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"Have You Bought Minis on Shapeways?" Topic

41 Posts

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07 Nov 2018 10:38 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to 3D Printing board

Areas of Interest


976 hits since 7 Nov 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian07 Nov 2018 9:56 p.m. PST

Have you purchased any wargaming miniatures from Shapeways?

Cacique Caribe07 Nov 2018 10:11 p.m. PST

Twice, about a year ago. Ive bought no other 3-D since then.

But I think I'll wait a decade or so, until they can figure out how to do away with all those annoying layer lines, and until the prices are more reasonable for what you get.


Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 11:26 p.m. PST

No. The search feature is medieval. I usually get frustrated and wander off.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 1:08 a.m. PST

Yes, planes and ships. Quality is variable, the cost per miniature is usually quite high for decent miniatures. The struts and landing gear of my 1/200 Fairey Swordfish seem fragile, and 1/200 and 1/144 tail wheels break off constantly. The plastic that looks good (smooth and detailed?) is brittle, the cheaper, more robust plastic (strong and flexible?) looks bad (pitted, grainy).

I think this technology shows a lot of promise, but right now it appears most useful as a method for producing masters to make molds from.

- Ix

figuresales08 Nov 2018 2:21 a.m. PST

Yes a few modern warships. Service was good but both print cost and shipping cost were far too expensive. Quality of the product is not worth teh total price paid.

Seeing the generally poor results 3D printers give the amount I am prepared to pay for it is now a fraction of what services think they can charge.

Winston Smith08 Nov 2018 2:51 a.m. PST

Shapeways specifically? No.
But I have bought from other 3D manufacturers.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 4:14 a.m. PST


KSmyth08 Nov 2018 4:19 a.m. PST

Yes, several times. Just planes, but from a couple of different designers. Loved what I've received.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 4:24 a.m. PST

Yes, a few items.

Tigerjlm08 Nov 2018 5:54 a.m. PST

Yes, few years ago bought couple items. But now that I have three 3D printers myself I can print whatever I want/need for much cheaper.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 6:07 a.m. PST


irishserb08 Nov 2018 6:11 a.m. PST

Only once, service was very good, the item was more reasonably priced than most, but was still a little high, and though the finish quality was actually quite good (no lines), the virtual model wasn't detailed enough, so the fuselage of the plane in particular had an very "facetted" appearance.

My overall satisfaction was less than that of most metal or resin miniatures that I buy.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 6:32 a.m. PST

yes alot of 1/1800 axis and allies scaled ships. Most are as good or better than the original models.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 6:37 a.m. PST

I have used Shapeways to 3D print miniatures I have designed. Does that count?

Vigilant08 Nov 2018 7:47 a.m. PST

Bought a load of budionovka caps to convert my Warlord winter soviets to Winter War era troops. Only source so I didn't have much choice than to pay the price asked. Quick response and delivery. Not a big fan of 3D printed items due to the layer lines, but these were ok.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 8:01 a.m. PST

If you pay more for materials and process, you get fewer lines on the prints, down to none. All production (not prototype/fitting) 3D printed medical prosthetics that I have seen are perfectly smooth.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 8:12 a.m. PST


Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 8:52 a.m. PST

Yes: around six years ago, I purchased two 1/144 WW-I aeroplanes. They have an Ilya Muromet Heavy Bomber… Biggest plane fielded in the Great War! Lovely model. The other plane is a German Trench Killer -- forget the name. It had two, forward firing MG's, and two MG's aimed at 45 degrees, through the second seater's floor, designed for strafing trenches… Hoping to field them in a Red Baron game, eventually.

The pricing seems high, but if they're the only company offering what you want, they are acceptable. No lines, whatsoever. The surface is a bit grainy, and mildly rough, but it is workable. The detail is superb, equal, or darn close, to what can be achieved in metal castings.

One thing not mentioned, is the near-nothing weight of such models! For the Red Baron game, we mount our models on vertical sticks, adjusting their positions to show altitude. If the Muromet were made of metal, the stick would be 1-inch in diameter to support the model's weight! It would not be feasible to use such a large metal model in the game… Cheers!

Waco Joe08 Nov 2018 9:19 a.m. PST

Yes, several times. Mostly very small scale modern naval and 1/144 WW1 aircraft

Personal logo Dances With Words Supporting Member of TMP Fezian08 Nov 2018 9:23 a.m. PST

Yes, spacecraft, robots and some 28-32mm figures…..but then again…my 'google-fu' is weak, outside of Shapeways but I also have a couple of shops on there where the owners do 'custom' requests for ME….mwah-hah-hah!

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 9:40 a.m. PST

Once, Night Lords Terminators shoulder pads.

Legion 408 Nov 2018 10:30 a.m. PST

Found their 6mm Infantry a bit brittle/fragile around the ankles, etc. … I chose FUD for the casting material. May have choose otherwise, something more durable. But as it was the 6mm figures were, very, very, expensive … frown

Personal logo TheWhiteDog Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 11:02 a.m. PST

Hundreds of 1/4800 ships, quite a few 1/600 aircraft, and several hundred of my own fleet-scale sci-fi fighters. All in FUD.

Almost all of them would be cost-prohibitive to do in resin or metal, and wouldn't be near the level of detail.

If you have good base stl's, then the detail is unrivaled. I'll be picking up my own Anycubic Photon as a result of their most recent price-rise, and graduate to a Form 2 in the next year or two.

UshCha08 Nov 2018 11:47 a.m. PST

Lots, for wargaming I use the strong white flexible stuff. All mine are 1/144 models. Near indestructible, because they are light they "bounce" so no damage if dropped. I have never understood the lines thing. At any distance a sensible wargamer plays at they are invisible and that seems to be the majority view at shows detail in general is as good or better, small gun diameters (machine guns) are a bit bigger in some cases, however the smaller metal ones are not robust enough for regular use so no real loss). The very fact that there are no mould lines and the bits fit together accurately, never the case for the metal ones I buy makes them better. Personally I avoid metal like the plague if I can. As for price, in the sensible flexible stuff my 1/144 stuff is about the same price as metal. However more of the stuff I use I print myself, now days even inexpensive printers rival Shapeways in terms of detail and the cost is less. The printer and software probably below £300.00 GBP and about 25 pence for material at 1/144 scale.

Even the figures at 1/72 scale I have seen have been fine, again the lines seem to be over emphasised by some folk. Strangely often by folk who have an obsession with plastic not being heavy enough for a quality product, never understood that!

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

Every time I go to the site to browse I find it a pain to sort through everything so I usually leave after a minute or so of trying to search for what I want.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 3:23 p.m. PST


Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 5:15 p.m. PST


SeattleGamer09 Nov 2018 2:21 p.m. PST

Just once, a 1:56 scale russian tank that is not available anywhere else in any other medium (an amphibious tank). Thought the price was okay, thought the photo looked reasonably good to give it a try.

The stuff I print myself is a way denser, hardier filament. The tank was light as a feather, and felt super fragile. Didn't feel like it was made of plastic at all. Didn't feel like it would hold up to gaming use.

I was not happy with the experience. Perhaps I selected the wrong material to have the tank made from, but the selections available gave me no idea what the differences were. And I can't keep trying different options until I find one I like. Way too costly.

So a bad experience for me. Won't give that a try again.

LS650abc12 Nov 2018 11:39 a.m. PST

Yes, I've bought a few miniature aircraft from various vendors on Shapeways. To be blunt, I was a bit disappointed: they were expensive, very grainy and had the faint 'layer' grooves.

I think if you have a wish for a single one-off mini to complete some sort of collection, they can be okay – as long as you don't look too closely…

poiter5012 Nov 2018 8:44 p.m. PST

Since they shifted to a US based organisation, I feel that their prices have increased and their promos have decreased.

Using locally based 3D people these days but they are not as commercially orientated.

Gunner Dunbar13 Nov 2018 10:57 p.m. PST

I bought a test batch of minis in 2013 and did a review here, I had decent paying corporate job then, so didn't mind paying the price to see what they were like, but now I'm a full time mini painter I would even consider buying another batch until the best quality plastic cost 30%-40% less then their current worst plastic.


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2018 8:28 a.m. PST

Many! Tip: search via Google. Buy the higher grade prints to minimise print lines, lower grade to save money.

15mm tanks for Girls und Panzer, many of them by Tachikoma here, Arctic Skunk on Shapeways, including special requests.

6mm sci-fi vehicles for Battletech and Ogre, nearly all of them special requests by Javelin98 here, National Cheese Emporium on Shapeways. (I'll be posting pix of the latest in the near future once they're at least primed and will photograph better.)

Star Wars ships for X-WIng and Armada.

Odds and ends of 1/56 bits, AAMG gun mounts for Bolt Action conversions, etc.

It's great for niche stuff not available elsewhere. And outstanding for being able to put in requests with friendly designers!

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2018 3:58 p.m. PST

Purchased some modern naval ships. Happy with how they look.

SBminisguy04 Dec 2018 4:17 p.m. PST

Yes, usually for figures otherwise unavailable.

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2018 7:50 a.m. PST

Not yet.


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2018 9:39 p.m. PST

c.f. Latest purchases, designed by our own javelin98 on request: TMP link

Personal logo svsavory Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2018 12:59 p.m. PST

Several of us in my group have purchased 1/144 WWI aircraft from Shapeways. Mostly in white-strong-flexible, but we've bought a few in black and the frosted-ultra-detail. The WSF are the cheapest and the most durable, but they have a noticeably grainy finish (which can be mitigated somewhat by repeatedly priming and sanding).

To us the main benefit is the ability to buy models that would otherwise be unavailable.

N Drury13 Dec 2018 5:56 a.m. PST

Most of the WW1 planes in 1/144 that I've seen have been fine, far less fiddly and fragile than resin kits and so much lighter than metal models that far less substantial flight stands are needed. The Taube model for a 1914 recce plane looked particularly good.

In 1:285 scale, those vehicles available as multiples rather than singly can be not that much more expensive than GHQ and useful for models otherwise not available.

The Valentine bridgelayer model in 1:285 was very impressive.

Zebcook Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2018 8:13 p.m. PST

Yes. Picked up a very nice Lancia armored lorry for an ICW game I'm planning, a water trailer and field kitchen for other things. The Lancia is a fine job, the trailer also good, while the kitchen has a few line issues, but easy enough to deal with.

Their search is horrible and they need a 1/28 or 1: 56 scale option, but if you find if you look you can find some good makers who supply things you can't find elsewhere.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2018 7:32 a.m. PST


Puster Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 9:41 a.m. PST

We bought a couple of our Fachwerk-Designs in different materials, and were quite content with the results, though higher quality shows…
The buildings are in 1:285, so the price is acceptable. The framework model looked especially good – something my own printer cannot hope to emulate.

Afaik you have to carefully chose your material. Larger models are pretty expensive this way.

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