Friday, March 14, 2014

3D Printing

Be afraid, be very afraid. If I was a major miniature manufacturer I would be very concerned about the present state of the industry. Today gamers and collectors have access to hundreds, if not dare I say (Dare, Dare!) thousands of high quality miniatures and gaming pieces do up with 3D printers.

Found on tables of both gaming conventions and local clubs, where you find them engaged in naval battles of the dreadnought era or in the skies over Europe (both WWI and WWII).

So why is there such interest? Costs are the similar or less than conventional white metal or pewter figures. And the quality is over the top. The 1/6000 and 1/2400 scale naval miniatures I acquired miniatures from Shapeways and The War Times Journal and find them superior to anything else out there.  Detail and scale are exceptional. Detail is comparable for 1/144 scale aircraft foe The Great War and choices are incredible.

The WTJ miniatures complement other miniature lines out there with their pre-dreadnoughts, but I hope in time they will design the ships to replace those in other lines. The people that produce 3D miniatures for Shapeways bring out new miniatures each week. There is an abudence of riches here. Their are at least four gamers in two clubs that I play at that are using 3D printed miniatures.

USS Olympia and the Pelayo by both WTJ and Panzerschiffe. SMS Braunschweig is by WTJ. The Olympia and Pelayo have never looked better. Click on the image for greater detail.

The WTJ are newly arrived and based so they are only initially painted. I wanted to show off their great detail. I really like the ship's boats on the SMS Braunschweig.

I wonder if the major producers have a plan on how to compete with this new market? Are you using this new technology?

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