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My First 3D Printed Model

With the advent of 3D Printers, I have been very curious with what that means to my modeling hobby. To test the waters, I had my buddy Dave print me off a 28mm Otter with a printer for my Bolt Action Army. This model is available free to print by an M_Bergman on Thing Verse (Link to the Collection that the Otter is From).

A 3D printed Otter beside a 28mm British infantry model.

I expected a sleek smooth model even though I was warned that models come off the printer rough and need to be filed down.

This is how the model appeared on the computer.
This is how it came off the printer. Fairly rough.

The shape is recognizable, but I now had a lot of filing to do. This piece printed off as two parts (turret and hull) so the time I would have spent building a model, I spent filing plastic instead.

Once I got it filed down, it was looking a lot better. One thing I could not fix was the gun on the turret. To get some better details, I cut the gun off and replaced it with a Bren gun from a Warlord Games British Infantry Box Set.

Happy enough with the smoothness of my model, I then primed it black. I was advised to use craft paints because the plastic sucks in paint, so I did so. It primed up fast and easy.

All primed up and ready to go.

With the priming finished, I proceeded on with my normal methods. I would base coat the model, shade it and follow that shading with some highlights.

After painting, shading and weathering the model just did not “pop” enough. Pictured above is the crisper side of the unit. The opposite side was even worse as I had filed away some of the detail too shallowly.

After the shading, highlights and weathering, I found the details did not “pop” enough. So I decided to test out an old technique that I usually rely upon oils to complete – Blacklining. Blacklining is the act of tracing out the details with Black to make them Pop. This got me the effect that I wanted. Check out how well it worked in the images below.

Overall, I am very happy with the look of the model. Warlord does not yet make the Otter, so to field it, one needs to either proxy or find an alternative manufacturer. One of my readers did point out on Facebook that there is a Model of an Otter already on the Market by Neucraft Models. That model looks great and is pictured below. For me to acquire it, it is quite expensive (exchange rate, shipping and possible taxes and duties at the border).

This is the Otter by Neucraft Models (this link is now dead).

Now back to my 3D Printed version of the Otter. It is not bad for what it is. It fits in on the table and below are comparison shots with some Bolt Action Vehicles.

Side by side it is longer and taller than a Universal Carrier, yet the same width.
Yet it is smaller than a Sherman.

Thank you Dave for printing this up for me. I will not comment too much one way or the other on the issue of 3D printing at this time. It is a subject where opinions will range widely. I am happy with how mine turned out and the materials involved are quite affordable. It is also pretty cool that models can be printed. That alone has some wow factor. If you feel like sharing your opinion, please do so in the comments section of this article.

To end, I want to show off a couple of pictures of how Dave’s 3D Printed Kubelwagen turned out. He did a pretty good job on it.