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"What's your thoughts on Resin buildings?" Topic

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Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Jun 2022 7:54 a.m. PST

Asking the TMP mind here.

Resin buildings have been around for a while, and while I honestly believe they will be around for a while longer, I think we will see less and less of them being produced as time goes by.
This is simply because of the following factors:
1: The increased cost in resin and mold supplies.
2: The cost and time involved in making / casting them.
3: Their difficult if not impossible ability to be repaired easily if damaged.
4: Their lack of availability to be modified when building.

And most of all,

5 The increase competition in quality, availability, and lower costs in wood and MDF laser cut building kits.

Wondering what every else's take on resin buildings are?

dick garrison28 Jun 2022 8:05 a.m. PST

To be perfectly honest Murphy I think the days of Resin buildings is numbered (and MDF too to be honest) mainly due to the increase in the availability and access to 3D printers, I think we'll get to a point (when I don't know) when rather than paying postage costs for resin buildings you will just download the STL file and print your own in the scale you prefer. You can see this happening more and more (especially in the US).

And without wishing to sound like the voice of doom I can see figures going the same way. the hobby as a whole is on the verge of major changes. I'm not saying I like the idea, but I do think it's coming.

Cheers Roger.

JimDuncanUK28 Jun 2022 8:19 a.m. PST

To be perfectly honest Murphy I think the days of Resin buildings is numbered (and MDF too to be honest)

I wouldn't necessarily agree that MDF buildings are approaching their end.

MDF buildings are securely flat packed for transiting the postal system whereas 3D printed buildings are (by their nature) a bit more of a three dimensional package.

HMS Exeter28 Jun 2022 8:36 a.m. PST

I've always considered the weight of resin buildings to be their greatest drawback.

Grelber28 Jun 2022 9:08 a.m. PST

There is also the issue of the amount of additional work needed to make the terrain table ready.
I have a number of lovely resin buildings all painted up except for one that had a bunch of bubbles and miscast areas. I've spent several hours cleaning it up, but it still isn't ready to paint. One day, maybe <sigh>


Hlaven28 Jun 2022 9:10 a.m. PST

I have been buying resin buildings for years now on Etsy. True, a little more expensive; but almost all the shops on Etsy ship for free on orders over $35.00 USD. They are 3D printed models. The details inside and outside are very detailed. You have to shop around on Etsy because something you want might have several different prices from different

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2022 9:10 a.m. PST

For me, resin in microscale, and pdf paper over foamcore in 28mm, though I seem to have a few of quite a number of materials. As you say, resin in 28mm is heavy and vulnerable.

But you have to do something really spectacular to resin or a 3D print for it not to be repairable, while I can only hope a kit of any sort contains all the right pieces, and I still have the joy of construction.

Make me 18 and in need of terrain again, and I think I'd buy a #D printer, but not for a few years while they work through the bugs. Unless stl files get really cheap, paying for a file for each building could get old, for instance. And I've been left with tech no one supports before. Solvable problems, but not for me.

gamershs28 Jun 2022 9:20 a.m. PST

I think that 3D printing is the future. The price of STL files will come down. At some point may be automated so you take a picture from a number of angles and then have system generate the file. May even be able to create virtual building in virtual space and then generate STL file from there.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2022 10:18 a.m. PST

Gus, I think you've got that one backward--though you're not alone. A steep learning curve would be rapid progression over time. My fear is a shallow learning curve, where I'm only a bit better next month than I was last.
There's an old "Bones" in which Dr. Goodman decides to get Bones out of institutional politics. He can manipulate her so far, he explains, "but you have a disturbingly steep learning curve"--meaning he can't count on staying ahead of her.

Dr. Goodman was greatly missed later. Sigh.

Disco Joe28 Jun 2022 10:28 a.m. PST

I like resin buildings and have a number of them. The MDF ones aren't bad but only if they are already painted and you just glue them together.
As far as 3D printed they are nice but I don't plan on purchasing a 3D printer and access is still not as easy as you are implying Roger so I would pass on purchasing the file to print them.

Escapee Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2022 11:01 a.m. PST

The end may still be a ways off. I have dozens of resin buildings for AWI thru ACW. I like the heft for 6mm. I have zero interest in buying and learning to use a printer, but I am interested in buying already printed products from someone else so I don't have to learn it, deal with the fumes, space, whatever.

At this point in my life I have everything I want but more time. If I were young and starting out, I would still not care about a printer – I would pay for the convenience of not having to get into the manufacturing end of the hobby.

But at some point it will become so easy, everyone will do it. Just not very soon, I think.

Fred Mills28 Jun 2022 1:44 p.m. PST

As per Tortorella, "…I have everything I want but more time."

My scales are 6mm (mix of resin and metal), 15mm (same, plus some plastic N scale), and 20mm (mostly plastic HO). Heavy but small is manageable; on the other hand, larger but flimsier sometimes causes problems and leads to much gluing.

There is no 3D printer coming any time soon for the same reasons as others noted above, including learning the new tech. The humble paint brush is already a 60-year learning curve!

Zephyr128 Jun 2022 2:38 p.m. PST

So, how well do resin buildings stand up (no pun intended) to being left in a hot car?

SpuriousMilius28 Jun 2022 3:52 p.m. PST

No resin for me. I've discovered cardstock building kits made by Battlesystems. They're designed for gaming, not too costly, lightweight, need no painting, have detailed interiors & I enjoy constructing them. Since I do most of my gaming at cons & shop gamesdays (my old group have all moved away or as Rumpole would say "dropped off the twig) weight is a prime consideration. I've also got many MDF buildings for Renaissance & Sci Fi. I've got a great MDF inn that I use for a Three Musketeers vs Cardinal's Guard tavern brawl. I've also got a large Spanish style church & some houses made of some sort of dense foam which has seen much action.

Wargamer Blue28 Jun 2022 5:59 p.m. PST

I do like resin buildings over most alternatives. They feel quality and look good. I agree that their days may be numbered as more and more people buy 3D printers and can easily print exactly what they need at home.

Mr Elmo28 Jun 2022 7:30 p.m. PST

Resin is near death and MDF is following. 3D printing is taking over.

I just bought an AnyCubic Chiron XL specifically for terrain. It's FDM but terrain doesn't need 10 micron detail.

I'll keep printing miniatures on my Photon Mono

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2022 8:04 p.m. PST

I have lots of plastic model RR builds, resin Christmas buildings, and resin wargame buildings. Never cared for MDF they just don't look right to me.
I agree that 3D printing is probably going to eclipse them all. Once 3D printing becomes more user friendly so the average person can plug and play it's over for resin.
That might be a few years yet.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Striker28 Jun 2022 11:01 p.m. PST

Old style resin will go away. It's clunky, requires a bunch of cleanup, is nasty to work with, and a pain if it's warped. I think mdf will stick around until everyone has a printer that would need a building and wants to spend the time and money to print a few buildings. It'll be cheaper to buy mdf from companies than do it myself.

Grand Dragon28 Jun 2022 11:57 p.m. PST

I think resin will still stay around for 6mm and 15mm buildings.

AussieAndy29 Jun 2022 2:13 a.m. PST

Happy with resin, but I have become a lot more picky about what I'll buy. A lot of older stuff looks pretty shabby when compared with some more modern products.

Don't like mdf. Much of it looks pretty poor and it ain't cheap.

Unlikely to get my own 3d printer, but interested in buying stuff printed by others.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Jun 2022 5:58 a.m. PST

You never know. When the MDF laser cut buildings started coming out I thought they would be the end of my PaperTerrain business, but that has not proved the case. My sales have remained steady. So I imagine the resin buildings will be around for quite a while.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2022 8:48 a.m. PST

I just purchase a building in whatever form just because I need it. When they get painted and placed on the tabletop it doesn't really matter if its MDF, resin, plastic, etc.

While 3D printers are definitely increasing the availability of terrain and buildings, I really wonder if it's just adding to the piles of stuff that gamers already have. I have a few gaming buddies who have printed some incredible buildings at home on their 3D printers, but I've never seen them painted or used! It's almost as if printing the buildings has become a new hobby unto itself.

nickinsomerset29 Jun 2022 12:27 p.m. PST

I rarely buy anymore, my shed is pretty full of both resin and MDF, happy with both,

Tally Ho!

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2022 11:58 p.m. PST

I have collected a lot of resin buildings 15mm to 28mm. I am really happy with them. I like the heft of them and they look great. But I have a lot of the generic buildings for different periods and some specific resin buildings. The big downside for me is storing them.

Lately I have been buying buildings that are 3D printed by someone else. So now I am collecting plastic buildings. What I look to buy now are specific buildings. In the past I have had commission pro-model makers to make some specific buildings for me. Not cheap, but I get exactly what I want.

I haven't had any luck with MDF. They are way to finicky for me. As for 3D printing, the technology isn't there for me. I am waiting for them to get as ubiquitous as paper printers/copiers and as easy to use.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP30 Jun 2022 7:59 a.m. PST

+1 dick garrison

My thoughts exactly

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Jul 2022 2:28 a.m. PST

I am a fan of Fachwerk / Halftimbered buildings.

I have the full set of 4Grounds mdf, Tabletop Worlds resin and stl for hand made artistic buildings and architectual models (like the Balkenheim line), with plenty of printed buildings (filament for 15+mm on, resin for smaller).

I think they cater to different tastes. Resin can be pieces of art, like those of Tabletop World – in a way no mdf can hope to achieve. MDF are fast to assemble, cheap and – if you want – easy to paint. You get good terrain fast. 3d-prints can offer both, though printing large buildings is a real pain (still), practiylly impossible and expensive using resin and has a quality loss if you use filament (though that vanishes by painting).

Overall I think resin WILL vanish for the standard quality, but it will remain for high-end display pieces. MDFs will remain in the niche for large buildings that are not too fancy. Once printing large objects gets cheaper, or especially when colorprinting goes near the mainstream, the printing will tackle the market – probably covered by printing services.

ScoutJock07 Jul 2022 1:19 p.m. PST

I don't mind resin although recently, I've received a couple of models that were still tacky. I assume due to either incorrect mixture or or incomplete curing. Also had some issues with paint not sticking despite pre washing and priming.

I always liked JR Models plaster because you could "damage" it with a Dremel or other tools. They took craft paint well but were heavy.

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