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"40mm 3D printed resin Royal Horse Artillery!" Topic

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grambo11 Aug 2019 5:06 a.m. PST

What an amazing technology this digital sculpt/3D printing is. I'm new to it and admit I don't fully understand how it works, but I can see it having a huge impact on our hobby.

As a 40mm Napoleonics collector (Sash & sabre, Perry Miniatures) I had an ambition to add a couple of RHA guns and a rocket battery base to my armies. None being commercially available in 40mm I approached a traditional figure sculptor for a quote to make me 4 masters with silicone moulds to cast from.

My partner in the venture then persuaded me to look into the digital sculpt and 3D print rout. So far we have produced the officer figure and plan for a further 4 gun crew. I have to say that the results are very impressive, and the figure once painted is both well detailed and pretty robust, so much so that we will using the resin prints as our crews rather than having moulds made and metal castings.

On the cost front the traditional metal masters and moulds for 5 figures would have been around £800.00 GBP GBP plus the cost of the castings. Using digital technology the cost of the sculpts x 5 from a professional digital artist will be around £300.00 GBP with the figures being 3D printed by a friend with a printer. The resin cost of each 40mm figure is around 35p each. What is even more interesting is that the figures can be printed in any scale from the one file, 18mm, 28mm, 40mm etc.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this technology and especially with regards to the future direction of our hobby. Should add that I'm a 61 year old who started wargaming in the 1970's so to me this something quite amazing!


A few images showing the RHA officer from digital sculpt to 3D resin prints to painted figure. With huge thanks to Ian Smith and Graham Cummings for getting things this far :)



Size comparison with metal figures – Sash & Sabre british sergeant and a couple of Perry French.




This is the first version digital file. The crossbelt was removed for an officer a few other changes made including the size of the sword hilt and button rows on the pelisse.




Rittmester11 Aug 2019 5:21 a.m. PST

Really interesting!
I have had my tech-savvy brother (engineer) to print some 1/72 tanks, but since his private printer was at the lower end of the scale, they had quite some flash between details and thus requiring quite a lot of file-work.
The 40mm's you present here, how would you describe the printer and the work required to prepare them for painting?
Please show some close-ups of 28mm if you have printed any :)

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 6:22 a.m. PST

My how beautifully detailed the figure came out. Amazing!

WarWizard11 Aug 2019 6:26 a.m. PST

That figure is excellent. Very well done.

grambo11 Aug 2019 6:45 a.m. PST

I must stress that I only painted the figures, they were the first resin 3D prints I have seen 'in the flesh'. The creative work was done by Dan at digital sculpts (link below) under commission from my partner in this venture, fellow 40mm collector Ian Smith. The files were then printed for us by Graham Cummings (of Crann Tara Miniatures). Graham has been experimenting with his 'entry level' printer for some time now, achieving excellent results.

The painted figures above are untouched, no filing or cleaning required. I did spot a little flash between the collar of the pelisse and the coat, but that was only after I painted them!

I think the point is that for an extra £60.00 GBP or so one could take the 3D resin printed master to a company like Griffin, who produce top quality figure moulds in the UK and then have metal castings at cost. IN this case and because we only need a couple of gun crews each we decided to simply use the resin prints.

Rittmester, I will ask Graham what printer he used to produce these. He does have the image below on his site illustrating how the file can be printed in different scales.(Note image Copyright Graham Cummings)

18mm, 25mm, 30mm and 40mm.


martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 7:14 a.m. PST

Very impressive. Thanks for the posting.

The future of wargaming i think.

forwardmarchstudios11 Aug 2019 8:21 a.m. PST

It is definitely the future. This post sort of highlights one use of 3D printing, which is prototyping. My own range of 2mm figures is designed for production on 3D printers, but it only works economically because the pieces are so small. I don't own my own printer, but I believe that a 28mm, or even 15mm army printed in a cheap medium like ABS would be more expensive than metal. And of courde resin is quite a bit more expensive than any FDM printer.

I'm really interested in seeing where the new FDM color printers go. In a few years those really could be game changers.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 12:08 p.m. PST

Wow – that is amazing. Your certainly have my attention!

thehawk11 Aug 2019 1:49 p.m. PST

Grambo, Dan did some Karoliners for me a few years ago for printing by Shapeways in FUD and WSF. I did 28, 35 and 40mm prints. The FUD print was tested in a metal casting mould which worked, with some limitations regarding undercuts and thin parts. I then contacted a Chinese injection moulding company about manufacturing in plastic. Cost worked out to about $1 USD a figure for a few thousand. As I didn't want a few thousand figures I passed on that. I settled on 1/48 (35mm) as I wanted a larger figure that could be used reasonably well with 30mm scenery.

I bought fdm and resin printers but haven't used them to print armies.

In the last year the cost of professional color printers has dropped markedly, so I have been looking at printing minis in color. Not to any serious extent as I don't have the space for a color printer. I think color printing is feasible now or close to it, at least for the main colors and not the fine detail. I also looked at scanning figures and resizing them, as a feasibility study. That does work.

Recently I have been buying the new primed plastic figures of the D&D and A Song of Ice and Fire types. These are way ahead of most metal miniatures, especially the more recent ASOIAF releases.

Add in the kickstarters for scenery and games containing minis like Trudvang Legends by the people who do ASOIAF ($2m raised and still a few days to go) and the conclusion has to be that 3D is firmly embedded in gaming.

I'm 65 and although retired I don't have the time to do the number of things I could do with 3D tech.

grambo12 Aug 2019 1:36 a.m. PST

thehawk – thank you for you input, I found your post really useful and interesting, especially regarding the use of resin masters to produce moulds and metal castings. Down the line we want to produce a small range of 40mm Portuguese metal infantry as none are commercially available in this scale. These RHA figures were printed on what the owner Graham described as 'entry level'. Graham owns Crann Tara Miniatures in the UK and has lots of expereince producing very high quality figures, he uses the best traditional sculptors and a very highly regarded mould making/casting service (Griffin). He is currently experimenting with digital masters via Dan. He has found that some shallow detail on the resin prints requires a little more depth added, such as crossbelts etc. On the figure above the relief on some very fine detail such as the braiding on the pelisse and the braid on the lower sleeves could possibly be raised a touch, but as prints for our planned gun crews he is just fine, if he was to be used as a master for a mould then such details would need to be 'tweaked' slightly I think.

grambo12 Aug 2019 1:41 a.m. PST

Just to quickly reply to the other messages above:

Martin Goddard – 'tis you of the fantastic Peter Pig range yes? Those are going to take some beating using any new technology :)

forwardmarchstudios – I have spent some time browsing your website, I am very tempted to use your products for a side project, I am amazed at what you do!

Frederick – thank you very much Sir!

18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 9:41 a.m. PST

Wow, just wow!

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 10:20 a.m. PST

Thanks for the compliment Lee.

forwardmarchstudios13 Aug 2019 9:10 p.m. PST

Grambo- Thanks! If you end up taking the plunge I'd love to see what you come up with. Feel free to mod files if you want – its encouraged and supported.

Black Hat Miniatures16 Aug 2019 1:03 a.m. PST

That looks really interesting – the thing that has put me off going down the digital route is the cost of having masters printed (I have seen £250.00 GBP as a normal cost) which is far greater than the cost of traditional sculpting.

Any chance you could drop me an email at with some details of the sculptor you used? I'm thinking of 54mm…



grambo16 Aug 2019 1:21 a.m. PST

Mike I can tell you that the RHA digital sculpts are costing us 70 Euros per figure! They are being made by a Swedish guy called Dan and his webiste is:

When I first considered going the traditional route I was quoted £200.00 GBP per figure, but that included master by a good sculptor and mould by Griffin Moulds.I was persuaded by my partner in this venture to try the digital rout.

The digital file is superb as you can see from the above images.

Hope this helps, if I can help with anything more feel free to email me

Quick preview of the 1st gunner sculpt, looks a bit 'cheeky' but he still has work to do yet!

*EDIT: the files can be printed in any scale Mike.



Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2019 2:23 a.m. PST

Priceless. He had better watch out for sparks

I hope Perrys are inspired into a whole new range.

Clays Russians18 Aug 2019 12:11 p.m. PST

I dearly and sincerely hope this does not stoke the detestable practice of future pirating. This worries me.

grambo19 Aug 2019 7:30 a.m. PST

Clays Russians – there will always be those who seek to steal other peoples intellectual property unfortunately, but I don't see this technology making that any more widespread.

What I do see is the opportunity for collectors to produce unique figures at reasonable cost.


MiniPigs14 Sep 2019 6:58 a.m. PST

I gave this a closer read. Am I to understand that a digital sculpt costs 70 euros and then a Griffin mold is another £60.00 GBP GBP?

Further, am I to understand that the resin you are using for the RHA gunners is not brittle?

It seems like the sculptors style is more in line with Perry than Sash and Saber? Is that HIS style or did someone direct that the RHA figures resemble more Perry than S&S?

grambo15 Sep 2019 1:46 a.m. PST

Hi Minipigs,

Yep, the digital sculpt file cost 75 Euros per figure from Dan. The style is very much his style working to uniform references.

For the RHA crew we are painting the resin prints directly, they may be slightly brittle but so far no breakages. As we only require 3 gun crews each (Ian Smith and I), going down the metal route is not commercially viable at this stage, however once all 5 are completed it would be possible to have Griifin make a mould for the set of 5 to produce them in metal. Griffin can produce a single figure mould for £60.00 GBP, as you know they have a top notch reputation for quality.

I would hope that Chris will commit to extending the 40mm S&S range but if he does not then we have plans to produce more 40mm's as there is nothing else out there now sadly. These would be made available to other collectors.

My wife and I are currently trying to sell our house in Spain to return to the Uk (are you in the UK?), and my plan is to invest in the production of more 40mm Napoleonics using both digital and traditional sculpts.

For completeness I'll add the digital files here of the first two gunner figures so far, I think the length of the cuffs need a tweak and the rear lace must be deep enough to stand off the coat, but overall I like them and the poses.




MiniPigs15 Sep 2019 5:46 a.m. PST

Well, when it comes to brittleness, I suppose there is resin and then there is "resin"; it all depends on the mix of materials.

At what casting numbers for figures do you believe a metal mold would be warranted?

No, I am in the USA.

What is on your and Ian's to-do list? You said Portuguese line infantry?

It seems like you cant just hand the job off to the sculptor, you have to constantly examine the sculpts for both salient artistic/painting details and for uniform cut/details?

Personal logo oldbob Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2019 6:27 a.m. PST

Guys this really interesting,thanks for sharing.

grambo17 Sep 2019 6:46 a.m. PST

Oldbob, I'm glad you are finding this interesting because this old Grambo is also new to the technology :)

MiniPigs – The resin used does not seem brittle. I note that Perry Miniatures 40mm French artillery crew are actually cast in resin and are more expensive at £5.50 GBP per figure than the metal figures so there must be grades of resin. I think resin will be fine for our RHA crews.

The figures are being printed for us by a friend and he estimated the resin cost per figure to be around 30p each! So if a breakage did occur it's not a major loss but so far so good.

Between us we are only looking for 6 officers and 6 each of the 4 crew figures so resin is fine.

I know that Ian is keen to produce some Portuguese troops in dynamic firing line poses. As he uses 36 figure battalions and I use 24 figure battalions clearly these will require a mould and metal castings. Cacadores are also on the list and higher command figures.

It's a learning process at the moment but the officer turned out really well.

MiniPigs18 Sep 2019 10:04 a.m. PST

Portuguese in dynamic firing poses? Sounds like a recipe for frustration. What's wrong with the old March Attack?

You dont like the Fighting 15s 40mm Cacadores? I adores those cacadores.

grambo19 Sep 2019 6:20 a.m. PST


Where on Earth did those magnificent Cacadores come from! First time I have seen or heard of them, thank you. Well, we can strike those off our list, I'll be ordering some of those :)

I understand that Chis has now completed the sculpts for the 28mm F&I war range, I'm hoping he will return to S&S and fill some gaps.

Are you aware of any other compatible 40mm ranges out there? Surely somebody is going to do a 40mm Sharpe and Harper?


MiniPigs19 Sep 2019 7:37 a.m. PST

Sean Judd, of trident 40mm fame, sculpted those Portuguese.

I also hope that Chris does many many packs for the Napoleonics Range; especially the Peninsular War. Further, I hope he expands his vision above skirmish and skirmish battle range.

1st Legion makes good French artillery and their crews can pass for horse artillery. They also make a Napoleon and Ney pack.

You can plunder a few of the 40mm Mexican sets from Gringos40 to use as Spanish commanders, bodyguards or lancers; but his prices are ridiculous. Frankly, I wonder about a company which has such a poor understanding of markets.

It might be worth it if Gringo40s continued to do 40mm scale figures but they seem to have abandoned the scale for random 28mm offerings. Pity because they do some nice French Marshals which would've been fun in 40mm.

Monolith Designs do a 40mm Sharpe and Harper and several other 95th rifles characters.

grambo20 Sep 2019 1:43 a.m. PST

MiniPigs – can you tell me please how the 1st Legion figures scale up against Sash & sabre? I was told they were smaller but have seen no evidence of this.

You now have me hunting for the Sharpe and Harper figures by Graven!


MiniPigs20 Sep 2019 7:15 p.m. PST

In terms of sculpting style and body mass, 1st Legion are similar to Perry 40mm but not out of place next to Sash and Saber. They had a huge 40mm range planned but it didnt sell amd they junked the French and Russian molds.

Just write the owner at Monolith and he will probbaly help you out with all the Rifles figures.

holdit21 Sep 2019 1:51 a.m. PST

That guy with the portfire needs a better-fitting thong.

Seriously, though, amazing work.

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