a flat surface and only prime the horizontal surface at one session, high build primer will run off quickly if you tilt the part. you may have to do multiple sessions. the nice part is, its easy to sand off and scribe

very cool project, watching closely! 

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Hi Dan,

 

Nice work on the parts so far! Sounds like a super project..... Just wondering if you're using PLA or ABS to print? I've had luck with smoothing ABS parts using acetone in a sealed container. It basically softens the outer layers of the parts and smooths them without the parts themselves losing any apparent shape. I'm not sure if it would work on PLA though as I don't use it.

 

Look for "acetone vapour finishing" of 3D printed parts. 

 

Hope this helps!

 

Craig

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12 hours ago, brahman104 said:

I've had luck with smoothing ABS parts using acetone in a sealed container. It basically softens the outer layers of the parts and smooths them without the parts themselves losing any apparent shape. I'm not sure if it would work on PLA though as I don't use it.

 

I did a bit of research on this very topic when I first learned about that technique, and the answer apparently is no: acetone smoothing doesn't work on PLA.

 

Kev

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10 hours ago, Dandiego said:

On my F-16 I glued on a thin sheet of plastic to the top of the wing. This worked the best.

 

If there is some better method to smooth out the prints I am all ears.

 

Dan

 

I've been using Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty.  The problem is you can't scribe over it.  I'm still trying out different putties.  Tamiya Gray Putty is working well, but I haven't tried scribing it yet.

 

Dave

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25 minutes ago, daveculp said:

 

I've been using Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty.  The problem is you can't scribe over it.  I'm still trying out different putties.  Tamiya Gray Putty is working well, but I haven't tried scribing it yet.

 

Dave

 

Yeah Dave I have had the same idea. I have applied the same putty by smearing it over the surface with my finger in a very thin layer. And I have used Bondo in the same manner. Either way there is a lot of sanding to be done.

 

Perhaps aggressive sanding followed by a thin application of putty, more sanding, followed by a thick primer, followed by........(wait for it)..... more sanding.

 

Dan

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