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Hello from Oklahoma

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riverman
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Hello from Oklahoma

#1

Post by riverman »

Hello from Oklahoma

Greetings everybody,
My name is Russell (Russ) Dutnell, and although I have heard about Kampgruppe144 for some time now, I just joined and am now a new member.
My first foray in small scale modeling was in 2013 when I made a 1/350 scale diorama of the planes my dad flew during his 20 year career in the USAF. I had been using AutoCAD (and AutoCAD Civil3D) for many years, both for work and play, so I designed the planes in AutoCAD C3D, and had them printed at Click2Detail (C2D). I then painted them, added decals that I made, slapped some clear spinning props to them and mounted them on rods that I put in a base that I also designed and made. Dad really liked it.
DadsPlanes.png
I posted the process I used on SSM (I believe it was) and people stated asking if I could make this model or that, and so I did. I made a lot of them until C2D went out of business. Shapeways was a royal pain, and between that and my life getting busy, I stopped doing any modeling, and the models I had made were no longer available. A few years later, I don’t recall exactly when, pressure from a couple of people who wanted my models, I put a bunch of them on Shapeways. I won’t go into all of it, but the angst they caused me was ridiculous, and then I was told about the Anycubic Photon printer.
In case you haven’t heard of them, the Photon is a miniature SLA 3D printer that uses liquid resin which is solidified and cured by UV light, and allows me to print in 0.025mm layers. One thing that seems odd at first is that the parts print upside down. In this photo I have just started a print and the initial layers are being made. It is quite some time before you can see the parts, and the prints take a long time to print. For example, Tray 1 of the 1/144 scale HH-3, which includes the airframe, interior, and rotor blades takes 17 hours to print. Remember, it’s doing 0.025mm layers, zapping each layer for a specified amount of time (8 seconds for Phrozen gray), then proceeding to the next one. Even small parts like those on Tray 2 of the 1/144 scale Cessna 337 or O-2 take 3 hours to print.
FirstPrint01.png
When the print is complete the tray raises itself to the top of the bar, and the parts are hanging upside down from the tray.
FirstPrint12.png
One thing you should know about this process is that the resin is toxic until it is completely cured, so gloves are a must when handling either the resin, or the printed parts, and eye protection is highly recommended. So, at this point I suit up and gently pry the parts off of the plate into a bowl of 90%+ alcohol, where I shake them and jostle them for a minute or two, and then place them in another bowl of 90%+ alcohol, and shake and jostle them some more before laying them out on three layers thick paper towels. The picture below shows parts waiting to be cleaned.

3D printing I have discovered is an art into itself and there are two primary components to mastering that art; orienting and supporting the parts in a way that supports the part so that it will print, using the least amount of material in a manner that both supports the part but is easy to remove, and removing the supports without damaging the part. Being an engineer aligning and supporting the parts came easy; I’m still struggling with removing the supports, but I’m starting to get the hang of it and break fewer parts. Part of it is timing.

When the parts first come off the printer, they are really soft. As long as they aren’t exposed to UV light they will remain this way, but as they cure they harden becoming almost brittle. For large parts removing supports is easy when they are still soft, because they can just be snapped off by hand. But, this is not the case for most of my parts which are small, and have to be removed using flat toe nail clippers, or some such tool. They tend to break easier when they are soft. Yet, if they are completely cured they also break easier, and/or take a lot longer to do.

I have found that if I leave them sitting out in my room, which receives no direct sunlight (at least at this time of the year), for a day or two, that the ambient UV light cures them ever so slightly making them a little harder, but not too hard. The material seems to be most forgiving at this stage.

I didn’t intend to give you a blow by blow description of what goes into making a 3D print, but there you go. And now I am selling them, though I am by no means a salesman or model making company. I’m just a guy that really enjoys making models in AutoCAD using whatever plans and pictures I can find who wants to make those models available to those who enjoy putting models together. I have already had three orders since yesterday’s posting so if you want one of my models, bear with me, I’m a one man show with one printer.

Happy modeling!
Russ

bootneck42
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Re: Hello from Oklahoma

#2

Post by bootneck42 »

Hi Russ,

That is a very interesting and useful descriptive you have posted, thank you. I have a few of your models already, some when they were sold by Click2Detail and Shapeways, and some from your new resin printed method, which means that I am able to compare and comment on the different types.

For anyone considering buying models from Russ, I can vouch that the his models are way better than those produced by the previous suppliers. Not that those suppliers were less professional, just that they use FDM plastic which is the type that leaves those unsightly lines. The Anycubic Photon printer which Russ describes is virtually the same as the Eligoo Mars, which some of you may also be aware of.

These liquid resin models are much smoother, don't have those lines and they can be sanded/filed to a really smooth and polished finish. The models also take primers and paints well and should look very nice when painted and put on display.

We wish you the very best in your new venture Russ, especially as you are producing models that we want in 1:144 scale, which are not being considered by the plastic kit makers,

Cheers,
Mike
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pbhawkin
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Re: Hello from Oklahoma

#3

Post by pbhawkin »

Hi Russ and welcome to Kampfgruppe144.
You will find that this place has a worldwide collection of members who have their finger on the pulse of the 1/144 world.

I have come across you on the old SSM site as well as shapeways and C2D.
I used to sell resin kits I cast from masters that were made from CAD designed and CnC milled parts (made in the Ukraine). Originally my masters in the early days were carved Huon Pine! I did this for almost 10 years.
I initially sold them through word of mouth, on forums and then EBay and eventually my own website. I would suggest to cut your costs (and hassles) avoid Ebay and unless you get a free or very cheap website then avoid that as well!
Word of mouth (or blatant advertising on forums) will be sufficient to allow you time to make your kits, unless you are able to sell large volumes (ie orders of 5 or more copies of a kit and multiple kits at a time)!
I used TMP, Aeroscale, this forum, HyperScale, Britmodeller, ARC forums, HyperScale, Aussie modeller international, Scalemates, and a couple of others!
I couldn’t always keep up with the demand!

Anyway, you will find out what suits you and your lifestyle with this I am sure.

Regards
Regards
Peter

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BigReg
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Re: Hello from Oklahoma

#4

Post by BigReg »

Hi Russ, a big welcome from here in Devon. I too bought your models, the Phantom, from C2D. They kept on getting the files mixed up and producing hybrids of your designs. I am delighted to see you join the group and hope you get more orders.
David

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Re: Hello from Oklahoma

#5

Post by riverman »

Thanks Peter and David!

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Re: Hello from Oklahoma

#6

Post by Dave998 »

Howdy, Riverman Russ, and thanks for your interesting and informative posts. The work you are doing looks awesome, and the subject list amazing; can't wait to see more pictures of your products as they come along. If you choose to use PayPal for sales transactions, I'm sure I will become a frequent flyer/buyer. Curious about the backstory of your Riverman handle...
A hearty welcome aboard, and very best wishes for your project!

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smeg1959
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Re: Hello from Oklahoma

#7

Post by smeg1959 »

Welcome, Russ! Great to have you on board. As you will find as you surf through the forum, there are a number of members who market their own lines of 1/144 kits and accessories, covering resin, 3D printing, decals, PE, etc. And I really enjoyed reading your description of the 3D process, from drafting to the final product. Having witnessed a few higher-end printers in action, I find the whole thing fascinating, from the chemistry of the resins used through to design aspects like the orientation likely to give the best print.

I love seeing the variety of 1/144 models now available through Shapeways but, like many others here, balk at the excessive prices they charge, particularly if you decide on the higher grades of finish (which is almost mandatory for most items in our scale). As I mentioned elsewhere, I was hoping to get friendly with the 3D and CNC wizards in my university to see whether they'd let me print off the odd model, but with the current working-from-home routine, methinks that won't happen until sometime in 2021 (if ever). So I reckon it is brilliant that you have grasped the bull by the horns and bought your own high-res printer. And from Mike's comments, it definitely sounds like the liquid resin is the way forward.

All the best with the venture, Russ. :D
OTB ...
GB14 - CAC CA-19 Boomerang (KdK)
GB15 - Grumman Martlet Mk III (Sweet)
Shelf of Shame - Don't ask!

riverman
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Re: Hello from Oklahoma

#8

Post by riverman »

Thanks Dave and Smeg (and anyone I may have missed). I appreciate the welcome.

First I'll answer Dave's question about my Riverman handle. 20+ years ago I was working in the Water Quality Division at the Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC). I was hired to do water quality modeling for them, which I was already doing at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), except at ODEQ they were only looking at point source pollution (the stuff coming out of pipes) whereas OCC wanted to look at point sources and non-point sources (the stuff that runs off the land). They offered me more money and said that due to lack of space I would have to office in the Cleveland County District, which is in Norman, a 5 minute drive from home, and not in OKC, a 40 minute drive without traffic. Well that was a no-brainer. I took the job.

I did some water quality modeling for them but within the first year, my boss sent me to an "Introduction to Fluvial Geomorphology" class, taught by Dave Rosgen, a cowboy from Colorado, and it changed my life. So right about now your probably asking yourself what the heck is fluvial whatsis. It's just what it says it is; fluvial - of or relating to flow, Geo - of or realting to the earth, and morph - the shape of. So fluvial geomorphology is the study of the form and processes of water as it flows over the earth.

Have you ever wondered why a river channel at any location is as wide and deep as it is. The water seldom fills the channel, so why isn't it smaller, and yet sometimes it floods onto the surrounding floodplains, so why isn't it bigger? The answer is that river channels (or creeks, streams, brooks, rills...) are sediment transporting machines; they move the mountains to the sea. The shape of a channel, including its size, is the product of eons of work done by that sediment on the materials through which it flows. Well it turns out that if you do a flood frequency analysis on any channel, anywhere in the world, the channel corresponds to a flow with a 1-1/2 year return interval. Now, the term return interval is somewhat passé because, for example, a 100-year flood might happen two years in a row. A 100-year storm is really a storm that has 1 in a 100 (or 1%) chance of occurring in a given year. A "bankfull" flood has a 66% chance of occurring in any given year. They occur on average once every year and a half, but you might have 2 or 3 one year, and not have one for 2 or 3 years.

Equally as important is the fact that the plan view of a creek, or river, or..., the length between bends, and the radius of curvature of the bends, is a function of the width of the channel. The sinusoidal pattern rivers make is due to the fact that it is the form that most evenly distributes the energy, as seen in the images below.
ChannelForm.png
The beautiful thing about this is that if you know the bankfull discharge, and bankfull width, you can restore an altered channel to its "natural" channel. So, I have been studying and restoring creeks and rivers ever since then.

But I digress. I found my passion as you can see, and I can talk (and write) about it forever. To answer your question...

One of my first projects was at an elementary school in Moore, where I restored a straight section of a creek (essentially a ditch) to a creek meandering through a floodplain. A couple of years later I was at the grocery store in Norman, standing in line at checkout (I didn't have to social distance then), and a kid in front of me asks me, "Aren't you the Riverman?" He had been going to the school when I did the project, and that's what the students called me.

Shortly after that, when a change in governor, led to a change in OCCs upper management and a change in priority (read screw the environment), my boss, who was awesome left. I was right behind him and started my own company (a sole proprietorship with no employees; too much responsibility) and so I took the name I had been given.

I promise that my responses will not always contain lectures.

Cheers!

bootneck42
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Re: Hello from Oklahoma

#9

Post by bootneck42 »

That was most enlightening Russ. I had already received your history of the Jacobson Gate Project and Fluvial river concepts; a riverting read. (did you see what I did there? :lol: )

cheers,

Mike
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BigReg
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Re: Hello from Oklahoma

#10

Post by BigReg »

Did Russ STREAM it to you Mike??? :lol:
David

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