Life and work have gotten in the way of blogging for several months. I have been busy painting when I can, but just not blogging.
I have been developing Wars of Orcs and Dwarves, the version of Wars of Ozz for generic, massed-battle fantasy games. Development is well under way. As I embarked on that project I realized that I had very few fantasy figures, except those needed for skirmishes or RPGs. I have been painting hobbits like crazy, and that is about done. Now I have begun to focus on orcs and dwarves.
I recently received my figures from the Dragonbait Kickstarter for pig-faced orcs. I decided to paint their skin in AD&D yellow instead of GW green. I like the way they have turned out.
I’ve continued to work on WOOD via Zoom games. Development is coming along okay. There is the typical tension between those wanting to complicate to game to account for every nuance of a particular vision of fantasy battles (whatever that means) and trying to keep all the mechanics consistent and streamlines.
I don’t have my own fantasy armies. In the past any fantasy figures I painted were for role playing games to were instated into GASLIGHT games. So, I have been working to create a hobbit army.
These hobbits were 3D printed on my resin printer. I think I prefer metal figures, but printing figures is a cost effective way to build up an army very quickly.
I am currently working on three regiments of hobbit infantry in Italian Renaissance style dress from The Assault Group.
The LAST set of Ozz figures I had to paint is this balloon. I am awaiting the dire Lions, Tigers, and Bears, but until they arrive, I am out of Ozz figures. In late Summer I had three linear yards of bags of Ozz figures. I have been knocking out one or two units a week.
The balloon kit comes with the lucite rod. One of the things I like about this kit is that the rod goes up through the gondola to the balloon. The gondola is actually suspended from the balloon by the lines (wire). I have built other airships over the years where the base is connected to the gondola and then the lines actually hold up the balloon. The Old Glory balloon seems more stable. The gas bag is made of a very light foamy resin. This reduced the weight on the end of the moment arm. I glued the base that came with the kit to an old CD, which provides enough stability.
I have been working hard to finish the last of my Wars of Ozz figures. If we are ever allowed to peacefully assemble again, I want to have every Ozz figure painted to use in demonstration / participation games at conventions. A few months ago, I had three linear yards of Ozz figures to paint. The last of them are the summoning bell (pictured above) and the Munchkin balloon, which I hope to complete later today.
I have also recently completed a few other Ozz figures to get to this point.
In addition ot figures of Wars of Ozz, I am painting up a couple of fantasy armies for Wars of Orcs and Dwarves (WOOD). WOOD is an adaptation of Wars of Ozz (WOZZ) for general, massed-battle, fantasy games. I haven’t traditionally done much fantasy gaming. As we were testing Bear Yourselves Valiantly, I relied on Chris Palmer and Dave Wood to provide figures for the play tests. I used to think I had a lot of fantasy figures “back in the day.” In getting ready for WOOD games at conventions, I realized that I only had enough figures to make three units, hardly enough for a massed-battle game. Most of my fantasy figures were individuals for role-playing games or G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. So, I have started to assemble six players worth of figures.
So far, for WOOD, I have a very complex spreadsheet that can be used to “stat out” units for WOOD. The idea is that players can bring whatever armies they have. (Apparently a large number of gamers were orphaned when GW discontinued Warhammer in favor of Age of Sigmar. So WOOD has not back story or lore. This means instead of providing pre-approved army lists, I need to provide a mechanism for players to determine the costs of the units they want to use. In addition, my friends have been creating army lists with WOOD stats for armies from other gaming systems.
During the development of Wars of Ozz, I was getting figures from Old Glory as they became available. During most of the development, I didn’t have the mounted leaders and substituted other figures for testing. A month or so prior to Kickstarter fulfillment, I received a huge box full of lead. I have been working diligently since August to get all the Ozz figures painted (minus the few packs I don’t have yet) by Christmas. There is nothing special about getting them done by Christmas other than I want to have everything ready to go so that I can run demonstration/participation games if and when we are ever allowed to peacefully assemble again. This morning, I completed a bunch of figures that I will show.
I also completed a bunch of Munchkin mounted leaders to put in front of various Munchkin regiments and to be used as brigade commanders. Munchkins are known for the horses of a different color.
Toward the end of development, I added four “personality” figures, a Kansas farm girl, a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion.
As promised, I am posting some pictures of the Wars of Ozz Fearsome Scarecrows pack. These took a little longer to paint than other units, because I wanted them to have a lot of variation in colors for that scruffy look.
Once I finished all the base colors I had a little fun with dots and stripes on some of them. I really like the variety of weapons. I think my favorite are the ones with rakes.
Here is a sneak preview for you! The Land of Harvest, as it grows into its own faction, will have a unit of corn people. I only have one from the master mold. These are not yet in production molds.
I plan to get two units. I’ll paint one as yellow corn, like this one. I plan to paint the other as Indian corn.
Finally, my friend Mark sent me these two figures that I couldn’t resist painting before Christmas.
This weekend, amid lots of other activities, including a Zoom-based Feudal Patrol(TM) game testing Greg’s upcoming Viking supplement, I managed to complete this unit of mechanic tin men as well as nearly finish the Scarecrows and a few other figures (for a future post).
These are a pretty fast paint. I primed them black, dry brushed them with gunmetal, dry brushed them a gain more lightly with silver, and then added some Vellejo rust.
As this figure was being developed, I asked Russ to make sure he was holding an oil can.
This weekend, amid Christmas decorating, I completed my last unit of Gillikin infantry and a unit of lesser apes.
We normally decorate on Black Friday, but we spent Thanksgiving with my son at Ft. Rucker this year. So, we decorated the following weekend — without the added hands of two kids. This was made a little more difficult because we are in a new house and didn’t have habitual locations of our various decorations. But, I usually wake up very, very early, and so I managed to finish two units I had started last week along with some additional Gillikin leader figures.
Next up in the painting queue are Fearsome Scarecrows and Professor NitPick and his mechanical tin men.
Well, I completed resin printing my 20th goblin last night and so have a whole unit to paint for Wars of Orcs and Dwarves (WOOD). It seems easier to print in resin than in PLA, but the cleanup is a bit painful. Probably the best thing to do is never clean up; keep the printer running 24/7. With a fan and an open window (easier to do in FL), the fumes are manageable. I am going to set up a bench in the garage, however, for future prints, because I am not 100% about the fumes. I ordered some additional supplies from Amazon, including several bottles of IPA, which is hard to come by in stores around here due to the plague panic, surgical gloves, some lunch trays to contain any spills, and some extra reservoirs.
Chris or Greg sent me the link to a Kickstarter making 28mm Napoleonic figures, but they were post-1812, and my preferred periods are pre-1812, 1805-1809. I think that more and more people are going to start selling stl files for figures as the price of resin printers has come way down.
The reviews on the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro were solid, so I took the plunge. The Photon is supposedly a little more flexible, but the Elegoo reviews said it was the easiest and simplest to use. I don’t like fighting through IT issues (like updating an SSL certificate yesterday on my blog), so I went with simple. The Internet is famous for people who don’t do anything or have any credibility criticizing people who do*, so some of the negative reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt. For instance, it said the port for the USB stick was hard to get to. Note in the picture above, it is right in front and easily accessed. Another complaint was that it was difficult to remove the UV lid. I didn’t find that to be the case at all. Yes, it has to be lifted completely off the device, but I just didn’t see that as a big deal. The ChiTu Box slicer is a little non-intuitive, but once you get the hang of it, even that was straight forward, and ChiTu Box seems to be an industry-standard, free slicer — for resin printers at least. So far, I have been really happy with the printer and the results. Recommended.
I used Chris Abbey’s (Sally 4th) workflow:
Import the stl files into Prussa slicer.
Use Prussa’s auto orientation feature and add the supports.
Export the file with supports to a new stl file.
Load those STL files into the ChiTu Box slicer to fill the bed with figures. (It takes the same amount of time to print one figure or a bed full of figures, so you might as well fill the bed.
Export that into the proprietary ChiTu Box format.
Load that file onto the USB stick that comes with the printer.
Print the figures.
Pry everything off the print bed.
Wash the figures in two tubs of IPA, one “dirty” (the first wash) and one “clean” (the second wash).
Rinse in warm water.
Finish curing the figures in UV light (plenty of that on the back patio in FL.
I am very happy with the results and quality of the figures. I still prefer metal figures, but these are nice, especially for the price (something like $0.30 a figure). They have the feel of Bones II material. I haven’t tried to paint any yet, so I don’t know how they take primer. The only primer I found that works on Bones II is the Army Painter primer and/or matte spray. Everything else seems to make the perpetually sticky.
Anyway, if you have been thinking about a resin printer, for about $250 on Amazon plus another $50 of additional supplies, you can be up and running. (I normally order my electronics from New Egg, but they were about $40 more than Amazon in this case, which is unusual.) That’s about what my Prussa Mini cost me.
I still prefer metal figures, but for those odd or rare items that aren’t worth a manufacturer creating a mold, you can’t beat the price of resin printed figures (about $0.30) per figure. Once you amortize the cost of the printer, this is still economical. I see resin figures as a supplement to metal figures, not a replacement.
I still have a large block of Wars of Ozz figures to paint before I paint the goblins, so don’t look for painted pictures anytime soon. These will get the Contrast paint treatment, but I will also experiment with the Instar Alpha contrast style paints that I got from Sally 4th.
My next project will be to reprint a vehicle that I printed with PLA and compare them.
*Man in Arena by Teddy Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” I firmly believe in this quote and what it says. This is why I have no patience anymore for people who have never done anything FOR their country except to benefit from its freedoms and institutions incessantly criticizing it or tearing down its foundations and institutions.
*As Dolly Parton said, “I wish all the people telling me that something can’t be done would get out of the way of the people who are doing it.”