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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
Stand by for a picture heavy post on what I picked up in London on my recent visit. Some were eBay purchases delivered to my friend Seb and others were bought at SELWG.
These were eBay’d. I got them mainly for the pictures. The Fantasy Warlord for the old skool Gary Chalk Iillustration and the fluff is supposed the be interesting. The rules allegedly a bit cack. The High Elves for painting inspiration. I have fallen under the spell of High Elves since the G’Dub boxed set The Island of Blood. The new plastics are superb and lovely to paint.
Airbrush cleaning pot, gradually getting tooled up in this department.
This was and end of day purchase at SELWG and a bargain at £3.50.
It is about time I replace my current painting brush, it has about three bristles left but I can’t stop using it. There should be enough for me and Son Number Two who is interested in painting figures.
This was a gift from Seb. These are some Halflings from a recent Kickstarter run by TT Combat. I can see a use for most of them.
This is the final part of a Renaissance Army Kickstarter that I backed a couple of years ago.
This was something I picked up at Forbidden Planet. I have started collecting a Chaos Army and I quite liked this figure, Typhus Herald of Nurgle. To pick it up on it’s own was silly money. To buy it with the WH 40K Conquest magazine was a more reasonable £6.99.
I mail ordered these figures to have a peek and see if I liked the material. These are the new Bones Black from Reaper. The original Bones was a horrible bendy white plastic lacking in detail. The new Black is more like a resin and at first glance seems very good. I will report back on this, because it means figures within my budget.
This was in a bargain box for 50p and I think I have a use for them to make some alien tribesmen with some Perry plastics.
This little guy is from Warploque Miniatures and is going to be the musician in an Albionnican unit.
Some chickens, ducks and pigs from Redoubt. I am slowly building up my livestock.
A bit T&A but she’ll go nicely with the bowman that was a freebie from Salute a couple of years back.
From the bargain box at Colonel Bills. He is destined to be a statue in my Italianate castle.
I have a little diarama in mind for these guys. I have a Churchill and a Hitler to go with them.
Again a bit T&A, she is to go with my Albion Army.
I have, in a box, a couple of marching Roman units complete with carts. These will help flesh it out a bit.
Pre ordered from Essex, some more Bob Olley goodness for my slowly growing Dwarf army.
Another Essex Dwarf. This guy is destined to be chopped at the waist and nailed to the lower half of a Dwarven rider.
This is from Crooked dice. He will be part of my Beastman Unit in my Not Imperial Guard 40K army.
Crooked Dice from their recent Colony 87 Kickstarter. Adding to my sci fi civilians.
Stetch goals from the Colony 87 Kickstarter. Some are useful, others …….
There you have it! More toys that won’t get painted and just added to the Lead Mountain.
I think I have found some ideal figures to represent Abhuman Beastmen in my Not Imperial Guard army.
Moonraker Miniatures Phagons were in the running, but these popped up in my news feed this morning.
This comes from Albedo Combat Patrol Miniatures Game http://acp164.com/
There will be a Kickstarter later this month so I will keep updating with more information.
So now the search is on for this miniature to be the squad Leader.
A really quick and dirty job. These are from Dreamforge Games and I’ll be using them as Storm Troopers in my Not-Imperial Guard Army. It was a quick hose with the airbrush and a few little brush additions. Not my best work, but I just wanted to knock one out and have something on the table in a couple of days.
These figures actually deserve a bit more time and attention as they have some lovely detail.
Well I haven’t been painting prolifically as I have been mostly working on the house.
I joined a Facebook group called 1houranight which sets monthly targets and this has been keeping me motivated.
Anyway here is a selection of work. Apologies for the variable quality of photos, one of this year’s targets is to set up a little photo set-up so I can take decent photos.
The Adventurer, his Concubine, his Accountant and his Bodyguard.
These are from Moonraker Miniatures and are part of my Rouge Trader collection.
This was a Christmas present.
It’s from Mirleton. I was disappointed to find out that there is only one pose of this as I wanted a small unit of Skaven cavalry.
Another Christmas present a Female Orc from The Dice Bag Lady aka Bad Squiddo Games.
This is from Scibor and I bought it because a friend of mine is really into Dwarves. Seriously into them. And the thought of one of his little men consorting with one of the hated enemies will drive him to dispair.
This one is from Spellcrow I think.
This is Ozzy. He was a giveaway from Casting Room Miniatures. An offshoot of Foundry. Sculpted by none other than Kevin Adams. This plus a sale and free postage was too good an offer to pass up.
This is a test paint for my Imperial Guard Ogryn unit.
Some armour for my Imperial Guard. I think I may have gone over the top with dust and mud.
This is from Kromlech. They are doing some very characterful Orks and Goblins. I have my eye on some more Goblin Pirates.
Anyway that is a round up of most of what I’ve painted. That I can remember. Sometimes I am getting a bit “Senior”.
This year there are two products of note.
The first is something you wouldn’t normally think of: yoghurt pot lids.
As I have two boys with rapacious appetites I tend to buy half litre pots. They come with plastic lids for resealing. Presumably the manufacturers don’t consider that their product will be consumed in one sitting. Anyway they make ideal one shot palettes, especially when using oil paints. I don’t have to worry about cleaning up, I just toss it in the recycling.
The second product is a paint from Vallejo, Dark Blue Grey.
I have been using it a lot on my Imperial Guard Army and have started using it on my fledgling High Elf Army. I wanted to steer away from the standard Games Workshop blue and white and head for more sea-like greys and blues. This clour just fits the bill.
Not painting as much as I should be. I’m managing upto an hour a day rather than my ideal three hours. Here is the Rough Rider progress. At the moment I’m not so happy with them, but then I had a similar situation with my Ratling Snipers earlier this year. Suddenly after another colour or two they’ll start to “pop” and I’ll be happy. Patience is the lesson I need to learn.
Most of my spare time in the last few months has been taken up with making artwork for laser cutting.
Even then I get distracted into little side projects. I had been pondering what to use as treasure tokens when browsing on Goggle Images I came across some pictures of old coins. It was a matter of moments to copy them into Photoshop, up the contrast and turn into black and white. Then into Illustrator and draw a cut line. Export as EPS and then to the laser cutter. And bingo! I’m rich! About two hours worth of cutting and I should have a decent trove.