Sunday, December 29, 2019

Dialing in the size and resolution... Rising Son V3.0!

I had some time this weekend and decided to asymetrically resize the same pose and support structure and reprint the model at 50 microns.  I fully admit that this was the easy way out but I figured I'd give it a shot to check out the proportions as well as the more typical 50 micron layer height that I normally print at.  At about 6 1/2 hours print time, I'd personally say that the detail and the proportions compared with the official primaris marine are both pretty good though there is a softness on certain parts of the face and aquilla on the more recent print compared with the previous one.  We still didn't have any real direct sunshine to speak of with another pair of rainy days so the resin remains a bit rubbery (and wet from the water rinse in the case of the newest print as I took the pics right after!) so it's still a bit hard to make out the details in the pics.  After some post curing, it'll be off to painting for the smaller RPG scale and correct scale marine but I think I'll leave the primarch scale print as is.  Now I just need to find out what paint scheme I intend to use.  I'll definitely do a base of gloss black but I'm not sure of what color highlights and details that I'll end up using.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Rising Son One Piece 3d Test Print

I finally got around to printing the one piece assembled Rising Son marine and the results are definitely interesting.  I resized the model from the previously printed one to 85% but it looks visually like it's closer to 66%!

There are a couple of reasons that could contribute to that seeming discrepancy in size.  The first is that previously I printed the parts separately so the little gaps with glue could increase the size of the final model whereas I definitely overlapped them when combined it all digitally.  Second, resin does shrink both with printing and temperature and the ambient temperature was 10-15 degrees below my previous print that was done during a relative winter heat wave in my area.  It's supposed to only be a 1-2% but maybe it's more.  Additionally, this was done with a slightly different resin (same manufacturer but now with an "ABS-like" moniker added to it) so maybe that contributed.  I virtually measured the model to the top of the hair and the final result is only about 1mm below what I expected; it was supposed to match the Amulius in height but the picture isn't an exact comparison as Amulius is sculpted onto a small 2mm high rubble platform on top of the 40mm base.  The final and biggest difference is likely the various proportions in that the official primaris model while better proportioned than normal marines is still far enough from human shaped to make a difference.  With my previous 3d printed models, I noticed that I definitely needed to "thicken" models 10-20% to get them to look good on the tabletop versus good on the screen.  When I arrange the next marine pose, I'll probably increase the height by 5% and the width/depth by 10% to give them bulk more consistent with the official models.

The good news is that at least at first glance I don't see any obvious miscasts.  The sword edge is a bit chipped and I had to level out the butt plate as it was edge was a bit curved so I sanded it down.  The parts that I was worried about ahead of time like the helmet and chest horns and banner actually came out IMO pretty good.  I still have to cure the model (which will probably take a few days given the lack of daytime direct sunlight forecast locally) as well as trim a few more nubs but I did what I could with the rubbery flexible resin without damaging it.

I don't want to sound like I'm unhappy with the results as I'm not but just wanted to hit the potential issues first in the post.  Regardless of the above, I'm actually happy with the size of this first 1pc model even if I plan to change further prints.  This particular model actually fits quite well on a 25mm base and makes for a good RPG model as it's more in scale with other figs compared with official primaris.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Rising Sons Primaris Marine Test Model

Well, it took a few days of printing due to misprints as well as another couple of days in order to have enough sunshine to post cure the model parts but I finally printed and assembled my first Rising Sons primaris marine.  I printed him out bigger (closer to primarch size than primaris) in order to see how the details resolved and overall I'm happy with the results.

I printed him out in pieces and assembled him as you would a normal marine but I think the next rescaled version I'll attempt to print at the "correct" size.  I do see some things that I want to change though to make sure the model will be durable enough to see play on the tabletop potentially.  You may notice that he isn't using a chainsword katana as I had many problems trying to get that to print correctly with the teeth on both sides of the sword so I switched it to a power katana instead.  I suppose that will necessitate a promotion to Lieutenant as well.  :)  Additionally I turned the sword inward for stability reasons as the separately printed parts left a rather fragile wrist; that shouldn't be an issue with the one piece model though but I would like to hear whether the sword position is better like this.

I also had a misprint where the supports weren't solid enough on the exhausts of the backpack so I took the opportunity to redo that as well since the Cyberpunk Oni symbol was too fine to survive priming printing.  I'm still not happy with the overall dimensions of the back banner though and will likely redo it again with the rescale.  I'm leaning towards using the sashimono style banner but redoing it as a traditional 2nd edition 40k T-shaped sergeant banner.  I'll have to thicken up the parts significantly as even at primarch scale (52mm to the top of the head) they're quite fragile.  I'm not sure what icon I'll use (aquilla?  raptor?  oni head?) as well and wouldn't mind some feedback on all of the above.  Here are the other pics from different angles.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Rising Sons Samurai Space Marines Project

My previous attempt at a historical conversion of Primaris marines into Polish Winged Hussars went well enough (link here) so I figured I'd give another famous warrior group a shot.  In the months since, I got my first 3d printer (a resin SLA Elegoo Mars) and have been experimenting mainly with figs for an RPG campaign I'm in.  A whole bunch of high quality primaris style 3D model uploads are on thingiverse so I decided I'd try my hand at a fully virtual conversion and settled on a Samurai motif.  I suspect the general familiarity with samurai armor is pretty high so I won't post pics of historical resources used for inspiration like I did with my Winged Hussar project.  The main samurai components that sparked my interest were uploaded by indignentshrew on Thingiverse (link here).  I'm still resizing the various parts for primaris and deciding on the various design flourishes I plan to add but this is the initial mock up of my first Rising Sons Intercessor Sergeant.  Please note that I can't 3D model anything more than a simple cube or sphere so am limited to the more traditional physical conversion techniques of cutting/pasting from existing sources (3d models in this case instead of from my bitz box!).

It's hard to make out but the icon on his chest aquilla and on his sashimono banner is the Cyberpunk 2077 Samurai logo.  I have serious doubts as to both (especially the chest) printing correctly so I do expect to adapt them this week.  Additionally, I'm not entirely happy with the size of the sashimono so will likely enlarge that as well as reposition the chainsword katana a bit more at an angle.  In case it wasn't obvious, my primaris inspiration for this pose was the recent event exclusive Lieutenant Amulius figure that I also used to convert my Lt. Googely Eyes Winged Hussar.  :)

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Supporting your miniatures.. Literally!

Since getting the printer, I've been spending time honing in some settings as well as getting the hang of properly supporting home printed 3d models.  My initial foray(s) were mainly using auto generated supports with a few extra that I added for spots that I thought needed them.  Unfortunately, the results didn't turn out so well as shown in the previous post.  I've been learning more about where and when to place custom supports and they've improved the final appearance of the model with each iteration (newest print on the left, oldest on the right).

It's not perfect by any means as, despite my added supports, the gunclub (a combo of the two weapons for the RPG character) remains a bit bowed where it meets the hand but at least the globs of fused support and model are gone.  I didn't notice any areas of failure to print so I'm probably (other than the before mentioned gunclub) adequately to overly supporting the model.  As long as the cleanup is manageable and mostly invisible, I'm ok with the latter!

Here is the final result painted.  From L to R, we have a GW Primaris marine, my earlier Shapeways printed Krogan, my recent home printed Krogan, and a prepainted Star Wars miniature circa 2008.

Overall, I'd put the crispness of the detail somewhere between my (admittedly dated) prepainted PVC miniature and modern GW plastics at the above printed layer height of 50 microns (with a 47 micron accuracy on the XY plane due to the 1440p/"2k" LCD screen).  For something printed at home in a few hours, I'd call that a resounding success considering it took me over a month to get the Shapeways krogan after payment!   It's unfortunately not an exact like for like comparison though as my 3d modelling (or more accurately tweaking) skills have improved somewhat and I did learn how to smooth out the obvious polygon facets visible on the krogan as well as his layer height being set to approximately 1/3 (16 microns) that of the home print.  At least for my thoroughly mediocre painting abilities, I don't think the added difference shows in the final product.

Along with the krogan, I decided to reprint NXR Star Trek ship as well since I had plenty of room on the build plate and wanted to test out both the custom supports as well as a true vertical orientation on the model at 50 microns instead of the previous 45 degree angle/20 micron/auto support print shown on the left.

There is some difference in this model in terms of fine detail but I can't say whether the orientation or the layer height had more to do with it.  It's evident in the overall softness and the shallowness of the depth of the saucer elements like the cover over the front saucer tip where the original NX deflector was.  Like the krogan, this model wasn't specifically made for 3d printing so shallowness of details is to be expected somewhat but it's a bit more muted than I expected.  I haven't painted this model (obviously ) and I am curious how much of it will show through after a layer of primer, paint, and wash are applied.  Regardless, I'd have to test out a fully vertical 20 micron print to see how much of that loss is due to each factor.  Due to the length of time that would take, I'd probably wait to do that for when I'm ready to print out a full build plate of Trek ships so as to maximize the results for the longer print as a vertical starship is significantly taller than my other mainly wargaming character prints.

Well, those are my 3d printing results for this past week.  As always, feel free to comment below and thanks for reading.  More to come in about a week!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Adventures in Cloning Krogans

After getting my first 3d printer last week and doing an initial pair of test prints last weekend, I've been trying to test out some additional models at a higher level of detail (20 micron layer height instead of 50) in the days since.  I decided to go with three models that I tweaked myself from existing models for my first build plate.  Included was the Star Trek NX refit that I previewed a few weeks earlier, a purpose built for 3d printing 40k model of a Sister of Battle that I converted a chainsword onto, and another custom posed Krogan that I built as a possible RPG character model for a Starfinder campaign I just joined.  I used the automated standard supports to build a scaffolding around the models and added some manual supports for small islands that were missed.  I did a fairly thorough job since I've been watching youtube channels for months detailing failed models and they did indeed print entirely and were well bonded to the build plate.  Mission accomplished!... or so I thought.

The front/top of each model was quite nice and I was incredibly impressed with the level of detail.  Individual teeth on the chainsword printed perfectly and even portholes on the starship are visible.  The only misprint I found was the sagging barrel on the Krogan's gatling laser club and the deflector on the NXR bonded with the secondary hull. Unfortunately, the undersides of the models were much worse as I saw when I removed the supports.

Each model is a example of a different kind of error with supports.  The supports on the back of the Sister of Battle were on occasion too close to her and tiny bits of resin trapped between them bonded the two together leaving large, ugly messes resembling superglue blobs.  The amount of surface area needed to print the starship at a 45 degree angle (so as not to be taller than the other models and increase the 7 1/2 hour build time by another hour or two) meant a large amount of supports and the standard auto setting left many pips that have to be individually removed after the support itself is clipped.  The krogan was lacking any supports on the top of the gun barrel as it was printing vertically on the build plate and supposedly didn't need any but sagged for some reason around the hand.

Obviously it was time to go back to basics and rewatch any videos dealing with placement of supports.  In the next post, I'll detail what I learned, what I changed, and show some of the results.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Lazy Summer Days... or are they?

I haven't been too active on the blog but that (much to my own surprise!) hasn't been the case in real life with regards to my hobby efforts.  After my last post, I decided to try another Primaris Space Marine that specifically wasn't from my Winged Hussar chapter.  Instead, I decided to make a model for the successor chapter of Space Wolves based on the Dusk Howler paint scheme linked below.

After a few false starts including one complete paint strip and a change from a naked head to a helmeted one, I ended up with the following final figure.  In retrospect, I'd have preferred the bare head and the real chain loin cloth was definitely not worth the hassle compared with just using a plastic bit.

 Afterwards, I returned to remixing (basically digital converting of 3d models) designs for a while until I saw that 3d printers had finally dropped below my personal long stated cost threshold.  I hesitated for over a month during which the sale model constantly went in and out of stock before finally committing to buying it during the last days of the sale.  As a proud new owner of an Elegoo Mars, I then proceeded to try out my first test print that didn't exactly go so well.  Luckily, I noticed that I hadn't tightened up the build plate less than a third of the way through and repeated the print with the results below.  Apologies for the crappy paint job but it was literally speed painted in a single evening before my first tabletop game of 2019 (where it was my RPG character model) but I posted the pic because it shows the level of detail a bit more than the bare resin.

 I have to say that I'm very impressed with what you can do with an affordable home printer in 2019.  The print was done at 50 microns for testing purposes but the printer is capable of layer heights less than half that!  I just didn't max out the settings as even that single figure would have taken over 7 hours based on height.  I hope to have an update later this week with my first relatively full test bed of models at the highest detail level for a better comparison.  I just hope that I don't end up printing more than my painting habits allow for!  :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Birth of the Federation (NX era rules for STA)

I've been working on my first ever "remix" of a Star Trek 3D model (basically the digital equivalent of a plastic model kitbash or conversion).  A while back on one of my first blog entries, I posted my NXL Long Range Exploratory pod idea (link here) and decided recently to try and add a 3rd dimension to the visualization.  That of course brought up the more practical gaming uses for it and reminded me that I wasn't entirely happy with the rules for the NX era in the modern Star Trek Adventures RPG.  The problem that I have with it is that I feel that the rules penalize ships from the era a bit too much as you not only get downgraded but also have to pay an extra cost for the privilege.  For example, you have to pay for the privilege of downgrading your tractor beam to a grappler cannon using a ship trait; similarly, downgrading shields to hull plating costs another.  While I wholeheartedly support making ships of that era worse than those from a century earlier, this double penalizes the worst ships whereas the most powerful ships of the era are functionally equivalent to those that come over a century later when updated. 

Tripp: "How can you be so damn sure what our sensors can do?"
T'Pol: "Vulcan children play with toys that are more sophisticated."  


Ships originating from this era (pre-2200 introduction) have a baseline technology level below that of most eras covered by the Star Trek Adventures core rules.  As such, the starting equipment for a spaceframe introduced before 2200 has the following changes:
  • Remove access to shields and the tractor beam; replace them with the polarized hull plating and grappler cable rules respectively from page 55 of the Command Division book supplement.
  • Remove photon torpedoes and phasers/disruptors and replace them with plasma turrets (no special qualities) and either the spatial torpedoes and/or nuclear warheads from page 55 of the Command Division book supplement.
     Tripp: "That tractor beam of yours is quite somethin'.  Any chance we could take a look at the specifications?" 
Vannik: "That information is classified."
 In order to emulate the more advanced ships from the era, the following talent is available for selection.

Pre-2200 service date introduction only.  This ship contains systems that are far in advance of the common technology of the day.  Each time you select this talent (max twice), you must choose to either upgrade the offensive or defensive systems of the ship.  If you choose the offensive option, you may upgrade your baseline weapons to phase weapons and/or photonic torpedoes.  If you choose defensive, you may upgrade your systems to include shields and/or tractor beams.

For example, the original NX class as launched would just include plasma turrets and spatial torpedoes with all three talent slots open.  If you instead choose to portray the ship as equiped in later seasons, the ship would have the State of the Art (Offensive) talent with the phase weapon and photonic torpedo upgrades.  If you instead wanted to go even later in the era, the NX refit would spend another slot on a second State of the Art talent in order for the ship to include shields and tractor beams.  As always, feel free to let me know what you think of this as an alternative to the official rules for the game.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Star Trek Heroclix... worth a quick touchup?

Recently I gave another player the advice that a quick wash/shade of the Star Trek heroclix figs improves their look and the level of visible detail and I realized that I had never actually done so with my own Trek clix figs that I picked up last year.  While I had done the same thing with some other clix figs like AVP and Marvel/DC ones, those examples were a few years ago and I figured I should update the blog with an example of the quick and dirty technique on the newer Star Trek figs.   My goal was to show what can be done quickly, easily, and relatively inexpensively by a player without any real experience with painting miniatures.  

I tried to choose a half dozen figs showcasing a variety of factions and colors.  The original prepainted figs are duplicates of the same sculpt/paint job as I didn't think of taking the before pics of the exact same figs; any minor deviations on the base paint scheme (like roving eyebrows on the red shirt!) are just paint errors from the clix factory.  And, yes, the red shirt that I touched up is indeed missing a hand as he came like that from the ebay auction.  I had a second one of the fig so figured it wasn't worth raising a stink with the seller with one defective fig out of 20+ in the lot.  Besides, it's a bit appropriate given he's a red shirt and nurse Chapel is nearby anyways to treat his wound.  :)   Here is the starting "before" pic:

The first step that I did was a quick wash of the main uniform color.  I used a dark flesh wash on the Klingon/Romulan and a light wash on the Andorian.  The Federation figs instead got (from L to R) a red wash, soft flesh, and blue wash on the uniforms.  Skin and hands then got the approrpriate wash as well (blue for the Andorian, soft flesh for the rest).  I didn't wait for the first wash to dry before applying the second as I was purposely trying to show what a quick, relatively no fuss novice technique could do.  About the only care that I took was to avoid excessive pooling in areas like eye sockets and splotches on big flat areas.   No fig got more than 30 seconds each in total of actual painting time/attention with both washes combined.

While I was happy with the added detail in folds of the uniforms as well as on the faces, the above obviously isn't a home run either.  Despite my (admittedly minor) efforts to prevent excessive pooling, there are still areas where the wash dried a bit too prominently for my tastes so I figured I'd try and see what adding a second quick dry brush step could do for the figs.  For this next pic, I basically just dry brushed whatever the closest color I had to the base color (red for red, light blue for blue, brass for brass/copper, etc)  even if it wasn't the exact same tone to pick out the raised areas a bit more.  I wasn't careful regarding how I applied this paint so areas like the starfleet delta uniform details are somewhat obliterated.  If you want to keep those details, I'd say use a traditional careful technique in that one same area instead of drybrushing.

For darker colored figs like the klingons, I don't think the technique has much utility as the only place that I see a difference on him is on the grey uniform top (similarly the helmet/face on the romulan).  I do think though that it does improve the lighter colored figures in the line for minimal effort.  It's obviously *NOT* the same thing as repainting them with care and detail nor is it perfect as some things are lost (uniform badges and the whites of the eyes) but overall I think it is a moderate improvement for minimal effort.  Including the washes drying, the set of figs above was completely done in about an hour (most of that time taken up with waiting for the washes to dry!) with no individual figure taking more than 2-3 minutes total for both steps combined in actual painting effort.

Here is an animated comparison of the three steps in succession on the two figs that I think it had the greatest impact on.  As always, feel free to let me know what you think and whether or not the quick wash and/or dry brush is worth the effort (or if it is even an improvement in the first place!).

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The eyes... the eyes! Aging in the hobby...

After posting my latest Winged Hussar pics online, I got an unprecedented amount of feedback on the model and unfortunately alot of it was negative specifically regarding the eyes.  From replies entirely consisting of the first part of the title of this post to multiple animated gifs of googley eyes and melting faces, the response took me back a bit as I actually made a concerted effort to paint them with this final model.  In the past, I basically just applied a flesh was to the eye sockets and just left it as is.
I did something similar initially with this model but later decided to add in some pupils.  The results were not pretty so I decided that for the first time in over 15 years that I'd try to paint the eyes completely.
It's been a while since I last tried and I had to admit that those intervening decades have taken their toll.  Whereas things like first receding then greying hair and increasing weight with decreasing muscle mass are impossible signs of aging for me to ignore, it hadn't really affected my hobby directly (or at least I hadn't admitted it yet).  Unfortunately, I've noticed that over the past year or two that my vision has been steadily worsening (I don't need glasses just yet but likely will eventually) and I was having trouble making out smaller details on the models.  I'd think that my paint job was good and then cringe at mistakes evident in the mega-zoomed in pics that I'd post here.  Since I was putting in the extra effort, I decided to get myself some granny magnifying reading glasses to better see the details as well as finally improve the lighting in the basement where I typically paint as well as buying the smallest technical pens in both white and black that I could find to help with the painting.  While far from perfect (too much whites and the asymmetric left iris), I was happy with the results at least at arms length.  The general response though was vastly different though.
The above was probalby the best result that I got after repainting the area a half dozen times.  After getting feedback on the above, I've done another couple of attempts to fix it with only slightly better results but I'm worried about obliterating the detail on the face if I try again.  I toyed with the idea of ripping the head off, stripping it, and restarting from scratch but the results really aren't noticeable at arms length (or even 12" away with my granny glasses) and I think I'll just take the advice given on how to improve it and use it on the next model (likely the upcoming Sister of Battle recently previewed by GW).   Regardless, since I was working on it again, I decided to fix the eagle decal that slid up a bit on the shin as well as a few other paint splotches that I missed previously.

For better or worse, that's probably the best that I'll be able to accomplish going forward with the hobby.  Looking at the pic, I swear that the dark recess wash goes all the way around the shoulder pad in person but I'll have to double check (and correct that if need be) when I get home tonight.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Lt. Amulius Completed (Primaris WInged Hussar Conversion)

Well, I've completely finished my first Winged Hussar Primaris marine!  I've been working on various marines over the past year as part of that extended project but I never decided on a basing scheme so they were never technically 100% finished on their naked black bases.  The Lieutenant Amulius model comes with a texted base as part of the model so I couldn't procrastinate my way past this model like I did with the others.

I tried to consciously do a better job with this model as I don't currently have plans to make any further Winged Hussars at the moment since I'm running short of bits as well as sculpts that inspire me (although I reserve the right to add more in the future!).  I was frankly embarrased at some of my efforts in the past year (especially the faces) so I tried to better catch mistakes before it was too late.  I'll expand on that in the next post as I don't want to add a mini rant on aging in the hobby with this post.  With this model, I took close up pictures after my initial painting and first wash steps to improve on tiny spill over painting mistakes.  Just looking at the animated gif above, I missed a few of them (one that I can correct at least on the backpack) but I think the model shows some moderate improvement compared with my previous efforts.  I resized the image above for animation but here are the full static views below.

There are things that looking at the images after the fact could have been improved upon though.  I'm not entirely happy with the Polish eagle decal placement on the leg but it was a last minute and fiddly change as it initially was placed on the knee instead.  Unfortunately due to the curvature, I couldn't get it to sit right even with a strategic cut and some decal softener so had to remove (and ruin) that decal with a second one placed below.  It looks like it rode up a bit (or perhaps I just didn't see the placement correctly with my vision... more on that in my next blog post) higher than I would have liked but whats done is done.  There are a few other paint missteps that are visible zoomed in (one or two of which I can correct but not all) as well.  As always, feel free to comment/criticize below.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Winged Hussar Lieutenant Amulius Conversion

It took a while but I finally got my hands via an online trade on a Lieutenant Amulius figure to convert into a Winged Hussar.  For those following the blog, I did a digital mockup earlier this year (link here) as I couldn't wait to get the actual model.  I'm a big fan of the pose of the sculpt and the detail they put on it and I was quite excited to put my Winged Hussar spin on it.

It took some conversion efforts, regluing, and clipping after a few false starts and revisions but I'm happy with the overall look of the final model.  I had to repose and reglue the wings and backback several times both due to clumsiness on my part as well as parts simply not fitting (namely with the shoulder pads) but in the end it all works (and hopefully the excess glue isn't too visible).  I added a fur cloak to the back as I said in my digital test but it wasn't enough so I also added a fur limb strip to the front.  Afterwards, I was trying to (unsuccessfully) add the axillary shield that I've typically done but then I realized that the fur bit I used actually has a crescent shaped metal disc down near the paw which was enough for the effect IMO.

I initially planned on a custom head from Puppets War but I couldn't justify the price of an international purchase and shipping for a single tiny bit that I'd end up using as I didn't have any plans for the others.  Instead, I used an ebay coupon and opted for a slightly more feral scarred head than the standard one that comes with the model.  Afterwards I hemmed and hawed a bunch as to whether I was busying up the model too much by making him practical with a modelled scabbard for the sword and a bolter stowed somewhere.  After blue-tacking it all in place and taking a few close up pics (which revealed some mould lines and gaps that needed filling, I was glad to see that he looked both practical without reaching a cluttered state like a previous model I did (link here).   I hope to have this model painted up sometime in the next week or so. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Atlas Dreadnought... now in full Trekkiecolor!

A while back, I converted the Atlas Dreadnought that was introduced in the awesome TOS themed Agents of Yesterday expansion in Star Trek Online for the FASA system.   I was holding off from doing a Star Trek Adventures spaceframe until I had the right artwork for that style and JAFisher44 came through yet again!  I've used his 3d models (link here) in the past for my Pioneer and Derf STA writeups and he didn't disappoint with his take on the Atlas either.

I deviated a little bit from the STO version of the ship as I didn't want to stray too close to either my recent Pioneer writeup or my original Hood Class dreadnought in terms of stats and talents.  If you want something that replicates the official console that comes with the ship on STO, just replace the improved shields talent with improved power systems instead (or just take it as one of your optional ones as it's on my recommended list as well).  As with all my fan rules, feel free to comment below.  The full size image is available if you right click/open in new window on the pic or just download the pdf version linked below.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Winged Hussar Digital Conversion Test

I didn't have any concrete plans for more Winged Hussars when I finished my last fig but I've got a few more conversion ready bits to go and one upcoming model really attracted my attention, the convention exclusive primaris lieutenant.  I've traditionally converted ultracheap starter set figs bought as singles on ebay but I may have to splurge on this one as I really like the sculpt.  I'd love to covert him into yet another Winged Hussar and did some purely digital tweaking and color swaps to test out how he might look.

I'm not sure about the head as it's not exactly the look I'm going for but it's the closest in the GW line for the facial hair slightly wild look that I want.  I wish he wasn't screaming but the next closest one I found was either a no-facial hair scarred head or a bald full beard.  Ideally, I'd love to use some of the heads I initially wanted way back at the beginning of this meandering miniproject, the Puppets War Cossack heads, but I can't find a single pic of them on a space marine figure let alone a larger primaris one.  The only one I found was a genestealer cultist and I'm afraid that they'll end up looking too small.  The key ones I'd want to use would be the top right and bottom left heads. 

Technically, yes... they're cossack heads which would make them one of the traditional enemies of the Winged Hussars historically but they also remind me of the Polish king Jan III Sobieski from the Day of the Siege movie that featured the Winged Hussars in one of their most famous battles.  It's not exact but it's close enough I think to be a younger version of him.  It's supposed to start at the 2:00 mark so skip forward to there if it doesn't.

Also not pictured is the leopard skin fur that I traditionally put onto the models.  My usual method of adding a claw/leg strip under the axillary shield won't work on this model due to the tight space constraints.  Instead, I plan to put a Space Wolf pelt on his back under the backpack but adding that digitally is beyond my simple cut/paste/recolor abilities.  Same thing applies to removing the Lt helmet markings and adding a traditional dorsal helmet fin.  Usually I'd want to add a boltgun of some sort to make him a functional marine in his equipment but I think I'll skip that this time for the same space constraints.  I can't fit it chained under either arm and it'll be too tight likely in back to put it on the butt plate with the pelt there.

Friday, March 8, 2019

D-15 Klingon Command Cruiser Refit

It's been a while since I did any Trek content for either the current Star Trek Adventures RPG or the classic FASA tabletop game so I figured I'd put up something for both hopefully this week starting with FASA (age before beauty!).

A while back, I put up a FASA STSTCS sheet for my Klingon D-15 cruiser write up (link here) where I used a future 1701C era design that had a retro feel from Star Trek Online.  The prolific trek fan artist Atolm posted his take on some of the highly incongruous Klingon designs shown in Star Trek Discovery (link here) around the same time.   I really liked some of the designs but figured it would end with just that thread and I couldn't adapt those designs for my sheets.  Fortunately, artbraune also liked the designs and decided to commission Sean Tourangeau (the artist who created the Axanar Ares awesome final look) for a set of orthos for many of the ships (link here).  One of the most recent designs he's fleshed out was the Klingon Command Cruiser shown below.  The command cruiser seemed like a great fit for the D-15 with its plasma weapon and later rotary photon torpedo tube launcher due to the enlarged gullet compared with the traditional thin neck on ships like the D-7.

I was fortunate enough that all involved allowed me to adapt the art/design for my blog so I present the revised D-15 Quick Death cruiser for FASA STSTCS.  I've changed a few things both in the story and the stats from my original version to better reflect what Atolm originally created and Sean fleshed out.  As always, right click/open in new window to get the full sized jpeg image or save the pdf linked below instead. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Now I just need an RPG group...

A while back I finished my first of the 3D printed Mass Effect figures but never got around to photographing him.  I'm happy to report that in person the facets from the 3D model printing aren't visible at all at any normal distance and I dare say that their visibility is also reduced even in the zoomed in flash photography below as well.

As with my previous fig pictured next to him, I decided to embellish the paint job with the closest things I could find to Blood Pack markings, 40k Ork decals.  I'm about half way done with the sniper figure as well from my second batch but I just can't get the paint job to look how I want.  The fine details evident on the printing really are shallow and I'm not happy with how they're turning out so will probably be stripping the fig and restarting it sometime this week.

I've also stumbled accidentally across an RPG conversion that is exactly what I was looking for in the first place... a Mass Effect total conversion of the 5e D&D ruleset.  I had been considering doing something less ambitious myself with either the Shadowrun or Eclipse Phase rules (and in the past had even done some preliminary work in that regard) but nothing on the scale that the folks at the link below have been working on.  If you're interested in Mass Effect and like the 5e ruleset, definitely check them out as they've got gear, biotics, aliens, and almost everything else worked into playable rules!

As a final tidbit, I posed my Krogan mercenary up with some other figs I've had for a while.  It seems that he was hired to explore some rumors of a Rachni hive and collect an egg for hit patron to sell but has found something much worse!  :)