Commemorating a “3D-Day”
This coming June 6th, 2019 will mark the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion on North West Europe; the landing of American, British and Canadian forces on the beaches of Normandy and the airborne landings that immediately preceded them.
There are multiple scenarios for replicating these battles in existing Bolt Action books as well a new release of a specific D-Day-Overlord campaign book
For those of us seeking to 3d print a table top force for fighting this, likely the best-known campaign of world war two, we have no shortage of material to work from. Let’s look at what’s out there, 3d model wise, to build both forces as well as scenarios and battlefield terrain.
For those who play Germans in 28mm gaming, this is your high-water mark. You have everything from captured French Renaults to King Tigers to put on the table.
Here are just a few of historically correct .stls that are available. Most of these are already in 28mm scale, but some – such as Tiger Ace’s – are in 1/100. Check the scale and upsize in your slicer as required. There isn’t a faxed ratio; check the hull length and width and go to tank encyclopedia or another site and do the math – ( Length or width divided by 56 = length or width to entire into your slicer; resize all parts at the percentage indicated).
The British and Canadian
The commonwealth forces were equipped with mostly American tanks – Shermans and Stuarts – but still had British armour with them; the Churchills and their many variants, the ubiquitous universal carrier, and the Canadian RAM, which never saw action in its original form but was converted into a fully tracked APC.
The airborne units employed tetrarch tanks, special converted jeeps, among other bits of kit.
By 1944 the American economic engine was running at full speed, and the U.S. was not only supplying the millions of American troops fighting across the globe but also supplying its Western allies with equipment but also providing vast quantities to the Soviet Union under Lend Lease. Vast numbers of tanks, trucks, jeeps and half tracks rolled into France and towards the heart of the Reich.
Where to look for the appropriate files?
First, make sure what you are looking for is appropriate for the summer of ’44. Development of new weapons was quite rapid, so something really appealing – say, an M26 Pershing or a M24 Chaffee, was not in Europe until the following winter. While we are used to seeing the German Uber-tanks – King Tigers and awesome Panthers – on a lot of game tables, the Germans in the Normandy sector also employed, due to equipment shortages – a lot of dated captured equipment, such as R35 and H35 French tanks, re-purposed Universal carriers they had captured in 1940, among other items. They even used Renault FTs in fighting around Paris in August 1944.
A great catch all, particularly for smaller scale and SLA prints, is the Bergman 1-100th pack
Sherman tanks – check the file scale and upsize accordingly.
25 pounder field gun
C-8 truck (cut down for glider landing)
Eureka Landing Beacon
17 pounder ATG
Field Artillery Tractor (F.A.T.)
RAM Kangaroo APC
CMP F-60 Truck
A great package of files, at 1/100th scale, is available from Manifold Destiny
Sherman tanks (check scales, some are 1/100th and would require upsizing)
M5 Half track
M16 / M17 motor gun carriage
M 8 Greyhound
Raketenwerfer 43 (puppchen)
88mm Flak 36
Opel Mule half track
Citroen 11 CV staff car
Panzer Mark IV
Panzer Mark V
Panzer Mark VI -Tiger
Hanomag half tracks
Renault UE (captured) and variants
Stug Assault Guns
German Artillery (includes many files)
(always check the size of item in your slicer; some have their scale clearly posted but others do not post the original design scale; to see if the scale works; up or downsize proportionately as needed!)
Czech Hedgehogs (tank stops)
Barbed Wired supports
There are many other files out there, but this gives you an overview and a starting point. as always, consider if the file is designed for your printer- e.g. SLA printers can do one piece prints well, FDM printers do better with files that are in multiple parts that are flat to the build plate.
I hope this helps inspire both your printing and gaming interest. Why not dust off the Band of Brothers DVD and pop it into the DVD player and get printing, painting and playing?