Wednesday, 14 November 2018

3D-Printing Review: Modelling Miniatures book

First off, I have no experience with 3D-sculpting in a computer and do very little real life sculpting, mainly with green-stuff.
So this guide-book is very much written for someone like me, as it is a beginners guide on how to sculpt in 3D using free software.
I began by downloading the free Sculptris software, as per instructions in the guidebook. Registering, downloading and installing took less than five minutes. Five minutes well spent, as it is.
Then I just followed the guide-book and started working through the examples.
I must admit that I started with the examples, but the fun of it got me side-tracked for an hour, when I just doodled in three dimensions. Dear me, it was really fun.
After the first exhilaration I went back to the guide-book and went through more of the examples.
And it is not that hard! (Well, at least not the basics) It is actually possible to create stuff. I sure wouldn’t print anything I’ve made so far, but I see a future where I might actually produce a stl-file and load it into my printer.
I haven’t gone through it all yet, mainly because I’m fully occupied with far too much work at the moment, but I’m slowly but surely going through the book. It’s lots of fun and one thing is absolutely sure – there is no way I would have done anything 3D-sculpting without a lot of help to get started. With this guide-book I got just that help.
Great stuff, indeed. It’s a must buy if you want to try 3D-sculpting but have no, or limited, experience, as it will kick-start your efforts and flatten the learning curve significantly.
You can get this book and its sequel for only £15, as it is part of Steve Hampson’s newest kickstarter. With the two books are also files for the figures you've worked with, meaning you'll get a bunch of printable minis as part of the deal. Then you will also get two stl-advent-calendars, bringing a haul of stl-files each day from December 1 to 25. What’s not to like?
You’re in a bit of a hurry though, as the kickstarter closes on November 19, 2018.
Highly recommended!

Disclaimer - I got my copy of Modelling Miniatures as a review copy.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Crowdfunding Watch – 3D-printing – A calendar, a titan, figures and some terrain

How can you not like something like this? An advent calendar for gamers!
It’s such a good idea!
For £1 you’ll get the enjoyment of a little stl-‘gift’ each day from December 1 to 25, either fantasy or SF. Be a big-spender (£5) and get the Delux Super Bonus Pack that includes both calendars, alternate sculpts and extra models.
A beer at the pub or stl-happiness for most of December? I know what I would choose!*
Then you will also have chance to pledge extra for the rather excellent beginners guide to Modelling Miniatures. Here you’ll get a step-by-step introduction on how to make your own printable minis. 
I’ve got a review copy of that and I really enjoy playing around with the free Sculptris software while following the examples given in the book. It’s great for a beginner like me, and you can expect more of a review here next week.
No printer? No problem. You can even get printed pieces in a real-life box in good time before X-mas!
Full marks on this kickstarter. Check it out!
This Kickstarter ends on November 19, 2018.

The title pretty much sums it up. You can pledge for a bunch of stl-vikings with Viking hut-tiles and a gorgeous wyvern, a bunch of dwarves with cave-tiles or a builder pack with some great looking terrain-pieces.
There is, of course, a pledge-level for it all.
I’m particularly fond of the terrain-pieces, where the bridge-ruins look great.
Have a look before November 26, 2018, when this KS ends.

So you want a printable titan? Then this might be for you.
You’ll get a modular titan for use with your space marines, with some different weapons options.
There is also a bundle-deal if you’re interested in Heresylab’s previous campaigns.
While a titan isn’t really my cup of tea (or rather coffe, as it is) then it might be yours. Anyway, there are the add-on packs of scenery, tanks and a SF-Gothic train that could be made just for you.
Would be a shame to miss it, so hurry before the KS ends on November 22, 2018.

If you would like to see more 3D-printing crowdfunding projects then look here.
Do you want to see reviews of 3D-printing stuff then check here.

All photos, renders and illustrations © Steve Hampson, Brayan Nafarrate and Heresy Lab respectively and used with permission.

* Both, of course!

Friday, 2 November 2018

Crowdfunding Watch – 3D-printing – Pint-sized realms, a medieval village, Bundeswehr and Sci-Fi cars

A varied selection of 3D-printing kickstarters this time.

I’ve got a D&D campaign going, and whilst we are in dungeons or inside houses I have no problems – I print the terrain and we’re off playing. But there is all that travelling between the places… “You walk one mile on a winding road through the woods, passing a small village and a rocky crag. Then, before you…” etc.
How cool would it be to instead plonk that winding road onto the table, with a village, rocky crag and maybe that ruined keep that is the object for the trip. Everything in miniature, off course.
And I wouldn’t mind building a representation of the small village that has become the base of operations, so the party knows the way to the temple, blacksmith, potion-maker and, of course, the tavern.
They will travel to a town soon, and having that built up before them would certainly help.
This is great stuff. Lots of great stuff, actually. You could build a whole world from this, or at least a sizeable part of one.
Do check it out!
This KS ends on November 15, 2018.

So, you’ve built a pint-sized realm, you’re adventurers have reached a village and now you want to adventure in it.
Well, then this is a good starting point, where you’ll get a bunch of different buildings for a medieval, or fantasy, village.
On top of that, there are scatter terrain, roads, a dungeon, walls and more.
The presented renders looks great and with a bit of luck you’ll see a printed building or two in a review here, before the campaign is over.
If you need a village, or maybe just a couple of buildings, then this is absolutely worth a look.
This KS ends on December 13, 2018.

Let’s move from medieval to a more modern setting.
If modern wargaming is your thing then this is certainly something to check out.
You’ll get files for a lot of Bundeswehr vehicles, and some of them would work for other nationalities also with minimal modifications. Hmm… the Leopard 2 is used in the Swedish Army as Strv 121/122... shouldn’t be too hard to modify…
This looks really interesting and if Bundeswehr and its vehicles is your thing then you should take a look.
This KS ends on November 15, 2018.

If Bundeswehr isn’t modern enough for you, then this might be.
Here you’ll have a retro-SF look that I find really attractive. What’s not to like when you have a Skymini, a Happy Burger Bar and a flying tuk-tuk.
I do like these! They would look great as scatter terrain on a future city battlefield and equally good in a skirmish game or roleplaying game.
Great stuff! Check it out.
This KS ends on November 13, 2018.

If you would like to see more 3D-printing crowdfunding projects then look here.
Do you want to see reviews of 3D-printing stuff then check here.

All photos, renders and illustrations © Hobgoblin-3D, Dark Realms Forge, Tommy and Kore Aeronautics respectively and used with permission.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

3D-Printing Review: Future Worlds: Landscapes - modular war game terrain

I received some pre-release files from Nick Fatchen/Arid Hills a couple of weeks before he started his current kickstarter. Looking at them and the information given to me made me rather enthusiastic, as I think the whole concept is great – modular terrain-pieces that click onto each other making hills, cliffs and much more.
A couple of clips and a support to get a steady hill-end.
They click together using OpenLOCK, a proven system that I use for a lot of other terrain from Printable Scenery and others.
Support to give stability. They are a bit wobbly at the moment, but I'm told another variant is on the drawing-board. I would like one with extended top and bottom.
I’ve printed some different hill-pieces and cliffs to try out, and it all works rather well. I’ve noticed that I need to clean some of the connectors, especially those  printed down towards the printer bed. It’s essentially a couple of minutes work per tile, so it’s not a big deal.
When that is done the fit is excellent.
My standard 28mm female fighter from Otherworld, taking a stroll on some well textured but unpainted cliffs. She hardly notices the gaps between the tiles.
She prefers painted, though.
There are gaps between the tiles, obviously as they are tiles, but if that doesn’t bother you then you’ll have a very versatile set of modular terrain, with everything from hills to swamps to rivers to trenches (great!) to… well, lots of other stuff also.
Oooh, painted... They will look great with some static grass. 4 inch squares, as can be seen, measured in centimeters.
I think the best way to de-emphasise the gaps is to simply paint the tiles uniformly the same way, so as to not highlighting the gaps. The pics on the kickstarter unfortunately do just that, highlighting the gaps, that is.
There is an obvious other solution, and that is to make permanent hills. You click the tiles together, glue and then fill the gaps with green-stuff or something similar. That way you can get great-looking textured hills with a minimum of fuss. You will lose the modularity though, but I think the end result could be well worth it.
2 inch stepped hill outer corner being printed. I took around 5 hours to print on my Prusa i3 Mk3, with 0.2mm layer height and using 13 meters of filament, costing around €0.60. Hill tiles are typically between €0.40 and 0.80 each, depending on type and obviously filament price. I got mine for SEK 160/€16 for 1kg/340 meters on a sale from Clas Ohlsson. They are ordinarily SEK 200.
I really like this set, and I think there are tons of applications for the tiles. I will definitely play around some more with them and will probably go for both modularity and permanent hills. Maybe a mix of the two, where I make half hills, or something like that, and put them together. There are so many possibilities.
This is really good stuff and definitely worth a look, as it is a great concept. Do check it out at Future Worlds: Landscapes - modular war game terrain on Kickstarter. You’ve got until November 8, 2018, when it ends.

They won’t become extinct after that, I’m told, as the concept will continue to be supported with new tiles and there will be a web-shop to buy it all or in parts. Stay tuned on that also, as I’ll give a shout-out when that is live.
Now it’s back to the printer. I need more edges for my hill.