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MojoBob last won the day on September 11 2013

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    Christchurch, New Zealand

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  1. I bought some very cheap plastic palm trees from China some years ago (via AliExpress). They were horrible garish colours, but with a coat of paint they came up pretty well. I think they were railway scenery pieces, but it was so long ago that I don't recall the exact search terms I used. The tallest one in this picture is 130mm, and it was about the middle of the size range of the packs that I bought. The tanks are 1/100 scale 3d-printed M3 Grants (WWII British).
  2. I use a mirror tile over the Ender's aluminium heated platen to ensure absolute flatness, and it has worked well for me for as long as I've had the printer (2018 I think). I usually use a light mist of super-cheap hairspray to aid adhesion, though that depends on the filament β€” I found with one reel I had that the hairspray stuck it too well, and I had to print straight on to the glass to have any hope of getting the print off without disassembling the platen.
  3. My elderly Ender 3 has started knocking things off its build plate, especially tall thin things. I shall have to do something about that. The first thing, after cleaning the platen, is to re-level it. The trouble with that is that it's been so long since I've had to do that (literally years) that I've forgotten how to do it, and am having to learn all over again. Imagine the humiliation of having to relearn all those beginner things again. Oh, the shame! So anyway, that's what I'm doing this weekend. πŸ˜„
  4. I almost always hollow my prints, unless they're very small, and I always flush them out when washing. Now I have an ultrasonic bath as well. The ultrasonics have certainly helped with resin blow-out, as it reaches into places my squirty-sploosh bottle couldn't, but it doesn't help at all with the warping and deformations I've been getting. The resin is about four months old.
  5. I've been having so little success with my resin printer lately (Elegoo Mars Pro) and the eSun white water-washable resin I could get that I almost never use it any more. Certainly, if the model I'm printing needs any sort of dimensional stability at all, I'll print it by preference on my ancient Ender 3 FDM machine and just accept the layer lines. I can virtually guarantee that any components I print in that resin will come out shrunken, distorted and/or warped, not to mention that there's a better than even chance that some time in the following days it will blow out with some kind of internal curing failure. I'm pretty sure that the fault lies with this resin specifically, not with the printer (old though it is). I've had much better, more reliable results in the past with other of eSun's WW resins. I suspect that this white one is too opaque to UV, so it's creating exposure problems during printing and curing problems afterwards. However, that's really just speculation, and part of the problem may well be that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to adjusting my printing parameters. Anyway, I think I might just have to bite the bullet and dump the rest of this bottle, which hurts my poor, shrunken, wallet and soul.
  6. That's a superb miniature, and perfectly posed for maximum playability. I love it.
  7. I went to order half a dozen minis from Reaper for an up-coming Call of Cthulhu campaign, and the cheapest shipping option they offered was about $US90.00, roughly three times the retail cost of the miniatures themselves. That's just not sustainable. Can this really be the cheapest available mailing cost to New Zealand from the USA? If so, then I guess that's about it for any commerce between our two countries.
  8. A spirit-based black or sepia oil wash (white spirit or turpentine if it's going on over acrylics; don't use alcohol) flooded on rather than brushed, will flow into all those little holes. Just put the tip of a loaded brush against the surface somewhere about the middle of the area you want to wash, and let it all flow off the brush. Then, if need be, you can move the wash around a bit with the tip of the brush β€” don't drag the brush around. You want the wash to flow into the holes pretty much of its own accord; if you drag the brush over the surface, it will tend to create bubbles in the holes and you're back where you started. When the wash has dried a bit, you can wipe off any excess with a cotton bud slightly dampened with the spirit. There should be just enough spirit on it so that it's not completely dry; you just want to be taking excess paint off the highlights, not reactivating the wash as a whole. You can probably over-varnish with an acrylic clear-coat after leaving the wash to dry properly for a day or two, but it probably wouldn't be completely necessary. AK Interactive (and various other modeling paint manufacturers) make ready-made enamel washes, but it's very easy to make your own with oil paint and a thinning spirit.
  9. I did this piece with cheap no-name 5-minute epoxy that cost me a couple of bucks for a 40ml syringe, thinned with a small amount of acetone. The acetone extends the curing time quite a bit, which is helpful for removing any bubbles. I used a bit more ink than I should have to tint it, but it turned out okay in the end. There's a bit of blooming around the edges of the epoxy on the left hand side, because I imatiently failed to let the PVA I'd used to glue the flock dry properly before pouring the epoxy. This was done in a single pour, and at its deepest it's about 5mm thick. When I did this one, I couldn't find the super-cheap epoxy any more, so I used two-part casting polyester: There are down-sides to using the polyester: First, it stinks to high heaven while it's curing. Second, the disposable plastic cups I used for mixing are dissolved by it β€” I had to do a rapid transfer into another vessel before it ended up all over everything. Third, it's very, very clear, which would normally be a good thing, but for this purpose it could have done with being a bit more murky. I added some colouring, but not quite enough this time, so the water looks more lake-ish than boggy. Fourth, it's quite a bit thicker than water, so the meniscus is more pronounced, and it takes a bit of persuasion to flow into all the nooks and crannies. However, I was pretty much expecting that and I'm not heartbroken by it.
  10. The "black" pieces are finished now. All that remains is to give everything two or three spray coats of satin polyurethane to protect them from filthy, grubby, greasy fingers. I might also glue some felt to the bottoms of the pieces too. I made the chess board some years ago; the squares are veneered with black walnut and kahikatea, framed in pink birch, and the whole board forms the top of a little occasional table with a drawer. I'll probably unscrew it from the carcass and just use it as a regular board, as it would be a bit more convenient that way. I'll just give the table a new top.
  11. I have an extra pawn for each side, because they were printed in batches of three. So I'm taking those extras and gluing crowns on their heads, so that when a pawn is advanced to queendom, it can be replaced with one of these Uber-pawns. I made the crown in Blender and printed them on my Mars Pro.
  12. I have employed my 3d printers recently to put together a chess set for myself. I'm not a very good chess player, but I do enjoy a game from time to time. The pieces are assembled from a variety of STLs I've found about the place. The king and queen are scans of archaic Greek statues, a kouros and kore, from the Smithsonian I think. The bishops and knights are files I found on Thingiverse. The rooks were originally also from a Thingiverse file, but I've edited it quite a bit. The pawns are Goblinoid Warriors from Fat Dragon Games. And everything has been put on to decorative bases that I whipped up in Blender. I've glued 32mm (1ΒΌ") steel washers underneath to lower the centre of gravity and make them less tippy; I'd like to add some thin felt as well, but we shall see. The black pieces are in the process of being painted right now. They'll be dark red rather than pure black, so that a bit of the detail can be made out.
  13. I would probably use epoxy. If the surface of the print is very smooth, then it would be a good idea to abrade it a bit first, as epoxy does not create any molecular bond, it just fills the space rigidly and creates a vacuum bond which can sometimes separate if the surfaces can flex at all.
  14. I like a very small cup for most airbrushing, as it intrudes less on my sight-line β€” my workhorse brushes are a Badger Patriot, and a Sotar 20-20, and the teensy cup on the Sotar is more than adequate for pretty much any modeling work. I have a Paasche Talon with a much bigger cup that I can use for spraying large areas like terrain pieces, and if I need even more paint I have an old Badger 150 double-action bottom-feed and a Paasche single-action siphon-feed, both of which can handle quite large bottles. And if I need to spray even more paint than that, I have a small spray-gun as well.
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