Project "Budapest Naval Arsenal" Jan 13, 2019 11:18:19 GMT -5 williammiller, JagdFlanker, and 4 more like this
Post by akosjaccik on Jan 13, 2019 11:18:19 GMT -5
...taking RtW's "Ship Design" a step further.
Greetings, gentlemen! A few days ago I had a bit of a calm moment, so I started thinking. Considering I had a 3D printer at my disposal, what if I use it to grab a RtW design, and implement the ship into three dimensions? How cool would be to be able to actually touch one of the kind-of-mine designs? At the same time it looked like the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about the possibilities of the technology, what design decisions are viable, where to exert caution, what is an outright no-go? In the end I thought that maybe some of you might find this interesting or even inspiring - or even act upon idea -, so I created the topic for it. It will be somewhat image-heavy.
Now, what to pick?
> Chances are, as this model will be intended to be first and foremost a learning experience, let's not go into it expecting spectacular results. So... let's not pick my all-time favourite ever.
> Until I do not get a proof about the concept, let's not pour too much work into it, so... let's go with something "easy".
> Still, make it somewhat personal. The whole point of the project is giving birth to our "own" ships.
And so, ladies and gentleman, high command selected the namesake of the Balaton-class destroyers to participate in this experiment as a reward for the i-cant-remember-how-much battle stars. There she is:
A pretty straightforward late-game, first class destroyer in my book, 1500 tons, eight 5 inch guns, eight torpedo tubes, 32 knots, and a fairly distinguished service record. A bit better picture of her, special thanks to CCIP's tools:
Well, truth be told, the image was made last, and the model first, but regardless of that, naturally I wanted to achieve a strong connection between the real model and the in-game ship, after all, that's the whole point of the project. Speaking of the model however, again, I found myself in a decision-making situation. The room I have is 220x220x230 mm, respectable, but I did not want to use the full volumetric capacity for the first try (why print for tens of hours to manufacture a failure ultimately?), and also did not feel like making a destroyer with lifelike proportions, kind of the same reason as above, plus the less width I have means the less details I could cook up on the decks. In hindsight, maybe something more chubby like a pre-dread or one of the A-H's beloved armored coastal defence ships would have been a better choice, but currently I had none of them with exceptional service history.
Ultimately, I wanted to make something not-horribly-true-to-nature, but still "believable" destroyer that I can believe IS my save state's SMS Balaton. Also, for the sake of practice and experiment, I went with some design decisions that intended to test the concept rather than because they were "good ideas" by any stretch of the imagination. And so...
> The entire model is one file, one print, one mass of material. (Theoretically...) no assembly required.
> Proportions do not add up - no problem. The ship does not necessarily looks like an 1500-ton, and has huge depth chare projectors for example, and horrible lenght to width ratio.
> Full ship model will be made. I just don't like waterline models unless in a diorama.
And so, Balaton was born - again.
The model was made in Solid Edge, as I am having a background in mechanical engineering. Very much not the best tool for modeling freeform surfaces as commonly found on ships - to put it this way, I had to make a sculpture with a hacksaw, but it was good enough as far as I was concerned. Intended full length: 160 millimeters.
A lot of silly solutions and odd details, but again, I found myself in a peculiar situation, where I had to find some aurea mediocritas between the game's design (that gave the main layout, general position of guns, torpedo mounts, raked funnels, raised forecastle and such), the possibilites of the technology (chubby hull, lot of missing details, lot of enlarged details - for example, the gun mounts in the game are not even shielded, but here I went with a "weather-proof turret" design, as I had no hope for a detailed open dual mount coming out anything enjoyable in a cubic centimetre of volume in the end) and in the end, some "real", believable, let's say "historical" destroyer design.
I can't be bothered to look for a viable storage space for it online for now, but if anyone requests it, I will gladly provide the model file of course.
At this point I had a "small" problem with the model's .stl file, which did not carry over my original design dimensions from Solid Edge for some reason (I go a tiny lilttle ship not even a centimeter long in the model space), no matter the file translation settings, and I had limited time for the solution, so I... simply eyeballed it, enlarged the model to a mere 1900%. Never does anything go as planned, huh? Regardless, I started printing! The material of my choice (well... not that I had any, frankly) is PLA.
We laid down the keel! Lovely! One hour has passed, "only" six more to go... sigh.
By the way, there is a whole list of stuff I am utterly incompetent at, and beside the english language itself, photography is also certainly on the list when it comes to the quality of the shots, I apologize for both of these.
Now, for the final product! ...as long as the printer is concerned.
The aft section. What you can primarily see is a whole metric ton of supporting geometry; this gives the model the feeling that it's almost like being full with spider webs.
Depth charge projectors came out surprisingly well! I fully expected those to be an inrecognisable mass of plastic at best.
The fore section. AA gun shields are completely gone, just like the smokestacks (at this point I beg your pardon again if I do not use or even know the correct terminus technicus in any case) - the latter I'll touch upon later. AA guns look like a complete mess anyway, but are in fact better shape than they look as for now. Cranes look surprisingly okay considering that the technology truly hates anything long geometry that is vertical or close to that, but regardless of my fascination, I had to ditch them later in the cleaning process, as it was virtually impossible to separate them in an intact form and safe way from the supporting geometry. No biggie, I'll replace them with wires, and I got exactly what I was came for - experience. Stuff like these cranes? Possible, but not viable.
Now, for the cleaning. It's time to get rid of any surface that was necessarily to support the model as it was built, but now it's esentially just unnecessary scaffolding. Surely a lot of you like to make model kits, and let me assure you - PLA in it's current iteration is nothing like modeling materials (ABS, PS, PC, PP, can't tell from the top of my head). PLA is rigid and brittle, my usual approach (sandpaper and scalpel) failed spectacularly.
Ultimately I did my best with a flush cutter and a needle nose plier: not destroying the important stuff while getting rid of the ballast. Sort of. As you can see, it was... an ungodly chore:
In the end I decided to get rid of most of the thin parts (you can see the lack of any rigging on the ship for now, the reason is similarly fully technical) and replace them with copper wire.
So, here we are now:
I managed to salvage the aft underwater section better than I ever hoped at first glance, but the surfaces are extremely rough due to the PLA not feeling like cooperating. I could maybe try to get the better of it with a dremel tool, but nah. Probably not worth the effort.
(part of the) SMS Balaton. Like I said, this is intended to be an experimental project - turned out to be alright, but the one thing I am salty about is the lack of uptakes. Those had a 0,8mm wall thickness on my original 3D model, in theory twice the nozzle size of the printer. Due to the file's drop of dimensions and the resulting frantic resizing party, wall thickness became some value that the printer wanted nothing to do with ultimately, apparently. As such - I have the solid base of the uptakes, but the "pipe"-part of them are missing. I will try to reprint properly and replace them sometime later. They would add a lot to the overall looks.
Screws look downright daunting on the close-ups, but considering they are 5mm in diameters, suddenly they feel beautiful. They'll probably get a bronze coating and they'll be good to go.
I'll probably update the topic whenever I get around to continue working on the ship. Future plans include fixing the uptakes, crafting some kind of mast using a bit wider copper wire, maybe making (or printing?) a pair of anchors, and.. I guess that's about it? After that, I'll try my hardest to paint her somehow. I am curious how well is it possible to paint the PLA, and what kind of overall look could I give to the model. I could use some commercially available detail kits as well, resin parts or photo etched parts, but first of all, the model is not an easy one to be scaled to some proper ratio, and secondly, I feel like keeping the whole "home-cooked" idea as best as I can. ...not to mention the costs of proper modeling, eh?
And after all is done, who knows. Maybe an RtW2-esque carrier, or a fast battleship next? Or a sub? The unsung heroes, the minelayers? Anyway, let's take one step at a time.
Thank you for your time, hope you found interesting!