Chronocidal Guy's new Excalibur 3D print has come together nicely. We got a good status update on the component pieces last month, and now we can see how nearly everything has come together. Here he's put together a lengthy rundown of the latest updates. If you'd like a copy of his printing files to test build your own, let him know!
Progress update, all the parts are printed, and I think at least the digital part of the model is something I can call "done" after about 20 years.
The big upgrades for this were mainly the larger size and the cockpit, but the larger scale made a lot of smaller details possible that wouldn't have shown up on my smaller models if I had tried to print them. I do think the model will be better if using a liquid resin printer, but I'm very happy with how well the ABS turned out.
One of the biggest things I changed were all the greeblie panels. I did my best to estimate how they were supposed to look from the Victory Streak diagrams, but I realized that many of the panels were just random mechanical-looking stock textures. The ones on the top and bottom of the fuselage and engines were the most detailed, but the side panels tended to just be dark panels of little smaller panels, so I did my best to follow the general feeling of them.
The last experiment I did tonight was testing whether I can make a clear canopy for it. I don't have a vacuform machine (though I might invest in one), but I was able to print myself a two piece mold. With that made, I heated a piece of plastic packaging over a space heater for a few moments, and then pressed it between the mold halves, and clamped it. When it cooled, I had a fairly decent clear canopy to trim and use, though it's still a little rough, and has a few scratches and wrinkles. I might try a few more attempts later, since the material came from my recycling bin, and I have a ton of it.
I am considering selling this model for printing eventually, but I do want to offer it freely here for people to try it out first, and give me feedback about anything that might need changing to print more easily. One thing I'm very aware of is that this model started very small, and got almost twice as big, so the model is heavier than it needs to be, and uses more material than necessary. The structures are really thick and sturdy at this size, because the original model was only 7 inches long.
Right now, I have the model broken into segments that separate the outer shells from the inner structure, since that made it the easiest to build the internal walls. If I can find a way to distribute the model in this format, it will allow for easier adjustment of the wall thicknesses.
As it is now though, I think my original 7-10 inch size is probably ideal for printing with all of the new details on a resin printer. It needs to be bigger for an FDM printer to pick up all of the greeblies, which is why I made this newer one, but I didn't change the internal wall thicknesses at all, and it uses quite a lot of plastic.
All told, the parts for this print took almost 200 hours with a 0.1mm layer height (not counting the stand), and used about 700g of material, or roughly 1.5 lbs. There was a fair amount of plastic expended in support structures to keep the prints steady, but even then, the model is substantial, and feels easily over a pound. My printer is pretty old now though, and newer ones can go much faster, probably cutting the print time down substantially. Many of the components for this took over a day to print.
Once I get the model in a presentable format, I'll post it here for download for a little while, and let people take a shot at it. I'll probably give it out for free here until the end of the year, and then put it up for sale after that.