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"12mm 1/144th scale Butler's Printed Models?" Topic

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Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2020 4:13 a.m. PST

I've seen some of these listed previously, and their latest early BRDMs look superb, so I'm curious about the overall quality of the prints of many of their 12mm models.

Some appear to have a lot of striations, while others seem to be less visible. The latest BRDMs look to have virtually none at all.

So, I'd like to get some opinions, and/or reviews from people who've bought, primed, and/or painted them, as to their general impression of their overall quality.

Depending upon the surface angles, some appear to be better than others. I'm interested in some very sloped designs, like the Jagdpanzer Rakete and Kanone, or Jaguar 1 and 2, West German Luchs, BTR-60PB, M113, M24, M41, M60A1, T-55AM, T-80, M38 Jeep with recoilless rifle, etc., etc..

The hood/bonnet on the latter looks especially horrible, given the shallow angle of it. Is that fixable with sanding, and/or extra primer/paint glopped on to smooth it out?

A painted M113 still shows very visible striations on the front glacis, and sides.

Sloped tanks and TDs like the M24, M41, M60A1, and Jagdpanzer Kanone appear to be quite visible in some cases too, but less so in others.

Can that be addressed/covered up with a thick application of spray on primer, or paint?

Some, like the YP-408 aren't really available from other sources, so are a no brainer.

I know many will say you can't see them at normal wargaming distances, e.g. standing over a table, but I'll still know they are there, so would like to be able to avoid, and/or fix these, if possible.


Schogun23 Jul 2020 5:28 a.m. PST

I recently ordered a few 10/12mm models from Butler. Here are some photos -- as received and cleaned up. Admittedly, these photos are close-up but I'll let you decide.

John Leahy Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2020 7:07 a.m. PST

Wow, that looks pretty bad. I think I'd be sending them back and asking for my money back.



Vintage Wargaming23 Jul 2020 8:54 a.m. PST

They are 3D printed models. You pays your money and you takes your choice

15mm and 28mm Fanatik23 Jul 2020 10:59 a.m. PST

If they're cheap and you don't mind the trade-off in quality and the scan lines they might be worth it. YMMV.

Not for me though since I live in the USA and overseas shipping negates any savings value they otherwise may have.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2020 11:00 a.m. PST

Under zoom like that, they do look a lot worse no doubt, given those are so much larger than the real thing, but I have to admit that is scaring me a bit.

Seems to be much more suitable to printing wood, or stone, which can have graininess like that.

I'm surprised at the roughness, given the better quality from Shapeways, but perhaps they are using different: techniques, print materials, print settings, or better quality printers in order to obtain that.

Personal logo martinjpayne Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2020 11:20 a.m. PST

So, zoom out the picture of the Universal Carrier until it's one inch long on the screen: then see if the layers are noticeable enough to cause concern.

Yesthatphil23 Jul 2020 1:20 p.m. PST

They do vary, and I think, with some of the older ones(?), it is noticeable but some newer ones are very good indeed. This is a 15mm Bantam Jeep …

This is a 12mm Big Bertha which I am using as a 15mm siege howitzer …

I think these are easily good enough for the wargame table. There are some that, IMHO, do need a bit of tidying up – but you pays your money and you makes your choice.

My collection is mostly metal, which remains my material of choice, but I will be buying more from BPM in the future.

You can see more pics of these models on P.B.Eye-Candy


Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2020 8:42 p.m. PST

Huge difference between resin and filament 3D printing. Filament look good if one makes the effort to clean them up. The first picture of each of the first few prints (filament) above show the first layer that holds the print in place when you print, you just cut or snap it off. The bottom pictures are all resin it appears.

gunnerphil23 Jul 2020 11:55 p.m. PST

Butlers make some stuff that no one else does. Take a look at the number of versions of YPR 408 they do.
They are not as sharp as modern plastic or resin. But are better than a lot of metal models out there. I do not know about other scales sizes as I only have in 15mm size. But I suspect the lines that show will be less noticeable on larger scale more noticeable on small scale. In 15mm painted and on table are fine

Schogun24 Jul 2020 5:37 a.m. PST

@gunnerphil -- I agree. More noticeable on smaller models. I can look past the striations to the extra detail his models have.

Clean up is easy. The supports easily break off.

Jeffers25 Jul 2020 8:18 a.m. PST

I've happily used them without much remedial work, but this is what I will be doing in future:


Check out the red paste…

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2020 7:56 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the replies, pics, and info.

In 1/144th scale, I think I'll wait for some stuff to come out, but might be tempted with a few items which seem like they'll be a long time in coming, if they aren't available from Shapeways, or other sources.

Wish international shipping cost a lot less, so I could buy a couple of samples to see how they look first-hand.

Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2020 9:15 p.m. PST

Butlers do vary…and newer stuff is improving! Just remember…especially with British vehicles…cammo netting and stowage are your friends!
In 1/144, I find that some superglue carefully 'snail-trailed' where you want it…and sprinkled to taste with fine sand…makes a pretty good cammo effect which can hide a vehicle's 'blushes'! Start small…you can add!
The pics of the Bren Carrier do not LOOK great…in extreme close-up…but, for NWE or maybe Italy, cammo and stowage…+ figures…and you have an acceptable piece!
Warsaw Pact vehicles are a problem…as very few pics show cammo. I do wonder whether vehicles 'in the field of combat' would have been so 'clean' as publicity photos appear?
I am afraid that I have no idea whether US or W German vehicles used cammo netting as much as UK, but some pics of Brit Cold War vehicles are… mobile 'shrubbery'! Lol!
Carefull brushing with White Glue MAY smooth out SOME of the striations before a spray job…and multiple coats of hand brushed paint will definitely give a smoother finish… with care. I would suggest that it may be better to avoid overall 'washes' and highlight for effect, though.

And…on running gear..DO NOT forget…MUD!!! lol

There are better finished vehicles…eg. Arrowhead, Dragon, but, given cost, Butlers ain't too bad, (in U.K anyway!).

Jeffers26 Jul 2020 11:43 p.m. PST

I've posted this before, but…


Butlers turret on Airfix tank so you can do a side by side comparison of computer print and plastic injection! The turret was sprayed with Baufix metal primer then both were given an army painter skeleton Bone undercoat before painting.

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