Monthly Archives: April 2014

Model Ship Stud Link Anchor Chain


Matthews Model Marine’s model stud link chain is 3D printed.

I continue to work on a feasible 3D printed stud link anchor chain suitable for models as small as the new 1:200 scale battleships– I’ve been successfully making and supplying larger sizes for some time. I have more to do to perfect it, but I now have a small quantity on sale at ebay ( ; link will die before long, but just search for “Model Ship Stud Link Anchor Chain”– if I have any available, it will show up).

The 1:200 battleship chain is 13.5 links per inch (LPI), and is fully articulated. But it is tiny– the “wire diameter” is 1/2 mm, or 500 microns– about the size of a sewing pin’s shaft!


Various sizes of MMM stud link chain. The new 13.5 LPI chain is in the foreground.

One successful development is the use of a dry tumble deburr process to knock off the 3D printing’s rough layering effect, and which also removes the last traces of processing wax from the parts. The chain can now be painted without further cleaning, yay!


Raw chain, as delivered from the printer.



After an early tumble deburr trial– much smoother surface, and almost wax free. Finer tumbling media take care of the rest.




Filed under Model Ship Building

Pan American Seaplane Tender PANAIR XX-P


PANAIR XX-P, a 1940 build from Julius Petersen for Pan American Airways.

Just completed, another 3D Printing exercise. This is one of a fleet of 36 foot seaplane tenders ordered by Pan American Airways in 1939. The boats were sent to PAA stations around the world, and tended to the big Martin and Boeing seaplanes– the Pan American Clippers. The boats were equipped search lights, towing and rescue gear, but rarely left the harbor except to “sweep” the landing areas for any floating debris.

This boat though, PANAIR XX-P, was stationed at Honolulu, and became a war veteran on December 7, 1941. Her fire fighting gear was put into use in several locations around Pearl Harbor; the photo below shows her (along with the famous tug HOGA) assisting at the West Virginia.

The model is 27 inches long in 1:16 scale, and is almost entirely 3D printed. Even many metal fittings were investment cast from 3D printed wax patterns. Read all about my discovery of these boats, and the construction of the model, at my RC Groups build log:



Hull and cabin were each printed in two parts to fit in the printer.


Assisting at the West Virginia


PANAIR XX-P was stationed at Honolulu


Filed under Marine History, Uncategorized