Print, build, paint!

June has been an extraordinary month for me at sprueVerse. My first visit to Wonderfest in Louisville, Kentucky. My channel hits 1000 subscribers in 9 months and my builds are getting better and better. It’s that old adage, “Golf is a game of luck, the more you practice, the luckier you get”!  The same can be said for modeling. Practice, practice, practice.

I wanted to feature this awesome 3D print of the spaceship from the 1980’s movie EXPLORERS, Thunder Road.  A fun movie from my youth that was not a box office success but it did launch the careers of two superstars. Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. Sadly, River is no longer with us but his memory lives on in some pretty eclectic on screen performances. From STAND BY ME, to INDIANA JONES and THE LAST CRUSADE to MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO, had River lived on I’m pretty sure his star would have rivalled Leonardo DeCaprio.  Here is the finished model…

Now…back to the beginning. I have two 3D printers in my shop, Resin (Photon S) and PLA (Ender 3) and it’s been quite a journey to get these machines dialed in and printing. That story is for another blog! How I came to be building this kit is simple and quite elegant. I am a subscriber to WORLD OF WAYNE on youtube. If you don’t know Wayne you must subscribe, besides being an absolute gentlemen and good friend, his channel is highly informative, totally interactive and full of great builds.  On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s Wayne does live chats and his mancave is always full of eye candy.  It was on his Thursday night build that I spied the Thunder Road sitting in the background looking quite awesome!  While in chat one evening I asked Wayne about the model and he brought it forward and showed it to the audience.  Additionally, he shared that the model was a print from files sent to him by subscriber, artist, Jeff Fink.  You can pick up the files for this build at a website called PARTWORKS in the UK.

Given the fact my PLA printer has a small print bed it did take me longer to get all the pieces printed out. In total, I would say it took me about a week to get sorted and ready to build. Additionally, I decided to light the model and add some modifications of my own. Example, the garbage can had no handle so I scratch built one.

Additionally, I replaced a few of the parts that represented “wooden” parts of the space ship with real wood, Balsa to be exact.

Finally, I went about test fitting everything and cleaning up some of the parts that had a few printing issues. This meant a little bit of trimming and putty work to make some of the parts fit nicely. When you work with PLA prints like this one, you are going to have lamination lines that are visible. There are a few techniques that are known to reduce them but I will not be going into those in this blog.  I will be doing a complete unboxing of my new 3D printer when that arrives so be on the lookout for that blog. I close with a series of build-up photos that are pretty self-explanatory. Always feel free to drop me a note at if you have any questions, I’m always glad to help.