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  1. #1

    I have some bsic questions

    Hello all. I am a new guy here and I have some basic questions. If I've some to the wrong source, please point me in a better direction. I have been digging and unable to find answers to my questions. Thanks!!

    I want to have a 1/48 fuselage 3D printed so I can use it for a RTV mold or, maybe, use the printed part as is for a scratchbuild project. What I have are a set of Cleveland Model plans with side view, top view, and 1/2 bulkheads view. I know that I can use all this to breate a mold master, but I'm interested in other possibilities and time, maybe. I've attached the drawings so, you will know what I'm working from.

    • Can a 3D model be made from these drawings?
    • Can a 3D printer file be created for me?
    • Who could undertake such a task?

    If I'm all wet, please tell me so.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Are you wanting to build a flying model or a static model.?

    1/48 is a bit small for a flying model I think, because the weight of constructing it with a power source would mean a high wing loading which would necessitate a high flying speed to work at all.

    That drawing is of a rubber powered free flight model designed for traditional balsa and tissue construction.

    To go down the road of making a plug, then a mould, and then actually moulding something is a lot of time consuming work if you are only going to make one model.
    Getting all the stuff together can also get expensive.

    I'm not trying to put you off because whatever happens you will learn something and I wish you luck with your endevours.

    Been there and done that a few times.

  3. #3
    This will be a 1/48 display model so the wingspan will be in the 8-9" range. I've already made another model of an airplane 2 friends of mine built in 1957 using Luscombe wings and tailcone. I was to build the same scale model of another Luscombe that he and another friend modified for aerobatics. I was looking for alternatives to the methods I've used before to make the mold master or, perhaps, use as the fuselage for this project and maybe others. The Cleveland drawings are the best I could find so, I'm using them at the proper scale. I guess the question I really have is this. Can you use side view, top view, and bulkheads to create a 3D model using CAD software of some sort? Thanks again.Bob

  4. #4
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    There's a set of plans on eBay, that appears to be the right aircraft. This provides quality images that could be used in a 3D modeling program such as Fusion 360 or Rhino3D to create the bulkheads and to loft the body around the bulkheads. The quality of your images suggest that the plans you have would make things more difficult than necessary. I also found a free download for various aircraft, including this one or a variant thereof: As Bikeracer2020 suggests, a 3D model isn't likely to be a flying model, but I think with a good set of plans and a skilled 3D modeling person, one could create a file or set of files to be printed. The first part alone is likely to be costly, as the model designer is going to expect compensation for his time. On the flip side, if you take the time to learn, even the free version (hobbyist) of Fusion 360, you'd be able to save that bundle of bucks. In real world figures, the price for a model designer can easily exceed the cost of buying a 3D printer. If you want to pursue finding a designer and get some interesting prices, consider to check out the Reddit sub at I assisted a boat modeler who found an operation to convert plans of a ferry boat that plied the Great Lakes, specifically the Erie Canal. He provided me with a set of STL files from those plans and I built for him a 55" long replica. It took me six months and cost him a bundle, more for his STL conversion than for my printing, but neither was cheap. If you decide to continue with your project, I hope you'll post your progress and I wish you great luck.

  5. #5
    Thanks, folks. I never expected to not pay for services. People's time has value. I guess I'll use a center fuselage keel and attach the bulkheads and fill in between with balsa foam or balsa and sand to the bulkheads. That always works and I can use that for the mold master. .....Bob

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Perhaps if you go down the keel and bulkheads route it might be better to make the bulkheads undersize to allow to plank the surface for a mould plug, rather than fill in between the bulkheads with foam or balsa.

    I think planking sanded smooth would give you a better uninterupted surface than filling between the bulkheads and then sanding smooth.

    However, either way could see you with a lot of work to get the surface you're after for moulding a display model and it might be better to just carve from solid.

    Anyway I wish you luck and hope you'll post the results here.

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