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MojoBob

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Everything posted by MojoBob

  1. Multiple layers of superglue (liquid) and baking soda builds up fast, and will give you a very solid, plastic-like mass. As a bonus, if the baking soda hasn't been protected from the damp, it will be all crumbly too, which helps to create texture. Note: lay down the superglue puddle first, then drop the baking soda into it, or else lay down the soda and then drop superglue into it. Don't try mixing the two together, as the soda catalyzes the superglue instantly.
  2. Success at last! I had a couple of breakages when the supports came off (one of the wing struts, and the undercarriage) but they glued back together okay with some raw resin, cured with a UV flashlight. There is a little bit of sanding to be done where support nubbins exist, but it's the best result so far. I'll print one more, and paint one in the silver peace-time livery and the other in the dark earth/dark green it would have been repainted in if it had to go to war.
  3. Some time ago I designed a 1:144 scale digital model of the Hawker Hart in Blender, and from time to time I have another go at 3d printing it. The silver one on the left is printed in FDM on my Ender 3; the STL for that one is split longitudinally and the model is printed in two halves. The resulting print is okay, but as usual with FDM the surface texture is quite striated, I end up with a lot of little nubbins where supports rest, and the struts and undercarriage are really quite rough. It will do as a wargames model, but I crave something smoother. However, I've had very little success when it comes to printing aircraft in resin, like the one on the right. This one was also cut in half, but fore and aft this time. Part of the issue is that resin isn't all that dimensionally stable, and warping in the curing process is fairly common. But the recurring problem, again and again, is deformation of one or more wing-tips. Even when I've supported both sides completely symmetrically, I'll often get one side failing to print properly. In the case of this print, the profile of the whole port side is screwy, and I honestly have no idea why. I'm trying another print right now with the front half of the plane in a different orientation, but to be honest I'm getting a bit pessimistic.
  4. MZ4250 (Miguel Zavala) has recently finished resculpting all his old figures, the ogres included. The new sculpts don't suffer from polygonitis the way the old ones did.
  5. There are some rust FX paints in Vallejo's GameColor line too, which I like a lot: 72:131 Rust and 72:138 Dry Rust The effect depends a lot on how much or how little they're thinned. The Dry Rust is quite a gritty, granular paste, and it dries to quite a gritty finish. On this iron maiden, I painted it in a steel color first, overpainted it quite heavily with rust washes, and then brushed off some of the highlights with a dry stiff brush before it had cured completely. On this sewer grill, I just painted it entirely dark brown, and then gave it a couple of washes of Rust pretty well thinned. That one dries to a very bright orange, so I find it's best to build it up in thin washes rather than slapping it on straight. If you don't mix the wash too thoroughly, you can get some fortuitous lumps of thicker rust paint still floating in it, which can look pretty good once its dried, but it's easy to over-do.
  6. Start with a dark brown base colour, and then mottle on successive layers of lighter orange-browns. You can unify all the rust colours with a thin black wash/glaze. If you want to give it a metallic sheen, lightly skipping over the raised detail with a HB pencil can do the trick. I finish with a thin, uneven line of pure silver down the edges where the blade has been sharpened.
  7. Yep, your needle is not properly seated. As you push it forward, twist it — that helps, I find. Be careful about pushing it in too hard, as you risk splitting the nozzle, and when that happens there's no fix but to buy a new nozzle.
  8. No, you don't need to wash them as long as they're properly cured and dried. Unlike cast resin miniatures, there's no mould release agent involved.
  9. Here's a WWII British armoured car, the Humber Mk.II in 15mm/1:100 scale. It mounts a BESA 15mm heavy machine gun with a coaxial 7.92mm machine gun, also a BESA. It was used in North Africa from late 1941, and stayed in active service in Africa, Europe, and the far East in various configurations throughout the war. The vehicle is a Bergman design, and I've opened up the hatches and added a commander that I'd sculpted previously. It's printed in eSun water-washable resin on my Mars Pro. In spite of my best efforts, I still had a couple of support issues. I missed supporting the ends of the sand-chutes on the back of the hull; you can see how they're bowed at the bottom, where they should be rectangular. And the rear right wheel printed distorted, and is supported now by a glob of epoxy resin which I will probably have to trim back at some point. The hull was hollowed and printed with the front up at a 30 degree angle, so the glacis was dead level. In retrospect it would probably be better to angle it with its backside in the air, and the glacis vertical. There's a certain amount of detail on the underside that is really redundant for a wargaming model, and if I was doing it again I would probably level it off and remove most of the floor for ease of washing. With the model as it is, ChituBox was very reluctant to punch holes through the floor, and I ended up having to push them through the sides of the turret socket.
  10. For me, 3d printing has made me sloppier at painting, because I always have so much to get through, especially my 15mm wargaming stuff. As far as fantasy figures goes, both characters and monsters, several elements have combined to swing things in favour of 3d printing rather than buying traditionally produced miniatures. The first is the rapid and massive increases in shipping costs — I'm in New Zealand, so we're far away from everywhere, and postage now regularly exceeds the cost of whatever it is that I want to buy. That, combined with the increases in the cost of casting metal, means that the price of physical miniatures from overseas has doubled or tripled or even quadrupled, in real terms, for us at the ends of the earth. Next is the equally massive slow-down in shipping. Not so long ago, I could expect to get an order from the USA or UK or China within 5 to 10 days. Now it's more like 6 weeks to 3 months, and sometimes even longer. I've had orders arrive in the last couple of years that I had completely forgotten about; a pleasant surprise I guess, but I would have preferred to have received them a bit more promptly. COVID has forced changes too, with lockdowns skewering our face-to-face tabletop gaming to a large extent. Not that we've been fully locked down here as much as, say, the UK, but there seems to be a certain timidity in the air about bunches of people gathering around a table to spit in each other's faces. Miniatures just aren't as much fun in a Zoom game, so I'm less likely to bother with them at all unless I really feel like painting something. That's not an issue relevant to choosing 3d printed vs. traditional miniatures of course, but overall.
  11. STLs of old OOP miniatures would be great, and it would certainly take care of the issue of having to keep a bunch of slow-selling inventory around. It would not be completely straightforward though; even the output from very high-end 3d scanners will need extensive massaging to be suitable for home 3d printing. It's the sort of thing that wouldn't be a huge additional burden on the design process for new minis, but there are a lot of older figures that would need to be done, and even if a 3d designer could get through three or four a day (very optimistically) that's an enormous workload.
  12. You don't need to slice the model. If you rotate the view in support mode so that you're looking up from underneath, any islands will show as red, the brighter the red the greater the need for support. Also, when you run the cursor over the surface, it displays a black line indicating a resin layer — if that line ever forms a blob, bar or circle, you need a support at that point.
  13. I've been experimenting for a while with using a colour and tone swatch card in an attempt to get more reliable colour balancing and exposure with the automated controls of my camera. It can only help so much with strongly coloured backgrounds though; you can see (below) that there's considerable colour contamination from the green background, but that's due to reflection, not the camera's own colour handling. Having a mathematically delineated tone card within the scene helps the camera's automatics, but it's also very useful for post-processing, as it gives you a concrete reference to perform exposure and colour balance adjustments to. Of all of them, it seems to be most successful with a black background, though the white background is fine as far as colour goes — it just overwhelms the tones of the model itself. The model on the black background would be more successful still if I used a reflector to get some light into its shadows, and it could do with a touch more exposure too; you can see the greyness of the white swatch compared with that on the white background. Of the two with the green background, the one with the swatch card in frame is the more accurate colour-wise, though again it could do with a little more exposure. In the other one the camera has blown out the background quite substantially to expose the model better. In retrospect, I probably should have framed the last photo with the same model/frame ratio as the others, just without the swatchboard. I think it would have given me a more accurate result. But never mind. The swatch card I've used is just something that I printed on my cheap laser printer, though I've painted over the black and white swatches to get them as clean as possible. You can buy similar cards, properly calibrated for studio photography, but they're not cheap, and all you really need is something close enough. As long as you have a repeatable reference colour/tone set to match against, you have a baseline constant to work from.
  14. Methanol, or Methyl alcohol, or methylated spirits.
  15. This is a figure that was inspired in style very heavily by the clunky old Minifigs pig-faced orcs of the 1970s. It's not an exact match to those old lead figures, but it's fairly close I think. The hardest things about the sculpting really was keeping its pose as stiff and awkward as the originals, and resisting the urge to add any more detail. The only point at which I departed from the design of those old figures is in the shield. I used instead the shields as shown in the AD&D Monster Manual. I rendered it as if it was an old soft plastic figure, the sort of toy you might have once got in a box of cereal. It seemed like an appropriate aesthetic for this thing. It's a Xmas freebie; I've put the STL up on Thingiverse. You can get the link via my blog at http://mojobob.blogspot.com/2021/12/old-style-pig-faced-orc.html
  16. Here's that BA-27M with a coat of paint. It could probably do with a bit more panel highlighting; the overall 4BO green tends to look a bit bland, especially in small scales.
  17. They're the default settings that the Mars Pro came with. I've seldom found the need to make any changes at all; I did do a couple of models with lower layer heights, but haven't really found that the results justified the effort.
  18. Here's the test print of my latest 1:100 (15mm) digital model, a Soviet BA-27M armoured car of 1931. There were still about 120 of them in service when the Germans invaded in 1941, so although it was an interwar design, it also counts as WWII equipment for the Soviets, and captured examples were also taken into German service. It mounts the same turret as used on the T-18 tank, with a copy of the French Puteaux 37mm gun and a 7.62mm machine-gun.
  19. I've never used anything but eSun water-washable resin, and while I wouldn't say that it has been entirely trouble free, I'm pretty sure that all my issues are due to user error. I've found it quite susceptible to warping and cracking if left in contact with uncured resin, which was an issue with some hollowed models. However, that has been taken care of by using a squeeze bottle with a bent-over nozzle (don't know what they're properly called) to pressure-wash the inside of the models. Also, I add some detergent to my washing water, which makes it much more effective at cleaning off the uncured resin. It's useful if the washing water is warm too — not too hot; just a little over blood temperature is fine. I made a little goose-neck UV lamp with a UV LED and a 9v battery which I can shove into the innards of a hollow model, which is another help when it comes to dealing with potential pools of uncured resin inside. The transparent resins have been generally easier to use than the opaque ones. They require less stirring in the vat because there's no inert fillers to settle, and the UV from the curing chamber can penetrate better to the insides. I paint all my models (in theory, anyway) so whether the resin is transparent or opaque is neither here nor there to the finished object. Plus, as an added bonus, the fresh prints look like boiled lollies.
  20. My re-re-leveling seems to have done the trick, and I'm up and running again. Thinking back, from the results I was getting with my rafts before, I suspect I had just lucked out with my original leveling's separation distance, and it was hovering juuuuust at the point of workability, but was really too low. Now, having levelled with two sheets of paper instead of one, the undercuts on my rafts are much more cleanly defined, and it's a lot easier to get the spatula in under them to get the print off the build plate.
  21. My attempts to fix my layer shifting problem have been disastrous. Now I can't even get anything to stick to the build plate. I've lubricated everything, replaced the FEP, and releveled the plate, all without any improvement. Last night I releveled again, but using two sheets of paper instead of one — I think my separation distance might have been too low, judging by what was left stuck to the FEP — but if that doesn't help, I'm pretty much at a loss. I hate it when things that have been going along quite smoothly just mysteriously crap out. :(
  22. I'm using this model, a 1:100 scale Artilleriewagen, to try to iron out some issues I've been getting with my resin prints. You can see some diagonal lines running across the turret where something has shifted during printing — I don't know yet what caused that, and some research is in order. It has happened at least twice, and as a result the profile of the turret has been distorted. Not enough to make it unusable; I've had worse misalignments in cast components from commercial manufacturers, but it's annoying. It may just be that the various bolts and screws on the platen and rail need tightening, and that's always a good first step. Or it may be that the FEP is getting a bit flaccid. More successful is the rigidifying of the box-like body of the model. I like to hollow the models for printing, partly because it means they use up less resin, but mostly because having less contact area on the FEP at any given level makes a suction-created print failure less likely. Having as much as possible of the non-visible bottom surface cut away gives me maximal access to the interior for washing away uncured resin, which means less chance of warping and cracking problems later. It also gives more access to the innards for the UV curing lights. However, especially on a boxy model like this, thin walls means a less rigid and strong model. I could keep the walls thicker, but in this instance I've also added some internal bulkheads which provide a great deal of strength to the whole thing, as well as supporting the tabs on which the wheels are set. These bulkheads are 2mm thick, and I could probably halve that in safety. Something that I find a bit annoying is that because 3d printing takes so long, every time I change a variable to test what's going wrong, it takes another few hours before I can see the results of my change. Hey-ho, I'll just have to learn to reign in my impatience.
  23. The BP-44 was a WWII German armoured locomotive, used to propel mixed AA, anti-tank, artillery and infantry trains. Germany didn't use armoured trains as much as others, such as the Soviet Union, but they did have some. Generally speaking, armoured trains tended to fall out of favour over the course of the war as road or tracked vehicles were more flexible and became ever more potent, and railway tracks were very vulnerable to sabotage and aerial attack. This is a 1:100 scale model for 15mm gaming. It was designed by a chap called Tolawdjk, and came from Thingiverse. I hollowed this in Chitubox with walls of 1mm, and it printed fine. However, it flexes very easily under finger pressure, and it could probably do with some internal reinforcing structures. I've read that Chitubox can create infill that doesn't impede resin escape, but I can't figure out how to do that (I'm using the free version). Probably what would be easier for me would be to save the hollow model as an STL from Chitubox, import it into Blender to add the internal struts and/or bulkheads, and re-export it as STL.
  24. I've never really seen a decent compromise between ground scale and model scale when representing armoured trains on the tabletop, though this particular German WWII vehicle, called an Artilleriewagen, is less egregious in that respect than most because it most often acted as an independent unit rather than as part of a longer train. It could be connected to a larger train, like a normal flatcar, but it also had its own internal diesel engine and could move independently. It mounted machine guns on all sides, and a 75mm turret from a Panzer III N. This 1:100 model doesn't really fit properly on the N-gauge track lengths I have, but never mind. I printed the hull on my Ender 3, and the turret on my Mars Pro, and it really throws into contrast the difference in quality between the two. I'm not one of those who likes to tinker constantly with their printers to squeeze the absolute maximum from them, and I know the Ender is capable of better, but when it's so much quicker and easier (though a bit more expensive) to get much better quality from the resin printer... well, why bother? To be fair, the FDM-printed body looks okay at arm's length on the tabletop, so what the heck. I probably won't be printing any more non-terrain models on the Ender 3 again though.
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