Vault Tales 45 Shapeways 3D Paddlefish

Who makes it? Printed on the Shapeways site. I don’t know where the file was made

When did it come out? I’ve had it a few years, but I don’t know how long.

It’s a creator test print–which is cheaper but rougher. Hence the thick texture on this side

Still available? Depends if the file is still out there.

Where can it be found in my displays? With so many other odd and interesting fish figures. That describes about 15 shelves at least though!

The other side. Still not particularly smooth, but finer grained. Someday I’ll sand and paint it.

How does it fit in the collection? It’s a primitive fish, which are my favorite kind of fish. It’s a paddlefish, which is uncommon as a figure (although…I have a surprising number of them)

Any story behind it? I know I came across the file somewhere, and wanted to see how it would work with Shapeways. So I uploaded it, and was able to print a cheaper test version

These are not quite to scale…for a maximum size paddlefish. But technically, the diver isn’t an adult, so maybe it’s close.

Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): First things first, this figure is obviously not painted, nor even prepped for painting, so clearly the skin texture is wrong. It’s at least grey though, so it’s kind of close! Structurally, it’s okay–it has all of the fins in roughly the right places, and the big gill cover as part of the feeding apparatus. The eye seems a bit big, and overall the body seems a bit spindly, in particular in the middle. But it is clearly a paddlefish. It is crafted to have the big open mouth in a feeding style, but otherwise the fish is very static. Still, it is clearly the fish it is meant to be–hard to mistake that snout for anything else. The figure is about 12 cm long, so the scale (assuming full size) is about 1:18.

Would I recommend it? I would say yes, but it’s filled with caveats–need to find it, print it, paint it…normally, I would say that there are other, better ones out there but…there aren’t. I have several; some are customs, others are different 3D models, one is a squeeze toy and one is a wooden carving (it’s really nice, but not a toy by any means). The closest thing to a currently available one is a stretchy-squeeze toy from Diramix, and I don’t even know if those are still made. Until recently, there was a model made for my store that, honestly, was pretty great, but the moulds didn’t hold up. Maybe we’ll do a revamp like we did the Polypterus? I think that fish like this are of great interest to a lot of people, but for some reason they are (almost) one of the most completely ignored primitive fish (only bowfin get less attention). So if you have access to 3D printers and can figure out where I found this file (it’s been years now…) I say go for it. Get the paddlefish out there!

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