World War 2 is currently my hobby focus, mainly because of the work I'm putting in on the WRG 1973 rules. More on that elsewhere, but I recently found (as one so often does) that I needed more tanks - specifically, more Polish 7tp tanks for my 1939 collection.
The problem here is that collecting anything for the 1939 Polish campaign these days quickly hits the barrier of restricted choice, or plain unavailability, regardless of the scale you are using. Battlefront/FoW have of course ditched their early war collections (cheers guys), and I thought the only source for the 7tp in 15mm would be QRF. Unfortunately (as I thought) the QRF models are all out of stock at the moment. I have mentioned previously that the QRF Polish tank range is frankly a bit crap, and I stand by this assessment. Then, in an unusual moment of common sense, I simply searched online for 'Flames of War 7tp', hoping to find some second-hand models for sale on ebay. And what should I find but some excellent 3D printed models of the Polish 7tp tank on the ebay page of 3D Printing Valley
As you will find on following the link above, 3D Printing Valley offer a real Aladdin's cave of interesting resin kits in 1/100th and 1/56th scale, of high quality and reasonable price. I'm no expert in 3D printed models, but of those I have seen the ones from 3D Printing Valley are about the best. Let's look at some photos:
|Ghost tanks. The models come in a rather interesting translucent resin, |
but it was clear straight away these were first class models.
|Left to right: model as received, model with undercoat, finished model.|
|Left to right again: FoW model, QRF model, 3D Printing model.|
It was immediately clear to me that the 3D Printing model is the best kit of a 7tp in 1/100th scale that has appeared thus far. It comes in 2 pieces, turret and hull, so no construction at all is required. And it is very hard indeed to find any of the ridges that spoil so many 3D models - the whole thing is remarkably smooth.
Size-wise, the 3D Printing offering is the largest of the three examples in my collection, by a whisker, and may be a millimetre or two too long if my measuring is correct (on the other hand, both the QRF and FoW models are dimensionally incorrect, although in different ways). Nevertheless, I was very impressed. There was no finishing to be done on the 4 models I bought apart from a couple of minutes of filing required to improve the fit of the turret. There is, however, no provision for a command figure in the turret if that is your thing - a fairly major bit of surgery would be needed to put in a hatch.
Look no further for your 1/100th 7tp models - these are great and come highly recommended. I very much hope the 3D Printing Polish range, and in fact all of their ranges, will sell well and expand rapidly. Come on guys, the world needs a decent Polish Vickers tank model, and it needs it now.
Stay safe everyone, 'til next time.
Edit: 16th April
Many thanks to Will who left a comment directing me to Paint and Glue Miniatures. This 3D models company has an excellent Polish range, which includes (be still my beating heart) a very nice looking Vickers 6 ton, Polish version. Plus a TKS-D, a model I've been hankering over for many a year.
As Will says in his comment, there is a whole range of interesting WW2 models from a variety of nations also available from these guys. Check them out. And thanks again Will!
This is a great looking 3D model. I saw a similar translucent resin on a 28mm 3D printed tank. Looked a bit weird until painted but striking afterwards.
They look like sla resin models, hence the better finish than those of say Butler's Models. However they are likely to be more brittle, but the resins are much more durable than they used to be. 3D printing certainly has opened up options for those hard to find marques that one often needs for the more esoteric forces, such as the Dutch or the Danes etc.
You're right Steve - I did get the impression things like gun barrels might be a bit brittle, which is always a concern with models for gaming use. But no issues so far - the models seem sturdy enough.
You could also look at Paint & Glue Miniatures. I was considering their products for some of the less common vehicles before I invested in my own 3D resin printer
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