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Themaninthesuitcase SE-44C build

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For reasons I'm not 100 sure of, maybe some futile hope this will end up in a TFA kit, I've started a SE-44C build based on the files Germain so kindly provides.



Printing the outer shell


I'm printing it on my standard Prusa Mk2, no mods or updates outside firmware.  I'm using the new linear advance feature that allows me to print faster with better quality than before.  Filament is Filamentive rPLA for the black and Rigid Ink for the white.  The RI is good but expensive, the filamentive is not quite as good but close and a fair bit cheaper.   I didn't make notes of the print time but it was around 24 hours as I had to do the sight twice.



Outer Shell


I've had some issues with sag on some parts where they needed support but nothing outrageous that a bit of filler can't fix.  I'm hoping I'll be able to glue the white parts before assembly as the originals look to be 1 part and there's some minor warping I'd prefer to address with glue and not just rely on the screws.



Starting to test parts


I've made a cursory start at post processing using some files to smooth and round some edges and fix some minor flaws from support or lack of in a few places.


I still have to print the mounting bracket but there's no urgency as that shouldn't take long I just need to do it.



SE-44C Parts


Screws will be ordered once I've finished my Christmas shopping.  I'll probably just order 1 set of M4 and 1 set of M3 and cut them down as needed.  As they are only available with the driver bit they are significantly more expensive than normal hex heads.


In all very happy with my starting point and I am looking forward to making, slow, progress on the build.

Edited by themaninthesuitcase
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A little more progress to report:


I glued the halves together using Gorilla Superglue Tough formula.  This is nice and thick and has proven great for PLA parts.  I did this on a flat surface with a sheet of greaseproof to try get as perfect a result as possible.  There was a tiny step but nothing at all to worry about.


I filled the seams and also fixed some other problem areas which will be sanded once the putty has had time to go off properly.  I also added some filler to a few of the other parts that need more than a light sanding.



Start of filling Issues


I also drilled the top part of the sight for the pins and the front bit that drops down.  To do this I used a small 1.8mm drill bit in the wheel pin holes to locate the top to the riser.  With the parts eyeballed as straight as I could I ran a 3mm drill bit down the riser pin well and turned it enough to mark the top.  I then used digital callipers to measure the width and then halved this and used the callipers to score a centre line on the part.  This showed my eyeballing was pretty good and I was actually less than 0.5mm from ideal.


To drill the hole I used 2 sizes of drill bits in a pin vice, starting with a 1.3mm fish one to create a pilot. That done I used the riser, pined in place again, to act as a drill guide to create the 3mm hole.  I didn't do the other end as I don't think there's enough meat on the part to create a worth while pin seat.  I'll just glue this end.


Hopefully this shows what I mean a bit better than my words explain it.


How I lined it all up to drill accurately


The front hole for the part "Visor 4" was done similarly but instead I used the same centre line and used the callipers to place the hole centre to match the reference.  This appears to be the tip is approximately flush or a tiny bit proud.  Again 3 stages of drilling with the pin vice to create the actual hole to ensure it stayed on centre. 


This evening I ran over the white cases with some 180, 100 or 120 would probably be faster but 180 is what I have.  This removed the worst of the print lines and once I've finished the fill and sand cycle on a few bits the rest will be fixable with filler primer.  The seams are looking really good now, but there's a few holes still where the support was on the bottom edge.


Hoping to get the sanding work all done soon in prep for filler primer.  Just not sure when I'll be able to spray as it's not really rattle can weather right now!

Edited by themaninthesuitcase
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Finished off the initial filling and sanding this evening.  There's a couple of small bits that aren't perfect but these should be more or less hidden once assembled so I'm not going to spend hours fixing them for little gain.



Initial filling Complete


Next step is a coat of filler primer but given it's not got above 3ºC for a couple of weeks I'm not sure when I'll be able to do that.  Once it's in filler primer I'll rub it back with 180 and with any luck that should leave me ready for final prime and paint.

Edited by themaninthesuitcase
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The secure torx arrived today. I got 10 M3x16 and 10 M4x25, the idea is I’ll be able to use the M3 as is and I’ll need to shorten down some of the M4 with a saw. I did it this way as they come with the torx bit so ordering multiple lengths adds to the cost significantly.

I’ll confirm once I’ve had time to check this and what lengths I ended up with.

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Dug this out today to work on during lockdown.  Also fished out the F-11D I printed but that's for later.


Fixed all the images on this thread lost when Flickr made me delete a load of photos.

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  • 1 month later...

I guess I should show some progress!




Essentially the main body is all ready for final prime and paint. 


All the small detail parts I want to reprint on my Elegoo Mars resin printer but need to finish sorting the spare room for it first.  The last furniture should arrive tomorrow so I may be able to start next week with any luck.  I was running it in the conservatory but the light levels in there are not just far too high to be using a UV curing product.  I just need to find some curtains for that room!


Took a while to get to this point as I am having to learn how to sand.  Sound stupid but knowing what grits to use and when to change is actually harder than it sounds.  Also I think I have a habit of going too course which doesn't really do as much other than leave deep scratches.  I think I am going to make 150 my "heavy" grit for PLA work from now on, the 120 just was too aggressive.

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  • 7 months later...

Found some mojo just before the new year and started working on things that have sat idle for months.  Part of the problem that broke me was rushing things and making silly mistakes and wasting lots of effort/materials/money.  This time I am taking it slower. Starting with my blasters, and specifically the smallest this SE-44C first printed before TLJ even came out :laugh1:




I've printed all the small parts again in resin, though I apparently forgot the trigger so that is to follow.  I had primed the main parts in the summer but a 400grit sanding has gone through in a few areas so I'll need to re-prime before colour.




I also made some new side plate for both the SE-44C and F-11D.  I printed them as 2 layers to make sanding easier and added holes where the mounting bolts will (hopefully) go.  I will make these but only glue them once I am confident that they will fit the thigh plate as I will need to drill into the blaster with some reasonably large bits.


Essentially I am now at paint and assembly stage on this one, so should be finished by 2043.

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22 hours ago, themaninthesuitcase said:


 so should be finished by 2043.

That is hilarious, made me laugh out aloud :laugh1:

Glad to see you back on the band wagon with your builds.

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Looking forward to see you progress within the next few years. :)
Maybe you can move the target deadline slightly forward. Let's say 2039?

Man, I can so relate, I have a bunch of open projects laying here since.... well I can't even remember, but it's been years!

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Ugh you're all so demanding!


I had the air brush out for something else so I ended up starting some colour! 




This is the cocking handle, that apparently needed sanding^, and the red thingy that goes on the side.  Hot glued to a cocktail stick for something to hold but is easy to remove.


The handle is just in a matt black primer, I need to decide on matt black or satin black for the blaster.  Any input would be appreciated.  


The "red thingy*" is white primer (both primers are Vallejo if you care) and then some gloss Tamiya Red.  I will probably also use some gloss clear too to help reduce scratching.


I also had a bit of a shuffle in the work room so that the air brush is less effort to get out hopefully helping with momentum.  I am also tempted to get the Ryobi Battery glue gun as well as I do use it a reasonable amount and means it wouldn't need to live in a drawer due to a wire.


^ good luck seeing it at more than 20cm though.

* only the finest technical terms here.

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Progress? Twice in a week? Outrageous.


I assembled the sight assembly similar to I did before, but actually glued it.  So used a drill bit to align the top to the riser, line it all up and then use a 3mm drill to add a locating hole to the top through the riser. This allowed me to use the 2 drill bits to align the parts whilst I super glued them together.


Today a bunch of odds and ends came in so I was able to finish the pre-paint work.


First the axle pin for the pulley:




The drill bit I used was about 1.8mm diameter.  An easy and cheap option for this is pin nails, which are 1.6mm so close enough for imperial work.  As I was ordering some other fixings to finish off this blaster I ordered some brass ones to make cutting and smoothing easier.  The brass can be easily cut with a pair of pliers and sands/files smooth quickly and easily.


As there was holes in the riser and base plate I wanted to screw them together for extra strength. There is hardly any clearance under the plate so I opted to use counter sunk screws.  The holes in the riser are 3mm so M3 wasn't an option, so I ordered a 3.3mm drill bit so I could tap them M4.  I also used a counter sync on the base for the heads.  Protip: when counter syncing slower is better or they go hexagonal, apparently.




The riser is only just wide enough for M4 if  you look below you can see the thread through the resin.  The resin is slightly transparent so it's not as bad as it seems.




The end result seems nice and solid.  I'll prime with black this in parts and then assemble the pulley section so I can fix any glue residue.  This will all then get final colour.


I also got some long M4 grub screws to mount the trigger.  I've gone for one 20mm long to act as the axle, and then 2 shorter 4mm ones to plug the ends and look tidy.  Really I should have used a 3mm shaft and just used the 4mm screws to hold it in.  Hind sight is lovely isn't it!




The trigger was actually a failed print.  The under side lifted and I realised this make it more ergonomically shaped so I ended up filing the other side to match and rounding it off.  This makes it look better vs the solid block look it had before. I've not fitted the short grub screws here as I am just testing the fit.


The TLJ PDF (I don't have one for the TFA files and I can't find anything on here) specs a 14mm long 4.5mm diameter spring.  This can be made from a pen spring so I did that, but unfortunately this did not fit.  So using Fusion 360 I measured the holes in the parts which came out at about 3.8mm +- a snifter.   This means I don't have anything I can use to hand.  Fortunately my loving wife found a supplier that sells springs to order, in a huge range of sizes and rates.   https://springsandthings.me.uk 


These are cut from a length so mm accuracy isn't guaranteed so I've ordered over and I can cut down if needed, and in 2 different strengths. This also means they are "unfinished" and they won't have the flat ends, so may wear into the parts.  This isn't a huge deal though as I can't imagine me using it a lot and worst case I'll glue it in place.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Springs came.  They were quite a bit over the length I asked for so needed to be trimmed.  Not overly easy to do accurately but when trimmed to ~13mm these were perfect.


So final specs 3.18mm dia 13mmlong .  I ordered 2 and I used the softer of the 2, not sure which one that is but I think it's the stainless 0.41mm wire



Been a busy week so not much happened but I did manage to get the last part printed so yeah "just paint" to go.

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