My first challenge was to acquire and master the technology that enables the printing of tiny little things. This meant a printer upgrade that I have discussed elsewhere on this blog. This upgrade gives me the ability to print some really tiny little things ... obviously important when working at 1:100 scale!
I designed a pretty wide selection of "bling" for Flames of War gamers capitalizing on my printers ability to handle the size and detail. All of what I have done are on Thingiverse in the public domain (the Creative Commons - Attribution - Non-Commercial license).
The are also available for purchase on eBay with 50% of all proceeds going to the MS Society.
My latest, and largest, design is that of a model of the famous Bailey Bridge of World War II. I discuss it in several posts starting here.
The next challenge was to gain the skill, and patience, to paint tiny details. I still have a ways to go given where I am versus where other folks are in this specialty! My first couple of
attempts were truly pathetic but I did improve to the point where I am not embarrassed by my work!
All of the above now comes together in a small diorama as shown to the right. This is a mash-up of multiple 3D prints including:
- The Bailey Bridge that I mentioned above but decorated for war!
- Terrain started as a print with a rough cutout of the landscape. I then plastered it with Smooth Finish Wall Filler for texture.
- The tank is also a 3D Print though certainly not from one of my models. The model is from the work of M_Bergman though I did do the painting!
- The tank is also sporting some bling printed from my collection of bits and bobs.
- The retaining walls for the ramps leading onto the bridges are 3D Prints as are the telephone poles.
I am not sure how much impact 3D Printing is having on modeling as of yet. Printers are coming down in price but they are not cheap and they can be a pain in the ass to operate. On top of that is the level of proficiency required to create things beyond simple shapes. I am confident that printer costs will continue to fall and that reliability and ease of use will continue to improve. I am less confident that "easy" design tools will play a role in bringing 3D Printing to the masses.