physical models to buy?

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
Ok Finally processed the kitty images.
I have a midway nearly complete and a tallahase.
I also just finished the rendering of a kraken and hope to get it in a few weeks. I cant wait to paint that one.

Thanks for the comments guys. I plan to use these for a fleet game at an upcomming con in denver this February.

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One of my favorite attributes on the dreadnaught is how, if your real careful you can paint the "windows" I have it 3d print on the inside of the support structures. I did this because there is no reasonable way to paint those windows without physical features helping you. Half the windows however are pure freehand as a close look at the unpainted dreadnaught reveals.
 

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rapierdragon

Rear Admiral
So beautiful...

*awards one "Honorable Service for Excellent Workcatship for Service to Sivar" metal*

(workcatship? would say "worksmanship" but not sure how/if the man>human sub-part would translate).

"May Sivar never Smile upon you." (cause if Sivar did, well, its a baring of fangs... a very bad sign).
 

dacis2

Spaceman
Beautiful, just beautiful. Gonna grab a bunch while I still can. I noticed you printed the Tallahassee, but it's not in your store, do you plan to add it in the future? I've also noticed that the bug fighter packs are not for sale, do you plan to add those as well?
 

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
The bug fighters arent for sale because SW keeps telling me they arent printable due to minor features here and there. I have been making them thicker, and therefore uglier but each time (we are on attempt 6 now) they find a corner that I thought was fine based on their design rules and they say that makes it not printable(Ie it might crash their printer). I think they are being very paranoid as they have had a few tray crashes lately but this last one aparently was only disallowed on one feature (though I will have to look really hard to see what feature)

I do plan to add the talahasse but someone else offers that one on SW, youll have to look for it, I lost the link after ordering it. It doesnt have much detail but nothing my airbrush couldnt fix as you will see soon.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Very well done Astro Commander, in 12 posts you've contributed more than I have in over a year! You've got to be the best newbie of 2010! Give the man an avatar!

These models would have given me hours of playing fun as a kid, I used to remember cursing that my friends could all get X-Wing and Tie-Fighter toys, but I couldn't have a toy Dralthi because my childhood interest wasn't as lucrative or popular as the other boys at school!

Especially loving the Vaktoth! Full marks.
 

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
I got some of the fleet scale fighters painted. These fighters are smaller than a penny, generally.

First the Confed fleet, granted as I represent 1 fighter model = 10 actual fighters this is way too many for the midway. But there will be more carriers soon and other ships.

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Next the Kitties

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And the neph
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And attached are a bunch of bases the fighters will soon be mounted on. Simply take some 22AWG steel wire, and epoxy it to your favorite supercheap washer.

And a closeup of the fighters. Yea they are a little sloppy but keep in mind this was all done with an airbrush where a fighter is roughly the size of the nozzle assembly.
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Oggy

Rear Admiral
I'd say thats pretty reasonable if its done with a 3D printer.
Our practice recently paid £150.00 Sterling for a rapid prototype of a building scheme and that was at 1:200 scale! (small)
 

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
RP isnt the cheapest.
The tradeoffs are as follows (IMO)
RP- done by shapeways
*SWF is fairly cheap but lacks detail and is bumpy,
*Detail material gives better detials but if you look closely you see the layers along the z axis.

Ive looked into RP through sites outside of shapways that give better detail (my main concern over cost since I want to paint them to look nice) but SW is the cheapest around unless you order in huge quantities elsewhere. If I understand it properly SW lowers their costs by waiting till they have a batch of many different orders from across the world and they run a single print when a tray is full.

Cast in Resin. is cheap and the way a lot of garage casters go but consumes molds between 10 and 50 uses, possibly more if they are skilled. So while each casting costs pennies the mold, often 10-100 dollars depending on volume, adds to the cost.

Cast in Pewter. Same mold costs as resin but molds generally last a lot longer for skilled casters. Pewter costs more per volume but generally still less than Rapid prototyping.

Both castsings require a master to be made which costs more for the more expensive masters.

THus to get models at the cost you expect based on commercial companies who sell resin or pewter you have a large startup cost but its diluted over volume. Im unwilling to eat these costs to get the resin or pewter, even though Id prefer pewter so I went with RP. You pay more for less but it can be done in one-offs. And as so few will ever be sold I think its the way to go. Im in this to get models on my shelf that I can paint. Hence my website thirdfatecreations.com check out the gallery. I would be shocked if more than 30 ships get sold to other people through shapeways in a given year. Thus far it looks like that may be an overestimate.

additionally, Im working with someone to get "high quality/detail pewter" models made cheaply, but they are only made cheaply if someone "sponsors" the high quality mastering and molding. Ill post images and links when he has the test batch available. But frankly the number of people who want wing commander miniatures are so few I think print-on-demand RP is the way to go.

I had looked into paying a sculptor to sculpt and cast but that was even more expensive. and I only want 1-2 of each so very not worth it.

So to recap

RP pay dollars by volume, but its print on demand.
RP then Casting. requires roughly 50->hundreds of USD to cover the startup, then pennies per volume. Thus requires a generous benefactor to eat the startup or volume sales to do so.
Sculpting then casting. more like hundreds to thousands for a skilled sculptor.

random plug, my favorite skilled scupltor at present is this guy.
https://sites.google.com/site/behrlewhubbuchiiisculptor
If I had the money to throw away Id have hid make my models as he does an exquisite job. But for now Ill have to suffer through my 3d modeling skills and rapid prototyping.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Oh wait. Nevermind I found it on the website. 5 cm? Kinda tiny for $8.99.

You're thinking in terms of toy models in a toy store. It's *very* expensive to get custom one-off models made. Before modern 3D printer services like this existed, such a model could have cost a couple hundred dollars to have made in this fashion.

additionally, Im working with someone to get "high quality/detail pewter" models made cheaply, but they are only made cheaply if someone "sponsors" the high quality mastering and molding. Ill post images and links when he has the test batch available. But frankly the number of people who want wing commander miniatures are so few I think print-on-demand RP is the way to go.

I had looked into paying a sculptor to sculpt and cast but that was even more expensive. and I only want 1-2 of each so very not worth it.

Keep us posted on how this goes. There might be enough interest to make it happen.
 

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
I also forgot to include the cost of 3d sculpting. I just learned how to do this for this project after giving up on finding others who sold these models.

So hand sculpting costs I belive around 100-200 USD per inch, roughly,
Vs 3d Modeling takes me (non expert) about 2-20 hrs with a mean of 4 for simpler designs, 6 for more complex designs, and 10 for the really complex organic designs. Yes my skills at organic modeling are sorely lacking.

But Lets say it takes a professional half that, your still going to pay him at least 30 an hour if he is very very nice.
 

Malcolm Reynolds

Rear Admiral
Yeah, I guess I'm just thinking in terms of how I would like to have a physical model I could really enjoy looking at and 5 cm is just to small for my taste. However, maybe I'll build a paper craft Bengal of my own design. I've been thinking about doing a project like that for a while now. (I just have to finish making my paper craft Serenity.)

Thanks for the feedback!
 

Astro commander

2nd Lieutenant
Whats the point of a table game about the liberation of Kilrah.. if there isnt a Kilrah!

well what remains of it anyway.
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Its just a big hunk of styrofoam I hacked up and used polyurethane glue to foam out and hold together the core. Pictures of the midway and some of her fighters (fighter scale) coming soon.
 

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Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Heh, wow, that's really impressive. The colours really help give the image of a charred-out Kilrah, glowing only with the internal heat of its core.

Hmm, that makes me wonder. Given that it's only a terrestrial planet and not a star or gas giant or anything like that, I really don't think there would be enough heat to sustain the glow for that long (space is cold!). Probably not as long as the several years from the end of WC3 to Prophecy. But I'll accept it as artisitc licence.
 
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