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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Raging Heroes Ash Tank Gunner and some Heresy Girl Assassins 3D printer experiments with the Snapmaker

 Raging Heroes' Ash Tank Gunner was initially thought of as a torso only sculpt for use in a vehicle hatch but had the lower body included pretty early on in the TGG1 Kickstarter process.  As a result she became useful in a Forward Observer or scout role.  I have a few iterations of her so its possible I'll do a tank crew version of her but I really like having her in stand alone form.

She's painted like the Veteran Jailbirds in a signature prison color scheme.  The orange is Reaper Lemon Yellow a wash of Secret Weapon Orange and Highlights of Reaper Marigold Yellow.
 Ash also sports the Blood Red Rags of Rebellion that were popularized by the Jailbird Freedom Fighter Raven the Chainbreaker.
 Next up are the remaining four proxy Assassins from the Heresy Girls Kickstarter 1.  The Deathshadow was examined here although I think I forgot to mention the name of it.  In a similar vein I've done one each of the factory resin model and a 3D print from my Snapmaker on hi resolution.  The elements of failure are painted blue for clarity and also because I'll use these as active camo/ecm versions.
 First is Black Phoenix which seems like a Vindicare proxy.  The Snapmaker had a hard time with this one and I was unable to get the waist region of the torso to fill in so there is a big hole at the join.  With glue its stable but the poor girl looks kind of undead.

The factory resin, as all of them are in this set, was cleanly cast with little flash and practically no cleanup required.  The bases here are also from the 3D printer and the Snapmaker does good quality on them.
 Ghost is next and was the most successful of the 3D prints.  I used the alternate factory resin head and the 3D print version was not good.  Even on this more successful print there is a lot of printer error and lost detail.
 Ghost look like a Callidus Proxy and its passable in that role.  Its also useful for any sci-fi assassin or operative.
Last up is Jade Devil.  A clear proxy for Culexis psi-hunters.

This one was the most trouble for the Snapmaker and I got zero percent clear print.  Nice stealth field effect but a complete failure as a model print.
Bottom line is that the Snapmaker can't produce acceptable resolution in 28mm humanoid models.  I'm generally happy with its performance for buildings, bases, vehicles,  terrain, and accessories like dice boxes etc... but I'll have to move into SLA printing to make .stl files of 28mm soldiers viable.

Not all 3D printers, or 3D printer formats, are good for all printing projects so don't expect nozzle extruded 3D prints to fill the ranks of your toy soldier armies at this time.  SLA has much higher resolution and I'll get round to it eventually but for now I'll be relying on the printer for the more coarse applications where its pretty reliable.  The right tool for the right job!

Back to the desk!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Order of Vampire Hunters scenery pack and From the 3D printer: Rampage Gothic Pulpit

 From the 3D printer is the Rampage Gothic Pulpit.  Its a two part model with independent stairs so the exact layout of them is very flexible.  It's currently occupied by one of the insidious Lust Elves from Raging Heroes and Sister Veridyan looks set to shift the errant elf.

The Pulpit is intended for one of the Space Papess models but she's currently unprepared to assume her spot... Honestly the one I have mostly constructed is already on a large scenic base so I'll have to build a second mounted on a 25mm base so she'll fit in it!
 I've gotten some questions about print times for various models and, I confess, I hadn't made any notes about that.  In future I'll be sure to include print times as part of the basic description on the 3D printed items.

That said... I *think it took about 3 hours for each section for a total of six hours.  I'll make another one eventually and verify that.
 Some of the fine detail was a challenge for the Snapmaker and, while it painted up reasonably well, there was a lot of detail... particularly on the pulpit tower... that was just a but too shallow or indistinct for my liking.  The design elements on the stairs were larger and, generally speaking, more coarse so they printed up cleanly with no issues.
I knocked out the scenery pack for The Order of Vampire Hunters... only to discover moments later that many of these scenery elements, as well as some of the Vampire "Trash Mobs" also occur in the Kickstarter Exclusives box.


I usually try to paint all models of a similar type as a set so I don't have to try to match them later.  It just helps to make all the models look like they belong together.  Oh well... next workbench KS Exclusives .... yay!

 A view of the various terrain parts with an unpainted Vampire Hunter for scale.
The full contents of the scenery pack.  The Kickstarter exclusives pack has a couple of extra box/barrel stacks and a couple of collapsed ceiling markers so it'll add a fair bit of terrain to this package.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

3D printing: Ruined Lighthouse and Kingdom Death inspired terrain.

In the continuing quest to improve the terrain of the fabulous Kingdom Death Monster game I've added a set of 3D printed fallen and broken columns.

The printing in the area around the faces was a bit dicey and tended to have spaces and holes.  Nothing really serious but worth noting.
 I went with a tawny marbleized look for the columns because I imagine the twilight world of the Survivors to be covered in dirt, dust, and mold.  The ground faces tend to be alabaster because they might be newly deposited while the columns seem to have fallen long ago.

In any case they were an experiment in painting marbled surfaces and I learned a lot about painting in the various veining.
A sampling of the current state of the Kingdom Death inspired terrain set. 
 The biggest downside of this set is that the minis do not always sit easily on some of the elements that are intended to share a playable space with... its doable, just not pretty to look at.
Fortunately the columns and some of the larger things, like egg piles and sacks, are not intended as playable spaces so its not really a problem and the do look a lot better than the flat cardboard they replace. 
 Eerie lights emanating from the crystals complements the light variations on the mini bases.

I think that completes the terrain for the game.  I've printed replacements for all the cardboard terrain counters that I've found in the game and the Spidicules expansion... If I find anything else there will be more!
 Moving on to the Ruined Lighthouse from the Rampage: Lost Isles Kickstarter.

The first happy lesson was that printing this with black material was both less expensive (Black seems to be the cheapest color of PLA roll around by a couple of dollars a roll) and much, much easier to paint up.

Shown throughout with some of the excellent Raging Heroes Void Elves for scale.  This is important as, due to the limitations of my build space, I was compelled to print the model at 99% of its intended size.

 Because the material is black the primer stage was less demanding and full coverage of the crevices was not required.  This saved a lot of time and consumed much less primer than the tan, white, or gray material. 

 Rampage is really good about updating their products post release and I get regular emails about updated files.  Generally speaking these files seem to be re-scaling models that might have been proportioned for 20mm square bases to the increasingly common 30mm round lipped bases.
 Another great thing about Rampage is that many of their large models have .stl files for both large and small format printers.

In my case... my printer (Snapmaker) is on the petite side of small... which means that I am unable to print this size of model without using the small format files...without dramatically reducing the model dimensions.  Because of the inclusion of the small format files I'm able to print this model at 99% of its intended size.  Score!

 The model is quite large and I noticed that it printed with small holes for magnets!  Sometimes Storing and transporting big terrain models is problematic so I popped magnets into the designated holes and it went together surprisingly well... with a satisfying snapping sound to boot!

Here is the model broken down for storage/transport. I'll be adding magnets to many more buildings as, in addition to making them easy to deal with when not in use, it really opens up access to the interiors while on the tabletop!  Double win!

All in all this took me a time fraction of the time it takes to paint an equivalent model in another color.  Printing took a couple of days but cleanup and adding magnets time was under an hour.  Painting was done in two short afternoon sessions.

An early experiment with texture rollers from Greenstuff World (Thanks for the heads up Ed!).

While these will be great for Twisted! I'm really going to want to switch to a less spendy putty or clay and roll out big sheets of texture.  Then I'll want to get, or make, some small size biscuit/cookie cutters and punch out circles and squares.  I'm having difficulty locating circles and squares in the right sizes for this but its early days and I haven't put a lot of time into the search... hmmm... maybe some pill bottles are the right size.... we'll see!

Back to the desk to experiment!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New Void Elf Blood Vestals Sci-Fi version

With this batch of the new sculpts of Raging Heroes' Blood Vestals (Sci-Fi version) I decided to make them a little less of a direct port from the, semi nude, Dark Elf Witch Elves and painted a grey leotard instead of the bare breasts.  This makes them blend better with the Games Workshop Dark Eldar that I primarily use them with.

  Even though the original Void Elf Blood Vestals are awesome models I was very pleased with these updated versions.  They applied a lot of lessons learned to these models which are a great addition to, and blend well with, the original set.

 Raging Heroes, at this stage of their development, are primarily used as proxies for other game systems.  I've become a fan of proxies over the years and think that their existence, and strong showing on the tabletop, help drive innovation in the industry and encourage the biggest companies to work harder.  Raging heroes units have a lot of built in variety and often come with an assortment of alternate parts. I use these mainly as Dark Eldar Wyches and and Ynnari cultists.

These models were constructed from one pack of Blood Vestal Troopers and one pack of Blood Vestal Command.
The bladed weapons ended up being an eerie green that I think of as exotic materials, energy, or poison.  Its a quick application of Hexwraith Flame (GW, technical) with some accents using Splintered Bone (Reaper)
 The hair starts with Krylon Khaki base coat dry-brushed with Sandstone craft paint and then again with Pure White (Reaper).  A 50/50 wash of Nightmare Black (Reaper) and Glaze Medium (Vallejo).  Highlights by adding Pure White (Reaper)

The desk is full of terrain and magnets at the moment... as well as some greenstuff rollers...

So I'm guessing terrains and possibly some Heresy Girls, Jailbirds, and/or Twisted minis will finish up next.

Back to the desk!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Heresy Girls resin vs 3D print

 The Heresy Girls Kickstarter was a small, low cost, project that provided .stl files and/or actual resin cast minis.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to see how well my Snapmaker could print detailed miniatures in 28mm.

I have a fair bit of experience now with coarser topics like buildings, vehicles, bases, and terrain and thought the Snapmaker might have some difficulty with the finer elements on the humanoid figure.  This turned out to be the case although I think its a limitation of the printing format more than a Snapmaker specific issue. 

 The test models are proxy female Eversor Assassins. The bases were 3D printed on the Snapmaker.

The Snapmaker at its finest resolution was unable to print invisible layers on the humanoid body and, due to the low melting point of the PLA material, options for sanding are limited.

I think I'm going to have to move to an SLA style printer to get reliable detailed models to print.

At any rate the first set of pictures is from the Snapmaker.  Where printing lines were noticeable I dusted them with a blue and white dry brush to make them stand out.

 I ended up liking the effect well enough and envision it as a visual distortion field.  This might work well enough for some types of Sci-Fi troops like Assassins and Infiltrators but would be out of place in troops of the line.

 Its also possible that the models could be rotated to reduce the print lines but the main problem seemed to be adhesion in some areas that led to distortion.  The head of this model is actually the extra resin head that was included in the manufacturer provided model and was not printed by the Snapmaker.
This is the model as supplied by the manufacturer. As you can see there is a lot of detail that was missed or mangled by the Snapmaker. 
 I like the quality of the model overall.  It required very little cleanup, details are sharp, the resin is flexible enough to survive use, and takes paint readily.
I got several files and reference models so I may do a few more test runs.

 This set shows the models side by side and really highlights the differences between the resin model and the 3D print.
 The 3D model could also pass for some kind of eerie undead... might be an interesting way to zombify some fantasy troops!
We're back from Tokyo and I'm starting to get back into the paint room.  I think some Reaper War Pugs and a pile of Raging Heroes Blood Vestals might be next.

Back to the desk!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Reaper Halfling Ranger and Dogs

 A quick project for a friend's new RP character.  A Reaper Halfling Ranger and St. Bernard companion.

These began life as Reaper's 02769: Woody, Halfling Ranger from the Dark Haven Legends Line and 77422: War Dog.

The guidance for Woody was to have some light blue in the shirt, non metal armor and a woodland consistent coat/cloak.

I went with a warm skin tone and auburn hair. I also carried the blue color out to the fetching of his arrows thinking the blue to be some sort of signature.

I added some freehand patterns to the coat to to help it read against the green but still have a woodsy feel.

The sword is simply done and might be revisited in case he happens to acquire a magic one!

The bases have a woodland theme... I had thought about cobblestone or an interior floor but.... hes a Ranger!

The animal companion is a St. Bernard so Iadded a quick little brandy cask.  Its an anachronism but should help with the illusion that this is a St. Bernard.  I did the chest-piece crimson but omitted the white cross emblem so I can add a symbol in when, and if, he gets some kind of distinguishing mark or brand. 

My initial take on the color ended up being a bit too yellow so I re-shaded to get a brown that is more in the St. Bernard spectrum.  Its on the lighter end of the color spectrum for them but at least its more identifiable as brown!

He had a second dog and wanted it to be clearly a different dog so I went with a Rottweiler pattern which is practically the opposite of the St. Bernard.

This also has a crimson chest-piece but I'm not certain its intended to be at all related... so that might get adjusted later as well if there turns out to be a relation or a marking.  Otherwise red is a good color for an adversary!

 The two dogs together.
 Woody and the Dogs.  They are quite sturdy.. even massive... next to the slight Halfling.
 ... and a final look at Woody and the Dog.

Back to the Desk!