Saturday, 28 March 2020

3D-printing tanks... pt. VIII: Dorchester ACV

I have printed a couple of Dorchester ACV's...

I opted to print two different versions because, well, because I could... Two very different vehicles, but with the same function. These two vehicles don't have a place in any of my current projects, but I have a feeling I will be expanding my British forces sooner rather than later...

I love printing vehicles like this, it's very hard to get these otherwise... 

The big, 6-wheeled Dorchester...
The article in the picture above is well worth the read...

The smaller of the two, but only by a little...
This picture shows the early variant of the vehicle...
In my previous post I talked about how I botched up the first print of the 6x6 Dorchester (which I updated to include comparison pictures). But with a little care, these two models came out great!

I used Tinkercad to make them hollow, thus saving quite a bit of resin.



I equipped both models with antennas. I carefully drilled out the stubs on the roof of the vehicles. I opted for longer antennas than usual, I think it adds a touch of realism to these miniatures as well as make them stand out even more...

Both these designs are available on Thingiverse. They were done by m_bergman, and can be found here. I am slowly printing my way through his vast collection of incredible designs... 

These things are big... Bigger than a Churchill...
The Churchill tank on the picture above is no ordinary tank... It is an AVRE variant, equipped with a SBG assault bridge. More on this tank in a future post...

Friday, 27 March 2020

3D-printing... A learning experience...

The last couple of weeks I have been printing one model after another, rarely allowing my printer a moment of rest. Most of my prints have come out rather well and apart from some issues with supports I have yet to suffer any serious failures. 

But today I did learn something new, something I could have known, no, something I should have known...

The MARS had just finished a Dorchester ACV (more pictures in a future post) I found on Thingiverse. Because I had another model ready to print I immediately started the clean-up. 

I followed my normal procedure, starting with tilting the build-plate to let any excess resin drip back into the resin vat. However, I neglected to put the red hood back on... In the few moments it took for me to take out my gloves, tools and water, it all went wrong. The print itself was flawless, but due to the abundant sunshine the layer of liquid resin started to cure. Fast... Before I realised what was going on it was too late.

I tried to salvage the model, submerging the print in water, scrubbing and poking at the blobs, but to no avail... Most of the flat surfaces I managed to clean to some extent, but the smaller details were all but lost.

The railing just under the roof is all but gone, as are most of the other small details...

The covered windows and vision slits are just about invisible...

Ah well, lesson learned... However, the model won't be tossed away. I will most likely find a way to include it in a piece of terrain or objective. I will print this one again and take extra care not to expose it to sunlight...

Update...

After finishing the second model I can offer some pictures to compare the difference in quality...





Sunday, 22 March 2020

3D-printing tanks... pt. VII M1 Abrams

Now my British/Canadian force is completed (for the time being) I had some time to print something different...

Well, not thát different, I mean, it's still a tank...


M1 Abrams, the early version, armed with the 105mm gun...
This model comes in three pieces...
When compared to the WW2 models I have been printing, this is something else.. Much bigger, with a smoother surface... And that gun... Printing it took almost 14 hours (13 hours and 54 minutes, to be exact) but the result is absolutely perfect... Only downside is I couldn't adapt the model because the file was too large to be imported into Tinkercad... So, no magnetized turret and no hollowed out hull.

I printed this M1 Abrams for my battle buddy. He's going to use this model for his Americans in Team Yankee.

The files for this very nice model can be found here, the tank is designed by m_bergman, just like most of the WW2 vehicles I have been printing.

Side by side with a M60A3 Patton from PSC...

3D-printing a complete army... pt. II

The printing part is done...

A 1750 points Late War company for Flames of War...

The first models I printed for this project were the Rams. These were done on March 14th. Yesterday, March 21st, I finished the last models, two Sherman V's... This entire company took me only a week to print. Admitted, if I weren't forced to work from home it would have taken me a bit longer, but only a couple of days... Consisting of 22 vehicles, this is quite a sizable force. I actually printed more vehicles than were needed for this list (like the Daimlers) and even did some prints for another player...

Apart from the infantry, these are from PSC, check them out here, everything is printed on my Elegoo MARS.

I used about an entire 1L bottle of Elegoo's water washable resin, meaning this army (excluding the infantry) costs me about €45,-/€50,- in raw material...

The company roster...
I know, fielding seven platoons is sub-optimal, but this is what looked right to me...

Some of you may notice I took the liberty to swap out the command Shermans for my Rams. I really wanted to include these models in my army, the miniatures just look too good not to use... In games they can easily pass as a Sherman, some players might not even notice... To be on yhe safe side, I will add a couple of Shermans to the company so I can swap them if the need arises.

With all the models completed I am waiting for my paint to arrive... I lacked the colours I wanted to use for this project and none of my local stores stock my brand of paint anymore...

3D-printing tanks... pt. VI: Daimler armoured car and Dingo

Ever since I started playing Flames of War, British armoured cars have always been a potential next project... Something about their design appeals to me. Availability always stopped me, but that's not a problem anymore...

As far as armoured vehicles go, the Dingo is very compact...

After the Staghound I decided to print a couple of Daimler Dingo's and Daimler armoured cars.

A set of Dingo's... 
I opted to print two different versions, opened and closed. For the open cars I will have to look for some models to crew them...

The Daimlef armoured car...
To complete the Recce platoon I also printed a set of Daimler armoured cars...

Daimler armoured car... This design comes with two different turrets...
Magnetized turrets... 
As with all the other tanks, I adapted the design to accommodate two smal magnets. I also hollowed out the barrels.


The Daimlers... The difference in size is striking...
When these came out of my printer I thought I had scaled one of them incorrectly. But after some quick onlime research it turned out the Daimler armoured car was quite a bit larger than the Dingo... These models will make for a nice Recce platoon.

I can't take any credit for these designs. The Dingo's were done by m_bergman, they can be found here
The Daimler armoured car was done by Kharn3655 and can be found here. This design comes with two different turrets, both of which I printed.

More tanks to come!

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Review: 15mm British infantry and heavy weapons from Plastic Soldier Company

To serve as infantry support in my British/Canadian company I purchased two boxes of 15mm or 1:100 Late War British infantry and heavy weapons from Plastic Soldier Company...

A quick review of both boxes...


The Late War infantry box contains 144 models, including officers, PIAT-teams and light mortars. The models come in a nice variety of poses and the large number of miniatures means this box is enough to field a complete company of three platoons and command.



The Late War heavy weapons box contains Vickers HMG's, 3-Inch and 4-Inch mortars and a flamethrower. The set contains four of each of the heavy weapons, enough to provide the basic suport an infantry company needs.

Infantry sprue, fully packed with models...

Heavy weapons sprue...
As far as I can tell, uniforms and gear are all historically correct. Furtermore, the detail and character on these miniatures is very good.

Instruction manual... Quite straightforward...

For now I needed just a single platoon, but the rest of the models will be built as soon as I expand this company. I haven't even really started on the heavy weapons yet... The boxes contain enough models to build three platoons of infantry.

The completed platoon...
No PSC but 3D-printed... These Ram Kangaroos will serve as transports
for the infantry platoon...

The good
The boxes offer good value for money and cover all the basic needs whether you are starting an infantry company from scratch or just want to add some support to an armoured force...
The models are very detailed and I quite like the character of the models. I think these will paint up nicely.
The wide variety of poses means you can make each base unique.

The bad
None... Reallly? Nope... Well... Maybe... If I needed to offer some critisism it would be that some of the sprues had quite a bit of flash, but nothing that couldn't be solved with a sharp knife...

The verdict
PSC is always my first stop when it comes to buying 15mm miniatures. These Late War Brits are yet another great example of the quality PSC delivers. I will be back for more...

Wargaming and 3D-printing...

When you Google 'Wargaming and 3D-printing' there will be two kinds of results that are going to pop up... First are the many websites and videos to be found online who proclaim that 3D-printing will be the death of the wargaming industry and that even considering the possibility should be punishable by law... On the other hand, there are at least as many sources who proclaim the exact opposite, that 3D-printing will prove to be the saviour of wargaming and you are a fool for not owning a 3D-printer yourself...

I think I fit in right in the middle... I have been engaged in wargaming for my entire adult life and I see 3D-printing as an enrichment of my hobby... Being able to make just about anything, and in any quantity, what's not to love? I have no objection to pay for stl-files, especially if they are well designed and fill a certain need I might have. I have joined one Patreon offering high quality stl-files already and have set my sights on several more. Also, there are many great designs available for free...

For me, the emphasis lies on making things I can't get via the normal channels (for example, my local hobby store or shoping online) or things I need so many (or few) of and which would otherwise become very expensive...

Furniture to clutter my dungeon is something I can never have enough of and where I can easily use multiple items of the same design. Most of these furniture pieces are easily printed on a 3D-printer while they can cost you a lot of money to buy. In the past I 'solved' this 'problem' by making molds of certain items and casting them in plaster.

And while tanks and vehicles for games like Flames of War and What a Tanker! are also something I need in quantity, I will most likely combine printed models with the vehicles that I can buy at PSC or Zvezda (or Battlefront, should they decide to start delivering orders again). For example, I am building a British force. I could print everything but the infantry. However, I will most likely be buying some Universal Carriers and maybe some artillery, depending on if I can sort out the crew.