Monday, 15 July 2019

Random Task - Isopropyl Filtering

So i haven't done any printing of late.

Have been modelling up the Thunderhawk reboot which is taking quite a while. Should be worth the effort though.

I did make it down into the garage on the weekend, and random, spur of the moment thing filtered the isopropyl.

Year 7 (or less) chemistry. Nothing but homebrew lab equipment here. Funnel + paper towels.

The first cleanup ('dirty') bath had somehow developed a chemical 'custard'; hanging from the liquid surface, on the container surface. Basically a suspension in the liquid.

Managed to filter out the sludge pretty decently. Bit of wastage but better than having to chuck the entire container. The orange juice (picture) is pretty much the final parse, and it turned out very clear, minimal sludge.

Previously i had placed a different 'dirty' bath directly in the sun (when i was using the smaller containers - to evaporate the iso and cure the residue for disposal) and a similar suspension and custard skin formed.

Interestingly the 'clean' bath didn't form the suspension - it was sitting right beside the 'dirty' container so subject to all the same environmental conditions, except less resin. The 'clean' iso also got a parse through the filter - just because.

So ready to print.

Until next time...

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Terrain - Features

Terrain Contemplations

Terrain came to mind during the hours driving to and from Saturday's event. I'm thinking of making some.

Firstly, i still don't want more than one box of terrain. 

Ideally, on game day i'd like to take 1 box of terrain (which can make up 2 tables easily) and my army box (just 1).

While there's still a bit of wriggle-room in the current terrain box, i'm not just looking to fill it for the sake of it. 

I'm thinking more along the lines of 'feature pieces'.  I saw a nice terrain piece a week or two ago which brought all these thoughts back to light as well.

Obviously ship = feature piece. Ship has it's own box (immediately violating the 1 box rule - but it goes out infrequently).

An aside... So i was thinking about the fluff of my terrain... What?

The tables i can currently put together are set on an 'agriworld';  the majority of usable surface is covered in 'crops' then pick it, pack it, fire it up... into space and send to other worlds that can't grow their own crops (forge worlds, mining worlds, hive worlds, etc etc). 

While crops cover the surface from horizon to horizon there would still probably be small (relatively minuscule compared to hives cities etc) admin settlements, shipping ports, fuel or water distribution line stations etc etc.

The 'ship table' is a small dock for restocking or refitting an orbital defence monitor [wow, really threw everything at that table hahaha].

The terrain can can alternately make an administration 'settlement' with apartments as the main feature...

There's also also the forests and chapels table...

 And of course customise to taste on the day...

Back to the point...

i was contemplating the settlement table could have a single, larger apartment complex/hub/(mini-)hive as a centrepiece. Perhaps using a 'placemat' sized structure (rather than the standard smaller 'coaster'). This might be 4 tiles high in places. Not sure. Just contemplating.


Could also emphasise the industrial stuff a bit more (has fallen out of use), so do a few more of the container 'coasters' and perhaps a container mega-stack on a 'placemat' piece.

Additionally or alternately for industrial i was thinking of running a big 'pipeline' pieces across the table. 4" pvc tube spruced up suitably and dividing the table into interesting segments.  Fits with the fuel or water pipe network theme, and on a planetary scale.
...something like that perhaps. so just 40mm pvc with themed 'blocks' for stability etc. would be a cinch making those with the filament but would bother on the resin. might look at wooden blocks with holes cut by a forstner bit... dunno.
The design has changed a little since the original draft... am looking to make the entire thing out of 'connectors'. easier than cutting wood blocks. The pipe will just slot into the connector and done. 
will epoxy the connector to a coaster with a downward angle piece as appropriate, then build up around the sides with wall plaster. will probably add some gubbins and widgets at the connector points to add some interest.   should be easy.

I guess the bottom line is i'd like central, megalithic pieces to provide a thematic focus and tie the board together thematically - and also help break up the space, rather than relying on numberous smaller terrain pieces quite as much.

All just contemplation at this stage... we'll see what we see.

Side Note - Forest Terrain
am giving some consideration to modifying the forest area terrain. so creating cut-out/recesses on the area terrain plate that the tree pieces will slot into. (not that it specifically needs it) but it will make the piece more stable.
a possible downside is that the tree will need to slot into the correct hole... and the scatter-anywhere option is decreased/removed.
a plus side is that it might make the piece look a little more unified rather than a plate with stuff clearly sitting onatop.

probably wont both making an mdf top piece with pieces cut out. more likely to build up the top of the plates with plaster, moulding around the tree pieces, then re-basing the plates. 

recesses with tree floating over...
the recesses would still be painted the same colour as the rest of the plate (not pink), but with less grit and texture. The plates currently have some pretty course grit on there which will need scraping off.

This is the desired result...
So when not in use the tree fit smoothly into the base plate.

The forest terrain has seen a bit of use over the last few sessions, not just as a space filler but dude hiding in it.
Being able to remove the trees is a definite must have. 
Will just need to work out the best positions for the inserts.

Until next time...

New Templars - pt3

Had an Game session on Saturday in the more southern suburbs.

3 tables worth of Epic games !!  simultaneously, and in sydney !!  unprecedented in recent times.

Unfortunately i had to leave early but managed to get a full, single game in. And from the reports "one and done" was the order of the day.  Still, pretty cool.

On Sunday i managed to finish off painting the latest batch of stuff for the new army.  Took a while but 'winter', plus i was out for a week with flu (like real flu this time with antibiotics and everything).

...were the last things i printed off before giving the printer a spell.

This... all the newest prints painted.
1x Whirlwinds, 2x Predator Annihilators, 1x Predator Destructors, 3 Rhinos, 2x Stalkers, 2x Terminators + Chaplains. 

And this... everything i've done from the new project so far.

In all, i rough calculate that there's about 3,400 points there. So enough for a standard game if required.

However there's probably on 2 or 3 formations that i'd actually use given my play style. And there's definitely not the minimum requirements for my true Templar list.

So time to fire up the printer again... however i need to do some work on the models i'm going to be using i think... so no rush. 

On all these models i've finished them with 2 coats of 'storm shield' which is a clear matt 'varnish'. Not that they take a beating but thought i'd try it out. doesn't seem to have affected the colour too much so am happy. Perhaps the basing looks a little glossier and mono-chrome that without it, but [shrug].

I'm kind of at a stage where i need to start thinking about storage too. I'm not sure whether i'll go down the magnetic sheet route.
Magnets will be involved, but i'm not sure i want to be cutting up big sheets of magnets again.
i'm thinking perhaps cutting blocks off a strip-roll if possible and perhaps magnetising to just a metal plate rather than magnet on magnet... dunno.

Anyway, progress has been made. I guess i'm probably a third of the way into the project. Am keen to start on others (but will refrain) having played Eldar on the weekend (was fun) so inspired to get them happen... plus tyranids still... plus everything else.

Until next time...

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

A Fun One - Custom Funko

Geedubs brought out a selection of funko pops a few weeks back.   And yes i got a couple; not a huge of pops specifically but if they're a character i like then... sometimes...

So i was picking up some paint pots on the weekend and noticed they also have unpainted ones.

Why not?   Not like i have a butt-tonne of stuff awaiting paint already [cough cough cough]...

As they're my chosen faction and as all the Black Templar colours are already out, this one got done.

It sometimes helps paint motivation to throw something irregular into the queue and break the monotony of batch painting tiny, fiddly things. 

Turned out better than i'd anticipated. Hard to make black contrasts pop spectacularly, but in real light it looks decent enough. 

Even the freehand icons turns out bearable. Was thinking of using decal transfers but didn't have anything suitable.

So new 'table-totem' complete.

Until next time...

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Random Session - Learning

[original draft 2019-06-17]

On the weekend we had a daytime session of Epic in Games Cube Parramatta (thanks GC).

During the week i put out a call and 3 of us were available.  Yhah.
Death Korp of Krieg (DKoK) List (played by K) and Marines List (played by T and myself - 2 separate games).

First game was me DM'ing while the newsters got into it.

The Marines charged up the board, which is always a tempting option.
Below we see the Marines Warhounds and Land Speeders getting swamped by a pack of DKoK Infantry with Marcharius support fire.

Not really an idea scenario for the marines, though to their credit they did whittle down quite a number of the guardsman before getting wiped out.
One of the fun events of the day was the warhound crit'ing and stumbling over some the guardsmen who were too close. fun times.
Big picture however this is just one of the guardsmen blobs, and not destroying it doesn't really accomplish much to his strategic availability.

A fun shot of a Thunderhawk running a ground attack through the terrain. The DKoK had flack available but they were broken for 2:3 of the game so the Thawk had pretty much free reign (not that it's super-shooty or anything). 
So end of turn 3 the Marines were down to 3 units (including the AC) and had little in the way of strategic options.
DKoK win with BreakSpirit and DefendFlag. probably could have wangled a TakeHold too with an extra turn... however the vehicle as pretty slow... combined with the focus being on combat rather than objectives... an issue that experience with resolve soon enough.

Both of the new players are getting suitably familiar with the basic rules and beyond, so was definitely worth the effort all round. 

Second game i reset the same Marine list, same terrain layout and off we went.

Suffice to say i DIDN'T charge up the board with more than i had too. The gorgons fully of guard are a potent assault unit, but slow, so not overly difficult to avoid.
The Earthshakers (artillery) were annoying and niggled away at the already small marine units.
Sacrificed the Predator Annihilators to crunch the DKoK Heavy AA early on, freeing the Thunderhawk to attack the Earthshakers (Light Vehicles - so they really copped some fire there).
Basically it was a game of avoidance and although most of the units were coping fire they were avoiding the heaviest damage and remaining unbroken enough.

The terminators teleported in on turn 3, taking out the last of the Earthshakers before getting swamped by infantry (but not before mauling them a bit). 

Picking away at the small stuff meant that heading toward the end of turn 3 i had a number of speedy units still available, and DKoK had no activation left. There was enough lure in my plan to get them toward my end of the board but without giving them uncontested objectives... in return i was able to scoot my formations down the board to secure the Blitz and TakeHold.  There was no chance (or opportunity) of BreakSpirit, or ShallNotPass or even DefendFlag with the large (virtually) unbreakable infantry blobs.   Going to turn 4 probably would have seen the remaining Marines slaughtered but thinks played out to plan.

Anyway, i guess it demonstrated that you don't just win by killing more units... something some of us take longer to learn than others [raises hand]. That said, it was a learning session and nutting out the mechanics is easier when you plunge in with as many combats as possible, and there was plenty of that going round too.

Hopefully everyone learned enough to make it worthwhile (even if the dice gods were not being overly generous - but tbh that's how Marines dice roll).

Personally i think i'm now at a level where i'm getting a feel for what other peoples armies can do and working toward/around that in a strategic way. Obviously, dice are dice, but knowing when to avoid the enemy is as vital as when to engage them.   Additionally, being able to play against the same army a couple of times helps with the strategy side as well. 

I'll put down as a note that there's a local Chaos Marines player who does this avoidance game brilliantly. He was at CoD at the latest session and we've played a couple of times some time ago. I managed to watch part of his game and it really inspired my approach to this game. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

New Templars - pt2

[original post draft 20190613]

So with my learning curve behind me (pffft, hahahahaha) and a long weekend ahead i set out to crush though some formations for the new army...

Things could have gone a lot better. lots of really bad misprints... either the tension on the vat membrane was lose... or the new resin wasn't happy.... or the temperature or humidity was off or... something.    it was a pretty miserable start to the weekend - foggy, bleak and shitful saturday and most of sunday. 

i did get some stuff done though... mainly on friday evening...

Two formations of Assault Terminators, each with an appropriately beweaponed Chaplain (No, they're not being lead by Termi-pandas; Chaplains are meant to have a skull themed helmet, which is... challenging to pull off in 6mm).

Finished painting them last night.

Not perfect but definitely table-worthy. 

After several failed prints (basically everything that i tried on sunday) due to lift etc i decided to replace the vat membrane just to see if it was that.

with filament you can gauge after a smaller percentage if there's something awry, and then abort the job if required;   with resin you technically can pause the print, which raises the build plate for inspection or add resin etc, but everything's covered in goop and you can only really guess... yes or no, that there's something accumulating on the plate. bit frustrating, especially when you have to wait 1 1/2 hours for the print to complete.

Anyway so i'd fixed the membrane (something new and interesting) and decided on tuesday (long weekend) night to run a quick print and see how it performed.   and received a new an exciting error... yhay.

Turns out this is a known thing; there are posts, vids and recommendations. Cleaned things up and called it a night. Not overly happy but peacefully resigned that this project was going to be as annoying as it damn well wanted to be.
The usb stick that they recommended replacing was the one they supplied and it has barely been used. Hopefully just a software glitch rather than a popped capacitor or similar.
Downloaded some firmware stuff and left it there. 

So last night i ran the firmware command and after a failed attempt and a few restarts it printed a fricken perfect run... just to spite me.
So i'm thinking i'll keep running jobs until midnight while it still works.
Started the second job and that ran through as well, but it ran out of resin with 9% to go so unusable... i swore a lot (especially since i topped up the tank after starting the job). Cleaned things up and called it a night.

So that's that. a potential solution to the software glitch and hopefully it will print some more stuff next session.

A tip which was helpful for the memory thing was to 'dry run' the job; basically start the print program running for as long as required but without the vat and resin and so on.  Saves resin.
The memory failures were happening mainly before the 4% mark (though on the vids i think i saw 11% or 16%). 

Can't say i'm really enjoying the experience. I do lots of problem solving for my day job and having to do more in my hobby time is a bit [meh]. Tinkering with gizmos and gadgets isn't the fun part for me... the creating side is - not the playing with the tools side.
Anyway, it is what it is.

Until next time...

Monday, 3 June 2019

New Templars - pt1

[original post draft 20190603]

This does, very directly, follow on from the previous post.

While i am still testing and printing and learning, paint has been spread, intent has been realised and the new Templars are now a thing...

So that's one squad of Tactical Marines with Rhino transports, and one squad of Predator Destructor tanks done. Also done are the Emperor's Champion and Marshal (supreme commander) character stands.

As planned i clipped the banner off the old Marshal stand and added it to the new fella. In the old one it was just stuck straight into the ground but this time around had a dedicated flag bearer'er.

And only a whole bunch more to go. This is the first of... 6 tactical squads, and another squad of destructors is to be done - then onto other models and vehicles.

Thought i'd get these ones done as a proof of concept batch to see how the paint work was going to go down etc.
Additionally as it's going to take more time to produce the models i'm probably going to end up with smaller batches like these between print sessions. May as well get them underway as they're available. Waiting until everything is done is a waste of time.

Thoughts: the models still have a tinge of 'cartoony' which i still like well enough. i saw some fine detail 6mm which were amazing and really highlight the difference, but i still like these guys. The swords are a bit beefy but those kind of aspects are going to make the models a little more resilient to dropping or rough handling. so still happy. 

The only thing i might do is drop a dollop of paint on top of the bolters as there's a tiny bit of striation on that surface that's somewhat ugly and difficult to sand cos it's so small. very minor. 

Until next time...