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My brother in law got a 3D printer and asked if I wanted anything.  Well...ships of coarse.  So I dug around and found these.


I've dabbled with naval wargaming for a while.  I got really into the Pirates constructible card game when it was out and still have all my ships.  My wife's not really into it so I turned to my only other source of players.  My five and eight year old boys.  They are eager players but have short attention spans so playing the "regular" rules doesn't work.  So I made up some rules that work for them and we've been on many an hours long adventures that are fun for every one.  If any ones interested I'll post the rules.  

Any way thats a long story for what I'm working on.  While I like the old contructible ships I really like more realistic looking models.  So I got the skills why not make them.  

I built a 1:1200 Queen Anne's Revenge a while ago and had fun with it.  Now I'm testing out the 3D printed hulls and seeing what I can do with them.  Heres some photos.






One thing I have found painting the plastic is I have a lack of good paint.  Can any one sugest types and colors?  

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This link has lots of discussion points on paints.   http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/tools_techniques_and_reference_materials/f/18.aspx

I tend to use the Acrylics from Games Workshop. You have to choose by the colour shown as the names are not realy usefull, eg, 'snot green'!!?? They are water soluble, give a good coverage and are non toxic so you can point the brush in the time honoured fashion by licking it without worry. More to the point if small hands are touching them then this is a benefit. The other thing is, in the UK at least, you could get free painting lessons in the shop itself. I learned when I took my son when he was younger. He was underage then so could not be left on his own either to wargame or have painting lessons. I didn't play, but did get involved in the painting.

The tips I would pass on,

  • a good brush
  • degrease the plastic hull in detergent (dish washing stuff does)
  • rinse
  • thin the paint ( I use acrilyc thinners for this, but water does the job)
  • several thin coats are much better than 1 thick
  • rinse the brush in water
  • there are acrylic undercoats if needed. Games Workshop usually used a spray can of black to undercoat everything. It worked well.

Have a look at


for 1/1200 wargaming ships. There are a set of rules.


Edited by exwafoo
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Thanks Alan.  A lot of useful information in there.  I looked at Games Workshop paint and stumbled across a thread debating whether more expensive paints really were as good as the less expensive hobby paints.  This made me think and I thought for as in expensive as some of the paints can be it was worth a try.  

I picked up some Apple Barrel brand paint for $2 a bottle and painted a diecast HMS Revenge.  I think its 1/600 scale.  This was my result.  


I'm actually pretty pleased with it.  It does make me wonder what is the difference between the less expensive amd more expensive paint?  Is it just marketing?  Who knows, just glad I could find an affordable option. 


Work on the other ship continues.  The game I play with my boys is more pirate based so I decided to change the bowsprit to a spirit sail.  This is more fitting for 18th century.  Given the hull is Napoleanic, for a game its fine.



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  • 1 month later...

That is a great idea 3-D printing those hulls. I have had items for my RC airplanes printed and noticed the parts are a bit 'grainy' so require a bit of finishing. If those hulls are like that then for the next ones possibly have then done slightly 'finer' in scale so that any layers of paint and fillers won't cause them to get 'plump' (?). All kinds of things could get printed so that is a pretty neat idea!

Edited by ARUP
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I almost forgot I got a lot done on my HMS Revenge.  We've actually run it through a few games.  Its my boys pirate ship at this point thus the black pennants.  Those are removeable though.

As far as printing in finer scale it depends in the quality of the printer.  I have had cannons printed that about 2 mm long and they are pretty good.  They were printed on a $20,000 printer though.  






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  • 1 year later...

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