Friday, December 16, 2016

Shapeways Purchases

The kids and I were supposed to leave today (Friday) to our annual Christmas travels to Chicago. Thanks to the incoming storm across the Midwest, I postponed the trip to Sunday. Its supposed to be horribly cold, but at least sunny and hopefully the roads will be clear. Although I'd like to be there sooner than later, I immediately felt the stress of driving 11+ hours in nasty weather with my kids fall off my shoulders once I made my decision.

Last week, a flood of figures came in. I probably shouldn't have, but I ordered a bunch of stuff from GHQ, C-in-C, Heroics & Ros, and Shapeways. I am still waiting on the C-in-C stuff, but everything else arrived in a span of four days. Most of the H&R minis were more of their 80s British infantry to fill some gaps from my previous order. I had some accumulated credit from Shapeways that I decided to cash in. At Shapeways, you place your order and hope it goes through. They seem to charge your credit card before they know if they can make the item or not. Not sure if that is ethical, but if they can't print something, they give you credit. I've been burned on a couple of things. I can't really blame the designers. There have been several times where the designer said an item had printed OK in the past, but for some reason, that same item could now not print. Anyway, here are a couple of things that I ordered from them.

First, are some VW vans from Masters of Military:

They have a big range of civilian vehicles. IMHO, this is a range that is sorely neglected by pretty much all microarmor companies. Unlike a lot of other Shapeways designers, they print a lot of their stuff in Ultra Frosted Detail. This material is translucent and very smooth, unless the more common stuff that is very rough. The only minus to MOM is that they are pretty darn expensive. I also order some delivery vans, but I didn't take a picture of them.

Next up is the Douglas A2D Skyshark by New Aragon Mechanical Works:

I think this is the first time I've ordered from this designer. He only does stuff in Strong, White & Flexible, which is very grainy. You can't tell from the crappy picture, but the tail end of the wings are very rough looking. I took a emery board and very gently sanded it down a little. I'm not sure why some of these designers still use this material other than because it's cheap. It has a belly drop tank that I will cut off to make room for a rare earth magnet. You get two planes with different payloads.  Here is what the real thing looked like, pudgy but cool:

U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1996.253.3377, Public Domain,
There were only 12 of these planes built. It had twin counter-rotating propellers powered by a turboprop engine. It was meant to be flown off of escort carriers. The Douglas Skyraider quickly replaced it....but not in my world! Fictional nations justify prototypes and odd ducks. Not sure who the lucky nation is that will get these.

Next, a Hawker Hart light bomber also from New Aragon Mechanical Works:

Sorry for the crappy picture, but I wasn't sure how to photograph it. Again, more frosty goodness. The Hawker Hart was part of a series of Hawker all-metal biplanes that came out in the late 20s. They were used mostly in far-flung reaches of the British Empire, or sold to minor nations.

So, why the old-timer aircraft? Well, I've been toying with the idea to revitalize an old (and I mean very old) solo campaign that I ran back in the late 80s. It was a semi-fictional battle between a not-Soviet Union and a not-Great Britain over an Iran-like nation set in the mid to late 1930s. There were lots of battles between BT-7's and Crusader I's. With a bunch of interwar tanks and planes coming out of Shapeways, I thought I'd add some minor nations to the mix. I'd keep it more of a desert theme, making terrain building less of an issue (I've been pretty burned out on terrain building lately). I have not invested a lot yet. It depends on how far I get on my Gambusia campaign.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Chris, Carlos from shapeways here
    first thanks for the purchase.

    I hope that the models were fit for your gambusians :)

    On the material choice is just a matter of cost, we tried in the past offering more detailed models in better materials (FUD/FXD) but the price of the material itself was so high that sales were not just there.

    In any case we are now trialling a newer material (HP Strong and Flexible) that might represent a nice improvement in surface finishing with a not so high price increase.

    Also any feedback on the models is greatly appreciated