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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

3d Printed Eldar Hornet

Hey everyone.  I wanted to post something quick to show you what I'm working on right now.  I found an STL file online for a 3D printable Eldar Hornet.  I decided to give it a go.  This sucker is printed at a 0.15mm layer height and uses supports, since it's such a complex model.  The supports allow me to print the thing as one piece, but totally mess up the bottom of the model.  This isn't really an issue since you never really see the bottom of a model like this in game.

This is all the support material that I had to pry off the model after the print completed.

As you can see, this is perfectly serviceable for an essentially free proxy.  I have maybe $3 or so in filament materials tied up in this model.  It did take about 18 hours to print, but that was largely a press a button and walk away process.

You can see some snags here and there.  I have yet to clean the model up at all.  This is straight off the printer and pulled away from the support materials.

Here, you can see what I mean by the underside being a mess.  This is just a common side effect of having used support material.  Alternately, I could have printed the thing in segments, always making sure to have a flat underside.  The way I did it is quicker and actually looks better from above.  Also, the whole thing is a single piece of plastic, so no assembly was required and it's unlikely that anything will ever snap off.

Now, I just need to print another three.  The plan is to have two set up as long range, heavy weapons platforms and another two set up as highly mobile Shuriken Cannon platforms.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Life can be tough sometimes.  I haven't had much of a chance to do much gaming lately.  I have a couple of pieces of Legion terrain waiting for paint and a few other projects I'm wanting to work on.  What I don't have right now is time.  I'll be starting a new job in about two weeks.  At that point, I should have a lot more stability in my life.  My tentative plan is to go back to a MWF posting schedule at that point.  I probably won't post much over the next two weeks, though.

More to come.  I'm not dead.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Legion Terrain

Man...  3D printers are slow.  I was hoping to have some pictures to put up of some terrain I'm making, but it's all still sitting on the printer, slowly being created.  That one TIE Fighter piece I made took 23 hours to print.  The building I'm currently working on has more overall volume, but less actual plastic.

Hopefully, I'll have some pictures this weekend.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

3D Printed Console Done

The console finished.  I printed it at the OPTIMAL setting on my printer, which is a 0.15mm (150micron) layer height.  Everything turned out pretty well except for the antenna.  I think that's a function of the diameter being so small.  My printer has a 0.4mm extrusion nozzle.  Even though it can print layers as thin as 0.05mm, every strip of plastic it lays down is 0.4mm wide.  That means super thin things sometimes get a little wonky.

It's also a little small.  I'm going to scale it up a bit and see if it works better.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ongoing 3D Printer Adventures

I found a cool thing on Thingiverse.  It's a forward command post of sorts.  I think it'll work really well for an outdoorsy Star Wars piece of terrain.  I have the command console bit printing right now so that I can decide whether or not I need to scale the whole thing up a bit.  One thing I'm encountering is that most terrain is designed for a 28mm scale.  Star Wars Legion seems like it's closer to a 32-36mm scale.  The dude are generally taller than a generic Space Marine, but shorter than a Primaris Marine.

It's available here.

As I said, I'm printing the one piece first to make sure I have the scale right.  Then I'll print the whole thing, which conveniently comes in a single file.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Shield Generator Fully Printed

It ended up taking about five hours total to print this sucker.  The tentative plan is to print 2-3 more and attach them to each other to make a proper Star Wars style shield generator.  It's a little smaller than I thought it was going to be.  Thankfully, if I decide to, I can just scale the model up in the slicer program before sending it off to the printer.

This is what I'm ultimately going for, as seen through some Star Wars dude's binoculars...

This was printed on the normal setting, which is a 0.2mm (200micron) layer height.  I think that works just fine for terrain.  I could have gotten a better result using the 0.05mm (50micron) layer height, but it would likely have taken 20-25 hours or so to print.

Monday, October 9, 2017

3D Printed Shield Generator

I'm still tinkering with my 3D printer and working on things for either generic or Star Wars specific terrain.  Right now, I'm trying to get a Star Wars style shield generator to work.

The shield generator is a file I found on  It was designed by a fellow named shotbyscott and is part of his 'Large Star Wars Legion Accessory Pack'.  As with all of the other file on, it's completely free.

For those of you who don't know much about 3D printers, I thought I'd run down a couple of specs and how they work.  My printer is a Prusa i3 Mk2S.  It's a pretty good printer, capable of printing with a 50micron, or 0.05mm layer height.  The thinner the layers, the better the end model will look.  However...  the thinner the layers, the longer the end model will take to print.  I'm printing the shield generator on my printer's 'NORMAL' mode, which is a 0.2mm or 200micron layer height.  This is a nice trade off between speed and quality.

The first thing the printer does is lay down a couple of solid layers.  It does this by printing an outline and then filling in that outline with diagonal lines.  As it lays down additional layers, it keeps alternating the direction of the diagonal lines.  It's pretty slow, but totally entrancing to watch.  In the below picture, you can start to see the shield generator's footprint.  This much work has taken about 15 minutes.  Solid layers take a lot of time...

...which is why it's good that we don't need to make every layer solid.  Every 3D printer has an infill setting.  This is how much of the 'empty space' inside a model is to be filled with material.  You can't just print a shell, or the model would be very delicate and prone to breakage.  You also don't want to make the model solid, or it'll be heavier than it needs to be and will use too much material.  The trade off is to fill only part of the interior.  My 'NORMAL' setting fills 20% of the interior.  It does this by laying down a hexagonal pattern.  You can see the first couple of layers below.

Because the hexagonal layers aren't full layers, and because they're interior details, the printer goes much faster when laying them down.  The only downside is that my printer is a bit noisier when going fast.

At this point, you wait.  This model will take hours to print.  I'm not sure how long, but I'm guessing at least five or six.  I work a more or less traditional Monday through Friday, 9-5 sort of job.  I don't like to have the printer running when I'm not home and I don't like to have it running past 10pm.  I have neighbors and don't want to irritate them (or my wife).  Due to these points, Saturdays and Sundays tend to be my printing days.  It's Sunday as I type this.  I was out most of yesterday, so I've actually been waiting for half a week to hit print on this model.  There's a surprising amount of planning that goes into one of these suckers if you don't have the ability to run it overnight without aggravating people.

I'll post another picture later when the print is done.

Monday, October 2, 2017

3D Printed Stuff

Since I'm stuck waiting for Legion to come out, I figured that I might as well start working on some terrain.  My plan is to just get some likely sized boxes and glue greebles to them to make them look like little Star Wars buildings.  This is a heck of a lot quicker and more manageable than printing entire buildings.

Here's an assortment of things I've printed over the last week...

Glue these suckers onto a box and I'm in business.

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Little Painting

Not much to say today.  I was in kind of a bad mood, so I sat down to do a little painting.  That usually helps.  I grabbed one of the many, many models from my 'to do shelf' and threw some paint onto it.  I still need to do the base and a little more detail work, but it's generally pretty close.  I'll be painting his twin in a completely different scheme to represent that they come from different places.

I tried the paint chipping using a sponge technique.  I'm not convinced that I life it.  I do really like the way the after market heads turned out.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Star Wars Legion

One of the reasons that I haven't been posting much lately is that I have a serious case of the gamer blahs.  Star Wars Armada season is over.  Runewars isn't really catching on in my area.  40k has had a major resurgence, but it still feel like the same game with the same problems.  I can't ally anyone with my Necrons or Tau and hate that alpha strikes are still everywhere.  I've lost full units in every game I've played before being able to activate them.  That should never happen.

Right now, I feel like I'm in a holding pattern.  But...

There is light at the end of the tunnel.  That light is called Legion.

This game is basically the result of Warhammer 40k amd SW Armada making a beautiful baby wearing a Stormtrooper helmet.  I'm super excited.  The models look amazing.  The gameplay looks amazing.  Everything about this looks amazing.  It's what I've always wanted.

We will, of course, have epic showdowns between iconic heroes and villains.

Unlike 40k, Legion will have unit and upgrade cards as well as special dice, just like in X-Wing and Armada.

Can't wait.  The only bad thing about this game is that it's not out yet.