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Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Locking Turrets from Aotrs Shipyards

Hi again folks. Update time.

First of all, once again let me reiterate that all existing models released on Shapeways will continue to be held at their current prices until the end of the year, after which they will switch to the new prices.

Aotrs Shipyards is now open (albeit still as a beta...!) for direct printing commissions from the Replicator. Prices are still being sorted out as I print and log stuff, but (at a very rough estimate!) about 30% less than Shapeways for most 144th vehicles.

As I am going through and building my direct-printing catalogue, I am using the exercise to work in some improvements, in that I am beginning to replace all turrets with new version 2 locking turrets, as UshCha prototyped on his Luchs. (UshCha and our mate whinged until I relented...!)

The locking turrets are so designed such that, once you put them in (at a 45º angle) and turn them, they don't fall out.

Here is an example of the Mk 5 Chieftain (one of the ones already so converted.)

Here is an example of the Mk 5 Chieftain


I can't put these on every turret (the Boxer's MG at 3.6mm (current size) is the absolute minimum size you can physically do it without leaving a visible hole in the model, so stuff like a lot of the pintle HMGs will be unaffected), but I am going through as time allows and starting to convert the ones I can, which is going to be the vast majority.

At the moment, the locking turrets are being confined to a) new releases and b) direct printing (as uploading new stuff would change the prices at Shapeways to the new scheme) until the new year.

The locking turrets will replace the old turrets entirely and will not be backward compatible with the current, v1 standard. (I will retain the old version for special print commissions, but after January, once I start replacing them at Shapeways, the v1 turrets will no longer be available from there.) If, at that point, you are interested in buying a model (for Shapeways!) with the locking turret I haven't gotten to updating yet, just shoot me a PM via Shapeways (et al), and I'll update that for you.

Shapeways has now rolled out the new pricing scheme for all new models, so I have been able to finally examine their final results of the new scheme.

Okay, so what about Shapeways. It's a bit of a good news bad news situation.

The prices for the old WSF (versatile natural plastic) have gone up very slightly - a few pence (like, two or three); the most notable change here is that there is now a minimum $5 floor[1]. This will affect some smaller moderns vehicles Some of the current ones like the BMDs are BDRM-1s might go up 10p or so when the prices change; but it's not really worth doing anything with, as even sprueing 'em up would likely lose that amount in extra volume cost). smaller starships will also be affected.

(In January, anyone looking at small models like those can contact me via Shapeways, and I'll look into sprueing them up on request. I don't get as much interest, especially in the older starship models, to do it much before then.)

The bad news is that the smooth detail (the old FUD and FXD) have gone up by a good 20%. Nothing I can do about that, unfortunately, nowhere does that sort of material cheaper. (My primary back-up option was only going to be for the basic old WSF - haven't heard anything from them for a week or two, so that's not promising, unfortunately.)

So then. With the prices staying reasonably stable, I will be continuing new releases on schedule as normal in November and the Shipyards can continue operations as it has before at Shapeways with only some minor tweaks.

(They have, of course, completely fracked the UI again especially at the shop-owner end, because Shapeways is categorically incapable of understanding how to make a sensible UI…)

[1]The big irony being that if Shapeways had just come out and said that from the start, they would likely have not caused anything like the faff they did - but, of course, what we don't know is how much they changed their plans as they registered a good number of their larger shop owners making a deliberate search for alternatives.

Shapeways, Aotrs Shipyards