I was startled to see a 6mm sci-fi model on Shapeways the other day, so I placed an order, and here it is.
Shapeways is the 3D printing company, and designers can upload their designs so that customers can purchase them. This model is from Irrational Designs on Shapeways, which has previously done starships and larger-scale sci-fi models. This model is described as:
A rugged, versatile low-tech tank, heavily armed and armored for 6mm-scale wargaming.
cm: 4.29 w x 1.148 d x 3.634 h
in: 1.689 w x 0.452 d x 1.431 h
When you place the order, you can specify the material it will be printed from. I went with the default setting, White, Strong and Flexible, which runs $9.81 USD per model.
And here is the "real thing":
The model is in two parts, and comes in a plastic pocket, packed in bubble wrap.
The turret has a large round peg which fits into a depression on the tank hull. The peg seems a fraction too tall to me, as the turret "floats" above the hull.
For these photos, I've just rested the turret in place (it tips backwards a bit).
The White, Strong and Flexible material is translucent white, and doesn't seem fragile (at least, nothing has broken yet!). The only flaws I've spotted are the front fenders, which get a bit "feathery" (but the back fenders are sharp and complete).
The surface of the model is slightly rough, and it will be interesting to see how that works out when I try to paint the tank...
Note that the designer has made the gun barrel in an oval shape, giving the barrel more vertical height - I believe that's a concession to the 3D printing process.
As an example of what details can be accomplished, note the machinegun positions at the front of the hull and the back of the turret - there is a little tiny gun barrel poking out.
While tanks of this size are used for 6mm sci-fi, this is a large vehicle for the scale - which makes me wonder if we'll be seeing "more average"-sized vehicles?
Now, I'm off to paint my new platoon...