Saturday, March 14, 2020

Ender 3 - Doing it wrong until you get it right

Hi All,

Well it took a lot of trying and setting, and re-setting things on the Creality Ender-3, but I managed to get my first print done.

I thought, perhaps a little naively, that I could set it up out of the box and let it rip. It comes partially assembled and putting it together has a very IKEA furniture feel about it.

If you take the plunge I highly recommend the Official Facebook Group here. In the files section is an extensive guide for assembling and tweaking your Ender-3, written by Luke Hatfield. Also lots of people on the group who can give you help if you show them pictures of what is going on.

I also highly recommend Chuck Hellebuyck's Filament Friday (CHEP) youtube channel here, specifically this video with the links to his gcode for bed leveling and test printing to check the bed level.

The first thing I did wrong was pinch the z-limit wire under the vertical support beam. I had tried to hold it out of the way multiple times while assembling and didn't realize I had let it slip under once again. I pancaked the wire pretty bad in two places, fortunately for me it still works. I would advise taping it well out of the way while assembling.

The next problem I had was the cross beam that holds the print head. I had a 6mm difference between the left and right sides. CHEP talks about adjusting the left side and I did that about 5 times and couldn't get it right. Finally I loosened and re-tightened the right and got it straighter, fixing the difference to within 2mm.

I then ran the CHEP bed level, using a post it to set the nozzle height (not shown). Then I ran the test. Success! I ran my fingers over the corners to see if it was sticking to the bed. I then peeled that off and set a print I found on thingiverse to print.

I probably should have run the bed level code again. The lighter look of the line on the right seems to indicate the bed is too high on that side.

But I let it run and ended up with a pretty good first print in a little under an hour and a half.

I had some trouble getting the print off the print bed. The stock scraper was a tad too thick to get under a corner, but I had this tool for slicing clay and sculpey and it worked a treat.

I think I'm going to print up some more bits for making up sci-fi buildings. I've also got some Fat Dragon Games stuff for making dungeon tiles and Space Ship tiles I'm looking forward to trying out.

Thanks for looking, and I hope you can learn something from my folly.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Secure and Hold Carthag - A Star Breach battle report

Hi All,

  Things have not been great on the hobby front, but rather than bore you with the details I've just stopped posting unless I have something positive/finished to share.

  One such thing is the battle report for a game of Star Breach we played on Leap Day at a local game store in the Metro Phoenix area. We had a good time and met some of the other other local guys.

  Thanks to Brendan Carrion for setting up another meetup. We're hoping to be out at Arizona Game fair later this month, but are playing things by ear due to this Corona Virus thing.

Anyway, here's the game.

  Aidan and I tag teamed this game and, as can be seen from the results, had a swath of horrible rolls right through the middle of the game. Still it was good to finally get a game in. I also finally got the list editor for Star Breach working in Battle Scribe. I'll detail that in a subsequent post. If I'd thought about it, I would have posted about that sooner.

  It may be time to hang up the old IG, they have died spectacularly in just about every game I've fielded them in. We shall see. I feel the need for a big, stompy robot. I like Star Breach, but I'll have to think on a better way to track hits. The dials are a way to do that, but they look clunky next to 28mm figures in my opinion. The same with the D10's. Also a lot of modifiers to try and remember, but I think that will go better with more games under our belt.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

My Map Quest.

Hi All,

I know, this map thing.

Let's just refresh in our minds what we're talking about.

Here's the scan and rebuild of the Mighty Empires tile map that I made with my gaming buddy almost 30 years ago.

This was my hand drawn interpretation that I colored in. I made lots of xeroxes of the base map and we used it for a play by mail campaign.

As I have shown, many many times on this blog, I've been trying to input this into Worldographer and get a usable hex map that I can drill down into. So I did this.

This is just one section of the the whole map that I input into the program. You can see I'm using the trace underlay feature and doing 4 hexes to one from the paper map. My idea was to make a Kingdom level map, where each hex is about 6miles. One day of travel for a large army across wilderness. Actually 6 miles is a measurement from Adventure, Conqueror, King and it correlates fairly well with 5 mile breakdown from Charles S Grant's Wargame Campaigns. The problem is that the major cities were way too close together at this scale.

After faffing about with trying to copy this map into one up a layer of size, I gave up and bit the bullet. I decided to redo the map from scratch increasing the scale of my paper map hex by 4. So 16 6mile hexes instead of 4 per paper map hex.

I almost didn't do it, I have a long history of getting frustrated with making this map, but I let my stubbornness take over. Originally I had dreaded having to go back in, hex by hex for a 208 hex square map instead of the original 52. Then I realized there was a paint bucket function. Duh!

So, still a fair amount of work, but much quicker at the moment.

Not bad. I filled in all the Grassland and three colors of ocean. Just did it here and there when I had time during the week. The plan is to fill in all the basic terrain types. Plains, Forests, Hills, Mountains and then massage the individual hexes as I drill down into the individual political divisions.

I also finally started putting together my unit of Skaven Slaves. I'll post more on that another time.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Hobby Update, February 2020

Hi All,

Sorry to have been absent from the bloggisphere for so long, it was not my intention but life sometimes gets in the way. My hobby, such as it is, has become more of a background thing as I am trying to manage my son and his growing teen angst about things.

One of the hardest things about parenthood has been feeling unable to effectively help my children overcome the issues of what I see as my worst traits. Wanting my kids to feel better about themselves than I ever did/do. But anyway, as one of my friends put it "life is managed failure." It sounded more uplifting when he said it.

Enough with the downer part.

While I haven't done a whole lot, I have played a few sessions of WFRP. Our game master has his own blog, It always rains in Nuln, and wrote a nice piece talking about our party of deceased characters from when I joined the group that is still currently playing. You can read it here.

If you are interested in hearing our scintillating live play you can find it here. Just look for the Thousand Thrones.

I am still collecting bits and pieces of my Skaven force, trying to fill the odd gaps in what I will loosely call a collection. I also found the Skavenblight Scramblers models I'd buried and partially forgotten about, so I'll be adding them to the queue. If only I could find my Ratskins, year of the Rat queue would be complete.

I've also gotten a fire under my ass to get back to my Mighty Empires campaign. I know, I know, I've been talking about this for years. I made some progress on my map but realized it was at the wrong scale after finding and reading trough (again?) Charles Grant's Wargame Campaigns. I'm still trying to trace my old hex map into Worldographer and got it pretty well sorted before I realized it wouldn't work at the scale I built it at. I almost shelved it again, but I'm going to keep on plugging away now that I have a pretty clear picture of the path forward. I'll try and share that more moving forward.

As for actual paint on miniatures, I'm not sure what the hold up really is. I'm really struggling with feeling like I have the time and space to get cracking. Last years effort to move the hobby and try to be more engaged with the family while doing so didn't really work. I got the lighting in the garage sorted, but it is still a horrible mess in there. I'm still trying to dig things out.

I've also been thinking about trying different techniques to help me get a little faster in putting out models. If I can't lower the indecisiveness time, I can at least make the actual painting go smoother.

Anyhow. I'll try to do better and also get back to reading and commenting on other hobby blogs.

Paint 'em if you got 'em.

Peace out!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Cataloging the Collection: Skaven

Hi All,

Not a lot of progress on the Skaven Army to show you. What I have been doing is trying to identify and catalog what I currently have and add figures in what appear to be glaring holes in my collection.

I started off by trawling through catalog pages and White Dwarf adverts on Basically the first place I look when I want to figure out what a figure is. I stayed away from the CCM Wiki as I was pretty sure I didn't really have any rare figures.

Finally I stumbled upon a "Skaven collector's guide" by Tristram Evans that seemed to have all of the info collated together. I won't post a direct link as I don't want it to be pulled down. It shouldn't be too hard to find.

So, what do I have?

The Rat on the right.

 This one has 1985 stamped on the bottom.

2 of these, also stamped 1985

2 of these

1 of these on its way

I'm pretty sure I have two of these, but I can't locate them.

 I have 32 of these. Some broken, missing a few shields and heads.

 Just one of these.
 14 of these. 

I have one on its way.

 6 of these.

4 of these.

7 of these.

5 of these.

 1 of these.

1 of these.

1 of these.

1 of these.

2 of these.

2 of these.

6 of these.

 2 of these.

3 of these.

1 of these.

 2 of these.

1 of these. He was lonely without Boneripper.

1 of these.

1 of these. This is already painted and based. I'm not sure if I'll leave it as is or do something to match it to my style.

1 of these. Stamped 2001.

1 of these.

5 of these. These next guys all have the halberds mixed up.

7 of these.

1 of these.

2 of these.

2 of these as Standard bearers and another 5 of this model armed with Halberds.

So glaringly no Slaves, Jezzails, Wind Globes, Warp Fire Throwers or Plague Censer bearers. I also don't have any Packmasters or Rat Ogres, I'm working on that.

I also have the Isle of Blood set from the box that includes. 1 Skaven Warlord, 1 Skaven Warlock Engineer, 40 Skaven Clanrats, 1 Skaven Master Moulder (Painted but misplaced), 2 Skaven Rat Ogres (Painted. You saw them.),  1 Skaven Warp Fire Thrower, 1 Skaven Poison Wind Mortar. These are all plastics, but they look nice I think.

Kind of a long post, but it's helping me get my head around the collection.

Welcome to Matt Williamson and Jon Garrad.

Happy Hobbying.


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