New 3D printing marketplaces are launched all the time, but it’s the niche marketplaces that I find really interesting. Take a site like Gambody, for example. The site, first launched in 2014, is dedicated to 3D printed game models, and if you’re looking for something specific, you’re more likely to find it here – and to find quality – than at many other more general marketplaces.
Gambody has wowed us with their detailed, quality models in the past, including an incredible, more-than-200-part scale model of the Millennium Falcon. Recently they branched out into designing models of real-life battle tanks, and the results have been equally impressive, as seen in this recently introduced model of an Israeli Merkava MK2 tank. Now they’ve added a new entry into the historic battle equipment category with the T-62 tank model.
The T-62 was a Soviet tank produced between 1961 and 1975, and Gambody’s model was based 100% on the original tank’s design. According to Gambody, the 62-piece model took nearly three weeks and about 70m of PLA, but it was worth it. The intricately detailed replica includes guns, a rotating turret, and workable manholes, and even the interior layout is included, though optional.
The largest parts of the model are the components that comprise the hull of the tank, inside which the interior layout, including driver’s compartment, fighting compartment and engine compartment, are fitted. Each of the hull components takes about two days to print. The entire model, as printed by Gambody, is about 49cm long with the main gun in the forward position, though all parts have been designed to fit on an 18 x 19 cm print bed.
“T-62 is one of our favorite 3D models. We carry out a lot of experiments with our tank 3D models and try to take the modeling of scale models to the next level, thanks to 3D printing,” Gambody’s co-founder and CPO Yurii Yefimov told 3DPrint.com. “At this time, however, we are a little bit limited by the optimization and adaptation of these models for desktop 3D printers. But we believe that everything will be done at the proper time.
“All in all, we are very satisfied with the 3D printed T-62 model. The print, after testing, turned out astonishingly…We plan to test the printing of the models in different materials, such as printing the tanks in resin. At this time, however, we are still looking for an expert and an enthusiast who would accept to paint the tank.
“We are always open to constructive critique, as we’re no experts in the history of tanks and are ready to partner with those who have knowledge to share with us. At this moment our goal is to design and develop highly accurate, authentic 3D models.
While Gambody may be branching out, they certainly aren’t abandoning their gaming roots. The most popular model currently on the site is a MechWarrior Catapult figurine with workable arms and legs and a 360° rotating torso. The STL files, available here, consist of 27 parts which, once printed and assembled, add up to a formidable figurine measuring 143 x 176 x 250 mm. Fans of the BattleTech universe have gone nuts for it.
“We can say with certainty that MechWarrior Catapult is the most popular 3D model on our marketplace so far,” Yefimov told us. “From the date the model was released, we have garnered more than 500 messages via our site’s survey and comments on social networks in which the audience has been asking for other models of this popular bipedal robot and additional weapon kits to upgrade and customize their regular MechWarriors. And this is something we can’t overlook or refuse to do.
“Also, after the release of the first Mech 3D model our customers have sent a bunch of requests to modify the original model, which we took into account and improved the model. Today, we have released version 2 of MechWarrior assembly 3D model. The latest version is much more print-friendly. It also has a greater degree of workability, meaning that the model can easily bend the feet and twist its body. New articulations have been designed, replacing the old ones. The model has undergone a serious facelift and it features now nicer looks, while the interior mechanisms and components have been redesigned.”
Additional add-ons are forthcoming, but the model as it currently stands is plenty impressive. A Gambody user named Alexei Bruton recently printed and painted the model and shared the results with the site, and as you can see, it’s amazing. (More images are available here.) According to Bruton, it took about a week and a half to print all of the parts, and four hours to assemble them, and the process was virtually effortless. Every part printed smoothly, accurately, and defect-free, with zero problems. He used acrylic paint and multiple painting techniques to give his model an authentic battle-scarred, worn, rusted appearance.
The Catapult model is $29.99 to download, while the T-62 is $39.99. Buying model files from a marketplace can be a bit risky if you’re uncertain as to their quality, but as demonstrated by Bruton, that’s not an issue with Gambody. Their files are carefully designed, perfected, and tested before release, and look to be well worth every cent. You can see an instructional assembly video for Catapult below. Discuss further in the Gambody 3D Printed Soviet Tank forum over at 3DPB.com.