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Aotrs Commander13 Oct 2017 7:08 a.m. PST

Does anyone know anything about Panzer Depot?


A customer of my Shapeways Webstore just told me thought that these new products:


Looked like copies of mine.



The shop didn't have a lot of information (like, ANY) and a google search turned up what may or may not be a brick-and-mortar shop of the same name. (I am not sure if there is a genuine connection or not.)

So what I'm not sure about is exactly what this webstore is selling, given the lack of information. And I don't want to be pointing fingers and accusing people unfairly, which is why I'm asking around.

If it's just models he's buying off me, painting and then re-selling, that's *absolutely perfectly fine* and this is just a bit of a misconception on my part and no harm, no foul (and I HOPE that is what it is).

However, there is also the possibility that it is recasting (given that I HAVE sold those models in the top (Ultra Frosted Detail) materials I offer to only three places in common: Hong Kong, Germany and Italy). In the latter case, I'm not sure what I can do about it if it is (other than maybe try and warn people on Shapeways and on forums and whatnot).

(It has been known for people to do this before, unfortunately – I saw it brought up over on Star Ranger when I was just starting out – though it would a first time for my models.)

I would greatly appreciate anyone who can help me set my mind at rest!

steamingdave4713 Oct 2017 8:58 a.m. PST

Panzer Depot have been around for a few years. I bought some of their ready painted 1:144 scale Cromwells about nine or ten years ago, so long befire 3D printing was a mainstream option. I asumed thst they had designed and cast their own models. Last time I looke at their website ( 2 or 3 years ago) they had a great range of WW1 and WW2 AFVs; not sure about modern stuff, not really of interest to me.
You could contact them directly I suppose, you may get an honest answer.

Aotrs Commander13 Oct 2017 9:29 a.m. PST

The customer of mine got back to me and noted that a) they were selling resin casts (so my best case scenario is not true) and b) now that'd he'd thought about it, he recalled seeing models go up a few weeks after he'd seen them on Shapeways. I had a look myself and… *sigh* It does not, unfortunately, look all that good; the models the customer mentioned (Italian Semovente da 149 or Strindsvagn 74) were the only ones of their type on Shapeways and, while I couldn't be certain myself, I sent an email to the designers to have a look for themselves. (And that might just be the tip of the iceberg.)

I also did locate the main page and the contacts us screen; the English is just a little off; I don't like drawing conclusions like it, but if I had to guess, I'd say more likely a Chinese speaker than not (having noted Hong Kong earlier.)

Having butted heads with some Chinese people flogging bootleg Pokémon games on ebay (which is why I thought about the language), I'm not convinced contacting them directly would be much help (since they could likely just lie). I'll see if the other designers on Shapeways have anything to say. (If, for eaxmple, they find they also sold model in high-detail material to the same locations or something.)

(I'm, at this point, 99% convinced the gaming store in America has nothing whatsoever to do with this, by the by.)

In the meantime, I would say to everyone to be aware, if you're going to buy anything from the shop that you might be buying a recasting that the original designer won't be seeing any money from.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine13 Oct 2017 9:37 a.m. PST

I have no info and am just curious but wouldn't scale models of, a historical, real world vehicle designed by computer to the correct measurements all look the same? I have no idea just wondering. With the traditional sculpting in putty even two models of the same subject will look different but with this brave new world of 3D printing I'm wondering how different scales models can look from each other.

Aotrs Commander13 Oct 2017 10:20 a.m. PST

@Prince Rupert of the Rhine

Not really, no. For a kick off "correct measurements" is a difficult issue, since there is usually a range. (Example – where EXACTLY are the measurements you see quoted for dimensions actually measured from? I.e. which specific piece of the structure did the tape measure start and end at? The mudflaps? The fuel drum holders? The fuel drums? That is actually a fairly important piece of information that is never provided. So you have to take your best guess.)

And even real tanks are not actually that uniform anyway (and thus real tank photos for difference sources may not be quite the same). I'm pretty accurate (as much as I can be with my sources), but there's still a lot of margin for variations with both the source material (try finding two technical drawings that exactly match up, for example – and then remember that are among the sources I use) and how exactly you model a specific component won't be the same either (aside from the choices of what abstractions to take, different CAD packages don't all do the same thing the same way, either. UshCha can do different things with Rhino than I do with TurboCAD).

Heck, even the 35th scale model kits are never identical between manufacturers, and they are WAY more accurate than I could be (they have the money to do so!) So two CAD jockeys, with the best will in the world, are not going to make exactly the same assumptions and design choices to make the models identical.

There's also the modifications you make to make a model printable as well. Look at the fins on the missile on the BMD-1 – they're look rather thick for a cast model. As a 3D printed model, I have to use 1mm minimum thicknesses, which mandates that, but casting usually means you can have finer thin parts (on of the few limitations of 3D printing).

And on the BRM-1K, it seems a little… co-incidental that they used exactly the same way of doing the mast/raised lowered as I did)… And if you look hard at the sides of the turrets, you can see they're sort of faceted.

(It's probably the sort of thing each model designer will notice more than everyone else, because you know your own style and what compromises you made better.)

I suspect with a larger picture (or more views) it would be much clearer, but I'm pretty convinced, unfortunately.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine14 Oct 2017 12:38 a.m. PST

Thanks for the reply Aotrs I'm a complete luddite when it comes to CAD and 3D printing.

As mostly a fantasy/sci-fi gamer its usually pretty obvious when someone is ripping of what are normally completely unique sculpts but with historical vehicles I kind of assumed it would be difficult to make them look different and I stand corrected :).

Your point about the difficulty of tracking down correct measurements for real world vehicles was interesting and quite surprising I never realised it would be that difficult.

Sorry that you are being ripped off I hope you get some sort of resolution soon.

Aotrs Commander14 Oct 2017 4:47 a.m. PST

Update: Both of the designers I contacted thought it looked like their models (one of them thought some of the trucks looked like his as well), which does not, unfortunately fill me with much confidence this is just staggeringly co-incidental.

10mm Wargaming, a blog who graciously advertises the Aotrs Shipyards and has also advertised Panzer Depot before has sent them an email directly and pointed them, I believe, towards this thread, so they may have a chance to defend or refute these allegations.

(And better it come from a more neutral party than one of the potentially injured parties.)

@Prince Rupert of the Rhine

No problem! I'm always happy to talk (usually at excessive length!) about those topics (it is my day job, after all!)

The measurement issue is just one of those issue you just don't give any thought to until you actually come to use them in that sort of involved fashion. It only started to occur to me when I started to notice that for the T-55 in particular, nearly no two website quoted the same dimensions. Now, I take a good look around and see what the range of measurements is and take my best judgement. (I usually er on the side of Wikipedia, since i'm told there meaurements usually come from Jane's, so if I'm wrong, I'm in good comapny!)

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