Category Archives: Terrain

Painting a 3D-printed Caribbean building

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‘Arrr, me ‘earty – that thar 3-D printin’ is sure makin’ inroads into wargamin’, ain’t it!’ And especially so for terrain, as shown by this exciting new model from Printable Scenery for my 28mm pirate gaming.  3d-printable-wargame-house65

Matt from Printable Scenery asked if I could do a blog posting showing how to paint this first model in his new range of Caribbean building files, which I was very pleased to do. The painting didn’t take long – one day from start to finish.  Here’s how I went about it:

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The first step is to clean up any artifacts left over from the printing process, and then cover the whole model with black spray-paint. Apart from that, no other work was required to get the nice finish you see above.

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The model prints in three pieces, which means you can view the interior of each floor. So the interiors also received a black undercoat.

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The two storeys now received a light spray paint of sand colour (I used Tamiya model spray). I sprayed this in quick sweeps from above, so the remaining black undercoat would create the effect of shadows. The roof received a light spray too, but in a brick-red colour.

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The interiors also got the light sand-coloured spray treatment. I don’t worry about over-spray on the floor – this all gets fixed later on.

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Now comes my favourite step – dry-brushing the entire model with white. This really brings out the texture of the stone-work and tiles, and you start getting a feel of what the final product will look like.

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I picked out some of the stonework with a yellow-ochre colour, then dry-brushed over it with white. The chimney has also been painted ochre and dry-brushed white.

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I slapped some sky-blue paint onto all the windows and doors. As you can see, I was quite rough and ready with this job, but that doesn’t matter, as the next steps clean this up.

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I coated all the blue windows in earth-coloured ink wash, and also inked in some of the shadowed areas in the stonework, such as under the arches. I then used my trusty white dry-brushing over all the windows – hey presto, sun-bleached light blue frames and shutters!

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I picked out some random tiles with a range of colours, then game the whole roof another quick white dry-brush, before washing the whole roof with the earth-coloured ink to tone down the different shades.

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The final step was to paint the interior. I dry-brushed white the previously sand-coloured walls. The furniture and window frames were mainly picked out with inks, but also a small amount of painting, for example the bottles and jars on the shelves. The floor received a wash of black ink to bring out the floorboard detail.

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So there you have it, a perfect building for pirate games! Though, of course, this type of house could have many other uses – the Peninsular War springs to mind, or Maximilian’s Mexican Adventure, the Spanish Civil War, or even colonial games.

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Here’s the rear of the building, as seen from a ship tied alongside the wharf. Matt designed the building in a semi-fortified state, with boarded and bricked windows on the ground floor as you would find is times of war and civil unrest. There is limited access on the ground floor, but lots of firing positions on the upper floors. Perfect for a last stand!

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I’m really looking forward to seeing what other buildings Matt adds to Printable Scenery’s Caribbean range. I’ve plied him with photos of real buildings from Havana (Cuba), as well as pictures from the Disneyland ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ride – let’s see if any of these come to fruition!

For those who wish to know, the building was printed on a Prusa MK2, using ABS filament. It cost about US$8 to print. Each section took about ten hours, so was printed overnight. It was printed it at .2 layer height at slow speed. I got it as a raw print, not treated at all, but just primed in Warlord black primer.

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Filed under Pirates, Terrain, Uncategorized

Trees, trees, trees …

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If you go down to the woods today …

I’ve been upgrading my wargames trees, to add to my existing rather shonky stock of greenery.

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My old homemade trees can be seen in the background of the photo below, the new ones in various stages of basing at the front.

I bought these trees off eBay from China, at ridiculously low prices. Even the shipping from China to New Zealand cost less than if I were to post a standard letter to the next city. How this company makes money, I don’t know – but I’m not complaining!

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These trees come without bases, so I bought some large square metal washers, and with liberal use of hot glue, liquid nails, and my usual sand-and-PVA-glue mix, they seem to have attached well. I also added some sprigs of plastic Christmas decorative bracken to some of the bases.

Whilst most of these trees came in perfectly OK shades of green, there were a few that were a little bit too vivid for my taste. But with some dark green clothes dye, it was a simple and satisfying process to fix them.

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Some of the trees are conifers, as in the above picture.  Others (as seen in the pictures further up this page) are deciduous tree.

As you can see, all in all they make a perfectly idyllic grove for my 18th century couples to frolic together!

Here’s the eBay page page where I found these trees.  I bought mine from several of the dealers listed, but they are much the same. You can scroll down each listing to find the details of size – they range quite a bit in height, so you need to select ones that’ll suit your scale.

 

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Filed under Eighteenth century, Terrain, Uncategorized

4Ground’s Middle Eastern house kit

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The sleepy oasis of Sheesh-ki-Baab is disturbed by the rumbling of engines as a French motorised column passes through.

Painting of vehicles for my WW2 colonial French army has paused whilst I’ve concentrated on starting some desert scenery for them to fight over. First project off the blocks has been this 4Ground wooden kit of a Middle Eastern dwelling.

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As with the 4Ground Japanese buildings that I’ve also built, this kit was an absolute joy to put together. The miniature engineering that goes into what appears on the outside a very simple building is surprisingly complex, but all the pieces fit superbly.

The front door and the trapdoor in the roof can open and shut.  The roof itself is removable so that figures can be placed inside the building.

The kit comes pre-coloured. The only thing I did was touch up some of the stones around the roof-line, and disguise the corner joints by painting any visible edges in matching colours.

The entire project took only a couple of hours max!

By the way, the palm-trees are cheap plastic cake decorations (!) from my previous Pirates project.

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Filed under 4Ground, Terrain, Uncategorized, WW2

3D printable modular fantasy terrain Kickstarter

My friend Matt at Printable Scenery now has a Kickstarter site: Winterdale, a beautifully designed modular medieval fantasy citadel collection for 28mm gaming.

This is the same company that printed my beautiful Maori pa.

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Each Winterdale model is delivered as a .stl file pack to be downloaded and printed on a home 3D printer.

For the last year Matt’s company has been perfecting the process of 3D printing modular gaming terrain, and has built up a great following selling their models through out the world. All their designs are modular so you can scale, customize and print buildings towers and walls. Each piece is individually sculpted for maximum detail, and configured and optimized to print on small home printers.

3D printers are perfect for tabletop wargame and RPG terrain. Each piece of scenery costs about as much as a cup of coffee to print, and you can get a good printer for as little as US$399. Everything shown here is printed at 200 microns, which is the optimum quality for scenery.

If you’re looking at getting a 3D printer in the near future, then getting this digital library now at this amazing price will be well worthwhile.

Pledge Level 1 THE HAMLET: US$10 (NZ$15)

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Pledge Level 2 THE TOWER: $US 27 (NZ$40)

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Pledge Level 3 THE CITADEL $US 44 (NZ$65):

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Pledge Level 4 CASTLE: $US 50 (NZ$75)

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Stretch Goals

Matt is also really excited about the stretch goals because this is where they get to develop a lot of new buildings and add-ons.  Their concept artist, Elwira Pawlikowska, is already getting ideas underway. You’ll be getting amazing value just from the pledges as they are, but when the stretch goals are reached you’ll be getting an unbelievable amount of models. Matt will be getting your feedback along the way as they develop some more really amazing scenery pieces.

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If you’re interested, why not drop by Matt’s Winterdale Kickstarter site.

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A simple way to paint a Maori pa and other scenery

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I recently helped Printable Scenery to write and illustrate an article on how to paint their Maori pa palisade and buildings, using the ‘dry-brushing’ process.

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This is a fairly quick way of painting large lots of scenery. The results look good despite being somewhat ‘rough and ready’ to do. This technique is particularly useful for things like rough wood and thatch – perfect for a pa, in other words!

See the full article here.

And here’s a little video of the fully painted pa:

Video #3dprintable #Maori pa printed on #makerbot for #wargamesterrain #wargames www.printablescenery.com

A video posted by Printable Scenery.com (@printablescenery) on

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Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Empress Miniatures, Terrain

World’s first 3D-printed Maori pa completed

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Here’s some great pics of the final result of my enlistment of Printable Scenery to model a Maori pa and print it on a 3D printer. (Don’t forget to click on the photos to see them in their spectacular full-size glory!)

A Maori pa was a fortified settlement with palisades and defensive terraces. In the pre-European period, these were often built on prominent raised ground, especially volcanic hills. The natural slope of the hill was then terraced.

For years I’ve wanted to have a pa on my wargames table for my colonial New Zealand Wars games, but constructing the fencing from pieces of wood was too fiddly and time-consuming, and the results too fragile. Then I came across Printable Scenery …

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I discussed with Printable Scenery’s Matt Barker how a model pa needed to work for wargaming.   The company was great – I just sent them some drawings and photos and they started showing me 3D prototypes almost the next day.

By producing the fences and buildings in a modular format, this scenery will be infinitely adaptable to put together any type of fortified structure required for wargaming a typical colonial New Zealand Wars battle or siege.

With over 30 pieces of fences and buildings now available, they can also be modified to form any other type of tribal village, not just Maori. You could even consider such forts for fantasy or pulp fiction games. And by reversing the fences so the posts go on the inside, they can become a generic northern European stockade.

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The components were designed with pen and paper, and then drafted in 3DMax, where the overhangs and support tolerances for printing were tested. The mesh was exported to Z-Brush for detailing, then ‘decimated’ to provide a workable high-res file in a technique perfected at Printable Scenery. Each piece prints in just over an hour on a Makerbot.

The variety of walls provides an unlimited range of options that can also be scaled, as can the meeting house and huts. Even the statues and entrance-way can be configured in a variety of ways.

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Once several batches of fences and buildings were printed out, we were keen to see how they would look assembled together to depict a typical Maori hill pa. In our trial layout, three layers of palisading encircle a small hill that has been shaped into defensive terraces. In the centre is the meeting house and huts. The outside circle has an ornate carved gateway. All around is the rugged New Zealand bush.

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Our pa is populated by 28mm figures made by Empress Miniatures, which cover the New Zealand Wars of the 1840s. There’s even a British attack going in on one side.

The palisades and buildings of the model pa were painted using the ‘dry brushing’ technique. This entails dipping a flat brush into acrylic paint, wiping off most of the paint on a tissue, then sweeping the almost dry brush back and forth across the model to pick up all the raised areas.

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For the wooden fences and thatch, I started with a medium grey dry-brushing. I then picked out the binding ropes and the sharpened ends of the poles with beige, and the carved tops of the posts and the frames of doors and windows with a rust-red colour. I used some Games Workshop dark washes to bring out the detail of the ropes. This was followed with a light grey dry-brush over everything, and finally the faintest almost white dry-brush.

The bases were covered in PVA glue, and then dipped into sand. I finished them with splotches of different types of model static grass and flock.

Printable Scenery do great custom creations, and it works out really cheap if you offer them copyright of the finished items. As Matt says, “Now anyone can download and print for less than a cup of coffee from www.printablescenery.com.”

PS:  The gnarly old trees you can see on either side of the meeting house in some of the photos are also Printable Scenery items!

[Photos in this article all by Matt Barker from Printable Scenery.]

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Maori meeting house, and other buildings

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I had fun this morning painting these 3D print-outs from Printable Terrain.  This company produces computer files for printing these buildings on a 3D printer.

This impressive meeting house and its two accompanying huts will be perfect to populate a Maori pa for my colonial New Zealand Wars project.

I still have a lot more of Printable Terrain’s pa palisades to paint up (like the fencing in the background), and also a rather impressive gateway arch – so keep watching this space.

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