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3D Printing, Kit part database and Rogue One

tryptych

Alphans
I recently came across an article with John Knoll, the VFX supervisor on "Star Wars: Rogue One" explaining how they rebuilt CGI models based on the original Episode IV miniatures, and rather than buy tons of kits to have them destroyed, they laser scanned complete kits in their entirety and had them remodelled as 3D objects to be incorporated in bigger designs.

“One of the things that I thought was important from the original film was how the models were made — the famous use of model kit pieces for mechanical detail,” said Knoll. “And I thought we should do our own version of that here because if we didn’t, it was going to happen in an uncontrolled fashion.”
“What we did was confront it head on by buying several of the original model kits on eBay, and we digitally built versions of about 300,” he continued. “And we had a ‘Star Wars’-themed parts library that when the modellers were building something, they were pulling bits and pieces from that library and detailing it to model. Our new models fit very well. And it was worth this investment because there are other ‘Star Wars’ films coming down the line.”


This begs the question, will it one day be available to the public? Or is there a possibility of amateurs doing something similar? I think of this not just for CGI modelling, but "real-world" models where the parts could be 3D printed.

As many of these old kits are disappearing, never to be reissued, might it be a worthwhile cause? Food for thought.
 

moonhugger

Alphans
It would be a good idea; some of the parts would take some effort to reverse engineer and a team of people might be required to do everything needed - for exact replica models. Some one to organise it and get people involved will be the hardest part.

It many cases; it is easier and lower cost to copy the parts with rubber tools and make resins. I have got a photo to hand of one of my tools made for the common parts. But there is a photo of a tool I made of the main engine bell (44"er) and the 3d Printed part on the printer.

I think there are a few cases; where copies are not the done thing! I don't mind.
 

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tryptych

Alphans
Yeah, but those don't look like kit parts to me.
I am talking all the old Airfix, Revell and Tamiya stuff along with the harder to get American kits. What "reverse engineering is there? You do a complete laser scan of the sprue. There is some cleaning up of polygons etc, but what you end up with is a 100% perfect digital copy on a database that people can share. Silicone moulds shrink over time and lose quality every time a cast is made. 3D prints allow many materials from polycarbonate, acrylic, polystyrene and sintered metals.

Obviously copyright would be an issue, but I think we can cross that bridge when we come to it, even if they are just held in private store for now simply as a safety archive.
 
Technical Section......

Hi Julian, interested to see your post - what's the third photograph of please? (The red device, mainly) I get mixed up with what's a mould and what's a tool. Apologies for my ignorance, the question arises more out of general interest than something I intend to undertake myself.

As much as it's enlightening to see how new technology assists the model-maker, it's equally fascinating to hear how "traditional" methods still have a place in the 21st century.

Kindest regards

Patrick
 

moonhugger

Alphans
Hi Patrick; the bright red thing is the build platform of my B9Creator 3d Printer. The dull Reddish thing below it is a 3d Printed 44" Main engine bell.

That was finished and painted; it was covered in silicone rubber - the translucent block in my hand; the black line is on some tape and that was the guide to cut the rubber tool apart. I do that to save me having to make a physical split and pour rubber twice.
 

swhite40

Alphans
There is a small movement toward
3d printing of kit parts for the studio scale builders.

A perfect example is the Aurora Sealab kit as done by Joshua Maruska and available at Grabcad. Joshua has also modeled the transmission from the Entex rotary engine used on the 5 ft. Falcon as well as parts from a Bandai 1/24 Panther as well.

User Minifig has posted files of select parts used in studio scale models from kits like the 1/144 Airfix Saturn 5, and 1/24 Harrier , as well as 3 others


Links to their work are as follows:
http://falcon.maruskadesign.com/

https://grabcad.com/minifig-1
 

tryptych

Alphans
Yes, this is exactly the sort of thing I was discussing. I am personally looking into doing some of the old Airfix trackside models like the Girder Bridge and Footbridge as used countless times in Thunderbirds. I think it would be a worthwhile endeavour because many models will inevitably disappear over time, so it would be worth keeping them for posterity.

As a cautionary tale, I heard that when Aurora went bust they sold all their injection moulding dies to another company and the train carrying them derailed and many were destroyed, including some of the famous Universal Studios horror figures.
 

Boldman

Alphans
There is no shortage of Girder bridge kits, they are still being produced by Dapol Kitmaster, I've got 2 or 3 in teh stash and they aren't expensive. What would be useful would be scaled down versions - for my 22" Imai TB2 I had to scratch build scaled down girder bridge plates, beams and footings.



 

tryptych

Alphans
Yes, I know of the Dapol stuff, but in my case I needed it for CGI modelling.
Also, with 3D printing, you would have no problem scaling the model to whatever size you wanted without loss of detail.
 

swhite40

Alphans
Yes, this is exactly the sort of thing I was discussing. I am personally looking into doing some of the old Airfix trackside models like the Girder Bridge and Footbridge as used countless times in Thunderbirds. I think it would be a worthwhile endeavour because many models will inevitably disappear over time, so it would be worth keeping them for posterity.

As a cautionary tale, I heard that when Aurora went bust they sold all their injection moulding dies to another company and the train carrying them derailed and many were destroyed, including some of the famous Universal Studios horror figures.

Not so much destroyed as dinged. What most people don't know is the owner of Revell/ Monogram at the time would buy old model companies molds and have them destroyed so no one could reissue a kit and compete for shelf space with his kits. This is what happened to a number of the "train wreck" molds including the Sealab kits mold.

Word was that the train wreck excuse was used to get rid of most of the Aurora molds as well as a few other s that "were" on the train.
 

mimrie

Alphans
I'm resurecting this old thread as I've managed to get access to an Einscan SP 3D scanner and thought you might like to see my initial results.
The scans below are my first ever scans with the device and were taken using the default 'turntable mode' and automatic scan alignment using the supplied software.
I'm sure the part scanned is familiar and is from a Dapol kit. I chose to scan two of the parts together as scanners like this can strugle to align scans if the object scanned is symmetrical; also keeping some of the sprue made positioning on the scanner turntable easier.
The parts were meshed in the Einscan software to produce a watertight model, I imported this into Cinema 4D to render the images below.
The first image shows the scan with no further post processing (and inset pictures of the original parts). As you can see there is quite a lot of surface noise on the scans; this might have been better if I'd scanned in total darkness. You can also see that the original parts are far from perfect themselves
The second image shows the parts separated alongside models re-engineered from the scans. The next step wil be to print some of these and see how they comare to the originals.
In reality, the girder bridge parts are simple enough that it wouldn't be very hard to model them from scratch but I wanted to see if scanners of this type could produce useful results in objects of this size (1/2 inch square); I think the answer to that is a qualified yes.
Look forward to your comments.
Mick
 

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mimrie

Alphans
Here are a couple more scans I've done using the Einscan SP scanner;

The first is of a Radiospares LES panel lampholder as used in Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet (see Colonel White's desk). The image shows a render of the original scan along with 2 re-engineered models (made in Cinema 4D).

The second is a scan of an original 'Jeff Tracy' ashtray. The ashtray was scanned in two pieces; the image shows the scan after some post processing in Cinema 4D to remove surface noise from the scans.

Both these objects have features that make them difficult to scan and had to be coated using Fault Developer Spray to reduce shininess.

For reference the lampholder is 0.5 inches in diameter and the ashtray is just under 10 cm in its long axis.

Mick
 

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mimrie

Alphans
Thanks chaps,

Here's another one...

I bought this handle (D Handle 100mm, front fix), scanned it and re-engineered the scan in C4D.
As far as I can tell this is identical to the ones used in Supercar.
The render shows the scanned handle in front and my model to the rear.

Mick
 

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mimrie

Alphans
Sorry, I should have noted that although these are sold as 100mm handles they actually measure 106mm with an inter-screw distance of 78 mm.

Mick
 
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