Hi Sean,
I'll both check Balls3D and will build MASON again (but it looks like I've got already the latest CVS 

I did have some time to look at the source code. I think the reason why it is working with 
CubePortrayal3D instead of SpherePortrayal3D is that CubePortrayal is a subclass of 
SimplePortrayal3D instead of PrimitvePortrayal3D.

I'm using OS X 10.6 maybe it is OS related problem because Apple is, as I understand, building its 
"own Java3D".