Printle Shop scale figures

Line of 1:24 scale 3D printed figures
Unprimed figures
Bob Santos
1:24-scale figures
Printle Shop
Available from
Prices vary—generally less
than $10 ea.

Line of 1:24-scale (and others) figures; available with or without bases; 3D printed in white nylon; realistic poses

Pros: Lifelike poses; large variety available; includes males, females, and children; variety of body types; realistic clothing; easy on-line ordering

Cons: Some facial detail is not as sharp as could be
Primed figures
Bob Santos
I recently discovered a new source of realistic scale figures. The reason these figures look so real is that they are not sculpted as we normally see them; they are produced from scans of real people. The artist, Luc Benhaim, then manipulates the scans into files that can be 3D printed. Luc lives and works in France but I buy his figures from Shapeways, a New York company that 3D prints the artist’s work, then packages it, mails it, and collects the payment.

The first figures I bought from Luc were intended to be just figurines, so each came with a substantial round base. When I explained to him that I was using the figures on my model railroad and had to cut them free of the bases, he offered to redo them without bases.

The nylon plastic material in which they are printed is white, tough, and quite hard. The figures will need to be painted—the ones in the top photo have been sprayed with gray primer. I was able to cut the figures from their bases using a thin, fine-tooth saw, but it was difficult and slow going. For those who use figures with bases, these would be ready to go; paint the base a color that is close to your groundcovers and use them as is. Now that they are available without bases, those are all I buy.

I have always felt that model cities and towns peopled by only adults were not realistic, but figures of children were rare. Luc has lots of children figures available too.

Purchasing them is easy. The best way is to go directly to Luc’s shop:  There you will see dozens of pages of figurines, with 48 figures per page. When you see one in which you are interested, click on it. That will take you to another page with a large, more detailed picture of the figure and additional information. It even lets you rotate the figure so that you can look at it from all sides. (Rotation is important because some figures may have details in back that don’t work for your time period, such as hoodies.)Dimensions are listed at the bottom of the page, and this is important. You can toggle between inches and centimeters. For some reason, the height of the figures is called “depth.” Be warned: Luc has made figures in many different scales. When you are preparing to buy a figure, make sure it is the right scale or size for you. A six-foot-tall man in 1:24 scale is 3" tall (about 7.7 cm); females are somewhat shorter; and children are shorter still. If you are ordering a figure with a base, the base is .5 cm thick. Also remember that real people vary in height by quite a bit. Click “buy now” to add the figure to your cart. Check out is normal and the printing and delivery is fast.

To help you find the newer figures without bases, on that first page of Luc’s shop, in the upper-left corner, click to sort the figures by “newest first.” They will be bunched in the beginning of the listing. It appears that he adds new figures both with and without bases, plus he is now offering many of the older figures with their bases removed.

In addition to individual figures, you will find a couple kissing hello or goodbye (great for your railroad station) or a father and little son, maybe train watching. There are also a musician with a guitar and his partner with a harmonica to entertain your other railroad people. The list is extensive. Luc is also starting to add some 1:24-scale accessories. I highly recommend these realistic and well-made figures.


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