Here is my very first attempt to complete a Shapeways 1/144th scale model of a Handley Page 0/400 bomber. This 3D print is by the Shapeways contract designer "Kampfflieger". It was purchased in the material described as "White Strong & Flexible" or WSF, that is, white nylon plastic with a matte finish and slight grainy feel. There are better, more expensive materials in which to print, but for $28.27 I thought this was a good first purchase.
As is written about a lot in the Wings of Glory Aerodrome:
...this WSF material is grainy and absorbs a lot of paint. I did try to follow the advise of the experts and seal the WSF before priming, but I did not seal well enough. However, with enough paint and varnish, I think the finish is acceptable and no worse than the models produced by Ares for Wings of Glory. Since Ares does not produce any British heavy bombers, the Shapeways solution is ideal for someone who does not want to assemble a metal, plastic or resin kit. The Shapeways print is ready to go, apart from detaching the propellors from the model.
The decals come from eBay merchant, 1-144 Direct:
The decals were designed specifically for this model. This was my first time attaching decals but with the help of Micro Set setting solution and Micro Sol setting solution, and a few viewings of the many helpful YouTube videos on the subject, I was able to get the decals in place and molded to the model as promised by Micro Sol. Matt and Rob from 1-144 direct were very helpful with the decals and provide a wide range and great service.
The model is lacking the crew which are on order from Shapeways. The designer Reduced Aircraft Factory has pilots and observers in Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD), described as "Matte translucent plastic that showcases fine and intricate details". I will probably use more FUD in future and in fact ordered some SE5a scouts in this material.
"Wings of War: Flight of the Giants Expansion" contains cards and rules for the heavy bomber forces of several WW1 nations, including the HP 0/400. Bomber bases are available from the Aerodrome store, although they are currently backordered.
|Kampfflieger's 1/144 scale model of the Handley Page 0/400 in WSF print|
You may notice I'm using a bomber base from the Wings of Glory Gotha model until the actual bases arrive. I must also admit that the "runes" following the "E" plane designation may not be accurate for this model but were supplied on the decal sheet and I thought looked rather good.
So there you have it. I must say I really enjoyed researching this project and completing the model. I hope to become more proficient but it was a very satisfying hobby experience. I 'm convinced that 3D printing is a great way to go for 1/144th scale models.