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.
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.
Isolation, over here in Austria, has eased. There have been no new infections in Salzburg. For us it has been rather lovely. The only fly in the ointment has been trying to get the Boys to do school work.
I have been painting and crafting away. I did make for my Boys a hideaway.
You can just about see it, dead centre to the left of my shed. Two storeys, each level being about 2m long, 1m wide and 1m high. The Boys love it and have been sleeping in it even when it snowed!
I have been cracking on with the 2020 Painting Challenge and have managed to do this years quota. This means I can relax a little and try and tackle some bigger projects. Heresy Dragon? Here is the progress roughly in order.
This was something I cobbled together. It is an old 40K Gobsmasha. I had 3D printed the wheels and gun barrel and then my printer went all spanner on me. So everything else, apart from the exhausts (from Ramshackle Games) was laser cut.
These last two are also for my Earth Elemental Army used in Dragon Rampant. They are from Thingiverse and designed by DutchMogul. 3D printed by me.
Here are some Saga Measuring sticks. Another game that looks interesting but I will never end up playing.
I have some more bits of crafting to post which I’ll do as soon as I photograph them.
The last couple of weeks have seen me busy. My 3D Printer has decided it wants to start behaving again so for the last week it has been printing pretty constanty. It is slightly stringy but I don’t want to mess with the settings just yet. The strings can be dealt with pretty easily with a scalpel and file. I have managed to print an elemental cavalry unit for one of my Dragon Rampant armies, a skeletal giant for another DR army and on the print bed at the moment is an Ork Gobsmasher, a replica of an old Armourcast model. All of these are freely available from http://www.thigiverse.com. Next up is a replica of another Armourcast model, the Warhound Titan. The originals don’t come up for sale much and when they do they are quite expensive. You can see some images of the Titan here
Tool making was next on the agenda. Number Two Son has been watching “The Mandalorian” and loves the helmet the protaganist wears. He also discovered on Youtube a cosplay video where they described in great detail, with downloadable plans, how they made one out of EVA foam. He would like us (me I expect) to make it. One of the tools they used was a rounded metal former. I had a cut off section of railway track and with a bit of work with an angle-grinder I ended up with this.
I have a rusty H Beam section which will get the same treatment.
A recent discovery (thanks Daughter!) has been the app, “Wish” where you can buy goods directly from the factories in China. I bought a 2m strip of LEDs for €3, that was including postage! I added them to my photo thing.
This has been expanded with a paper holder on the back and trays underneath if I want to do some more scenic photography. I will be getting some photographs printed up with dramatic skies. The light is a little yellow but I did a manual white balance on my camera and my first test result seems promising.
I am keeping up with my New Year Resolution, so far and also the 2020 painting Challange.
If doing basic carpentry, remember to keep your fingers BEHIND! the chisel.
Then there is my new paintrack. I had been running out of space for my paints and I had promised the Boys that they would have a paint rack in their painting desk. So they get my old one and I get a shiny new one.
Last year I stepped into the exciting world of 3D with an Ender 3 printer. It hasn’t been an easy ride, it is something that needs a big learning curve. It doesn’t quite work straight out of the box, requiring some tinkering. Also having an antiquated computer doesn’t allow for the installation of modern slicing software. The whole process has been a slightly frustrating hit and miss experience.
I seem to collect rule-sets in the vain hope that my Boys might want to play with me or that someone in the area would have an interest in playing. HINT: if anyone in the Salzburg area would like to game, I have a nice gaming area and multiple rule-sets.
One set of rules that caught my eye and seemed to have a following, in the UK at least, was Dragon Rampant by Daniel Mersey. One of the rulebooks published by Osprey publishing. Osprey are producing some interesting and inexpensive rules covering a very broad church of areas. Worth checking out.
This interested me as you could play a game with nice streamlined rules and build an army with relatively few miniatures. I have enough Orcs and Goblins kicking about to make an army with zero expenditure. A friend, David Wood, scored a massive haul of Essex Miniatures Undead and sent me his spares. Some minor expenditure and voila a beautifully sculpted Bob Olley Undead army. A recent Kickstarter provided me with most of a Renaissance army.
If you are not aware of Thingiverse and are into 3D printing I would recommend that you go and visit. It is stuffed to the rafters with Arduino projects, electronics and workshop tutorials and of course 3D printer files.
This year hasn’t been terribly productive for me. May comes along terribly quickly and then for three months I’m tied down with Electric Love which takes all my energies then the end of the year seems to arrive before I know it.
My Mighty Fortress addons have been popular, but not enough to retire on. But apart from that I haven’t made anything of note. This has been partly a lack of confidence/laziness and intimidation from seeing other company’s work. And partly due to depression.
I got myself a new toy.
It is the Ender 3 from Creality, It seems to be taking the 3D printing world by storm, a combination of price and quality. It is still not good enough for miniatures, for that I’ll need a resin printer, but for scenery and vehicles it’ll do. If you apply the “Three foot rule”. I’ll post results next year. I’ve made some modifications, fan covers, LEDs, stepper motor dampers and bed handle. Next up will be TL Smoothers. I’ve been hitting Thingiverse, there’s a lot of interesting bits there for free. I’ve been printing some APCs for my Not Imperial Guard Army.
I have just been given a Laptop and I am getting to grips with it (PC 😦 ) because I’d like to get back into 3D modelling, something I used to do twenty years ago. I think the future is 3D modelling and digital distribution. For me a combination of laser cut, 3D and vac forming will make some very interesting models.
I don’t have a product of the year this year. I have invested in Kill Team and Blackstone Fortress (gorgeous models) from GeeDub. But painting or playing them hasn’t happened. I do plan to make a Kill Team demo game for Austrian Salute. I have played a couple of games of Tanks with Number One Son and they have been fun. My big time sponge has been a Playstation 4 gifted to me by my Daughter. I have been playing Destiny 2 but have been getting frustrated as there seems to be no story to it and you have to be online to play. The downloads for it are huge and I can’t play them unless I pay. The Nessus world is gorgeous and I’ll be copying the style for my Kill Team Board.
I have been resisting buying figures (ok ignoring Kill Team and Blackstone Fortress) because I am so behind on my painting. The Dragon didn’t get touched and I have Alpine Dwarfs and a Gnome army to finish. I have been sooo tempted by an Athurian army from Footsore miniatures but I don’t have anyone to play against and I’ll never paint it.
Best wishes for the New Year to my regular readers, my lurkers (Hello Ruth!), my randoms (WTF do you have in common with me?), anyone else who stumbled across this and the one follower who I am sure is a dog.