Brumbaer / 3D Printing / Shadowsword

September 2019. After designing the Thunderbolt I wanted to do an other big model. I loved the Forge World Shadowsword for Epic nearly as much as the Thunderbolt. So the decision what would be my next project was not that hard.

Again the internet provided the reference material. It took about two weeks to design all the parts and to print them. All parts were printed on my Ultimaker 2+ FDM printer.

It were something like 29 parts. Some parts could have been combined in a single one, but that would have caused some loss of quality. When 3d printing the orientation you use when slicing a part is important and sometimes to areas have to be sliced in different orientations to get the best print quality and than you will have to break it up in smaller parts. The tradeoff is that you might see the seam where the parts are joined.

The biggest concern was wether the print pattern and layer lines would be too disturbing. I hadn't as much concern about printing resolution.

So I printed the model version 1. I applied a heavy black wash and a heavy white drybrush to make any patterns, layer lines and strands stand out.

That's what it looks like naked:

and dressed to kill:

I can live with the pattern; a real tank hasn't got a smooth surface, why would the Shadowsword. On some places it's more disturbing than on others i.e. everything like a hatch - in the widest sense.

The rivets at leat on the top sides came out well enough.

From the front the pattern reminds me on Zimmerit. The seam in the tracks is terrible, it will have to be corrected in V2. The FDM printer is overtaxed with the Bolters. I tried different ways to slice them, but they all didn't provide satisfactory results. They will have to be replaced with resin parts - it pays to have a FDM and a Resin printer :)

The exhausts are just the same, they look even worse in reality than on the photograph. The tracks have been mentioned, everything else seems ok.

On the front some armour plates were not exported and thus not printed. Realised it when I was painting the model - read: too late.  The seam in the centre is really disturbing and looks artificial and arbitrary. I will redesign the sides to hide the seam in V2.

On some pieces there are problems with hangovers - that sounds weird - anyway most of them are easily avoided - in V2. There is a kink in one of the turrets armour plate to be ironed out. And I seem to have to adjust the retraction settings for my printer, because there are a lot of short strands.

All in all not bad for a V1 of such a large model. At  arm length it looks good enough and on a gaming table it looks good anyway.

So it's time for V2. Many more parts and some of them printed on my Resin printer. There are not enough track links on the picture it should be about twice as much, which I realised only once I was putting the tank together. The observant reader might have spotted some new parts, they are for two sponsons.


Two of a kind. The print pattern is less noticeable with this colour scheme.

It's a big boy.

The two versions of bolters. The photograph do not do justice to the improvement. Should do some Macro shots.

As you can see the tracks profit from the changes.

The back changed and the exhaust got replaced with resin parts.

The ladies talking shop.

Threesome with Hydra.

All in all V2 is a definite improvement over V1. Still there are some minor things that could be changed, but V2 is good enough. I will replace the bolters and exhauts on the V1 mopdel and probably the tracks and than it will be good enough to be kept.

The print time for the FDM parts is about 120 hours. The resin parts are probably 10 hours, but as they are printed at the same time they will not add to the total time.

That's about 420g Filament and 40ml Resin, 24000 Watts energy. Withe the materials I use, which are not the cheapest, because I choose to use materials I know that work, instead of trying to save money, that will be 22€ + 4€ + 7€ = 33€ + 7€ for Primer Filler + 10% for other consumables + 10% for failed prints will bring it up to about 50€. The model from GW will cost 110€. So a V2 model costs less than the original, but it is not as nice when looking up close. But I didn't do it for saving money, but for the challenge.

In total I spent probably 150€ to get where I'm now. If I use both tanks that's 75€. Probably I just upgrade the exhausts and bolters on the V1 and probably the tracks - that's the advantage of multiple parts and have basically two V2 models or print a second V2 and turn the V1 into a piece of terrain :)