11 Jun 2023

3D printed Knights

 My adventures in 3D printing continue to slowly gather pace, although not by any stretch of the imagination at a pace which will see me take up 3D printing as a hobby anytime soon!

No, instead of that I've just gone onto eBay and bought some 3D printed "15mm" Knights designed by Eskice Miniatures and sold on eBay UK by Hoplite Miniatures

I did sort of want some of these Knights (full armour, no horse barding) but the purchase was as much to see what 3D printing could deliver today, a year after buying some very definately "scaled up 10mm" dollies for an Etruscan army. And, also, these were very cheap indeed at just £12+ P&P  for 24 cavalry figures.  

These are the figures that arrived in the post shortly afterwards - the pictures are taken on a half-inch grid (that's not because I'm an old Imperial-measurementalist, its just that the metric side of this double-sides cutting board is by now totally f---ed).  

They are big chunky models, and are (as scaled by Hoplite Miniatures) pretty big for "15mm", being a chunky 18mm if you are generous, or a fat 19mm if you are not so inclined. 

There were 7 different knights in a few different poses, and as you can see they are pretty clean with only a few little nubs of support still left on that I was easily able to snip off with sprue cutters. 

The horses though were very well-fed wolf-ish, and at this stage I was a little concerned that they might not really cut it, both in terms of style and scale against other 15mm metal and plastic figures I already have. 

But, painted up I think they have come out surprisingly well given that rather lumpy looking start.

With paint, shading and washes the horses have largely (but not entirely..) lost that "giant racing lemming" look, with the detail really picking up the Army Painter wash (and in some cases GW Contrast Paint main colour) quite well.  

I deliberately did the shields in simple geometric designs to keep them in the style of the Corvus Belli 100YW knights I painted earlier this year,  ducking the opportunity to add papper printed designs to them. Some of the shields (the round ones) wouldn't take a sticker anyway, but I do wonder if more detailed shields wouldlift these guys even more? 

The lances are surprisingly flexible, with quite a lot of "give" in them, making these much more robust  for such narrow bits of printing than some of the other printed resins I've seen, so from that I suspect materials technology is moving on apace in the 3D printing world.

Having said all that, I did manage to snap two of the lances off when I was taking these photos having done no damage to any of them at all in the preceeding painting and basing stages - they did however glue back on pretty easily with superglue, as the breaks were very clean. 

I only did barber pole stripes on a few of them, not wanting the units to look like a fairground ride with too many striped poles. 

The running horses are actually too long (when printed at this scale) to fit on a 30mm deep base, but I did manage to find some 35mm deep bases I had lying around and they managed to fit pretty well on those. 

So, all in all these are very nice, while also not really being all that close to the standards of good 15mm metal-cast figures from established sculptors. they are however leaps and bounds better than the "Playmobil" figures I bought last year, and are more than perfectly servicable for one-table usage.

The oversized impression from the raw prints seemed to be greatly mitigated by a count of paint and standardized basing - and I imagine that it would in any case be perfectly possible to print them slightly smaller just by changing some settings on the machine anyway.

So, the 3D future is almost here - not quite, but certainly getting closer every day. It will just take a few more folks to pick up their mouse (?) and noodle away at designing figure ranges, presumably just like whoever is designing stuff under the Eskice brand banner and suddenly there will be enough interest and enough competition for design to reach that next level - and if (OK, "when") that is matched with advances in materials tech too it'll not be too long until the choice between printed and cast ranges is a very difficult one to call indeed. 

I plan to take some size comparison photos and post them up in the next few days as well.

(Here's an affiliate link to Hoplite MIniatures eBay store: https://ebay.us/NbWnTW)

5 Jun 2023

The Gauls at Roll Call - 5 new ADLG match reports

 Having wheeled out (see what I did there..?) the Assyrians in a 25mm period at last year's Roll Call tournament, this time around I had resolved to dive into the somewhat deeper and more murky 15mm pool to give yet another rarely-seen army a proper outing post-Covid.

The theme was a somewhat intriguing "Roman Pond" - armies who might have been able to go paddling in the Med in the timeline encompassed by any of the Roman Republic or Empire armies in the ADLG book, which cut off most of the Cataphract-heavy options from a more traditional Roman themed period, making players armychoices rather different (aka altering the "meta") as a result too. 

With that in mind, and a wish to continue to test some of the less fancied armies and new v4 rules, I settled eventually on the often overlooked but in theory quite popular Gauls.

The outcome was the following 5 extremely verbose battle reports full of the usual nonsense of speech bubbles, laboured metaphors, hyperbollix language and out of place references to local foodstuffs - but this time with post-game analysis from Asterix & Obelix (as well as Hannibal)!  

Pull up a baguette, put a pot of Magic Potion on the stove and get ready to read all 5 of these Gallic Battle Reports at your leisure !

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