3D Print: Team Fortress 2 Sentry (for sale!)
Buy your very own 3D printed Team Fortress 2 Sentry gun! Complete with upgrades.
The Engineer says: "Like this heavy-caliber tripod-mounted little old number designed by me, built by me, and you best hope... not pointed at you.

It's been quite a while since I updated my website with any new content. I've had a lot on recently and when I did have time I've been working on, what I can only describe as, my mammoth of a project. I'm not going to give anything away on that one yet, but it's proving to be very ambitious and the costs are starting to add up. So I thought I should do a few mini projects to break things up and maybe, even raise a little fund to help out the project. This brings me to something new. This model is actually purchasable from my new Shapeways shop that I've just opened!

The sentry is actually split up into 3 separate "products" in my shop. You have a pack for level 1level 2 and level 3. So if you wanted a level 1 gun only, you can choose to just buy the level 1 pack and then you don't have to purchase the parts for the other 2 levels. Each level requires the preceding levels however, so if you wanted a level 2 gun you must purchase the level 1 parts and to get a level 3 gun, you need to purchase both level 1 and level 2. Just like in the game really; you can't build a level 3 gun without first building/upgrading the previous leveled guns.

I've designed it so none of the gun actually requires glue to assemble, so this means you can always choose to purchase a lower leveled sentry now and you can choose to upgrade it at a later date. Ordering all 3 "products" at the same time will save on shipping costs however.

There isn't a painted version you can purchase, but painting it yourself and making it your own is half the fun.

You can find my shop here!

I started this model at least a year ago (probably more), but for at least 10 months it just sat on my hard drive, gathering virtual dust as I was working on some other things. A friend finally convinced me to go back to it and finish it off and pretty glad he got me to do it.

YouTube Video

As normal (when I have a video available that is), I'll start with an embedded Youtube video.  This video is actually more aimed at being an instructional video on how to assemble the gun and how to change it into the 3 different leveled sentry guns. However at the end of the video, you will see some pictures of my sentry gun that's been smoothed and painted.

Making the 3D model

So, I dusted off my model file and loaded it up again in Modo to finish it up. The file had barely gotten off the ground from level 1, but that turned out to actually be a good thing. I've learned one or two new things about 3D printing since starting the model and I was now making it with the intention of selling it on Shapeways so changes needed to be made.

I needed to change the model somewhat to be printable at my target scale. This meant some details needed to be changed or even omitted. New details also needed to be added to facilitate the idea of being able to upgrade the gun from level 1 to 2 and finally on to 3.

[A quick render of my 3 versions of the gun]

Post process after printing

Cleaning/smoothing out the parts

[The level 1 parts assembled straight from the box]
[After sanding]

I then went on to follow the same practice I have done on previous models. I started with a good clean of the pieces as there was trapped powder that hadn't been cleaned out. Most likely you will have powder trapped in same areas I did, so I've put down a list below so you can have a list of areas to check (of course, you should just give them a quick general clean too). Some of the parts are small, so clean them in a bowl of water so you don't lose anything down the drain. I used a very expensive tool (an unfolded paperclip) to help me pick free some of the powder.

  • - Level 1: Within the main tube on the leg section
  • - Level 2: Within the Gatling guns
  • - Level 2: Between the barrels on the Gatling guns (I used a paper clip here to free the material between all the barrels)
  • - Level 3: Within the 4 rockets

Once cleaned, I then tidied up some of the small holes. Because of the nature of 3D printing, small holes generally don't come out perfect, so these needed tidying up so they're not obstructing the wire later on. The holes are designed for 1mm wiring, but the wire I was using happened to be 1.5mm wiring. So I used a 1.5mm drill bit to clean up these holes, but if you are using 1mm wiring you should just use a 1mm drill bit. Of course, try threading through the wire to make sure it's ok. Below are the hole locations.

  • - Level 2: 2x on the canister cover
  • - Level 2: 2x wire blocks
  • - Level 2: 2x Gatling guns

I then went onto the smoothing stage (optional stage, as paint helps smooth the surface, but I just choose to do this).

Painting and applying the finishes to the parts

Finally on to the fun part. Painting!

Some of the paint work was airbrushed on, but a lot of the model was actually painted on with a brush. Using some thinned acrylic paint, I gave the model some colour and followed the sentry gun texture from the game (mostly anyway, I didn't follow it exactly). I decided to go with team red ..... because I only had red and ran out of blue paint :P

I tried to make sure that nothing was painted on too thick as paint adds thickness and can potentially stop pieces fitting into one another properly if it's too thick.

[Painted pieces prior to decals]
[The decal applied to the pod]

As always, I want to protect my paintwork with some varnish. I think it's even more important when you have parts touching and so it protects the paintwork when they rub against each other.

Onto the decals next! There was only 1 decal I put on, but you can put a decal onto each bullet chain link to add some additional detail (I didn't have any clear decal sheets left so I haven't done this yet, but may do in the future); the warning label on the side of the rocket pod. I then hit the pod with 1 more coat of varnish to protect the decal.

Putting it all together

Time for the final assembly.  This bit was a snap. If you watch my youtube video above, I show you how everything fits together and it's pretty straightforward. The only additional thing was to cut some wire to thread the wire blocks onto (again, all covered in the video).

The finished product!

Well, that wraps up this post. Remember, you can purchase the model (unpainted) from my Shapeways shop and the levels are split up into 3 items, so you only need to order up to the level you want :)

8 comments:

  1. how does this not infringe on valves copyrights and trademarks?

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    1. I knew someone would ask this eventually and I'm glad you've asked here rather than on my YouTube channel where I'm limited to a character response length of 500.

      Valve and the companies that I base my creations off generally seem to be very supportive of the prop and cosplay community providing they are not in direct competition of any of their products (which as far as I know, this is not). Of course, certain companies are not so supportive of this, so I generally steer clear of basing any of my creations from them, no matter how much I like them.

      I have contacted Valve with a link to my Shapeways products page and told them that if at any time they did not want me to sell anything, to just get in touch and I will take them down no-questions asked. I've not heard anything back from them but if they do ever say that they wish for me to take down the products or they are not comfortable with this, I will do just that.

      I would hope that they are in support of this fan art (which this is at the end of the day). If of course in the future Valve ever decide to release a TF2 sentry gun, I may decide to take it down even if they don't contact me as then the product would be in competition.

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  2. This is amazingly cool.

    For someone who spent years spending a bazillion bucks on wargaming models from Games Workshop, I can see how tech like this can revolutionize the industry for the enterprising individual.

    Quality like this shouldn't be under estimated!

    Psychobob, you might want to look into producing side line products for table top wargamers that won't infringe on copyrights, but could definitely be competitive with the big production houses on cost and still be very profitable for you!

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  3. I don't see a "Buy Now" button! Very cool! Would love to have one of these sitting on my desk :D

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    1. There are a few links in this post and also there's a shapeways shop link on the menu bar that will take you to wwhere you can buy this. The link is also I the video at the end.

      It's www.shapeways.com/shops/PsychobobArts

      Thanks for visiting my site :)

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  4. Hmm, got to find someone to paint one for me as I'd fail :( Looks great though mate!

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  5. 3D files for printing is not for sale ?

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    1. Afraid I'm not actually going to be sharing the model with anyone or uploading it anywhere.

      At the end of the day, this design belongs to Valve and I've contacted them at the point of making any of these models. I have not had a response from them about how they feel about this, so until I do have a response, I don't plan to share the model files just in case they do not want me doing anything. If I share the file, this will mean that I can't stop it's distribution should Valve not want the file to be shared.

      Hope you understand.

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