Friday, 15 February 2013


In a rare moment of inspiration today, I thought I'd look on Shapeways to see if there were any 1/144th scale V1 flying bomb models that I could use for the Bag the Doodlebug project. In the end, I've resorted to good, old fashioned Luddite metal in the form of a couple of packs of Pendraken buzzbombs..

I admit that I have yet to appreciate the wonders of 3D printing and have been more than put off by what seems to be an extortionate product to price ratio. I have been quite impressed by the various things that have been pushed out from the Shapeways catalogue but I have yet to dip a tentative 'toe in the water'.

Anyway, there were no doodlebugs to be found in the Shapeways store but I did bump into plenty of tempting 1/144 scale interwar aircraft, 1/1250 modern FAC, 1/100 scale AK47 choppers and even some 1/285 scale Luft' 46 jet fighters.

I still have a problem with the cost but this is probably down to my inability to navigate the various material convolutions that you need to navigate. I'd really like to get some mileage out 3D printing but I have yet to find the right combination of product, price and project to make it worthwhile. 

Any suggestions would be very welcome!


  1. I wouldn't call it "extortionate". It's a new technology, with a high equipment and material cost, and somewhat high production time. Look at what the prices were for garage model kits a couple decades ago, for comparison. Shapeways is a place to get one or two copies of a custom piece, and priced accordingly.

  2. There are a lot of positive comments on LAF about the planes from Shapeways in regards to the finished product, but the international postage (even to Canada from the US) seems to be a major stumbling block. Hopefully the technology will start to appear in other countries.

  3. The product can be vaariable too. I have had mixed results on 1:600 aircraft. Some surfaces smooth, others a bit like sandpaper. However, i know a guy using them for master models and they are coming out very well.