3D Printed Miniatures – Some Initial Tests
Having followed Danny H, the 3D Printed Tabletop DM on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr_uz-iWzyR1VJNlN-E1y7w) almost since he began, I thought it was about time I had another go at doing some gaming miniatures rather than my usual tabletop scenery. Following the advice in the Tabletop 3D Printing Guild Facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/groups/892975347554507/?source_id=169821116961583), I decided to use the two free demo files from HeroForge.com as my test subjects. The female Explorer and the male Paladin.
Initially, I’m just printing them on my Creality CR-10 in PLA using the ‘Miniatures’ settings in Chris Elkin’s Simplify3D profile (available from the CR-10 Printer User Group on Facebook). Later, I’ll try them on my other machines, and again on the CR-10 but using a Cura profile (which will be new to me) on the CR-10 and the soon-to-arrive Creality Ender 3.
First up is the female Explorer figure. After loading the file into Simplify3D, placing it base down on the build plate and adjusting the auto-support setting down from 4.5mm to 1.5mm, I added a couple of extra supports that the auto settings had missed. I find that it’s always a good idea to give it an all-around once over eyeball first before committing it to slice since S3D can be lazy at times when it comes to placing supports. I saved the .gcode off to a micro-SD card after slicing the file - S3D claimed it would take 1 hour 28 minutes to print.
BTW, it lied.
After setting the print away on the CR-10, two hours 3 minutes later I was presented with this.
Buried amongst that mass of plastic there is (hopefully) an acceptable mini.
Taking it off the print bed and over to the work area, I examine the results in closer detail. Nothing seems wonky or broken. We shall see once I begin to cut away the support material.
And here she is.
That pile of shredded junk next to her is the removed support material. It took about five minutes to free her up, making sure not to either (a) be too heavy-handed and apply too much pressure in the wrong place, and (b) be too snip-happy with the side cutters and trim away anything that wasn’t actually meant to be cut off!
Been there before in both cases…
Here’s the back of the figure. She still needs a bit of touching up (oo-er, missus!) to get rid of some small defects and apart from the lower corner of her book and the bottom edge of her rear armour, I can’t immediately spot anything that’s gone awry.
We’ll see what the final results look like once she’s been painted and I’ll compare her to the other ones from my other printers.
This is the male Paladin figure after removal from the CR-10 build plate. Same settings as used on the Female Explorer above. Simplify3D said 1 hour 32 minutes, but the actual time it took was 2 hours 3 minutes.
No obvious damage or defects but even with smaller supports, there is still a bunch of stuff to strip away to reveal the print. Time to get snipping. I don’t think this one will be as easy to free up as the first one.
I was right. The support material was a bit of a nightmare to get rid of and cleaning the mess out from between the Paladins legs - well, let’s just say that’s a phrase I hope never to have to repeat again…
Overall though, I think it turned out OK. The sword blade definitely needs ‘sharpening’ but otherwise, the detail came out and more importantly, nothing got lost – either in the printing or support removal stages.
Here they are painted, standing atop a piece of Amera terrain (F218 Temple Ruins). All painted/detailed by my buddy Loupis.
A brighter (but crappier) pic taken with the flash on my phone.
You can find the Amera website here.
amera.co.uk - Amera Plastic Mouldings
The Juggernaut (a Genestealer Cults Galyat Truck proxy)
I run Gaslands as part of an RPG I put together called ‘The Gas Hack’ and one of the missions my group have been tasked to do is to take down a borderlands preacher who has managed to get himself a disused factory, an abandoned mine, and a militia! He’s currently stirring up trouble by preaching anti-Mars sermons to those who support him whilst ‘reprimanding’ those who don’t. Those reprimands take the form of armed raids using his militia (the ‘Sword of the Lord’) and a massive piece of earth-moving equipment, called “The Juggernaut”.
After a lot of time spent searching for a suitable die-cast model that I could use (that didn’t cost an arm and a leg), I gave up and turned to Thingiverse. That’s where I found this beauty – a Genestealer Cults Galyat Truck UPDATED by Gynovin) (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2736962)
It’s scaled to 28mm (1:56) but since I wanted it to be ma-hoo-sive™, I elected to leave it full size.
It was printed on the Creality CR-10 in PLA at 0.2mm layer height with infills of 10-20% for most and 100% for the guns and railings.
Here's the other side.
More pictures. It needs a spot of kit-bashing and painting, but for now, check out this bad boy. The Breaking Bad figures and Hot Wheels truck are there to show off its size!
Thanks to Loupis, the truck finally has a paint scheme.
Nicely understated and functional. I really like the way it has come out.
Gaslands Smoke Trails
I wanted something to show when a vehicle had either floored the accelerator or stamped on the breaks, so I designed these Smoke Trails.
They were printed on the Creality CR-10 in PLA at a 0.2mm layer height using a 20% infill.
There are two versions, on with a small base and the other with no base. If your players tend to bump or jostle the table, I’d go with the based versions.
At some point in the future I may give it a go to create some curved smoke trails, so that we can simulate burning doughnuts or figure-of-eights, etc.
You can find these on Thingiverse as Gaslands Smoke Trails.
Gaslands Vehicle Markers
I designed some markers to place on vehicles in order to show certain in-game effects.
They were all printed in PLA on the Creality CR-10 at 0.2mm layer height, using a 20% infill. Many of them are designed to be magnetized if that’s what floats your boat.
I have uploaded the .STL files to Thingiverse and will put the links next to each one below.
First up is the Explosion Marker.
Painted as it is, it adds quite a striking visual to the scene.
You’ll find it here on Thingiverse – Gaslands Explosion Marker.
Next up is the On-Fire/Burning Marker.
Again, I think it does the job without getting in the way too much.
You’ll find it here on Thingiverse – Gaslands On-Fire Marker.
Gaslands Game Tracker
This very handy do-dad is from jpri69 on Thingiverse - it's a "Gaslands Game Tracker".
Just print it out, add a couple of D6 or a D6 and a D10, depending on how long your games tend to last.
Game Tracker by jpri69
This is the one I printed out on my Creality CR-10 (using PLA, 0.12mm layer height at 20% infill), fully populated with dice.
I may paint the lettering at a later date but to be honest it doesn't really need it.
My new best friend... a pack of metallic Sharpie markers!
Finished a few more prints on the Creality CR-10 this week. All fantasy-based this time since I'm gearing up to start some Frostgrave sessions soon.
Here's part of a set for an Adventurer's Campsite. These came from Thingiverse (links to follow) but I think the designer has a more detailed/extra bits set available on DriverThru RPG.
Again, these are straight off the print bed without any touch-ups or finishing.
I realised that I often just post pictures of stuff without anything else next to them to give any idea as to their size.
Here's a small monument/statue that has attracted the attention of Snotwrangle the 25mm and Brutus the 28mm.
I'll post file/printer settings later once I have dug them out.
Quite chuffed with how well the fine detail on the plinth inscriptions and thin cloak/robe materials have printed.
Considering how big the print area on the CR-10 is, it really can do some exceptionally fine detail.
Last one for the day. This is the Dragon Arch from Printable Scenery.
Snotwrangle the 25mm and Brutus the 28mm seem to be squaring off to see who gets to go through it first...
Even without any post-printing work, the detail comes through very well and I think this will work really well as part of the Frostgrave scenery.
The glorious detailing is carried over onto the rear of the piece as well.
I can heartily recommend Matt and the peeps over at Printable Scenery, their design skills are top-notch and the value you get from their Kickstarters is astounding. You could easily fill multiple battle boards with their stuff, or even just pick up one or two bits to print and flesh out your own work.
So I'm finally back up and about after my health took a dip and laid me out for the end part of 2017.
I was asked to help out a couple of friends at my gaming club (W.A.R.P.) who wanted to give the new version (v8) of Warhammer 40K a try. They had the game rules and the models, and I had a new battlemat to try as well as a ridonculous amount of (sadly still unpainted) scenery so I was happy to help out.
The 6'x4' battlemat is the Desert Earth one from Leodis Games Board Matz range. I got mine from their recent Kickstarter (shocker, I know!) and they have since expanded the range to include many more styles.
With the exception of the rear gantry, the tall spire/furnace bits sitting on top and the Games Workshop minis/vehicles/dice, everything else on the table is 3D printed.
Oh, not the long pipes (that's PVC piping) and the tanks of the two storage tanks with ladders on just beyond the fencing (they are Coke cans), but everything else is. Honest!
Some eye candy for the 40K fans.
And there's just something that appeals to me about this Nurgle Mortar piece.
I should also say that the scenery on the table was about a quarter of what I had brought along, which in turn was about a third of what I have printed so far.
I suspect I may need more space soon since the new Fallout skirmish game is rumoured to be about to land and I have a stupid amount of post-apocalypse scenery that needs printing...
A good friend of mine (Vontravelle) came to my aid one night when a water pipe burst in the kitchen and so I was more than happy to help him out when he asked me for a favour. He's a fellow GM at our local gaming club (W.A.R.P.) and he's currently running a Call of Cthulhu game wherein he found himself in need of a Cthonian critter to inflict upon his players.
He found this model on Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2080964
However, he was unsure of how to get it printed on his newly acquired printer since it isn't a 'printer ready' .STL file, but rather a 3D model object (.obj) file.
I went through the problems of getting it to print - scaling it up, adding support materials, etc. and I could see he wasn't looking too confident so I offered to work on it for him.
First I loaded it into the new version of Simplify3D (v4) and set about scaling it up to 60mm. Next I manually added in some support material to all of the areas that I thought my Creality CR-10 would need them - namely the tentacles and one small area of body overhang. Finally, I altered the layer height down from 0.2mm to 0.15mm and then saved off the gcode to a memory card ready for printing.
Two hours and twenty minutes later, here's what it came out like.
The tentacles need a touch up (ooh, er, madam!) and I'll probably sculpt some additional ones to add into its maw because I just think it needs them.
While looking for some painting inspiration (do YOU know what colour these things are supposed to be?) I came across a fantastic painting guide online by a chap called Joe Baird - The Broken Paintbrush. I thoroughly recommend you pay his blog (https://brokenpaintbrush.com) or G+ page (https://plus.google.com/+Brokenpaintbrushpage) a visit.
Here's the other side. Also, I've just blasted it with a hairdryer on hot to soften up the PLA and that has allowed me to enhance the bend on some of the existing tentacles.
It's gone 2.15am now so I'll set about sculpting with the green stuff tomorrow and see if I can get some paint on it before the game on Sunday.
Later that morning I quickly rolled up some green stuff tentacles and started twisting them into shape.
I'll apply a little detail when they begin to harden and once they're completely dry I'll cut/dry fit them until I'm happy with the look
Here's the model primed and awaiting the (slowly) drying tentacles. The miniature holder is one of the ones I got as part of a Kickstarter run by Rathcore.com. I got one of each (32, 54 and 75mm) and that's the mid-sized one with the 54mm bar. They are extremely useful and very comfortable to hold for extended periods. I had no idea how much more 'usable' a mini holder is when it has a finger bar on it and how much hand tremor it can alleviate. I still use my old standby of a paint pot with 'Blutack' (poster putty) on it to do quick paint jobs or when I'm batch base coating, etc.
The patches of green stuff are filling small holes left from the rendered model not meshing a few of the very extreme overhangs amongst the base rubble properly. As I said, this wasn't a 'ready to print' file and if time hadn't been such an issue I'd have liked to rework/remodel a lot more of it in order to avoid these issues. Still, it used up the tiny amount of green stuff left over from sculpting the tentacles, so no waste.
While I type this up I'm 'baking' the green stuff tentacles on the CR-10's hotbed as I print some test 25mm miniature bases for some of the models I got from the Reaper Bones 3 Kickstarter. A bit of an experiment but hey, the bed would be on while I was doing the printing so I figured why not?
And here he/she/it is, fully tentacled up.
Once the glue has had time to dry I'll prime the green stuff and then try and get some paint on it tonight before I host my Saturday Roll20 session.
Here's a quick pic I managed to snap before I handed off the finished model.
Not the best paint job in the world, but for less than an hour in total (including varnishing), good enough to put on a table and scare the beejebus out of some unsuspecting Call of Cthulhu players...
These are parts of Printable Scenery's Gothic Sci-Fi building range. They come in variety of shapes with different internal/external detailing but are all married to the same theme so that you can basically just mix and match them to produce any type of building layout you'd like.
They also come in 'ruined' versions, so you can display them with holes blown in them, etc.
These were all printed on the Creality CR-10 in PLA using a 0.2mm layer height and 10% infill.
Here is the matching roof section and a shot of the interiors.
As I previously mentioned, they come in a variety of shapes, all with suitable roof sections.
These ones allow you to 'go wide' by incorporating support pillars.
Here's a corner piece. This opens up more possibilities.
And this last piece allows you to go 'super wide' by adding as many internal sections as you'd like.
Another flood of new pictures/updates now that I have my Fuji Finepix sorted out.
First up we have some stairways that I found on Thingiverse.
These are just about the right height to link up with the walkways that span the Gothic Sci-Fi pipeline bits from Printable Scenery.
These were actually modelled at 15mm but by scaling them up by 180%, they're good to go for 28mm. The stairway is one part and the two handrails/barriers print separately and just superglue into place.
Printed on the Cetus in PLA at 0.2mm layer height and with a 13% infill.
This is a really nice piece. It's also not for the fainthearted because it's a single print item and that's an A4 cutting mat it's sitting on (marked in cm). For that reason, these could only be printed on my CR-10, the Cetus was JUST too small although if you wanted to rescale the model a touch that would work. I used PLA laid down in a 0.2mm layer height with a 10% infill.
The rectangular thing lying next to it is actually an insert that goes into the slots embedded in the walls above the door and windows. That means that you can apply blast doors/shutters or if you were to cut out some similar shaped pieces of plastic such as used by overhead projectors (whoops, there's my age showing again!) you could simulate glass.
Those stairs at the back lead up to the next floor.
Here's the upper floor, although there's absolutely nothing to stop you printing more of them and turning this two-floored building into a multi-level hab block!
Again, the windows and door out onto the balcony are all slotted ready for inserts if desired.
Finally, here's the stacked building, crowned by its roof section.
Here is an alternative shot because the first one hides the lower floor.
This power pylon was printed in PLA on the Creality CR-10 using a 0.2mm layer height and 10% infill.
A saltbeard Grognard who's glad he never grew up enough to lose his imagination.