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Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Thank you very much for the kind words and simply taking the time to comment and provide some feedback. I understand totally that most people lurk most of the time and don't comment much; I'd much rather someone takes the time to say something with a bit of substance rather than get different takes on 'good job'; not that I ever mind either, input and feedback really does provide with a motivation boost. However, sometimes I feel like I'm rambling too much or providing information on something or an idea and I wonder to myself, 'does anyone even care?'. Over the years I've discovered that I'm actually pretty good at stringing words together and clearly communicating ideas in the text, but I'm also an artistic person, forever my own worst critic.

With regards to images, I wrote something about the motivation behind the pictures I take in another corner of the interweb that seems appropriate.

In the times before the information enlightenment that is The Internet (oh crap, I suddenly feel old), I always wished I could look closer at miniatures and models that were photographed for White Dwarf. Even up close, at a certain distance and/or scale, photographing a miniature improves its presentation in a subtle but noticeable way. The pixilation that occurs, whether it be from a digital conversion or by the printing process, helps to smooth the paintjob ever-so-slightly. I would see images, often accompanied by a limited explanation of the painting process used, and it baffled me how the painter was achieving such precision. It wasn’t until I finally got to see paintjobs and tutorials with large higher resolution images did I discover that the paintjobs are not always as precise as they appear from even a modest distance. It’s not sloppy by any stretch, but when you get in really close and look you can see that it’s not as exact as it may first appear. Once I figured this out it changed my attitude towards painting entirely. I consider myself a good painter, a bit above average, but not anywhere near serious competition level. I recognize that I have a clean technique and I’m reasonably precise, but I also do everything I can to avoid doing any more work than is necessary. I much prefer modestly well executed layering over tedious blending and will employ any other process, product, or technique that will achieve solid results that look good at an arm’s length distance. I go out of my way to provide images that attempt to showcase the work at different scales so the viewer can get a proper idea of what's going on; I'm glad it shows and is appreciated.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

So now for another tale of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. My first batch of 3D printed parts was finished and shipped. They arrived yesterday and it’s a bit of a mixed bag that will, unfortunately, be delayed a bit while I find a solution.


First up, the Good. The larger components and objects that are best suited to the ProJet 3D printing process I had done turned out quite well.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the precision of my designs or the ability of the printing process to make very accurate and true parts. Flat parts with details that didn’t involve undercuts were produced very clean and sharp. There is a minor bit of banding on the surfaces that can be made out in the picture just a bit; it’s not perfect but it’s very subtle and not a problem on larger pieces like this. A little filing, sanding, and some leveling primer should remove it. It’s a bit of work, but when undercuts and shapes that require support material come into play it becomes another issue altogether.


Now on to, the Bad. As you can see, the wax support material has a distinct effect on the surface quality of the printed components.

I’ve worked with PolyJet/ProJet parts several times in the past. It’s the process that Shapeways uses for their extreme detail printing and it’s an industry standard that is very good for many applications. If the parts I was creating were just a bit larger, had more pronounced details, and could be covered in several layers of paint, I might be able to make it work. Even with these parts, because they’re larger, it won’t be too bad to sand them, file them, and use some leveling primer to make them ready for casting. Again, more work when I prefer, but not too unreasonable. Unfortunately, this surface issue becomes a problem when the scale of the components shrinks one more level.


And this is, the Ugly. Despite the details on these smaller components being pretty simple the contact of the wax support material has turned the surface far too rough.

These parts were printed with a recent generation of ProJet printer (3510 HD), so I was hoping it would be better than some results I had in the past. While there were improvements to the quality of the prints and most of the parts are serviceable with a bit of prep work, the smaller bits of each of the kits will require a better printing solution. It looks like I’m back to shopping around for a company that can provide parts made with EnvisionTEC (Perfactory) printers if my research is correct.


In an effort to salvage some use from the parts I assembled one of the pintle weapons to test the fit and function of the kit.

There’s nothing wrong with how precise these parts are, that’s for sure; everything fits perfectly and functions exactly as I had hoped so the weapons can be swapped very easy. But despite the Bolters pictured here being some of the better ones that printed, and all the parts getting an alcohol scrub to remove some of the rough material, the surface quality is just too grainy and rough to leave as-is and it would be too much work to attempted to clean and refine them smooth. Nope, these components need to be printed with a better process from the get-go.

Due to costs, I was only able to print the first new Mk.3 Trim design and it will be prepped and be in mould rubber in the next few days. Most of the parts for the Havoc Launchers turned out well and I will be getting them prepped as well. But most of the parts for the Pintle Weapons, and one part for the Havoc Launcher, simply need to be reprinted to a better quality and I’ll be looking into that right away. I know it can be done, I just need to find the right people to do it. It’s frustrating to be delayed, but I was a little suspect that this might happen, so I’m trying to not let it be too disappointing and just get down to figuring out the solution to the problem.

I’ve got the ideas, the ability to 3D model and scratch build them, the skills to make good moulds, and the ability to produce great casts, I just need to get this damn prototyping nut cracked before I can be 100% confident that I have my entire manufacturing process down firm. To anyone who’s been patiently waiting for me to get properly up-and-running, sorry for the delays, but now I’m so close, with just one last (for now) puzzle to figure out.

*Sigh* I'm enjoying getting my studio up-and-running, but I can't wait until I get everything figured out for this. I'd rather just be painting right now.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in nz
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Auckland New Zealand

Ouch, there are some badly printed items there, that must be frustrating. It seems to me anything which goes over 5mm high ends up with the rough textures. Do you think this could be just the printer or the process it uses to produce the products?

IceAngel wrote:I must say Knightley, I am very envious of your squiggle ability. I mean, if squiggles were a tactical squad, you'd be the sergeant. If squiggles were an HQ, you'd be the special character. If squiggles were a way of life, you'd be Doctor Phil...
The Cleanest Painting blog ever!
Gitsplitta wrote:I am but a pretender... you are... the father of all squiggles. .
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed, but this is also something I was worried might be an issue. This has everything to do with the PolyJet process which uses a melt-away wax as a support material when creating undercuts; where the wax touches the part it create this rough surface. What's pictured here is directly after the wax removal process so most of the roughness you can see in the middle images will be easily removed, however, the surface is still too rough for my needs, requiring too much surface repair to make worthwhile.

This is exactly the kind of testing I was expecting I would need to do in order to completely sort out my production process. Despite it being a rapidly evolving and improving technology Rapid Prototyping (RP) is very much still developing and if you work with it you'll quickly discover its strengths and weaknesses. One large takeaway here is that RP solutions are not one size fits all. In this case, I can instantly see what components will be suited to production with the PolyJet RP process and now I can understand what parts I'll need to have RP'ed with the Perfactory DLP process. While I haven't done pricing yet, I'm all but certain that the DLP will be more expensive and have smaller size limits compared to PolyJet so there's a real incentive to have the right parts created with the technology best suited to the particular component.
 

After an afternoon of sanding (I foresee lots of sanding in my future) I've got the Mk.3 Rhino Trim Kit prepped and almost ready for mould making. There's still a few edges that need a bit of quick file work.
 
I am absolutely committed to the pursuit of quality in the production process I'm developing for The Dark Works. The resounding majority of positive feedback I've received from customers has been about the quality and execution of my kits. Surface quality, in particular, is something that I will not slouch on and I will work hard to provide the cleanest components I can manage.
 
This is exactly why I take large revealing photographs of my kits for my shop, to showcase the precision and execution of the casts made from high-quality masters; what you see in the photos is exactly what I aim to provide to my customers. Look closely at many of the kits currently being provided online and notice how many times they keep to a certain distance when showcasing the models in photographs. Many/most 3D printed kits being offered now suffer from the problems that I'm determined to solve before I'm willing to offer my kits for sale.
 
Put simply, I aim to compete as a premier producer of resin model kits and miniatures, as there are plenty of midrange and lower producers already out there. Yes, it will take some extra time, effort, and cost on my part to get all the kinks worked out; but it's what I'm compelled to do, both because it's what I want to produce and because customers genuinely appreciate it once they get my kits in-hand.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in gb
Deadly Dire Avenger




The Webway

The blue on the skitarii is outrageously good. Also, what are those wooden rack things and how do i get 'em?

Laugh with the Laughing God. Outplay the Great Enemy. 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Thanks, I'm quite pleased with how they're turning out. To achieve the blue in particular I can thank my airbrush for doing most of the heavy lifting and it's very straightforward to achieve with one. Start with a Vallejo Magic Blue, two coast of blue wash (with the second layer pushed up to stay near the top of the coats), and then the Magic Blue is faded up from the bottom with the airbrush.

The painting racks are homemade, a perfect example of necessity forcing me to take stock of what odds-and-ends I had available to create a straightforward solution; I just hand drilled holes in a length of scrap wood and cut some low-cost dowels into short lengths. Now that I've made them I'm completely happy with how functional they are. I simply use a small bit of blutack/poster-tack to attach the part to the dowel, but there are a few simple tricks to it and it's not completely perfect.

First, I find that using fresh poster-tack is the key to getting bits like the arms to stay firmly attached. If the poster-tack gets kneaded and/or folded over too many times it gets soft and from time-to-time the parts will slowly fall off under their own weight; when the poster-tack is fresh it's stiff and if you push the part firmly onto the dowel without fiddling it will stick reasonably well until you choose to remove it. I quickly roll the poster tack out into a thin tube (again, careful not to overwork it) and cut the bits off in somewhat measured lengths using a sharp razor.

Second, the porous ends of the dowels won't be ideal for the poster-tack to stick to, so you'll want to come up with some method to seal them, and preferably with a hard glossy surface that will be better suited for the poster-tack to stick on. I simply applied a few layers of Super Glue to the ends to do the trick. The first drop will soak into the dowel and once it's dry one or two more applications of glue should produce a nice smooth and hard surface; also, just sand them flat if they end up with a bit of a bulge. Just be sure to give the glue the time it needs to dry completely between applications.

Finally, handle the parts by the sticks with care; the parts will usually bond surprisingly well, but it is still just a bit of poster-tack holding it in place and constantly bumping the part will loosen it eventually. Additionally, simple mechanical lever action will be a problem from time-to-time; painting the end of a gun barrel that is far away from the point where the part attaches to the dowel will put more force/strain on the join. Just be aware of this and brace the part a little when working on spots like this. Expect the odd part with a small connection point to fall off from now-and-then (especially if it sticks out from the dowel quite far) but it's easy to reattach it with a fresh bit of poster-tack and I've found the majority of parts will stay firmly attached.

The added bonus is that this also masks the connection points on the parts that will need plastic-on-plastic contact to get a bond when they are glued. Be sure to take the time and mask all of the connection points using poster-tack. I find it much easier and cleaner to place and then remove the poster-tack as a mask rather than try to scrape away paint when it comes time to assemble. The Skitarii models really do benefit from painting them in a sub-assembly like this. I find the effort required to set them up this way really is made back with how much easier they are to paint like this, but it does take some care to glue some of the tiny wrists on some of the models.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in us
Liche Priest Hierophant






To be fair, the rapid-prototyping did almost exactly what you wanted. It showed you that the parts fit well.

I'm curious- does Shapeways have an option for a PVA support print instead of the wax version? Or is their printing method a sintering process instead of extrusion? Because I'm wondering if a PVA-supported method might not work for you in this.

The DLP, though, yeah, that ought to give you a much smoother surface. I'm not sure how accurate that process is in terms of true, but I can't imagine it's bad. And, I suppose, for mold-parts, you might even want to look at getting all of your to-mold parts done that way. If, as some of the images suggest, the process finishes with a smoother print, you might save more money by going for the expensive print, than by spending the time to do the smoothing yourself.

GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy and paste it into your sig and add 1 to the number after generation. Consider it a social experiment.

If yer an Ork, why dont ya WAAAGH!!

M.A.V.- if you liked ChromeHounds, drop by the site and give it a go. Or check out my M.A.V. Oneshots videos on YouTube! 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Oh absolutely, the accuracy is there and I'm not completely caught off guard by the issues, I was just hoping the newer generation of the PolyJet printers were going to do an even better job; it's not horrible by any stretch, but not quite up to where I want it. I know that I'm aiming for a higher standard than many 3rd party bits manufacturers are willing to accept, and this is by design. Since I'm coming from a process that involved scratch building masters with styrene (which isn't ruled out depending on the situation - read: making really large stuff) I'm used to being able creating absolutely perfectly clean and smooth surfaces, and many customers have commented very favorably on that fact. However, as you scale down to smaller objects details become harder to produce and some shapes and forms are nearly impossible to handcraft in styrene. What you lose in surface quality with Rapid Prototyping you gain in the freedom to create any form or details you so choose by modeling it in 3D.

Shapeways offers a wide range of printing options some of which are SLA processes that will use the 'support posts' systems like you suggest, however, most are of a lower resolution than the high ('extreme') detail output of the PolyJet/Multijet. I've worked with PolyJet parts several times now and in truth the PolyJet system is excellent and if I was doing something of an even slightly larger scale or an actual fullscale prototype of a consumer item, it would be more than up to the task, it just struggles with the tiny scale I'm trying to achieve. I'm also working directly with prototyping services other than Shapeways for faster turnaround times so I just need to shop around for the right process. I've seen many images of prints of various objects from the EnvisionTEC DLP printers intended primarily for dental, hearing aid, and jewelry applications and the results are downright amazing, with only a bit of layering in a few stubborn locations. Given the industry they serve, I have no worries about accuracy but I do suspect the cost will be modestly more. DLP is also a system that will produce the part with 'support posts' to facilitate the printing process, but you've hit the nail on the head, the labour needed to prep the part by sanding away the tiny post points is much less than dealing with the surfaces issues created by the wax support material used in the PolyJet system.

Right now I'm doing just that, figuring out how to make each type of component with which process. If it's cheaper as I suspect, PolyJet parts of the right type will have their place, but other parts will demand that I print them with DLP. If I can't offset the labour of scratch-building because I'm spending just as much time prepping the surface of 3D printed parts, then I'm not gaining anything, which is the plan right now. I have absolutely no problem spending what it takes (within reason) to get the right quality of prototyped casting master. Costs can be offset if I can work on other things while as machine builds my prototype and the cost of the master is intended to be created up front and paid for over the life of the kit. All part of the plan, but right now I'm just wishing I could be getting on with making moulds and not stuck doing more research and shopping around for another prototyping service. Which is a good point...

It's a long shot but, to anyone who might be actually still reading this and know of a reputable company that can offer rapid prototyping services with the EvevsionTEC (Prefactory - DLP) technology, I'm happy to take suggestions. I've done some research to find a few, and there are many companies that don't expressly say that I can contact, but it can be hard to tell what the reputation will be for most, and I'd naturally rather work with a company that has a good track record.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada


+++ Submitting Progress Report ++ Recruit Selections 3440-3460; Implantation Process ‧ Ongoing +++ Production Expedited +++

Sleep now. More rambling later. Using new rubber for moulds, blessed by Nurgle (you'll see), and I like it. First new moulds finished tomorrow. Update to follow once they're done and the first casts are in hand. For now, bed ways is right ways. Viddy well my droogs. Viddy well.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/07 10:08:30


"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada


What's old is new again. A refinement of the original Mk.1 design, the Mk.3 Proditor Rhino Trim kit preliminary casts are successful.

This is a new way I'm trying to cast these thin components, so I'm very relieved that they've cast properly. There's a bit of extra flash with this early cast, but it's tissue paper thin and cleans away quite easily. Some adjustments to how the moulds are clamped reduced the flash almost completely.

Further update to follow soon.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Up to this point, I’ve been pouring my vacuum casting moulds around the part and cutting the pour gate out of the mould by hand. Since the liquid resin expands considerably as it literally boils when it reaches full vacuum during this process, the pour gate needs to be quite large in relation to the part being created. Not only was cutting the gate by hand risky, given the amount of force required I was very worried I might slip doing it and severely cut myself, but it also wastes a large piece of perfectly useful RTV (Room Temp Vulcanizing) rubber.


Hey look! It’s one of the most boring moulds I’ve ever made, and yet, it’s going to produce extremely useful objects for use in all future mould making.

With just three simple parts built from styrene (1cm, 2cm, and 5cm) I was able to create a modular pour gate that can be made larger in 1cm increments by stacking them in various combinations. Completely reusable, they can also be easily modified to make them slimmer for moulds that are thinner, like the ones I made for the new Proditor Trim Kit. Since I make two-part moulds they can also be stacked on the opposite side in the second part of the mould in order to double the gate size. They’re nothing revolutionary, but I’ve been procrastinating on making these simple-yet-functional bits for a while, so I’m glad I finally got them out of the way.

On a tangent side note, I can’t help but find it humorous that I am still unable to find a better solution to Lego for producing mould boxes. As I start to find more-and-more professional solutions for different parts of my production process the Lego keeps looking a little amateur beside it all, but I simply can’t ignore how completely functional and reliable it is. For the tiny bit of extra labour it takes to build and remove the box it creates perfect moulds of any shape or size (within reason), provided you have enough bricks. These bricks may have started life as colourful toys but for me, they’ve turned into real workhorses for my studio.


If the vivid pink Mold Max-30 RTV rubber I’ve been using was blessed by Slaanesh, then the sickly green Mold Max-40 has got to be the work of grandpa’ Nurgle.

In an effort to make moulds that are even more resistant to deforming when they’re firmly clamped to avoid mould slips, mould lines, and flash, I’ve been giving Mold Max-40 a try. It is noticeably thicker and more difficult to mix so vacuum degassing of the rubber is really a must. It also takes longer to cure; where MM-30 can be ready in 12-16 hours, MM-40 takes closer around 18-24 hours. However, the rubber is noticeably stiffer while still being very flexible and tough, excellent for producing the thin and precise parts I’m after. I’ve been having some small problems with moulds deforming ever-so-slightly over time so I think the stiffer MM-40 will help mitigate that issue.


“Whats shades of green is that, puke?” … “For your information, it’s called Electric Mucus.” ~ Futureama

Ok, so it’s not quite Electric Mucus Green, but it’s definitely really close. I’ve grown quite fond of the unnatural hue, in fact.

As I’ve alluded to, the first new moulds created with 3D printed casting masters are for the Mk.3 Proditor Light Trim Kit designed to fit the Rhino Chassis. With this kit, there’s still a lot of straight lines going on but 3D modeling the parts finally lets me take advantage of precise curves and round elements that would be much trickier to produce in scratch-built styrene. There is still a frustrating extra layer of labour required to sand smooth and refine the surface to get it as smooth as possible before the mould making process, but I know how well the mould rubber replicates even subtle surface variations so I can’t let it slide. It’s hard to make it flawless but it’s not difficult (just tedious) to greatly reduce it so it disappears under a layer of primer and a few layers of paint.



I’ve quickly mocked up the parts on a Rhino with absolutely none of its surface details removed, so the fit is a little comical in these images.

This is more to quickly showcase the look of the new kit on the model and give a close up look at the first new parts made by The Dark Works, so please forgive the fit. It’s appropriate that this should be the studio’s first new kit since it’s one of the key the original ideas that got me so much feedback from the community that it encouraged me to seriously consider starting the studio in the first place. Consider this a promissory note of my serious intent to redesign and update my current line while expanding the selection of new kits also available. Progress has been a bit slower than I expected, but I’m finally starting to get things sorted out and hope to start picking up the pace as I get each additional kink worked out of my process.

However, there is a bit of reality that comes with this kit in particular. While the costs of getting the smaller kits (more on those in the near future) 3D printed was in the expected price range, this Trim Kit was surprisingly more expensive than I was expecting; this one Trim Kit cost more to print than the parts to produce all four different models of the counts-as Havoc Launcher I’ve designed. While I had planned on getting all three designs of the first new Trim Kits printed, because they are/were still a bit experimental, the cost forced me to stick to only the Mk.3 while I made sure these would cast properly with the vacuum process.

While this isn’t scaring me away from making these Trim Kits or future Armour Kits and beyond, it has brought into focus that the cost of some of my larger ideas will likely be more expensive than I was first expecting. It goes without saying that I’ll need to crunch numbers, pay more attention to labour input as I work on smaller projects, and see how to best proceed when it comes time to start making my larger designs a reality. While finances are always a factor right now I have a few final technical issues that I want to put to bed before I start figuring out how I can make some of my larger ideas real from a cost perspective.

So, behold this tip of the spear, a modest sign of much more to come. Thanks for following along.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in nz
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Auckland New Zealand

I really do appreciate all the effort in your posts, had I been able to read this over 2 years ago when I tried my own hand at casting I may have had results I would have been happy with (use of the lego is probably the biggest ah-ha moment)

How many different resin's have you mucked around with before settling with the stuff you use now?

IceAngel wrote:I must say Knightley, I am very envious of your squiggle ability. I mean, if squiggles were a tactical squad, you'd be the sergeant. If squiggles were an HQ, you'd be the special character. If squiggles were a way of life, you'd be Doctor Phil...
The Cleanest Painting blog ever!
Gitsplitta wrote:I am but a pretender... you are... the father of all squiggles. .
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Happy to help. As I've learned over the years it most cases it just a matter of scale. Almost everything I'm doing is just the basic casting process done on a slightly larger scale. The vast majority of what I do can be easily scaled down to something a serious hobbyist could do (because that's how I started), so I show what I'm up to for those individuals; and naturally, those people who are just interested in the process out of curiosity. Yes, there's a learning curve and costs involved, but that's up to the individual to determine if learning this skill and investing in the equipment will return enough utility and value to their hobby. For roughly the cost of investing in another army, it's possible to get the tools to be able to replicate practically anything. Can you counterfeit things? Yes, but it's really not cost effective enough to do unless you aim to sell them. However, if you spend many hours scratch building something and can then turn it into ten with the ability to make more in the future, you can quickly save yourself many hours of work that can be invested elsewhere.

Right now I've only worked the Smooth-On products and they've performed so well that I don't have a huge incentive to explore other options. Being Canadian, I'm happy to purchase from a company based in the USA to support North America as a whole, even if it costs a bit more. Initially, I was a sucker for their marketing, as they took the time/effort to create lots of instructional content for practically every product they make (and they have a huge selection for a huge range of tasks) so you have a very good idea how to work with the materials what results to expect. I like the results and quality, but I was really sold when I started getting customers commenting on the quality of the resin.

I started with Smooth-Cast 300 which is labeled with a 3 minute Pot Life (time to mix and pour) and a 10 minute Cure Time. Since casting for miniatures usually requires smaller volumes of resin and the parts are generally smaller than typical applications I find the cure time is roughly doubled, but since the resin is one big volume in the mixing cup the Pot Life is reasonably accurate. Work fast and pour quickly; after about 2 minutes the resin will become noticeably thicker and that can trap bubbles more easily. It's also very tricky to vacuum de-gas this resin because it thickens so quickly causing it to froth like crazy if you're not fast enough. Thick chunky parts will be done in 10-15 minutes, lighter parts will take 20-25 minutes; they will still be slightly soft out of the mould, but not enough to be a problem.

Needing more time I moved to Smooth-Cast 305 with a 7 minute Pot Life and a 30 minute cure time. Plenty of time to mix, pour, de-gas, and pressurize, but it takes close to 1 hour to cure miniatures scaled parts; and sooner and the parts are like toffy when you try to remove them. TO strike a balance I mix SC 300 and SC 305 at a 50/50 ratio to get the best of both worlds. I get about 4-5 minutes to mix, pour/inject, de-gas, and most parts cure in about 40 minutes.

Some So-Stong Black pigment is added to the batches I make to take it from white to light grey. With almost no shrinkage, after about 48 hours cure time the parts are moderately flexible but very rigid, tough, and not brittle at all. It cuts very cleanly and can be shaped with filing and sanding or drilled just as easily.

I also use Smooth-Cast 326 for casting almost clear parts (they have an ever-so-slight golden tint) and it has very similar characteristics to Smooth-Cast 305, with a longer Pot Life and it'll take at least 1 hour for the parts to cure. Even after that the parts with be very rubbery and can be baked at low temperatures in an oven or simply left to sit for several days to reach final harness. This plastic becomes surprisingly stiff and hard, but it takes the long time it takes to get there unless you speed it with heat curing. in my case I want translucent parts to capture light, so I add a tiny bit of White Pigment to the mix to make it that way.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in us
Liche Priest Hierophant






I imagine as you start doing larger batches you'd want longer Pot life, even if the cure time is significantly greater- I imagine having to spend a couple more hours to de-mold is less expensive than doing a whole other batch due to a bad de-gassing or mis-pour?

GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy and paste it into your sig and add 1 to the number after generation. Consider it a social experiment.

If yer an Ork, why dont ya WAAAGH!!

M.A.V.- if you liked ChromeHounds, drop by the site and give it a go. Or check out my M.A.V. Oneshots videos on YouTube! 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

I find I want to strike a balance, enough pot life that I can pour or inject the mould while the plastic is still low viscosity to minimize the chance of creating or capturing bubbles, and also so it won't froth too much during the degas; thicker resin bubbles and froths more with the risk of overflowing the gate and loosing too much plastic and leaving a large void in the part.

The other side of the coin is the cure time. The faster it cures the quicker you can get it out of the mould and get that mould filled again. However, you can only de-mold parts so fast, so you do want so some reasonable amount of time between batches to get the parts out and the moulds prepped for the next run. If parts cure too fast you can't keep up with the cycle, but if they cure too slow you're waiting too much with all chambers full and nothing to do. You either need more chambers or faster setting resin.

Oh yeah, and living in Canada my winters are cold and my studio is in a basement, so the temperature change is significant enough that things cure slower in the winter than in the summer because it's a thermal induced chemical process. You need to work a bit quicker in the summer as the resin sets up faster. So ultimately, you don't want to go too slow and you can't go too fast, you need to find the balance.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada


+++ Neural Congress ‧ Initialized +++ Comm-Link ‧ Active +++ Data Uplink ‧ Initiazing +++ Decripting Uplink ‧ Ongoing +++ Standby... +++

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

A sidetrack update because current painting progress is rather bland. Yaaay, I’ve cleaned up all the black and got some of the highlighting started… and the models look virtually no different in photographs. So I’ll continue doing the highlights and then it will be on to the green and that’ll justify a fresh round of images. I’m still not sure how I want to treat the Arc Rifles, but I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.

In the meantime, I’ve been itching to build a bit, but I know that I really shouldn’t get too distracted if I want to stay on track getting paint on these core Troops. So I chose to turn my focus towards the first Tech-Priest Dominus I had started a while back; he’s been glowering at me from the corner of my monitor stand for several months, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get the final details done.


+++ Name ‧ To Be Determined +++ The first of two planned Tech-Priest Dominus’ using the official GW model has been converted to personalized it, but I didn’t really do anything too dramatic to the pose.
Since the change to the left arm removes a very static element of the miniature I figured I’d try to build on the ‘Now, I’m gonna’ hit you with this!’ feeling it was developing; I cut the model at the waist and twisted the torso slightly in an effort to tilt the head a little and give the pose a bit of a lean. Combined with the change to the right arm it’s not a huge difference but I think it makes it look like he’s about to move in the direction he’s looking opposed to the static pose of the original model.

A few other minor conversions and alterations to some details is just my attempt to alter the miniature a bit in easy ways. With the Start Collecting box ensuring that any AdMech collector will have multiple Dominus models at their disposal I know I’ll be using it as a base for at least a few more models. Anything that I can come up with to help change things up a bit and alter the look will be a good thing.


Stan: “We need to talk. Do you know what this about?” … Joanna: *Sighs* “My uh, flair?” … Stan: “Yeah. Or your uh, lack of flair, because I’m counting and I only see fifteen pieces.” ~ Office Space

To that end, to add a bit of originality to the model and to represent a Mechanicus Relic I integrated an Infiltrator/Ruststalker backpack to the component (Refractor Field?) that attaches to the Dominus’ back. In this case, it will represent the Solar Flare relic available to armies with the Lucius Forge World dogma.

I added a post to the bottom of the Dominus’ back component to mount the smaller backpack on and it was very useful for holding the part in place as I tweaked the styrene rods I used to act as cables between the two bits. No heat bending involved, I just cut 0.8mm styrene rod to length and bent them into the desired shape; after a bit of adjustment, I got a droop that I was happy with and then glued all the parts together.


Originally intended to be a Heretek Priest to lead a renegade Mechanicus militia force, the changes that arrived with 8th edition have put that plan into stasis… for now.

Since I have the need of a Tech-Priest Enginseer for my current list it looks like this miniature is going to find its way back to its original purpose. It’s a bit more converted then it needs to be but I don’t think the rule-of-cool will mind. It’s not like the Enginseer has any wargear options to cause any confusion over, despite what the model looks like.

I figured it was a reasonable distraction to get these two models done since I need to have something on deck and ready for primer once I get the current squads of Vanguard finished. Now that I’ve given myself a small styrene fix I think it’ll be easier to return my focus to the Vanguard and get them done.

*Subtle wanders off to paint some highlights*

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in nz
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Auckland New Zealand

Some really sick models going on there, I like the details involved with the small conversions.

Also office space quote win!

IceAngel wrote:I must say Knightley, I am very envious of your squiggle ability. I mean, if squiggles were a tactical squad, you'd be the sergeant. If squiggles were an HQ, you'd be the special character. If squiggles were a way of life, you'd be Doctor Phil...
The Cleanest Painting blog ever!
Gitsplitta wrote:I am but a pretender... you are... the father of all squiggles. .
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada


"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Home stretch! The next twenty Skitarii Vanguard are turning the final corner to being done. Black and blue highlights are finished and now I’m on to the green elements.


Do you see the light!? A bright background to celebrate the impending preliminary completion of these two squads…

*In his best Kermit the Frog voice*

It’s not easy, painting green
All the small bits, you know what I mean
But when you’re done the blue
You know what you’ve got to do

It’s not easy, painting green
So many models, have you seen?
But you know when you’re through
It’s going to be right after the blue


... and now return to the dark with me, as I turn to accept that I now have to do a bunch of backpacks and heads. Yaaay, backpacks…

Since the other racks I’ve made have been quite useful but didn’t really have enough room for the heads and other small bits I figured one more to complete the set couldn’t hurt. I’ve used round bamboo skewers for the sticks in this case; they’re nice and slim while still being very stiff. I still prefer lightly gluing backpacks to the pictured styrene sticks, but this rack will help with all the other small bits for sure.

I’ll be priming the Tech-Priest Dominus and Enginseer along with these Skitarii components, so once the Vanguard are finished I’ll have something to step right in and start getting paint. And as the Tech-Priests start seeing some colour I’ll also get working on the squad of three Dragoons for the preliminary list. I see the Dragoons as roughly the halfway point, so yeah, progress! I’m quite keen to get working on them… and the bigger things that their completion will foretell…

Still can’t get that damn Micro-Ordinatus for a counts-as Baneblade (or other Super Heavy variant) idea out of my brain…
… or the Lucius Pattern Imperial Knight idea…
… or that Onager M.U.L.E. concept…
… or the Irradial Cogitator WIP
… or that tri-leg Knight idea…
… or the Spider Titan…
… or the Kytan…

Shoot, I better get back to painting! So many ideas waiting their turn…

*Subtle wanders off to put some more paint on plastic*

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada


Three little Arc Rifles sitting in a row, but it's late here now, so now to bed I shall go.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

*Subtle stumbles out of the wilderness that is research, clothing tattered, eyes bloodshot, a stoic look of determination on his face. He spits blood and checks that he isn't seriously injured...*
 

I have searched. I have found. I have seen. It can be done. Yes, I think I've found my 3D printing solution. Note: not my finger.
 
feth it, I'm going to do it ALL in-house, dammit! These have been produced with a 3D printer that is within my budget; it's not exactly cheap, but it doesn't require considering a second mortgage on the house, so it's realistic. Intended primarily for jewelry applications I think it's easy to see that it does very well on the surface quality. I want to stew on it a little and do a bit more research (ugh, it's actually exhausting to do), but I think this might be the final piece of the process that I'm looking for. I've been looking at maaany images over the last weeks and months while only paying attention when they're high-resolution close-ups, and these consistent kinds of results are what I was looking for.
 
I have no doubt that this is about to create a significant learning curve that I'll need to climb, but hell I've already figured out the rest of the process, what's one last piece? Wanna' come along for the ride? I think things are about to get... interesting... in several more weeks.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/04/04 09:18:38


"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in us
Enigmatic Exalted Daemon





Albany, NY

Impressive resolution on those red pieces! Printers are really coming along since I messed with them last.

Also great progress on the AdMech, props for taking on such a level of batch painting

- Salvage

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/04/04 16:04:42


BLOODFIRE: KOW SALAMANDER REPORTS 
   
Made in ca
[DCM]
Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran






Ok, so I just popped into this thread randomly and got caught up in your 3D printing efforts, and some of the more rough-edged results are what I've come to expect. But that last post with the red samples has really piqued my interest in what you've found. I'm really looking forward to seeing how your experiments turn out with that thing.

Also, great solidworks work btw. Love the amount of thought you're putting into your parts!

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

Tyranid Army Progress -- With Classic Warriors!:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/743240.page#9671598 
   
Made in us
Liche Priest Hierophant






If you have any questions on the 3D printing, I know a bit, and have a friend that knows a bit. Be happy to help out any way I can.

Also- in-house is ALWAYS less expensive. Go you!

May I inquire into the printer? I do jewelry as well as 3d stuff, so a high surface-quality printer could be VERY useful.

GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy and paste it into your sig and add 1 to the number after generation. Consider it a social experiment.

If yer an Ork, why dont ya WAAAGH!!

M.A.V.- if you liked ChromeHounds, drop by the site and give it a go. Or check out my M.A.V. Oneshots videos on YouTube! 
   
Made in nz
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Auckland New Zealand

Ohhh myyyy, this will prove to be very interesting indeed

IceAngel wrote:I must say Knightley, I am very envious of your squiggle ability. I mean, if squiggles were a tactical squad, you'd be the sergeant. If squiggles were an HQ, you'd be the special character. If squiggles were a way of life, you'd be Doctor Phil...
The Cleanest Painting blog ever!
Gitsplitta wrote:I am but a pretender... you are... the father of all squiggles. .
 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

Thanks all, it's a bit nerve-wracking since it's going to be the largest investment I've made in my studio to date but after all of my research, I really think it's going to return on the investment faster than the costs of outsourcing the printing. The added control over the production cycle will also be a large bonus.

I'm happy to share some of my findings. I firmly believe that we are entering what some would refer to as a 'sharing economy' where the free exchange of ideas and information is going to accelerate and evolve because of how powerful the collaborative process/model is, but I digress. The printer is called Solus and it's a resin DLP printer that boasts a 25 micron XY max resolution with a 48x27x80mm build volume, but it also can be set to a 41 micron XY resolution for an 80x45x80 build volume. The Z resolution can be turned down to an astounding 5 micons with the right resin; yes, it can print with layers 5 microns thick! It's a small build area but that's what you have to sacrifice if you want this kind of resolution at any kind of realistic price point. The build area of the Solus will constrain me on some of my larger projects down the road, but most can be cut down into sub-assemblies for printing and assembled before mould making.

Precision and surface quality were my biggest concern during this research and there are quite a few other examples printed by the makers of the Solus and by end users that showcased absolutely amazing quality over-and-over. But I also appreciate the build quality, the ability to maintenance or upgrade the projector, and other design features such as the long-lasting resin tank. The only major hitch is that it does require a dedicated computer to operate, but again I kinda' prefer it that way because that means it's easy to replace and/or upgrade the computer running it at any time. If it's built into the printer like many brands, then you need to send it to the company should the computer have any issues; same goes for units with the projector/laser built in. Modular components that can be maintained and/or replaced relatively easy is a good thing to me.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in ca
[DCM]
Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran






Wow! I may have to try out their print service. I can't wait to see you spit some of your models out of that thing.

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

Tyranid Army Progress -- With Classic Warriors!:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/743240.page#9671598 
   
Made in ca
Implacable Skitarii





Toronto, Canada

"Squirrel!!"

"Where?!"
 
Time for a tangent.
 

Small battery powered multicolour LEDs with a remote control? Well shucks, I've got to be able to come up with an idea for these. *Ponders*
 
So I ordered another batch of Plasma Globes for my Shield Generator kit and I picked up a few packs of these remote control LED lights to play around with. The remote works surprisingly well but it's Infra Red so the receiver needs some line-of-sight to work; I won't be able to bury these inside an object unless I leave some kind of access port for the IR signal to reach the light, or some simple way to open the object and access the light to activate/change them. I guess I'll need to fool around with them a bit and see what kinds of solutions I can come up with.
 
Any ideas from readers for what you think they might be good for will be most welcome. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking Objective Markers that can change colour depending on their status and to just put them in scenery in general. I have at least one personal project that some will be used for... but that's another story for another day. So yeah, any suggestions are always welcome food for thought.

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
 
   
Made in us
Near Golden Daemon Caliber





Affton, MO. USA

Put them inside of your rhinos and cut out the window slits for OSL Could also look good inside dunecrawlers. Be especially nice inside damaged vehicles (cut out impact holes/blown hatches) to have possessed vehicles where you can change the colors on the fly. Could also work out with your opponent how damaged the vehicle is (green yellow red) to remove table clutter.

LOL, Theo your mind is an amazing place, never change.-camkierhi 9/19/13
I cant believe theo is right.. damn. -comradepanda 9/26/13
None of the strange ideas we had about you involved your sexual orientation..........-Monkeytroll 12/10/13

I'd put you on ignore for that comment, if I could...Alpharius 2/11/14 
   
 
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