full scale cockpit

After taking a three-year hiatus to remodel the house and have a baby, I’m back. Of course, things change in three years, I’ve had time to reflect on the project and learn quite a bit.

One of the things that stymied me regarding the falcon build was how I was going to resolve the things I liked about the 5-foot model into my 32″ version. Then I started trying to reconcile the interior (or at least the cockpit, which is the part of the interior that is visible from the outside) and this proved to be real head-mash.

After extensively reviewing footage and photos of the cockpit set piece and this helpful thread on the RPF, I realized that it would be tricky, at best, to find the parts I needed to detail a accurate cockpit at scale using found kit parts. I then decided the best path would just be to replicate the the whole set and then scale the whole thing down to fit my 32″ version and then 3D print the bits needed.

So if it wasn’t enough to endeavor researching all the little bits that go on the outside, I’m learning a whole heck of a lot about what went into the inside.

This approach has meant some changes to my master model – the cockpit cone is now accurate to the set piece rather than either the 32″ or 5 foot versions (except for the very very front window struts – which I prefer to be more parallel than wedge shaped. The main struts are still tapered though).

sub frame: part II

I’ve been rethinking the sub-frame assembly. Originally I had planned on notching the longitudinal and latitudinal extrusions together, but this may have compromised the strength of both.

Lapping them together with L-shaped extrusions top and bottom may be a better solution. This allows the longitudinal and latitudinal assemblies to float independently of one anther until final assembly – allowing me to pick-up any tolerance build-ups I may encounter.

emerald city comicon

I went to the Seattle Comicon today. I was hoping someone there might have a Master Replica Falcon on display. No such luck – but there were a bunch of Stormtroopers surrounded by latex-clad bunnies. Um, ok…

AT-AT on the horizon

Today my wife an I took a trip out to one of Seattle’s surrounding islands to visit Keith – the guy with the mill. We enjoyed the sun and ferry ride, and Jenn even put-up with my ‘pew-pew’ noises as we passed buy the container cranes…

sub frame

Here are some of the aluminum parts I’ll be using to assemble the sub frame. I’m still in the planning stages, but you can kind of see where it’s headed.

It’s mostly 1 inch square extrusion that will be notched at the intersections to make the whole thing 1” thick. Two large 0.060” ABS panels in the basic silhouette of the craft will be attached to the dorsal and ventral sides of the sub-frame and the wedges to to those.

With all the CAD work I’ve shown so far, I thought it’d be good to show something in the physical world.

The black block in the upper left is one of my ABS chunks that eventually will be the wedge of the saucer the has the radar dish on it, among other parts.

The little aluminum hex rod in the upper right is my mounting post. This will be part of the stand I’ll use to hold the model up while I work. It threads onto an old camera tripod.

pumpin’ CAD

To prep the model for machining, it needs to be broken-up into smaller chunks. Well, my original plan was to make it all one part, but that ended-up being cost prohibitive. So smaller chunks it is.

first blood

A friend of mine just bought a new CNC mill. He eventually plans to offer machining services as part of his product development firm – but in the meantime, he wanted so practice. That’s where my little project comes in.

This was a practice cut. It’s the rough-in for one of the upper dome wedges. The parts are milled with consecutively smaller an smaller bit’s to capture more detail. This is pretty rough at 1/2” diameter. The interior of the parts are designed to be cut with a 1/4” cutter.

The Material is MDF – but the final pieces will be ABS.