After reading a few news items around the web, I thought I have a punt and see what the quality was like. Although I’d heard of Shapeways before, I’d never really considered buying anything, as stuff I’d be interested in was really the wrong scale.
Initially, I was amazed at the detail, but a little dismayed at how fragile they looked and, as it turned out are (very, very fragile – I snapped a gun of one of the lasses in the clean up, and the dogs tail with a paint brush – I’m clumsy, but not that clumsily!).
The detail on the watertank is amazing (tapes, pipes etc), but it looks as though it would survive about 5 minutes on the tabletop!
They also feel very rough (like fine sandpaper) to touch. I know there are different print qualities (but with no reference point), I went with what was recommended (or defaulted) on the Shapeways site.
This is what I got (straight out of the box)
& this a comparison shot with GW & Heresy
Now, believing the proof is in the pudding, I thought I paint a couple up. Very little clean up needed, but this is where texture started to be a problem. They looked, after priming, as it the primer was off (it wasn’t, as I did a metal piece at the same time, without a problem.)
I started on one of the girls and a dog. The painting on the girls clothing wasn’t too bad, but the flesh was awful – now I’m not the greatest painter, but after a simple base/shade/highlight on the skin – the girl started to look as though she has severe scrofula, and to my eyes, the facial detail all but disappeared – It was so bad, that couldn’t finish her, so that was that ... the dog was easier, but my initial plan was for a very shiny effect, unfortunately, the rough texture made that a tad too difficult, so I had to ‘rough it up' a bit
Tabletop quality (mine, not Cmon’s!)
I think the whole Shapeways thing is not only very interesting put could be potentially be extremely useful in the future of our hobby, but from my limited experience, I don’t think we are quite there yet.