These last few weeks have been a bit of a struggle. Covid has left me suffering with fatigue, lack of focus, demotivation and shortness of breath. I have been doing small stabs at hobby, but I haven’t had the enthusiasm to really get stuck in with the painting.
I have been making progress with Blender, 3d modelling software. And I am attempting to rig, basically putting a skeleton inside the figure, my model which will make posing a lot easier.
I have been making some tools for my workshop. I always need clamps for glueing and I have been eyeing up some right angle aids on that fabulous far eastern trader. My aim was to avoid plastic and as I had a lot of spare wood scavenged from the Happylab bins I thought I would attempt to make my own.
The weather has been going from snow to sunshine and back again in a day.
I have had some nice walks when the weather has been clement. My mood improves after being out.
I have finished building the modular tiles for my 4 x 4 modular ruined city table. Now to slap some paint on them.
My neighbour, who is a bit of a perfectionist, took ten hours to deconstruct my Ender3 3D printer and rebuild it totally square. The difference is amazing and I will be posting some pictures soon.
There you have it. A brief catch up on what has been happening.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dagger and Brush wanted to know what my display setup was. Here is my response.
You will have to excuse the poor lighting, a project for this year. This is the current state of my hobby room. it tends to be used as an overspill while we organise the house.
This was my first display case, from Ikea about twenty five years ago. I thought that I would never fill it. Little did I know.
After moving over here i got these two from a second hand store.
I have recently just got these two. I should really have been a bit more patient because the shelves are only just bigger than A4. Holes have been drilled to add more shelves. The cabinet on the left has nine shelves from its original four and the cabinet on the right has (or will have) twelve shelves. As the bottom shelf was directly sat on the floor and I have built a plinth to raise them up. I have to admit to some pleasure in being able to go to my workshop, cut some wood on my circular saw and make it there and then. Trips to the local recycling are called for to get glass for the shelves. Again (thanks to my Post Grad in Glass) I have the tools and experience to cut the glass to size and linish the edges to make them safe. Illuminating the shelves will be another project for this year.
Welcome to 2022. Who knows what shitstorm it will throw at us. Thankfully the last two years haven’t been so bad for us. A combination of a large house and garden and good weather. Hopefully this coming year will be kinder to a lot of people.
As promised here is a round up of the painting from last year.
This is part of my modular terrain
This was a big paint project that I had been putting off for a while. I don’t know what I will use it for. But I wanted it.
I have to say thankyou to Jamie Loft, Old School Miniatures, for the Gnomes AND for the 2021 Painting Challenge on Facebook. Without it I would have not been at all motivated to paint.
I have just come to the realisation that I haven’t posted any painting pictures this year. Like last year I have joined the Painting Challenge on Facebook
This year is an extra challenge, which I am trying in conjunction with the main challenge. The main challenge is to paint 52 miniatures over the year. The second challenge is to tackle 12 scary models or projects that have been intimidating and that have been put on a back burner.
I will start with the main challenge.
Now to the 12 scary things
What has been holding me up, but I am plugging along with it, is the Heresy Dragon. I have pledged to myself that I will not paint anything else until it is finished. When I have finished it, which will be another week at current progress, I am going to kick back and relax with a couple of tanks that I have been itching to paint. Plus a couple of projects that are half finished.
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.
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.