2018 has been a year of not much wargaming. I’m busy and well, just not doing a lot of gaming.
Last month was a bit of a milestone, though, that I should acknowledge: November 2018 makes twenty years straight of me having a wargaming presence online of some sort or another! Way back in November 1998 I signed up for a Geocities account (remember them?) and built the first version of this site in my college’s computer labs, because I didn’t own my own PC until 2000 or so.
While I’m at it: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and such. May the holidays season be what you need from it.
(also: the new post editor WordPress 5.0.1 ships with is shiny hot garbage. It’s deleted three draft versions of this post. Install the ‘Classic Editor’ plugin to restore WP to sanity if you’re a WP user!)
I was under-prepared for my Pulp Alley games but managed to get enough done to pull them off. The table, at least, looked awesome as I’d been distracted from other prep by the building of many new buildings.
Eight players each running a full ten point League is really too many bodies around the table and too many figures on the table, but it was glorious chaotic fun. The geese won.
Lots of other good games, and of course the meetings with all the folks I usually only see once a year at each successive Trumpeter Salute.
I actually have some great photos; I’ll get them off my phone over the next couple of days and posted here, along with a more coherent narrative!
After finishing the three little cottages on Saturday, I decided to do something slightly different on Sunday and made a building that could serve as a stable or other outbuilding for a manor farm on my ECW/English pulp tables.
It’s 3″ deep and 4″ wide, so actually larger in footprint than the little hovels. Horse need their space, tenant farmers not so much! Same construction, 1/16th mattboard (picture framing card) with wooden coffee stir sticks for the timbering. The roof is assymetric, with the peak closer to the front of the building instead of down the centreline, for no other reason than it looked more interesting and on a gaming table, people spend a lot of time looking down at rooftops!
A roof with a pitch like this should probably be shakes or slate or something, because a steep pitch is part of what helps keep a thatch roof watertight, but towel thatch is a heck of a lot faster to assemble than a shingled roof, even with Warbases’ nifty lasercut tile cards available! Perhaps I’ll go back and rebuild this roof with tile card in the future, when I’m not under a pre-convention time crunch… but don’t hold your breath!
I’ll add open doors on the big doorway on the front; the doors are built but not installed yet. I might whip up a couple of horse stall walls to put in the interior, but honestly that seems like a post-Trumpeter addition to me…
With the clock running on toward Trumpeter Salute 2018, I need to get serious about producing the new scenery the linked pair of games I’m running there need!
I’ve got more than enough hedges, dirt roads, and other greenery bits from previous scenery projects, but the farmhouse/manor, dovecote, and barn I’ve built previously need more buildings to hit the table along with them if I want to do a 17th Century English hamlet up properly.
This weekend I sat down and cranked out a trio of little (tiny, really!) thatched and half-timbered cottages or hovels, along with a pair of fenced gardens.
These are simple little buildings of 1/16th” mattboard with half-timbering from wooden coffee stirrers and thatch from towel. The windows are lasercut from Warbases in the UK. For a bit more bulk the roofs have a substructure of corrugated cardboard with the towel hot-glued to that and then further stiffened with white glue. All three roofs are removable.
The tree has a core of paperclip wire, bulked out with soft iron craft wire, then covered in hot glue to fill in between the wires. The garden beds are also just hot glue “sculpted” into place with the hot tip of the glue gun.
I’ve also done a second garden piece, slightly smaller, but haven’t gotten a photo of it yet. The cottage roofs need one more drybrush to really pop the thatch texture, but the cottages themselves are all done, and the gardens are fully painted and flocked outside the fence. The tree needs some foliage, and the gardens inside the fences need greenery and detail, but not bad for part of a weekend’s focused effort!
As I am fairly new to 3D printing, I am learning a tonne about what not to do. One of the biggest issues I have discovered is that things that look good in CAD can look absolutely terrible once printed, given the resolution of the printing or the limitations of FDM 3D printing. Today I wanted to talk about three different, but similar errors I made: making a part too thin to print correctly.
Back corner of the cab
First up – the back corner of the cab. As the backside of the cab is curved, it thins quite a bit at the very back corners.
When you bring this into Cura to slice it for printing, the problem becomes obvious.
The solution to this is to thicken the back wall of the cab, which I did by adding a flat piece to it:
Once you bring that into Cura, you see that the narrowest part is now at least 1mm thick, so the piece shouldn’t be so weak.
The next piece I tackled was the fenders. They were originally 0.25mm thick, which means that they were just over one layer thick when printed at 0.2mm and only two layers thick at 0.1mm. This meant they basically didn’t print at all.
The solution to this problem is two-fold: thicken the fender up to 0.5mm and also only print at 0.1mm (considered Fine quality).
Top of the windshield
This is actually entirely my error. I made the windscreen and frame around it taller than the sides or back of the cab. This meant when I cut up the model to slice, the top of the windscreen disappeared. Oops.
The new printer board for my 3D printer finally showed up, so I got to printing the first print of my 1956 PANG. It was less than a full success. As you can see in the pictures below, I have a bunch of work to do.
As can be seen on the build plate, a bunch of details didn’t come out right – the biggest of which was the top of the cab for some reason completely failed to print correctly. I also accidentally selected brim intead of skirt, so I had lots of cleanign to do.
The sides of the truck aren’t very smooth, and a bunch of the finer details simply didn’t print.
So what next? First of all,my printer needs some upgrades:
A part cooling fan (the Ender 2 lacks it by default)
Belt tighteners (and the belts replaced with metal-core of some kind)
A more modern Marlin (the firmware that runs the printer)
A lot more tuning
On the truck, the first thing I am going to do is shrink it by 25 to 30%. It is too large for what I want. Then I need to some work on the model itself
Thicken some of the walls so that they print, especially the fenders, which didn’t print at all
Clean up some of the smaller details, possibly removing them for now
I finally got around to laying out the 1956 PANG for the first printing. As you can see from the pictures below, I am trying to remove the need for supports which will mark the surface of the final print.
I chose not to break out the rear section or the bins for initial printing. I likely will in the final version, as it will speed up print time and make it cleaner.
One final note: I am certain that there will be tweaks needs to be this and I am missing things, namely an interior and side mirrors to start.
Build Something 2018 continues and I have been pretty quiet for the last week. Part of this is because I am waiting on the warrantied printer board, so motivation is low. Also been busy with other things. But today I kicked myself into gear and go the first printable draft done of the 1956 PANG. Take a look below (the red rectangle is 32mm high and is there for reference):
Dogs and cats living together! Chaos and disorder!
Well, something like that. Horses and armour, at least.
I realized that all twelve horses for my regular ECW cavalry are all brown. Every last one of them. There’s a bunch of variation in tone, mane colour, stuff like that, but they’re all bay, which is horse-speak for brown. Well, some of them might be chestnut, which is horse-speak for “lighter reddish brown”, more or less. For the six horses I needed for the current batch of cuirassier I decided to mix it up a lot. There’s a white horse, two different shades of grey, two different bay, and one black horse.
Unfortunately I totally forgot to write down any of the paint mixes or layers I used for this batch of painting, so I’ll have to re-invent the wheel, or at least the horse paint, next time I do horses!
For the armour, I put pins up into the backsides of all six cuirassier, making them extra-long to make painting easier. Then I used a scrap CD, two lengths of scrap wood, and my hot glue gun to create a very useful little painting stand, seen in the photo below.
All six riders got all their armour basecoated bright silver (Reaper’s True Silver), then various inks and washes were layered over to try for a treated-metal appearance as discussed in my last post on coloured armour.
GW’s washes don’t work as a base layer for this, I discovered right away. They’re not designed to stay on flat surfaces particularly well, although they shade crevices and lower areas of a surface very nicely. I used India ink for the three blacked armour sets, Reaper’s Red Ink for the russeted armour, and FW Artist’s Acrylic Inks for most of the rest of the colour.
The three blacked armour riders were basically done after one coat of thinned India ink, and then I went back in with metallic paint to do some of the edges and highlights, especially on the rider in the foreground of the photo with the hammer and plume.
The two russetted armour guys and the one blued rider (far left) got at least a couple of more layers, including either very, very thin India ink or GW’s Nuln Oil to darken the bright initial ink coat. The blue guy especially looked incredibly bright and weird after his first coat of just blue ink – my girlfriend saw him and said, “Seventeenth Century Power Ranger!” and damned if she wasn’t right…
I’ve also discovered that these guys are nearly impossible to get a decent photo of in their current setup, the above blown out and fairly crap photo is less crap than all the rest. I’ll try for better pictures once the riders and horses are all attached to each other. Still to do is boots, saddles, faces, and weapons.
I’m really pleased with how these guys are turning out so far, and I think they’ll look great on the tabletop once they’re all finished. Ink over silver is definitely a win for doing coloured armour!