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Babylon 5 heavy cruiser 3D printed kit

Hello all.

This is a model from the classic 1990s sci fi series ‘Babylon 5’. It is the Earth Force ‘heavy cruiser’ (sometimes refers to as the Hyperion)

This project was a first for me as it was constructed from a 3D printed kit (bought of eBay) and it was the first time I had attempted work in this medium.

Being predominantly a sci fi modeller 3D printing offers access to a lot of subjects that are just to niche for main stream plastic and resin manufacturers, however (as I discovered) it’s not like working with conventional resin kits or add ons. So, things I learned about 3D kits.

Firstly: the material is difficult to sand/shape. It’s texture is much harder than polyeurathene resins (more akin to epoxy glue) and it takes a lot of effort sand or cut often clogging up your tools.

Secondly: The surfaces are not flat/smooth. This seems to be due the the printing process as the object is built up in layers but given the difficulty in sanding, makes getting a smooth surface a bit of a chore (for several sections I gave up sanding and added thin sheet styrene panels over the surface).

Thirdly: minor point but the kits are not solid (in fact they have quite thin walls). This can have implications if you are attaching sub assemblies or mounting the model.

Overall they require a lot of work but do offer you access to subjects that are otherwise unavailable in any other medium.

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

5 responses

  1. Excellent work. I enjoyed B5, too.

    Sounds like this was a tough build (but the norm for SF models.) Nice job on the paint work as well.

  2. Good job and a path to explore, I think as 3d printing technology improves and it will.
    It will allow us to create models of almost anything.
    The question is that the thread printers, from the photos it seems that it is of this type allow to manufacture more or less large pieces but the finish is not very good.

    I use a photoresin printer this if it achieves smooth finishes and a spectacular detail nuvel but the construction size is small and you have to make everything into pieces to later glue and adjust.
    This is machinable and sands relatively well.

    In the forum I uploaded 3 works made by 3D printing.
    If you are interested I can pass you the 3D models that I use, I'm glad to see that there are more people experimenting with this


  3. Looks great! It's a medium I'm not familiar with, fantastic job. I due remember Babylon 5.

  4. An excellent build of a difficult model, Paul. Despite their difficulties, one has to appreciate the new possibilities 3D kits can offer to us modelers.
    All the best!

  5. Neat build. I have several friends dabbling in 3D printing and they are all having various results. The technology is moving fairly rapidly as the price heads northwards. How long until our next kit is a download and a roll of printing plastic?

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