Thursday 30 March 2023

Depth of Field Demonstration

What follows is a series of photographs to demonstrate the effect of aperture (f-stop) on depth of field, i.e., the area in which the image is sharp.

All the photos have been taken with the point of focus being on the rebel pilot in red in the middle, and with automatic exposure. They start with an aperture of f-36, the smallest aperture my Nikon DSLR is presently capable of, and run through in standard aperture steps to f-5.3, the largest aperture I can manage with this lens. The camera will actually handle intermediate aperture steps as well, but for demonstration purposes these eight images will be sufficient.

Note: the photos were taken using a multi-area focusing system, and strictly speaking I should have used spot metering, centered precisely on the Red Dude. However, these will have to do as I am too lazy to repeat it all.

The miniatures are WotC Star Wars pre-paints, and are staggered at one inch (25mm) intervals. The camera's focal plane (i.e. the image sensor) was about 750mm from the focal point (i.e. the guy in red).

Click on the photos to see them at full size (or as large as your screen allows).

Saturday 25 March 2023

Painted Diana


I've painted up my 3d-printed SdKfz 6/3 Diana, and added some tarpaulin hoops from copper wire.

Friday 24 March 2023

SdKfz 6/3 "Diana"

I finished and test-printed my 1:100 (15mm) model of the SdKfz 6/3 "Diana", and put it up at

It's a one-piece model, best for resin printing — it would be a pretty challenging FDM print I would think. It should rescale right up to 1:56 (28mm) without any issues, but I doubt that it would scale down any further.

I've offered it in two versions: one with and one without a driver. I've provided no other crew figures (the Diana originally had a crew of six).

Saturday 18 March 2023

Call of Cthulhu


I've ordered myself a copy of the 7th edition of the venerable Call of Cthulhu game by Chaosium, because everyone should have at least one version of this game in their RPG collection.

I ordered it from MightyApe, but it will take a while for it to get here, since they list it as "available" but not "in stock". So presumably it will have to come from Foreign parts. I'm expecting something on the order of six weeks, but there's really no urgency.

Note: It arrived today, March 24th 2023. Quite a lot quicker than I expected.

If I desperately wanted to run a CoC game, I could do it with material I have at hand, since I now have my home-made copy of Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying, which has all the necessary rules information, and I have plenty of 1920s Cthulhoid resource material that I've collected over the years.

However, I'm in no particular hurry, though I confess I do like Call of Cthulhu thematically. My personal preference though is that the roleplaying game be considerably less racist than H.P. Lovecraft's actual writings.

I also have a copy of the D20 version of Call of Cthulhu that I bought years and years ago. But of all the rules systems in existence, I think that D20 is one of the least appropriate for gaming in a Lovecraftian milieu.

Investigators should be puny creatures who would be driven mad before being crushed and consumed by a shoggoth, not superheroes who can confidently expect that they can just open up with their shotguns and tommy-guns and blow that shoggoth to smithereens, after which they say something like "Oof, I took nearly twenty hit-points damage from that obscene horror from beyond. Owie!"

Update: 2023-03-30

I've ordered a copy of Pulp Cthulhu for some Indiana Jonesish gaming, should that float our collective boat.

Apparently it allows for some sturdier Investigators and more pulpish rip-roaring derring-do, which might or might not be a good thing.

We shall see. That's the sort thing that I thought made CoCd20 so un-CoC-like, but if we use it primary for Pulpish action rather than Cthulhoid horror, it'll probably be okay.

Update 2023-05-12

In my idle poking around things CoC-ish, I find that Chaosium has updated the massive "Masks of Nyarlathotep" campaign to a shiny three-volume full colour hardback edition for 7th edition.

That's all very nice, but the down-side is that it costs a bit over $200, plus whatever they'll add for P&P.

Fortunately, CoC being as it is, the old version is easily playable with the latest edition of the rules if I ever feel the urge to commit to literally years of game play.

(I would like the new and shiny version, but maybe not $200-300 worth.)

Thursday 16 March 2023



I printed some squigs that I got from a guy on Cults3d called EmanG. These are the first two I've finished painting.

I don't really know anything much about Warhammer, so I have only the faintest idea what squigs are supposed to be.

The fighter is a 32mm figure from Fat Dragon Games; it was a freebie they gave out with their newsletter one month.

Monday 13 March 2023

Barrels Galore


I printed and painted some 28mm scale barrels, because barrels will always come in handy.

There are 36 of them.

I was thinking, as I put them away into storage, that the resources available to us now for tabletop miniatures gaming would have been absolutely inconceivable when I first started playing roleplaying games in 1981.

Now I can produce 36 in-scale barrels on a whim; back then it's the sort of thing I could only have achieved if I had money pouring out the wazoo. Which I seriously did not.

Saturday 11 March 2023

New FDG Bits

I backed the recent Kickstarter by Fat Dragon Games, and today they started sending out links to the STL files for the new stuff. This openable dungeon door is the first of them that I've printed and painted.

One thing about this piece, with its rather narrow base, is that when it's open the weight of the door tends to pull it over. That will probably be less apparent when it has other floor tiles next to it to rest on.

I've trimmed off most of the base, since I don't use clips and things to hold everything together. I find that securing everything together slows setup enormously, and also print times for the trimmed versions are somewhat faster.

The new tiles are half-height (i.e. low walls), which I'm much more likely to use, since they make handling miniatures much easier than the full-height versions.

Next Day:

I printed a bulk lot of door pieces, and one of the doors fell over about two thirds of the way through and so was incomplete.

I whipped up a barred grill top piece and glued it on to the incomplete door, and hey presto, fixed.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Terrain, Ensmallened and Tinified

 This is one of Printable Scenery's 3-piece 28mm terrain pieces that I've joined together digitally, solidified, and rescaled to a 6mm size. It's ended up about an inch long, and printed on my Ender 3 in eSun black PLA+.

This was an experimental piece to see if pieces like this for 6mm wargaming would be worth printing by FDM, and overall I'd say it's a definite success. There's some detail missing in the shutters, but the roof tile and brick textures show up well.

Print times are an issue though. This was printed at 0.1mm, and it took quite a while — printing a whole wargames table of houses would take me a week or two at least.

For that reason, and with the side effect of giving me better detail resolution, I'd be better off filling up the build plate of my Mars Pro and printing six or nine at a time. I'd have to hollow it out to save on resin, but that would be no big deal.

Tuesday 7 March 2023



I've spent the last couple of days making some new shelves (the small rimu shelves standing on top of the still small but larger pine shelves) so that I can reorganise Roleplaying Corner.

This is not all of my roleplaying books by a long chalk, but they're all of the ones I consider useful to have right at hand.

Sunday 5 March 2023

Bob Semple Redesign

I've begun the process of redesigning my 15mm (1:100) "Bob Semple" tank to make it easier to print in FDM.

I got this model printed for me by Shapeways years ago, but I've never got around to printing one on my own machine, so this is it. I have put it up on wargaming3d at and I'll update that entry with these new files.

I've split it into six components, and added locating sockets to the hull and the turret sized for the use of short lengths of 1.75mm printer filament as pins.

Next up: clean-up and assembly of the newly printed parts. The excitement mounts.

The top and bottom of the hull are glued together first. Short lengths of filament, about 10mm long, are used as locating pins.

The pieces warped ever so slightly on the heated printer platen, so the join will need a little bit of filling, but I don't think it will be all that noticeable on the finished piece.

The running gear goes on next. The hull is already provided with axles, and the track modules with sockets for them, so they go on easy-peasy.

The turret and the cylinder that keeps it in place on the hull (and provides a socket for a 6x1mm magnet) is joined together in the same fashion as the hull sections.

The locating peg ensures that the turret post is exactly centred on the turret base.

And that's it, all done and ready for painting.

Those Japanese invaders better watch out now!

Note: while the Bob Semple's turret was clearly intended to rotate freely, it's actually unclear whether any kind of rotation mechanism was ever installed. The beast never saw action (thankfully for the crews) and as a civilian morale builder it never really needed such luxuries.

Thursday 2 March 2023

US Half-tracks

Some photos Piers Brand posted earlier today on his Frontline WW2 Wargaming Facebook page, of US half-tracks (and various other vehicles) in North Africa, prompted me to print this little guy, a pair of models of M3 half-tracks, published on Thingiverse by a chap called WindhamGraves. I printed them mainly because I have an idea for how to paint on impromptu mud camo, and I want to see how it turns out.

One model is designed and optimised for FDM printing, while the other is for resin. The resin model (the white one, the third of the photos) is less trouble to get to an initial modelling stage as it's a single-piece print, whereas the FDM model  prints as parts of a kit that need to be assembled. Neither of them come with any crew figures, so I'll have to source some elsewhere.

FDM printed kit parts, still on the printer platen
FDM kit assembled
Resin print

In spite of the lower level of surface detail that FDM is capable of, I really prefer it for this model, perhaps because I'm just not very good at resin printing. Maybe it's the resin I'm using, maybe it's my machine settings, or maybe a combination of both, but I find that my resin prints tend not to be very dimensionally reliable, and I tend to get quite a bit of warping of components.

The FDM kit model has no locating lugs or sockets, so it has to be assembled pretty much by eye. It also has no instructions, so a bit of thought is required before charging ahead, to identify all the components and figure out what attaches where.

I'm not sure how sturdy the FDM kit will be in play, as it's all glued together with CA glue — not notoriously strong against shear forces. Unfortunately I know of no solvent for PLA filament that isn't ferociously toxic, so I can't weld everything together.

Both models are going to need a huge amount of stowage.