Wednesday 31 October 2018

Tiny Terrain

I'm continually impressed by the level of detail my Ender 3 will give me with its stock 0.4mm nozzle.

This is one of the Ulvheim Ruins pieces I got from Thingiverse (didn't record the url, sorry) shrunk down to 20% for use with 6mm games.

The vehicle is my 1:285 model of the 1930s British Burford-Kegresse machine-gun carrier that I had printed in resin by Shapeways, and the 28mm figure is, as usual, Sergeant Measureby, for scale.

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Louca Giant #2 — WiP

I'm very tempted to paint him with a singlet tan-line.
I finally got around to printing the second of the pair of Duncan Louca giants I have. (Here's the first one).

It's scaled to 66%, and printed in eSun PLA+ black with Tom Tullis' FDG Ender 3 miniatures profile, but with a layer height of 0.08mm instead of 0.1mm.

I really like this pair of giants; they look very much as I've always imagined D&D hill giants to look: massively strong, but not gym-ripped, and moronically aggressive. Redneck skinhead giants.

Once the primer goes on, all the tiny printing flaws immediately leap out. I'm getting some very minor layer shifting from time to time, and there's one layer that looks under-extruded about half-way up his feet — it makes him look a bit like he's wearing those creepy toe-slippers. However, the print flaws are minor enough that they should pretty much disappear when the paint goes on.

Monday 29 October 2018

Flame Skull

I printed Miguel Zavala's Flame Skull, and put it on a clear acrylic flight stand. It's shown here with the ever-reliable Sergeant Measureby and his +3 Spear of 5mm Increments.

I struggle a bit with painting flames and hotness, like hot metal or lava, but I'm relatively happy with how this turned out.

I got a bit of stringing amongst the flame spikes, but I can't say that was unexpected.

Monday 22 October 2018

Turan I (with added rivetty goodness)

This is the version of the Turan I based on the same model as that in the previous post, but with rivets added.

They are monstrously out of scale of course, but nevertheless I do prefer it with rather than without. The rivets on the original vehicle were a fairly prominent feature.

Turan I (15mm)

This is a Hungarian Turan I of WWII in 1:100 scale, from a model by m_bergman. I've added some track pins to give the tracks a bit more visual interest, but otherwise the model is unchanged from his original design. The figure is a 15mm German from Battlefront.

I've also done and printed a version with some rivet detail as well. Whether it's a worth-while addition I'll find out when I get it painted, but I do like a good rivet on my tank.

With rivets, in the raw white PLA+.
One thing I can be sure of is that they will make painting the turret markings more difficult. Ah, the sacrifices one must make for one's art.

Thursday 18 October 2018

Toldi IIa (15mm)

This is the Hungarian Toldi IIa of WWII. Unfortunately I don't have any Hungarian infantry figures, so these Germans will have to do.

The tank was printed on my Ender-3 in PLA+ using an experimental Cura slicer profile, still being fine-tuned.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Fat Dragon Printing

I watched the most recent Fat Dragon 3d printing video, in which the guy (Tom Tulliss) stepped through his Cura settings and explained what each of them does, and why he chose the settings he did.

I'm not quite as ignorant as I was a couple of months ago, but nevertheless I found it quite illuminating. I thought I'd give his Ender 3 miniature-printing profile a try, to see how it compared with my own hodge-podge. I used one of the Fat Dragon skeletons as a test subject, as they print very reliably without supports.

The mini has been given a very light airbrushing with a pale grey primer so that it will photograph, but no other post-processing.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the profile, from what I see here. Improvements over my own profile are slight, but definite enough to encourage me to keep using it. Next I'll try it on a 15mm tank model (the other thing I print a lot) and see how it serves for that purpose.

Regrettably, at the time of writing YouTube has gone doolally, so I can't link directly to the video. I'll try again later.   The video is at


As I said I would, I tried the same profile on a 15mm tank, in this case a Hungarian Toldi II of WWII.

 At first glance, it looks OK. I certainly got much, much less stringing than I do with my own Cura profile.

However, all is not well. Not completely, at any rate.
Shell separation

In several places I got significant separation between the shell walls and top layers.

That may be for a number of reasons; for a start, this is printed at a much lower temperature than the recommended range for eSun PLA+ (195° rather than the 205° to 225° recommended by the manufacturer). Also, I think there's a shell overlap option in Cura that it might be worth looking at, if I can find it again.

I shall have to make a little test model to dial in this stuff, something that takes significantly less than 5½ hours per iteration to print.

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Duncan Louca's demons, Part Tres

This is the third of three big-mouth demons from a set by Duncan Louca.

I tried a much more chaotic colour scheme on this one than I did on the first two, and I can't really say that it's a great success. However, inertia will no doubt keep it this way forever now.

Monday 15 October 2018

Duncan Louca's Demons, Part Deux

This is the second of Duncan Louca's set of three demons with exceptionally large mouths that I've painted.

I like his sculpts a lot.

This has been printed on my Ender 3 at 0.08mm in PLA.

Mr Blobby

Model by Franklin Burger:
I found this model somewhere on the internet, alone and uncredited, so I have no idea who made it or what it is or anything. People have suggested that it's a Kirby, whatever that is, with a human face pasted on.

I like it, and I'll print about a dozen of them, and make up some stats to use them in my D&D campaign in some way.

The original model was only about 1.5mm tall, so I've rescaled it by 1500% to roughly 20mm.

Friday 12 October 2018

Sculpting in Blender
I'm in the process of teaching myself a little bit about digital sculpting in Blender. This is the latest fruit of my digital loins.

This poor guy got chained up and stuck in a hole for no other reason than that I failed to plan ahead to making a body and limbs for him. I probably could cobble something together by stretching and moulding from its base, but it wouldn't be ideal.

I've put the model on Thingiverse, both as it's seen here, and just as the bust. I strongly suspect that the chained up version would be quite tricky to print successfully; those chain links are bound to be problematic.

Just the bust
Printed on my Ender-3
at 0.08mm layer height
in eSun white PLA+

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Airbrush Stand – Complete

Here is my airbrush stand, in all its 3d-printed and wooden glory. The next thing will be to get quick-release hose couplings for them all, though that may be a while away.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Airbrush Stands

The STL for this one, for the Badger 105, is at
I have several airbrushes, each of which excels in their own particular realm, but swapping from one to the other is slightly inconvenient.

They're stored safely in a nice rosewood box, which is attractive, but doesn't keep the airbrushes easily to hand.

So, I'm in the process of designing and printing stands for them. Each one has a slightly different geometry, so a one-size-fits-all solution isn't going to work all that well.

This is the first one off the printer, for my Badger 105 Patriot, the workhorse of my stable. I'm just waiting for some replacement parts for it at the moment, but normally it's the brush I go to for just about everything.

So far I have designs for the following:

Badger 200

Badger 200

Here's the stand for the single-action Badger 200.

I don't use this airbrush a great deal, but it's a good example of its type, and quite cheap. It would be a good airbrush for a beginner who's a bit intimidated by double-action brushes.

Here's a stand for the Badger Krome, a truly superb airbrush, though possibly not the best choice for a beginner.

I've enlarged the nose of the stand slightly to fit the ugly rubber cap that is supplied with the airbrush, the only thing about it I don't like.

Badger used to supply very nice nickel-plated brass caps for their airbrushes, which both looked nicer and stayed on better. However, this horrible thing is what we get these days, so I've accommodated it.

The cap can be left on the airbrush, or it can be pushed into the nose of the stand and just act as a soft collar within the stand to further protect the tip of the airbrush when it's not being used.

The STL is available at

It might also fit the Sotar 20:20, but I don't know for sure because the Sotar 20:20 I ordered and paid for from Midwest Airbrush Supply* more than a year and a half ago never arrived, and they've been pretty much uncontactable about it. (Do you detect just a teensy hint of bitterness?)
* NOTE: I'm not going to link to the bastards because I don't want to inadvertently send any business their way. Fuck them.

This is the last of them, for the moment at least, a stand for the Paasche Talon.

I seldom use this airbrush as I've found it to be something of a disappointment in terms of its build quality. Its trigger and valve tends to stick, and the cup is so large that it obscures the view if I try any close-in work with it. If I use it at all now, it's just for coarse work like broad terrain painting.

The STL for this stand is on Thingiverse at

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Zenithal Priming

There is a miniatures-painting technique that has become quite common these days, called zenithal priming.

It's aim is to provide a priming layer of under-painting with highlights and shadows already in place, and this is achieved quite simply.

The figure is first primed entirely in black, and then a lighter colour, usually pure white, is sprayed down on to it at a slight angle from the vertical. The areas sheltered from the spray remain black, while the upper surfaces become white, with gentle gradations of tone between them. Personally, I prefer to finish with a light over-spray of white at a much lower angle to lighten the bulk of shadows, leaving pure black only in those areas that would be completely shadowed.

The ideal tool for this is, of course, the airbrush, but it can be done with aerosol can paints. The spray cans produce a much coarser spray; the individual droplets of paint are larger, so the resulting under-painting will appear much more granular.

It can also be done entirely by hand with a brush, though of course that is a much more labour-intensive method. It's a technique that is much used by picture painters who want to establish the tonal masses of their composition before they start applying colour.

The technique really shows its value when speed-painting using transparent inks and glazes, but it's also very useful when painting with opaque colours because the tonal variation really accentuates the contours and surface details of a miniature, which makes it easier to plan and predict how paint can be applied.

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Big Mouth Big Tongue

This is a model by Duncan Louca, one of a set of three demons.

I've printed it at 0.08mm in PLA, scaled at 150% which brings it up to about 50mm tall. I added a base of my own, as the models are provided baseless.

This is the same model, but printed at 100%.

I had to re-print its left arm and do a bit of surgery, as the first print had a support failure which left it without a left hand-claw-tentacle-thing.