SITREP – Something New

My original plan was to spend the evening painting. But thanks to a friend visiting, that plan fell through.

Earlier in the day however, one of my other 3d printing friends started talking to me about some rules he’d been working on, designed for smaller scale figures. Of course from that, he pointed out where I can get hold of some figures for it…

Excuse the misprints, I put the landrovers too close to the edge of the build plate

Yeah, I think I might be taking a look at 6mm Ultramodern. This is mostly as a way of extending out the ChargeReal – being able to do larger scale battles than 28mm can do and potentially tying them together. There is also something really cool about a full platoon of tanks resting in your hand.

I’m also interested to see how far I can go in a scale mostly using the 3d printer. There are plenty of examples of vehicles and terrain you can find online and I think I can easily make a few forces. First up, continuing on the story in the last game, we might be looking at a Bazi Empire vs Rettung clash – T62s vs Leopard 2s clashing in the desert.

SITREP – Fission Mailed, the Sequel

Original plan – spend the evening painting up my VBLs

Actual occurrences – spend the evening getting annoyed with STL files from a certain kickstarter.

Over the last few days I’ve been taking a look at the British Paras, trying to understand what’s going wrong with them. I even had a chat with someone who 3d prints models commercially who, upon looking at one of the files from the pack, proceeded to repeatedly say “WTF” while looking through the geometry before declaring the files basically DOA.

I appreciate I’m new to this whole 3d printing thing but there are some really bad giveaways that something isn’t right with these files.

Now I need to preface this with the fact I hate talking about things being bad in the hobby. But out of the several thousand STL files I have on my 3d printing drive (thanks Patreon), none of them have caused me anywhere near the same amount of annoyance as this kickstarter.

This is from Chitubox, but Lychee tells the same story

I’m not going to go into too much detail but this is one cross section of one model. Already there are a couple of issues you can see here:

  • Void inside the helmet slung at his waist
  • Void between his body and his vest, despite there being no access or visibility to that section
  • Thin walls and an open space inside the L85’s rail system. Although realistic, those thin walls are just going to snap during printing, especially if they are supported.

Overall, lots of places that should have been backfilled to make it easier to print. Let’s take a look at the printed models now. These are unrepaired, as the repaired versions broke even harder and turned some of these voids even larger

Before even off the supports, the rail has collapsed of it’s own accord. You can also see the sunglasses, where the void behind them has collapsed in.

A few days later, clipping open the helmet reveals a void and nice shiny unset resin. Not pleasant to find.

So technically this is another figures (you can see our running man up top) but surprise, surprise, big void between body and vest. Worse, this left the tops of the vest super thin, meaning it very quickly tore during cleanup.

More details on this as it goes, but annoyed comment on the kickstarter so we’ll see what that does.

Short answer – not an especially helpful answer.

SITREP – Weekend

That’s me on the right of the image, hiding my face behind the face mask

Had a busy weekend – a few friends visiting and a Sunday airsofting up at Dirty Dog close to Darlington. Fun running around, need to improve my fitness/strength to be able to carry the gear I want to. As with all weekends, good for actually seeing people, bad for getting hobby done. Tonight’s work has mostly been cleaning up after playing host (and recovering some sleep) so our weekly hangout didn’t happen.

But I have some stuff planned for this week:

  • Finish off the pair of VBLs.
  • Finish the figures I need for next week’s fantasy game (at the moment two mages and a magical crystal.
  • Basing pass on all the stuff on my desk.
  • Starting thinking about a new moderns scenario – a friend of mine asked if I’d be interested in hosting some wargames for him when he’s in the area and honestly an extra game once in a while sounds like a good idea.

SITREP – One More Cultist

I spent most of my afternoon cleaning up my 3d printing room so someone can sleep in it on the weekend but managed to squeeze in painting up one final cultist for group of five. I’m still really big fans of the Northstar cultist figures. They are a great set of parts for building a force, and part of me is tempted to pick up a few more to assemble a collection of dirty, horrible adventurers.

As for my own setting, these are supposed to be matching to the Rangers of the Shadow Deep cultists I’ve painted. Hence the splash of gold and the bare (and blooded) feet.

SITREP – Fission Mailed

Alas, I ran out of time to get my stuff ready to game with tonight. Long day at work, not enough time to finish the models I wanted to and so I pushed it back. Instead had an evening of TV watching and hanging out with The Sister, while also writing up a little more of my battle reports from the fantasy games.

However, I also had some time to play with the UK para STLs I bought from Kickstarter. I have to admit, the 1 hour turnaround from payment being taken to files on my hard drive that occured yesterday will be hard to beat. Spent last night with them and finally got some prints off this morning and… I’ve got mixed feelings about them. The files are massive compared to the regular files I get from most other STL sources (over 100mb for a 28mm sized figure). There also seems to be lots of voids in the models (such as gaps between vests and torsos) which is usually recommended. Lychee gave me several warnings about them so I let it repair, send it to print and waited the result.

Well that’s not good. Lychee and 3dBuilder’s repairs turned small voids into big ones, tearing off back packs and arms of models.

Deciding to try the raw files gave a much better result. To be positive for a moment – I really like the posing and details on these models. The heads might look massive on the STLs but once printed they seem like reasonable gaming pieces. It’s also cool to get two versions of each (helmet and headset) with the headset one including a helmet elsewhere on the figure. There is also a nice mix of weapons and gear, so they look like a team of ally looking soldiers.

However, it’s not all perfect. There are some issues with the sunglasses (they seem to collapse in on themselves) and the rail system is actually hollow, rather than a solid block. This might be good for detail, but this tore away through some movements as I trimmed off the supports.

I’ve mentioned these issues on the Kickstarter page, not sure I’ll receive much assistance. Even with the issues, these models are definitely worth playing around with, especially as I need some L85 armed figures that look different from my Empress and White Dragon ones.

SITREP – The WIPs Before Game Day

T’was the night before game day and all through the house, not a creature was stiring… except me getting stuff painted up for the game.

I have the rough idea planned out – layout sketched, special rules in place, the arc of the story telling that the game will map to. I just have to get the dungeon tiles out and finish painting the last few elements.

Decided to take a different approach with my mages (not going to spoil the twist here), but going with red robes rather than black should make them more distinctive and useful in the future. I’ll get these finished off tomorrow, but I am excited for what may occur with them.

SITREP – Cultists!

After taking a few days off for the weekend (busy in the garden and watching films), decided to restart the hobby streak by frantically getting things together for Wednesday’s game against The Sister.

For that game, I need some more cultists for my Swordmasters to fight. I’ve got 5 from the Rangers of the Shadow Deep range (two warriors, a champion and a pair of archers) but a few more will be needed for a proper scrap. Tonight I managed to paint up four of them, built from a Frostgrave Cultist sprue. I tried to match the scheme of my older cultists in the black robes and golden mask, but there is some differences due to models. I wanted to keep them as horrible as the others, so I added touches like the bloodied footwraps from walking around in bare feet.

I’ve got another to paint tomorrow, as well as a pair of mages that might play a certain role in the story…

SITREP – VBL Painting Begins

Started painting up the pair of VBLs. These will be vehicles from the Emirate of Bazistan, a sub nation of the larger Bazi Empire and one currently getting the cast offs. For this reason, I’ll stick with something similar to the two T62s I painted up – that’s about the tech level the Emir’s forces will end up being. Expect to see a lot of these vehicles as alternatives to the Humvee I’ve used in the past, providing some bulletproof armour in small engagements.

This is all based around the world building I’m doing for the ChargeReal. To help you understand the Bazi Empire’s nations, let’s take a quick look at the tanks:

The Emirate is the nation that was given to the King’s cousin and is the poor man of the region – translated, expect a lot of hand me down kit from the rest of the Empire and it’s neighbours but with a touch of extra modification to it, similar to real-world Iran. Hence why they have the T62 in their arsenal, although it might be augmented with a few early pattern M1s with some local upgrades (such as a DSHK on the pintle mount or a locally made thermal optical system).

The central area of the Empire, the actual Kingdom itself, will be using a mix of Tsarist tech (the T14 is waiting) but keeping an eye on extending their home grown projects (I’m eyeing up the Altay that Guaro has) just in case the Tsarina decides to stop selling to them and take the main highway through Shyluz to expand her holdings. These tanks will be in better condition than their Emirate cousins although a little less veteran as they aren’t in an ongoing war footing (unless you’re one of the soldiers sent north to assist).

Meanwhile the technically advanced (and richer) nation of Alhuriya will be using vehicles developed in partnership with their neighbour Rettung (so it will probably be a very late pattern Leopard 2 variant or maybe the Merkava). This is where we get the fun bleeding edge tech, so I might even wheel out some concept vehicles for these guys, like the Polish “stealth” tank.

Naturally all these vehicles will get their own names at some point but they are handy as guides