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About to buy some Shapeways minis, but questions

 
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Asmoridin
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Joined: 23 Sep 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Westminster, MD

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:50 pm    Post subject: About to buy some Shapeways minis, but questions Reply with quote

Good afternoon!

I am considering buying some shapeways miniatures, because I think playing some SFB/FC games with the minis would definitely be attention grabbing, and I'd love to try to recruit some players.

I'm used to dealing with minis from the major manufacturers (say, Games Workshop), so minis with that sort of smoothness (at least the appearance thereof when I'm playing the game) of plastic are what I'd prefer.

Looking at a Shapeways ship, it looks like I have several choices- "White Natural Versatile Plastic", "Smooth Fine Detail Plastic", "Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic". What is probably the minimal level I'd need to get a smoothness I wouldn't notice from table-height?

What does the MGL mean after the names of some of the ships (for instance, "3788 Scale Maesron Heavy Cruiser (CA) MGL")?

"use standard flight stands available from many sources" - Anyone have a source of flight stands that they have used successfully?

Thank you!
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djdood
Commodore


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 3412
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: About to buy some Shapeways minis, but questions Reply with quote

Asmoridin wrote:

I'm used to dealing with minis from the major manufacturers (say, Games Workshop), so minis with that sort of smoothness (at least the appearance thereof when I'm playing the game) of plastic are what I'd prefer.

Looking at a Shapeways ship, it looks like I have several choices- "White Natural Versatile Plastic", "Smooth Fine Detail Plastic", "Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic". What is probably the minimal level I'd need to get a smoothness I wouldn't notice from table-height?


Versatile Plastic is the lowest-cost option, but does not yield the surface finish level you would seem to prefer (it is laser-sintered nylon powder and has a somewhat grainy finish).

Smooth Fine Detail Plastic is laser-cured from liquid resin and yields the smoothest finish of the typical options. It's what I buy all my own personal copies in.

Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic yields even finer details, but is usually overkill for the ADB Shapeways minis. It's only really worth even thinking about for the smallest of ships/units. Cruisers and larger really won't show much, if any, difference.

Asmoridin wrote:

What does the MGL mean after the names of some of the ships (for instance, "3788 Scale Maesron Heavy Cruiser (CA) MGL")?


When possible, the digital sculpter's initials are included at the end of the product name for tracking purposes.

Asmoridin wrote:

"use standard flight stands available from many sources" - Anyone have a source of flight stands that they have used successfully?


ADB sells several types of stands through their web-store:
https://www.starfleetstore.com/miniature-stands-c-105/?zenid=cdcb87b3d5d71e1ef476bb781eb1f3f3

There are other, third-party, options. The most-popular seems to be CorSec Engineering, but they are in the process of shutting down and may or may not transfer production to another company.
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Asmoridin
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Joined: 23 Sep 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Westminster, MD

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: About to buy some Shapeways minis, but questions Reply with quote

djdood wrote:

Smooth Fine Detail Plastic is laser-cured from liquid resin and yields the smoothest finish of the typical options. It's what I buy all my own personal copies in.

Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic yields even finer details, but is usually overkill for the ADB Shapeways minis. It's only really worth even thinking about for the smallest of ships/units. Cruisers and larger really won't show much, if any, difference.


Excellent! That's what I'll do for my purchases then, thank you!

djdood wrote:

When possible, the digital sculpter's initials are included at the end of the product name for tracking purposes.


Ahhhh... makes sense.

djdood wrote:

ADB sells several types of stands through their web-store:
https://www.starfleetstore.com/miniature-stands-c-105/?zenid=cdcb87b3d5d71e1ef476bb781eb1f3f3


Oh, that's also great- I didn't notice those.

Well, time to figure out what I'm going to be doing then. Thank you!
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djdood
Commodore


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 3412
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome.

One thing to be aware of, since you are coming from the world of injection-molded plastic minis -

All the Shapeways minis are 3D printed, on-demand. Because they are 3D printed, there will always be things about them unique to their production process.

Just as injection molded plastic minis will always have marks on them from where they were attached to the parts-tree and usually some kind of mold-line that has to be cleaned-up, the Shapeways prints have their own little characteristics that come with the production method.

In the case of Smooth Fine Detail Plastic and Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic prints, there will often be some portion of the "bottom" faces that has a rougher texture, from where the dissolve-away supporting material was attached during printing. This is normal and part of the process for 3D printing them, but something to be aware of. There is no high-volume, high-detail 3D printing process yet available that produces results that don't need at least a little bit of prep work before painting.
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Steve Cole
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3826

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 3d injection molding process used in, for example, the Zocchi minis we sell on our website is incredibly expensive, costing well more than a thousand dollars per ship for the mold, and requiring production runs that are easily 10 times what we sell (for anything other than the Fed CA).
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Asmoridin
Ensign


Joined: 23 Sep 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Westminster, MD

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's all fine- from the pictures I've seen so far of the minis, the quality looks great, and a bit of roughness on the bottom isn't a big deal (who sees the bottom of the ships when they are on the table, anyway?).
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pixelgeek
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 137
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2021 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For anyone that is interested I posted some photos of some Lyran and Hydran vessels printed in the Versatile White material after I primed them

https://zacgaming.wordpress.com/2021/06/29/one-more-time-with-primer/

TL:DR I don't think this is a usable material even considering the price difference. I still have to paint them but I am not optimistic at this point.
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