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  • #180529
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    I’ve been running a small miniature wargaming company for over a decade now. It has had its ups and downs, but about a year and a half ago I decided to branch out a bit and go for the really high-volume selling scale in the miniature wargaming scale pantheon…3mm!

    Starting a little project log in a couple places for motivational nd advertising purposes. As these are 3mm miniatures and so extremely tiny, any game they would be played with is going to involve element basing. I do occasionally have delusions of writing my own rules using 20mm squares for basic infantry to help advertise the line, but given my time constraints with running the store and my day job, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Looking at most of the games out there, they typically either use or are compatible with Warmaster’s general basing schema of 40x20mm bases, so that is what I have decided to go with.

    I’m starting out with Dark Elves, which are kind of a bit of a more niche army, but are a favorite of the sculptor doing these, so they got pushed way up in the production queue. The basic units for the army are spearmen and crossbowmen, so I am shooting to get those done first as I think they will be the biggest slog. A majority of the first wave I am painting are actually miscasts that didn’t make it into the packs I sell. With spears especially you get some instances where a weapon or two doesn’t get filled in when the mold is spun. I find I can’t really notice when they are arrayed en-masse

    My first semi-completed strips with a dry run of basing orientation:

    A little scale shot:

     

     

    #180530
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    Very nice. Recently got so of your 6mm wood elves and I have been eyeing up those 3mm ranges they are fantastic. Other than the paint scheme, what makes these dark elves? Could they be used for high elves?  Looking forward to seeing the progression of this project.

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #180531
    Avatar photoMr. Average
    Participant

    I am a supporter of this line from the outset and I love every part of it!  I like how you’ve done the “regiment” basing for traditional Warmaster.  I have also done Warmaster, albeit “travel size” with two ranks of troops on 10x20mm bases, as well as 1″ square bases for Fantastic Battles.  They look amazing on the tabletop!

    Very nice. Recently got so of your 6mm wood elves and I have been eyeing up those 3mm ranges they are fantastic. Other than the paint scheme, what makes these dark elves? Could they be used for high elves? Looking forward to seeing the progression of this project.

    The weapons and style of dress are very dark elvish.  There’s also a line of High Elves with all the models having a straight and more traditional polish.

    #180532
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Yeah, maybe it wasn’t super practical at the scale to bother making both evil and not-evil versions of basic troops for the elves, I didn’t want to “cheap out” on it though.  Ultimately, you can definitely use paintjobs to pick and choose from both lines and create the look you want.

    I actually really like the look of the 1-inch bases also, and less figures to paint is always a good thing for me as I am time challenged.  We will see how the project develops!

     

    #180535
    Avatar photoMike Headden
    Participant

    Alas, being on a tight budget, the cost of getting these to the UK exceeds what I could afford to spend on the figures in one go. I do fancy 3mm Warmaster on 40x20mm bases.

    As is, 2mm Strength & Honour is scratching my “stupidly tiny*” itch.

    *A friends description, not mine. 🙂

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    #180536
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    The Etsy store no good?

    #180537
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    I think postage is still calculated from USA. I looked and it was £13 odd. Which isn’t hugely expensive as I would be ordering £100 worth of goodies but I was more worried about getting hit with import tax.

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #180538
    Avatar photoMike Headden
    Participant

    I’m running on a pension. Thirty quid, or so, is my usual limit. Depending who I’m buying from the cost of getting stuff across The Pond is 50 – 100% of that 🙁

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    #181504
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Slowly but steadily making progress through the core troops. I still have 6 popsicle sticks or so of spearmen to reach my goal. I started thinking through an assembly line approach for the crossbowmen as well that I think will work out.

    Going to have to figure out how I want to base these soon…which is not my strong suit. Will probably be some serious trial and error there, but my goal is to have all the spearmen done by the new year.

    #181526
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    Looking really nice. I must say I have just painted up some of your 6mm wood elves. They are a pleasure to paint.
    All the best

     

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #181527
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    Those shields along with purple and black just ooze Dark Elf.

    #183336
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Haven’t made too much progress lately, and I have had to switch gears a bit away from the Dread Elves onto painting 3mm Imperials to be used in promo shots for a Kickstarter I hope to run soon-ish to get them released.

    Very work-in-progress in nature as I haven’t done any highlighting or even finished all the base colors, but I am happy with how easily they paint up.

     

    #183337
    Avatar photoMr. Average
    Participant

    Please tell me this will be soon!

    #183353
    Avatar photoLogain
    Participant

    This whole line is awesome. I picked up the orcs and elves on release.

    Very excited to see this range continue to expand!

    #184921
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    More progress on the Cavalry, hopefully next time will be finished pics.  The KS is generally very delayed on my end due to day-job terribleness.

    #184924
    Avatar photoMr. Average
    Participant

    These look amazing! And anyone who fails to believe in the power of 3mm scale, know this: a unit of 3mm scale elven spearmen I did for travel sized Warmaster turned up in a secret hiding place where my cat stole and lovingly tended to them as a prized possession. I reclaimed them only for her to steal them back later the same day and hide them in the same spot. So even the noble Feline knows the joys of 3mm scale fantasy figures!

    #184925
    Avatar photoDeleted User
    Member

    I’m liking those horses.

    #184930
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    They are very nicely painted too.

    #184942
    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games
    Participant

    They look amazing!  Like Mr Average, I’m in love with the 3mm goodness.  I’ve been painting scads of troops to make various warbands for a very low-fantasy campaign (using various Microworld codes, including some Roman types for added pose filler and spear ranks) and they come out quite nicely, as long as I do not ink wash them and obliterate the color work.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #194220
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Not much 3mm painting getting done of late I’m afraid, but I have been busy supporting models (poorly) and printing out test strips for some recently sculpted armies.  I find supporting the 3mm strips way morte time consuming and difficult than standard 6mm infantry.

    Working on the beastmen today, several weapons on the armored beastmen strips didn’t have their back halves fully form.  I lost one bow on the faun archers as well.  Debating whether or not to ask the sculptor to extend the loicloth to fill the gap between the armored beastmen’s legs for strength and castability.  Might be fine without it.

     

     

     

    #194222
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    Before my 3d printer broke I was a big fan of 3d models that did not need supports due to the nature of the design, is this something you have looked into?

    EDIT:  NVM these are just masters for metal moulds, probably not worth it in that case.

    EDIT2: Your 3mm is soooo tempting, btw.

    #194223
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    They look amazing! I think extending the loin cloth might be wise. Printed or cast in metal it would be frustrating for them to suffer ankle breakages.

    Personally, I prefer metal models but if these were to be offered as a digital download I would buy them in an instant.

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #194247
    Avatar photoMr. Average
    Participant

    I love them, I kiss them, they’re beautiful! It reminds me I have an Imperial army to finish! O Pocket Warmaster, forgive my inattention!

    #194248
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    I love them, I kiss them, they’re beautiful! It reminds me I have an Imperial army to finish! O Pocket Warmaster, forgive my inattention!

    Sigmar is not pleased with your lack of zeal.

    #194275
    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    I find it amazing that there is enough detail to tell what these are but clean enough to be at this size! Kudos to you and the sculptor.

    …forgive my inattention!

    And lo, another wargaming butterfly emerges from the chrysalis 🙂

     

    #194281
    Avatar photoThaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Starting on my late medieval human army now!

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #194511
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    More slow progress on experimenting with supports.  My main goal was to get all the skeleton spear strips printed to get test castings done to see if the resin survived, but none really came out good enough for that.

    Test strips of the Crusader foot knights and polearm conscripts came out pretty good though.  You can see the leftmost sheild on the polearms didn’t print at the bottom.  Very tough to support those properly, might be easier to address with design changes to be more self-supporting.

     

    #194512
    Avatar photoMr. Average
    Participant

    Love it, love everything about it.

    #194529
    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games
    Participant

    Part of your print issues may also be the type of printer being used as well as the resin.  I have long used VisionProto (out of NY state) as my go-to guy for printing masters ( while using home type printers for proofing) and they were able to print some veeeeery small troops for me (4.5mm to top of helmet) for a commission I did.  I believe they were printed on a SLS (sintering) type machine, and the masters surprisingly survived the vulcanizing process.  Paul is a really good dude, knows his stuff and isn’t afraid to help out.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #194620
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    I wouldn’t say I am unhappy about the quality of the prints themselves.  The iterations and issues I have are more around seeing how few supports I can get away with, how small they can be, optimal orientation given I am working with an MSLA printer etc.  Sometimes working with such small models, supports can fuse to the model body and cause defects if you are trying to squeeze them into tight spaces.

    Other added complexities are the temp of my garage and how I am heating the resin, which is not currently too precise.  For these 3mm, I ended up using too thick supports, too close together, and so they were very difficult to remove safely, at least the skeletons were.  Lots of islands on a strip of 3mm skellies (30+) so figuring out the best way to support is tough.  The Crusaders, on the other hand, those were literally my first tries and I think they are good enough for mastering for the most part.

    I have used multiple print services in the past, including Vision Proto, and they are definitely great, Paul is a great guy.  His prints are also proven with Iron Wind Metals moldmaking process.  I have used White Dragon in the past as well, they are also awesome and great quality.  It would definitely be a ton easier for me to just contract that out, and I would not need to worry about making sure Phrozen TR300 resin would survive moldmaking etc.  That being said, the orienting services are expensive.  Lately I have been using my regular caster out of pure convenience, and he charges me much less…but it still adds up.  He uses a Form3, so defo a bit less quality than VisionProto or White Dragon.

    In terms of my impetus to print myself, taking my 3mm Undead army as an example, it is comprised of 44 files.  My current caster would charge me $440 for the printing alone…the other services might be 1.5x to 2x that.  You combine that with the moldmaking….and it quickly becomes eye-wateringly expensive.  The 3mm is more a labor of love than anything else, they will never make money.  Factoring in sculpting, moldmaking, printing, I would need to sell 600 packs to break even at my current prices.

    So given all of that, I am definitely eager to save some bucks here and there.  Especially when the diffs between a $2500 Form3 print quality and my $300 Mars 4 Ultra are kind of negligible.

    #194644
    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games
    Participant

    The 3mm is more a labor of love than anything else, they will never make money.

    I feel that!  All of my lines are the same: pieces I want to play with an hopefully maybe get a few other people to play with as well!  Certainly haven’t made any money from it as everything goes right back in for the next release.

    But we do love your 3mm, keep it coming!!!!  I’ve got a ton of your orks that I am working on, and they’re just great!

    So given all of that, I am definitely eager to save some bucks here and there.  Especially when the diffs between a $2500 Form3 print quality and my $300 Mars 4 Ultra are kind of negligible.

      Totally understand.  It’s amazing how far 3d printing, especially home printing, has come in the last few years.  I thought my Epax X1 was awesome when it came out, and now there are less expensive printers that do such a better job, just mind boggling!

     

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

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