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.
Before I write about the last few months, which to be honest not much has happened in, I must point you in the direction of two very interesting Kickstarters.
The first is this one
I came across this guy when he requested help in testing some files he had designed. He sent me a couple which I printed up and painted. I was staggered by the quality and also what the range was. I had been looking for accessories to make outdoor adventuring a little more interesting and realistic and he delivered in spades!
Seriously if you have access to a printer back this project. It’s lovely.
I still have a load more to paint so keep watching this space.
The second Kickstarter is
I have backed this project, originally just for the desert houses, but he keeps adding more and more interesting pieces as he smashes through the stretch goals.
For me this hasn’t been too difficult. I miss my weekly trips into Salzburg to do my laser cutting. Apart from that I haven’t had any significant changes to my routine. The Boys miss their friends and I think it is hard for them. The Playstation and Amzon Prime have helped. Doom Patrol and The Grand Tour have been liked.
Games Workshop have brought out these cute little Chibi figures. I really fancied a Skitarii (top left) and a Space Marine (centre). And didn’t mind the Sister of Battle (top right). I bought a couple at my local WARHAMMER! They are sold in blind bags so you don’t know what you are going to get. I ended up with the Assassin (bottom left) and the Sister of Battle.
As a side note I feel really sorry for the new store manager. The store is in a bad location so there is very little passing foot traffic. A site in the Old Town would have been perfect, rent skyhigh though. I was told, “off the record” by a n other previous manager that he had whole days where no one entered the store. If you have an area sales manager pushing for results….. well not an easy job.
Anyway, here is my repaint of the Sister.
I don’t quite know what to do with the Assassin, I don’t like the figure.
Next up I treated myself, I shouldn’t as I have so many amazing figures that I want to paint, but I did. I played “What a Tanker!” at last year’s SELWG and it seemed quite fun. I love tanks and I was debating whether to get some of the Rubicon models. They are not high detail like Dragon/Tamiya, but they are more designed for wargaming and are a more reasonable price. However I came across some tanks by Meng Models from their World War Toon range. Fun Tanks for a fun game. A couple of clicks on eBay and one was winging it’s merry way to me.
That was a fun model to paint. It did push me and I want to look at another technique apart from oil paints to weather the model. I definitely want to do some more. Something of note, Army Painter “Dry Rust”. Try it! It’s brilliant!
During this time I also finished my nazi UFO (pictures to follow), based and primed a unit of Gnomes, basic airbrush colours on another unit of ghostly undead, started Father Jack, made a tile set for “Four Against Darkness”, sorted through the Lead Mountain for my next project and made some high~beds for the garden.
I do sort of like the layout but there are aspects which could change. As I had a short window in which to make it and dealing with day to day life it didn’t get as much attention as it deserved. Version Two, a job for later in the year, will be much better. When I hit Version Three I will get a properly printed copy. As with a large majority of my work it takes a couple of attempts to get it right.
I am plugging away at the 2020 Painting Challenge on Facebook. If I manage to paint fifty two miniatures in this current year I will be eligible to get a specially commissioned “Painter” figure sculpted by John Pickford. Many thanks to Jamie Loft from Old School Miniatures for making this happen. This doesn’t seem to be hitting the Lead Mountain though, I am painting figures aquired this year. The Spirit host is an exception, it has been sat on my desk partially assembled for two years and so it is part of my New Year Resolution. The Halflings are from Wargames Atlantic, I got a free sprue when I filled out an online survey for Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy.
Now I have my little photo set up working my photographs are getting better and more consistant. I have started shooting in RAW and doing a manual white balance. I do need to take a bit more time and work out a better depth of field, at the moment it is quite shallow. One thing I have noticed is that when the camera runs out of power it doesn’t save the settings so once I have an ideal arrangement I need to record the settings. This means I can start to be consistant. I would like to photograph my collection and I would like all the photographs to look the same. If you look at my gallery at the moment the colour balances are jumping around all over the place.
It was a relatively cheap one from China, my first impressions were not so favourable but it is growing on me. I really wanted a Lab Vortex Mixer, these really are the creme de la creme of mixers. The hundred quid plus was a big decider against. At the bottom end were the Nail Polish Shakers and although I had seen positive reviews I wasn’t sure about their ability to hold G’Dub paint pots. I went for the next rung up which was the Tattoo Pigment Shakers. As I said my first impressions were not favourable, the actual bit where the paint sits is a quite thin rubbery part and may wear out and I felt that the agitation wasn’t as powerful as I expected. I am wondering if I can craft a replacement from silicon. Let’s see how durable the original part will be before I go any further. As to the agitation, I was simply not giving it enough time. Further use has shown that it is sufficient, patience dear boy, patience.
This week has seen the Black Dog snapping on my heels. I am in the Land of Rinse and Repeat. Wake up. Help get the Boys ready for school. Tea. Email, BBC News and Facebook. Let the chickens out. Go and get the milk. Do some little chores. Prep and cook Boys lunches. Help with homework. If I am lucky a bit of painting. Cook dinner. Get them ready for bed. And repeat the next day. And the next. It isn’t helping that I am feeling drained of energy and any motivation. In previous posts I have decribed it as, “The tyranny of Bullet Journalling” but the Bullet Journal has proved invaluable in keeping me moving and not sinking into a morass of self doubt and pity.
I AM keeping up with the 2020 Painting Challenge. I AM keeping up with my resolution of Repair, Make, Strip, Sort.
I should have mentioned Kevin Adams’s Kickstarter a couple of days ago……. but
Anyway here it is. It is out of my range, price wise, which is a pity because it looks brilliant. I’ll leave you with the link so you can make up your own mind about this.
Next up are the 15mm Romans which I have no need for but to which I am strangely attracted to. This is live today.
Romani ite domum
This past weekend was the last day of temporary Red Shirt Klemens at Warhammer Salzburg. He’s been nice to the Boys whenever we visited the store and it’s a pity to see him go. so in honour of the occassion we baked him a cake.
I need to start collecting a new army at a new scale like I need a hole in the head. The Lead Mountain is not decreasing. I will be getting another four plus units of my beloved Gnomes from OS Miniatures later this Spring. I want to get my 40K Ork army more in a stage of completion ready for Armies on Parade in October. That Heresy Dragon ain’t gonna paint itself! So why am I drooling over this?
I do like my Romans, from Asterix (have you seen the two latest animated films?), to Cato and Macro and to The Eagle of the Ninth. I do have a 28mm Roman Army all based up for Fields of Glory, never played sadly. I must photograph it and post it up.
Recently Gripping Beast have produced their Milites Mundi rules with some 10mm Romans, but they didn’t quite do it for me. They would be perfect for Warmaster which I have a hankering for. Then popping up in my Facebook feed came these images from Grenzer Games.
They are only renders at the mement, but generally nowadays plastics match the renders pretty well. I don’t need a 15mm army! What ruleset? How to base them? Well I suppose that would be dependant on the ruleset. Anyway have a look at what is getting me all excited.
And there are more images available on their website.
For transparancy, I am in no way afilliated with Grenzer Games, don’t know them from Adam but they have been friendly on Facebook. If you guys from Grenzer do read this and want to send some for review……… me and my two followers would be appreciative.
In an effort to keep up with the painting I have joined a new Facebook group. 2020 PAINTING CHALLENGE.
The object of the group is to paint one figure a week and post the finished results weekly. If you manage to post 52 figures in the goup album you will receive a specially commissioned figure of “The Painter” sculpted by John Pickford.
I have a few unfinished projects sitting on my desk for far too long so this might be an incentive to get them done. First up are the nine remaining figures from OS Miniatures Alpine Dwarfs. Coincidently they are also sculpted by John Pickford. They are halfway there and it wouldn’t take too much to get them done.
Getting the desk clear of old projects would be quite motivating, nothing worse than staring at half done figures. And then, one project at a time on the desk.
One project I backed on Kickstarter last year was; Tabletop terrain from XPS foam: Buildings. This is a book detailing the construction of buildings from, yeah you guessed it, XPS foam. I’ve been looking at upping my game on terrain modelling and this book might just help. Laser cutting is good for some things, but you just can’t do curves and organic shapes. But a mixture of both should be the killer combination.
Looking at the images online pecils and pens have been used to form some of the detailing. Being the horder that I am I have loads of bits of metal lying around underemployed. A bit of cutting, a bit of cutting, some dowel rod, a bit of two part epoxy glue and a splash of paint I ended up with these.
Four different sized scribing tools. Slightly wonky (technical term) as I didn’t drill quite perpendicular to the dowel.
Here is a link to the book which will describe it far more eloquently than I could.