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Model Comparisons | Cleaning | Trimming |
Comparison of Printed and DLP Miniatures
Printed Clear – The 3D Printed models which cover a range of small and medium sized WTJ Naval miniatures including 1/2400, 1/1800, 1/1500 and 1/1250 scales have a clear frosty appearance. They feature extremely fine detail for their size, have slightly rounded edges and require thorough cleanup of the oil and wax used to fabricate them. They have good resistance to higher temperatures and are very rigid. As with other 3D printed parts, they can exhibit warpage when the models are particularly thin and/or sharply tapered at the ends. This does vary but is commonly not noticed because many gamers mount their ships on bases.

DLP Grey – The DLP models are made for larger WTJ Naval ships and accessories ranging from 1/1500 to 1/600 scales. These models are solid grey, have well defined edges and do not require oil/wax clean-up. In place of the wax, the DLP grey models have numerous tiny plastic vertical supports which are removed by slicing them off with an Xacto knife or equivalent (this tends to limit the size DLP can print at due to the size of gun barrels versus their supports). The resistance to higher temperatures of the DLP grey is less than the printed models - I would not leave them locked in a hot car on a 100º day (temp limit for warpage appears to be about 150º). The DLP grey models are slightly more flexible than the printed models but experience less "barrel droop" than the Printed models due to the solid mechnical supports. The material is very tough; I tried to break off a test gun barrel and the only way I was able to do it was by pinching it between my fingers and physically tearing it off.

For both model types, no assembly is required. Please feel free to direct any questions to webmaster@wtj.com.
Close-up comparison of Print (top view) and DLP (bottom view) models of the American battleship Iowa in 1/1250 scale.

All bottom or overhanging surfaces on the Print models are slightly rough, but have no mechanical supports to manually remove (in exchange, print models do have the oil/wax clean-up).

Many of the bottom or overhanging surfaces on the DLP models are smooth, but have mechanical supports anchoring them to any surface immediately below. In exhange, the DLP models have no oil/wax clean-up.
   
Close-up view of a DLP model showing the mechanical supports on the gun turret at left, and another gun turret at right with the supports removed from beneath the barrels. Above the right turret can be seen other supports for superstructure (also another small supports are visible beneath the lifeboats). All models are shipped with their supports in place, which should be removed before priming and painting.
Cleaning Models
Printed Clear WTJ Naval miniatures should be cleaned before painting. Printed models will be shipped to you already having been rinsed once in warm water with liquid detergent. There will probably still be some mineral oil residue (appears as an oily sheen in places) and possibly a few bits of support wax back in the nooks and crannies. The models should be washed again with warm water and liquid detergent, using a synthetic brush to help clean the surfaces and flush out the corners. For my own Printed models I actually use a hog bristle brush, but I'm accustomed to handling them and you might want to stick with something a bit softer. Soaking for long periods in the detergent should not be necessary, normally a minute or so of brisk swishing in the water accompanied by a very thorough wet brushing (brushing the model while still immersed in the warm water) should suffice.

If the liquid detergent does not work well enough, I have also used alcohol which is a bit stronger and only turns the very outer surface white in places (which detergent also does). In some cases you might have to wash it a second time if you discover some overlooked spots. The important thing is to make sure the model is clean before priming and painting. Stronger cleaning materials like Bestine solvent (heptane) work very well, but they are somewhat expensive and highly flammable. The surface finish left by heptane will be mostly matte white (caused by a process called crazing) and makes for an excellent painting surface. Again, the important thing is that the model be thoroughly cleaned before painting.

DLP Grey The DLP models you receive have been cleaned in alcohol and should be ready to trim and primer. If you notice any small residue spots on the surface, you can do a quick IPA (isopropyl alcohol) rinse. Do not soak the models in alcohol, the plastic will absorb it causing warpage. If that happens by accident, let the model fully dry and it should return to normal.


Trimming Models
Printed Clear The printed models should not require any major trimming. The bottom edges may show some roughness and irregularity which can be flattened away by rubbing the model base over a very fine sheet of sandpaper (400 grit or finer).

DLP Grey The grey plastic models will need to have their many tiny support sprues manually removed before priming and painting. The best way to remove them is with a very fresh, sharp razor blade and a fresh #11 x-acto knife. First use the razor blade corner to slice the top (or bottom) of each support - for gun barrels I usually use the very corner of the fresh razor blade to first gently slice through the support where is joins the barrel. Once you have cut most or all of the way through one end of the support, you can use the x-acto knife to leverage away the rest of the support. Careful use of the razor corner is the best way to remove the supports without snapping off fragile features (if any).