Thursday, May 23, 2019

More Fantasy Painting Updates

I actually finished my dwarf army for the Kings of War tournament at Mayday. However, I didn't fully finish basing the second half of the army. So I recently took some time to do that and complete the rest of my force.
The unit of bear riders that I use as proxy for a regiment of badgers. 240 pts.

Regular earth elementals. 130 pts each for two units.

Dwarf muskets regiment with brew of keen-eyeness.  155 + 30 = 185 pts.

Two organ guns. 85 pts each.

A stone priest with bane chant. 105 + 15 = 120 pts.

Also along the way, I painted these two Reaper Bones hellhounds. I can just use them in whatever fantasy game I need as generic monsters.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Kings of War Painting Update

After approximately one month of painting miniatures for the upcoming Kings of War tournament, I've completed exactly 750 pts. I haven't been able to spend too much time on this, but I think the pace is just enough to finish the army by then.

The first unit of Dwarf Ironclad with mastiff - 120 pts.

The second unit, same as above - 120 pts.

 The first unit of Dwarf crossbows - 135 pts.

 The second unit of crossbows - 135 pts.

The Dwarf bear-rider hero - 240 pts.

I'll be continuing on to the rest of the army this month.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Painting for Kings of War

In order to build an army for a Kings of War tournament at this year's Mayday, I'm starting to paint a bunch of units in the coming two months. Most of these are EM-4 dwarves (old Grenadier plastics), many with conversions.
 A crossbow regiment at 135 pts.

Another crossbow regiment at the same points value.

An ironclad regiment with throwing mastiffs at 110+10 pts.

Another regiment at the same points value.

A regiment of riflemen with Brew of Keen-eyeness at 155+30 pts.

A stone priest with bane chant at 105+15 pts.

A brock-rider regiment with Aegis of the Elohi (210+25pts) - however, I'm using a smaller number of bear-riders to represent the same unit. I'm using the unique model on the right to represent Sveri Egilax, a named brock-rider hero. (240 pts)

I'll be posting painted photos as I get through these.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Various Fantasy

For the upcoming Frostgrave campaign, I started to dabble in 28 mm fantasy miniatures again. By far, the easiest (on the wallet) option is Reaper Bones these days, although the D&D unpainted line of miniatures is also giving them a run for the money. My miniatures are mostly a mix of these two product lines.

For my Frostgrave warband, I decided on a dwarf-themed group, with a core of dwarves along with other hired "helpers".
My wizard is an enchanter, along with his rather buxom apprentice. Both of these are Reaper Bones miniatures.

In Frostgrave, the enchanter can create constructs, obedient machines animated using magic. In this case, I have small, medium, and large constructs that are supposed to be rock-like creatures. The small and large constructs in the foreground are from the World of Warcraft boardgame, while the medium construct is Reaper Bones.

For some shootiness, I have a couple of crossbowmen. One of them is a dwarf ranger figure, and the other is a derro (i.e. "dark dwarf"). Both are Reaper Bones again.

For cannon-fodder, I mean, more valuable members of the group, here are two more Reaper Bones derros used as thugs.
For sneaking around, these are a couple of halfing thieves. These are D&D unpainted miniatures, which are much slimmer in build compared to Reaper.

Some more extra characters. In this case, they can fill in as a man-at-arms, a templar, and a treasure hunter, respectively, as needed. All of these are again Reaper Bones.

For both Frostgrave and other fantasy games, I also painted up some trolls, in case they are needed. These are actually 1/72 scale fantasy figures, but they are big enough that they can pass as 28 mm trolls.

Here is a size comparison with a 28 mm figure. These 1/72 trolls are still big enough to be a threat to a human-sized 28 mm figure.

I also painted up a Reaper giant worm, just because I like the model. This is a gorgeous piece of sculpting to paint.

The first Frostgrave game is coming up right away on Sunday, and I can't wait.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Railroad Swap Meet

Today, I went to the Mainline Model Railroaders Fellowship's semi-annual swap meet for the first time. I had long heard there was great potential terrain at these railroad events, and I've seen interesting pieces painted up by others (hi Bob!), but I've never been to one of them.
It turned out to be quite a bit more crowded than I thought, and I did get a good haul. I was mainly looking for HO scale buildings to go with my 1/72 scale figures. Technically the scale is a bit small, but it's close enough on the table top. I certainly wasn't disappointed, and I ended up with some good, cheap stuff. (most of the buildings below were between $2 and $5 each)

These are classic railroad buildings depicting old-fashioned downtown core offices or tenements. Most of these are in decent shape and can do well with just a base coat and wash. Maybe they'll serve for zombie infested streets or an X-Com alien abduction/terror site.

These are small-town restaurants, shops, and houses. Again, good X-Com fodder or some mysterious small-town home to strange cults?

More small stores, bu the gas station needs a bit of love. These buildings when put together can make a great board for all sorts of interesting scenarios.

And finally, there are these two much higher quality buildings. They have a lot more detail and are made of very tough hard polystyrene. In fact, they are almost like wargaming miniatures. Does anyone know who actually makes these? The seller didn't know.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Failures and Successes with the 3D Printer

I've been trying to 3D print various things for the last couple of weeks, mainly miniatures in different scales, to test the ability of my Sparkmaker to contribute to my hobbies. There were hits and misses, and I've learned a lot about how to use my printer.

For gaming miniatures, first I tried to print an Epic scale Tau Tigershark bomber, the one with two large railguns on the front, and I immediately ran into an issue with the top right side of the bomber "collapsing". In the right picture above, you can see a hole in the model where the resin didn't fully solidify. It actually looks like ripped fabric. I originally thought it was because part of the model got stuck on the bottom of the resin vat and the print didn't complete.

However, I did three more models, and all of them had exactly the same problem, which pointed to something with the file I was using. I think I've fixed it, but I haven't had a chance to try it again before I moved onto other models.

The above is a size comparison for the model with a painted Forgeworld Tigershark bomber on the left. They match very well in scale.

Next, I tried to print some Imperial Thunderbolt fighters, also in Epic scale. I used a file from Thingiverse for a larger model and scaled it down. The problem is that I forgot to thicken some of the thinner pieces for the smaller model size. The wings especially drooped quite a bit since they ended up extremely thin. I had to use a 3D modelling program (DesignSpark Mechanical) to thicken the wings, which allowed me to have usable models. These were quite nice when they were finally done.

I then printed some Imperial Marauder bombers, also from Thingiverse, and they ended up beautifully the first time around. I'll have to get around to painting these Epic miniatures to see how well they hold paint.

Then I moved onto 15 mm WWII. I have a whole bunch of unbuilt 15 mm models, but since I'm preparing a Canadian force, I want some kangaroos. Being a big fan of plastic in 15 mm scale, I don't actually have any kangaroo models, none of which is available in plastic. Again, Thingiverse came to the rescue.
I took a Ram Kangaroo model from Thingiverse, put two of them in one build, and added supports, which are a necessity for a lot of SLA 3D printing jobs. However, my first print ran out of liquid resin in the middle (darn you, Sparkmaker's too-small resin vat!) The result was a couple of kangaroos with the front neatly "sliced" off.

The second time, I learned my lesson and refilled the vat somewhere in the middle of the print to keep things going. This time the job completed.

The result was quite impressive. The pictures above show the models cut out of their supports. The right picture is a super close-up that unfortunately shows too much of the print lines on the model. When painted up though, I don't think they will be visible.

Finally, just to show that I haven't exhausted all the scales, I also tried making some 1/6000 scale modern naval models. I have a number of 1/6000 modern naval miniatures from Figurehead Miniatures, which have incredible amounts of detail. However, they are not up to date. (any product line that says "modern Soviets" is not) I have to make some ultra-modern ships myself to complement the existing miniatures.
The above picture shows a Ford class aircraft carrier, two Independence class LCS, two Zumwault class stealth destroyers, a Ticonderoga class cruiser, and the tiny thing on the lower-right is a Swedish Visby class stealth corvette. Mostly, I found 3D files for these ships, then did some processing to make them small enough. Sometimes this involved reducing some detail, thickening some parts, etc. Then I added bases to them so they are easier to handle. Just a note on size - the bases are 1 to 1.5 mm thick!

A comparison with a Figurehead Miniatures Nimitz class carrier, which is supposed to be slightly smaller than a Ford class in real life. My miniatures have less detail, but they should serve as supplements for missing ships in the metal line.

I'm really encouraged by the printer so far, since it has behaved very well for me. I just have to start painting up some of these...

Monday, April 23, 2018

3D Printer

I recently received my Kickstarter 3D printer, and I just started to fiddle around with it. The printer is called the Sparkmaker, and it's one of the cheapest SLA (liquid resin) printers available right now. I heard a lot of bad things about it online, since it apparently requires a lot of modifications to work properly. However, my printer seems to have come with most of those modifications already done, especially the most important one, where the LCD screen is moved closer to the print bed.

This particular printer is very small, with a print area that's around 10 cm X 6 cm or so. However, since I'm using it for printing miniatures, it's not that big of a deal. SLA printers work by curing liquid resin with either lasers or projector light. In this case, it's a set of UV LEDs whose patterns are controlled by an LCD screen that blocks the UV light. Resin is cured layer by layer, until an object is built.
Building objects took quite a while, and the build area got quite messy due to the liquid resin, which had to be cleaned using rubbing alcohol. However, the results are quite good when the print finishes successfully.

I started by printing building tokens for the game Dropfleet Commander that I found on Thingiverse. The results are quite a bit better than what I've seen with FDM printers, where the object is created by extruding plastic from a nozzle. This is a commercial sector. However, the tops of the buildings were stuck on the printing bed, and they are flat.

A different print resulted in buildings that were complete. You can see the tower built properly now.

This is an industrial sector, another type of token. The smokestacks and windows are all quite visible despite being very small. For a size reference, the round bases are 20 mm across.

The results look great so far, even without a lot of tweaking from me. I'll be trying more complex stuff with the printer very soon.