I got my first Shapeways models a couple of months ago and while the end result looked quite nice I was far from impressed with the quality of the casting. Those were in a reasonably expensive material, British Boarhound armoured cars, but the sides were like raggedly cut wood. It took 25 layers of acrylic paint to smooth everything out. That would have been the end of it but I got some Russian biplanes at the same time from the cheapest material and while a bit grainy it was consistent all over and does not look too bad. I decided to give the TOG 2 heavy tank a go after someone mentioned it over on the Pendraken forum. While the cheapest material it is still not cheap as a big item - just under £12, but there was a free postage offer at the time so that was the total price.
Unlike CGD at least Shapeways needs no removing of huge amounts of sprue and so it was quick to get into painting and I just sprayed it a few more times to help with the roughness and then did two layers of acrylic (with no flow enhancer) and that was sufficient to give a reasonable final finish. I decide to do the basic British green and not the 3 tone camouflage you can see on some versions - I was not convinced it would look that good at this scale with a reasonably smooth model (i.e. the large flat slabs have no detail like rivets or anything like that).
I am really pleased with the final model and may get myself one or two more next time there is a free postage offer on.
A few comparisons now of other monster tanks to give an idea of size.
First a Russian KV 5 (a resin kit).
Next a British Tortoise A39 (a CGD 3D printed model):
And finally a German Maus tank (a CanDo model):
For an easy way to see all my WW2 posts check out the WW2 Summary page.