Saturday, April 29, 2017

Reshaping the future

Something arrived the other day that really fascinated and amazed me.  Inside this box was a completely new experience!

Imagine a world where your miniatures arrive at your door completely ready for painting... this wonderful world now exists!!!

These 28mm (1/56 scale) vehicles are from Shapeways, which is a collection of 3D artists who print a huge variety of subjects and objects.  Of particular interest  were these amazing vehicles crafted by Mike Pennock, who goes by Arctic Skunk on the Shapeways site.

You can see page after page of his work here:

I started out with a few early war German kits, since they would go very nicely with what I already have.  There's a Marder, a Panzer I  and a Panzer II.  The material is the white plastic, which has a slight texture, as many other manufacturers.

What amazed me right off the bat was the strength of the material, and that it was all one piece!  And NO MOULD LINES AT ALL!!!

Yes indeed, nothing to assemble, nothing to file, chop glue, etc.  These are all right out of the baggies.

Basically you take them out of the package and start painting!

Now that is something I can definitely appreciate.  Usually these rarer kits (which Mike has focused on) tend to be available only as resin and metal kits.  While those are fine, you have to do a lot of prep work, and hope for a good cast.  Otherwise you are scalding yourself to bend parts, or gluing a metal barrel to yourself.

I could no believe how strong the material was, even though it was not heavy like resin.  Certainly not brittle either.  Resin and metal vehicles get quite heavy.

The turrets fit precisely in place.  There are options in many cases to have open hatches for tank commanders too!

Now for the tiny Panzer I.  This will really complete the early war German army, and look great with the rest of the armor.  Again, there was absolutely nothing to clean or file!  All the treads and drive wheels were perfect right out of the bag.

Another example of the turret.  I will also note that many of the vehicles come in other scales, such as 1/100 Flames of War.  That would be ideal for those times where you only need one vehicles to finish off a unit, etc.  

There are a  variety of scales, from 1/100 to 1/48.  As I mentioned before, these are 1/56 scale for Bolt Action.

Speaking of which, here is a comparison with a Bolt Action Panzer 38t from Warlord Games.  The scale seemed to match up perfectly.

The PZ 38t is nearly identical in size to the PZ II.  So, these will fit right into any Bolt Action army, with no need to worry about those scale issues.

Here are some more group shots that include a few infantry.  I am sorry that there is a quite a bit of color contrast between the two, but I wanted you to see the raw vehicles right out of the package, not primed grey.  That would have masked the original material, and made too many people think that they were classic resin.

Once more, here's the Panzer I on the left, and the Panzer II on the right for more size comparisons.  The PZ I was barely six feet tall, so I think it is just right. :)

This close up comparison of the Panzer II and 38t from Warlord Games gives you a better side to side view.  Keep in mind, there is no assembly, no mould lines, etc!  You can see how much more open the tracks and drive wheels are when it has all been printed, minus all of the resin bits that have to back fill such areas for casting purposes.

One more view.  There is an optional high detail material which can be selected if you are more of a scale modeler (there are plenty of 1/48 scale kits to choose from), and this white plastic choice is great for gaming purposes too.

If you are a Flames of War player, or a 20mm wargamer, there's a host of choices available to you to.  So be sure to check out the Arctic Skunk page on Shapeways!  

You will see me paint these vehicles in live facebook sessions, so stay tuned!!


  1. Very good article thanks for the information. I have been considering ordering from them for awhile now :)

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I'll be painting these live on Facebook next week.

    2. Thanks for the kind words! I'll be painting these live on Facebook next week.

  2. Wow! Super useful - thanks!

    What was the price like?

    1. Thanks! I believe they are $5-10 More than warlord kits. There's a link to his site early in the post. So many to choose from!

  3. Thanks for that info! Your right about having a hard time finding the rarer pieces of equipment. I will give this group a look!

    1. Sure thing! I already have one Italian vehicle now which I had lost all hope of ever finding in 1/56 scale! :-)

  4. They look great! I should think they'd be more robust than kits for tabletop use since they're all one piece. I would like to find someone who can create and print a 1/56th scale 1922 Rover Eight for me, but that's a way down the pike.

    1. Hehe, I have already started begging him to do four other vehicle kits ;-)