One of the things that fans have been crying out for in the years since HW and HW:C were released are actual models of them. And even before HW2 comes out some people are already anxiously awaiting to hear news about this subject.
Realisticly, we can never expect to have (good) plastic models of HW ships. HW/Cata are just not popular enough to warrent the expense. (It costs about 2 million USD to make the master mold for a single model...) Even SC, which sold millions, only ever released a Terran Marine and a Zerg Hydralisk. Resin is cheaper, but there are technical reasons why that too is out of the question.
I was doing a completely differant project when it hit me: what's the cheapest, most effective way to get HW ships? Well, the most costly part is obviously on the manufacturing of the models. But maybe Relic won't have to do the actual work themselves...
Paper models. All Relic/Sierra have to do is make the blueprints, give us assembly instructions, and the rest is in our hands. We're the ones that do the printing, cutting, pasting, swearing, ect for the model. It's really not that hard. Paper (or rather, card stock) models are nearly on par with plastic models, are cheaper, and with a little editing, can be made any size you want. For HW, it's even better. HW ships don't have lots of projections and little odd bits that all have to be painstakiningly made. The KISS theory that cranks outsuch realistic ship designs also helps in the transferring of the ships into models.
What if people want their own colors on the ships? Easy. A progrem is released that lets you use the template for X ship you want, and much like the color selection screen we have, change the colors on specified area's on the ship. Then, you save the new copy and print it out. (I'm thinking of a Ship viewer type of thing.) This allows people to have massive fleets of individual ships, not all uniform Hiigaran/Taiidan/Kadesh/Turanic/Bentusi/Beast/Vaygr marked ships.
What's even better, this way opens the way for a possible HW2 tabel-top game (similiar to BattleFleet: Gothic.) All at very little expense to Relic and Sierra.
For an example of what I mean, go to www.digitalnavy.com
What do you guys think?