|Comparison of 3D Printed
and SLA Miniatures
Printed Models – The 3D printed models which cover a range of small and medium sized WTJ Naval models in 1/3000, 1/2400, 1/1800, 1/1500 and 1/1250 scales have a frosty white appearance, feature extremely fine detail, have slightly rounded edges and require cleanup of the oil and wax used to fabricate them. Their temperature vulnerability (the point at which they would tend to sag or warp in very hot conditions) is low and they are very rigid. As with other 3D manufactured 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.
SLA Grey Models – The 3D SLA (stereolithography) models are made for larger WTJ Naval scales including 1/1500, 1/1250, 1/1000, 1/700 and 1/600 scales. The SLA models have a solid grey gloss or semigloss appearance, feature average layer thickness, have very clean sharp edges and do not require cleanup since wax is not used in their fabrication. In place of the wax, the SLA grey models have numerous tiny plastic vertical supports which are removed by flicking them off with an Xacto knife or equivalent. The SLA grey models also have consistent smooth surface finishes on vertical surfaces below overhangs (printed models have rough surfaces immediately beneath overhangs). The temperature vulnerability of the SLA grey is higher than the printed models - I would not leave them locked in a hot car on a 105º day (temp limit appears to be about 150º). The SLA grey models are slightly more flexible than the printed models but appear to experience less "barrel droop" during fabrication than the 3D printed models, probably due to the solid mechnical supports present during fabrication. All SLA models will have one or more sprue stubs on each side (see More Info pages of individual models) and on some WWI ships these stubs may overlap with torpedo net booms (if any are present). The SLA 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! I definitely had to work at it.
The biggest difference between the printed and SLA models is price; the SLA grey models average about 30% cheaper than printed models, and some of the larger models can cost 50% less than similarly printed models. This combined with the sharper, cleaner edges has made them popular for all of the larger scales. The smallest scale that SLA can be applied to is 1/1500.
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