Saturday, 13 July 2013

I Broke My Shapeways Virginity

I have wanted to buy some Shapeways 3D printed aircraft for quite a while now. I became aware of them about a year or so ago but have been put off by mixed reviews of the quality of prints. Another factor that put me off was the price of the postage, to the UK it cost almost as much as another aeroplane for shipping! However, having sold a few things on EBay recently, I decided to take the plunge and break my Shapeways virginity. I've always been a big fan of the Bristol F2B 'Fighter' and it looked unlikely that Ares would release 1/144th scale models of the Brisfit before about 2056, so I thought they'd be a good tester for the Shapeways plunge. Kampfflieger has a Brisfit and it has good reviews, so a few clicks with trembling hand and three were ordered!


I've got to say, I was very impressed when they arrived, which was only about a week after my order. I'd also read a lot about how they had to be cleaned up and primed before they would be of any use. In this case, these didn't. The 3D printing technique marks can be seen on the model, but it's not a massive problem given their small size. Also, I painted them directly with my normal Vallejo paints with no primer and there was no problem at all (Brown Violet, for the upper surfaces, Iraqi Sand for the lower surfaces and Beige Brown for the wood):


The brilliant crew are by Peter Pig, the excellent decals are from Dom's Decals (The Australian Sopwith Snipe set...). I haven't weathered them, as my WoW planes are not weathered, so I didn't want these to stand out. As the detail is good on them, there may not be much need to highlight ailerons and such anyway, so I'll probably leave them alone. Next thing to do was to glue a peg on the base so they will attach to the WoW bases:


And here they are in action against a trio of dirty Fokkers, flying in circles to protect each other:


I'm really happy with how these turned out and when I sell more things on EBay, I plan on getting more of these Shapeways aircraft to fill in the gaps of my WoW collection!

6 comments:

  1. They're damn nice sir, recently got some 15mm scenery from Shapeways.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Fran, what is the scenery? Was the postage high?

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  2. Very nice! I knew 3D printing would have wargaming applications somehow.

    I love the trenchlines as viewed from 10,000ft, too!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Johnny, yeah, I can only see things getting better (and cheaper) for 3D printing. The mat is from terrainmat.com, in their WW1 section. It's excellent and well worth the money I paid for it.

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