Well now it has been a while hasn't it.
I find myself waxing nostalgic and I remembered I was once a blogger among my many other hobbies. Since the middle of October maybe before I’ve been pretty heavily occupied. It started of course with several commissions from fairly large miniatures manufacturers. But it quickly escalated as December, the holidays, and my wedding day arrived.
At this point I haven’t worked on my models in months which saddens me. I’m also sad that some of the commission work I’ve done hasn’t actually been released yet. In particular the defense lines from Chapter House’s kickstarter which were an extensive product I’m proud of. Still I am not in control of that stuff so I shouldn’t let it bug me.
I’ve had a lot of requests for different designs, mostly space marine bits. I’ll fill these in bit by bit as I get the chance. My work schedule has imploded due to layoffs so my free time is not what it was. But I still enjoy this part of the hobby. Truthfully I think the 3d modeling and printing is more fulfilling than playing 40k for me since 6th edition launched. I’d personally like to go off on a rant about how GW’s hodge podge releases are killing the game or how their disguising the price hikes as mini-rereleases sickens me but truthfully my vested interest is pretty much at an end. I can’t really feel angry at Games Workshop for their business plan anymore, it’s just, sad.
But all that is unimportant when we are talking about 3d printing miniatures.
I’d like to firstly say I get way to many “copy this” requests. I think I’ve become a magnet for such requests because my big starting project was space marine shoulder pads which are arguably copied designs. (I disagree by definition the addition of any amount of creativity makes things unique designs and I believe I had done that, but I digress). My point here is I’m going to have to be more discriminatory on this issue. Companies like Games Workshop are being more restrictive on such issues but even companies that make real world products would have recourse for legal action on the issue if they cared. Mainly I’m inclined to lean towards simply producing original designs or variants with high degrees of originality. People are free to request anything they want but I encourage you to also consider that I’m free to refuse requests as well.
Secondly I get a lot and I mean a lot of requests for pictures of my products. I’ve been pretty torn on this issue for a long time. I have had these requests pretty much from day one on Shapeways. On the one hand I agree it’s a bit miss leading to put up digital images of a product to be ordered in print. On the other hand I’ve said before I don’t have a camera that will take good miniatures photos. There is something bigger at work here though. Put simply I don’t have time or money enough to order prints of every single product. And many things I wouldn’t order prints of even if I had all the money in the world. I don’t want copies of everyone’s custom shoulder pads and I don’t have the need for 500 swords. Even further beyond that is simply I don’t want to take a thousand photos. I’m not a salesman. I make miniatures for the fun of it. Taking it seriously and treating it like a business takes that fun away. It was a nice lark to have Chapterhouse, Blood and Skulls, and others treat me as a professional but this is a hobby to me. I don’t take pictures of my 40k armies and stick them online I’m not going to do it with the bits I make either. Now this does make things a bit awkward at times, hard to imagine bits and such can be problematic. I’ll be making adjustments as needed upon request and maybe that’s not good enough for some but It’s the best I can do. At least until I no longer have a home to take care of, a wife to love, a job to go to, and at least a dozen other hobbies to indulge (maybe if I kick one of the hobbies I might take up miniature photography).
On a happier note, I’m officially buying a 3d printer. Specifically a peachy printer. The peachy guys were kind enough to let me pledge late to their kickstarter so I’ll be getting one in a few months. The peachy printer is a high detail photo-resin printer that uses laser pointers to solidify resin. It’s oddly sound driven with a water drip system to control the z axis which are really unique features. The important point is they are affordable. Not affordable like companies often claim where you have to spend 2 or 3 paychecks to make the down payment but actually affordable, about twice the cost of a standard printer. It uses Blender for its model output which saddens me but I can deal with importing models from a good software package into blender. Its detail resolution is about .2mm at the moment and they are trying to improve that. This is roughly analogous to Frosted Ultra Detail but its resin meaning it has no frosted surface and could theoretically be printed smooth. Once I receive this printer I intend to do several things. First, dance around happily. Second, lament for days about where to set it up, likely getting yelled at by my wife everytime I try to take over the living room coffee table so I can play with it and watch tv. Third, I want to test print some of my catalogue of miniatures, specifically some full figures I’m working on, stuff that really needs tested for sizing before being sent off to Shapeways. Forth, I hope to test some of my larger designs, Shapeways is prohibitively expensive to print large things like vehicles so I’d like to try and test some that might eventually be sent off to a design studio for casting.
Anyway that’s a good update for now.