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

Better late than never?

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.

A chained/bound spirit host for the inquisition
One heluva princess. A civilian for my crowd
Another civilian
A Gnome with a fishing rod. Well it had to be done. Part of a set of scenics for my beloved Gnome army
A bit of a mole problem
A Gnome tending hid fields
Unit of Gnome Longbeards
Colour testing for my Chaos army
Nothing to see here. Six disguised Orks. The models were a bit chonky so I didn’t really want to show them.
A Cultist and an Axolotl. And we seem to have a large Troll problem.
A looted drone. Counts as a Bomb Squig

This is part of my modular terrain

Solar panels for set dressing

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.

And that was 2021

This year has gone in a flash what with lockdowns and isolations. Yes Wife and Number Two Son got it. Thankfully not seriously.

I did manage my 2021 Paint Challenge, but I didn’t finish the scary dozen. Sad face emoji. BUT I got The Dragon finished. Happy face emoji.

For 2022 I have four big projects to finish up. Bloodbowl, all printed up and now to be painted. Heroquest, paint the board and finish printing parts. Spacehulk, all the parts are printed and now need painting. Finally the modular terrain table, all the tiles are assembled and need painting/detailing.

Next year I need to carefully consider what I am printing rather than the scattershot approach of the last two years. And try and finish all the half started projects on my desk.

Yeh right! Like that’s going to happen!

My two products of the year are. Army Painter Dry Rust Effect paint, just brilliant. Secondly I have a new supplier of 3D printing Filament, GST3D. I have been getting some good results and they are European.

https://gst3d.eu/en/product-category/pla/

I need to make a group shot of my painting this year for the 2021 Painting Challenge and I will post it tomorrow (if I do not overindulge tonight).

All that remains is to wish my two followers and their dog a Happy New Year!

Painting progress

Due to computer malfunction I kind of lost track where I have been in painting. I will try and amend this by hijacking my Son’s computer.

Lungbursta, inspired by plans from White Dwarf. Back in the day when we were encouraged by G`Dub to make our own stuff. Laser cut body and tracks from Ramshackle Games.

Gobsmasha, again from plans in White Dwarf. All laser cut parts.

Cyclops Demolition Tank. 3D printed from files gathered from a Friendface group.

Troop carrier 3D printed from The Makers Cult.

Sci Fi civilian 3d printed from files by Knucklebones Miniatures.

Sci Fi/Fantasy Librarian 3d printed from files by Knucklebones Miniatures.

Turnip 28 3d printed from files by Knucklebones Miniatures.

Victim of my growing inquisition force.

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

End of isolation?

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.

The German WW2 UFO
Father Jack and the Hand of the Emperor
This was the bust produced for Goblinaid to support Kevin Adams after his assualt

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.

Earth Elemental for Dragon Rampant

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.

Busy

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

https://rustymagos.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/armourcast-titans/dscf3252/

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 is how it was originally
Now with added lights!

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.

Nice and tidy
Clutter added