3D Print and Airbrush a Realistic Scale Model!


– [Enthusiast] This is a 3D
printed HO scale water tower. It’s my first attempt at scale modeling and it wasn’t as difficult
as I thought it would be, so I’m going to show you
the steps that I took to build this model. I started out by searching
Thingiverse for HO scale models and I found this water tower
design by user kabrumble that I really liked. It seemed well designed,
interesting and complex without being difficult to print. The instructions said it
didn’t need anything special like supports or rafts, so
I downloaded all the files, loaded them in Slicer and
followed the directions to keep with 20% infill for the
larger items and 100% infill for the smaller items like
the ladders and the deck. Once the designs were sliced,
I loaded them onto an SD card and put them into the Prusa MK2S. I printed the water tower using
White Hatchbox PLA Filament and fortunately, everything
printed successfully on the very first attempt. This is a very well designed
model, especially considering that there was a lot of bridging
and a lot of complex areas that didn’t include any supports. There was a lot of stringing
on the prints and a few areas came out a bit funky because
of the lack of supports, but overall, it was a really
quick, really easy print. To clean up the prints, I used
a lighter, a deburring tool and 400 grit extra fine sandpaper. Whenever I have prints that
have a lot of stringing like this, I like to take a lighter and just quickly pass the
flame over the strings. It usually works pretty well. It is very important to make sure that the flame doesn’t stay
on the prints for too long because PLA can start
to melt pretty quickly and you can make the mistake I did and end up destroying
your print pretty easily. Fortunately, because these
are 3D printed, I was able to just print another part
and about 25 minutes later, everything was good as new. I then decided to skip the
flame and clean up this piece using just the sharp blade. The deburring tool is really helpful to just smooth out parts
of the prints and get rid of any burrs that need to be deburred. And finally, some extra
fine sand paper always helps to smooth out the prints and really improve their
overall appearance. It’s also an easy way to get
rid of layer lines like this that could end up ruining
the appearance of a print. Once all the pieces were
cleaned up and looked good, I gave them a rinse under
the faucet and let them dry. I spray painted the
pieces with a gray primer using a cardboard box as
a makeshift spray booth. Once all of the pieces were primed, I left them to dry outside
for about 20 minutes. Back inside, it was finally
time to fire up the airbrush and I’ve recently gotten into
airbrushing, so I was really excited to be able to
incorporate it into this project. I’m using a dual action airbrush,
which just basically means that the trigger has two functions. You press the trigger
down to begin the airflow and then pull it back to
begin the flow of paint. This gives you a bit more
control over the flow of paint, which is really helpful
when painting small pieces like these. I did a bit of research
online, which basically means I just went to Google images
and looked at water towers to try and help figure
out which colors to use and I finally decided to use a
combination of red and white. I started out by loading
the airbrush with red paint knowing that the gray primer
would end up dulling the color and give it a bit more
of a weathered look. This ended up working
really well and I ended up liking the effect quite a bit. To give the appearance of
rust and age, I mixed in some brown paint with the red
paint and put that on areas of the tower that might see a
little more stress and weather than others. The end result came out really nice. It actually looks a lot like the color of the Golden Gate Bridge. Again, with this model, any
imperfections actually just help improve the overall effect. To paint the main portion
of the tank, I used a bit of painter’s tape to mask it
off, so that way the bottom could have the red color and I decided to paint
the tank itself white knowing that maybe some
point in the future, it’d be cool to add a city name or a logo on the tank itself. It did take a few layers of
white to cover up the primer all the way and felt a little
bit futile to do all that work just to get it back to its original color, but I guess that’s part of the process. Once I was happy with how
everything was painted, it was time to finally assemble the tower. I started out by placing the
decking around the bottom of the tank, which was
actually pretty easy to just snap into place. It was a really snug, firm fit. I didn’t need to use any
kind of glue or adhesive. I did have a little bit of
trouble attaching the tank to the tower itself. I think I was just being
impatient with the super glue and I’m sure somebody with
more scale modeling experience would’ve had a much easier time than me. So, once I convinced myself to just be a little more patient, everything came together just fine. Then it was time to
attach the final details like the ladders and the
top of the water tank. Honestly, I was surprised at how good this water tower looked. It’s a great model, it
was super fun to paint. I did have to retouch some
areas that I messed up as I was assembling the model. That was a pretty easy task. I think this would make
a fantastic addition to an HO scale scene or if
you’re new to the hobby like me, it’s also a great first dive into the world of scale modeling. And I do wanna take a moment
and give credit to Luke Towan who has an incredible
scale modeling channel that I’ve been watching for a long time. His tutorials and videos
were the motivating factor for me to try this out for myself. (light music) I hope this was a helpful and interesting and possibly even entertaining
look into my journey into the world of scale modeling. I’d love to do more projects
like this in the future and share with you what
I learned along the way. (light music)

12 Replies to “3D Print and Airbrush a Realistic Scale Model!

  1. This is pretty cool. I use to do IT for a company that worked with 3d models via cad files and all that jazz. That was a few years before 3d printing because a thing though. Very interesting.

  2. Is that what you've been doing in the garage?? ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ YOU ARE SO AMAZING! LET'S BUILD SIM CITY IN REAL LIFE BUT SCALED!

  3. The model is cool and the end product looks great. For me, you captured the experience nicely and your images were crisp and nice to look at. You use BRoll really well. A nicely told story with a great topic. #nosmallcreator

  4. Shouldnt it be called an H2O scale model ๐Ÿ˜…? It is looking really good. Considering that you have just started Air brushing, you are pretty good at it. Can you please point me at some videos or tutorials that you watched to get started with Air Brushing. Maybe……just maybe I will look into getting one for myself ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Loved this video man. Iโ€™ve just finished a scale model myself from when I used to make Warhammer houses 20 years ago! Your style of video is also awesome ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ

  6. Wow! What a video! The editing, the recording, the focus and the sound, I'm speechless! I have never in my short lived life seen such a great put together video for such a low subscriber count. Trust me, you are going to BLOW UP! And I am talking soon! Great video!

  7. gorilla glue makes a gel super glue that's awesome. It dries in 10 seconds. I use it for all my 3d printed water towers.

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