Friday, May 22, 2020

Mek Life Crises - The Quarantina Mek Off

Hi All,

I painted an actual model the other day, I think my first of the year. A bunch of us were doing our usual trash talking and it devolved into Bulldoglopez calling out Captain Crooks to build a Mek in two weeks.

I had bought this Mega-Gargant off of Blue in VT as I got excited to go to BOYL 2019 and play some Epic. Unfortunately the Mega-Gargant was considered too OP and I had to build the one I ended up using.

I primed it using the airbrush. I think I'm getting the hang of it. At some point I may graduate from priming and varnishing to actually painting with it, but not yet.

I was convinced that I had to keep this unassembled in order to paint it. I think I was mostly right, but I did have the usual problems fitting it back together once painted. Just some very minor boring out of holes and shaving away a little bit of the shoulder crane.

Anyway, thanks for looking and go check out the really cool stuff the other guys did over at the Scale Creep blog here.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Simple SciFi Building

Hi All,

Hope that stay at home protocols have been seeing you stay well. We're in the last 5 days or so of school.

I made some "improvements" to my printer that ended up not working for me, so I reverted back except I kept my Estep calibration.

In the meantime Cura 4.6 has been released and Tom Tullis of Fat Dragon Games has released new Cura profiles for terrain and miniatures.

I've since printed the missing walls. I think I'm going to turn this into a gun shop. I'll need to print out those things from the Tycho Streets and Bazaar set.

I've really been knocking my head against how to print this building out. There are a lot of overhangs that just don't print right for me. Part of the problem was the mods I made, but I also just can't figure out the best way to print it. I may just print the basic walls and then glue scifi bits to them. We shall see.

In the meantime I've finished painting all the dungeon tiles and hope to be tricking my wife and daughter into playing AHQ with us soon. One thing that is holding me up is I feel like I need to have some good female miniatures for them to use to feel more invested. Sadly I don't have very many and certainly not very many painted up.

Anyway, I hope to post a little more regularly and get back to checking in with your blogs, I've been a bad blogger for awhile now.

Happy hobbying.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Hi All,

One of the side effects of the covid-19 stay at home guidelines is that we've been playing a lot more games as a family.

It is also coinciding with a class my son is finishing at school called Game On!

He is assigned to play a few games each week and then write a review of sorts about them. This week is strategy week.

Here are a few of the games we've played over the last few weeks.

I played it once back in the day but never owned a copy until the re-release a few years ago. I never thought my wife and daughter would play, but I sold them on it as they would be able to gang up on me after I beat them at Risk earlier in the month. They beat me in about 6 turns. I think I yelled "Wolverines!" at least once.

I've only played this a couple of times before and never played the original. It's pretty fun. I think my son enjoyed this one because he legit beat me as the Union.

I've probably had this game since 1984 and I'm hard pressed to remember if I actually ever played this game with anybody before. I played it by myself quite a bit. My son especially likes the plastic coins.

Anybody else breaking out some classics?

Thanks for looking.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Dangerous Dungeon Delvers

Hi All,

Just a little glamour shot of a few figures I had handy and some of the dungeon tiles I printed.

I've been alternately using the airbrush or brush for priming and like them better primed black.

Many of these were varnished and used for the photo. I've been using the airbrush to varnish them. Again to learn how to use the airbrush.

Just a little shot of the production line. Current process. Base coat black. Drybrush Charcoal, Hippo Grey, Rainy Grey. Spot drybrush Burnt Sienna and Territorial Beige. Sponge on Forest Green then Slate Green. Done. All of the paints are Delta Ceramcoat except for The Black and Slate Green, which are Americana (Or Vallejo Black Primer).

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Hobby Update: Social Distancing Style

Hi All,

I realized that it's been awhile so I thought I'd jump in and give you an update of sorts. It's been a whirlwind of ups and downs as cabin fever sets in and things seem to be not working at times.

First, here's the progress on my Worldographer map.

I know, you're probably asking yourself "isn't this the same exact map he showed last time?" Yes and no. I went for the full map being delineated by the smallest hex size I wanted to use. So each hex generated by the program is 6 miles across. All of the coastlines and rivers are done as polygons to get the shapes I wanted. You can see I've put in the border of Monfel in the upper Left area. It more or less follows the area of the hexes from the hand drawn map.

Once I get in more of the borders and settlement I can start tweaking the boundaries and terrain. For instance I need a lot more tributaries for those rivers.

I've been running into a weird issue where I seem to be overloading the program and it will tell me I'm out of memory. I can't save of export or anything. Closing and restarting seems to fix it, so I just try to save my work often.

3d Printing has been going apace. I had a lot of trouble transitioning to the glass bed. It turned out that I needed to lower my bed temperature from 50C to 40C and use glue stick to get prints that didn't come off in the middle of the print, not stick altogether or warp horribly as the layers cooled at different rates. I also adjust some parameters of when the cooling fan came on, but I think bed temp was more important. The main thing is, there is a ton of advice out there and you have to be willing to try different things to find what works for you. Just because other people say xyz works for them it may not work for you.

One of the things I did was print some upgrades for my Ender 3. I found all of them on thingiverse here.

The vent fan cover redirects the airflow so it is not going straight up at the bottom of the left side of the bed.

The filament guide seems to help with unspooling the filament so you are no longer pulling straight down.

I found this tool rack very helpful. As you can see, I'm sort of a slob. Now I can find all the tools when I need them. As long as I put them back in the organizer.

Lastly, I printed this filament guide. As you can see, I ran out of Black filament before printing it. Oh well. I printed it at 0.2mm, so that's why it may look a little rough. It's hard to see in the picture, but I did wear a groove in the plastic around where the filament goes into the feed. I din't see it until after I had switched to grey filament. Hopefully this guide will fix that so it doesn't continue to happen.

Hope this helps you if you're having trouble with your printing projects.

Thanks for looking and commenting.

Monday, March 30, 2020

3d Printapalooza

Hi All,

Hope your social distancing is going well. Mine has been ok. As usual a lot going on, but not a lot finished. I'm hoping that changes soon.

As mentioned in the title, I've pretty much been printing non stop since my last post.

I found out what happens when you have really, really good adhesion to the print bed. A little super glue fixed that right up.

My order of replacement bed parts came in sooner than expected. If you order from Amazon these days you can get some pretty long estimated delivery times for some items. Pictured above are the super skinny replacement mat, the glass plate I was going to upgrade to, and the stock binder clip that holds neither due to the thickness differences from the stock mat. Someone on facebook suggested Swiss Frame clips, so I have some on order. Later someone suggested painters tape to hold it and I wondered why I didn't think of it. Currently I'm printing with the skinny mat on top of the stock mat that I accidentally carved a chunk out of trying to pry my prints up.

I've been having issues painting these. I decided to take this opportunity to learn how to use the airbrush. It's going ok.

I've gone through my first kilogram of filament and moved on to the black filament. I found out that grey is the cheapest option of all, so I have 2 more spools on their way. As you can see I've also gotten bolder with my prints. I'm now printing all 6 wall variations at one time. Cura 4.5 said it would take just over 21 hours, but it has been taking about 19.5. I did try to weld the black to the white, but my join popped apart once it got to the filament feed. Fortunately I was printing clips and the print finished with about a foot of white filament to spare. That's an acceptable loss to me.

I also stumbled upon Dungeon Print Studio for helping me plan out what to print. Since I want to use these for Advanced Heroquest, I figured I'd try my hand at making some of the quest levels for The Shattered Amulet Campaign. It took some fudging as AHQ has some different dimensions than the Fat Dragon tiles. But I think I got it pretty well. The cool thing about this site is it also has other Fat Dragon Sets as well as other manufacturers models so you can plan out a lot of stuff. It then lets you print out a list of parts you need to print. Pretty cool. The one down side, more of a bummer really, is that I found out that the Fat Dragon space tiles I bought are not really going to work for Space Hulk. At least not without some modifications that I am not able to make at this moment

And finally, I'd like to welcome XarfaiEngel to the blog.

Thanks for looking, hope you are making headway into your miniature piles.

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.


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