3D Prints based on the latest game or movie are to be expected at this point, but there’s also a contingent of the maker community who go to classics for inspiration on their next project. Fitting that bill perfectly today is this large and detail model of the Sea Duck, the famous seaplane from the TaleSpin cartoon.
Denny Hadel is the maker behind this project which is outstanding in just about every way. From the model itself to the painting and even the photographs provided to us for this story, everything is just about immaculate. Even this diagram of the plane’s files ooze quality.
The Sea Duck started life-like most 3D prints do, when Hadel wanted to make one but couldn’t find one that was good enough available online.
After ordering the DVD boxset of TaleSpin and watching it through for reference, modelling work began in Solid Works. Last year a giant version of it was printed with a 1.2 metre wingspan, as this was originally planned to actually fly, but that idea was scrapped.
When Hadel returned to the project a few months later the plane was scaled down by about 50% and all the moving parts like the control flaps were fixed in place.
With these changes made it was time to print with all the pieces going into the Sea Duck taking around one continuous week to finish. Hadel would start the new prints before work, hope nothing would go wrong while he was away, and then continue when he got home.
After gluing the individual pieces together this new version has a wing span of 60.5 centimetres. Much smaller than the original but still a large display piece. All that surface area means a lot of sanding, which is the step that followed.
Alternating rounds of filler, primer and more sanding followed until the plastic was suitable to be painted. Hadel first paid for the help of an airbrush artist but this first attempt failed after the paint failed to adhere to the plastic. A second artist was brought in after this, who used a transparent bonding agent to make sure the paint would stay in place this time.
Instead of the clean aesthetic of the cartoon, a more weathered look was chosen here. Aside from grime collecting in areas like panel lines and rivets, we love the darkened areas around the engines.
Aside from the pain some vinyl lettering was added such as the “Conwing L-16” label, which is the fictional make of the Sea Duck. A matt varnish was then applied over everything, followed by a final clear varnish that was applied in different thicknesses last uneven look.
At this point the model was windowless, so some pieces of blue acrylic were cut and inserted into the. With that the project was done, and you can see the results on this page.