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This arrived on my doorstep yesterday, thrown there by the courier-douche.

"Whatever can it be? " I thought to myself, "It's a box of MYSTERY!"

Maybe not all that mysterious. And fortunately, it was well packed and thus suffered not at all from the brutality of an uncaring courier.

 

2021-01-26_ElegooMarsPro.jpg

 

Inside the box was this, an Elegoo Mars Pro DLP resin printer.

The build quality of this printer is superb, all heavy-duty aluminium castings and stuff. It uses a 2k LED screen for exposure, so it's not as fine a resolution as the current crop of 4k models, but on the other hand it was a lot cheaper, and I very much doubt that the lower pixel resolution will matter much for my purposes. The default vertical resolution is 0.05mm, and it will go down to 0.01mm, though apparently there's little visual benefit in going below 0.03mm.

Setup was very easy, following the instructions in the illustrated user manual. It took me a lot longer to clear a space for it in my ridiculously overcrowded workroom.

It doesn't come with any sample resin, which is not that surprising considering the customs implications of mailing chemical liquids about the place, but I had thought ahead and bought 500ml of eSun water-washable resin to be going along with.

 

2021-01-26-MarsPro.jpg

 

Anyway. On to the printing.

The very first print out of it was this pair of chess rooks, a standard printing test file supplied on the USB drive with the printer.

 

2021-01-27-MarsTestPrints-001.jpg

 

They took about 3½ hours to print, and I have no idea what printing parameters were used because they came pre-sliced. They printed without a hitch, as should be expected, and immediately impressed me with the smoothness of their surfaces and the crispness of their surface detail.

So, on to printing some toys for Fitz!

 

I put one of my 1:100 scale models through ChituBox (the slicer used with this printer) and started to learn my way around that program. There is much to learn; it is quite different in many ways from Cura, though the principles are basically the same.

 

2021-01-27-MarsTestPrints-003.jpg

 

"But why, O Fitz," I hear you ask, "why did you print only the hull of the tank, and not also its turret?"

Well, I did try. Twice so far, and I'm on to attempt number three even as I write.

 

2021-01-26-MarsTestGrant.jpg

 

While the hull printed beautifully, the turret components were under-supported and fell off the build-plate.

I tried rebuilding the turret and peg as a single object and rearranging it (tilting it at an angle, like the hull) but the support connections were too weak, and once again it was pulled away from them by suction against the FEP in the resin bath.

Now I'm trying again, with more and beefier supports. We shall see how that goes, but I can foresee that the intricacies of supports are likely to be the thing that will cause me the most grief.

 

Incidentally, the colour of this resin is called "Skin", but frankly it looks little like any healthy skin I've ever seen on a normal human being. I think perhaps "Jaundice" would be a better name.

 

2021-01-27-MarsTestPrints-004.jpg

 

Success at last! Third time lucky!

I think, in the end, I may have over-supported the turret this time, but it gave me a successful print so I won't complain.

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4 hours ago, MojoBob said:

This arrived on my doorstep yesterday, thrown there by the courier-douche.

"Whatever can it be? " I thought to myself, "It's a box of MYSTERY!"

Maybe not all that mysterious. And fortunately, it was well packed and thus suffered not at all from the brutality of an uncaring courier.

 

2021-01-26_ElegooMarsPro.jpg

 

Inside the box was this, an Elegoo Mars Pro DLP resin printer.

The build quality of this printer is superb, all heavy-duty aluminium castings and stuff. It uses a 2k LED screen for exposure, so it's not as fine a resolution as the current crop of 4k models, but on the other hand it was a lot cheaper, and I very much doubt that the lower pixel resolution will matter much for my purposes. The default vertical resolution is 0.05mm, and it will go down to 0.01mm, though apparently there's little visual benefit in going below 0.03mm.

Setup was very easy, following the instructions in the illustrated user manual. It took me a lot longer to clear a space for it in my ridiculously overcrowded workroom.

It doesn't come with any sample resin, which is not that surprising considering the customs implications of mailing chemical liquids about the place, but I had thought ahead and bought 500ml of eSun water-washable resin to be going along with.

 

2021-01-26-MarsPro.jpg

 

Anyway. On to the printing.

The very first print out of it was this pair of chess rooks, a standard printing test file supplied on the USB drive with the printer.

 

2021-01-27-MarsTestPrints-001.jpg

 

They took about 3½ hours to print, and I have no idea what printing parameters were used because they came pre-sliced. They printed without a hitch, as should be expected, and immediately impressed me with the smoothness of their surfaces and the crispness of their surface detail.

So, on to printing some toys for Fitz!

 

I put one of my 1:100 scale models through ChituBox (the slicer used with this printer) and started to learn my way around that program. There is much to learn; it is quite different in many ways from Cura, though the principles are basically the same.

 

2021-01-27-MarsTestPrints-003.jpg

 

"But why, O Fitz," I hear you ask, "why did you print only the hull of the tank, and not also its turret?"

Well, I did try. Twice so far, and I'm on to attempt number three even as I write.

 

2021-01-26-MarsTestGrant.jpg

 

While the hull printed beautifully, the turret components were under-supported and fell off the build-plate.

I tried rebuilding the turret and peg as a single object and rearranging it (tilting it at an angle, like the hull) but the support connections were too weak, and once again it was pulled away from them by suction against the FEP in the resin bath.

Now I'm trying again, with more and beefier supports. We shall see how that goes, but I can foresee that the intricacies of supports are likely to be the thing that will cause me the most grief.

 

Incidentally, the colour of this resin is called "Skin", but frankly it looks little like any healthy skin I've ever seen on a normal human being. I think perhaps "Jaundice" would be a better name.

 

2021-01-27-MarsTestPrints-004.jpg

 

Success at last! Third time lucky!

I think, in the end, I may have over-supported the turret this time, but it gave me a successful print so I won't complain.

Oversupported is better then a floating hazard that could harm your FEP or leak onto the LCD.

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5 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

Awesome!

 

Do watch videos on youtube about 3D Resin printing.

I learned a lot from guys like 3Dprintingpro Uncle Jessy, Elegoo Official etc

seconded.  3dprintingpro has some fantastic support tutorials.

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Love how the tank turned out. I'm printing a pile of minis in 1/285 scale for WW2 canadians and germans right now. I have a CR-6 SE fdm printer so have to be careful what the stls look like to get them to turn out that small.

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2021-01-28-MarsGrant.jpg

 

I've got it painted up now, and I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out. I used some old Battlefront decals instead of painting on the tactical markings as I usually do — they're neater I guess, but I think I still prefer painting them. I'm not fond of decals.

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15 hours ago, MojoBob said:

I've got it painted up now, and I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out. I used some old Battlefront decals instead of painting on the tactical markings as I usually do — they're neater I guess, but I think I still prefer painting them. I'm not fond of decals.

Been a long time since I did much that either required decals or even had them avilable, but I found I was a lot happier with them after I discovered the Microscale Microsol/Microset .  Basically,

  1. Apply gloss varnish to the area to be decaled. Let dry completely
  2. While soaking decal, apply microset to the area.  
  3. slide decal onto wet Microset and position.
  4. brush a thin layer of microset over the top. Leave a few moments to soften. (if area is particularly textured or concave/convex use the microsol instead, it will melt the decal more.  It is advised to do test runs on scrap with decals you won't use to practice/verify amounts and timing)
  5. gently blot with a damp cotton pad or swab to absorb excess moisture
  6. if necessary prick bubbles with a pin and reapply a little microset.
  7. allow to dry completely
  8. gloss varnish again
  9. apply matte varnish over top of gloss if that finish is desired. 

There's another solution from Gunze that supposedly is stronger and designed for the thicker/tougher decals like the ones that hasegawa uses, but requires more care as it can actually melt into the plastic if not done carefully.

 

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I've been printing some 1/200 scale WW1 aeroplanes, because although it never seems to work out in practice, in theory I want to play WW1 aerial wargames. (Unfortunately nobody else I know seems to concur.)

 

They're pretty small, but well within the capabilities of the Mars. Average wingspan is about 35-40mm.

 

Anyway, for the most part they seem to be turning out OK, but the Fokker Triplane in the foreground has had some warping in the front edges of its top and bottom starboard-side wings. It seemed to me to be adequately supported, but maybe not? The supporting is symmetrical on both sides of the wings, so what would cause warping like this on just one side?

2021-01-30-WW1aircraft1-200-001.jpg

2021-01-30-WW1aircraft1-200-002.jpg

Edited by MojoBob
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In spite of the fact that absolutely none of my friends seem to share my view that WW1 aerial wargaming is great, I do persist in making little aeroplanes for the express purpose of WW1 aerial wargaming.

These are my latest attempts, in a new scale: 1/200, off my new printer. These ones are from STLs I've picked up somewhere, I don't recall where, but I'm designing some of my own as well. Generally, printing has gone pretty straightforwardly, but I'm getting some warping in the leading edges of the starboard top and bottom wings on the Fokker Dr1 (front).

I think the Wings of War/Wings of Glory models are 1/144, which is a good scale for these planes too. I might try one or two in that scale.

 

2021-01-31_AlbatrosDV.jpg

 

I've been tinkering with making some 1/200 models of my own. I've been a bit intimidated about modeling aircraft because of all their compound curves, but WW1 aeroplanes are a lot easier in that respect — most of them are just made up of canvas-covered wooden frames.

This one, the Albatros DVa, is one of the curvier planes of the time, but even so its fuselage is a pretty simple shape to create. It had a monocoque fuselage built up from laminated plywood, which made it light and strong. 

 

2021-01-31-AlbatrosDVa_TestPrint.jpg

 

The first test print went well, so I think I can call it a success.

I've only stripped off the supports, and I haven't done any other cleaning up, so there are a few nubbins and things that will need to be taken care of.

It should up-scale to 1/144 without any problems, though I wouldn't take it any larger than that as it would start looking very chunky. It would probably print at 1/300 too, though I wouldn't make any promises in that regard.

Edited by MojoBob
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On 1/29/2021 at 9:16 AM, Cygnwulf said:

Been a long time since I did much that either required decals or even had them avilable, but I found I was a lot happier with them after I discovered the Microscale Microsol/Microset .  Basically,

  1. Apply gloss varnish to the area to be decaled. Let dry completely
  2. While soaking decal, apply microset to the area.  
  3. slide decal onto wet Microset and position.
  4. brush a thin layer of microset over the top. Leave a few moments to soften. (if area is particularly textured or concave/convex use the microsol instead, it will melt the decal more.  It is advised to do test runs on scrap with decals you won't use to practice/verify amounts and timing)
  5. gently blot with a damp cotton pad or swab to absorb excess moisture
  6. if necessary prick bubbles with a pin and reapply a little microset.
  7. allow to dry completely
  8. gloss varnish again
  9. apply matte varnish over top of gloss if that finish is desired. 

There's another solution from Gunze that supposedly is stronger and designed for the thicker/tougher decals like the ones that hasegawa uses, but requires more care as it can actually melt into the plastic if not done carefully.

 

 

Walter's Solvaset is even stronger then Sol. I still use Set, but Solvaset to conform decals (no matter the brand). Apply decal brush Solvaset & walk away.

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2021-02-03-SE5a.jpg

 

I built this 1/200 scale model of a RAF* SE5a in Blender, and printed it on my Elegoo Mars Pro. The wingspan is about 40mm.

The Lewis gun is much too large in scale, but I feared that if I made it smaller it would become insignificant, and possibly not print. However, I now think it could be shrunk a bit.

Up until now, my WW1 aerial wargaming collection has been entirely in 1/300, about half and half commercial castings (Heroics & Ros, mostly) and wire and cardboard scratch-builds.

 

There has got to be an easier way of doing the RFC roundels. In spite of my distaste for decals, I'd even go so far as that, if it didn't cost an arm and a leg to buy decals from across the seas.

* In this case, RAF stands for Royal Aircraft Factory, not Royal Air Force. Though in 1918 it could also stand for Royal Air Force, in which case it would be a RAF RAF SE5a.

 

(A little later.....)

 

Gyahhhh!

 

I dropped the build plate into my resin bath and punched a tiny hole in my FEP. And just to rub salt into those wounds, the print itself was a partial failure.

 

Fortunately, it didn't damage the LED screen, and I patched the hole in the FEP with a little piece of clear packing tape, which will hopefully do the trick until some new FEP arrives in a couple of weeks. The hole is right down one end of the bath, so as long as I stick to the centre of the build plate, it shouldn't have any effect. Fingers crossed.

 

My first print after the event failed entirely, sticking to the FEP and not at all to the build plate, so I guess I must have knocked it out of level by the impact. I've re-levelled it now, so once again — fingers crossed.

Edited by MojoBob
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15 hours ago, MojoBob said:

 

 

There has got to be an easier way of doing the RFC roundels. In spite of my distaste for decals, I'd even go so far as that, if it didn't cost an arm and a leg to buy decals from across the seas.

 

 

 

 

Do you know about BNA World out of Australia? They might have those decals your looking for.

 

Nice prints!!

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