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"Shapeways printed 1/288 or 1/300" Topic


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641 hits since 6 Jan 2023
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Bozkashi Jones06 Jan 2023 12:07 p.m. PST

Much as I love Tumbling Dice 1/600 for my current campaign I was thinking about going up a scale.

Shapeways Reduced Aircraft Factory have a whole host of obscure biplanes in 1/288 (sic) and 1/300, which look really nice from the renders. As my current campaign only has a dozen aircraft (it's set in 1915) I'm considering replicating my 1/600 and using 1/288.

My question is, my experience of 3D printing (1/1800 ships) is that small parts, like gantries and cranes, can be brittle and break. Has anyone got any experience or tips? Does the print material make a difference? Are they okay as playing pieces rather than just models?

Any advice/experience gratefully soaked up.

Nick

Bozkashi Jones06 Jan 2023 12:08 p.m. PST

Much as I love Tumbling Dice 1/600 for my current campaign I was thinking about going up a scale.

Shapeways Reduced Aircraft Factory have a whole host of obscure biplanes in 1/288 (sic) and 1/300, which look really nice from the renders. As my current campaign only has a dozen aircraft (it's set in 1915) I'm considering replicating my 1/600 and using 1/288.

My question is, my experience of 3D printing (1/1800 ships) is that small parts, like gantries and cranes, can be brittle and break. Has anyone got any experience or tips? Does the print material make a difference? Are they okay as playing pieces rather than just models?

Any advice/experience gratefully soaked up.

Nick

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2023 12:26 p.m. PST

I have ordered a couple of 1/144 planes from WW I, from Shapeways. One was a German bi-plane with a machine gun mounted through its belly, for flying straight and level, while strafing trenches, below. The other was an Ilya Muromets Bomber (huge: up to a crew of 12; two versions, one as a Bomber, and the other as a Gunship, with 12 MG's!). Both plane models are quite nice, not too delicate to game with. However, mine are 1/144 scale. Can't comment on their other print scales. Sorry.

I went with the lower quality resin: milk-white, and a little rough in texture. Not terribly brittle. If I ever get more Ilya Muromets bombers, I will order higher quality resin in hopes of them having a smoother texture. I would love to have two more Muromets Bombers: I would run one in a Bomber configuration, and the other two as Gunships -- hubba, hubba, Baby, bring on the enemy Fighter planes! I play Red Baron rules with my friends. When anyone runs a lumbering Bomber in the games, the Fighters swarm on them like Piranhas! They'll be in for quite a surprise when the Gunships open fire… Cheers!

stephen m06 Jan 2023 5:41 p.m. PST

I bought a handful of 1/300 (or so) planes about 4 years ago. There is some breakage (interplane struts) NOW but I think that is because the models have been sitting in a box which had been handled over the intermediate period. If there was any such damage when they arrived I would have screamed bloody murder so I assume (rightly) they arrived in fine shape.

One set was done in white versatile plastic. The minis are significantly coarser than the others but that may be the design as much as the plastic. It was not offered in any other plastic so I assume the detail was less and nothing was to be gained by printing in "better" plastic. The models are in the same shape as they arrived. I have not painted these yet.

One set was done in smooth fine detail plastic. These models are still intact but the plastic seems to have "gone off" and reacted with the air(?). Some spots are slightly furry. I contacted Shapeways and was told take a toothbrush and soapy water and scrub the stuff off. I didn't want to damage the models so just elected to ignore the advice and paint them as is. A little rough in those areas but since they are small and under the wing I figure less viewing so not an issue.

The last set was printed in smoothest fine detail plastic. These are the ones which were damaged. Over 4 biplane models 2 are perfect, one had one interplane strut lost and the remaining one had it's upper wing knocked off and the two interplane struts on one side only are gone. Again I have not painted these.

So I think if higher quality (detail) plastic is available I would (and will in future) buy them that way. The design and therefore the miniatures in the last set is equal to GHQ or CinC miniatures. The middle group would be equal to current H&R offerings and GHQ from say 30 years ago. The first are probably as good as H&R models from 30+ years ago and some of the lesser suppliers from then. Use your judgement is the more detailed finer plastic suits your needs and take a careful look at the images to see how much surface detail is inherent in the design. Often when you select the option of different plastics the images renew and the detail level increases so I assume this represents what the files are capable of. For the lower detail level models you could shape the wings into more airfoil like shapes (round not square leading edges and tapered trailing edges) but I have not done this and do not intend to do so. I am unsure how easy it is to work these plastics and what surface finish may be left. Also having been collecting micro armour aircraft for almost 50 years my collection is quite varied wrt quality of masters. And the finer plastics often cost much more, sometimes two to three times as much.

Last word. Based on my experiences paint your minis as soon as possible, even primer, to avoid any degradation of the surface. And don't just leave them for 4 years in a box which gets moved around every now and again causing them to rattle against each other.

Thresher0106 Jan 2023 6:44 p.m. PST

I prefer metal, since I find most of the plastic prints to be quite fragile.

Perhaps the prints are better for display models.

For this reason, I much prefer metal minis. Fortunately, many/most aircraft are available in 1/285th – 1/300th scale in this material.

Bozkashi Jones07 Jan 2023 2:42 a.m. PST

Brilliant, thanks for the replies gentlemen.

For a future project (Paraguay 1922) I will have no choice but to use Shapeways as the types are so esoteric (Ansaldos, FK-8s…). As I only have a dozen aircraft for this campaign I may well test the water.

Stephen – thanks for the practical tips which are invaluable.

stephen m07 Jan 2023 5:00 a.m. PST

Must say I prefer metal as well. Between the heft and the strength of the cast on details. If glued on they can also be delicate. The fragility SHOULD be able to be dealt with by careful and padded storage. That is what I do for my metals minis but still have a missile or bomb to re glue every now and again. Should be the same with the printed ones.

But as Bozkashi says there is a LOT wider variety of subjects from 3D printers. My 3 so far include the Gloster Gambit/Nakajima A1N, Cessna Skymaster/O-2 and the Curtis F9C-2. You are not going to find those in metal at 1/285 anywhere. I am looking at a second order and again very esoteric subjects. Just have to put paint on them and store much better from the start.

d88mm194007 Jan 2023 4:13 p.m. PST

One thing I've tried and works well is coat the models with a very thin super glue.

stephen m07 Jan 2023 7:00 p.m. PST

Sounds extreme. And I have found CA gets brittle with age. I think a layer of paint would help with age deterioration as well as strengthening the surface.

DarylP20 Feb 2023 11:50 p.m. PST

On Shapeways, I like the gray PA12 material best. It is very strong and robust. The surface isn't as smooth as "Detail Plastic", but it doesn't suffer from surface-crystallization. However, since it's a newer material, some of the older models may not be available in PA12.
Daryl, Reduced Aircraft Factory

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