3D Printable Pilot Figures

Here is a great idea from RCGroups.com user Lynxman about printing your own scale pilot figures!


Print Your Own Pilot

I found this great pilot figure on Thingiverse a while back. I have used it for several models.

The latest I printed is 1/4 scale. He looks pretty good with paint. I altered the angle of the hips slightly in CAD.

Here are the pilots I have collected on Thingiverse. Remember to tip the creator if you use them a lot:

1/4 scale 3D printed lightweight pilot figure (0 min 22 sec)

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Jul 10, 2019, 12:51 PM
If it's R/C, I LIKE IT!
Nikolei Zinsli's Avatar
Here's another snoopy pilot version - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2406162
Latest blog entry: 93" AJ Laser 230z
Jul 13, 2019, 09:13 AM
Professional Toothpick maker
nalby's Avatar
I like this one https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1105001
Jul 14, 2019, 06:19 PM
Registered User

Did you print that as one solid pilot or did you print out the pieces and glue them together? Im asking for advice on print orientation and the supports to use if you did in fact print it as one solid piece.
Jul 14, 2019, 06:26 PM
Registered User
Lynxman's Avatar
Thread OP
I glued the pieces together after printing. The parts are orientated on stands that let you print without separate support. I printed the lower legs separately as the pilot was too tall for my printer.
Jul 14, 2019, 10:38 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Lynxman
I glued the pieces together after printing. The parts are orientated on stands that let you print without separate support. I printed the lower legs separately as the pilot was too tall for my printer.

Okay, good to know! Thanks for the response. I will try it in pieces and see how it turns out.
Jul 17, 2019, 05:52 PM
Luis Claudio - Rio - Brazil
Luis_Claudio's Avatar
I put this one in my A29 Super Tucano!

Originally Posted by nalby
Jul 17, 2019, 08:23 PM
If it flies, I can crash it.
rocketsled666's Avatar
I used a Microsoft Kinect for PC and some freeware software called "ReconstructMe". Put the Kinect on top of my monitor and sat in my desk chair and swiveled 360 to get a scan of my head and shoulders. A little touchup of the 3D geometry and then a rough print to check results.

In concept, the idea was good - I have the tools to make scale pilot busts of myself. But I need a better 3D scanner for satisfactory results, and the prices for the ones I've considered "good enough" (meaning a bit better than what I think I actually need) are too high still (many $Ks). They're coming down, though...

First print is about 3" tall, printed on a Makerbot Replicator FDM printer. My first attempt, maybe 6 years ago. I did more in other sizes and with different slicer settings but this is the only one I have a picture of. The second head is the same 3D file printed on my Form1+ printer, which is SLA and makes much nicer prints, which I got about 4 years ago. But I printed this one only about 1" tall. Went to the trouble of putting some paint on this one, too, and while I never finished it the results were definitely more promising.

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Jul 19, 2019, 03:58 AM
Registered User
japim's Avatar
Yes - using MS Kinect + ReconstructMe for scanning yourself is a great option. I scanned myself and printed a pilot bust couple years back.
A comparison to a purchased pilot (a slightly different scale ofcourse) below:
Jul 19, 2019, 04:46 AM
Anti-gravity = Lots of Watts
Gnat666's Avatar
Gary the pilot.

Can scale, angle and stick just the right amount of his head n shoulders through the build plate.
(head strap and mic neck are just scrap bottle top plastic)
Jul 19, 2019, 11:07 AM
It's all about scale models!
MrSmoothie's Avatar
Lynxman, the Jet Pilot you found on Thingiverse was designed by Max Grueter. I think he put that one out for free as sort of a "gateway drug" to his other files, which are found on the pay site, CGtrader.com


He charges $39 each for a beautifully done ME-109, Spitfire, Mustang, Zero and Hellcat pilot. I have already purchased the first two. Some balk at the price. I on the other hand know that an Aces of Iron pilot is more than $25, and is only a bust -- and only one. Once you buy the file, you can print all your pilots going forward and save a ton in the long run.

And better still, you can scale the pilot however you want. Not only to the overall scale of the model, but sometimes you need to make a pilot narrower to fit a foamie cockpit. You can scale the torso disproportionately in that case, which I had to do with my 1/6.5 FW-190 pilot. As long as the head is correct, it's hard to tell if you reduce the rest. Max tends to design very beefy bodies, and they can bee narrowed up a lot and still look fine. The quality of his work is outstanding.

I just printed two 1/6 scale figures for the Black Hawk Lysander. They are hollow -- no infill -- with 1mm walls. Then I injected them with Loctite expanding PU foam as a hedge against any distortion due to temperature (they're plenty firm enough without the foam).

Another tip -- to reduce the print "lines", try a high-build primer -- "SEM" was recommended to me, and while pricey, works incredibly well to fill defects, yet magically not reducing detail. Dries fast and easy to paint over. I found it on amazon. Spackle is good too, on the worst spots. Wipe it on with your fingertip, either before the primer or after (when you can better see the worst areas).
Jul 19, 2019, 11:41 AM
Registered User
Lynxman's Avatar
Thread OP
Yeah I bought a WW2 pilot from him a while back. He does nice work.
Jul 19, 2019, 12:16 PM
It's all about scale models!
MrSmoothie's Avatar
Also, for some very nice free WW2 pilot busts (different goggle/helmets) check out the designs from Scott Gerstenberger. I did one for my AT-6 Converstion to a Tora Tora Tora Zero. Printed very nicely with excellent detail.

Jul 20, 2019, 12:03 AM
Dave Yost's Avatar
1. Can you scan and make this figure?
2. Can it be scaled? (Up to 33%)

Thanks, Dave

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