A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Shiprweck! Shapeways PLAN Part One


I received my Shapeways order of 1:3000 PLA(N) ships much faster than expected, but, I have been much busier than expected.  So here they are, sprued together in pairs.


As a reminder, my order was for the following:

1x Type 051B Luhai (Shenzhen)
1x Type 051C Luzhou (likely the Shenyang)
2x Type 052B Luyang (Guangzhou and Wuhan)
4x Type 054A Jiankai II (not sure, but probably 2 for East and 2 for South)

Two more views...

Ok, my overall impression is favorable.  The design is very, very good, and the detail is high, even in this 1:3000 scale.  I actually had to break out some statistics with actual ship lengths as these were all larger than I expected.... but of course, they are supposed to be.  The Type 054A are larger than other PLAN frigates, and the Type 051 B, C, and 052B are larger than the other PLAN destroyers.

On the downside... like everyone that has some of these warned, the texture is grainy.  Really, its a very fine gritty feel, like tough powder.  I get the impression that this is in fact dust of the casting being rubbed off.  I will have to do something to seal the surface before I paint them, as ships hulls shouldn't be pitted.

I prepped these for later painting.  I cut rectangles from assorted miniatures cardboard, glue on strips of magnet...

... then use my very cheap water based caulk from a caulk gun for the water texture.  I always grab a rogue piece of cardboard and practice first.  With my finger, I can create choppy waves, or gentle swells.  Sort of :)

Then the ships are pushed from the back to the front edge carefully, which should result in some wake forming along the hull.  I will say that these Shapeways didn't lie quite as flat as my metal Navwar ships did, but they all turned out fine.

Once this was dry (it dries fast... I would not recommend trying to base up more than 6-10 at a time), I took them out for some black spray coating.

Paint is a little wet in this picture.  I went for gentler waves for most of the bases.

That's it for now.  Once I get these finished, I will post pictures of the completed miniatures.  I have only one more addition to make to my PLAN forces.  I just made a large order to Navwar for my Cold War era Soviet fleet (yes, another project), to which I added a pack of 3 Song subs.  Why not.  Once those subs arrive, and they and all of these nice Shapeways miniatures are painted, the PLAN will be complete.

The dragon waits upon the waves.....


  1. I recommend giving them a few coats of varnish before painting. Smooths out the graininess and takes paint a lot better.

    1. Thanks, I am trying something like that.... I'll see how it goes :)

  2. Replies
    1. They look pretty nice.... detail is good.

  3. I soaked my Shapways aircraft in hot water and detergent and than in just plain hot water. Cleaned them up nice.