Help support TMP


"Microarmor from Shapeways" Topic


20 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Return to the Microarmor from Shapeways Article


1,811 hits since 1 Apr 2013
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Grinning Norm01 Apr 2013 3:34 a.m. PST

I've found White Strong Flexible to be a bit rough, requiring extensive sanding to give it an acceptable finish. Especially in 6mm it would be a concern. White Detail or White Ultra Detail on the other hand do give a nice smooth surface, with a higher price-tag, however.

Having only printed custom turrets using cast hulls might be a best of both worlds option.

EagleSixFive Supporting Member of TMP01 Apr 2013 6:32 a.m. PST

Yes

I would call the examples shown unacceptable. Why not use White Detail or White Ultra Detail to show prospective customers the quality of the design.

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian01 Apr 2013 8:23 a.m. PST

Because Detail and Ultra Detail materials are roughly 2-3 times as expensive, and almost $10 USD for a single 6mm tank is already pretty steep?

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.

Probably just an aesthetic design decision. The printing process doesn't require "flattened" cross-sections, nor does it produce them unintentionally the way some metal castings do.

Personal logo The Editor The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Apr 2013 1:13 p.m. PST

Why not use White Detail or White Ultra Detail to show prospective customers the quality of the design.

White Strong Flexible (WSF) is the default selection the designer has chosen, so I figured it should work fine.

White Detail would be $17.70 USD per model.

Another choice is White Strong Flexible Polished, which I would think would improve the surface roughness, but possibly at the cost of softening other detail.

"Sandstone" is the latest material that's available, and the price is lower but I'm not sure what the advantages/disadvantages of the material are.

With regard to the WSF: I wanted to shorten the turret pegs, and quickly found that filing wasn't getting me anywhere. Next, I tried a mini-sander (powered) this doesn't so much "sand" as "heat" the material, which turns soft and "flows" to the side (but stays connected), and hardens again when it cools. The best method? Carve off the excess material with a sharp blade.

Covert Walrus01 Apr 2013 1:27 p.m. PST

Transparent Detail is a better finish for vehicles this size, or so I've found – Often cheaper as well. The only materials issue I have ever had with Shapeways items is with Fine Ultra Detail and Dulux 2D Primer; The stuff refuses to dry on it and remains tacky for days. Just about every other material virtually sucks it up and dries in about half an hour. ( FUD Covers well with Citadel Black primer BTW )

I've bought some of this same designer's Large Artillery walkers and I was quite pleased with them. Only flaw I saw was a "Layering" look to a back leg due to the manufacturing process, other than that it was just fine and certainly "acceptable".

Personal logo The Editor The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Apr 2013 5:38 p.m. PST

Transparent Detail is a better finish for vehicles this size, or so I've found Often cheaper as well.

Would cost $17.70 USD for this model.

Gearhead02 Apr 2013 8:27 a.m. PST

Gah, those look awful. The design is neat, but those are way too rough.

chriskrum02 Apr 2013 5:05 p.m. PST

Thanks f or this. You've saved me burning twenty-dollars to satisfy my curiosity about shapeways.

That model simply sucks. It's not the design, it's the fabrication that is incredibly poor and absolutely far, far too expensive. It makes Heroic and Ros look good. And at that price--that's more than GHQ and CnC where even at most you won't pay more than two dollars per vehicle.

Personal logo The Editor The Editor of TMP Fezian02 Apr 2013 5:10 p.m. PST

And at that price--that's more than GHQ and CnC where even at most you won't pay more than two dollars per vehicle.

True, but this model is much larger than most of the sci-fi from CnC. A better comparison might be the BattleTech vehicles from Iron Wind Metals, where a single large tank can cost as much as $15. USD

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 Apr 2013 5:30 p.m. PST

I wouldn't call BTech stuff all that reasonably reasonably priced, either.

Personal logo The Editor The Editor of TMP Fezian02 Apr 2013 6:04 p.m. PST

Fair enough grin but at least they're in the same ballpark, size-wise.

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 Apr 2013 7:23 p.m. PST

True, that. Charles has some nice big models in his range – and some of them have been translated to much more economical metals through his agreement with Studio Bergstrom. Only starships so far, but maybe someday the 6mm stuff will appear in metal as well.

kmahony11103 Apr 2013 11:55 a.m. PST

Yeah sadly the quality is still rubbish. The price for the finer quality finishes has yet to come even close to what you can buy in cast resin or metal. Its a great idea being able to 3d print but the price/tech isnt there yet.

Cheers
Kieran

Artraccoon03 Apr 2013 9:26 p.m. PST

I have to agree with the other fellows here. The design is great, but the produced product is just too rough( a coat of paint might help) and too expensive for what you get. There are plenty of producers of SF tanks out there that will get you more for your money. I can score 3 tanks from Darkest Star for less, or a monster from Reviresco, and there are many others with a better price point.

I'd love to have some of these tanks in my army, but better "cast", in a group package(3 would be good), and at a better price per unit.

It would seem that the Shapeways system would be great for making protoypes that will get polished up and finshed then used to make a casting mold. I've thought about going into the SF vehicle/mech design( and odd real world vehicles like the MBT-70) and making biz myself, and the use of 3D "printing" would be used to in just this way.

Gearhead04 Apr 2013 1:00 p.m. PST

Actually, a coat of paint would just show that Pebble Tec finish in even sharper relief.

Personal logo The Editor The Editor of TMP Fezian04 Apr 2013 2:00 p.m. PST

Actually, a coat of paint would just show that Pebble Tec finish in even sharper relief.

One person tells me that with a few coats of paint, the rough surface disappears. I'm looking forward to my own experiment…

kmahony11104 Apr 2013 10:22 p.m. PST

"One person tells me that with a few coats of paint, the rough surface disappears. I'm looking forward to my own experiment…"

And I guess a lot of the details will as well.

Covert Walrus05 Apr 2013 3:45 a.m. PST

"And I guess a lot of the details will as well."

Not in my experience – certainly not with a car primer like Dulux 2D.

Of course, that's true of metal and other conventionally cast minis as well.

Nick Weitnauer07 Apr 2013 3:28 p.m. PST

My experience with white strong and flexible spaceships was a coat of white krylon smoothed out the grainy texture without losing any more of the details then I would lose on similar metal models.

Zen Ghost Fezian17 Mar 2014 6:24 p.m. PST

What about using sanding sealer to coat and prime. That should ereduce the grainy texture.
-ZG

Sorry - only trusted members can post on the forums.