3D Printing a French truck, an easy task?

I'm mostly enjoying my 3D printing experiences and I thought I'd share my latest adventures. I've had a 28mm early war French army for over a decade now but it has always lacked transport. Yes, I've used the odd Lledo vehicle (the Fordson 7V) but I wanted some variety. So, I thought I'd look for some STLs. I'm using a Creality CR10 printer and Ultimaker Cura.

I tend to only print out models which I cannot source from a commercial source in the scale I want. My reasons are threefold - I like to support the gaming industry, commercial models are generally better quality and I don't have to 'faff' about printing the model! As you'll read, this model had several issues and was far from being printed 'straight off the shelf'...

Main body with supports removed.

A quick Google-Fu came up with several promising leads from Thingiverse and a 3D modeller called Louisdioramas (thanks Louis!). I found a Peugeot DK5 J, which looked good, so I prepared for my first print. I soon ran into issues as it was not clear what scale the model was - so a quick internet research revealed the vehicle was 1.85 metres wide. Thus at 1/56 scale the vehicle would be 33mm wide and the STL I had would have to be scaled up by 185%. Ok no problem.

The underside with the wheel arches carved out.

I tend to use the width of a vehicle as length usually includes the gun barrel and height will usually include the wheels or tracks and the turret (if any). Only the width isn't distorted, although I will check and guesstimate the height and length to double-check the proportions are right.

New wheels for the back and a new undercarriage.

Next, there was the challenge of the wheels. Only front wheels were provided and they were massively overscale, I shrank them to 53%. I found suitable rear wheels on Louisdioramas AHN truck (scaled to 75%). I also rescaled the back chassis (by 75%) so it would fit the underneath of the Peugeot truck with a little trimming.

Checking all the wheels fit - they do!

Once I had printed out the parts, I found the rear wheel arch was incorrect, so I had to use a sharp knife to the model and carve out the rear wheel arches on the model. Then I used some spare brass wire to make axles for the wheels and fitted them.

Truck ready for filing, filling and painting.

The final model looks ok and will be better for a lick of paint and some markings. This will make a useful light transport for my 1940 French army and as they were used by the Germans in large numbers, I might just print out another. Or I will, once I have sorted out why my Creality 10 is not feeding properly... damn... who said 3D printing was an easy task?

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