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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-04-19 07:30 AM
Subtle Discord
∙ Forgive me Omnissiah, for I have succumb to distraction and it has lead me toÖ innovate. I suspect that I will be unable to stop. *Harsh binaric screeching!*

Wall-o-text with some more images coming soon, I promise. Trying to lay the ground work for some bigger projects (work-in-progress pictured above being the first of some much more ambitious ideas) and Iíve got a brain full of thoughts that Iím still working to sort out into some kind of coherent ramble.
06-21-19 07:44 AM
Subtle Discord
∙ Something(s) wicked this way comesÖ soonĎishÖ I hopeÖ *Sigh* Never enough time. Update brain-dump incoming.
06-11-19 09:45 AM
Subtle Discord
∙ Juggle model man! Juggle! You got that done? Well hereís three more things you gottaí do! Hahahah! Juggle model man! Juggle!

Required to constantly keep swapping hats, Iím working on a new banner that I can use on the shop that can give a really focused condensed idea of the studio philosophy with a layout that can accommodate a range of photos. Iím hoping that if I can standardize some of the stuff like this I can make it a bit easier to add updated images to give more feedback on what the studio is working on. Being a simple setup I donít get a lot of control over the shop site so for now Iím trying to do my best with the template as-is.

Ah well, more updates coming soon. I have a distinct urge to start painting the Kastelan Ďbots despite all the things I need to do. Iíve been sacrificing my weekends that I was forcing myself to take in an effort to keep my head screwed on straight and the lack of progress on personal projects has me getting quite itchy. The Mechanicus are so close to being done, I canít help but get back finishing them, before getting lured and lost in Darker placesÖ
05-30-19 09:00 PM
Subtle Discord
+++ Compiling Data +++ Kastelan STC Alteration ∙ OngoingÖ +++ Displaying Iteration ∙ 3.3 +++ Reviewing Hard DataÖ +++
+++++++
+++
Revised Assessment ∙ DisplayingÖ
++
+++++
Optical Input Array ∙ Improved ∙ Visum Pattern Wide-Angle Broad-Spectrum Optical Unit ∙ Integrated
+++++++
Onboard Ammunition Supply ∙ Enlarged ∙ Increased Ammunition Capacity ∙ 800%
++++
Rate of Fire ∙ Enhanced ∙ TriaíTelum Pattern Rotary Blaster Installed ∙ Fire Rate Increase ∙ 200%
+++++
Close Combat Weapons ∙ Iteration Subroutines ∙ OngoingÖ
++++++++
+++
Correlating Data Points ∙ OngoingÖ
+++++
Generating Authority Request ∙ Active Combat Testing
++++++
+++++++++

∙ As hoped, casting the ammo feeds in polyurethane and creating three with different radii/radiuses solved the fit issues.

They are a bit fiddly to bend into the exact final position (I still want to tweak one of them a bit more) but polyurethane is a very forgiving thermodynamic plastic; not only can it twist and bend significantly if you warm it in boiling hot water, it also returns to its original shape very easily if you want to reset an effort.

My son was fascinated by the long piece of polyurethane sprew I was using as a test strip, repeatedly bending and twisting it into the most extreme shapes he could manage and then dunking it to watch it relax back to the original shape. He did it so much more than I would have it really illustrated to me just how much you can torture poly resin and it really holds up well. Iíve learned to take my hard data where I can get it.



∙ I was forced to partially complete the build to make the model stable enough to facilitate the fitting of the ammo feeds.

I had planned on doing a set of the close combat arms to see how theyíd turn out but my current AdMech list doesnít have them and this assembly was just being too frustrating without locking some parts in place. I guess I have no choice now but to get some more Kastelan Ďbots to make this squad a bit bigger and to add another for a bit of punch. Pun intended.

For anyone who might be wondering if/when these kits will be making their way to the shop, yes I do plan on putting the Mechanicus components Iíve created in the shop at some point in the future. However, I want to put some other projects to bed first and I also want to complete one-or-two more Mechanicus builds, with the Onager being the obvious target, but there might be more some inspiration to add to that. The upcoming AdMech transport/tank kit has me itching to get my grubby hands on it to see what potential might lay in the kit.

Oh, and donít you worry Chaos, I could never forget about you. First the Marines, then the Mechanicus. Yes, you will have your fill, I promise.

But those are Darker ideas, forming other stories, for future updatesÖ
05-26-19 03:47 AM
Subtle Discord
∙ Iím still having a few issues printing these bits but hereís the Linked Bolter and Melta looking really solid.

Unfortunately, the Flamer simply didnít print. When it does work (and the success ratio is high) the results are so good that Iím certain that I just need to tweak the print setting and/or be selective where in the build area I place small objects like this. Itís hard to tell if itís the new resin or the fact that these parts are quite small so they only have a small profile for each layer when theyíre printing. Or maybe itís a bit of both.


∙ Not exactly the best angle to showcase the model as a whole (he looks a little stiff here) hereís a shot of the Plasma in-situ.

There are a few minor issues I want to give one final tweak to and I want to experiment a bit more with placement and orientation when Iím printing; not all spots on the printing bed are equal and the angle/orientation that an object is printed at can have a surprisingly large impact on the final outcome. I think the results speak to the fact that Iíve got the hang of it, but now I want to make sure Iím getting the best possible results. Theyíre small bits with some fiddly details, so theyíre a good candidate for me to really understand how to work with this new resin.

*Subtle squeals like a schoolgirl*

Holy crap, I made that! I can hold it in my grubby little fingers and actually see and touch an idea made solid. UV light and freaking goo combined with computers and a dash of hobby-OCD. Science is amazing!!

Sorry, Iím having one of myÖ moments.
05-25-19 10:24 PM
Subtle Discord
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Man78 View Post
Love your work, personally I think the guns on the robots are a little too big but the sculpts themselves are great
Thanks. My first plan was to try and slim/shrink down the arms because the base kit has lower-arms that seem far too bulky, especially with just the single barrel and small ammo magazine. But, I also wanted to mimic the Phosphor Blaster barrel of the shoulder mounted weapon to better tie it into the rest of the model, and to do it faithfully in the tri-barrel configuration I wanted, it forced the arm to be this large. After trying to slim them down as much as I could (and shortening them up too) I just couldn't shave any more off without thinning some of the walls too much; they're slightly leaner than the originals, but nothing dramatic. Ultimately, considering the original model, I'm just embracing it that they're designed with heavy primal ape-like forearms that hang low. I think it's a fair tradeoff for the overall improvement it makes to the kit, in my opinion.
05-25-19 10:11 PM
Subtle Discord
∙ Redesigned and fresh from Servitor Solus the new Chaincannon components are almost readyÖ as long as I donít make silly mistakes. But damn, do I love this new resin!

In the top-right corner, you can see where I overlooked adding supports to some of the points on the four-barrel design. Simple enough to fix, but also an obvious mistake I should do better to avoid. Beyond that little oversight, theyíre looking wonderful. No, I need to figure out where Iím going to attach the vent and how Iíll make the mould. Itís one thing to get a good test print, but then I need a proper production copy so I can make moulds. Soon, very soon.

Theyíre rather straightforward bits but they actually taught me a new 3D modelling trick I can use to make parts that Servitor Solus will have an easier time reproducing. In certain spots where there might be an edge with a 90į overhang that would require a support to print properly (and supports are a necessary evil that Iím always trying to minimize) if I can draft the surface (draft = add a slight tilt/slope/angle) from 10į to 15į degrees Solus can produce it without any need of a support. In many cases, the added draft is so subtle and/or just looks like an intended part of the design that thereís no reason not to do it beyond the fact that it does take a bit more work to add it in some spots.

I also tried to print the updated Combi-weapons along with these, but of the 8 parts I tried to print only 2 turned out, and theyíre both the base Bolters so none of the actual Combi-weapons turned out. So I removed the Chaincannon barrels from the layout and tried againÖ and after 2+ hours of printing, I discovered that all of the parts failed to print. So, Iím discovering that while the new grey Art resin produces excellent results itís just a bit more temperamental to get it to cooperate. If the print takes proper hold it works wonderfully but those first few critical layers seem to have a bit of a technique to ensure they take properly and Iím still zeroing in on it.
05-22-19 12:33 PM
Old Man78 Love your work, personally I think the guns on the robots are a little too big but the sculpts themselves are great
05-21-19 09:52 AM
Subtle Discord
∙ Iím sorry that I keep posting similar images of the Kastelan Ďbots, but the new 3D printing resin combined with this design really have me smitten over the last few days.

I took a bit of the time to make a ball-joint for the shoulder mounted Phosphor Blaster. The clunky rectangular one was a strange aspect of the kit that seemed really lazy and it was really easy to replace. After a bit more testing and the feedback Iíve also modeled three lengths/radius ammo feeds for the arm Blasters to help facilitate the fit. I tried once again to heat-bend one of the 3D prints and it simply wonít have anything to do with it, bending at first, but inevitably snapping. Once Iíve got the moulds made Iím sure itíll get sorted out with polyurethane casts. This kit was more involved but Iím so pleased with the results and the further proof-of-concept for a few things I was testing here (like the ammo feeds) that Iím glad I took the time to work the kinks out and take the design all the way to replacing the whole arm.

Ok, bed ways is right ways. Stay tuned for further updates in the somewhat near future.
05-18-19 08:56 AM
Subtle Discord With the Rituals of Support completed once again the appropriate platitudes of activation were transmitted to Servitor Solus and the diligent device was set once more to work. The bright red polymer resin was running low so some final prints including a mix of practical and personal (for now) projects seemed like a fitting end to the first litre that has brought my ideas to this point so far.


∙ When it comes to the Onager components, I guess two out of three isnít bad. While the results are mostly good, some flaws and mistakes are larger than others.

I completely spaced out somehow, managing to model the reactor upside-down. Um yeah, oops. Itís not hard to move the locking key and fix this blatant mistake, but I canít believe I even did it in the first place. So silly. It paints a picture in my mind of a servitor performing maintenance, only to be asked by an overseer why they are installing the unit inverted, followed by a loud screech of binaric obscenities as they begin to unscrew restraining bolts to correct it. Even a diligent servant of the Omnissiah can have a bad day.

Other than that overt issue there are a few distorted spots which I didnít support correctly and, as expected, the fit on the armour panels isnít quite accurate yet since theyíre only an educated guess for this print. Par for the course, these will be simple enough to sort out. I also want to make the gizmo I devised for the weapon system just a tiny bit larger radius so I can have an excuse to make the cog in the center just a bit larger. In the fiction, Lucius forge world is said to have unique Onagers and Ironstriders so I think these bits help take the models in that direction.


∙ I took the opportunity to do my first test prints of the new Combi-weapons Iím working on and the results are mostly positive.

If you look closely you can see a bit of distortion on the magazine and ammo drum. On a bit like these, the 90-degree orientation of these details makes them huge overhangs when I print them in the preferred orientation, pointing straight up. Supports are the usual method of dealing with overhands but these are large ones right in the middle of the part and anything that can be done to avoid and/or minimize supports is preferable since they always leave a defect that needs to be cleaned from the print. Supports are a necessary evil that I need to deal with but always try to avoid. In this case, I tried to tilt the print but it wasnít enough to avoid pictured distortion.

Other than that, that prints are very hopeful but also illustrate another thing Iím still trying to get the right sense of and thatís the scale of some of the detailing. When Iím 3D modelling the component is so large itís very easy to create details that are just a bit too small, subtle, or delicate, to really work well when itís created at real-world scale. Thereís a reason why some of the detailing on good models is a bit exaggerated and emphasized when youíre in really close because at the small scale theyíre finally created at itís very easy for the properly scaled details to be completely Ďwashed outí. In particular, I like to add bevels and subtle curves in some places and they look great on the screen, but then the bit is printed and the carefully added details are simply lost at the final scale. The hand is also something I suspected would need more work and the thumb in particular needs to be adjusted so itís a bit more pronounced.

So thereís lost to like with these first prints, but I think another round of tweaking the 3D models will do the designs proper justice. Good design really is often about iteration. Rarely does an idea or concept come into reality perfectly formed and a few iterations is usually to be expected.


∙ While the fit isnít quite right this component looks great from the top; unfortunately, the bottom shows that Solus is struggling to avoid surface flaws on that side.

At some point in the future I might 3D model more complete weapons, but right now the recent Chaos release offers a few niches that are just begging to be filled with straightforward solutions like this one. Modelling a full Chaincannon, doing it justice, making it blend in aesthetically, making it original, and ensuring it would fit at least reasonably well with current kits, well thatís a whole lot of work that Iím not up to right now. Iím also itching to get working on many other larger projects so getting too distracted with smaller bits and kits isnít what I want to be doing right now. A little distraction is to be expected and entertained, but I canít let it get too carried awayÖ for nowÖ

Again, in order to avoid adding support to all sides of the object, I tilted it when I printed it and only added supports to the bottom. It mostly worked, but while some cleanup of support touchpoints is unavoidable the angle ended up causing unexpected surface issues; some shapes at peculiar angles are simply prone to this issue, at least, with is resin. More on that in a moment. So, while I can accept some cleanup, thereís just too much going on here to justify the effort and Iíll need to find a way to further improve the outcome.


∙ As one final act of bulk productivity the last of this resin was used to create a complete set of casting masters for the Ďcleaní Mk.2 version of the Ferratis Rhino/Predator Armour.

With all the kinks for this armour kit work out I wanted to get the more Loyalist-centric Mk.2 version completed. I will return to the Rhino/Predator chassis at some point in the future but for right now Iím happy to have a replacement for the current out-of-production Chaos Predator armour as well as a Loyalist counterpart as a first expansion of the selection. Iím also keen on doing the Ďelegantí version I showed a while back and I have some interesting ideas on how to tackle mutated and warped details, but those are really elements that can be applied to a wide range of future plans so itís nothing really exclusive to this kit in particular.


∙ It served the studio well, helping me to being to understand the quirks of Servitor Solusí machine spirit, but the red Proto resin is dead! Long live the new grey Art resin!

Itís a different colour, it smells distinctly different (not a better smell, but uniquely different and at least less strong/pungent), it has a different thicker viscosity, requires different printer settings, and produces parts with different physical characteristics. Oh, and from everything Iíve seen so far with my limited testingÖ itís just better. After a single test print, I seemed to get the settings rather close and got good results that were just a bit too delicate and fragile. So I made some adjustments and gave Solus a proper task to test this new resinÖ


∙ Ö and oh myÖ those are some amazingly good results that, dare I say it, appear to be even better than what was being produced with the red Proto resin.

Now, I suspect part of it is just the fact that the new resin is a nice neutral grey and itís easier to see good contrast on the parts and theyíre much more photogenic, but honestly, something about the surface quality and/or fidelity of the parts just seems to be improved. Even if it is a trick of the colour when it comes to the appearance there seems to be an improvement in the print quality and itís less prone to the surface flaws like those that were a problem on the bottle of the Chaincannon barrels pictured above. Iíll need to do more prints to know for sure but Iím hoping Iím correct since it could be more reliabel prints in lots of circumstances. The parts are also even stronger and less brittle than the red resin which helps during cleanup and ensure the casting masters will have a good long lifespan. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Unfortunately, it does require a somewhat different setup for the supports for correct printing so any of my older print files that I set up for use with the original red resin wonít be compatible with this new grey resin. Not a huge issue since I donít have plans to reprint many/most of them for any reason, and not a big enough reason for me to look back because the new Art resin really seems to be worth the effort of adjusting to its unique properties.



∙ Case-and-point, while the red Proto resin did an admirable job creating these Kastelan components the parts made with the new grey Art resin just seems to be that little bit improved.

Again, maybe itís just the clean grey colour and added contrast, but I donít know, time will tell. In fact, the colour of the new resin is so close to the grey that I tint my casting polyurethane Iím going to need to be careful not to mix the masters up with casts. In the previous image you can make out a few telltale stubborn spots where the layering of the 3D printing process is unavoidable but the 20-micron layer height makes them very easy to sand away and the rest of the surfaces are freakishly smooth and refined.

Iím not complaining by any stretch, but Iím again impressed by Solus even after being impressed several times in the past. Iím still perfecting the best practices I need to learn in order to avoid printing problems without too much trial-and-error which wastes expensive materials, but Iím only running into small problems that require a bit of tweaking to resolve before I get exactly what I was hoping for. Each project completed opens the door wider to bigger and more ambitious projects as I continue to learn and gain confidence. This bodes very well for future projects, to be sure.

Now, if only, running the business side of the studio with books, numbers, equipment, materials, and stock, was so compelling and didnít daunt me so much. Ok momentum, time to continue building so I can deal with that next. This is too good a start not to get somewhere. Letís see what I can make of all this growing potential, shall we?
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