Gameprint is a US company that specialises in 3D printing Computer Game models. In 2018 they entered a deal with Cryptic Studios to enable players to get a model of the starship they use in Star Trek Online (STO). STO has a vast range of canon and non-canon ships covering alien species, and a time scale from now Discovery to the far future. The ships on screen are beautiful and it’s a no brainer that most players would be interested in buying a model of their very own ship with their ship name and registry on it.
I was very excited at first about this prospect and then I saw the price. The models looked amazing but I could not justify spending £233. I watched as various game developers at Cryptic showed off their models and across YouTube people proudly unboxed their purchases. The envy began to rise.
Then, in my time of need Gameprint announced smaller sizes with lower prices and I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately this was not as successful as I had hoped. I opted to start with my first Fleet Admiral ship, a standard pattern Odyssey class starship called the USS Victory. I went through all the options to create it. The interface is pretty simple, just enter the ships tailor in STO select the ship design you want and then click a button which then transfers your specifications to Gameprint where you can choose the size and colour. For my first try I went for the smallest size, just 4 inches as a proof of concept. This would cost me £15 without postage. Sadly I had failed to take into account customs charges and was stung for an extra £11 to get it delivered in the UK.
When it arrived I had to wait two days whilst the customs duty was paid and I could collect the parcel. I then had the joy of opening the package and the disappointment at what lay within. The model was as I asked for but my initial impressions were not good. The ship looked dirty and smudgy and the plastic seemed the cheap tacky kind. I think perhaps my expectations were raised falsely by Eaglemoss’ excellent die cast models and I should no way have expected the same level of quality from a 3D print. Having left the model for a few days I have come to terms with my purchase. It has actually grown on me a bit and I think I can improve the ships appearance with some modelling paint. I also think it is unfair to expect the same quality in a 4 inch model as you would get in a 12 inch one.
As words of warning I would suggest people buy the best they can afford. I’m not sure all skin colours translate well from the STO site to the Gameprint model so be aware of that when using that setting. I like the idea of the company and I think I have just fallen foul of expecting more for my money, the 12 inch ships genuinely look great and I have barely seen a bad review about them. In future, and I do think I will use them again, I will save up for a 7 in model that comes with a stand and should help improve the quality.
Since writing this Eaglemoss have released details of a future release including STO’s Odyssey class and so, sorry Gameprint, you can’t match the quality and price point of them. I will be waiting for their model.