I have always wanted a 3D printer just the same as I have loved the idea of making a mold and casing things. That concept of "Xeroxing" something in 3D really gets me going, perhaps it's the wargamers "more, more, more miniatures" thing where your army is never big enough and certainly one army is never enough. Sadly, I don't have a 3D printer, its not that I couldn't afford to get one I guess, its more like a recovering alcoholic shouldn't have "just one drink". I already have enough in my personal life plus wargaming plus photography plus wargaming-photography, now plus blogging and podcasting and videography as well I really don't need another hobby…. do I…?

However, the 3D printing came in handy in preparation for the Sydney MOAB 2019 wargaming event in which I decided to take an artillery heavy soviet WWII force to play bolt action.

I went to purchase a medium artillery piece from Warlord games, hmm nothing there... OK what about Rubicon, hmm nothing there either. Finally, a general web search for 1/56 scale soviet medium artillery models revealed exactly …. Zero.

With time running out what is a man to do? One thing that my web search did uncover was a free 3D print model of a Soviet A-19 122mm gun.


Now, even though I don't have a 3d printer I have a good mate Nathan who has one at his work, and being a fellow soviet player I though an offer of a free gun for him might entice him to print one for each of us, he took the bait and in a day or so I got a message to say the first one was done (sort of).

Now this is Nathans first try with the 3D printer and I don't know how good the free model was as well so I wasn't expecting too much but when I received the model, I was really pleased even though I could see there was a bit or work to be done and that plastic is HARD.

I got stuck in with scraper and sandpaper and a small grinder and some plastic putty and a few hours later I had something was passable. (See the progression of images below.)

So how did I go with my first impression of 3d Printing. On the plus side, in 4 hours I had a completed model exactly what I wanted, for exactly zero dollars. No postage no purchase and no waiting. Looking at the quality well its hard to just because this was a first effort, in the end the quality is passable, but it took a fair amount of work. Nathan says the second one looks a lot better and I assume different printers would give a better (or worse) result. 

I'm looking foreword to the future, if I could have purchased one (with crew) I would have done that instead, but if I need 2 or 3 (or 10!)... rock on 3D printing.

So now I have the gun the next thing I don't have is any crew, the story continues… 

THANKS Nathan!

More images below...

Final model along side Zis-3 for comparison.