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  • #186029
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards May 2023 Release: M2 and M3 Bradley

    Today’s release as almost forgotten, in the chaos of household Power Issues, but belatedly, this time I have for you the M2A1 and M3A1 Bradley.

    This fills probably the largest remaining obvious gap in the ranges, and opens up for me to do “proper” sci-fi versions down the line.

    (Sidenote – this was considerable effort. You’d have thought the Bradley would have been relatively easy to find pictures of, wouldn’t you? But it really wasn’t, surprisingly. No comprehensive walkarounds I could find, and not even many videos, so this was really quite hard.)

    M2A1 Bradley

    Direct price: £3.85

    The Only-Games price: £4.27 Link

    Shapeways price: £7.50 Link

    M3A1 Bradley

    Direct price: £3.85

    The Only-Games price: £4.26 Link

    Shapeways price: £7.49 Link

    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa versions.

    The M2A0 and M3A0 have also been produced, and placed into the backlog. I am tentatively looking at doing the A2 and maybe A3 versions of the Bradley for June, but between Partizan and various other stuff (like holidays), we might have to dip into the backlog for June.

    Speaking of Partizan, I will be down there again on the 21st of this month. I’ll be doing starships this time, showcasing the XGA01 starfleet, along with some (technically) new merchant ships and a significant amount of work on the laser cutter to make some new nebulas.

    Next week’s sci-fi release should also come with the release of the hex-based flight stands I created during the Great British Flight Stand Shortage. This will be in the form of a free .stl download from Wargames Vault (under Creative Commons); pertinent to 144th as far as that’s what the various scifi VTOLs are mounted on. Said stands are never going to be as cost effective and just buying ’em from Ground Zero Games at 15p a go, but should the worst happen in the future, I’d like to hope they proliferate enough that they are useful. This is also a test run of .stl files and how much I actually need to do to sort them out. Manoeuvre Group is preparing to release a pack of markers and such for 3D printing and then, eventually I may finally look at the Shipyards selling .stl files.

    Finally, I would also like to bring to everyone’s attention the Wargames Directory Miniatures Manufacturers list. This is a listing of all (or at least as many as can be added) figure manufacturers by scale. Here’s the link to the 10mm list.  There is current a listing for 3, 6, 10, 15, 20, 25, 28, 30, 32, 40 and 54mm manufacturers. As a hobby, we distinctly lack any kind of centralised website of basis for this kind of thing, so the more we share this around, the better it is for everyone. Feel free to inform your favourite wargames Youtubers and let’s see if we can get plenty of eyes on it!

    #187163
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards June 2023 Release: Explosion Markers

    This month, something different: explosion markers. Following a surge of interest at Partizan, Manoeuvre Group and Aotrs Shipyards have collaborated to release this set of explosion markers, suitable for any scale.

    These were originally designed by MG to use as suppression and reaction markers, but will, of course, serve any purpose you can think of, from measuring fall of shell for artillery or naval games to blast markers and the like!

    A first for the Shipyards as well – the markers are being released in both physical form (in the usual methods) as a set of ten and also in .STL format on Wargames Vault (as a single piece, so you can print however many you like).





    Direct price: £4.00

    The Only-Games price: £6.00 Link

    Shapeways price: £12.81 Link

    Wargames Vault (.Stl File) Price: £1.00 Link

    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa versions.

    Next month is likely to be another Bradley variant or two (I have completed the M2A2 and M2A3 thus far).

     

    One other announcement:

    Only-Games, as of Friday the 16th June, will be starting to sell pre-coloured 3D printed models.

    Does this mean you can get excited about pre-coloured Aotrs Shipyards models?

    No. No, I’m afraid not. Let me calibrate expectations immediately, before anyone asks: the TL:DR is it is simply impractical on almost every level at the current time.

    For a kick-off, the procedure requires 2mm wall thickness. This basically eliminates almost the entire Aotrs Shipyards model range – and very definitely all of the moderns before we even start.

    Beyond that immediate problem, there is a raft of other barriers.

    Cost of model: I have no idea what the price increase will be like.

    Material incompatibility: They say you can’t have a model in grey resin as well as pre-coloured. This would mean fundamentally doubling the entire Aotrs Shipyards catalogue, since most wargamers do want to paint their own toys, as that’s as much if not more of the hobby than actually playing. (You can imagine how keen I am to do that AGAIN.)

    Texturing: I do not know how to texture. My CAD skills are self-taught, as solely for the purposes of 3D printing. So in order to create precoloured models, I would first have to learn how to texture, work out of/how to do it in TurboCAD (it requires a .obj file not .stl). (I wouldn’t even know how, for instance, to make it so that you could have the explosion markers done in, like, plain orange or black.)

    Images: Without having each model printed myself to evaluate and photograph (impossible on a financial level), I couldn’t evaluate how the model would come out of the process, so it would be asking you to basically take a shot in the dark.

    I Am Not An Artist: Notoriously, I commit Art like other people commit crime. (If you’ve followed enough of the Facebook posts, you will have seen the occasional “bonuses” scribble.) So even if I knew how to apply a texture map, I would also have to learn how to digitally paint models/create a texture map and get to a level that is sufficiently professional to be commercial. In the case of moderns, this THEN raises the issue of what real-world colour scheme or schemes that would need to be done, which I would have to research and attempt credibly, and potentially meaning a model for every different colour scheme pattern, which would balloon out. And, of course, the amount of diminishing returns for each variant colour scheme because that is serving a smaller and smaller customer base on an already niche product. (And I DEFINITELY can’t afford to pay a Proper Artist with the skills to do the job.)

    (The only feature which would be up to requirements is that is can handle 10 million colours, apparently, meaning that you could at least in theory, get close to the right shade of, say, NATO green.)

    So, even assuming that the process was physically able to accommodate my models, to do it would be an enormous, long-term project just to even start, let alone get back to where we are – and it would be coming, basically, at the expense of other enormous, long-term projects like for instance releasing the .stl files of my models. It is, as they say, just not happening, I’m afraid; I don’t have the skills, resources or budget to do it.

    #188339
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards July 2023 Release: M2A2 and M3A2 Bradley

    This time, more Bradleys. As I have accrued… More than enough, I elected to release four this time, because I don’t want the release queue to be rammed with Bradleys ad infinitum (there’s still EIGHT more in the queue).

    (I mean, I’m kind of sick of them myself at this point, if I’m honest, after doing a fourteen of the little sods.)

    So today I have the M2A2 and M3A2 and both A2 versions upgraded to ODS with ERA. It was not until AFTER doing this, I learned that that ERA was taken back OFF the Bradleys, so there will be an ODS version without ERA (as well as the A3s with and without BUSK) down the line.

    For the record, those of you trying to work out the difference between M2 and M3… It’s mainly in the location of the viewing slits towards the rear of the vehicle, which actually made doing the Bradleys quite a chore for a fairly small difference.

    M2A2

    Direct price: £3.95

    The Only-Games price: £4.43 Link

    Shapeways price: £7.80 Link

    M3A2


    Direct price: £3.95

    The Only-Games price: £4.43 Link

    Shapeways price: £7.80 Link

    M2A2 ODS with ERA


    Direct price: £4.30

    The Only-Games price: £4.65 Link

    Shapeways price: £8.04 Link

    M3A2 ODS with ERA


    Direct price: £4.30

    The Only-Games price: £4.65 Link

    Shapeways price: £8.05 Link

    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa versions.

     

    My bedroom is in the process of being done, which is disrupting things a bit, but I am hoping to get the VBL done for August’s release (picked solely because it was a nice, relatively easy shape that wasn’t going to drive up the wall, *Bradleys*); September is likely to be More Bradleys, but at least it’s being spaced out.

    The aforementioned bedroom issues might mean that next week’s scifi release gets delayed, but we will have to see how it goes; I’m away again in August and I also have to do a ton of painting for the September show (and I have only just barely started about thinking what to do for October’s Other Partizan.

    #189348
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards August 2023 Release: Panhard VBL

    Slightly early release this time, because I’m away next week. (Likewise, this month’s sci-fi release will be delayed.) Short release; longer update (see end!)

    This time, something different – the Panhard VBL (in 144th as per usual). After the nightmare of the Bradleys (and in addition to the bedroom redecoration disruption) I wanted something relatively quick and easy.

    Panhard VBL

    Direct price: £2.85

    The Only-Games price: £1.71 Link

    Shapeways price: £3.55 Link

    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa versions.

    Next month is likely to be More Bradleys (likely some of the A3 versions).

    I also intend to do some more variants of the VBL as well; but we have both the Hereward Wargames Show coming up on the 3rd of September and Other Partizan the following month, so we’ll see how things pan out what I do. (I do have the backlog to dip into, so there is no danger of their not being a moderns release in any case).

    However, as I always pride myself on being up-front; this week I also received notification that I am being moved over to the Universal Credit Scheme from Working Tax Credit. This is always a concern, of course, because notoriously, changes like this have gotten used as an excuse to try and get as many people off benefits as possible for PR (usually ending up targeting those who most need it and who are least able to fight back, as we have experienced with my mother). I thus fully expect, despite me turning up to the appointment with a massive stack of evidence (including among them the special commission sale I did for the New Zealand Armed Forces…) – which I WILL make them look through – them to try the “you’re not making enough money” “what’s enough money then, what are the guidelines” “we don’t *have* any guidelines” “okay, so how can you guarantee me or anyone else that you’re not just being arbitrary and that this is a fair assessment, do I need to make an Official Complaint and write to my PM again” “umm…” routine that I had the last time. Which is basically stress I don’t really need (especially as some additional family health issues with my mother’s older sibling, which are likely to only deteriorate).

    In theory, the decision won’t even be made until September, but whatever it is might have an impact on the Shipyards; if they approve things, all hunky-dory, if not, things are going to go decidedly A Bit South and I can’t even really make anything more than tentative plans until I see how it plays out. (Do I try Doing A Pateron? Accelerate the file-sales?) Maybe I’m worrying for nothing, but that really wouldn’t be in-character for the modern world, would it?

     

    In other news, Shapeways have replaced the grey fine detail plastic with tan detail plastic at the same price point and have “sunsetted” (urgh) the smooth fine detail and smoothest fine detail – as expected. In theory, nothing should be changed with the change over, but if you find a glitch, please do let me know. (Or, like, use Only-Games anyway, since they’re a better and cheaper product!)

    In addition, Shapeways are trying to implement a pilot scheme to sell .stl files as well as prints. I am not getting into this pilot program until they take it more seriously; the pilot scheme is a fixed price of $10 for sales and a 50/50 split… Less than I get from Wargames Vault and with no control. Plus to be viable, they’d have to allow the sale of files that they DON’T print, since the hollow Shapeways models are not suitable for FDM printing… So don’t expect any movement on that front from me for a while.

    #189926
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Update: (Reposted from Sci-fi Release thread.)

    So, bad news. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures or anything to leaven this up.

    As reported on yesterday’s release post in scifi, today, I had an appointment with Universal Credit (as I am translated off from Working Tax Credit). I was very much concerned this would be used as an excuse to day “you’re not making enough money, naff off,” (as this has been tried once before) and I was 100% justified.

    In a very real sense, they are not so much moving people from Working Tax credit to Universal credit as just obviating Working Tax credit entirely, especially if you are self-employed.

    Universal Credit is basically set-up such that if you are self-employed, you are tacitly told by the system “either Get A Proper Job Loser, make enough money you can’t claim it anyway or get knotted, mate.”

    To whit: If you are self-employed, if you are not making enough to qualify for “gainful employment” (whose gain? Certainly not mine.) you have to be looking for work and sign-on every week. Identically, in fact to if you are NOT self-employed and signing-on, though apparently we don’t call it that now.

    If you ARE making enough to qualify for “gainful employment” – you are about 50% past the break-point at which the 45% of your income they reduce the benefit by is larger than the benefit you qualify for anyway.

    (Or at least if you are single and don’t have children. The children – and presumably, but I may be reaching, since Mum doesn’t count apparently – dependants is fair enough; that I am single because I Don’t Significant Other (and thus Don’t Marriage) also feels a bit punitive, to be honest.)

    That “gainful employment” threshold is – are you ready for this? £1400 a month.

    (Twice what is if you are getting paid employment, apparently.)

    I have, basically, taken the final option of the three (got knotted), and spent the last few hours composing a letter to my MP (because that nonsense is not something I will tolerate without issue, and that is about the only thing I CAN do about it).

    So, what are the ramifications for the Shipyards?

    It’s still going be here, for at least as long as my savings last and I HAVE to functionally sign-on. I am not in any immediate danger of going short of food or anything like that. Long-term, what it does mean is that what saving I have gathered which were, basically a buffer for what happens when my parents die will be being whittled away .

    In the shorter term: An acceleration of the process of getting the .stl files up, and maybe setting up of a kofi account (just as SOMETHING) and using that as an indicator as to whether it is even worth trying to set up a Patreon.

    I have also been idly considering compiling Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide to a first edition PDF release for a while as essentially a mechanics-less sourcebook, but that is still a ways off yet; under the circumstances, I may well put that as a “pay what you want” on Wargames Vault.

    #190538
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards September 2023 Release and Update: M2A3/M3A3

    In addition to this moderns release, I have a fairly substantial update.

    I was hoping to do the update last week and then the release, but that hasn’t panned out. So bear with me.

    TL;DR: M2A3, M3A3 and both with BUSK, likely no releases in October, Aotrs Shipyards coming to MyMiniFactory for .stls in the fairly near future; possible Aotrs Shipyards sale at Only-Games soon.

    First off, then, the release: the M2A3 Bradley and the M”A3 with the Bradley Urban Survival Kit, plus the M3A3 (same).

    M2A3


    Direct price: £4.05

    The Only-Games price: £4.43 Link

    Shapeways price: £8.09 Link

    M3A3


    Direct price: £4.05

    The Only-Games price: £4.60 Link

    Shapeways price: £8.09 Link

    M2A3 with BUSK


    Direct price: £4.30

    The Only-Games price: £4.74 Link

    Shapeways price: £8.42 Link

    M3A3 with BUSK


    Direct price: £4.30

    The Only-Games price: £4.67 Link

    Shapeways price: £8.43 Link

    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa versions, as always.

    Believe or not, there are STILL some Bradley variants left to go at some point down the line…

    Right on to the update stuff.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Last Wednesday I had meeting with both Only-Games and MyMiniFactory to discuss the hows and whys of using MyMiniFactory to start selling .stls through MyMiniFactory. (Note for clarity: this will of course be in addition to, not instead of, the physical prints from current sources.)

    It was something of a good news/bad news situation. Only-Games is in the process of introducing a subscription for all creators, something I wasn’t aware of. This would have been catastrophic, except that since June, Shipyards sales have spiked high enough to actually cover that subscription fee.

    (This represents such a dramatic relative spike from being a trickle (nothing some months as recently as April) which has taken me by complete surprise. I can’t quite work out what triggered it; June’s releases were merchants and the explosion markers and it was just after Partizan, none of which particularly is out of the ordinary.) It was so sudden I hadn’t really registered it yet until prompted to look, since at Only-Games I don’t get notified of individual sales and I have to remember to check.)

    So, if that happy trend continues, it means that it will cover the subscription cost which might have otherwise have spelled serious problems.

    ______________________________________________________________

    We had a long discussion on the .stl market, which obviously, MyMiniFactory ultimately knows better than me, since the Shipyards has hitherto been a physical-only producer. The long and the short of it is that 80% of people buying files are printing in resin, not FDM.

    This creates something of an issue, since as perhaps notoriously at the point, the Shipyards doesn’t have a home resin printer – nor in the circumstances am I likely to get one in the near future. (Don’t even know where we’d put it in any case.) I thus can’t obviously test-print resin models to check supports. I have looked into what I could do, and talked to Atlas 3DSS (a company that does supports for you), which has at least given me a very basic understanding of what works. But, for obvious reasons, I can’t afford to have the supports done commercially for, like 600 models, and what I would hazard would be around $15-25 dollars per tank or something. At very best, I might be able to provide some pretty much “manual and my best guess” pre-supported models (as an addendum to the product) but I feel trying that without even a cursory test would be unhelpful.

    (I thought my mate had a resin printer he’d gotten from his mate (who has a habit of buying printers and then getting rid of ’em), but turns out I was getting confused and my mate’s mate’s resin printer went to my other mate, who moved way. (Confused? Well, now you know why I was1) ,

    So on balance, the assumption is going to have to that models come without supports.

    In some ways, this doesn’t change anything, since for Wargames Vault, I was only able to supply images of recommended supports for FDM printers anyway.

    What it does mean, though, is that I am undecided as to whether to bundle the FDM versions in on the models on MyMiniFactory. I COULD, since it looks like I could simply bundle them with a zip as part of the models and I *will* do so if anyone requests it, but I don’t know whether it’s worth doing. (I will, however, take the opportunity to bundle a flight stand file with the starships, as well as providing the same free bundle of stands as is currently on Wargames Vault.)

    This has meant that I am largely letting the plans of releasing the files on Wargames Vault go fallow for the moment. If there is demand – especially for FDM files, I may take a look at it.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Looking around at how other manufacturers sell their models on MyMiniFactory, I saw a lot of starships in packs, rather than as individuals. I am leaning away from that, and intending to keep having individual models (or smaller packs, like maybe one pack for fighters). For one thing, I do occasionally go back to older ranges and add stuff to them (the Herosines/General Hull Designs notably) and of course for the moderns ranges, those will never be “complete” until I run out of real armour to model (don’t see that happening)! Thus, while I may look into doing fleet/army packs, they will be in addition to, rather than instead of, the individual models.
    ______________________________________________________________

    So, taking into consideration all of the above and having a look around at what other places are doing, I have decided on my pricing plan, which is TOTALLY different to what I thought.

    Remember back in the 80s and 90s, when you could a lot of stuff for your pennies? That’s where I’m planning to go. The not-quite-Poundshop route. I am figuring that my pricing system will be based around double the mark-up I get on the physical models. Thus, tanks will come out at around £1 to £1.50, superdreadnoughts at around £3 and up to about heavy cruisers at 50p. (I think a floor of 50p is not unreasonable.)

    I am all for having low-cost entry points (so Little Timmy (sic) can get a nice little fleet for his hard-earned pocket money…) and also allowing people to pick and choose my models across all the ranges.

    This policy means, as of last Thursday (06/09/2023), the price of the Small Starbase and 300th !O-2300 Spacetruck on Wargames Vault have been dropped permanently to £3 and £1.50. (I’ve not sold any of either at time of change, so that’s good, because I don’t feel guilty about calibrating it totally wrong to start with. Live and learn, right?)

    One advantage of selling the models individually means that, if something sells well, maybe I can look into doing supports for it, either myself or professionally.

    This also means that this gives me a much lower turn-around time. It means that, aside from splitting the hollow versions off their sprues, there’s not too much work to do per model to get them up. So I can hopefully get stuff up on there, and up to date, in a fairly reasonable time-frame that is not 2-3 years. (Like it took to get the FDM/Only-Games stuff ready in case of Shapeways Emergency the last time around.)

    That is now The Plan, anyway. Obviously, if there are more unforeseen issues cropping up, I might have to alter them, but hopefully this will be the way forward.

    ______________________________________________________________

    On top of this, there is the issue that I have to do all the preparatory, like Art Stuff. (My Shipyards renders look a bit… Understated to most on MMMF.) While there’s no an approach I can take OTHER than the renders (since I can’t use photos of the FDM for resin prints, and TurboCAD is crap at renders), even something as simple as adding a title or logo to my existing renders will be a job and a half. (Terrible questions like “what font do I use, since I can’t easily use the one for all the book titles, since I basically have manually tweak it in PaintShopPro8?”)

    As such, as MyMiniFactory is ALSO a subscription system, I can’t afford (literally) to not sign-up at least three-quarters prepared. So I will need to be doing some of that groundwork.

    (At time of posting, I have gotten as far as the SSA ships and up to “m” in the moderns in unspruing (but the majority of that still needs mesh-checking/fixing). So it’s going to be a long job.)

    ______________________________________________________________

    With that all to do, I have decided that there is very likely to NOT be a moderns release (and possibly no sci-fi release) in at least October and there may not be a scifi release next week. This will be the first time since I took the Shipyards full-time (eight years ago) there won’t be a monthly moderns release. I could, of course, dip into the backlog, but at this uncertain point, I’d just rather not having it hanging over my head until I can get myself on firmer ground.

    (For the same reason, I am further breaking a habit of a lifetime and planning to do a continuation of the Hereward scenario at Other Partizan, instead of sci-fi MG – featuring the Royal Elven Army), like I had intended.)

    ______________________________________________________________

    Only-Games very generously also offered me to have 25% sale on the Shipyards ranges. This would be specifically for the Shipyards (as opposed to the sitewide summer sale). I am still waiting on the confirmation – at last count, it was going to be up until end of October to catch Other Partizan on the 8th, but they have not got back to me at time of posting; I’ll do another post when that’s ready.

    ______________________________________________________________

    I have also – after a GREAT deal of delay – updated Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide at it exists currently on Spacebattles.

    This covers the forthcoming Royal Elven Army (which has been semi-ready for release since before lockdown), and two new designs that were going to be New On Table for Other Partizan before the plans changed.

    It took a HUGE amount of work to clean up the line renders (because of course TurboCAD facets the surfaces, which then need cleaning up), so please, go and take a look!

    Something I have resisted having before, but that the Universal Credit people didn’t really give me much option on but to take the option:

    If you feel exceptionally generous and would to like support these lore efforts (at least before I can put out copy of the Galaxy Guide!) I have set up a ko-fi here.

    #190550
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards Sale now live!

    The sale is now live: 20% off Aotrs Shipyards products at Only-Games all the way through to November the 30th!

    Use code AOTRS20

    The small text:

    Applies to one-time purchases, no minimum purchase requirements, no usage limits, can’t be combined with other discounts!

    #191116
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards now at MyMiniFactory, plus Only-Games sales until the end of November!

    So in lieu of the scifi release this month, instead, I can announce that Aotrs Shipyards now has a MyMiniFactory store from which you can buy the files. (You can also get the free flight stand files from here too!)

    MyMiniFactory Page

    To re-iterate, the files will be coming WITHOUT presupports, for the simple reason that I don’t have access to a resin printer and it is not current viable to pay for commercial ones. (You can contact me through the usual channels – or the PM on MMF – to pick my brains on supports for FDM, of course.)

    You can get each model individually (packs would not be viable, given the ever-changing nature of the ranges, especially the moderns), and they will be coming in at about 65p ($0.8) to about £3-4 for the big ones (based on what I have uploaded so far.) Tanks are coming out around the £1 mark.

    Models come with the standard (hollow) files for printing in resin or SLS (typically designated with -S or -M), and FDM prints; the post purchase notes will tell which files to use for each type of printing. (Note parts too small to be hollowed out are agnostic to printer type.)

    All starships, fighters and VTOLs that are physically large enough have a post hole designed to take a standard 3.2mm or 3mm flight stand (or are supposed to be glued to the top of one) are coming come with a suitable stand and base too. This will be a standard 27mm hex stand or a small base with a 15mm for smaller vessels – you can of course just download the free flight stand pack if you want something different.

    Sci-fi models all come with an Entirely Optional Lore excerpt from Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide in PDF form. (In theory, as it’s not showing up in the files; so, if you do by a still, could you please, PLEASE let me know if this is or is not working properly in my current approach, as I might have to do it another way.)

    (The Riposte frigate alone currently has a PDF label, because I forgot to upload that PDF in my first pass, and then put it in a different way; if I have to add the PDFs separately after the fact like that, it will obviously increase the timing more, so I don’t want to do it pre-emptively if I don’t have to.)

    The MMF also has a direct link via the physical prints button to the Only-Games store, so you can go look over the ranges while they’re on sale (sale code and details in the post above!)

    Updates and releases will also be posted the Story function. (The first of which contains a brief intro, re-iteration of stuff, and a quick FAQ.)

    As the store page doesn’t seem to have a terribly good sorting method, I will be using Collections to help you keep tabs of the ranges better; this is no different to at Only-games or Shapeways, but here I’m also going to add collections which are sub-collections of the MG moderns by nation as well. The store page only lets me pin ten to the front, so shortly, you’ll want to go to the collections tab.

    As the models have to be manually approved, even when I supply print photos (don’t envy that job…!) there is a delay between me uploading and them becoming visible in the store. (Thus at tie of writing on Saturday, only Thursday’s batch is in the store, though you should be able to see yesterday’s – and today’s – models in the collections regardless.

    As with the Only-Games upload, I will be updating this post (at least on Facebook) updated with progress as I upload the various ranges. It is, I’m afraid, slow going (it’s taken two solid days to get just 10% up); so there is NO WAY I’ll be done for Other Partizan next week, but I’m hoping to get a chunk up, at least. (And I have to take some time off next week to deal with a scaling commission and do the Other Partizan prep, such that it is.)

    Ranges Currently UP:

    Manoeuvre Group Moderns (144)
    China
    Czechoslovakia
    France
    Israel
    Irregulars
    NATO

    Starships
    Flight stands
    Alpha Strike force*
    SSA

    MG Sci-FI
    Cybertanks*
    Galactic Terrorists*
    British Royal Space Army*

    Misc
    Explosion/Suppression Markers

     

    *Uploaded but not in Store page yet

    ______________________________________________________________
    I should note that MMF is subscription service, so it being available long-term is dependent on getting enough through the door to meet at least the 25$ a month fee, so every little helps. I’m going to give it a year, at least, to see if it will sustaining itself; I really hope it does, but we shall have to see.

    If you would prefer to support the Shipyards in other ways, such as the ongoing work on Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide, I have a ko-fi here.

    In other news, I also have a Mastadon account now.

    To go with the Twitter one I am just barely remembering to use.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Just as a coda to the whole working tax credit/universal credit nonsense, I got a letter from HMRC saying “you know how we switched you over on our time scale, not yours? Yeah, so because as soon as we decided to swap you over, you ended your working tax credit, you were overpaid, so you have to pay us like £200 back. We’re not ACTUALLY going to tell you how to pay that back in this letter, because that would be convenient; you have to wait for us to send you ANOTHER letter later on you have to worry about instead.”

    Fricking world we live in.

    ______________________________________________________________

    So, as I say, no release next month. With a bit of luck, maybe around the time of the moderns or sci-fi release I’ll be able to do a post to say everything is caught up, but we’ll see. (I’ve already had one delay due to illness already…)

    #191766
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards October 2023 Update and Surprise Release

    Just in time for the Spooky Season, I can report that as of yesterday night, the entire Army Of The Red Spear starfleet, ground force and fighter force, in all their highly trained and organised magical space-lich glory, are uploaded to MyMiniFactory!

    The starships are up and cleared, though the ground force and fighters won’t get their final checks passed likely until Monday, but you SHOULD be able to see them all under the Aotrs collection on the Shipyards MMF page.)

    For that matter, the Aotrs Shipyards sale at Only-Games is still on until the end of November (details below), so if you want so magical space liches in physical form, everything is up there (including the Blackhole, which appears to have been missed as an oversight last time…!) so now is as good a time as ever!

    The Aotrs range is the single biggest range for any one power (eclipsed only by Manoeuvre Group Moderns when counted a whole, not as multiple nations). It is been an appalling couple of weeks, which problem after problem on top of the already stressful situation[1]. But I, driven more by stress to get the job done than by anything else, managed to get about 130 models up this week, which takes me to 422 out of around 560-ish models to upload. (The count isn’t identical, since some separate physical models have been collated into one file set.) All the moderns are now up as well, so it’s now basically the back half of the alphabet of the sci-fi to go.

    This brings me to today’s surprise release! I said there wouldn’t be a release this month (and there isn’t for moderns, but I’m mostly copy-pasting this to both threads), but as I completed the Aotrs, I decided that I would do one, since it is exclusive to MyMiniFactory due to its size: the 1:300th scale version of the Murder, as seen at Hereward and Other Partizan!

    Murder Fightercruiser (300th)



    MyMiniFactory (.Stl File) Price: $15* Link

    (The fleet scale version is already out… And obviously, I’m NOT going to do a 144th scale one. In fact, as it’s closer to terrain at that size anyway, you’d be better served using the 300th version at that scale anyway!)

    *MMF mandatorily works in dollars with no conversion, so it has to be in dollars. Yes, that irritates me a bit as well…

    ______________________________________________________________

    MyMiniFactory Progress Update

    The Aotrs being done, and with their surprise release marked a convenient point to make an update post (as I don’t know how many, if any, people have been checking the updates on the prior post); but also because I am basically taking next week off. The start of my working week (Tuesday) is my birthday (which I’d have been taking off anyway), but the events of the past couple of weeks have convinced me I NEED to take it off, before I do myself even more of a health mischief. (I’ve been so tired that I went an entire week without playing anything, so I haven’t really even relaxed. Even last night and this morning, just thinking about this post as a Job To Do was giving me anxiety.)

    So, after posting this up, I’ll continue on today and maybe tackle one of the smaller ranges still left to do, but then that will be it basically until the 31st.

    So here is where we stand as of today (21/10/2023).

    Ranges currently Up:

    Updated: 21/10/2023

    Manoeuvre Group Moderns (144)
    China
    Czechoslovakia
    France
    Israel
    Irregulars
    NATO
    Russian/Soviet
    German
    UK
    US
    **Moderns uploads completed!**

    Starships
    Flight stands
    Alpha Strike force
    SSA
    Stone Portals
    Vivrathk
    Phystyulons
    General Designs Hulls
    Jalyrkieons
    Aotrs*

    MG Sci-Fi
    Cybertanks
    Galactic Terrorists
    British Royal Space Army
    Strayvian Dominion
    Phystyulons
    Herosine Empire
    Jalyrkieons
    Aotrs*

    Misc
    Explosion/Suppression Markers

    *Uploaded but not in Store page yet

    The small mercy is that I have sold enough this first month to cover the MMF subscription fee, so at least for this month, my efforts haven’t been in addition to actively costing me money…

    ______________________________________________________________
    Aotrs Shipyards Sale at Only-Games!
    20% off Aotrs Shipyards (physical) products at Only-Games all the way through to November the 30th!

    Use code AOTRS20

    The small text:
    Applies to one-time purchases, no minimum purchase requirements, no usage limits, can’t be combined with other discounts!
    ______________________________________________________________

    Whether or not there is an update next month remains in question (likely not for moderns, though a possibility of releasing some of the elves remains. However, I would quite like to do something actually creative, or at least different after several weeks of hell, so I might instead just do CAD work and/or some more work on Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide as a break; we’ll see.

    ______________________________________________________________

    [1]For those of you who have not been tracking the updates on the Facebook post, these have included: Mum having her car run into (no physical damage to Mum, but the car is damaged and thus I been helping with the insurance stuff); when my uncle came up for a visit (he’s now arguably as disabled as my mother and frighteningly getting worse every time I see him), so I was helping with him – and on the Friday, Mum’s phone was stolen. (It dropped out of the car in one of two places and was nicked.) So I have had to sort that (make sure everything was cancelled, report to the police, the whole nine yards). I went to get some cash out, and realised I did not remember my PIN (as it was not what I thought I remembered). Because I never used my card at all during lockdown, I totally forgot my previous one, and since, I only get money out once in a blue moon. And because Lloyds treats customers without smart phones as second-class citizens, I have had to wait for a huge amount of time for them to send me a new one. We’ve also had to have our COVID jabs this week as well, so I wasn’t not good yesterday, and none of us had fully recovered from the nasty flu-y cold we had a week or two ago. And for good measure, I am still waiting to be told to pay back the working tax credit I owe, which apparently has been passed to Universal Tax Credit who may (or MAY NOT) follow up on it, and I can’t even chase them for one way or another for another two weeks. I basically HAVE reached my breaking point, to the point that (when I can find the energy and effort to chase it) Mum has said I should go to the doctor’s.

    #191777
    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage
    Participant

    As it goes I don’t mind having .stl files unsupported. The slicer/editor I use (Lychee) will auto-add its own supports.

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #192453
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Update and Black Friday Sale

    Moderns releases (both physical and .stl) will resume next month.

    Black Friday Sales:

    Shapeways:
    Frack knows. I don’t know if they’re doing a Black Friday sale, and if they are, they probably won’t tell me about it until it’s halfway done.

    Wargames Vault:
    Accelerate and Attack: Aeons of War (and the other Shipyards Wargames Vault products) will be on sale in theri Black Friday sale at 25% off from November 24th to 27th.

    MyMiniFactory/Only-games:
    I have entered Aotrs Shipyards into the MyMiniFactory/Only-Games Black Friday sale.

    This runs 13th – 28th November, 2023, and is 25% off physical models at Only-games (note that this will override the Aotrs Shipyards 20% off sale that ends on 30th November) and 30% of at MyMiniFactory.

    Use the code BF25OFF at Only-Games and BLACKFRIDAY23 at MyMiniFactory for these discounts.

    I gave this very considerable thought before opting-in. (I did not twig at the time it also applied to Only-Games.) I have not had any objections to sales on Accelerate and Attack (because 25% off is still Some Money) nor to sales at Only-Games and Shapeways because those were, fundamentally, off the cost of their manufature, not my small mark-up. MMF actually gives me more of tghe share, of course, but my prices on MMF I had already placed at “what is the minimum amount I feel I should charge?” – $0.8 equates to me making just north of 50p. I was thus more or less aiming at “this price is like being on sale all the time” instead of what I would consider the corporately manipulating “the sale price is the real price, so add 25% to the base cost so that when on sale people get the endorphin hit from thinking they are Getting A Good Deal.

    So I was seriously considering not putting the sale in at all. However, I am as if you’ve been following, in a position where it feels unwise to turn away the publicity. So this is an experiment. If the sales do genuniely give me a spike in sales, great, it is something to repeat.

     

    As a final note, to re-iterate: Only-games is moving to a subscription model in January, and that means a £25/month fee (on top of the MMF subscription fee). After a spike in summer which did (in September), last month’s sales didn’t reach that. Thus there is a very real, very frightening possibility (even probability) that this cost will make operating an Only-Games store unsustainable (especially as he Shipyards is now my only form of income). That would be a crippling blow, since it would take out the decent physical prints. So if nothing else, if you think you might ever want any Aotrs Shipyards models in resin… Sooner rather than later, would be my pointed recommendation, because I genuniely do not know for how much longer I will be able to offer it to you.

    If this seems a bit doom and gloom… Sorry, but it kind of is? Not much else I can say about it; that is the bare facts as they stand. Worst financial half-year since the Shipyards started + no working tax credit + very non-trivial operating cost forthcoming makes my outlook rather bleak, I’m afraid.

    #192744
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Quick Only-Games Black Friday Update

    A quick update. Firstly, Only-Games are increasing their discount to 30% off over Black Friday weekend itself (24th of November to Tuesday 28th November). Use the code:

    BLACKFRIDAY30

    _____________________________________________________

    I will be doing a full update on the situation the first week of December (when I will be doing the moderns release early), but with current projections, I strongly recommend that if you are ever considering getting anything in resin from the Shipyards, you do it sooner rather than later, as my current projections suggest that if this subscription cost does indeed come in at what they said it would be in January, maintaining the Only-Games shipyards store will be untenable. (I feel uncomfortable saying this, as it is fundamentally FoMO, butI’d rather do that than have some time next year somebody saying “I wanted some of your stuff in the resin, where’s the shop gone?”) I will be looking at options there are, and will report in the aforementioned December update.

    #192790
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Very, very quck update: I have since spoken to Only-Games. I’ll make a full annoucement with details when I do the release, but the (positive) upshot is that my Only-Games store will be staying online, but there will be a price increase to compensate coming over December. Just wanted to make a quick note to migitate that FoMO…

    #193085
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards December 2023 Update and Release VBLs

    As typical for December, I have an early release post for you.

    So before I get to the release, the update.

    It is good news, though somewhat qualified. The short, short version is the shop is will remain open, but there will be a price increase.

    As I have mentioned, Only-Games is moving to a subscription-based model next month. There was simply no way I was making that subscription, so I contacted them regarding other options (i.e. what about having it open only for a limited time each year, could I do it such that orders would have to come through directly etc.). They instead offered a much better alternative (since I’d been there from the start and helped road-test some of the stuff); they would increase their take off the platform price (i.e. the overall price) by 10% from 10% to 20%. That means that for me to be making the same amount of money (and indeed, any at all), the overall price has to go up.

    To maintain the same amount of pennies I make, the prices will be going up by about 13%.

    A price increase is never good news, but if it means the shop remains open at all, it is the least bad outcome and I’m very happy with the result. The price increases will be going into effect more-or-less immediately (starting from the release itself), since it has to be done by January and will be done over the course of this week (starting with the moderns).

    (The MMF prices will still be calculated off the previous pricing structure, I’ll be making myself a spread sheet as I go!)

    Once this last bit is finally done, we will finally after several months of frantic work and extra stress (I’m on pills now…) we will be back to normal operations again.

    LESS good news to report, I have discovered as I have been updating my catalogue, that Shapeways has as recently as a few weeks ago, had an unannounced price increase. (The previous VBL model, notably, had gone up.) This is a jaw-dropping 25% to 30% increase, even more astounding in light of it being kept hush-hush.

    The only very marginal point in Shapeways’ favour is that they caught as catastrophic error in the Chieftain hull that crept in during the last round of update, which propagated across all five model (the moderns and the sci-fi one). This required a before-breakfast-on-my-effective-Sunday fix, but hopefully is done now.

    Speaking of Shapeways a slight change to format. MMF uses dollars as their currency, so as I’m having to use both dollars and pounds anyway (I and Only-games work in base pounds), there’s no good reason to not use Shapeways’ dollar prices, and eliminate the exchange-rate-discrepancy.

    ______________________________________________________________

    To the release itself, them. This time, I have three more VBL versions: the Reco version of the VBL, and the standard and Reco version of the slightly larger VB2L.

    VBL Reco


    MyMiniFactory (file) $0.80 Link

    The Only-Games price: £1.95 Link

    Shapeways price: $4.52 Link

    Direct price: £2.85

    VB2L


    MyMiniFactory (file) $0.80 Link

    The Only-Games price: £2.04 Link

    Shapeways price: $4.52 Link

    Direct price: £2.85

    VB2L Reco


    MyMiniFactory (file) $0.80 Link

    The Only-Games price: £2.09 Link

    Shapeways price: $4.62 Link

    Direct price: £2.85

    _____________________________________________________________

    Note: I have updated the OP with all the various links, to hopefully provide a better place to have them rather than repeating the general links on each post.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa versions, as always.

    Next month is an unknown, it depends what I get chance to do (if anything) over December, which is a short month; it thus might be something from the backlog, we’ll see.

    Next week’s week-early sci-fi release will see the release of the Royal Elven Navy starfleet as existent, and the ground force over the next three (and not before time, the REK have been hanging around since 2020).

    So for those of you who don’t follow the sci-fi or general releases, have a good Christmas (and/or other season-appropriate festival) and a good new year, and I’ll see you again in January.

    #194160
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards January 2024 Release: CV1940C

    Kicking off this year, only a single release this month, but it is at least entirely new and not from the backlog liked I had thought it might have to be! So this time, then, I have for you the Swedish CV1940C IFV.

    This is a touch early, perhaps, but I had just enough time at the end of this week to get this out before the end of the week, which leaves me free to start fresh next week (when I’d have normally done the release). (The sci-fi release will thus likely be a week on Tuesday).

    CV9040C

    MyMiniFactory (file) $1.25 Link

    The Only-Games price: £5.06 Link

    Shapeways price: $10.18 Link

    Direct price: £3.95
    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa version, as always. Again, grey-sprayed, since I’m still on the Photo-Terrible natural/white/transparent filament.

    This was a bit of a nightmare. I thought “the CV90 is on my list, that should be a nice and easy start!” But no, the CV90 has several wildly different variants: the CV9030 not only has a totally different turret, but major hull differences as well. Source material was also quite scarce for the CV9040, so I did the C version (totally different turret to the earlier CV9040s and the CV9030…) since I only found walkarounds for the C and the CV9030s.

    Still, while it was another nightmare turret (see also Merkava IV, though not quite that bad), it is done, though the easy job I was hoping to do more variants will be 75% as much work as the base model…!

    Next month… Not sure. (The sci-fi releases are set for the new few months, though.) I will be taking a week off sometime in February (my parents are off for three weeks to Australia, so I want to at least have one week’s holiday with the house to myself!) I am three-quarters intending to do the CV9030 while I, like, still have the walkarounds and sources (and maybe that turret won’t be quite as bad?), but we’ll see.

    In other news, even this far and out of the sales, MMF is trickling out much faster than the physical sales, so hopefully, that’ll keep going; the various winter sales have at least pulled me out of the nosedive of worst financial year since I started, so fingers crossed.

     

    #195224
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards February 2024 Release: Centurion Mk 5/1 (RAAC)

    Short and sweet this month. Dipping into the backlog this time, for a tank which has been sitting there for probably the longest; the Centurion Mk 5/1, as used by the RAAC!

    (With the CV90 taking so long, followed by the starship I was doing taking almost as long, with other stuff and then with the upcoming Hammerhead show and making an attempt to enter the MMF/Only-Games UKGE Design Competition, I simply haven’t had chance to start anything new this month for moderns.)

    Centurion Mk 5/1 (RAAC)

    MyMiniFactory (file) $1.60 Link

    The Only-Games price: £6.39 Link

    Shapeways price: $12.82 Link

    Direct price: £4.00

    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa version, as always.

    Next month – still up in the air. As soon as I have the next few jobs done, new vehicle is next on my list, but as to what (maybe another CV90 variant, maybe something else), I don’t know.

    Before then, we will be as usual down at Hammerhead on the 2nd of March, where I will be doing Manoeuvre Group Sci-Fi (with the Royal Elven Kingdoms) and the other half of the KB Club will be doing regular Manoeuvre Group – this time in a densely-hedged battlefield.

    #196068
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards Bad News Update

    I won’t beat about the bush.

    The Aotrs Shipyards Only-Games store is closing down.

    As of yesterday, I was told that the deal Only-Games had offered me in November (i.e., that I would not have to pay the subscription fee in return for taking an extra 10% of the mark-up) was not possible and that I would have to pay the £25 a month to keep the Only-Games store open.

    The Only-Games store is not remotely making £25/month.

    Given the Government shenanigans (i.e. that self-employed people either Get A Real Job or Be Making Too Much Money To Qualify For Any Help, No, We Don’t Care You’re Looking After A Disabled Person – and they finally), I am not in a financial position to absorb the cost from the sales on MMF or Shapeways, since those are literally my only income (and the sustainability of the Shipyards is 100% now reliant on whether, basically, MMF is going to generate enough income to even break even).

    As such, the Only-Games store is going to close down, as soon as they do it.

    This is, coming at this time, an enormous blow, both financially, since it cuts off a trickle of income, that, while mot much, was, like Shapeways, something. (A tenner a month would just about cover the NHS prescription contribution for my depression pills that I have to pay, because, of course, I Don’t Qualify For Help, says the government.) And also mentally, as noted I am already having a rough time (last week was an absolute disaster than made me wish I’d had the doctor last Monday do more than “only” double my prescription.)

    (Obviously, given the already low sales numbers, a price increase would be counter-productive, since it means the prices would have to pretty much start by would passing Shapeways.)

    So. My TheShop3D account is still there. The shop will not be deleted, so, I’m told, anytime I choose to take the subscription, the shop can come back. So the only thing I CAN do, which at least obviates me having to entirely delete swathes of material from all my stuff, is to basically say that:

    1) I can take, by special commission, orders (I.e. I order and I then I have it delivered to me (MAYBE able to have it delivered to you direct, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it). Contact me directly by any of the usual methods.

    2) I have set-up a goal on my ko-fi account such that, if I receive sufficient donations, I can look at opening the store for a limited time. (I’m going to say a sensible minimum of two months, so that would require a £50 threshold).

    Link here, with publically visible total.

     

    That way, at least in theory, there is a way to get the physical prints in resin. Otherwise, it is the files from MMF, Shapeways or in FDM directly from me.

    That is, I’m afraid, the best I can do for you.

    (If you are wondering why I’m not rage-quitting entirely, that would be both unhelpful and counter-productive, because MMF and Only-Games are intrinsically linked and the staff across both are the same and the former IS kind of critical.)

     

    This has, obviously, delayed the moderns release. (I was barely in a fit state to do anything yesterday after that, though I manage to fix a subtly-hidden assembly error in the VAB that was causing the wheel/axle to fail before its release this week, the only hint of a silver lining.

    There may or may not be the moderns release tomorrow.

     

    #196233
    Avatar photoBrian Handley
    Participant

    Ignore, fragdammit, Dad left himself signed in…

    #196234
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards March 2024 Release: VAB VTT

    (Try again, right this time…)

    So, first off, the Only-Games Store is back open. I was quite frankly astonished at the support from Ko-Fi, which has reached enough to meet the subscriptions until July, which is more than I ever would have expected; so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all those that have supported me.

    The most important thing is, of course, the Only-Games store is open. The side benefits of the subscription to TheShop3D+, it means bare minimum that the resin prints (that will fit) in the shiny clam-shell packaging with the custom back cover (which will be like the ones I take round the shows and such, photo posted at the end, along with the new custom version.) There’s also the options to bundle PDF files with the purchase (so I could conceivably include the same lore files that I do at MMF) and potentially 2D manufacturing for booklets and things, though I don’t currently see an obvious use for that right out of the gate.

    I will periodically re-set the goal as we close to towards the end of the period, but really, we’ll just have to see how we go.

    As an aside, I apologise to anyone who tried to donate anonymously; while it’s anonymous at Ko-Fi, Paypal, hopelessly, tells the creator (that is, me) the email of the donator anyway, which I didn’t realised until I’d thanked a couple of people directly. I looked into things to see if there was a way to actually do it, but it’s a bit of farce. Unless you have Paypal business, when you can apparently decide what to put on stuff, basically, you’d have to have an email without your name attached for it to actually anonymous. The other method of paying is Stripe, which looking at it, seemed to imply that would tell the creator *even more* details. So that’s all a bit silly really. Sorry about that, doesn’t seem a lot I can do on that front.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Right, on to the actual (slightly late) release for this month. (With how messy this month has been, only the one this time; however, I’m in the process of taking some commissions, which will conveniently also serve as forthcoming moderns releases for a bit as well.)

    But for this time, I have the French VAB VTT (4×4 French army version), at 144th as per usual.

    VAB VTT


    MMF (file) $0.85

    Physical Print
    Only-Games £3.13

    Shapeways $6.56

    FDM £3.20
    ______________________________________________________________
    Only-Games Store Status
    Current Ko-fi Total: £110 => Only-Games Subscription costs met until 19th July 2024.
    Ko-fi link
    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa version, as always.

    Next week will be the last of the current Royal Elven Kingdoms ground forces. After which the sci-fi releases will be paused for a bit; I’ve got a new fleet well on the way, but especially, it’s not there yet; the Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide, the lore book, is creeping closer, but still a way off discounting proof-reading time. (Which, for getting on for 500 pages, is not going to be insubstantial…) I am going to try and see if I can work out how to turn it into a kindle file as well, as with the minimal black-and-white line illustrations, it’s definitely a read-book, not an art-book.

    Moderns, next month will either be the VAB VTT 6×6 international version, or potentially something else depending on how the commissions go.

    Again, thanks to everyone for your support bearing with me; it’s been kind of a rough couple of weeks, both inside and outside of work onto of the ongoing situation.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Leopard 2A4 in the bubble pack from… whenever I got that done.

    New backing card from as of from today.

     

    #197109
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards April 2024 Release: T-55AM and VAB 6×6 VTT

    This month, I have the VAB VTT six-wheeled (export) version and thanks, to a swathe of commissions that will be filling out the releases for the next few months, the T-55AM.

    (For the record, I went back through and attempted to work out exactly what the T-55 I already do actually was – it being early enough I wasn’t so rigorous) and it is to the best of my assertions, a T-55A, which I have amended in places where it wouldn’t break existing links!)

    April is also the tax return form month, so the period I take stock of the year’s gains. There is a more sober discourse on that, but I moved that to the end, so you can skip that if you want and concentrate on the 144th releases.

    VAB 6×6 VTT

    MMF (file) $0.85

    Physical Print
    Only-Games £3.23

    Shapeways $6.71

    FDM £3.30

    T-55AM

    MMF (file) $1.25

    Physical Print
    Only-Games £5.25

    Shapeways $10.48

    FDM £4.00
    ______________________________________________________________
    Only-Games Store Status

    Current Ko-fi Total: £112 => Only-Games Subscription costs met until 19th July 2024 (£100).
    New Goal: £12/£50 towards next goal => Costs for until 19th September 2024:
    Ko-fi link

    ______________________________________________________________

    Photos of Prusa version, as always.

    Next month there are several things in the queue BMD-3, 2S25 Sprut SD, T-55AMV, and in the to-be-done queue are the BMD-4 and ERC 90 (my oppos at Manoeuvre Group want that for the French for Partizan).

    ______________________________________________________________

    Aotrs Shipyards Financial Report 2023-2024

    Being the tax season, I run April-April for yearly profits, so this marks the first point I can sensibly look back and see what overall effect MyMiniFactory has had (very positive) and HMRC kicking me off working tax credits (quite bad) has had on my financial status.

    I haven’t previously up out and stated things previously like this, but as I pride myself on being open, honest and transparent with you guts, especially with having to set the Only-Games Store to kofi funding, I feel I ought make a report.

    Before I go into this, though, I want to make a few things clear, so as to set the context as I don’t want to unduly alarm people with the coming stark numbers.

    I live with my parents, and aside from a token rent, I basically do all the housework and look after my Mum (disabled) and do all the general sorting out for the household, which basically is my real rent. (I don’t qualify for diddly-squat help otherwise.) I am thus not in immediate danger of losing the house or going hungry or anything like that currently. My expenses, then, are basically that rent, the subscriptions and other upkeep for the Shipyards (image hosting, MMF subscription, off-site back-up), my national insurance and dental bills, pension (I don’t feel I can rely on my state pension in another 02 years with the state of the world), so it is comparatively low. (But I am VERY acutely aware of the knife-edge I’m balancing on.) The money from working tax credit basically kept me solvent. With that gone, it means the Shipyards is entirely responsible for my income.

    Overall, discounting the kofi donations, the Shipyards made about as much as last year (£672). Notably, as this year is one in which my image-hosting costs came up, until MMF kicked in, it was looking like my worst year on record, with MMF bringing in about £600 in the six months it has been open, VERY clearly showing where the money is. If that continues, next year could be my biggest year yet.

    That said, the overall effect on my finances has been losing about £1400 since August (but as that includes Christmas and £200 paying back the job centre what they decided they overpaid me, that’s some spike charges in there as well, and it is not quite that bad month-to-month).

    Thus, the fairly stark look is that even if MMF does as well every six months, it still isn’t keeping pace with my personal running costs, so I have, basically, about 2-3 years before I am broke if nothing changes.

    So, what am I doing about it? For the moment, nothing drastic. I want at least a full year at MMF under my belt before I make any major changes like price increases or commission price increases. As word-of-mouth is getting round, stuff is going more and more frequently, and I have just had a load of commissions after more-or-less and entire year with none (commissions previously making the bulk of my income). If, for example, the impossible happens and I win the Only-Games UK Expo design competition and my model gets handed out to 10000 people, you would like to think would have a positive effect.

    (It is unfortunate that we can’t actually make it to Expo this year; but as we are down to only three shows, all at the Newark Showgrounds, I would like to try next year.)

    What about Patreon et al? I am certainly aware of the option, but I haven’t looked at it in anger, partly because I simply don’t know what I could offer more than I already have for the various tiers. Early access? (Meaning effectively at least a month’s delay for everyone else, because I don’t – can’t work more in advance than I already do.) MMF has a Tribes, but I think that’s more or less the same sort of thing, but looking into that is something to consider down the line.

    In the meantime, I have the lore book and after that, hopefully fleet lists for Accelerate and attack, which might drum up some interest as a another revenue stream.

    So until this time next year, things will remain much as they are, until stuff has settled a bit. It might be that next year, I do have to consider something like price increases (something I don’t especially want to do, just on the sheer amount of effort it takes) and commission cost increases (something I haven’t changed since I started in 2010). Consider this is advance warning, then, if that does come to be the case. But unless something drastic happens (like MMF doubles its subscription or worse), I intend to leave the pricing where it is at least until next April and ideally not have to do it at all.

    #198219
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards May2024 Release: Panhard EBR and Only-Games Flash Sale

    This month’s release is the Panhard ERB (suitable for use as either 75mm or 90mm, since the latter was just the same gun bored out and turned into a low-pressure version), at 1:144th as usual.

    But firstly: there is a Flash 30% off sale at Only-Games for Shipyards models ending May 9th 12PM BST.


    (I have had to thus rush out this month’s modern’s release so go out with the announcement before breakfast, even, so sorry if this is a bit short and stock. They offered, so I took them up on it.)

    If you are interested in trying the resins from Only-Games, I would advise sooner rather than later.

    I’m afraid the writing is fairly clearly on the wall that otherwise the sales are not even approaching the cost of the monthly subscription (since I had to open the kofi, not even half of one month’s subscription since March). I am going to keep it open until the second week of June, which covers the first round of kofi, but after that (unless this and the aftermath of Partizan/UK Games Expo) drums up enough to at least cover the costs, the Only-Games side will have to be available only by special order (through me playing postage twice or by paying the subscription cost as an overhead). I’m sorry and it’s a blow, but I literally can’t afford to pay £25 month to keep it open with only a trickle of sales.

    Right on to the actual release: the Panhard EBR as commission by Manoeuvre Group to be put on for Partizan on the 19th of this month!

    Panhard EBR



    MMF (file) $0.80

    Physical Print
    Only-Games £2.79

    Shapeways $6.31

    FDM £3.30
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    𝗢𝗻𝗹𝘆-𝗚𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘂𝘀
    Current Ko-fi Total: £112 => Only-Games Subscription costs met until 19th July 2024 (£100).
    New Goal: £23/£50 towards next goal => Costs for until 19th September 2024 (potentially, see above).
    Ko-fi link

    ______________________________________________________________
    Photos of Prusa version, as always.

    Next week, a slightly less harassed release (I hope) of the first few models for the new Grand Terran Sovereign Republic (GTSR) Grand Fleet.

    Next month, I’m not sure what (I’m honestly not looking further ahead than Partizan currently), but there’s plenty enough in the recent round of commissions. (The last of which I’ve had to delay because of the Partizan prep; in fact yesterday and today were supposed to be spent frantically painting the GTSR and finishing the scenario, but more and more stuff keeps getting in the way, which is really tedious…)

    #199516
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards June 2024 Release: Sprut SD and Shilka

    This month, a couple, one new (the 2S25 Sprut SD) and one from the backlog (so they’re not hanging there forever!), the ZSU-23-4V1 Shilka (as opposed to the (very similar!) 4V released previously).

    Before I get to that, a couple of boring, business things to attend to.

    Firstly, from August, I will be raising the prices of my standing commission fees. I have had a consecutive run of those of late (something I don’t think I’ve almost ever had before!) which has actually made me look at the long-term cost verses practical production time. I have realised that a) its taking me longer than a week to do a new vehicle these days (as I’ve got better at it and am more thorough) and b) I haven’t changed that price since I started in 2010.

    Previously, I did a standard new vehicle at £50 (that is to say, for models that will go up in the Shipyards), which is increasing to £70 from August. That is still below the rate of (UK) inflation (according to what I looked up), but means that it will cover about the same amount of cost as the theoretical four-per-month with three. (More realistically, likely more like two and a bit, plus time left to actually do the everything-else that isn’t actually moderns commission work.)

    (Scaling commissions will remain where they are at £15, since I’ve gotten quicker at doing those.)

    Much as I loathe having to raise prices, it is a necessary evil in the current climate.

    Secondly, update on the Only-Games situation: the last couple of months, I’ve had three big orders which has just barely paid for the running costs. If that continues, then the store can remain open, but if (as I suspect) that just some spike sales, it’s not going to have broken even by the time the July subscription cost comes in and the kofi is not keeping up with it. As such, I am half-expecting to have to shut the Only-Games side down in mid-July, which means models from there basically are on special order (or paying a £25 overhead to pay for the month’s subscription.) Be forewarned.

    So with the bad news out of the way, let’s get down to the releases!

    2S25 Sprut SD

    MMF (file) $1.25

    Physical Print
    Only-Games £5.02

    Shapeways $10.49

    FDM £3.80

    ZSU-23-4V1 Shilka

    MMF (file) $1.20

    Physical Print
    Only-Games £4.64

    Shapeways $9.77

    FDM £3.60

    ______________________________________________________________
    𝗢𝗻𝗹𝘆-𝗚𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘂𝘀
    Current Ko-fi Total: £112 => Only-Games Subscription costs met until 19th July 2024 (£100).
    New Goal: £24/£50 towards next goal => Costs for two month’s subscription (uncertain time period).
    Ko-fi link

    ______________________________________________________________
    Photos of Prusa version, as always.

    Next month – no idea, I’m getting commissions in more or less faster than I can do them (which is a better position to be in that not, at least!) so it’ll be drawing from those, so likely expect more Soviet gear!

    #199802
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    So I was not intending to have to do another news update two days after the release, but again, circumstances have forced my hand.

    Four things to go over.
    ______________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________
    1) Library Management Fee at MyMiniFactory

    Yesterday, at 20:00 BST (so an hour before my knocking-off time), I received this email from MyMiniFactory, which I will directly copy the text for you:

    (“Makers,” by-the-by, is you, the customer.)

    ______________________________________________________________
    Hi AotrsShipyards,

    On Tuesday June 18th, we introduced a Library Management Fee. This is applied for makers at checkout capped at 0.89 USD per order (0.49 USD for orders under 7.5 USD). This is an average of 3.5% per basket.

    We would like to apologize for our oversight to not communicate this with you before releasing this fee. You are our valued partners and should be informed of any changes that affect your communities.

    We implemented this fee to cover the cost of removing Google Ads across the site for all logged-in members, a popular request that we are proud to have delivered for the community to enhance your overall experience.

    Additionally, the fee covers infrastructure costs, performance improvements and introducing new features, such as more improvements to the Library.

    You can read more here https://www.myminifactory.com/fees-explained

    We have heard your feedback and value you sharing your concerns. Thank you for your understanding and support.

    MyMiniFactory Team

    ______________________________________________________________

    That was the first I’d personally heard about it.

    So, basically, they are saying that each order will now have a $0.5-1 extra charge. The MMF community is Not Happy – not least because this was rolled out and we were told AFTER the fact. But there is basically frack-all I can do about it, other than report it to you, so you’re forewarned.

    ______________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________
    2) Shapeways sale:

    Shapeways have free worldwide shipping with no minimum purchase, starting at 5PM EST Thursday for 48 hours(so ending at 5PM EST Saturday by extrapolation).

    Normally, these happen without warning and are so short, I tend not to bother with the effort, but since I’m here anyway…

    ______________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________

    3) Pricing (at MMF).

    I am considering raising the prices at MMF. One gentleman in the community yesterday was of the opinion that models should be at least $5 – which is patently ridiculous for models which are Not 28mm. (My fighters, for example, are about $5 for a physical at Shapeways). However, one customer has even said that my prices ought to be a bit more, considering the work that goes in (and Dad has hinted it once or twice). So at the point it’s been mentioned a few times, and by a customer as well, it behoves me to at least give it serious consideration.

    I set my prices at MMF after having a look at what other people were selling stuff at, and realising that the nominal “cost to print two models…?” was bonkers. And I have always erred, perhaps too much, on cutting my own throat to keep the costs to you, the customer down.

    But after being rather frightened when, in looking at my commission prices and realising how much the minimum wage now is in the UK (I’m not making even close to it, see the financial report from April’s release post), I am considering some level of increase. Aside from the fact I straight don’t like to raise my prices on principle, because I want to be as far away from the corporate overlords as possible, doing so is by itself, obviously a good lot of work. I’d also have to come up with a suitable scheme, because obviously, tiny stuff like the fighters really shouldn’t be more than a quid or two, so a straight up percentage increase probably isn’t suitable. So if it happens, please be assured, it will be something I have given significant thought to.

    However, as, when and if I do such a price rise, I will absolutely give a warning and notice and a date at which I will start the process. As I say, at the moment, I am just considering it.

    (Proviso – this is of course discounting any other sudden changes outside of my control that affect the model prices.)

    ______________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________

    4) A reminder that the Only-Games store is currently only slated to remain open until July 19th. It has just about broken even to June – (but considering a lot of that was the initial kofi, which has dropped off), so I think we may be looking at a situation that, if this is only a spike like last year, the Only-Games store may only be opened from May to July each year. Otherwise, it will have to be a £25 surcharge (to get the store open) or Special Orders to get stuff outside of that. So I will gently encourage everyone to either please buy some starships (et al) or consider donating to the kofi (see above post) if you’d rather have that option be easily accessible.

    #200334
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards Unexpected Update AGAIN.

    Yes, so soon after the last one.

    The TL:DR is Shapeways, without actually telling its customers or creators, has apparently shut down.

    I was not expecting to come back of holiday to find I had (before my holiday had quite finished) to do this *AGAIN* so soon, but here we are.
    Shapeways has apparently gone bankrupt and ceased operation. This news has only come from outside sources, Shapeways itself has made no indication otherwise – but possibly that may be because they’ve sacked everyone TO make an annoucement.

    To say this comes a surprise is putting it mildly. Not a total shock, given the hapless management and prices for a long time, but with the speed of it apparently happening.

    At this point, there is not much I can do aside from blink. Until things are much more definitive, I’m not going to delete my shop or the catalogue links, in case there’s some sort of last minute rescue or something.

    This does remove one lot of physical model sales.

    This is a very opportune time to also remind you that the OTHER main one, the Only-Games store will only be open unil the 18th of this month; while it has just about paid for itself over the last 2-3 months, whether it will say open will depend on the tally I take on Thursday the 18th; otherwise, it will only be open for periods when the Kofi allows it, or on special order (i.e. one or more folk are prepared to pay £25 overhead for the subscription for that month or Make Special Arrangements with me or buy FDM prints from me directly).

    #200415
    Avatar photoAotrs Commander
    Participant

    Aotrs Shipyards July 2024 Release: Challenger 1 Mk 1/Mk 2 and FV511 Warrior Command

    So, before we get to the moderns release, the important stuff. Two from the backlog (simply to space out the commission-based-Russians a bit).

    In case you somehow missed the last post – Shapeways is dead. Kaput. Pining for the fjords. Between one breath and the next, with no warning.

    This has, then, removed one, albeit small, trickle of revenue. With the Only-Games store still basically only paying for its subscription cost at its best (and not even that at its worst) over the summer spike, this means MMF will have to be taking even more of the burden.

    Reminder that the Only-Games store will be going off-line on JULY 18th (unless there is another spike or sales or the kofi goal is met) as at that point, the initial kofi donations plus interim sales will have run-out, and it’s only broken even to last month.

    Thus, the MMF price increase I said I was considering last month (as that has been suggested to me my multiple sources, including at least one customer), has become a more pressing matter. I said I was going to give plenty of warning, so here we go.

    I am going to be raising the prices of the MMF files in September. I am not precisely sure by how much – to some extent, there will be a sliding scale – but I am probably looking at adding a quid or a dollar to the prices of everything in the $0.80 – $1.50 range (i.e., the majority of the moderns and all of the smaller starships). Stuff like the fighters, I’ll probably add less than that, but we will see. So while it will be close to doubling the price (and I wince even saying that), but I feel like just on the basis of the effort involved in just changing 600+ prices, adding a dollar per tank is probably not too much of an ask.

    I am happy to take feedback from the community on this issue until September – one of the reasons I’m giving everyone a head’s up.

    ______________________________________________________________
    On the releases: the Challenger Mk 1 (or Mk 2) and the FV511 Warrior Command variant!

    Challenger 1 Mk 1/Mk2

    MMF (file) $1.80

    Physical Print
    Only-Games £7.67

    FDM £4.10

    FV511 Warrior Command

    (What’s the difference between the FV510 and FV511? Mostly in the rear: (510 (L)/511 (R))

    MMF (file) $1.10

    Physical Print
    Only-Games £4.31

    FDM £3.70

    ______________________________________________________________
    𝗢𝗻𝗹𝘆-𝗚𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘂𝘀
    Current Ko-fi Goal: £25/£50 towards next goal => Costs for two month’s subscription (uncertain time period).
    Ko-fi link

    ______________________________________________________________
    Photos of Prusa version, as always.

    Next month: No idea. I still have a laundry list of commissions stacked up (which is good) and you’ll forgive me if I don’t have any further concrete plans at the moment…!

    Man, this felt weird doing it without Shapeways links, considering that’s where it all started in 2010.

    _____________________________________________________________

    General housekeeping note: It has been discovered that some of the files at MMF missed final-stage checks in the chaos of putting everything up last year. Most of these appears to be TurboCAD irregularly pulling it’s “invert the model.” This will likely only affect the FDM i.e. not-hollow, versions (since it would be picked up by Only-Games or (priorly..) Shapeways for the other versions). As I have of course printed all of the models myself, I can only postulate that these files were updated (maybe when I was moving 14 to 32 facets for circles) after I’d not printed them in a while and just missed the usual final stage checks. If you do find a problem with a file, PLEASE contact me, though here, MMF or any other options (not like you can do it through Shapeways now…!) and I will get the files fixed, and if you provide me with an email, I’m happy to email the fixed files to you to expedite the process.

    (For inverted files, you may be able to fix them yourself using you slicer, using the repair or fix mesh functions if it has a “invert model” or “flip surface orientation” feature. Obviously, I still want to know so I can fix it, but that might be the fastest way for you to carry on printing while I do so.)

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