I‘m glad to present our readers with a subject in a new media that could expand our hobby in many ways. These are B-17’s in 1/350 and 1/700 scale from a 3D printer. I was impressed the moment I opened the box. Each aircraft is carefully packed in bubble wrap and comes in a very colorful box. Each model has a semi-transparent resin look. Unlike regular resin, the 3D media is considerable stronger and non brittle. There is no flash or pouring blocks to cut and clean.
The 3D printing process is done in layers, so there is a sort of texture that at first glance might look like finger prints on the model. I chose to remove this print marks by using wet sanding with 600 grit sandpaper and then buffered the models with 1000 grit wet sandpaper. Except for the 1/700 OD Green B-17, the other 2 were painted using Alclad 2 Duraluminum ALC 102.
The kits does not include decals. The ones on my samples came from my spare box. I have some 1/350 scale allied stars from some aircraft included on my 1/350 Trumpeter USS Nimitz that I wont be using. If you build 1/350 scale models, chances are that you will have these decals available.
Where do these models come from?
Well, a few weeks ago I did give a hint on this post. I did contact the eBay seller I was referring too and got a timely response from Jack and Linda Kellbach in Ohio.
Here is what Linda told me:
”As noted before, these models were initially created by Jack to fill gaps in his own collection and are secondarily being offered to others interested in aircraft in this scale. We believed that while there may not be a large audience for these, we were sure that there must be at least a few others that shared his “disease” and wanted to offer them as a way to help defer the development costs and allow us to create new models.
You had also asked about decals. While the models that we’re currently offering don’t have decals included (most of the 1/700 and 1/350 scale hobbyists generally have stashes of decal sheets of national insignias and other basic markings from their previous purchases of other kits offered by the majors), we do indeed have plans to offer decals for these that include unit and squadron markings. Of course, these likely won’t be produced by Cartograf given the relatively small production numbers.
One of the more interesting aspects of the enterprise to date has been our ability to produce relatively large sets of aircraft for some customers on demand as is the case with an individual who’s purchased 25 aircraft at a time of several different bomber types. Our turnaround on special orders like this can be less than three weeks and we’ll typically include customized packaging as part of the deal.”
Here is a current list of World War 2 aircraft models produced exclusively via the 3D printing process. Included are the following models in both, 1/700 and 1/350 scale: