Adventures in 3D printing and some paint

I’ve been using filament from GST3D for the last year or so. Mainly because it is dirt cheap, if you wait for the sales, and because the quality has been good. That is until recently. My last batch of ten has had three rolls fail. One badly tangled and the other two damp resulting in clogs. Social media has been filling up with complaints about GST3D recently and they have promised to improve. We shall see.

I have started printing some “Vase Mode” models. Specially designed to only print the outside surface.

This is from the Sinister Cities Kickstarter. A free model so you could appraise the results. It is printed with a thicker nozzle, 0.8 rather than the usual 0.4, so the layer lines are noticeable. At arms length not really. This seems to be a good method for bashing out terrain.

https://www.sinistercities.com/the-citybuilder

This little Gnome Spellsinger is from Old School Miniatures, part of their Alpine Gnome range. Have I mentioned how much I love this range?

https://www.oldschoolminiatures.co.uk/alpine-gnomes-3-c.asp

Finally a squad of ten Terminators for the Space Hulk game I am 3D printing. I have printed all the corridors need for the Second Edition, just have to get on and paint them. Batch painting from hell. Starting with a black basecoat, then a zenithal highlight, a colour wash over that, detailing and finally rust and grime. Can’t wait.

A little update on the painting

I have a few more pictures to add, since May. May? Where did the time go?

This is some armoured centaur legs, from the Makers Cult, scaled up from AT scale to 40K scale. The top half is an Armiger. This was a test of the livery I am using on my Titan, sat in a box awaiting paint. The lesson wot I did lern is to not apply gloss varnish until all the armour is painted. The gold was very problematic because of this. My next big print project is a Reaver Titan mounted on the Makers Cult 40K scale centaur legs. Warlord might be a bit much.

This is from the Tesseract Tomb Patreon. I have wanted a train set for ages and he is going to be producing parts over the next few months.

This is the Marauder Giant which is now starting to fetch eye watering prices on Fleabay. Many thanks to the Delta Squad who made this possible. First rule etc.

Finally a Spaash Mareen. Number One Son and I have been taking advantage of the 9Euro German rail tickets and have been travelling to Munich for lunch, As you do. I thought I would pop into WARHAMMER! and try out this newfangled Contrast paint that all the cool kids are using these days. The Red Shirt gave me a figure to try it on. While I was slappinig paint on he was inanely chatting to me in English, but in German was really (like really) pushing the hobby onto Number One Son.

One of our lunches. Nothing too extravagant, just a pork knuckle, potato dumpling, dark beer gravy and sauerkraut.

BUT as a result of the trip to WARHAMMER! Number One Son has expressed an interest in gaming. So now the modular table is getting some use, perhaps I need to get on and paint it? We are using our own version of One Hour Skirmish.

https://penandswordbooks.com/subject-categories/collecting-games-hobbies/wargaming/one-hour-skirmish-wargames.html

A system which utilises playing cards instead of dice which can make the turn system chaotic and fun. Highly recommended.

I also have been distracted by kittens, we are helping a neighbour rehouse kittens. Her farm is used as a dumping ground for unwanted kittens and she finds it a bit too much at times.

We also have been having family days out.

Resolved morals

Disclaimer: the blog post has been brought to you by the generosity and patience of Chitu Systems.

Remember in my last post I said that I had a moral dilemma about fitting the 3D printer screen sent by Chitu Systems? Well they actually read my post (imagine?) and to paraphrase, “Why didn’t you say? Here’s some resin, go and play!”

Stock image. NOT my model

Shortly after they contacted me there was knock on the door and there was an Amazon package with this resin.

The only thing I could do was to fit the screen and do some test prints.

Fitting the screen was an absolute doddle and the online tutorial is a great help.

The firmware update was slightly problematic but some gentle prodding from the online support got me there quickly.

I was a bit of a numpty when it came to the exposure and kept going to high. Once I dialled it back (a lot) I was good to go.

Talking about the resin this gave a little more detail than my my usual Nova3D (cheap as chips) and what I did like was that the models were slightly springy before curing. And that made removing the supports a lot easier. This is now going to be my preferred resin for printing.

This new iteration of mono screen gives a larger print area than the previous one and with a faster print speed it makes it a no-brainer replacement. If you are lucky you can pick up a Mars Pro pretty cheaply, probably second hand, and with this screen upgrade you’ve got a pretty serviceable machine. Roughly for the price of three spash mareen squads. Think on that.

My first proper prints were of various Treefolk for a Warmaster (10mm) Wood Elf Army. Files are from Forest Dragon.

https://forestdragon.gumroad.com/l/QtcwE

Thumbs up from me.

Moral dilemma

I am having a bit of a quandary on what to do. If anybody has suggestions I am all ears.

At the beginning of the year the screen failed on my Mars Pro. On one of my Facebook groups someone had posted about some new Mono screen upgrades from Chitubox. They promised a lot longer life and faster print times.

The replacement

I duly ordered it and it arrived promptly. Fitting it was easy. But I had a right kerfuffle getting the correct firmware and some conflicting advice on how to achieve it. After a couple of days it was resolved and I could print again.

To be honest I couldn’t tell if the print times were faster or if there was a difference in quality. The build space on the X/Y axis was smaller but as everything I print is small it didn’t bother me. I could print.

This is where it becomes interesting.

About two months ago I had a message in Facebook from “Chitu Systems”. Would I be interested in an upgraded screen? I didn’t really believe it was from Chitu Systems and didn’t believe anything would come of it. I said yes and promptly forgot all about it.

Then a couple of weeks later I received a package from China.

Beautifully packaged with a whole load of extras that I didn’t have with the original replacement screen. This one promises a much bigger print area.

I have some reservations about fitting it.

Firstly I have recently fitted the replacement screen and I should get another year at least from it.

Secondly I have run out of resin and due to finances I won’t be buying any for the next month or two. I have just bulk bought some FDM filament for some large projects and that depleted the cash reserves. I have no wish to fit it and not to be able to test it.

Thirdly, do I want to go through the hassle of finding the right firmware again. Timewise I have over faced myself with projects and I want to play catch up before I embark on anything else.

Stupid project making a modular trench system. Which I have no time for.

To top this, I am getting messages every couple of weeks asking if I have fitted it and how did it go. Nothing like piling on the guilt.

So what to do?

Fit it and hope it works when I get resin?

Or wait?

Answers on a postcard please.

Paint progress

Here is a picture heavy painting round up. Still struggling with fatigue and concentration. This is why I made this the first job of the day so it would get done.

These are walking troop transports for my Traitor Guard. There are 3D printed parts from Knucklebones patreon, resin parts from Ramshackle Games and laser cut parts.

I am not quite sure what these are. 3D printed, laser cut, resin parts and physical modelling.

This is from Redgozfasta Patreon. The guy doing this wants to work his way through the Epic Orks collection, scaling them up to 40k size. This month (May) is the Battlewagon. One of the variations is the Weirdboy Tower which I am very much looking forwards to. Entirely printed on my Ender 3 FDM printer. My genius neighbour took my printer apart and rebuilt it totally square. The results are amazing, not resin quality but pretty damn good.

This is a gun crew for my Traitor Guard. This is all from Knucklebones patreon.

https://www.patreon.com/knucklebonesminis/posts

This was from the paintpotchallenge (my elderly computer doesn’t have a hashtag) that was running on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/grumpyoldtin/?hl=en

Did I mention that I occasionally lurk on Instagram?

Finally on the painting is Khonshu imprisoned. Printed and painted in 24 hours for my youngest.

There is something big on the horizon. It has finished printing, now to assembly and painting.

An unexpected painting behind the scenes

Primed and ready to go
This was my original idea for colours. Sadly a bit bland so I went my own way.
First colours blocked out
Wash. Horrible! Make it go away!
Stop staring
Flesh done
Hair today
Almost there

An unexpected painting challenge

Reddit is my default opening page on my interwebs browser. When I opened it yesterday at the top of the feed was an interesting post. One of the feeds I am subbed into r/PrintedMinis had a post from u/PrintedEncounter. They had been challenged to speed sculpt. Printed Encounter took it on and produced a sculpt of Bilbo Baggins in two and a half hour.

A link was posted to it on Thingiverse. And a challenge was posted that if someone wanted to paint and post it they could suggest the next sculpt.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5253332

Well game on! Challenge accepted.

Model printed out
Not enough supports
Milliput to the rescue
Working on the base

I will post in a couple of hours when I have applied some paint. I aim to have this finished by the end of today. First I have to help my youngest in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey while I wait for the milliput to dry.

Life in the time of Rona

I have been under the weather for a couple of weeks now but have been testing negative. Earlier this week Number One Son tested positive and I was still negative. Upto this point I had been the only family member to be free from the Rona.

Thursday night I had a bad night with breathing difficulties and a savage sore throat. Not to mention sweats and chills. Friday morning I tested again.

Arse

Got booked that afternoon for a drive thru which has confirmed that I am a positive person. Just waiting on the variant.

About two weeks ago, before this all kicked off, one of the Patreons I sub to posted this picture.

Image copyright Knucklebones Miniatures.

I saw this and had to have a variant of it. Knucklebones had made some scuttling bug-like legs for a previous model. I chopped them up in Meshmixer and cut’n’pasted the bits to extend them. With this I lasercut some bits to make two open troop carriers. I’ll show them in a later post.

That idea lead on to me thinking about about an armoured variant. More parts were lasercut then Papa Nurgle visited. Not really having the strength or motivation I pottered a bit each day making it.

My little spot in the sun
My view

This is the result

The main body is lasercut mdf and card. Bolts are lasercut card. There are resin greebles from Ramshackle Games and 3d printed ones from Knucklebones. The legs are 3d printed and are derived from Knucklebones.

https://www.patreon.com/knucklebonesminis

Addendum

I forgot to add to my last post a commission for Keta Minies.

Last year I had posted about the Kickstarter by this shy retiring sculptor. A whole range of props and accessories for your fantasy adventurers. Brilliantly sculpted.

Keta Minies asked me to paint a mimic sculpt and so I did. Rather nerve racking trying to live up to the quality of the sculpt. Sadly, although packed inside a tin with bubblewrap, it failed to survive the tender ministrations of the French postal system.

I do recommend you to have a peek at

https://www.myminifactory.com/users/keta-minies

Where you will find a growing selection of articles for sale.

Infodump

This is a continuation of “Direction?” and as the title suggests it is an infodump.

Not everything here will be of interest to everybody, these are things that I have discovered that have interested or informed me.

Being a silver surfer I tend to use Facebook as my main social media window. Here are some of the pages I am a member of:

Oldhammer

The Inquisitorium The Beating heart of INQ28

Warmaster (GW)

Battlefleet Gothic

Heroquest

‘Eavier Metal

2021 Painting Challenge

Middlehammer

The Terrain Tutor

3D Printing for Warmaster

3D Printing for WH40K – Facist Free Zone

40.000 Reasons to 3D Print

Titan Printers Society

I Love 3D Printing Miniatures and Terrain

You might find me if you look for Brian Weninger

Next up are the Patreons

www.patreon.com

Starting with the ones I support

One Gold Piece

The Makers Cult

Knucklebones Miniatures

Soul Forge Studio

Others of note

Forest Dragon

Lord of the Print

Warploque Miniatures

ThatEvilOne

BigMrTong

onepagerules

Geargut’s Mekshop

Bestiarum Miniatures

Anvil Digital Forge

Lost Kingdom Miniatures

Other social media platforms worth exploring

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

You can find me on these last three, just search for grumpyoldtin

Discord – you will need an invite to join the various groups. Usually if you have a subscribed to a Patreon they will have a Discord channel linked to it.

Twitch – I have not explored this as yet

Websites with paid for, and sometimes free, digital files

My Mini Factory

Cults 3D

Thingiverse – for free models

Yeggi is a useful search engine to find models, paid for and free

For Heroquest resources I recommend

https://www.yeoldeinn.com/

For SpaceHulk visit

http://spacehulk.barsoom.cc/

Warmaster Revolution

https://www.wm-revolution.com/

If Grimdark is your thang then I cannot recommend enough

https://28-mag.com/

Youtube: who not to include? Here is a list of contributors who have interested me:

52 Miniatures

Tabletop Minions

Teaching Tech

Colin Furze

Angel Giraldez

Duncan Rhodes Painting Academy

Geek Gaming Scenics

The Terrain Tutor

Tabletop Workshop

Vince Venturella

All these suggestions are far from exhaustive and are a matter of personal taste.

I would love to hear from you with recommendations for things that I may have overlooked.

Direction?

The evolution of 3D printing has been amazing. Four years ago I was eyeing up resin models from Forgeworld and Ramshackle Games. Three years ago I dabbled in FDM printing, with my Ender 3, but wasn’t impressed by the quality. Just over a year ago I started scratch building models using laser cut parts. Six months ago I got my SLA (I will call it resin from now on) printer and I was blown away with the quality. And now I have started studying tutorials on how to model in Blender with a view to making my own 3D models.

There is, or appears to be, an arms race going on with resin printers, bigger build plates, higher quality light sources to expose the resin and faster print times. As a hobbyist/consumer this is good news.

So if you don’t 3D model yourself where do you go to get digital print files?

There are Patreons, where for a modest monthly fee you can support a creator who will make 3D models. There are of course some artists who are good, some ok and some meh. This is of course depending on your own personal preferences and requirements.

If you have a need for just one type of model and don’t want the commitment then you can purchase them from MyMiniFactory or Cults3D.

Maybe you just want to try something for free? Then Thingiverse is for you. A place where artists put out work to gauge reaction before starting a Patreon. If you like their work there is the option to donate a small amount. Thingiverse is great for the remix community, where people will take parts from different models and combine them to create something new. Sometimes you have to be quick if you like a particular design, because some artists skate very close, or over, the IP line of a famously litigious games manufacturer and if you blink it will be 404’d.

One could venture into the wild west of Telegram. Just about everything is there. I once had an invite and put my head above the parapets. I made my excuses and left.

This burgeoning of the 3D printing movement has breathed back life into many old game systems.

A bit of Heroquest?

The best thing about Heroquest is……

….Thingiverse. All the game parts are there. Someone has meticulously scanned all the character models and even left on the mold lines for that old school feel.

Warmaster now has beautifully sculpted armies for a fraction of the price you would pay on Fleabay for the original metal models. There has been a revamped set of rules (there has been some pooh-poohing in more traditionalist corners) with Warmaster Revolutions.

Battlefleet Gothic.

SpaceHulk.

Adding to the mix is social media enabling previously isolated enthusiasts to get to know others and share. I am talking with people from America to Australia and points in between. Groups on Facebook have reignited interest in classic old games. One can gather galleries of well painted armies/figures of your choice to inspire you in Pinterest. The Blogosphere. Twitter and Instagram. Instructional videos on Youtube.

What a time to be a hobbyist!

What direction is this going to take Games Workshop/Forgeworld? There will always be people who will buy from them no matter the cost. And that is the sticking point for some.

The cost.

There are arguments out there for and against their pricing strategy and I will let you make up your own mind on this. What I am saying is purely my personal opinion.

Let’s give an example: 40K. I haven’t played since the Eighties but I like the look of some of the models and with inspiration from some of the Black Libraries books (Gaunt’s Ghosts and Eisenhorn) I have always wanted an Imperial Guard Army.

Taking a pretty basic army composition:

4 Squads of Infantry

2 Command Squds

3 Ogryn

2 Sentinels

3 Mortars

Chimera

Leman Russ

Demolisher

Roughly, I have been led to believe, a 1,000 points. Buying direct from G’Dub is €382.

Buying a printer, resin, sundries (gloves, cleaning accessories Isopropanol) and four months of Patreon (this is for the Makers Cult who do a lovely Guard army) takes me to just over €400.

BUT

I now have the printer, which was the biggest outlay, and the files for the army. For the cost of resin I can now keep on printing. Another four or five squads or a couple of armoured vehicles? Just under €20.

You would like another army?

Just buy the files and resin. So for about a €100 ish you have another army!

Forgeworld Titans.

Owning one was not for us mere mortals.

Now it is a different story. You can find them for free on Thingiverse or buy them from various makers. For about €40 I can have a Warhound with all the weapon options I want. Compare that to €664 with four different weapon options Mars Pattern Warhound. Plus I know that I won’t be getting iffy FW resin casts.

There is going to have to be a radical rethink because in two years time 3D printing is going to be ubiquitous in the hobby.

This is going to impact on some of the smaller manufacturers. For the moment historical figures are pretty safe from this, but it is only time when people will figure out that there is a vast audience out there.

Is it good?

Is it an evil that must be stamped out?

I would like to hear your opinions on this.

So that was 2020

Before the interweb crashes I will get in first and wish my one reader ma Happy New Year. 2020 was unusual and thankfully for us wasn’t too bad. here is to the hope that 21 will be an unmemorable year.

As is usual I would like to nominate my product/products of the year. My biggie is the Elegoo Mars Pro, a resin 3d printer. The quality is amazing and combined with Patreons (more of which further down) and Thingiverse I don’t think I will be buying figures in the traditional sense in the near future. My second product is Army Painter Dry Rust. Go and buy it, it will be the best two quid you will spend.

So now on with the painting since the last post.

I managed to make the 2020 challenge, one figure a week, and managed to get double bubble of 106 figures done. There may be a couple of extra.

Next year the painting challenge is to tackle twelve projects that have scared you as a painter. Maybe the Heresy Dragon? It would be nice to see it finished.

I did fall behind with the make/fix/mend resolution. I seem to have ended up with a lot of extra projects.

I received a copy of Bloodbowl for Christmas, 2021 will see me making a pitch, 3d printed from files by Kraken 3d Studios.

Finally I would like to mention Patreons. This is a scheme where you pay an artist a small monthly fee and they produce something. I have backed, in no particular order.

Westfalia: some rather nice halflings, some have been themed around a certain galactic bounty hunter.

The Makers Cult: they are making some 40K proxies with their own little twist. Victory Corp, think rebadged DKoK. Iron Hive, mechanical ‘Nids. These are the two ranges I am most interested in, but there are others, dark mechanicus, Feudal Guard (think medieval with las guns) and some SMs.

Tabletop Terrain: modular sci fi vehicles.

Code2: fantasy medieval buildings.

Anyway I shall leave it at that.

Good luck for 2021