3D printed armor load for your flat car

Seeing as I am on the look out for armor loads for flat cars, something other than Shermans, I came across this company on Ebay that makes 3D printed tanks, trucks, half tracks, artillery and so forth and will print them in 1/48 scale. They have a lot of different kinds of pieces. A lot of German, of course, also Russian, French and British. Among the American pieces available are: M3 Lee, M5 Stuart, M24 Chaffee, M26 Pershing, M18 Hellcat, M10 Tank destroyer and Shermans in a number of models. The good news is these are not bank busters at $12 a piece. 

I decided to order an M3 lee. Here is what you get...


The first thing that struck me the size of the model. It's larger than I thought it should be. But after consulting some published dimensions, it scales very close to true 1/48. The next thing that struck me was the amount of detail (printed?) on the model. Things like extra wheel sprockets, a spare piece of track (I think), and gas cans along the back. Among the disappointing features were the gun barrels. These I thought were poorly rendered. Curiously,  there was no detail on the tracks themselves. Also there was a lot of flash, I guess that is the word for it, hanging all over the model. No doubt the result of the printing process. 

So with a sharp Exacto knife and sand paper, went to work cleaning the model up and painted it. Prior to painting, I gave it a good bath and primed it with some rattle can primer, Tamiya I believe. Next I spray painted it with Testor's Olive Drab again in a spray can. I hand brushed the tracks an details using both Model Master enamels and Vallejo Acrylics. After the paint was dried, a spray of clear flat and a wash of Craft store acrylics to weather it slightly.

I used Archer Dry Transfers for the markings and star.

So after all the work here is what you get...


Oh, I forgot to mention the turent is a separate piece and is removable...


Here is the Lee compared to a Solido 1/50 scale Sherman, for a size comparison...


And this is how it looks on a scale flat car...


So there you have it, a "different" armor load for your flat car. The Verdict...

Pros: Hard to find prototypes available...

          scale sized...

          relatively inexpensive  (as compared to die-cast)...

          not very heavy, so making up a long train won't strain you locos (again, compared to die-cast).

Cons: Overall print quality nowhere as nice a a die-cast piece or built plastic model (if you can find one)...

           some work involved to clean, prep and paint to make it presentable, not ready-to-run, out of the box.

Overall, I think these are not too bad. Although some what crude, I feel they will pass a 3 foot rule. What say you?



Photos (24)
Original Post

That looks really nice to me and you did a very nice job of cleaning  it up.  It looks really nice on the flat car.  Hey, for $12 you can't beat it.  If it was $50 on up, yes, I'd expect a lot better quality.  You could take and paint it and then weather the dickens out of it and it might make it look more like a higher priced model.   Very nice, thanks for sharing that.  I didn't notice it but do you have a link to their web site?



TCA 12-67009


palallin posted:

The most objectionable features to me are the cable and the gun tubes.  The latter would be a VERY easy fix; the former will take more deliberate work (to sand off and replace).

Definitely a decent start for $12.

They would be just fine if they left off some of those details (and maybe even cheaper), although the gun tubes do need attention.


Having A Blast Running BPRC

AlanRail posted:

these are PLA prints not SLA prints so the detailing is about 100mu as opposed to 25mu.

These printers show the horizontal layers where an SLA print would not. Still for $12 bucks not bad,

Alan, I have no idea what that means, but I appreciate the comment. Thanks


POTRZBE posted:

A bit too "unfinished" for my taste.  There are die cast Corgi on the bay in 1/43 that are finished, gorgeous, and 6 bucks each.

Maybe, but are they M3 Lees? The main point of this topic is there are alternatives to the standard Sherman. Tanks and other armor/artillery that are not commonly available in "O scale" or if you do find one it will probably cost much more than the flat car they are riding on.


Bill T posted:

Good deal for the price. It will make a great winter project when it is 10 degrees and snowing.

   Bill T.

Definitely a project while watching all the football games this fall.

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"



Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004


They seem to have conflicting statements, but if the length is to be believed, it's 1:76 as the Sherman is around 20 feet long.  OTOH, I'd rather have it a bit larger.  If it were 1:43, it would be around 5.5" x 2.5", and a perfect fit for two on the 14" flatcar.  That's the size I'd like to find.


Photos (1)

Very nice, I too am also interested in creating military loads, I have been building the Tamiya series of 1/48 scale military vehicles and creating my own military themed trains.  If you have the time and patience you would be amazed at how detailed these vehicles can be, and the different paint schemes.  I have built over 40 of these vehicles.


Photos (5)
old_toymaker posted:

Here are some pics of a M4A3 sherman that I printed on my $150.00 3D printer after painting, It still needs decals and its sitting on a menards flatcar

Those are really nicely printed Shermans. But there are many sources for Shermans. I really wanted something different. That is why I tried the ones I found on Ebay. Not perfect, and certainly not as good as the ones you created, but they are different. 


FJI 05 posted:

Very nice, I too am also interested in creating military loads, I have been building the Tamiya series of 1/48 scale military vehicles and creating my own military themed trains.  If you have the time and patience you would be amazed at how detailed these vehicles can be, and the different paint schemes.  I have built over 40 of these vehicles.

I too have built the Tamiya 1/48 scale series. I have built the Bren carrier. I have a Sherman, that is partly built. (I really need to get back to that one). I also have an M10 Tank destroyer to build. The key point here is "to build". They will undoubtedly make great models but do consume a lot of time build properly. I have a back log of about 100 scale models of all types...Aircraft, armor, autos,  and Space/Science fiction to build. This doesn't include the oh about 100 train projects on the back burner,... heck deep freeze, that need to be done. I don't have enough time left on Earth to complete all these, so that is why I went for something a little easier to make, albeit a bit cruder.


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