Sunday, 29 January 2017

Year Two.

So its been over a year since I said anything, this isn't due to not having anything to say, 2016 was a very time consuming year, not just in the way of writing the games and sculpting but a lot of things went wrong outside of my own control not game related more real life related.

So where are we.
Working mechanic for District, which is now called Districts, as things have altered a little and it is going to start with a wider universe instead of a walk through time with one planet. Increasing the number of alien and non human races with in the game.

We have enough models sculpted up for an actual game! Not all the weapon layouts are available yet though they are ready to go, with a few minor tweaks, An have had the first 30mm sized models back from Shapeways and they are incredibly well detailed over the 90mm we have been using.

While it is enjoyable playing with the 90mm models it isn't cost effective, as models of this size are rather pricey. An to have them done to the same level of detail as the 30/45mm miniatures is a small fortune so cheaper prints less detail but you can still see what they are meant to be clearly.

Plus the print material used for the 90mm takes paint really well. I did have a series of models printed in the material at 45mm. But they really lose the detail even though they are far cheaper than the higher detail prints.

So why shapeways, well I know I can produce the stuff myself cheaper and actually make a living out of it but it is the initial set up costs, at present I can produce 1 high quality 90mm model a day.
Which makes a production run a long time to do with 90mm, though if I can get enough sold on shapeways and make the few pence a miniature I make on them then it is possible with time I would be able to invest in better technology and be able to produce the models myself and at a faster rate.

But this is all if's an and's. An before anyone says why not take out a bank loan quit your job and do this full time I will say that I am not that stupid. If I lost my income I couldn't survive as a human.
An my day job pays enough for me to survive. Not enough to take out the thousands I would need in a bank loan to cover the initial setup for what I am working on.

An I know without a rule set the idea of the models is a little bit pointless but Spikey in 90mm (120mm actual size) is worthy of living on a shelf.

Plus there are loads of random things I have done on shapeways that aren't just games related.
An a few things that are but would lend themselves to other game systems.

Cyclops, Pig Ogres and Trolls coming soon.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Spikey Completed.

So Back in July I walked everyone through Spikey and what it took to actually design him and put him together. With ZBrush and 3D printing and so on.
Well Spikey is now Finished!
Am working on variations for a base for him but the model is finished and complete and available to buy from the web site if you would like one.

Finalised at MK8 2 this version has keying points to make him easier to put together and has gone to full scale 3UP size which means he is a total of 120mm in hight once constructed.

As you can see he is rather large though a 5" model isn't that big for a shelf.
He comes in light grey and looks white in the photo (My photo skills are not great)

As I said am working on giving him a 2" / 50mm diameter base at the moment.
Have two different designs presently floating around for this at the moment and the one that comes out the best will appear shortly. Though any 50mm base should be fine to mount this guy on.

When I get a moment I will paint up the new version of Spikey and the photos will appear on the web site shortly.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Spikey, The journey.

So this is Spikey.

Spikey, Mk6 to be exact.
Spikey has been a week long journey. He started out looking more purple and a wee bit different.

As you can see, he was a little different.
But through the ZBrush phase he changed shape a bit, at one point he even had normal arms and was carrying a pistol.

I didn't like this look so kind of redesigned the arms once more.

This is the story of Spikey who is yet to have a real name though I have got a lot of his back story in my head. An what the role he plays with in the District game series. He is a unique character. One of a handful that will exist in the game universe. An I am now putting it here. So you will have to wait for that, but this is the tale of how he went from little purple thing to what I ended up with and why I say MK6. Plus all the work that goes through to get tot it. 3D printing and sculpting while simple enough is still very trial and error hit and miss. I started out with a fully attached spikey everything attached to everything and at high resolution pring the 0.06mm a layer he was aimed at around 18 hours to print! So that wasn't great though at the 0.25mm layer he was a 3 hour print, But looked very for better word stripy. An at the 0.1mm was way too many fails, actually 4 fails, Every time he got to putting the head on it would slip or miss or detach. Which would cause me to have to throw away 4 to 5 hours print time and a fair amount of plastic.

Version 4 was the first time I chopped the arms off after redesigning them which shortened the time as it wasn't placing as many supports to hold the model in place as it printed but was still suffering the issue at the neck and head region. I even attempted a 0.06mm layer resolution in an attempt to fix this and slowed the speed down even more and it just globbed at the head. So another fail, MK5 just didn't work I wasn't happy with the feet and the MK6 which is below I removed the head and the arms and chopped the body at the waist. This resulted in a few things happening print time for the 0.06mm layer being reduced to 6 hours! This is a 90mm in height model, I can't really call 90mm miniature can I?

As you can see from the pictures this is the result of how it comes out and requires a little bit of clean up. There will be a MK7 as I am not happy with placements of a few supports, the ones on the legs under the knees are unnecessary.
An extra support needs to be added under the right hand as the lower finger seems to slip slightly making it thinner and reducing the quality of the print. 

Any way the supports and the raft come off and then there is the task of filing and sanding down the bits of supports that stuck on and the extra ooze that sticks due to the retraction not quiet being fast enough. 3D printers are incredibly temperamental. Slight adjustment in temperature and all kinds of things can happen. 
Once this is all done and each parts been sighted and lined up they get glued together. Here are the three good quality versions of the 0.25mm layer at the back, 0.1mm layer in the middle and at the front the 0.06mm layer. 

Close up you can see the variations in the print layers and this photo really don't show it but in my hand you can really see the difference. 
The 0.25mm is all attached print, the 0.1mm in the middle which as been based the arms are separate and the one at the front the 0.06mm is all separate parts you can see above. 

And to finish here it is all painted up. 

This is the history of Spikey. It only shows the 3 finial prints in each sizes and of course the 0.06mm all painted up and coloured in. All done using Colorfabb white on an Ultimaker 2, with an upgraded Nozzle though the nozzle used was a 0.4mm, I might try it with a 0.25mm nozzle, though this will greatly increase the print time. I haven't put this idea through the slicing software yet as I want to get the 0.4mm nozzle version perfect first. 

I think the total number of prints to get the MK6 was closer to 12 attempts I know of 5 fails at the 0.1mm layer and 2 fails at an impractical 0.15mm layer. 

So there you go all the work that goes into making 1 model. An I am not even finished with this one yet. Plus I didnt take into account the 40+ hours spend in Zbrush just sculpting it in the first place. 

Hope you enjoyed the journey. Spikey will be available soon. 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Holidays are coming... Wait it's not Oh never mind.....

Right ladies and gents, Holiday season is nearly upon us and I am away for a while from.
June 8th and 15th (These be the days and those in between I'm not working. May not work the 16th either depends on how much stuff I have to sort out once I am back.

When I do get back though web site stock is going to change, some items have already gone. Some items will stay. Okay One Item will stay I do really like the Space Monkey Bust plus I have started doing it in different colours very recently. There will be new Busts. There will be new 90mm models as well for District which will also be appearing in July.

I've spent the last couple of days test printing "Hero Scale" monsters. I have had some success but the failure rate is too high with present technology and so the price for them is not really practical to produce for sale. I am looking at SL printing for this scale of model at the moment but I feel the cost might outweigh the practicality of it. Due to the price of photo sensitive resin being over twice that of the Filament Layer plastic. The plastic is twice the price of metal anyway. So as you can imagine this would greatly ramp up the cost of models and take in the amount of time each model takes to print as well. Production is SLOW.
A high resolution Ganger at 90mm takes 8 hours.
A regular resolution Ganger in 90mm takes 4 hours.
An that's with out taking into account change over times for the parts. As each part is printed individually as you get a better print that way.

So if you have been putting it off getting any of the models presently on the site they will be available until June 17th. Though the Space Monkey Bust will be around for a bit longer yet.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Design, document and delivery.

So hello, here we are what 3 days from Salute 2015, which I shall be wandering around, seeing what every one has in store and what is coming and picking up bit and pieces for my own personal collection.

But this isn't about that this is about what I am doing, the shop is there you can get awesomely cool 3D models by me through that if you'd like too, if you don't want to then that is okay too, but it is there if you'd not noticed it with the big pay pal ad to cart buttons.

No no totally no that's not what this is about this is about where I am heading.

Once more am working on District everything is on hold again while I finish this off, well I say that but then it isn't on hold either.

While I am presently working out the costs of having things produced, working out the rules alterations and adapting and changing a fair chunk of it from the early beta drafts that have been floating around plus designing art work, making things look more like the art work, changing the art work to look more like the models and so on there is another thing I am messing around with.

Now District is going to work with an Inches system, but it also isn't. The idea is to create play areas which will be divided up into inch squares and you can measure ranges and things with said squares. Of you can just grab a tape measure and do the check range thing if you want.

But as I wanted the game to be faster and easier the whole having it look like a large grid kind of stood out like a sore thumb in testing and I am sticking to this. I even printed off some game board sections to see how it would work then cross referenced this with what it costs and yeah it is not cheap so if I am going to do them then I shall need to either learn wood shop and do them in MDF or get them bundled into the production costs of the box game itself. An yes it is going to be a box game.

But here is the awesome thing about this if it works and the cost price isn't to great then the game pieces will be 54mm! If they are cheaper at 34mm and I can save customers money then they will be 34mm which means of course you can use any 34mm model for the game or the 34mm model in any game. Though we have tested with both I prefer the 54mm as it stands out more and there is greater detail on the model plus the model looks more real and less heroic scale with larger arms, heads and legs as you usually find with 34mm as to not cause the model to be quiet as delicate. Though first I need to get this all costed out and see where it will go with that.

Though on top of this the whole 90mm which you will notice kicking around as promotional models also lends itself to the game play, though it doubles the size of the playing area as each 1 inch square becomes a 2 inch square making the game board go from 2'X2' to 4'X4' plus buildings need to double in hight and yeah that is possibly the absolute outer limit of the scale of 3D printing I am able to do and will be far to expensive and impractical for tooling and production as the 90mm scale is really just a promotional...... But but but but but but hang on there I am a little crazy and while the 90mm will never actually go into production when District final gets a release (July 2015 hopfully or at least kickstarted then or something like that maybe we will see) then the 90mm models will possibly come with 1 6"x 6" board section as a single board isn't that expensive to print so if you wanted to play then you could by 90mm generic models and have a board section and then you would have a full blown 90mm version of District. If you wanted too you don't have too but you get the idea there.

So that is where I am heading I know you see one of these every year and every year I say the same thing this year I am actually closer than I have ever been to finishing it, it really is now down to models and if you follow my personal twitter of the finalgamez twitter accounts you will have seen a lot of new models appearing and not getting into the shop as I am working so very hard to finish this.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Down Side of being a one man band

There are issues with being a on man show.
Especially when you have several projects on the go at once.
Sculpting wise I am working on the Deities for Herenkoa, I am working on Models for District and I am working on all manner of Monsters which are for Herenkoa but would work in any fantasy war game to be honest.

The problem is not only am I the sculptor, I am also the writer, the artist and the web guy. On top of this the day job is incredibly busy at the moment as is always the way in the winter months.

An while I am a head of schedule until the end of March for models and sculpts and releases I am behind on writing, web design and other bits and tiny stuff.

As of tomorrow being the 28th I will not be printing any more of the present range of 90mm models and once they are gone they are gone. This at least gives me 3 days to catch up with other bits.
Any one that follows me on twitter will know I am working on the first of the Deities which is planned to appear some time around April. There is no print time on these guys there will be a set number once I am finished with the design and that is all there ever will be. I was thinking 21. 20 for sale and 1 for me.

I have a total of how many Deities to do for Herenkoa?

As for District, that is all going fairly straight forward, has been tested to death so it is just a case of getting models done and printed and sitting looking pretty.

Yet once again one man band. Until I start shipping or producing enough for me to pack in the day job, hire help and get everything rolling.

Right web site work now. While test prints run.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Work In Progress

Now I have finished doing the work on the Troll line I was working on.
An it is n interesting line only has 3 models so far but I do plan to expand this over time.
Photos will be attached at the bottom and they will all appear fairly soon. Though I will probably only be doing the Cyclops in 90mm scale and keep the rest at gaming scale, though this might change if I get enough interest in the big ones. There will still be 90mm models appearing as they are easier to do. I sculpt large and then shrink down to gaming scale though this would appear to mainly be 54/65mm as thats the best resolution I get with the printer so expect a lot of larger monsters over anything else.

2nd Alien is well under way just got to work out the arms and leg situation and how to cut them up.
But this is all very side way from what the blog was actually about this was a work in progress update.

I am working on DISTRICT once more, the game mechanic is close enough to complete that I should finish the game and with the new software and hardware I am now able to really work on some amazing bits for it. Though these bit's will probably not be available for a while, I need to do some research on getting the game mass produced in a box and what it will cost and so on before I go down this route. So I want to get it all done and ready, though the models and the rules will be available by July. This is the planned moment of it becoming available.

The PDF version will always be free, will have all the rules in. It won't have art work, Or fleshed out fluff I am saving the bulk of that for the printed edition. But you'll be able to play and that is the idea of a game isn't it.

Models wise for that well the first 90mm District Character will be available from February 1st.
It is already lined up to be a character model for the 54mm range.
More info on that to come on the web site.

Along with a lot more information on Herenkoa, mainly looking at the races which of course you could use in any game that you play as a counts as model if you wanted too.

So thats the news. Am working on District have nearly everything up to April releases ready to go and I am working on getting the first game finished.

Here are some pictures.