ShapeWays 1/32 Enterprise Bridge Crew First Look
|Date of Review||June 2019||Manufacturer||Shapeways|
|Subject||Enterprise Bridge Crew||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||Various||Primary Media||3D Printed Plastic|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||see text|
For those of us who are die-hard Star Trek fans and also build scale models, somewhere in our collection is (at least) one of the AMT 1/32 USS Enterprise Command Bridge kits. The kit has been around for decades and even reissued with improvements, plus there are a number of aftermarket sets for this kit to help accurize the bridge layout as it appeared on television as well as provide back-lighting options. As nice as all of those things are, it just doesn't look right without a crew on that bridge. There have been brief appearances of resin figures out of various cottage industry sources, but even when you could find them, they just didn't look quite right.
Enter Shapeways and their 3D printing services. Designers can create 3D CAD designs of any number of things, and if you browse their online catalog, there are literally thousands of things there that are available to solve problems you never knew you had. Enter one such designer who has created a variety of 1/32 crew figures, some of whom are available in different poses. While I was concerned that these would have the all-too-familiar stepping from the 3D printing process, I also know that Shapeways has some incredible high-resolution printing available as well. When I saw the announcement of these figures on one of the Facebook forums, I opted to buy eight of these figures for my bridge. The figures range in price from $9.99 to $17.99, depending on the pose and associated print complexity. At present, there are 28 figure/poses to choose from (search for #tosbridgecrew), all in 1/32 scale. If you think the prices of each figure is a little high, you haven't been shopping for 1/35 resin figures as the going price there starts at $18.00, so these are very reasonably priced.
You can see in the images above that I selected Montgomery Scott seated, James Kirk seated and leaning forward, Leonard McCoy leaning on the bridge rail or Kirk's chair, Spock leaning over the sensors, Janice Rand standing, Sulu seated, Chekov seated, and Uhura seated and watching over her shoulder. The surface of each figure is smooth, with fine demarcation between the tunic tops and pants, and a sharply printed Starfleet insignia. All these figures need is a good coat of primer and some careful painting.
I am very pleased with the quality of these figures and the selected poses will help to compose the scene for my rendition of the command bridge. Once I get the bridge built-up and the figures in place, I may opt to add a few additional crewmembers to the scene as well. If you've been waiting for some figures for your own bridge, you'd better act soon as who knows what the future holds...