I took advantage of some Black Friday deals to get some miniatures 3d printed, like I need more or something. I designed all 3 in Hero Forge but only ordered one mini direct from them. For the other two, I downloaded the .stl files and uploaded them to Shapeways. Shapeways recently revamped the materials they offer and I was curious if their new stuff was comparable to what I’d been using with them.
This cowboy dude is Hero Forge’s Premium Plastic – the same material that Shapeways used to offer as Black High Definition Acrylate and recently discontinued. BHDA is fairly strong and prints smooth enough to take an ink wash. This was my go-to material for Shapeways miniatures and is still my strongest recommendation if you’re ordering from Hero Forge. They must either have their own printers now or their arrangement with Shapeways’ API must allow them access to those discontinued offerings.
I ordered this GTA-hole in Shapeways’ Black Professional Plastic material, thinking it was a replacement for their BHDA material and not something entirely different. The details all came through, but the texture is matte and a bit rough. It feels sturdy enough for tabletop (passing an impromptu drop test – butterfingers!) but I’m not holding out much hope for ink washes working well on it.
Here’s Guillot1ne, my elf hacker from a Shadowrun Fate campaign (because Fate is all about battlemaps and minis amirite). She’s printed in Shapeways’ Fine Detail Plastic material (and this used to be how Hero Forge printed their premium plastic minis until BHDA came out). Fine Detail plastic will definitely take ink washes – it paints up just like a cast miniature. The issue is that it’s far more brittle than the above materials.
What’s next? In Part II we’ll see how they look primed, and then eventually in Part III I’ll talk about how each material handles painting.