Forum Replies Created

Viewing 27 posts - 1 through 27 (of 27 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • in reply to: Microworld’s 3mm Fantasy Log #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.

    in reply to: Microworld’s 3mm Fantasy Log #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.

     

    in reply to: Microworld’s 3mm Fantasy Log #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.

     

     

     

    in reply to: Microworld's 15mm or Less Fantasy Log #192261
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Realizing I also never actually shared the completed army shots for the molemen:

     

    in reply to: Microworld's 15mm or Less Fantasy Log #192260
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Man, talk about a lapse in progress, 5 years!  I think I am allowed to necro my own thread.

    I’ve been painting up some 6mm Elven Kingdoms for my next potential Kickstarter project.  I figured painted pics might be a bit better this go round.  Just the spears mostly done this time.  I might go back and highlight some of their hands, and I need to finish the basing, but I am pretty happy with how they turned out.

    Archers are about 60% finished, definitely had a harder time settling on a scheme for those.

     

     

    in reply to: Microworld’s 3mm Fantasy Log #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.

    in reply to: Microworld’s 3mm Fantasy Log #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.

     

    in reply to: State of Qin – 6mm Microworld Games #181505
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    These look great, and I now feel vindicated in my decision to do an extra pack of action poses for the ji infantry 🙂

    in reply to: Microworld’s 3mm Fantasy Log #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.

    in reply to: Microworld’s 3mm Fantasy Log #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!

     

    in reply to: Iliada Studio’s new 2mm Science Fiction Range #180528
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    These are some of my favorite models to come out for a while and the army presentation looks fantastic.

    in reply to: Pocket Warmaster #174411
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    It is actually cheaper to order through my Etsy store than it ever was to order from my store directly, as the VAT is collected up front, hence no extra surcharges.

    As with anything, it depends on how much you buy.  For example, I just had a UK customer order a mixed goblin and orc force of 7 packs.  Models were 34.65, shipping 12.53, VAT 9.44 for a total of 56.62 gbp.  About 112 20mm strips at 50 pence each.  Definitely more expensive than Magister Militum though.

    Great looking project!

    in reply to: 3D Printing Experiments #153863
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    @Mr. Average

    The 3mm NCE stuff will still be made in metal, I wouldn’t want to be cleaning supports off of a million little tanks and turrets 🙂

    My impetus for switching to 3D printing for certain things is multifaceted.  Its apparent to me I just support way too many lines at the moment, and I often have .stls or models that sit around for long spans of time that I simply don’t have the time or resources to have molded.  This is sort of exacerbated by the fact that some of these lines will barely ever pay for their moldmaking anyway, and even if they do, it will take years for them to do so.  The printer I used for these has an xy resolution of 35 µm, whereas most of the home printers these days have 49 µm or some such.  Most of my masters are printed on a Form 3 which has 25 µm xy resolution, so not far off from what I am printing at home.  I’m kind of just looking ahead.  Cleaning the first prints I thought to myself, if the tech is only going to get better with time, I might as well start adjusting my workflow now.

    I haven’t found the resin to be all that brittle, at least if the designs are chunky enough.  6mm infantry…I wouldn’t want resin prints for those really.  Vehicles and things though, that is a different story.

     

    in reply to: War for the Old World (3mm Microworld Fantasy) #136541
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Very cool!

    I don’t want to hijack the project log, but since folks asked: after dwarves there will be some goblin codes.  Some hooded, and some vanilla goblins, which may be overkill at this scale I guess.  After that a mixture of dark elf and Undead codes.

    in reply to: The end times are nigh – or are they? #130758
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    I’m one of those people that runs their business as a side thing.  My business has never been successful, so my need for a day job has never really been a question.  In terms of pricing though, I usually take a look at how other manufacturers price their stuff and seek to fit it in accordingly.  I usually have to price things a bit higher, as I don’t cast everything I sell myself.  I think the side businesses like mine are also at risk of sudden closure, but more from life events than anything else.  Its hard running a business, even an unsuccessful one, and every day I question why I bother.  I could see people eventually being fed up.  Or if my health deteriorates, or I end up having a kid?  The business is probably the first thing to go, because it is a time drain while also providing insufficient (or nonexistent!) income.

    I think that the business as a whole is just changing a bit, or at least the dominant revenue streams are changing.  All of my miniatures are super niche, so I’m not sure how much my experience translates, but something talked a lot about amongst miniature manufacturers on Facebook is the absolute need to run Kickstarters.  That they are an absolute no brainer and will outperform traditional releases every time.  I think that is even something Fenris had mentioned, that the only things that performed well were the Kickstarters.  Its become pretty obvious to me, and yet I have been putting off running one as it seems like a real pain compared to just releasing directly to the shop.  So I guess its more that the main event for mini companies will need to be crowdfunding, with direct sales playing second fiddle.

    I also think, being a US company, import duties and taxes for the UK and EU also hurt my business quite a bit.  But I can see them helping to protect domestic businesses from outside competition, so I guess it cuts both ways.

    The shift in spending is definitely a real thing though.  The only hard example I have from my own experience is from fantasy naval miniatures.  As I was working on getting my own fantasy naval line off the ground, I watched the Gravetides Kickstarter pull in like 4k Euro for a single fleet box worth of ships, which made me hopeful about the market.  I released a dwarf fleet to help fund the production of the remaining stuff I had sculpted…and have grossed $492 since April.

    My bigger concern lately has been actually being able to get talented sculptors to work on my stuff.  For a lot of folks, sculpting isn’t their main gig either, and so they may not be able to meet timelines, or may only be motivated to work on things that directly match heir interests.  For the professional sculptors, it is a lot more lucrative for them to either just run a Patreon for themselves, or do a Kickstarter to have their own range released rather than work on some random stuff for a client.  It makes me value my current sculptors all the more.

     

    in reply to: 6mm sculpting trials #127344
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Nice work!  Always wanted to try to sculpt my own as well, but the time I feel it would take me to become proficient has always kept me away.  That and my lack of artistic ability

    in reply to: Man O' War still played #127343
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Ah, awesome, I think I see some of my dwarf ships in there!

    in reply to: Spin Casting Machines #90155
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    For small ventures the screw pressure is okay, but as Darkest Star mentioned, it absolutely demolishes your hands. I don’t have access to a true workspace, nor do I sell all that much, so I went with the screw top Conley new venture machine. I kind of wish I went with the Centricast though, as it is lighter weight and more portable.

    I have never used an air pressure machine, but my hands dream of it during long casting sessions.

    I will also say, casting is kind of a pain in the ass, especially if you work a day job. The extra money made from not paying for contract casting isn’t so much that it outweighs the hassle. That’s just my opinion though, if you sell at volume it might be worthwhile

    in reply to: Crom’s Anvil – 15mm Fantasy #85866
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Those are looking great

    in reply to: Microworld's 15mm or Less Fantasy Log #85833
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Thanks guys!

     

    I based them on 40 x 20s for versatility.  Mostly for Lord and Lands, but I’d also really like to get a game in of With Sword and Shield at some point soon.

    in reply to: Microworld's 15mm or Less Fantasy Log #85638
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Been painting these on and off for a while now, can never seem to find enough time. All that is left is to paint the pikemoles and this army project is complete.  At this rate, I should finish all of my armies in about 15 years or so 🙂

    in reply to: Wargames Debt #70980
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    I’m pretty much in the same boat as Darkest Star.  Initially it was my own investment, and depending on how much stuff  I want to release in a year, it continues to be partially funded by my personal funds.  The business can probably fund 2 full 6mm fantasy army releases, as long as they are physically sculpted.  Sometimes I just want to put out cool minis, so I just fund them myself.  I would never in a million years take a loan of any kind to release miniatures, if I am ridiculously lucky my releases break even in 3 years, but usually it is about 5.  Wouldn’t want to pay interest for that long 🙂

    This year has been particularly slow for some reason, which will just mean less releases next year.

     

    in reply to: Microworld's 15mm or Less Fantasy Log #70979
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Thanks guys!

    Managed to finish some more today due to the holiday.  I may have to reduce the overall model count of the planned army if I ever hope to finish them all though

     

    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    Yup, a promise.  Team falchion and team katana are on deck, hopefully have them ready by August.  Trying to decide the most cost effective way to mold them.

    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    I think you will be seeing a lot of javelin’s 3mm stuff in metal 🙂

    These are looking really nice.

    in reply to: If You Were Starting a Range of Figures… #63207
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    A fully licensed version of the old Chronopia Empires game in 6mm, I would love to do that.

    I would love to do a really comprehensive 3mm fantasy range, not sure who would want to sculpt it though!

     

    in reply to: Packaging Supplies #59139
    Avatar photoMicroworld Steve
    Participant

    I would ask your network of friends to save whatever they get from mail order.  People do so much online shopping these days, its easy to amass a ton.  My girlfriend works at a school, she mentioned that I run an online store and need packing material, within a month I was inundated.

Viewing 27 posts - 1 through 27 (of 27 total)