Many people ask me, why do you only make 1:72 kits? These are small planes, why not make them 1:48 or bigger?
First though, I should mention that I am a 1:72 guy. I love the fact that virtually any aeroplane ever made can be replicated in that scale, from a Mignet Pou-de-Ciel to the C5 Galaxy. But still, when clearly so many people would like to build civilian subjects in 1:48 or bigger, why not?
Well, it is a bit like asking a little corner café why they don’t cater wedding receptions. What is technically possible is not necessarily practical. Working on my own, I do short runs of 24 or so kits, then move on. I will of course return and do more batches if folk want it, but those are my numbers, and it seems to work well. These numbers allow me to make parts in multiples of 6, 12 or 24 on the 3d printer efficiently. To demonstrate, here is a build plate set up for some Piper Warrior fuselages:
As you can see, I can fit 24 fuselages on one print, which is great. I stick it on before bed, and next morning all done.
Now, if I scale those fuselages up by 1.5 (1:48 scale)..
Yup, I can only get 15 on. An efficiency hit of 37.5%. Not a disaster, but of course those fuselages are also taller than the 1:72 ones, so it may well be morning coffee before I can get at them.
Here is another part.
This is the interior, which I print pretty much level, so it is a more reliable print, and also quicker. I do 12 at a time in 1:72:
…in 1:48, I can’t even get 8 on the bed, although it looks like I could get 7 if I twisted one. So not only are the numbers of parts going down drastically, but the multiples are becoming very irregular, which just makes my head ache.
And there’s more.
It is true, I can take any part and upscale it at a few clicks. But remember these are parts that have been designed to have optimum detail in 1:72 scale. Do you want panel lines that are .5mm wide? That’s quite chunky when you see it in the flesh. The truth is, I would want to start at least the detail afresh if I was designing in 1:48 or any larger scale. And the majority of the work in CAD is the detail.
Remember, a 1:48 part is 1.5 times bigger that a 1:72 part in any 1 direction, but 3.375 times bigger in volume. I reckon the work involved upscales closer to the latter than the former.
So folks, not enough hours in the day I’m afraid. At least for the moment…
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