Monday 30 October 2023



Next 1:144 scale tiny-aeroplane project is a Soviet Ilyushin IL-2 "Sturmovik" ground attack aircraft. That's the grey one in the foreground.

This is yet another of Roman Troyan's 1:200 models up-scaled to 1:144. I've printed it on my Mars Pro, using the new spirit-based resin, which seems to be behaving much, much better than the water-washable stuff.

Regrettably, I've got it printed just in time for me to have to leave home for an indeterminate length of time — probably about a month, though that's entirely dependent on circumstance. So it will be a while before I'll be able to finish it.

A Bit Later On...

Well, by neglecting other tasks, I got the Sturmovik painted. Those other tasks were probably unimportant anyway.

Maybe later I'll revisit it and paint some numbers on it.

Thursday 26 October 2023

Polikarpov I-153 (1:144)


This is a model I've been working on in Blender, the Soviet Polikarpov I-153 fighter, in 1:144 scale.

It has no detail at all on the under-surfaces; the way I use aircraft models on the tabletop, they're never seen from underneath, so it would be wasted effort.

I thought I might be able to reuse some of the geometry to make an I-16 monoplane, but having looked at some drawings of that plane it looks like the differences are too great for that to work out. I'd have to do so much work modifying the current fuselage that I'd be better off just starting again from scratch.

To tell the truth, I'm not quite sure how or why I ended up making this, since I have no immediate need for it in my own gaming. However, I do have a bit of a yen to do something with the Soviet-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40, and it would be appropriate for that conflict on both sides.

And here we have the printed model.

I've changed the resin I'm using from water-washable stuff, which has been enormously troublesome, to some spirit-based resin from the same manufacturer, which seems to be much better in spite of the added hassle in cleanup.

Esun Water-Washable Resin


A while ago I bought a bottle of white Esun water-washable 3d printing resin. It isn't the most expensive resin available by any means, but it's not cheap. And it's absolutely terrible.

This 1:144 model, in the process of being painted (I don't know yet if I'll bother finishing it) is pretty typical of the results I get from this particular resin. Delamination cracks appear at regular intervals. Deformations abound, and the fit of separate components cannot be guaranteed — in fact, they can almost be guaranteed not to fit. And once cured, it is pathetically brittle and fragile.

I don't know enough about 3d printing resins to be able to usefully diagnose the likely problem(s), but I have had much better results in the past with other of Esun's water-washable stuff, especially the translucent resins, so I suspect it may be an issue with overloading of the opaque pigment used to colour it.

I am so mean that I've persisted with it so far instead of dumping it, but today frustration has finally outweighed my stinginess, and out it goes to cure in the sun and be discarded.

Saturday 21 October 2023

Gloster Gladiator (1:144)


I've painted this Gladiator in the Dark Earth/Dark Green livery it would have borne for home service at the beginning of World War II. I don't know if Gladiators were painted the half-and-half black and white on their undersides* that other fighters wore; but since, as a tabletop gaming model, it will almost never be seen from underneath I haven't worried about it at all.

[ * They were, apparently ]

It's been printed in FDM on my Ender 3, and the surface detail on the fuselage ribbing is pretty rugged. I think I could probably get better results by rearranging its orientation on the print bed and printing it in a single piece, though that would mean a bit of pre-supporting of the STL in Blender for the sake of reliability. I may or may not ever get around to doing that. That should also help with the crappy printing of the undercarriage.


I learned that the Gladiator followed the standard Fighter Command practice for their lower planes, which was to have the port wing painted white and the starboard black. So I went ahead and painted it as such.

I believe it was supposed to facilitate IFF from the ground, which it doubtless did, but it also made the aircraft stand out like sore thumbs to opposing fighters and enemy AA gunners, and the practice did not last for very long once combat began in earnest.

The model is hanging off one of my magnetic perspex flight stands.

Later still (several days later)

Another Gladiator, this time painted up for use in the desert or Mediterranean.

This was printed as a kit, and it printed absolutely terribly, mainly due (I think) to the resin I was using. It developed a multitude of cracks, and the dimensional instability of the resin means that none of the components fitted well together. Add to that its brittle fragility, and you don't end up with a good model in any way.

I was in two minds about whether or not to even bother finishing its paint job, but I have. It will do as a gaming marker, but that's about it. I did another much better one-piece FDM print that will most likely end up replacing this one.

I've been playing around with Photoshop's Generative Fill tool, which makes getting rid of things like flight stands an absolute breeze. And just to keep him company, I've added a happy little Falco to the picture. The backdrop is an aerial desert scene I found somewhere on the internet and printed on my fairly crappy inkjet.

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Another Chess Set


I made another chess set.

This one is super-simplified and geometric; it would be an easy thing to make in wood, and I might do that one of these days.

This is a test print, and you may notice that the pieces have a black band around their bases — that's because I ran out of black filament, and had to change over to my last remaining roll which is grey.

Thursday 12 October 2023

Bristol Bulldog


Yet another of Roman Troyan's aircraft models up-scaled to 1/144, this time an interwar Bristol Bulldog, the standard fighter of the RAF in the early 1930s, alongside the Hawker Fury. It was replaced (briefly) by the Gloster Gauntlet in 1937, before the monoplane fighters (the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire) came along in numbers.

I printed it in two halves on my Ender 3, and the surface finish on the fuselage isn't very good; I think if I changed the print orientation and did it in a single piece I could get better results.

The model doesn't have a pilot figure, and I think it really does need one. I shall have to do something about that.