Hi guys! Welcome to my first "Weekend Lab" post: For those who've not caught on from my spiel over on the Facebook Group, while I structure my working week around ongoing Kickstarter ranges, I reserve the weekend for "passion projects" and odd modelling jobs. As ever, I love reporting on the results of my experimentation and this week I've a fair amount to share!
First of all we have the 10mm print of 10 Motostrelki poses that I had teased at and I have to say; this was the most nervous I've ever felt when removing supports! The figures were 10mm truescale from boots to brim and, had I bothered to fish my NORTHAG figures from PSC out of a drawer, I'd have realised that that's a smidge too small - their figures are more like 12mm from boots to brim. I'm rather irritated at myself for forgetting this as this was the conclusion I came to after my *last* test print!
Another takeaway relates to the supports; I went for 0.2mm tips, which did fine (as you can see, the figure below [the only one I removed - as it was rather hot in the garage and I was much too nervous snipping these off!), only lost his boot. Everything else, even the AK muzzle, remained intact. I will print the same figures again but with less supports (I have lowered my lift speed on my printer and I think that's yielding some promising results!) and perhaps with a 0.15m contact tip, except on the base's underside.
Next up we've the promised 3rd rate masts and, well, these were a bit of a disaster... First of all, somehow this incompetent boob managed to lose the most recent Blender Save in which he'd actually sculpted these (and so has spent much of the day redoing the job [admittedly better this time, though! But these prints are of the original prototype).
Second I really overdid it with the supports (a symptom of overcaution hammered into my mind by some harrowing experiences trying to print 28mm High Elf Spearmen; long sparsely-supported shafts are a printer's nightmare!); to the point that it was actually exceedingly impossible to remove the pieces. An attempt to remove the mainmast resulted in the fighting top railing being broken.
Given that I've since resculpted these and will need prints actually indicative of the real product, I'm leaving these on their spruey tomb...
So, conclusions? Less supports, thicker fighting top railings... But, hey, that's the point of prototyping! But in general I'm happy with how the pieces themselves actually look, and I think they'll be a real treat once painted up.
Finally (in terms of test prints, at least!) we've something that I hope will make a few of you rather happy - a 6mm ACW artillery test print! Again, though, it's a mixed bag. This time I'm not sure exactly what I did wrong, but the base of the piece seems to have "slipped", yet this is something that only appears to have happened on the lower layers. The gun itself most printed correctly, the lower portion that should have been touching the base (the bottom of the carriage and its wheels) just didn't print. It's bizarre.
As ever, I'm a designer first and an (amateur) printer second, so might some of you more seasoned vets know what could've happened here?
At least what *did* print seems to have printed correctly. One precaution I think I might take is adding a thin brace running under part of the length of the carriage so that it has more of a point of contact with the base underneath it, as I think it looks a bit thin and might've been ripped "up" by suction.
Anyway, this might not have been the happiest of updates, considering how much of a mixed bag it all was, but I'm hoping the conclusion might leave you reasonably happy! I had planned to work on the Cold War miniatures tomorrow but, given the results of these tests, I think I'll dedicate the first day of this working week to tying up loose ends. Therefore, time allowing, I'll try to:
-Sculpt and export the new sailsets for 1st, 3rd and 5th rates, though I can't promise I'll release them tomorrow (but I'll certainly try to get it done in the first half of the week!). I'll also want to run test prints so there are product pictures, as masts are something people will definitely want to see evidence of the quality of upfront!
I will also include a Blender file allowing people to export sails with their preferred orientations.
Work-in-progress 5th rate sails:
One last thing I'd like to say about sails/masts is that, if the kit raises more than $150, I will put in the work to also sculpt 2nd, 4th and 6th rate sets (which will be added to the kit as a free patch, with no change to the price [$9.99]). I apologise for being so mercenary about it, but it takes quite a lot of work to make these and, in general, most age of sail products uploaded straight to WG3D/MMF (and not Kickstarter) make about $30-50 over their lifespans.
-Continue work I already began yesterday on 6mm artillery crew in Sack Coats. People have been asking about getting 6mm ACW crews for yonks and I've been fobbing them off, given that progress is going well on Europe Asunder I thought I'd get these out!
-And, finally, as the lowest priority, I'll reconfigure the Motostrelki to print a little larger (perhaps 13mm in height), and with finer supports, and will get back to you with more test prints!
So, yeah, that'll hopefully mean two new kits coming your way next week!
Thanks very much for reading, guys, as said this is my first blog post here. In an effort to make things a bit more "official" and properly business-y, I'll be writing my larger updates on here and posting them to the Facebook group, but I'll still pause short snapshots over there. Do let me know what you think of the (still very much work-in-progress) site and blog and, as ever, happy wargaming!