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post #221 of 304 (permalink) Old 03-31-18, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Home stretch! The next twenty Skitarii Vanguard are turning the final corner to being done. Black and blue highlights are finished and now I’m on to the green elements.


Do you see the light!? A bright background to celebrate the impending preliminary completion of these two squads…

*In his best Kermit the Frog voice*

It’s not easy, painting green
All the small bits, you know what I mean
But when you’re done the blue
You know what you’ve got to do

It’s not easy, painting green
So many models, have you seen?
But you know when you’re through
It’s going to be right after the blue


... and now return to the dark with me, as I turn to accept that I now have to do a bunch of backpacks and heads. Yaaay, backpacks…

Since the other racks I’ve made have been quite useful but didn’t really have enough room for the heads and other small bits I figured one more to complete the set couldn’t hurt. I’ve used round bamboo skewers for the sticks in this case; they’re nice and slim while still being very stiff. I still prefer lightly gluing backpacks to the pictured styrene sticks, but this rack will help with all the other small bits for sure.

I’ll be priming the Tech-Priest Dominus and Enginseer along with these Skitarii components, so once the Vanguard are finished I’ll have something to step right in and start getting paint. And as the Tech-Priests start seeing some colour I’ll also get working on the squad of three Dragoons for the preliminary list. I see the Dragoons as roughly the halfway point, so yeah, progress! I’m quite keen to get working on them… and the bigger things that their completion will foretell…

Still can’t get that damn Micro-Ordinatus for a counts-as Baneblade (or other Super Heavy variant) idea out of my brain…
… or the Lucius Pattern Imperial Knight idea…
… or that Onager M.U.L.E. concept…
… or the Irradial Cogitator WIP…
… or that tri-leg Knight idea…
… or the Spider Titan…
… or the Kytan…

Shoot, I better get back to painting! So many ideas waiting their turn…

*Subtle wanders off to put some more paint on plastic*

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #222 of 304 (permalink) Old 04-04-18, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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*Subtle stumbles out of the wilderness that is research, clothing tattered, eyes bloodshot, a stoic look of determination on his face. He spits blood and checks that he isn't seriously injured...*


I have searched. I have found. I have seen. It can be done. Yes, I think I've found my 3D printing solution. Note: not my finger.

F*** it, I'm going to do it ALL in-house, dammit! These have been produced with a 3D printer that is within my budget; it's not exactly cheap, but it doesn't require considering a second mortgage on the house, so it's realistic. Intended primarily for jewelry applications I think it's easy to see that it does very well on the surface quality. I want to stew on it a little and do a bit more research (ugh, it's actually exhausting to do), but I think this might be the final piece of the process that I'm looking for. I've been looking at maaany images over the last weeks and months while only paying attention when they're high-resolution close-ups, and these consistent kinds of results are what I was looking for.

I have no doubt that this is about to create a significant learning curve that I'll need to climb, but hell I've already figured out the rest of the process, what's one last piece? Wanna' come along for the ride? I think things are about to get... interesting... in several more weeks.
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"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #223 of 304 (permalink) Old 04-12-18, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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"Squirrel!!"

"Where?!"

Time for a tangent.


Small battery powered multicolour LEDs with a remote control? Well shucks, I've got to be able to come up with an idea for these. *Ponders*

So I ordered another batch of Plasma Globes for my Shield Generator kit and I picked up a few packs of these remote control LED lights to play around with. The remote works surprisingly well but it's Infra Red so the receiver needs some line-of-sight to work; I won't be able to bury these inside an object unless I leave some kind of access port for the IR signal to reach the light, or some simple way to open the object and access the light to activate/change them. I guess I'll need to fool around with them a bit and see what kinds of solutions I can come up with.

Any ideas from readers for what you think they might be good for will be most welcome. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking Objective Markers that can change colour depending on their status and to just put them in scenery in general. I have at least one personal project that some will be used for... but that's another story for another day. So yeah, any suggestions are always welcome food for thought.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #224 of 304 (permalink) Old 04-14-18, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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*Maniacal laugh!* Who needs sleep!?


So close it hurts, the next 20 Skitarii are within a stone’s throw of being finished. *Subtle picks up a stone*

I thought these squads might get completed faster since I had most of the scheme worked out when I started them. Thinking about it, perhaps they were by a bit quicker, but it sure hasn’t felt like it as I worked away on them. Still another round of small details and they’ll be ready for their first coat of varnish.


*Sigh* Have I ever mentioned I hate backpacks? Yeah, for some reason I really hate backpacks, it’s kinda’ strange.

They’ve become my new basing. Many years ago I did my basing last, and it was always a frustrating and daunting final step required to complete an otherwise finished model. Now that I do my basing as part of the assembly painting the damn backpacks has taken the place as a final… monotonous step… to… complete… rdfntx ghbymgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgth gthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgthgth…

*Subtle fall asleep on his keyboard*

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #225 of 304 (permalink) Old 04-20-18, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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WAITRESS: We got two honkies out there dressed like Hasidic diamond merchants.
MATT: Say what?
WAITRESS: They look like they're from the CIA or something.
MATT: What'd they want to eat?
WAITRESS: The tall one wants white bread toast with nothing on it.
MATT: (whispers) Elwood....
WAITRESS: And the other one wants three whole fried chickens and a Coke.
MATT: (aloud) ...and Jake! ****, the Blues Brothers!


Damn it, I’ve managed to lose one of the Dragoons ‘toes’. Oh well, I guess I’ll need to use it as an excuse to design a replacement. However, I'll worry about that bridge when I get to it.

+++ Preliminary Production Queue ‧ Status Update +++

+ Void Shield Generator ‧ Initial Paintjob Complete
+ Skitarii Rangers x10 (TA) ‧ Initial Paintjob Complete
+ Skitarii Vanguard x10 (Caliver) ‧ Initial Paintjob Complete
+ Skitarii Vanguard x10 (Arc) ‧ Initial Paintjob Complete
+ Skitarii Vanguard x10 (Arc) ‧ Initial Paintjob Complete
+ Tech-Priest Dominus (E. Ray) ‧ Build & Prime Complete
+ Tech-Priest Enginseer ‧ Build & Prime Complete
+ Sydonian Dragoons x3 ‧ Build Commencing…
+ Cybernetica Datasmith ‧ Pending…
+ Kastelan Robots x2 ‧ Pending…
+ Onager x3 ‧ Pending…
+ Tech-Priest Dominus (Volkite) ‧ Pending…



I took some images on a white background but I'm not liking how it affects the colours. I didn't want to completely toss out the effort so here are a few of the better images out of the batch.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #226 of 304 (permalink) Old 04-25-18, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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++++++++
++
+++++
++++
Comm-Link ∙ Active
++
+++++
Information Exchange ∙ Update
++++++++
Display ∙ Data File Excerpt
+++

+++ Encryption Protocols ∙ Accepted +++ Logistics Transport Comm-Link ∙ Open +++ Transport Requesting ∙ Safe Approach Telemetry +++ Providing Telemetry Uplink +++
++++++
Primary Cogitator ∙ Upgrade Complete
Primary Cogitator ∙ Initializing…
Primary Cogitator ∙ Online
Primary Cogitator ∙ Resuming Design Creation Subroutines
++++
++++++++++
Secondary Cogitator ∙ Assembly Complete
Secondary Cogitator ∙ Initializing…
Secondary Cogitator ∙ Online
Secondary Cogitator ∙ Awaiting Solus Servitor Data-Link Connection
++
++++++
++++
Updates to Follow ∙ Standby…
+++++++
Comm-Link ∙ Active
++++
++++++
++

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #227 of 304 (permalink) Old 04-26-18, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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+++
++++++
Comm-Link ∙ Active
+++
++++++++
Information Exchange ∙ Update
++++
++
Display ∙ Data File Excerpt
+++++

+++Solus Pattern Task Servitor ∙ Primary Calibration Complete +++ Secondary Cogitator ∙ Neural Data-Link… Successful + Motivation Subroutines ∙ Installed +++
++++++++++
Beginning Initial Test Production ∙ Stand by…
+++++
Comm-Link ∙ Active
+++++++
+++++
++

Ok, I think I’ve got it all setup correctly and reasonably well calibrated. As suggested by the manufacturer I’m starting with the higher resolution (smaller build area) configuration for the initial test prints.


While I’m sure there is still much to learn about object placement and supports to get the best results possible, the printing software seems reasonably straightforward and intuitive.

I’ve dabbled a bit with a more complex layout pictured here to get used to how the supports are generated and object orientation, but I’ll be starting much simpler when I actually try a print. Despite the build area being small with some care it’ll be possible to fit quite a bit into the space; larger objects will need to be done piece by piece, but that’s fine, I’ll have plenty to occupy my time while Servitor Solus works away.

What I’m really hoping is that the drop in resolution that will provide a larger build area won’t have too much impact on the quality. A 41 micron XY resolution (vs the 25 micron XY of the high res setup) is still very small. Both configurations can print at 10 micron Z (layer) resolution with the resin I’m using, so I’m staying optimistic that the Z resolution will be the key factor.

However, first up, I need to figure out how to crawl, then I’ll worry about walking, let alone running. Let’s see what Servitor Solus can do, shall we?
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post #228 of 304 (permalink) Old 04-27-18, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, it’s going to take a bit of practice to zero in on the adjustments I’ll need to make to get the prints exactly where I want them. There are some obvious flaws that I’ll need to sort out (more on that in a second) but there’s also a general lack of sharpness in some of the details that I suspect will get sorted with some focus and/or settings adjustments. But considering some of the horrible failures I was seeing from some people on the manufacturer’s forums, I consider this first test print a complete success; both parts were created with no major failures.


The resin smells like something that belongs on a Mechanicus Forge World; a strange metallic tang with an odd musty undertone. Toxic in liquid form, it smells the part.

Fresh from the Servitor, I can’t help but think Khorne would be proud since it’s very close to a fresh blood-red colour; almost like creating objects from a congealed red gore and rather fitting for a Dark Forge World if I do say so myself. Note that I printed these at particular angles to help minimize supports and see if there would be any ‘stair stepping’ caused by the unique angles. The supports are attached so delicately that I didn’t even take a picture of the parts clean and with the supports in place; I was too eager to inspect the parts and the supports were so delicate they just broke away. However, this did cause some surface damage so in future I’m going to take more care in removing the supports. I suspect that most of my deformation problems are caused by insufficient supports… (get used to hearing the word ‘supports’ often)


Ok, so there’s a bit of warping and that a problem that needs sorting, but look at the surface quality!! I mean, it’s as smooth as GW styrene on 99% of the surfaces.

The edge that has the warping was the bottom edge in the print and I suspect that I didn’t add enough extra supports to keep it true so it drifted until the mass became large enough to stabilize. If I’m right, it’s going to be an easy fix. I was expecting that the support placement was going to be key and something that will improve with experience, so this isn’t really surprising. And there’s no way to be frustrated when the surface quality is so good. First I solve the warping issue and then the surface quality is waiting for me when I get it sorted out.


I’m purposely showing the bad side of the print of this part that is suffering from a little deformation; again while it’s lacking a bit of sharpness the surface quality is much better than the original prints I had outsourced.

I picked these two components as test prints because they were parts that I was particularly disappointed with in my first batch of outsourced 3D prints. The particular issue with this Combi-plasma comes down to some of the details and how small/fine they are (the two small round vents on the side in particular) and how the print process struggled with the details. The original prints were sharper and it did a bit better in some ways, but still not good enough for me; this is a case where I need to adjust how I 3D model and just avoid certain details executed in a certain way at a certain scale.

Now the surface issues are a general problem and something this part also suffered with. In the location where the support wax was used in the original prints, there’s an obvious effect; the photographed roughness can be scrubbed off, but it does leave a rough surface. That needs to be dealt with and/or it’s just affecting details that are too small to easily clean up. Also, a general layering can be seen in many parts on flat surfaces that should actually be quite easy to print perfectly smooth. These were the key problems I had to solve and Servitor Solus is pulling its weight; again, while the sharpness is a bit off (and I know I can improve on that) the surface quality is what matters, and it’s amazing! This printer changes everything for me and making my ideas real, seriously…


The curve of lenses/optics and thin details are also a challenge for 3D printing and I don’t think it’s hard to see why I wasn’t happy with how this part turned out originally.

Again, this is a part as it was originally 3D printed that wasn’t up to the standards I’m aiming for, and being able to pull something like this off had to happen. On this little part Servitor Solus really proved to me that it’s got what it takes to deliver the results I’m after. If I can do this on my first try, I know my results are only going to improve, yup, this little printer has what it takes to get the job done; every curve of this part is smooth beyond what I was expecting. I better get used to the sound this printer makes, I’m going to be listening to it non stop over the coming weeks, months, and years.

Oh yeah, and these parts were printed at ‘only’ 25 micron Z (layer) resolution, so I still need to turn it down to 10 micron layers and see how much farther it takes things. It literally increases the build time by x2.5, but if it brings noticeable improvements on fine details it might be worth it with the right components. Much more tinkering and experimenting to do, but this has me so encouraged I can’t wait to get started.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #229 of 304 (permalink) Old 04-28-18, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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After another bout of research, I made some physical adjustments, carefully recalibrated Servitor Solus from scratch, and made a few adjustments to the printing software. After finding a good stress-test model and giving it a go, I do believe I’ve cracked this nut.


While there’s a lot of them the supports taper down to a 0.1mm point before attaching to the model so they usually have very little Impact on the surface.

This is printed at the intended 10x10x10mm, and it’s doing a good job of pushing Solus to its limits; however, I am still using ‘only’ 25 micron Z resolution so I still have room to push it further. Some of the extremely small details are struggling but I’m not interested in making gaps 0.1mm wide, so that’s fine. Anything that is at the scale I’ll be interested in is turning out cleanly and the surface quality, in general, is better than I was seriously expecting; I was hoping Servitor Solus would be capable but I was trying to be cautiously optimistic. That reservation is all out of the window now, Solus is amazing and I can’t wait to start making amazing things with it.


Oh, and if I had any question about the dimensional accuracy, well that’s not going to be an issue either. Yep, nothing wrong with that.

One of these was built with supports, the second was created with no supports and to my surprise, Solus handled all of the overhangs with no problem at all. This is good, letting me create smaller details in designs that don’t necessarily need supports to print correctly. The supports are a necessary evil but it’s always good to minimize them whenever possible. The text is so small I’m amazed it’s even coming out as clearly as it is here. I wouldn’t even want to do lettering or details that small, but it really builds my confidence in Servitor Solus.


After seeing the test cube at 1:1 scale I decided to try to double it in size and see how it would turn out.

At 20x20x20mm the scale of the details here is a much better representation of the kinds of things I’ll be making. The lettering is clean and defined, the edges are sharp and true, curves are completely smooth, the dimensions are accurate, and the surface quality is as good as ever. Additionally, the parts that are created are very strong, which is a little surprising; the UV resin based 3D prints I’ve worked with in the past was very hard and brittle, but these prints are very tough and not brittle in the slightest. This is unexpected, but naturally not a bad thing in the slightest. Making moulds can be very tough on delicate models, so the tougher they are the better. From here on in I think the biggest problems will arise from issues stemming from support placement. I’ve got proof positive that Solus is up to the task as long as I set things up correctly.

*Subtle’s eyes glaze over*

I’m actually kinda’… numb. I’ve got the tool sitting here, dialed in and ready to go, and I almost don’t know where to start! Well, next up, let’s see if I can fill the tray with studio components and continue to get these positive results. Anticipation intensifies!

P.S. Time to start tossing your model and kits ideas out into the open if you happen to have any. I know I ask this now-and-then and it may seem like they disappear into a vacuum, trust that I plan to comb Legion Rising over the coming weeks and I have been keeping a notebook for a while to jot down all manner of ideas that might cross my mind and/or eyes. I do make use of the input, and now I really have all the parts in place to get things started I think it’s time to stir the pot-o’-ideas, as it were. I’ve got lots of 3D models ready, and many more ideas waiting in the wings, but I want to work on projects that strike a balance between kits I think I ‘need’ to make on a planned schedule and kits I’m more inclined to ‘want’ to make to keep things interesting. Right now I’m interested in food for thought that I can contemplate as I take care of my backlog; again, with so many possibilities I’m not sure where to start.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #230 of 304 (permalink) Old 04-30-18, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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I was a bit presumptuous when I thought I had Servitor Solus sorted out. While I'm getting great results with regards to the details and surface quality (that's what had me fooled) there's still a bit of distortion that's causing some final fit issues.


Al... most... there! The quality sure has come a long way since the first print; it's easy to see how the right settings and adjustments to Solus have made all the difference.

Physical Setup? Check.
Focus? Check.
Exposure? Check.
Build Tension? Check.
Lift speed? Check.
Surface quality? Check.
Detail precision? Check.
Edge definition? Check.
Round rivets? Check.
Small-scale geometry? Check.
Large-scale geometry? &%$#!! Workin' on it...

All of the results have been so good looking that I know that once I get this last bit figured out I'll be laughing (maniacally!) and off to the races. This little Servitor is going to be running non-stop for weeks I suspect. It's not fast, but it's simply amazing to see a cluster of objects slowly rise from the goo; UV light and goo! Science is ****ing awesome.

So yeah, the last issue I'm having is with larger objects being slightly geometrically incorrect. On smaller items it's so slight it doesn't really matter but on larger objects it's enough to cause problems. The biggest problem is with getting round objects true (think vehicle cupola rings/hatches) and completely, well... round. Again, they're only out by a small margin (hardly visible to the eye, really) but it's out too much to get the proper fit and function of the round items I'll be making. The good news is Solus is used extensively by jewelers to print rings for casting so I know that this is an issue that comes up and can be solved. I've seen much worse warping on rings shown by people having a much harder time than me so I'm confident I'll get this sorted in short order... I hope.

Again, the quality of the parts I've made has me completely convinced (just look at that Bolter) that the final results I'll be getting will be worth the effort, but I'll admit it's not the easiest learning curve to climb. I'm pretty sure I can see the summit, but it's going to take one last push to get there. I can't wait to show something assembled; so many nice parts that just won't quite fit together correctly! Can't have that!

*Subtle gets back to tinkering and testing*

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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