Custom 3D-Printed Models Boldly Go Where No Fan Has Gone Before

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Arc Games, makers of Star Trek Online have announced a new way for gamers to connect their virtual personas with their real world lives. Some months ago, they announced a service where players could order a custom, hand-painted model of their in-game ship. These large custom models from Gameprint were absolutely beautiful but, with a price tag of several hundred dollars, were out of reach for most players. However, with Arc Games’ announcement last week of less expensive offerings, these ships are much more attractive.

The newly added options include smaller models at 4, 7, and 12-inch sizes starting at $20, $99, and $299 for each respective size. The price can vary, though, depending on your particular ship and the cosmetic upgrades equipped.

For example, my main ship – the USS Babylon – is a Kelvin timeline Vengeance dreadnought. For the casual Trekkie or ignorant Star Wars fan out there, it’s the giant black ship Khan commandeers in Star Trek: Into Darkness. However, mine has been fully equipped with assimilated Borg technology. For the 4 inch model, Gameprint quoted me a cost of about $25 while a 7 inch was $149, excluding shipping.

Custom 3D-Printed Models Boldly Go Where No Fan Has Gone Before USS Babylon Star Trek Online

For players that have invested hundreds of hours into a game – especially one with RPG elements – it’s easy to fall in love with your characters and the world you’ve built. Many gamers, including myself, love the ability to have IRL (in real life) relics from games or other fandoms that we care about. I’ve already got 5 ships on my desk at work (Battlestar Galactica, USS Enterprise-D, Normandy SR-3, an Imperial Star Destroyer, and the Space Shuttle). But, the addition of my own ship would make it the crown jewel of my collection.

3D printing opens up a whole new world of possibilities for collectors and fans everywhere, especially for games where there’s a high degree of customization options. While we don’t know what’s next, it’s easy to imagine. Have a favorite Guardian from Destiny? How about a 3D printed model complete with your custom-shaded armor and favorite exotic? The possibilities are endless.

Every once in a while, a product comes along that stokes my geek lust to the point of obsession. This is one of those products that I haven’t been able to push out of my mind – so I placed an order. I can’t wait to welcome the Babylon to the fleet…

Josh (aka P53ud0Nym, aka jozNaz) got his start in gaming playing his uncle’s NES and his friend’s Sega Genesis. At the age of 14, he got a job, rode his bike to Kmart, and bought a Game Boy Color and Pokémon Blue. Josh enjoys RPGs, shooters, racing, and adventure games as well as teaching his two kids the ways of the Force.

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