At the end of September I was contacted by Pat Peverell from Shapeways about whether or not I'd be interested in blogging about the use of 3D printed models for the hobby and sent me links to their Miniatures and Model Train sections.
At the time I was rather busy and couldn't get to it. There was some mention in the initial email about sending me designs, along with more info, in the end I was only sent this info graphic of the process.
I was also given a link to their Tools page, for assisting in design of models if you are not versed in digital sculpting/ modelling. I only took a cursory look at that and played around with the Hero Forge for a couple of minutes before I got bored. I'm not really interested in making a custom miniature for my D&D Next character. It's a game I don't play.
Although most things I looked at in the above links were not my cup of tea, I did think there were some interesting options for those who game Naval or Air or Micro Armor. There were also a lot of things for people who use Model Railroad items for scenery and terrain. What caught my eye, however, was one shop in particular. Grim Dark Bits.
Why I liked this shop is it was making ships for Battle Fleet Gothic and some items for Epic 40K (Space Marine), both of which are no longer supported by Games Workshop. For some one, like me, who didn't pay attention to either of these games when they were initially released this might be an option for building up forces for these games. I haven't looked very hard, but ships and 6mm figures for these seem to be suffering from the same rise in prices on the internet that "Oldhammer" figures are experiencing.
The designer/ owner of the site himself says that he doesn't use the highest quality/detail prints for his fleets, as that seems to be pretty pricey. The reviews seem to suggest that the lower grades are good enough.
So my thoughts are, Shapeways looks like an interesting way to fill out pieces for smaller scale projects and gribblies for terrain.
I have yet to try it out though I suspect one or two resin bits I've purchased over the years have been casts of 3D printed models.
Do you have any experience with printed models in general or a Shapeways store in particular? What are your thoughts?