Help support TMP

"WTJ Pre-Dreadnought Order - Quick Review and Photos" Topic

53 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please use the Complaint button (!) to report problems on the forums.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Early 20th Century Product Reviews Message Board

Back to the Naval Gaming 1898-1929 Message Board

Areas of Interest

19th Century
World War One

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Showcase Article

Lockheed Electra at Big Lots

Need a classic airliner for your Pulp scenarios?

Featured Workbench Article

Featured Book Review

7,211 hits since 17 Apr 2014
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

TMP logo


Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
Zen Ghost Fezian17 Apr 2014 9:03 p.m. PST

I'll just cut to the chase; I placed an order of 1/2400 pre-dreadnoughts from War Times Journal. Pictures are high resolution, click and zoom to see the finer details

Shipping: Placed an order for pre-dreads on Mar 25 and Mar 30 for French and German ships. I ordered the Rapid Prototyped miniatures, which I assume is some form of 3D printing. I received and email from Jim @WTJ that my orders were shipped on Apr 11 (Friday). I received my orders (combined) on Apr 15 (Tuesday). Roughly 2-3 weeks from order to delivery. 3 business days from Apple Valley, CA to Washington, DC!
Packaging: The minis were well packed. Each mini came in its own plastic packaging and then bubble-wrapped.

Minis: The minis were phenomenal. The details were incredibly fine. The gun barrels were as thin as fine wire. No flash or any extra bits, a result of 3D printing. Here is the order, only one ship per class is shown.
Individual Minis follow…
French DD
German DD
Kaiser Wilhelm II

I highly recommend these minis and I am truly impressed by the quality and detail. All this for slightly more money than resin cast versions with significantly less detail.

I am planning to install masts, paint and mount them on 3mm thick acrylic bases from LITKO. I will capture my work for a Workbench article here.

dragon6 Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2014 10:23 p.m. PST

Great looking models. I love WTJ models but I don't collect 1/3000 so the new 3D printed models are great!

Zen Ghost Fezian18 Apr 2014 2:10 a.m. PST

@dragon, that's the best part of Jim's rapid-prototyping, is the minis can be created in four different scales; 1/1500, 1/1800, 1/2400, and 1/3000. I happened to get 1/2400 because it is one of the main scales for naval wargaming in the US.

Texas Jack18 Apr 2014 2:43 a.m. PST

Jim has always had first class service and a great product. I have quite a few of his metal castings, and the detail is really amazing. I am curious as to how the printed ones paint up.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2014 6:30 a.m. PST

I'd be interested in how these compare with Shapeways FUD printouts (which are the highest resolution variety produced by them). As you may know, the FUD printouts are impregnated with wax (which should be removed with Bestine solvent), and are fragile compared with metal castings. Shapeways FUD can also show a grain in certain planes if examined closely. Here is an image of the Shapeways FUD (in 1/4800 scale) for comparison.

Do you know if the WTJ guy uses a better and more expensive process?



Zen Ghost Fezian18 Apr 2014 6:43 a.m. PST

BTW, each battleship is about 2 inches long (5 cm) and the destroyers are about 1.5 inches (3.75 cm) just so you can get a scale for the size of the minis. I should have put a ruler in those photos.

Zen Ghost Fezian18 Apr 2014 6:52 a.m. PST

@Mark, On the WTJ website, it recommends that you wash the minis with a mild detergent to remove the wax. I've compared the prices with Shapeways, specifically for the FUD, and Shapeways cost about twice as much (e.g., USS Brooklyn, 1/2400, by afrodri on Shapeways is $7.99 USD for FUD vs. WTJ is $4.25 USD …and there are no cutouts on the WTJ main gun barrels, barrels are separate and distinct from the deck, see photos of Braunschweig and Hoche). The minis are very lightweight, especially the gun barrels seem fragile. I guess so long as you don't let your pets get a hold of them, they should be fine.

Zen Ghost Fezian18 Apr 2014 7:14 a.m. PST

BTW, JIm@WTJ, if you're reading this, you can use any of these photos to help fill in some image gaps on your website for your products.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2014 11:53 a.m. PST

Zen Ghost.

I don't think a "mild detergent" will completely remove the wax, if their process is the same as Shapeways. An additional advantage of the Bestine method is that it doesn't require any scrubbing, which could break delicate parts. I guess you will find out. :-)


Princeps18 Apr 2014 2:22 p.m. PST

Apple Valley? I lived there from 78 to 90 (AVHS class of 83)and my parents still do (and I will be there in the summer for a home leave). Small world indeed.

Zen Ghost Fezian18 Apr 2014 5:07 p.m. PST

@Mark, just relaying guidance from the website. I am unsure what type of 3D printing. I have no idea if it is the same or similiar to Shapeways.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2014 9:51 p.m. PST

Zen Ghost; I know that. I was just passing on my hard-earned experience with Shapeways. Although WTJ could be using a different technology, you should be aware that the detergent method is frequently recommended for the Shapeways FUD as well. IMHO, for Shapeways FUD, it is significantly inferior to Bestine. However, perhaps the WTJ printout is a different technology. That's what I meant by "I guess you will find out".


Zen Ghost Fezian19 Apr 2014 10:15 p.m. PST

@Mark, I see the wax, once I've got my magnifiers on. I assume that it is the variation I see on the surface finish (i.e., shiny and dull spots on the surface). How do you use the Bestine solvent? So, I don't damage or mar the minis.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP20 Apr 2014 10:20 a.m. PST

Bestine is the solvent used in Best Test rubber cement. Its material data sheet can be found here: link Although back in the 1980s we used it for graphical design work without any special precautions, these days I put a small fan off to the side of my workbench, and wash my hands afterwards. It appears to be less unhealthy than, say, turpentine, gasoline, or acetone, but it is probably still wise to be careful with it.

It is very effective in removing the wax from Shapeways FUD. Just put some into an airtight (Bestine is volatile) container and soak the parts for a few hours. Once the wax is removed, the Shapeways FUD will look flat white, and somewhat rough. I assume that this is due to the greater number of reflective and refractive surfaces after the wax has been removed. Durability seems to be unaffected.

BTW, I read somewhere that Shapeways FUD should not be exposed to UV (sunlight) until it has been painted.

There is a long thread discussing it here, but I don't know if you can read it without joining Railwire:


hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP20 Apr 2014 1:21 p.m. PST

BTW, I once left a part in Bestine for a week, just as an experiment, with no detectable ill effect to the structural integrity of the part. Once the wax is dissolved away, nothing else appears to happen.


Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2014 7:53 p.m. PST

I'd also like to know what glues to use on these WTJ plastic ships, especially with metal parts. The WTJ site is silent about that topic.

When I buy some, I'll add masts, maybe davits and/or boats, glue them to a base, etc. I'd be very interested to hear if superglue is sufficient, or if there's something else preferable.

- Ix

warren bruhn13 Jun 2014 4:36 p.m. PST

I sent a question to WTJ about whether or not there would be a WW1 line of ships coming, and I got the following very nice reply (the attached pic referred to was of the SMS Makensen):

Hi Warren,
You will see from the attached pic that the answer to your first question is a definite yes. I have been working on WWI ships for a while now, dovetailing them into the existing predreadnought design work. I am getting very close to release of the following ships:
An important detail is that many of the models will be made in numerous variants; so for example it will not be just Kaiser, but Kaiser 1916, kaiser 1917, Konig Albert 1916, etc. Derffflinger will not just be the one model, but a 1916 version, a 1918 version and dedicated models for Lutzow and Hindenberg. All will be available with lifeboats, or fully cleared for action without lifeboats.
More WWI ships for both major sides will follow, ranging from Roon and Seydlitz to Queen Elizabeth, Indefatigable and numerous variants of the Town class cruisers + destroyers, etc.
I do accept requests, but I usually take them in order and the list is already very long, including Jena, Sans Pareil, Gazelle, Diadem, Habsburg and many more. Generally speaking, the more specific the request, the more likely I can include it in the design schedule. Also, take a look at the old 1/3000 pewter line listed in the store; that will give you an excellent idea of my existing set of files that are on the A-list for release, as they already exist and merely need to be converted for the larger scales (I should not say "merely" as it's still a lot of work).
Hope that helps,
On Fri, 6 Jun 2014 23:55:51 +0000, Warren Bruhn wrote
> Does WTJ intend to release a line of ship models for WW1 at some future date?

I'm thinking that I'm going to buy some of these WTJ ship models!

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2014 10:20 p.m. PST

I emailed WTJ with my question about what to glue these rapid prototype ships with, and got this answer:

I use both standard and rubber based CA glue (crazy glue/superglue) on the ships, mostly for mast construction. The rubber based glue BTW, is offered by Superstition Hobbies and is very good, I use that when I need a strong but durable (IE not brittle) bond. I actually ran breakage tests with the ships when I first started making them, just so I could recommend something. I purposefully snapped gun barrels and military masts off of several different ships and used the rubber based CA glue for repair; it worked very well and completely restored the models… even gun barrels!

I found rubberized CA glue on and bought some a week ago, but I only today got around to ordering any WTJ rapid prototype miniatures, so I have nothing to test it on.

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2014 10:34 p.m. PST

My personal dilemma is what to do with my huge 1/3000 Pewter Navwar pre-dreadnought collection. It was a great deal, but still cost a fair amount of money, but I always wanted them bigger and more detailed. Now that I can have both with the WTJ plastic ones… do I start over? Oof.

I pulled out my painted RJW Navwar fleets, which are what got me started on this, hoping that seeing the painted ships would make me feel better about them. It had the opposite effect. Lately I've been painting CinC and GHQ ships for 100th anniversary Great War gaming, and the excellent detail and proportions really do make a difference to me. It's hard to look seriously at a Navwar or Panzerschiffe models after I've been working on the nicer models.

@Zen Ghost I'm still hoping to see some nice photographs of the above miniatures painted and ready for combat. :-)

- Ix

warren bruhn27 Jun 2014 6:58 p.m. PST

Put in an order last week for a couple dozen of the WTJ WW1 destroyers in 1:2400 scale. Am really looking forward to seeing what they look like when they arrive.

warren bruhn01 Jul 2014 8:51 p.m. PST

Queen, there's no specific WW1 destroyers out yet from WTJ. But under the pre-dreadnought section there are destroyers and torpedo boats. I took a look at the photos of the 1:3000 scale pewter destroyers and torpedo boats to get an idea of what the sculpt/print will look like.

The German DD pictured above in this thread looks like the pre-WW1 classes of TBD's numbered 138 through 161. So I ordered 12 of those. The 3 funnel looks a lot like a Russian class of 8 Baltic destroyers that I need, so I ordered 8 of those. There is a class of 2 funnel that look like another class of 4 Baltic destroyers that I need, so I ordered 4 of those. Of course, WTJ might later produce the exact type of Russian destroyers that I want, but in the meantime these types will be close enough.

eptingmike11 Jul 2014 5:06 p.m. PST

So I have no clue about the materials etc used in 3-D printing but why do they look clear before they are cleaned? Is it just a reflection of the light? Does the material change composition when cleaned?

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2014 9:05 a.m. PST


Per previous posts above, you might want to check out this link: link It contains a mixture of uninformed and less-informed opinion, so you need to read the whole thing.

In the case of Shapeways, the material which gives the best detail is called "FUD". I don't own any of the WTJ printouts, but it appears to be a similar material at a better resolution. The FUD printouts appear to be an assembly of stuck-together plastic blobs supported by wax. Although Shapeways (and WTJ?) removes most of the wax before shipping, some remains on the surface. Before painting, one should remove this residual wax with Bestine solvent, which increases the number of reflective and refractive surfaces visible to the eye. Per my experiment mentioned above, soaking in Bestine doesn't seem to affect the structural characteristics of the material.


hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2014 11:32 a.m. PST

Substitute "informed and less-informed" in the above. MH

eptingmike12 Jul 2014 1:34 p.m. PST

Thanks so much!
I purchased a pair of ships from WTJ just to check them out. Looking forward to seeing them 'in the flesh.'

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2014 12:25 p.m. PST

My small test order of WTJ 1/2400pre-dreadnoughts arrived. I ordered some Bestine and dipped one of the ships in it.

Because my life is divided into short bursts of personal activity between loooooooong periods of "not home", the model soaked in the Bestine for about 15 hours. When I pulled it out last night, it began turning white as it dried. By this morning it was completely white:

Bestine washed on left

The one on the left was soaked in Bestine, the one on the right is straight out of the package, unwashed. They are both models of the German Braunschweig class battelships.

I'm not at all sure what this means. If the surface got pitted or degraded in a way that impacts its ability to hold paint, I guess I'll find out…

I'll try soaking another in Bestine for just a couple hours this weekend and see if that has less impact.

- Ix

eptingmike17 Jul 2014 2:02 p.m. PST

Well, hopefully there is no damage or pitting.
Regardless, you can really make out the detail on the ship after the color change.
Thanks for posting!

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2014 2:14 p.m. PST

Small addendum: as Mark (hindsTMP) asserted above, soaking off all the wax with Bestine *should* increase the refractivity of the plastic surface, which could entirely explain the whitening effect observed in my photo. If the only effect is to remove wax and the plastic is otherwise unaffected, it's possible that paint adhesion has also improved (depending on the granularity of the primer, the plastic surface, etc.).

I'll try to replace the above photo with a better one tonight. Cell phone cameras just suck. The opaquing of the model with Bestine made a lot of the detail much easier to see. These WTJ rapid prototype models are an incredible deal for the price.

- Ix

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2014 2:29 p.m. PST

As YA states, the whitening and roughness is what one expects after the wax is removed with Bestine (heptane). It might seem that the solvent is "eating away" the model's surface, but that is not the case (all that gets "eaten away" is the surface coating of wax, which is a good thing). The surface may look rougher, but only because the wax had a smoothing effect. In the case of Shapeways, the majority of the wax is removed before shipping by heating the part, leaving a thin film on the surface; WTJ's printer may be similar. Note that if you read the Railwire (N-scale) link I posted above, you get more detail on this.


BTW, on my initial Shapeways order, I received by mistake about 10 1/6000 U.S. armored cruisers with several thin funnels each. Since I didn't need them, I used them to test the effect of Bestine solvent on the material. In one case, I soaked the model for a week, with no apparent additional effect. My test methodology included deliberately breaking off the funnels (…).


Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2014 9:46 p.m. PST

I emailed WTJ about the Bestine reaction, and got this response:

I would avoid doing that if possible. If you read the Cleaning and Painting Tips section of the painting guide in the store you'll understand why.

Important thing is that the surface you are looking at on the right is plastic, not wax. The wax has already been 99% removed and will usually be very obvious if present, because it's white and blobby looking and will be blocking nooks and crannies (like spaces between the turret and upperworks, or inside the bottom of the model). With WTJ ships, the wax will never be some sort of thin coating over the whole model (which I think has been
alluded to elsewhere).

Hope that helps… BTW, the model on the left is not destroyed, but it's projecting features may break off more easily than on an unaffected model. They can be reattached with rubber based CA glue sold by Superstition Hobbies. It does offer a really great painting surface, but I can't recommend it due to post-soak strength issues.

So… WTJ officially recommends against Bestine. :-)

- Ix

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2014 10:47 a.m. PST

So… WTJ officially recommends against Bestine. :-)

Well, either WTJ uses a different material than Shapeways FUD, or they are misinterpreting the results of their experiements, as my (Shapeways FUD) experiments showed no additional weakness/brittleness after soaking for up to a week. Remember, that these guys are not chemical engineers, but merely wargamers like ourselves. I guess we each have to make our own decision on this.

BTW in my experience, detergent doesn't remove wax, although it does remove oil.

If anyone is interested in further researching this issue for themselves, I recommend the long Railwire thread I referenced previously. One thing I got from this thread was insight into the "Bestine etches plastic" claims. The thread contains both pro-Bestine and anti-Bestine arguments, some of which are experience-based. Some of the posters run small companies similar to WTJ.


eptingmike18 Jul 2014 11:49 a.m. PST

Has anyone experimented with the plastic's heat tolerance? Is it possible to melt away the remainder of the wax with very hot/near boiling water and not harm the plastic?

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2014 1:41 p.m. PST

Has anyone experimented with the plastic's heat tolerance? Is it possible to melt away the remainder of the wax with very hot/near boiling water and not harm the plastic?

I boiled my Bestine-treated 1/4800 ships before bending them to remove the minor warp some of them came with. It didn't appear to harm them, other than to allow them to bend. However, I would doubt that any sort of non-destructive heat treatment would remove *all* the wax. Reports are that you still have a thin coating remaining, as one might expect. Again, this was Shapeways FUD.


eptingmike18 Jul 2014 2:30 p.m. PST

I just got an email from WTJ regarding detergents he would recommend. Here is the reply:
"I've never tried Dawn but it should work, let me know what you think of it. I use either Seventh Generation dish soap or alcohol – sometimes both (not at the same time, and I always use a dedicated brush for each). Once you are done, if the model looks clean, generally matte in appearance (IE – that mineral oil sheen is gone) with no obvious wax apparent in crevices, you should be good to paint. I've been selling these since the middle of last year and out of the hundreds of orders that have gone out, we have had no complaint about paint adhesion problems when brushing the models clean with detergent and/or alcohol. If you do run into any issues, feel free to let me know."

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2014 5:59 p.m. PST

If you are comfortable with their advice (which is what it sounds like to me), go for it. As for me, if I ever buy WTJ stuff, I will prep in accordance with my own experiments as I have done with Shapeways. You can report back here 5 years from now as to the durability of your over-wax paint jobs. If you keep them from getting hot (don't leave them in a car), maybe they will be OK.



hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2014 9:21 p.m. PST

The wax used in the Shapeways process melts when heated. We have been told this by the employee who cleans the castings (Railwire thread), as heating is their initial cleaning step. I don't know which printer / process is used by WTJ. Maybe one of these?

Anyway, QC, your "Miracle Dip" example may not be valid. Does Miracle Dip (Miracle Dip, AKA: MinWax Polyshades) melt when heated? Their web site says it's a polyurethane. Remember that in normal English usage, the term "wax" can refer to quite disparate materials.


Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2014 4:20 p.m. PST

I guess the question is "does the whitening effect post-Bestine" result in a surface that takes paint better?" Also, "Does it need a primer now, and if so does primer smooth out any roughness?"

Better, or worse, dunno yet. Since I went ahead and treated all my other WTJ models with Bestine, I may never know.

The only way a primer is going to improve roughness is by filling in the details. A gesso would do this, but I would avoid using a thick primer on the smaller scales (1/3000, 1/2400). These models have a lot of very fine details which could be filled in along with the rough texture (like those amazing, itsy-bitsy portholes! Sweet!).

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2014 4:26 p.m. PST

My next project with these: flat bottoms.

I prefer my 1/2400 models unbased, so I want to glue on or pour in some material to make the bottom flat, so I can write on it. I'm thinking I have a few choices:

  • Two-part liquid epoxy. Probably hard to deal with and get flat. Are there any really liquid, non-viscous epoxies? I don't know.
  • Polyurethane casting resin. Might work fine, have to try. Spills will be a PITA, though, especially an overflow over the side onto the upper surfaces of the model.
  • Two-part clay-like epoxy force it in, scrape the bottom flat-ish, sand completely flat once hard.
  • Glue a thin plastic card across the bottom and just trim it to match the hull shape.

Has anyone else tried to do something like this? What worked?

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2014 7:22 a.m. PST

Yup, they're hollow. I'm going to mess with them. I mess with *everything*. :-)

I've been thinking about doing something similar to my GHQ models, which are also hollow.

- Ix

HobbyGuy12 Feb 2016 8:36 a.m. PST

Very useful pics of WTJ ships in this post.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2016 6:01 p.m. PST

A mere two years later….

I posted a followup about my experiences painting WTJ rapid prototype ships here: TMP link

I'm adding a note to this thread for the sake of people who land here via Google or other searches.

- Ix

afilter24 Aug 2016 8:49 p.m. PST

Glad I found this, returning to naval after a long break. All my WWI and Pre-dreads are 1/2400 so no experience with WTJ.

Looking at the pictures it appears the fall somewhere between GHQ and Panzerschiffe on both quality and price.

Anyone have any comparison pictures.



Part time gamer01 Sep 2016 10:29 p.m. PST

The WTJ Predred's just look amazing. Many have suggested if (when) I take the plunge too just go with 2400 scale as its among the most common scale for gaming.
I just cant get over wanting the larger 1800 (prehaps even 1500's) for the look and detail. There is of course a 'bit' of a price jump between those two.

I have no experience with Rapid Proto-type printed miniatures, but from what I have seen, and MORE importantly read from those who have bought them; I think WTJ has hit on something that is going to be around a very long time and perhaps even 'redesign' the miniature hobby itself.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.