Special Deal of the Week: Row Row Row Your Boat…

Running a little special this week (Ends January 20th).

Get two of these hand sculpted rowboats (cast in white resin). Handpainted as shown with a set of oars.

Normalyl $15 dollars each. You get TWO for $25.00 plus $3.50 shipping. (U.S. addresses only. For overseas orders check with my on postage rates).

 

Handpainted rowboat wth oars (28mm) now available.

 

Someone pointed out this rowboat never made it up on the Esty shop as a separate listing. Now fixed. You can order it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/504259109/rowboat-with-oars-handpainted-28mm-scale?ref=shop_home_active_1

New Ship package running for a limited time.

Just a head’s up I’m raising money to replace the bay doors on my workshop. A whooping one grand hit I’d like to cover with the stuff I actually make in the shop.

So here’s the deal.

For a hundred bucks you get the three ships/boats pictured — all hand painted by yours truly and fully rigged. Everything you see but the pirate guy mini.

Ten sets for this price and it goes away.

 

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https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/AmbersSecretCove/tools/listings/504049699

Tweaking the Graceful Lady

Relaxing day with the dog snowed in. Working on the latest issue of Knights of the Dinner Table with some breaks tweaking the new rigging configuration for my large sailing ship. Very happy with the swappable sails. You can swap them with one hand in about 3 seconds.

Also added a new tiller design and some new stairs. Changed up the bow spirt piece a bit too.

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Cages – We’ve Got Cages

Been crazy busy here with my real job (monthly issue of Knights of the Dinner Table and other product). But — I have had time to dable with both sculpting and 3D design work during breaks in writing.

The HUGE ship I talked about in my last post has been coming along slowly. A few close friends have come over to see it as it progresses and assure me they are ‘amazed’. Bottom hull is finished and I hope to start working on the upper decks as winter progresses. But the past several weeks work on it has been side tabled while I consider different designs/approaches. I’m not in too much of a hurry and just wanting to take my time and make the right choices as  I proceed since there are no plans and it’s all in my mind’s eye at this point.

 

That said I’ve been keep the 3D printers running almost non-stop. From ship hardware pieces to add details to my existing ships (like the crow’s nest below) to my hanging baskets. Check out the Etsy shop (link to the right of this page) if you want to look at other pics or order a few.

 

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Ship Ahoy Part Two: The Big Build

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As promised more work in progress pics on the new ship. I haven’t had a lot of time to work on this since my last post although that doesn’t mean I haven’t made some speedy progress.

I’m finding combining the 3D printed frame work with my self-deigned wooden plank stamps is really speeding things up.

I was able to assemble the keep pieces (which I glued down on a wood base so they wouldn’t warp when baked), add the external skin of planking, sculpt the floor planking in the cargo hold and even test fit the frame work for the second deck with about 3 hours work spread over several days.

At this point everything is at the “let’s see how this works” stage. I opted to make a prow/bowspirit assembly that will be glued on after wards and then blended with the planking. I haven’t hit on the right look just yet — so more no that in the weeks to come.

I’m pretty happy with the results so far. Now the lower deck/keel looks boxy at this stage. That will be great diminished once I add the exterior details and some trim. Those along with the jutting prow/bowspirit and a huge rudder/assembly will help greatly. And the over hanging fore/aft decks will take it to the next level. Because this is ultimately meant for table top play and large skirmish/ship boarding action I had to make some design choices that would allow for molding/casting.

Again the ship will have a lift way top deck that will reveal the inside. At this point I the test fitting of the main deck frame/sections will help me determine where the holes for the two primary masts will go as well as other details. Then they’ll be redesigned and printed out again.

Here are some pics of the ship in its current state.

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Note that main deck is in three sections. Each will lift off when finished. Plan is to sheath the 3D material with green stuff and texture. Voids will be filled with clay and sculpted (just like the bottom of the boat currently). An internal skin of planking will be applied to the hull was well.
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Ship Ahoy!!!

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Hey folks. LONG time since I’ve posted here. Been a busy, busy summer with all the cons and monthly comic. Seems like Fall and Winter is the time of year where I can settled in on those long nights and get some building and sculpting done during writing breaks. So I’ve been feeling that itch as of late.

For a LONG TIME now I’ve been wanting to do a really large ship. Something over two feet in length that dominates the table and all the other ships around it. One of those 3 masted bastards loaded when armed marines and a cargo hold filled to the brim with exotic beasts destined for the arenas and precious rare commodities. I’ve had this idea in my head of a ship that could be broken apart to reveal each deck. Not only that but the GM could lay each level of she ship side by side during a game so melee and action on all 3+ levels can be played out at the same time. Massive fore and aft castles… sigh. You get the idea.

Well — I finally decided to set about building such a beast. I have no detailed blue prints. Only a picture in my head. I have no time table. I just plan on attacking it and problem solving as I go during little breaks here and there and a LOT of Sunday afternoons.  I’ve posted a few pics of my progress so far on Facebook and the interest it has generated convinced me I should do a journal on my journey and do some work-in-progress updates here.

So this is part one.

Anyone who’s been reading here knows I’ve been using 3D printers a tool to aide in building table top terrain and items. Not as a replacement to sculpting – but as a tool. And that’s exactly what I’m doing with the new ship.

Here’s the keel I came up with. Almost 25″ tip to tip. With bowsprit and aft castle overhang I expect it to urpace 28″ when done.

 

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I know, right? It’s a monster. And a bit intimidating as far as tackling this project. That’s my largest ship to date that I’ve sculpted in back.

Now the keel is printed in 3 interlocking pieces that come apart and my plan is to mold and cast the finished ship so it comes apart and can safely travel and be stowed..

I am committed to doing this ship but after seeing it on the table and realizing the material costs and time it’s going to take it occurred to me I should first do another ship that falls somewhere between the two ships seen here in size as a learning piece. I’m attempting a lot of new things with this build and some of the ideas I have may or may not work (which simply means I’ll have to find solutions). So a smaller ship first sounds like a good idea to me. And it’s also a piece I can sell to help pay for the mold materials for the larger ship down the road.

So — I took the 25″ ship and scaled things down to 15″. A little more manageable and it should come together much quicker.

Here’s the rear section of the new ship next to the 25″ version (lower right).

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I haven’t made much progress yet. As I right this the framework for the middle section on the 15″ keel is printing out and I just finished sculpting the floor planks on the rear section and ready to bake it. Keep in mind the plastic is just there to serve as the skeleton for the ship – none of it will show when I’m done sculpting. The vertical posts/ribs will support the second deck above it when the times comes by the way.

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So there’s the plan. I’ll post more WIP pics and updates in the coming days/weeks as I’m able to work on it.

Adventures in 3D Printing continued…

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Been a busy year. Since getting the 3D printer in February, I’ve become the proud papa of a SECOND printer. Twice as much fun and twice the output.  I’ve been meaning to share some walk thru’s on my design process from concept to end piece but alas my bandwidth these past few months has been tight. So for now I’ll just share some pictures of some of the various items I’ve 3D printed.

I’ve been working on an adventure that centers around a captured NPC/Monster in a village square. I couldn’t find an existing piece for what I was looking for, a hanging basket. So I ended up making one. Entire design process took about two hours initially. Then about an hour to print the result. another hour of tweaking the design (first one was too thin) and then a final print (this of course was spread out over many days in short work sessions).

Really happy with the end result. Nice thing about this piece is it can be scaled up or down to accommodate larger minis.

If you want one for your own you can buy the file for a few bucks on our Etsy site (should be listed to the right in the side bar). I have a few other 3D files posted with more to come.

All I ask if you pay the modest fee for the file is to not share it or ‘release’ it. The few dollars these files garner help pay for materials and software so I can continue playing around with designs.

As always interested in feedback of any sort.

Happy Gaming!

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Update: After making this post the variant of the hanging cage came off the printer below.

 

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Update on my adventures in 3D Printing

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So back in February I reported had dipped my toe into 3D printing. It’s been quite an adventure. I still find it fascinating. More importantly, I find it inspirational. As one of my friends recently told me, “Jolly you seem be be having a creative explosion”. It’s true.

As a writer who cranks out a monthly magazine I find I’m chained to a desk most of the time and putting in long hours. Over the years I’ve developed a happy of working for an hour or so and then rewarding myself with a 15 minute break where I do FUN stuff. It might be painting a miniature, reading a comic, watching a bit of a favorite tv show, listening a tune or simply throwing sticks for the dog outside my home office in the yard.

I still do all those things above but now there is this thing I share my office with that makes magic 24/7 (seemingly). The routine goes something like this. I find something I’d like to print (such as something I’ve designed myself during those 15 minute breaks but frequently something from Thingverse.com). I send it to the printer and then I continue with my work. 4 to 17 hours later? Something fun and wonderful is waiting for me (hopefully) on the printer bed.

It has just made the route of my work day a little brighter. All week I print up little things and throw them in a box. When Sunday rolls around, when I dedicate the afternoon to paining minis and making terrain I reach int he box and paint some of those things up. Here’s a sampling of goodies that have come off my printer the last 8 weeks.

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As you can see I’ve been focusing mostly on making buildings. I find they are easy to design and  the texture of 3D printer pieces lends itself to such things as wood and shingles.

Anyway it’s a relaxing hobby and complements my painting/sculpting interests. Every new project is an adventure.

I’ll try to go in more detail next time out on how I approach making buildings with 3D printed pieces. It’s a hybrid process. Part 3D printed. Part had sculpted.

Monkey with a Box Cutter: So I got a 3D printer…

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I a strange thing happened a few weeks ago — a 3D Printer landed in my lap. Let me explain.

For several years, like a lot of people, I’ve followed this new fangled 3D home printer tech with fascination. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to get involved with as a hobby. The buy-in however put me off. Just a bit too high to justify for what I considered a ‘toy’. As a home owner and someone with a lot of interests there are just too many things I can think of I could spend my money on first. So I’ve considered to read developments and wait for prices to come down while sitting on the fence.

So a few weeks ago someone posted a pic of a 3D Gazebo miniature on my wall on Facebook. Okay, not just one person, several people. This little guy here.

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Now, I’ve seen this figure before. It’s been floating around the internet for months but on this occasion someone asked, “So Jolly, when are you going to get a 3D printer?” I basically relayed my sentiments above and commented I was on the fence until the right printer for the right price came along.  Fifteen minutes later there was a message in my inbox. A very nice gentleman by the name of Greg explained that he has purchased a $500 HicTop Prusa I3 printer in December. One of those DIY kits that you have to assemble.  His circumstances had since changed and he was looking to find it a good home. $200 bucks and it was mine. After checking reviews (It’s listed on several top 10 printer lists) I pay paled Greg the money and the very next day it arrived.

It took six to seven hours one evening to assemble while listening to tunes. Another week to get a response from the Chinese manufacturer as to why it wouldn’t work (turned out it was corrupt firmware) and a week and some days corresponding with Tom Tullis of Fat Dragon games to successfully print my first piece. (Thanks Tom!).

I named this entry, “Monkey with a box cutter” because that’s exactly how I felt starting out on this journey. The realization that I knew nothing about his new tech and the feeling I was in over my head. There was actually a point I considered boxing it up and reselling it. As I told a friend, “My life is pretty stress free, other than the constant loom of deadlines. I feel like I bought a box full of headaches.”

Tom Tullis was encouraging however. He assured me once I ironed out the wrinkles, I was going to “love it”.

“It’s the FUTURE!!!” he told me in one instant message.

Well, now that things are running smoothly (over a dozen flawless prints under my belt) I have to admit — this is damn fun.

Not only have I printed out various table top terrain items but I’ve printed put out handy attachments for my Dremel tools, a Uhura ear piece, two apple ear bud cases, a paint brush caddy…

What I love most about this thing is it takes several hours to print something. My favorite thing to do at the end of a work day when pushing away from my desk is to drop a file to the 3D printer. Then come back the next morning and find magic waiting for me.  There’s a feeling you’re part of a revolution. Something new and BIG. I’m sure ham radio operators, and garage computer builders in the 70’s felt the same way.

I’ve compared it to the feeling I hand in 1982 when I brought my first Commodore 64 home and began programming it to ‘do things’. It was life changing. I immediately knew, I would never live without having a computer in my house. I sort of feel that way about 3D printers.

 

Anyway, I’m going to be talking a lot about 3D printing and what I’m doing with my printer going forward (as well as my other projects). Be aware I’m a total noob. This will be a journey of discovery for me as I explore what works and what doesn’t work.

Meanwhile here are a few things I’m printed so far.

 

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And here are a few things I actually designed and printed out.

 

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