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.

Artistic Intelligence: but is it art?

I have been fooling around with some AI art generators, mostly Midjourney and Wombo, and I thought I might put some of the results here.

The Wombo pictures are more painterly and looser and the Midjourney are very nightmarish. I would invite you to play around for inspiration.

There is also the whole can of worms of: Is it art?

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.

Long covid

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.

I am now working on a bigger version of this now.

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.

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