3d Modeling and Printing 15mm Infantry

Left: Peter Pig
Centre: My FDM 3d printed model
Right: Battlefront
I've been having a go at modeling a generic 15mm British infantryman of the Interwar period. As this is my first attempt at this sort of thing, I've gone for a very simple pose.

I've deliberately gone for rather chunky, dwarfish proportions, as I find that in the smaller scales, "realistic" proportions tend to start to look rather waifish, not to mention that the figures get a bit frail. However, I think I can probably tone it down just a bit. He needs to be a millimetre or two shorter, for a start, to fit in with the traditionally modelled and cast ranges.

I've done a test print on my Ender 3, an FDM printer with a 0.4mm nozzle, and though I've seen worse figures in my time, I think a 0.2mm nozzle or a resin printer is probably going to be necessary to get consistently decent results, as the surface detail has been largely smoothed out of existence. The helmet brim also probably needs to be thickened a bit.

All in all, I'm reasonably happy with it as a first experiment, and it's given me some idea of the direction I need to take for future models. I may have to learn something about rigging my 3d models though, as building each and every pose from scratch will soon become tiresome.


I adjusted the proportions of the model so he looks a bit less like he has a 72 inch chest, and thickened the helmet brim.

I printed this one leaning back at an angle of about 45-50°, and I did get a tiny bit more definition in the face. The rest of the surface detail is still very soft though, and I'd have to exaggerate it a lot more if I was going to be printing these regularly in FDM.

Leaning it back on the printer means that its end-print string-blob is right on the front edge of the helmet brim, which is kind of annoying.

Later still:

They don't look too terrible with some paint sploshed on them, but I shall certainly have to exaggerate surface details quite substantially if I want them to be clearly visible. They're very far from being top-class sculpts, but they've given me a reasonably good idea about where I should be going.


  1. These look great so far! I've been struggling to find some 15mm infantry to muck around with printing with these kind of proportions, and the fact you're designing them specifically with FDM in mind makes a big difference to the result. I'll be dead keen to see how this project progresses. :D

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