Well he is in a spot of bother. His words about it.
“Hi! My name is Andy Foster, I’m a miniatures sculptor who has run a tiny indie wargames miniatures maker for the last 21 years. Unfortunately, this means I can’t afford to buy a home in the UK because our housing market is nuts, and the average starter home costs over 12 times what I make in a good year, so I am only able to rent.
And because the housing market IS so insane, rental property prices are also incredibly high, and I’ve just been told that the house we have lived in for the last 8 years is having its rent increased by the landlord from £800 a month to £1175, which I absolutely can’t afford to cover.
The problem is, because I am living hand to mouth, as a lot of indie miniatures manufacturers do, I don’t have the funds in my bank account to pay for a deposit on a new rental home, or the fees involved, which amount to around £1500 for a tiny 2 bed terraced house in the UK, so I must turn to you, dear friends and customers, to help me out. Any amount is gratefully received! Any extra may need to go towards a new bed, wardrobe, etc if the house ends up with a bedroom that is too small for our current one to fit in (and I suspect my existing wardrobes won’t survive another move, they’re decades old self assembly things that are already a bit fragile!)”
There is a Go Fund Me set up and it would be really nice if everyone reading this was able to donate a little something. Even a quid would be amazing.
I mentioned the “Not Nog Ball” medball Kickstarter a few days ago. There has been a new addition to the campaign.
We’ve just got permission to add the Noggin character pack to the Medball Kickstarter which is great news! It consists of 3 miniatures; Noggin as a referee, Nogbad as a fan (with separate rattle) and Knut waving his scarf.
And finally some trivial news.
Last summer we were looking after two kittens that were dumped on a friend’s farm and were going to get them re homed.
One of them decided that he adored me and decided to stay. I now have a constant companion wherever I am.
Finally it is here. Last year was a bit of a blur, nothing really of note stood out and it really did go quickly. I did hit a significant number complete with upcoming health checks. Nothing major to worry about, slightly high cholesterol and low thyroid function. I don’t have occult blood which is really not as interesting as one would think.
One thing which I do regret is that Grumpy Old Tin laser cutting is no longer a thing. The makerspace I was using changed hands and the new owners, Pioniergarage- Salzburg, have a difference in opinion about accommodating the less abled. Long covid means that it it is impossible for me to stand for two or three hours beside the laser machine and the computer is placed so you cannot sit and operate it.
More tomorrow as I had a bit of a painting blitz this last week.
Finally my Product of the Year is Vallejo’s Model Colour Vermillion. A really good punchy highlight red. I did get on the cool kids bandwagon and bought some Dirty Down Rust. I only tried it once and I realise I need a bit more practice with it.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just before last Christmas I received a mystery package. I knew who it was from thanks to the wonders of return addresses. Curiosity was hold on hold until the day. We actually celebrate twice; once on the twenty fourth, the Austrian one; and on the twenty fifth, the English one.
Those of you two followers (don’t forget the dog!) who have been paying attention may have noticed that I rather like Bob Olley. Getting an original pencil drawing by the Man Himself was something special.
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.
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.