Eringzo you are correct on multiple levels and your suspicions are also correct. Let me explain.
I recently commented to a friend that my WW2 miniature wargame collection is in peril, and Ive been doing that since 1974.
Two things imperil it:
a. 3D printing
b. 3D printing
I can print ALL the infantry I want AND mix and match the sculpts, slightly alter the sculpts and so on that other people are producing.
With my contacts in the industry, I can have miniatures printed for me. Ergo, I can make my own universe of mechanized combat.
As a WW2, CAV and BattleTech gamer, I can tell you NO ONE is interested in the actual military aspect of this storyline/game. At conventions, all ANYONE wants to see is battling machines and NOT A SINGLE PERSON cares about infantry.
So, I should tell you this:
MANY of my friends are in the ARMY, or were.
The fact that these game designers IGNORE the infantryman and his support infrastructure is what I am telling you.
With 3D printing, I can print ALL the anti-tank, artillery, ground vehicles, aerial vehicles and more that I need to give this game VALUE. I can even print missiles in flight.
But I cannot print CAV mechs because no one has designed them yet. I can only print/mashup BattleMechs and sundry vehicles.
So in conclusion:
You are on the right path to EMPHASIZE the value and the need for INFANTRY in this game. In my view, anyone who is interested ONLY in the mechs is the type of person who will go to McDonalds if a Burger King is closed and think its the same food. IT AINT.
Just war gaming with the mechs, as if WW2 was just all tanks, diminishes the history, the storyline, the hobby and reduces the value of those who enable us to have fun in this hobby.
The quality of the prints I show here isnt as important as the fact that I can create them in the first place. Because I have saved HUNDREDS of dollars printing my own stuff, I am able to contribute to the storyline of games historical or not, by creating scenarios and playing the games, rather than waiting for funds to be available to begin to do anything in the first place.
3D printing allows anyone to innovate and build on success, not be stymied by the fact mech designs are not available on 3D printing websites such as Thingiverse. Were it not for Thingiverse NOTHING of what I have accomplished would have been possible, and the people I show the game to would NOT be fascinated, and would likely NOT run out to buy their own models IF that is, IF they can find them at the few remaining hobby stores that exist here in the U.S. There arent many left.
Also and this is key: Because we dont play with infantry that is the same scale, or "in scale" we can print our own infantry AT THE SIZE we want or THE SIZE THAT WORKS. eg. CAV are mostly 10mm or close to it; the infantry is too small. So we printed up 15 to 18mm size infantry, artillery, anti-tank guns, missile batteries, tanks you name it. Ergo the game is WAY WAY BETTER with larger infantry and in fact looks better than 10mm infantry. But it looks better because we can print COLONIAL MARINES from the film Aliens, StarWars troopers and more.