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Everything posted by MojoBob

  1. MojoBob

    Airbrush of choice?

    The down-side to completely shrouding the needle tip, and (I suspect) the reason Badger has moved away from it in several of their more recent models, is that if you're doing very fine, close-up airbrushing, the tip-shroud can capture a sort of bubble of air pressure, and you get involuntary back-flushing and spidering.
  2. That is a very useful image. Thanks.
  3. MojoBob

    Digital Sculpting Journeys, Views, Discussion

    This is something I did for our AD&D campaign — one of the characters has an Ebony Fly, one of the Figurines of Wondrous Power. The fly is a model from Thingiverse, while the rider I built myself. I started with a mannequin from Poser, and imported that into Blender for sculpting, but I had to do so much work to make it 3d printable that I might as well have just started from scratch in Blender, it would have been less trouble. I plan to build a low-detail rigged humanoid mannequin in Blender that I can import and pose as needed, but somehow I never seem to remember about that project until I actually need one, and end up scrabbling around in a big rush. It's been designed so that the rider is compatible in scale with Reaper's 28-32mm stuff. Here's how it looks after printing on my Ender 3, and with a quick splash-&-wash paint job:
  4. MojoBob

    Making a river

    If you keep the walls of the dam at an angle (i.e. not perpendicular to the base), then the meniscus is formed past the edge of the basing. When you trim it back clean, you can get rid of the meniscus entirely and get a level transition from tile to tile.
  5. MojoBob

    Digital Sculpting Journeys, Views, Discussion

    I'm quite intrigued by the possibilities of digital sculpting. I'm a Blender user, and I've found Blender's sculpting tools to be very usable (and free, which is not to be sneezed at). I'm certainly not a great sculptor, but it is a lot of fun. This is a thing that started out as an experiment with the "Skin" modifier on a Bezier curve, and ended up as... this. Whatever this is. One thing I will say about digital sculpting is that a decent pressure-sensitive graphics tablet is really a vital piece of equipment. You can do a lot with just a mouse, but almost everything is just so much easier and more intuitive with a stylus on a tablet.
  6. MojoBob

    Making a Meadow

    Here's a blog post I wrote about some flocking experimentation: http://mojobob.blogspot.com/2015/09/terrain-flocking-test.html Compare that with these "toy soldier" bases, that have been flocked with a single grade of flock:
  7. MojoBob

    Making a Meadow

    Light layers of several different types and sizes of flocks and static grass give the best look. If it's all one variety, it tends to look more like a neatly-manicured lawn than a meadow.
  8. I end up using paints in triad-like groups in any case, so it might be useful to know you're getting a group that has been play-tested.
  9. MojoBob

    Display Backdrop

    If your drawing accuracy leaves a little bit to be desired, you can use your computer and just about any image editing program to create a "colouring-in" template for yourself, using the Edge Detect filter. I've detailed the whole process in a post on one of my blogs at http://fitz-publicdisplays.blogspot.com/2019/06/colouring-in-with-aid-of-computer.html I've used Krita for my examples, because It's free, and It's really good.
  10. This is a piece if 15mm WWII wargaming terrain I put together from 3d-printed parts and the usual run of terrain-making materials. The main ruins are re-scaled from Printable Scenery's "Modular Ruins" set and assembled into a house-shaped unit in Blender, while the little outhouse was designed by me from scratch in Blender. The whole lot is mounted on a 6mm MDF board that I've carved some surface contours into, and the rubble is crushed kitty-litter and broken matchsticks. The grass is two colours of foam "Fine Turf" flock from Woodland Scenics.
  11. MojoBob

    Printer's inks?

    Back in ancient times, in the '70s and '80s, some people used to use metallic printers' inks in preference to metallic enamels because they were more finely ground, went on smoother, and gave a superior metallic lustre than enamels, which tended to have quite coarsely-ground metallic particles suspended in a horrible oleo resin. These days, there are alternatives that are much better. Vallejo ModelAir acrylic metallics are very finely ground and apply very smoothly with brush or airbrush, and they cure to a good lustre. There are also ranges of spirit-based metallics designed specifically to be airbrushed and then polished which return very realistic metallic effects. Personally, I doubt that the extra fiddliness involved in painting with printers' inks would be worth the trouble any more.
  12. If dust is an issue, glass would definitely be a better option than acrylic. Acrylic is both more likely to suffer from static cling, and more likely to scratch when you wipe it clean.
  13. Note: I've removed all the commercial links from this post. If you want to know where you can get these files, the links are on my blog. It's easier, when playing the skirmish-level Chain of Command, or even company-level Battlegroup, to have building models that you can actually put troops inside. It's not absolutely necessary, but it does cut down on note-taking, or reliance on increasingly fallible memory, if you can see at a glance which troops are where. Up until now I've been using my card buildings, and though they're fine as markers, they don't have accessible interiors. With that in mind, I bought some more models from Printable Scenery, to go along with the modular ruins I bought from them and printed a while ago. The models are sized for use with 28mm figures, but I've scaled them down to 60% for use in 15mm games. They could probably go down to 50%, but this size suits me well enough. This particular one is the French Town House from their WWII range, and it costs about ten yankeebucks. Even scaled down, and printed at quite low resolution (0.24mm layers), there's a fair amount of printing involved. These three pieces ended up taking about twenty hours, all up. They're well designed for wargames use. Each floor is separate, and they sit together quite securely with peg-&-socket joints at the corners. There are no internal walls, so it's easy to access figures placed inside, but there is a little decoration applied on the floor and around the walls so that they don't just look like blank boxes inside. This, and others in the range, are also available as bombed-out ruined versions. That would be handy if you care about having damaged versions of intact tabletop models, but I'd generally just replace the model with some generic ruins of roughly the right size. All in all, I'd say they're pretty good value for money. I've seen much worse resin models going for a lot more money, and though twenty hours is a long time to print, it's still a considerably shorter time than I'd have to wait for a model to arrive through the post. Highly recommended. Here's the first one, with a very, very quick paint job. I haven't painted any of the insides (except for a primer coat) and probably won't, since the innards aren't really very important to me except as troop containers. Next Day This is the next one, the Shop, also about ten dollars. I had slightly less success with the printing of this model, probably because I did all three pieces in one hit, pretty much entirely covering the build plate, rather than doing them one at a time in the safe centre portion. I notice some slight lifting on a couple of corners on the second storey piece, and I got a bit of breakage of delicate details like window bars, banister and stair-well rail spindles. However, none of that really matters a great deal; I can just call it battle damage. The brickwork and interior detailing would really benefit from being printed at a higher resolution, say 0.12–0.16mm, but of course that would about double the print time, which is already about 20 hours at 0.24mm. If I had a second printer, I'd probably do that, but I find it very frustrating to want to be able to print something, knowing that the printer is going to be tied up for another day at least.
  14. This is another from the same series, also printed at 60% for 15mm gaming. I think it's called French Shop House or something. Now it needs a "Boulangerie" sign, and maybe some posters plastered to the brickwork. Something I've noticed about all of these model houses though: none of them have back doors. I've discovered that the roof is interchangeable with the other house model. I don't know how useful that's likely to be, but it's worth bearing in mind.
  15. MojoBob

    3D Sculptors

    Duncan "Shadow" Louca and Miguel Zavala are two I like a lot. Louca is the more skilled sculptor, Zavala is exceptionally prolific — he's done models for all of the current D&D5e bestiaries and adventure books. DutchMogul on Thingiverse is worth a look, he's got a lot of stuff there. Valandar, also on Thingiverse, has over a hundred sculpts available for free.
  16. MojoBob

    Photography C&C please (photo heavy)

    A reflector (or another, less powerful, lamp) aimed into the shadows for minis like the giant-hatted wizard would help with avoiding those featureless black shadows.
  17. MojoBob

    Forced perspective

    Having done this (many years ago) when I was working in a museum display department, the best piece of advice I can give is that you MUST force the audience to view it from a very specific aspect. Even a shift of a couple of degrees either side in the viewpoint makes a forced perspective scene fall to pieces.
  18. MojoBob

    Metallics for classic steel

    I haven't tried the Vallejo MetalColor, though I've read good things about it, but I do like their ModelAir metallics. Because they're so thin, they generally need two or three coats when brushed on, but the finish is very smooth. Of the ModelColor range, the one I use most is Oiled Steel — it's not as bright as Silver, not as dark as Gun Metal. I generally thin it with flow-aid and apply it, like the ModelAir, in several thin coats.
  19. MojoBob


    This is one of Duncan Louca's Hags, printed on my Ender 3 (0.08mm layer height, eSun PLA+, total height to the top of the spikes is 44mm). I got quite a lot of zits and boogers from the supports on this one, but she's so warty and festering that rather than trimming them off, I just turned them into zits and boogers.
  20. MojoBob

    Z brush

    I have a Creality Ender 3 FDM printer, which was very cheap (about $US200) and has served me very well, and relatively speaking, has run pretty painlessly and trouble-free. However, 3d printing is not yet a plug-and-play technology; you're going to have to do quite a bit of tinkering even with quite expensive machines. Here's an example of the output from the Ender 3, using a Fat Dragon supportless 28mm skeleton model in three quality settings. The best quality (0.04mm layer height) took about 4½ hours to print, the lowest (0.12mm layer height) took just over an hour. So, it's not instantaneous Star Trek replicator technology by any means. If your main focus is going to be miniatures rather than terrain or other larger pieces, then you'll want to end up using a resin printer for the higher resolutions that are achievable, and the Anycubic Photon is probably the best bang for a beginner's buck at the moment. However, I'd highly recommend that you start out with an FDM machine, as filament printing is much, much cheaper to learn the ins and outs of designing for 3d printing, not to mention less messy and toxic.
  21. tl;dr — I like Badger. The combination of the 105 Patriot for general work and the Sotar 20-20 for detail work is an excellent one. My thoughts on all my airbrushes are posted at http://mojobob.blogspot.com/search/label/airbrush My very first airbrush was a Badger 150 bottom-feed which I got in the late 1970s, and it gave me fantastic service for decades. I would be using it still, except that i wanted to try a gravity-feed brush to speed up colour changing and to allow me to use paint in smaller quantities and at lower pressures. I'd had a brief play with a Paasche airbrush at art school, and liked it a lot. So, in 2013 I bought myself a Paasche Talon with an extra-fine head and needle set. That was rather a disappointment; the engineering quality and finish was not great, the trigger was quite stiff and tended to stick, and it was very difficult to get a controllable spray pattern as a result. These days I have the largest head and needle installed, and only use it for high-pressure base-coating and terrain spraying, for which its large capacity reservoir comes in handy. A couple of years later, in 2015, I took advantage of a sale at the late lamented Chicago Airbrush Supply and got myself a Badger 105 Patriot. This was a huge improvement over the Talon. It was billed as an all-purpose nozzle/needle system, not needing separate fine or coarse tips or needles, and though that was a bit hyperbolic, it has proved to be my favourite workhorse brush. The Patriot is a truly excellent brush, and the one I always recommend as a beginner's first brush. I also bought a couple of single-action brushes: a Paasche H suction-feed for coarse work with large-capacity jars and a Badger 200 gravity feed for fine line work. They're both fine, within their own limitations, but I seldom use them. The Badger 200 does come into its own when I want to do a lot of fine, regular lines or dots though, as I can just set it to the width I want and go to town without having to worry about juggling with a double-action trigger. My most recent purchases have been a Badger Renegade Krome and a Badger Sotar 20-20. They're both truly excellent brushes for fine detail work, but of the two I would say the Sotar has the edge in terms of engineering quality. I have never used another airbrush with such a fantastically smooth, controllable trigger. Unfortunately, the people I bought the Sotar from (and who messed me around for nearly a year before they eventually sent me anything at all) sent it with the Medium head and needle instead of the Fine that I'd ordered, but by the time it finally arrived I was just happy to get it and never to do business with them again, so I've ordered a Fine conversion set from elsewhere which is winging its way here even as I type. I'm eager to try it out; even with the Medium tip installed it's a real beauty, and I suspect it will end up being my go-to brush for any kind of detail work.
  22. MojoBob

    Airbrushes I Have Known

    Here's the result of my Sotar 20-20's first real outing. It's a 1:100 scale Zvezda Jagdtiger (a German late WWII heavy tank killer). The figure is a 15mm German Grenadier from Battlefront. The camouflage is all straight freehand airbrushing, using Vallejo acrylics (VMC colours, mainly) and the Medium needle and tip the airbrush came with. There's a Fine needle/tip kit on its way to me at the moment, but I'm not sure it will really be necessary for my purposes; I'll give it a go of course, but tinier tips are more prone to clogging, and they're less tolerant of paint buildup on the needle. I really, really like the Badger Sotar 20-20.
  23. MojoBob

    Paasche model H airbrush review

    tl;dr — I like Badger. The combination of the 105 Patriot for general work and the Sotar 20-20 for detail work is an excellent one. My thoughts on all my airbrushes are posted at http://mojobob.blogspot.com/search/label/airbrush
  24. Yes, I have. It would probably be best to use the high-intensity dyes intended for use with plaster, as the Sculptamold's whiteness lightens paints a lot. However, adding more water-based paint doesn't seem to affect the stuff's curing much, if at all, and chips and what-not are certainly less obvious.
  25. It's pretty light once it's dried thoroughly. Its edges are vulnerable though, so I always use a base plate of some sort. It occurs to me (though I haven't tried it yet) that you could reinforce the edges by covering them with toilet paper or similar soft tissue soaked in PVA.