Itty bitty Graf Zeppelin

I’ve always been fascinated by the giant airships of the early twentieth century, and after learning enough fusion360 to model a sci-fi rocket I decided to tackle an airship for my second modeling attempt.

I chose the LZ127, one of the more elegant airships, and made it sixteen inches long so I could cut the ribs as a single piece.

Somehow I only got one really good picture of it.

But on instagram there’s a short video that shows it off pretty well.

To keep the ribs strong enough, I had to cut them perpendicular to the corrugation, which wound up giving the model an airy look that suggests the girders that would have formed the frame of the original craft.

You can get the plans on thingiverse.

…or from my github page (where are are some useful build tips):

If you want to make one please note, this model is slotted for 0.11 inch thick cardboard, which I don’t think is the most common thickness. I just happened to have a big amazon box of that thickness when I set out to make this model. The thinner material worked out well though, giving the finished model a more delicate look.


That’s sweet looking! Well done. :slight_smile:


That is cool can’t WAIT for my GF to arrive.


Oh lovely job! :sunglasses::+1:


Very cool


Wow! Great job!


Very nice!
I am wondering if one had some clear shrink tubing to shrink to that…


The frame looks interesting enough, but it does sort of beg to be covered with something…


Saw this and thought you may like it - free plans available


That’s a super resource.

Those were spectacularly large airships - 4 times longer than a 747 but only carried a couple of dozen passengers.

It’s almost inconceivable to me just how big it was.


Spent some time at NAS Lakehurst, NJ. Airship Hangar No. 1 is still there and huge. Both the Graf and Hindenburg spent time in that hangar. The Hindenburg just barely fit inside with 18 inches to spare. Interesting that the Hindenburg (LZ129) was originally designed for Helium but the U.S. embargoed the export of the gas so the airship was built to use Hydrogen.


Wow, lovely detail in that model. I downloaded it to my ‘maybe someday’ folder. Thanks for sharing.

I think the giant airships were some of mankind’s strangest inventions. Utterly gigantic, visually imposing, yet when filled they weighed less than air. Maybe not very practical, but still captivating to the imagination.


I had no idea that hangar was still there. It’s a mind boggingly large internal space, that’s for sure.

The locals don’t like it when you try to trace the outline off the public vehicles though. Our UPS guy spends a lot of his time some days on the base by the airfields. Worked on and off out of Lakehurst for 12 years. That outline is plastered on everything.