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.
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.
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.
I have been greatly impressed by Reaper’s Bones Black range. Reaper’s figure range are sculpted by world class sculpters, really charactorful and lovely to paint. Just a pity I can’t quite afford them. Then a couple of years ago Reaper brought out their Bones range. These were white plastic versions of existing sculpts (and a lot of new, funded by various Kickstarters). I had a look but I wasn’t impressed. The details were soft and soapy (Mantic anybody?) and the plastic was bendy. Then, very recently, Reaper announced that they were bringing out a new range of plastic figures in a harder plastic, Bones Black.
I picked up three figures in October to have a look at the quality. And I have been impressed. Not quite as crisp as metal, but if you apply the “Three Foot” rule you would not be able to tell the difference on the tabletop. As all cast figures there are moldlines. I haven”t quite perfected the technique of removing them, but that is down to me not to any problem with the models themselves. Primer was applied, next time I might give them a quick scrub in warm soapy water, and it stays where it should.
Here is the first figure I have been working on. As I said in previous posts I haven’t had much painting time in the last couple of months. Something I intend to remedy next year.
I am very enthusiastic about this range which is being added to every month. December’s releases have two figures which have been on my wishlist for a while. The prices are affordable, quality sculpts what is there not to like?
I would like to take this oppurtunity to wish everyone (and you Ruth) a Happy New Year!
I have been meaning to replace my brush for the last year as hairs got less and less. But it was always I’ll do one more figure. I did briefly toy with another brush, but it split so I went back to my old faithful.
I bit the bullet about a week ago. i was sorting stuff out to make a painting area for Number Two Son when I came across a box of brushes carefully stored. Read hidden. In it was another of the same brush. Foundry Sable Mix General Detail.
If this new brush paints as well and lasts as long as the old brush I will be buying a few more.
Stand by for a picture heavy post on what I picked up in London on my recent visit. Some were eBay purchases delivered to my friend Seb and others were bought at SELWG.
These were eBay’d. I got them mainly for the pictures. The Fantasy Warlord for the old skool Gary Chalk Iillustration and the fluff is supposed the be interesting. The rules allegedly a bit cack. The High Elves for painting inspiration. I have fallen under the spell of High Elves since the G’Dub boxed set The Island of Blood. The new plastics are superb and lovely to paint.
Airbrush cleaning pot, gradually getting tooled up in this department.
This was and end of day purchase at SELWG and a bargain at £3.50.
It is about time I replace my current painting brush, it has about three bristles left but I can’t stop using it. There should be enough for me and Son Number Two who is interested in painting figures.
This was a gift from Seb. These are some Halflings from a recent Kickstarter run by TT Combat. I can see a use for most of them.
This is the final part of a Renaissance Army Kickstarter that I backed a couple of years ago.
This was something I picked up at Forbidden Planet. I have started collecting a Chaos Army and I quite liked this figure, Typhus Herald of Nurgle. To pick it up on it’s own was silly money. To buy it with the WH 40K Conquest magazine was a more reasonable £6.99.
I mail ordered these figures to have a peek and see if I liked the material. These are the new Bones Black from Reaper. The original Bones was a horrible bendy white plastic lacking in detail. The new Black is more like a resin and at first glance seems very good. I will report back on this, because it means figures within my budget.
This was in a bargain box for 50p and I think I have a use for them to make some alien tribesmen with some Perry plastics.
This little guy is from Warploque Miniatures and is going to be the musician in an Albionnican unit.
Some chickens, ducks and pigs from Redoubt. I am slowly building up my livestock.
A bit T&A but she’ll go nicely with the bowman that was a freebie from Salute a couple of years back.
From the bargain box at Colonel Bills. He is destined to be a statue in my Italianate castle.
I have a little diarama in mind for these guys. I have a Churchill and a Hitler to go with them.
Again a bit T&A, she is to go with my Albion Army.
I have, in a box, a couple of marching Roman units complete with carts. These will help flesh it out a bit.
Pre ordered from Essex, some more Bob Olley goodness for my slowly growing Dwarf army.
Another Essex Dwarf. This guy is destined to be chopped at the waist and nailed to the lower half of a Dwarven rider.
This is from Crooked dice. He will be part of my Beastman Unit in my Not Imperial Guard 40K army.
Crooked Dice from their recent Colony 87 Kickstarter. Adding to my sci fi civilians.
Stetch goals from the Colony 87 Kickstarter. Some are useful, others …….
There you have it! More toys that won’t get painted and just added to the Lead Mountain.
I am off to London. Is
this going to be an annual event? This year is a two pronged attack:
the main reason is to see my new Granddaughter and the secondary
reason to visit SELWG. Supplementary to that is to pick up some food
supplies and to meet my gaming buddy Seb.
I arrived at the airport far too early and regretted not bringing a book. Ryanairs new cabin bag policy means that I cannot bring my usual rollie suitcase and had to have a much smaller bag.
Nevermind I have a few books waiting for me curtesy of eBay.
I am still surprised
how much people are hooked into their mobiles and become zombified.
A bit of a dull dull
flight but on the bonus side it arrived twenty minutes early and the
luggage was waiting for me once I cleared border security.
I hopped onto a bus to
Liverpool Street to meet a friend for lunch. It was certainly amazing
to see the sheer amount of building work going on, everywhere.
Shoreditch certainly has gone up-market from the shabby trendy area
it once was.
Lunch was chinese, my
first in six years and thinking about it as I type my mouth has
From there to 4D Models to pick up some bits and pieces. They can post, but the postage would cost more than the actual items.
The day ended in Upton
Park at my friends Sabba and Mark.
Thursday started with a
nice walk across West Ham Park to the site of Sabba and Mark’s new
house. The wild parakeets have moved eastwards and have started
colonising the park. Sabba and Mark have taken an old terrace house,
reduced it to a shell and then added to it. I had a few nervous
moments climbing rickety ladders to view the various levels.
I saw the afternoon in Central London. First port of call was Forbidden Planet. So many nice things, my Wife’s wallet and my baggage allowance wouldn’t allow it. On to Hardy’s Old Fashioned Sweetshop to buy advent gifts for the Boys.
Late lunch at C&R, a nice Kampung Style Nasi Goreng. Something that I didn’t get around to last year. Then a little mooch around town via Rymans and Muji for stationary and to WH Smiths for some magazines.
I popped down to Trafalgar Square to see what was happing. There were more police than Extinction Rebellion.
Back to Sabba and
Mark’s for dinner at Chawalla’s. It was every bit as good as last
First thing was coffee at my old house with Simon and Andrea, the new owners. It’s nice to see how the house hasn’t changed but the garden has grown and evolved.
Next stop waaay across London to visit my Daughter and new Granddaughter.
That kept me busy until late the next day when I travelled back across London just catching the tail end of the Anti-Brexit march.
I spent the evening at
my gaming buddys Seb’s place. I placated his Wife with a big pile of
Austrian chocolates and I presented him with some bits I had made for
The morning of SELWG was beautiful, crisp and autumnal. Seb and I arrived with plenty of time for a leisurely walk across the park to the venue, Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
I didn’t bother this year handing out flyers as last year I had an increase in viewing but zero sales.
The first stop for us was the Bring & Buy to drop off some bits for selling. Ahead of me was a gentleman selling some Gripping Beast Arab Spearmen, on my wanted list, but by the time I was processed they had been snaffled up. One vendor close by was selling off his stock at 50% and I just missed some of the new GW Squigs.
The morning whizzed by and before I knew it it was time to go and have lunch with Iain Smedley. We went down to a local pub The Bridge for a delicious Sunday Roast of beef. British beef tastes much better than Austrian.
Back to the show which seemed to have quietened down and managed to get a game of, “What a Tanker!”
Quick and fun. I will be looking out for the rule-set, from Too Fat Lardies and maybe I can persuade to Boys to play it. Obviously I lost to Seb, but that is the history of our gaming.
Back to Seb’s at the end of the day for last minute packing. I managed to get my main bag to 10 Kilos but my cabin bag was much more than that. I had a bit of a sleepless night tossing and turning worrying about my cabin bag. Up at sparrow’s fart to get the 05.10 bus to Stanstead. Going through security I got pulled up because I forgot to transfer a bottle of Angustura Bitters to my hold luggage. I kept my cabin bag discretely slung over my shoulder out of sight and managed to avoid a €25 surcharge. My back hasn’t forgiven me yet. Another dull flight and back home.
So would I go again? It was nice to see friends, meet new relatives and eat great food. But the show itself? The traders are the same old same old and the thing about Salute is that you get a load of new faces with new models hoping to get your attention. From the traders at SELWG I’ve bought everything in their ranges that is useful or interesting. For me to go again there is going to have to be some pretty major players turning up and to be honest I don’t think that is going to happen. Let’s see what happens with Brexit and how I feel next year.
I really wanted to make something really nice for him to say thankyou for putting me up and for all the wonderful birthday presents he has given me. For some reason I am never organised enough to get a present to him in time for his birthday.
We had both backed the Kickstarter for Open Combat, a skirmish wargame. https://www.secondthunder.com/ But neither of us had played it. I know that for Seb space is at a premium so I decided to make him a portable version. The rules are written for 28mm but the author also suggests that it can be played in 15mm and convert the measurements from inches to centimeters. This means the suggested playing area would be 24 centimeters.
I had instructions about how to make the playmat from The Terrain Tutor’s Youtube channel.
I kept coming back to this article and mulling over it. I really don’t have time to get distracted by another project but it was sooo tempting. Late one night I pulled out a piece of paper and started doodling. The next day some graph paper was procured. Too late! Project started!
As Mr. Bickley had produced his model from individual parts I decided to follow along and make mine in modules starting with the front gate.
Me being me, there have been a few upcocks in the design, but nothing that a hammer wouldn’t sort out.
The original suppliers who inspired this build are:
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.