This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
3D printing is becoming more and more popular in the miniatures gaming world and the amount of 3D designs that are available either for free through services like Thingiverse or through Kickstarters and Patron schemes is astounding. I have been 3D printing scenery for gaming for many years, my latest project is Blackstone Heath which involves combining 3D printed buildings and accessories with Terra-Former modular terrain boards. I have printed all of this myself using an extruded plastic 3D printer. However, I also have a lot of files for 3D miniatures and they do not print very well on an extruded plastic printer as you can see the lines for each level. Miniatures and small detailed pieces print far better on a resin based 3D printer. I don't have one of those, and a figure that there must be other gamers who do not have one, so I've set this service up so that we can take our 3D files and get them quickly and easily printed and posted out to us. A 28mm foot figure tends to cost around £2.50 - £3.50 to be printed from grey resin. I have tried the service myself and have been very pleased with the results.
How to get a 3D Miniature Printed
Click on 'Upload New 3D File'. You need to have fist brough the 3D file or downloaded a free file from a website such as Thingiverse
Select the file that you would like to print from your computer or other device.
Your model will be loaded into the 3D preview part of the tool, where it can be turned and resized using your mouse (or other pointing device) to confirm that it is ready for printing.
Select the type of material that you would like your model to be printed with. I always use Resin for miniatures and PLA for buildings and terrain.
Select the colour you would like. I'm a bit boring, I always choose grey, figuring that I am going to undercoat and paint the model, however their is always a choice depending on the material that you have choosen. I do keep thinking it would be good to print a Halfling wearing a ring or a telephone box using clear resin at some point!
When you are happy with your selection, click 'Add to Cart' You can see your model added to the list of models within the order.
Click the big green 'Upload New 3D file' to start the process again to add additional models to your order.
When you have added all the models that you want to be printed, click 'Checkout' and add your name, address and payment details and then sit back and wait for your new miniatures to arrive. Obviously the figures are printed to order, just for you and the turn around is about 10 days. You can go back to the tool to check the status of your orders.
Here's some photos of some 28mm miniatures that I have had printed in grey resin using this service.
This is a model of a fantasy style 28mm Coaching Inn that I have 3D printed and painted from a design by Printable Scenery. Printable Scenery are a New Zealand based company that produce some excellent 3D design files for fantasy, historical and Sci-Fi buildings. As they are digital designs the buildings can be rescaled by the customer and printed out to suit any figure scale. I have rescaled some of these buildings to print at 10mm (Warmaster) scale as well. I do all of my 3D printing using a material called PLA, this is a corn based product that does not produce a smell when being used and is very economical. PLA costs between £14 - £20 per kilogram spool, this model weighs around 600g so would have cost £8.40 in material to print. 3D printing is a very slow process. The coaching Inn took over 30 hours to print, spread over a week, but I think the results are definately worth the wait, and in truth even at this speed my 3D printer can print terrain far quicker than I have time to assemble and paint.
This is the front view of the Inn. The Inn consists of a main Inn area, a side annex and a row of open stabling with a thatched roof.
The back of the Inn features a lean to wood shed, an overhanging first floor bay window and a nice run of dormer windows.
I was very pleased with the kit and the way that it has painted up and would rate the design as 9 out of 10. There were three small areas that I felt could be improved on the design. These are the inclusion on an Inn sign, staircase and front door to main Inn building.
The kit is designed to be assembled as three layers. Here we can see what it looks like with the roof removed. As there was not an opening in the floor for a staircase to the ground, I have added a wooden trapdoor to represent where the stairs exit.
This is a view of the ground floor. Very nice floorboard detailing. As the kit did not include a staircase, I found a free standing design from another kit, measured the height of the ground floor wall and rescaled the design to fit correctly and glued it in place with superglue.
The Inn sign was also made from wood, with a hanging sign based on an image of a real Inn sign from the Internet.
This is a lovely kit, great for skirmish action. I have already got plans for using it as the centre piece in a Burrows and Badgers scenario and with a different Inn sign ast the Prancing Pony for a Lord of the Rings scenario.
Just before Christmas I plunged into the then unknown world of 3D printing with a Flashforge Creator Pro 2 printer. I did not really know anything about it, so decided to use a piece of software called Simplify 3D that made it very easy to get started straight away. I had backed the Indigogo campaign forPrinted Scenery's OpenLock dungeon tile system which is called Rampage. There are so many different dungeon tile pieces to choose from in the Rampage set that it would be easy to get distracted by printing out random tiles that look good so I decided that I would play the Dwarf Kings Quest from Dungeon Saga by Mantic Games and print out the 3D tiles and walls needed for each scenario before playing it.
The first introductory scenario, Journey from the West saw our two heroes Orlaf the Barbarian and Rordin the Dwarf battling skeletons to gain entrance to the Necromancers dungeon. The scenario was very straightforward, introducing combat and movement mechanics. The tokens seen above represent piles of bones that the Overlord can use to raise skeletons and other horrors.
It is not long before Orlaf and Rordin are locked in desperate combat and face additional skeletons joining the fight, raised from bone piles behind them.
I really like the Dungeon Quest combat mechanics, which I found very intuative. Each character (or monster) has a combat statistic which determines how many dice they get to roll. This can be modified by tactical factors such as being outnumbered, attacked in the rear, wounded etc. Characters also have an armour value that represents how difficult it is to wound them. In combat the attacker and defender roll the number of D6's determined by their combat statistic, a skeleton for example has 2 dice, Rordin the Dwarf has 4. Any dice that do not beat your foes armour class are counted as 'Feeble' and are discarded. Then the attacker and defender line their dice up from highest to lowest. Any of the attackers dice that beat the paired defenders dice cause a wound.
Rordin the Dwarf gets stuck into the skeletons. He can easily defeat one or two, but as they gang up on him things become more desperate and he is reduced to a single wound. One more hit and he will be 'crippled' and the evil overlord will have won!
Orlaf the Barbarian comes to the Dwarves assistance allowing him to break off from combat before ho lost his last wound.
Both of our heroes make it to the door, and begin to batter it down. Normal (or 'mundane') locks are attacked like a foe in combat. This particular lock has a defense of 2 dice and an armor class of 2.
Just as the next wave of skeletons is about to fall on our heroes the mighty door gives way and our heroes escape, barring the door behind them.
I have printed by Dungeon Tiles using PLA ( a type of plant based plastic) and have painted them to look like limestone using Sandtex Masonry paint. After undercoating with a spray primer, I painted all over with Sandtex Bitter Chocolate before drybrushing with Sandtex Mid Stone, followed by Ashen Green.
For further information about Mantic's Dungeon Quest miniatures / board game click here.
All of the miniatures in the photographs have been remounted on to Sally 4th's Clear perspex bases because I love the way that the miniatures blend with the scenery when they are on clear bases. Click here for further details about clear bases.