Private E-bay seller model stand review
I like I am sure many of you who make any kind of vehicle have struggled for a great many years to find a particular holder that satisfies both assembly and painting of a vehicle of some description. I have tried holders from manufacturers, home-made holders, 3D printed offerings from sites such as thingiverse etc and all have their plus sides but all also have major flaws. I have never really found one that enables me to assemble with confidence and then move directly onto priming and painting without the need to constantly re-position the model or fear it falling out of the holder when moved.
Recently while scrolling my way through E-bays model making offerings I came across a listing for a model holder/stand that claimed to be suitable for " Model car kit building berth jig for AFV vehicles 1/72 1/35 1/24 1/16 MCB1" The kit cost was £24.99 which is what you would expect to pay for a manufacturer made kit from Tamiya or Hasegawa etc however this is a 3D printed kit which I would estimate costs around £1 -£3 with the cost of the plastic, bolts and electricity to make it. This is quite obviously a huge mark-up from manufacture costs but I also factored in the design of the item itself, the listing cost for e-bay and of course the sales fee that E-bay imposes. While this still does not account for the total cost of the item in my opinion I still took the risk and went ahead and bought it.
When it arrived I was slightly underwhelmed with the item as the bolts supplied are not really long enough for the job and the seller didn't mention that to ensure a positive lock-down of the model you will need a hex key to tighten it sufficiently to hold the model without movement. I would also caution the user of the stand to not over tighten the bolts as they will very easily bite into the plastic and destroy the channels. I intend on buying some longer bolts for this stand and some split washers which should provide a better "bite" when tightening the bolts without placing too much pressure on the plastic channels they slide on. With these warnings done I will now talk about the positives of this stand and there are many:
1. The 3D print is done very well and the maker has ensured sufficient in-fill of the stand (this directly affects the strength of the stand; the more in-fill the more rigid and solid it becomes).
2. The stand is printed using an FDM printer (type of 3D printer if your not a 3D printing nerd like me) and I think the material is a good quality PLA. This means that there's some flexibility to the stand and its not brittle meaning if you drop it while packing away or place something heavy on it then the risk of damage is minimal. I would caution that PLA does not like heat at all so don't place this on a radiator or run under extremely hot water as it will soften and distort.
3. The stand design itself is extremely well thought out. The model maker has the choice of fixing the axles through the stand holes or alternatively holding them in place using rubber bands (these were also supplied).
4. The stand is not overly cumbersome or intrusive. I managed to assemble the majority of the model in the stand and was then able to airbrush the entire vehicle without removal from the stand. This also meant that I could spray it entirely in one sitting as I could simply hold the stand and tip the model upside down with confidence to spray it. This is something I have not been able to do with any other stand.
5. With the model being held securely I am confident enough to pick it up by the stand and move to one side to complete other tasks in my work area and move it back when required.
6. It is extremely stable with a large footprint so there's no concern of accidentally knocking the stand over and damaging the model
7. You have an option to buy the stand with two mounting points (which I bought) or for more money three mounting points. In all honesty if your building 1/72 1/35 or 1/48 I think two mounting points is sufficient however if your doing something larger or more complex then I can see the requirement for three points of security.
The images of the stand in use on my desk show quite a small 1/35 model and you can plainly see there's plenty of room for a modern main battle tank or a 1/48 scale car etc.
To date I have only used this for one of my models however I will keep using this for future builds because of how good this is. I have used a fare few amount of stands and have always been disappointed at first use and struggled through with them until frustration has forced me to abandon them. I have not felt that disappointment or frustration with this stand. In fact the more that I have worked with this stand the more I am impressed with its design.
It is expensive for what it actually is ( I would have felt better buying this for around £20 or less as I feel this would be more reasonable for it ) but I can assure you that this design is not available on any of the free 3D print design websites ( I looked ). I would guess that the seller of the stand is also the designer and manufacturer so while with time I could probably backwards engineer and print one of these myself I think it would be extremely unfair to him/her as they have come up with a design that neither I nor other 3D designers have thought of before. In other words he made it and if you want then its only fair to pay him what he thinks is reasonable. Is it value for money? I would personally say yes simply for the convenience and ease of building and airbrushing/painting the models. Would I recommend this to my friends? Absolutely I would. Its good quality, well designed and should with proper care and use last a very long time.
The seller has a number of different design stands available for sale on E-bay for boats, tanks, trains, planes etc and I would probably guess is a model maker themselves. These have clearly been designed by someone who is equally frustrated as most of us at the lack of speciality in the stands on offer by manufacturers at the moment.
I will point out that I am in no way affiliated with the seller and I have not received any financial incentives to write this review. This review is also subjective so please don't shout at me if you have a different opinion or experience with this product than I have had. I have included a link to the E-bay sellers page that is active at the time of writing this article if your interested in taking a look at their products. If you do buy and use one I would love to hear your thoughts on them also: