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1/48 3D Printed RESIN USN P-6 Catapult


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3D PRINTED RESIN 1/48 scale USN P-6 CATAPULT BASE REVIEW: Nautilus Models has released a truncated catapult base for use with your sea planes from the 30s-40s. It includes trestle parts applicable to cruisers and battleships during that time for those looking for the most accuracy in their displays. Here's a link to the Nautilus P-6 catapult page: http://nautilusmodels.com/CATAPULT.HTM

The catapult consists of 14 crisply printed parts that need minimal cleanup. The resin is smooth enough to use as is with a good primer coat. The 2 large parts are the turntable base and the truncated section of the catapult arm. The base needs practically no cleanup, with all details being printed on it. The catapult arm includes the steam tube inside, and requires poking inside with a tool to break off the excess printing sprues (which break off easily). The catapult trestle sled is printed in place on top of the truncated arm.

There are 12 more detail parts for the catapult arm, some of which are optional. There are 2 steel stands, a hand rail, 2 control wheels (1 is an extra), a machinery platform, and 6 trestle float braces in 2 optional styles. All were printed crisply. The only part needing any extra attention in my set was the machinery platform. It had a slight bend that straightened easily with heat from a hair dryer; and there was a box missing at the end of the motor axle that I added from the spares box.

The detail parts required the removal of many small attachment sprues, but as inside the catapult arm, this was merely tedious, not hard. After they'd been added to the arm with superglue, the catapult arm assembly and the base were painted with Tamiya Fine Gray Primer. This gray was close enough for me in color, so I then sprayed on a gloss coat, added a black wash, and it was done!

While this review is in 1/48, Nautilus IS producing this in 1/72 and 1/32 as well! If you've postponed getting a catapult for your sea planes due to cost and the length of the arm for display, THIS may be the answer you're looking for! It was for me!










GIL :cool:


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Some very cool trolleys there, aside from the sawed off catapult. Thanks for the heads up. My Kingfisher would look great on one of those. 🤔

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I will be doing a full length P-6 in 1/72, I've already printed the master and sent it to the caster. At 18 hours, it might not be practical to print them. I am worried about sagging over the long term, especially if the modeler chooses to mount the plane in the launching position.

I also have the option of laser cutting the sheet steel out of plastic. As everything is designed, I can print the whole thing in sections. I tried that, but it wasn't something I would have been happy spending a hundred on, so I didn't proceed.

The 1/48th is available, but Gil got an early prototype that was completely 3D printed. For production, I have made the pedestal, lower "box", deck and cradle as cast resin parts. The other small bits are still 3D printed. The 1/32 one awaits the arrival of my Elegoo Jupiter printer, it will be able to print the masters, and it will be produced the same way.

If somebody really wants a full length one, email me at nautilusmodels@gmail.com and we can talk.



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  • 3 months later...

FYI, all 3 scales are now available: 32nd, 48th & 72nd. I can print them in other scales if you're needing them for 1/96, 1/144 & 1/200 scale projects. The Riich 1/200 kits are nice, but somwhat incomplete and I'm working on a set to dress it up, too.

I will be bringing some to Omaha so you can see them in person and, hopefully, buy me out. I am sharing a table with Dave Roof at the Flying Leathrrneck in the far back corner.

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