Thursday 12 August 2021

Ships from Printable Scenery


Our AD&D group are about to take to the high seas, and that being the case, I thought it might be useful to print a couple of ships.

They're both from Printable Scenery; the top one is their fluyt, a small square-rigged merchant ship of Dutch origin, and the bottom is a lateen-rigged dhow, an all-purpose Arabic type used from the North African coast right over to India and beyond. I haven't given them any masts or sails, because they'd just get in the way in their use as gaming terrain. We'll just have to imagine masts and sails. I also haven't given them any cannon, since I don't hold with those sorts of shenanigans in my AD&D games. That's what wizards are for.

They've both been printed on my Ender 3 in eSun PLA. The figures are various 28mm fantasy miniatures; I don't have much in the way of actual sailor-men, though I think I've got a few pirates from the last Reaper Kickstarter I went in for; I shall have to dig them out. 

2021-08-16: And More

And now, some more.

The white-primed ones are, from left to right, a brig, a couple of 8-oar longboats, and a skiff.

I still have a sloop and a frigate to print.

I've tried out some masts on the skiff. They're made from 4mm and 6mm dowels.

Even without any other rigging, some simple masts go a long way to making the boats look more like sailing vessels, and they shouldn't impede the playability of the models to any great extent. Additionally, for those ships that have fighting tops, they'd actually be present on the model rather than having to represent them off to the side or something.

The down-side is that installing the masts is going to be kind of a pain in the arse.

2021-08-19: Sloop

Here we have the sloop, a single-masted vessel, 300mm (about a foot) long, not including the bowsprit.

Nearly done with the actual 3d printing, just the frigate to go. Apart from that, it will all be just messing about with bits of dowel and some rudimentary rigging.

And later that day...

The first two sections of the frigate have completed printing.

It's a rather patchwork affair, as I ran out of the black filament and swapped over to finish off a spool of this light blue: in truth, that wasn't the best idea as that blue is pretty bad filament, and its inter-layer bonding is not great, resulting in a rather weak print. I haven't had great success with any coloured filaments at all apart from white, grey and black.

However, it will probably do okay for this purpose, though I've swapped it out for some grey PLA+ for the stern component.

The stern will take as long to print as these two pieces together; about a day and a half.

2021-08-21: the Brig

In scale, this would be a pretty tiny brig. The crew complement of a Napoleonic brig-of-war was about 130 men, and cramming 130 28mm figures on to this model would be challenging, to say the least.

2021-08-22: the Frigate

Now the frigate is finally finished printing, and a good amount of time it took too. It doesn't look all that much bigger than the little brig beside it, but it is longer, broader, and much taller, and whereas the brig's two components took about a day to print, the frigate's three components took more like two and a half days.

I've got it primed and pretty much ready for painting, but when that will happen I don't know — I'm getting kind of sick of these ships now.

Saturday 7 August 2021



The basis of this model is an old sculpt of Miguel Zavala's, that I have taken into Blender and sculpted a bit to add detail. He's actually updated his basilisk model since this one was originally designed, so it wasn't really a necessary job, but it gave me a bit more experience at organic sculpting in Blender, so that's all to the good.

The skin scale texture is a bit more even than I would have liked, and the limbs could have done with some more muscle and skin-fold definition, but never mind. It will do.

The thing's face reminds me of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, though nastier.