Friday, November 27, 2020

To Boldly Go

Shortly after purchasing my Elegoo Mars Pro resin 3D printer I set about trying to teach myself how to use Autodesk's Fusion 360. There is a free version allowed for non-commercial work or you can pay a monthly or annual subscription for commercial use. 

I've created a playlist of some of the videos I found most useful in creating this project on my new Youtube channel here:

For my first project I decided on brining my favorite Matt Dixon painting "To Boldly Go" to life. 

Once designed in Fusion 360 I exported the model to Chitubox to be sliced for my printer. A few prints of the smaller parts failed and I had to adjust my supports a couple of times before I was able to produce satisfying results.

Using Matt Dixon's painting as a canvas in Fusion 360 I created several sketches which were extruded into the shapes which comprise the robot and his rocket ship. A surprising amount of 3D information can be determined from a 2D painting.

Still there were details I had to take creative liberty with. The interior of the cockpit for example isn't visible in the painting. I designed some gauges and vents for the dash, a diamond plate tread for the floor, the seat, and the legs and feet of the robot.


I modeled all of this to be printed in several pieces

The antenna was printed as part of the head but proved to be quite delicate and I've had to reattach it at least 4 times. In the above photo the lifting arm is shown in place, it is a separate piece.

I did purchase clear resin for printing the windscreen but ultimately decided on cutting it out of clear plastic packaging. 

I noticed a few issues with the design, such as the tolerances being too tight and some cutaways that were missing. I made the corrections in Fusion 360 and reprinted the model in a much large scale. 


This larger version I packed away for later and proceeded to paint and assemble the smaller version. I began in my usual method of joining subassemblies and painting base colors. These were all quite bright but would be toned down later during the weathering process.

For the base I scaled the original painting on my computer screen until it matched the model in my hand. I then traced the background on a piece of paper which I cut out as a template. Using that, I made the base from stacked plywood and 1/8" MDF which was glued together, coated in wood filler, sanded, and then textured with plaster. 

The name plate was also designed in Fusion 360 and printed with the Elegoo Mars. I printed it in various scales between 30-45mm in height so that I could pick the one I found most appealing. This was my second go at the name plate. In my first attempt I noticed all too late that I had misspelled 'Boldly"! Oops. 

The power cord was made from a bit of wire and the plug was made out of scratch polystyrene tube and sheet. I used the same sheet material to make the power plate on the wall which I changed from UK to NA standard. The base and the model were painted with Army Painter and Vallejo acrylics, weathered separately with acrylic washes, and then the model was glued down to the base. Lastly I placed a few pieces of sand with tweezers and painted them to match.




If I had it to do over again I would change a couple of things. First I wouldn't use metallic paints to paint the robot. No matter how much I tried to tone it down it is still too vivid for my liking. I think the rest of the model could be toned down a tad more too. I might also like to try my hand at making some custom decals. If I do I'll probably just hire out the work but it would be nice to have a set of waterslide decals. Since I already have a second print of this model I guess I'll have the opportunity to set those issues right.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Paint Water Do Not Drink

I've had an awful lot of time on my hands as of late and found myself feeling creative. Late at night after everyone has gone to sleep I've been working on various graphic designs and coming up with some hobby solutions in hopes of expanding my Etsy shop and putting together a few products for future model shows.

My first offering is a mug for washing your brushes in which I hope will help to avoid the dreaded confusion many of us have endured. 

On a long enough timeline every hobbyist has the moment that they put the dreaded dirty paint water to their lips. The lucky ones realize their error before it is too late, other's aren't so fortunate. Don't make that mistake, or if you already have, don't make it again with this stylish hazard striped dedicated dirty paint water mug. The warning "PAINT WATER DO NOT DRINK" is emblazoned around the mug in high contrast and 4 different languages, English, Spanish, German, and French.

I have many additional graphics in the works and an accessory or two geared toward the model makers out there.

Monday, September 21, 2020

10 Youtube Channels for Makers

 Adam Savage's Tested

Adam Savage is a man who needs no introduction. Most famous as a Mythbuster, Adam spent a number of years working as a model maker for Industrial Light and Magic building models and props for Star Wars, Galaxy Quest, and Steven Spielberg's A.I. just to name a few. Since Mythbusters came to an end Adam has been pouring his heart and soul into Tested, his online love letter to making.

Crafsman (Steady Craftin)

The Crafsman Steady Craftin is a maker channel which provides tutorials on a number of mediums and techniques. The Crafsman tackles topics such as mold making, resin casting, injection molding, and even how to make your own rub-on transfers. The Crafsman's relaxed attitude and unique delivery make this one of my favorite channels to watch, regardless of what topic he is covering.


Clickspring is one of those channels I can just sit back and relax to. Chris produces home machine shop project videos in which he demonstrates precision making with metal where order of operation is key. Many of Chris's videos are tool making videos in preparation for a larger project.

Evan and Katelyn are a husband and wife team who make a variety of projects together. Often exploratory, their videos cover the how to's and often how not to's of each project they tackle. Topics vary from furniture and home improvement to 3D printing, mold making, and resin... lots of resin.

Dark, eerie, multi-talented and always inspiring, Christine McConnell is a jack of all trades and she applies her talents to making all manner of things with a vintage and macabre flare. The skills she demonstrates and projects she tackles may inspire you to make your space your own.

At Punished Props Academy Bill and Brittany Doran build replica props and costumes from nerd culture. The videos are detailed and they produce patterns, 3D files and even 3 books you can purchase to help you on your making journey.

I Like to Make Stuff covers a variety of making topics and techniques with a lean toward woodworking and electronics. Bob's videos are often practical projects that you may want to take on yourself. If you do you'll be glad to know that these videos are highly detailed and often supported with available files for download.

Probably best described as a "Don't Try This at Home" channel. Colin engineers crazy inventions which, considering he's in the UK often seem unwise, if not flat out illegal. Fire, explosives, blades, and horsepower all come together in frightening fashion. 

In each episode David takes you through his process to make what ever it is he's making that time around. Most frequently wood working, David also delves into other topics such as welding, forging, and silk screening just to name a few.

Michael is the king of improvisation. A metal worker, Michael makes the insane weapons of pop culture come to life. In each lengthy video Michael takes you through his process as he uses a limited number of tools to make detailed, precise, incarnations of outlandish weaponry. 

I'm sure I'm leaving out plenty of excellent makers. For a selection of modelers on you tube check out my other post of 5 International Youtube channels for some additional viewing pleasure. If you know of some youtube makers who should be mentioned here please add them to the comments below.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

SOLD - Gorkamorka - Ork Boyz, NIB on Ebay


I've had these boxes of Gorkamorka kicking around in my stash since the late 90s. I always intended to use these for conversions, and I did use one box for that purpose, but these 3 remain untouched. Will you be the good home they need? The auction starts at the price of flat-rate shipping + $0.99.

Update: Wow did that turn out to be a popular item! I hadn't expected so much interest in such an old property. Added a little to the hobby fund with that sale.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Imperial Knight Titan Live on Etsy!

 Now available for sale on Etsy!

The Imperial Knight Titan pictured above is now available for purchase on Etsy. Take a peek at the shop. Other items available include expansion brackets for your Detolf display cabinet and various terrain pieces for your games of 40k.

Monday, September 14, 2020

5 International Youtube Channels Modelers Can't Miss!

Model building is an international hobby and perhaps the best expression of this is the wealth of channels dedicated to the hobby available on Youtube. The following channels are (in no particular order) some of my favorites related to modeling from the international community.

 Laser Creation-World

Laser Creation-World is a German modeling channel specializing in dioramas with a focus on scratch builds and customization. Building, painting, and weathering are all demonstrated against the backdrop of relaxing music while instructions appear on screen in both English and German. 

Black Magic Craft

Black Magic Craft is a Canadian modeling channel for tabletop gamers. Jeremy's videos primarily consist of terrain building tutorials but also cover miniature painting all while maintaining a budget friendly environment. What I appreciate most about this channel is Jeremy's transparent approach. Throughout each build he shares his successes as well as his failures and the steps he took to overcome those happy little accidents.

Luke Towan (Boulder Creek Railroad)

Boulder Creek Railroad is an Australian channel which produces outstanding tutorials on building realistic scenery and dioramas. Luke covers everything from assembling laser cut kits to building trees from scratch to fully realized dioramas.


PLASMO (Plastic Models) is a Czech English language channel focused on model building and dioramas. Videos are step by step and include information regarding the specific products shown.


Hailing from the Netherlands, Paepercuts is a hobby channel focused on creating realist scenery terrain, diorama building, and miniature painting tutorials. A number of the tutorials involve dinosaur and animal dioramas but there are a few Games Workshop miniatures featured as well.

Bard's Craft
Okay so this is number 6 but I couldn't help myself. Finland is the home of this Youtube channel which specializes in terrain, buildings, and custom miniatures for Dungeons & Dragons as well as other tabletop games.

The above channels not only provide hours of hobby entertainment but nearly limitless techniques, skill sets, materials, and product suggestions you can integrate into your hobby repertoire.

Know of any great international Youtube channels that aren't listed here? Please link to them in the comments.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Etsy Store Goes Live

Seen here used to display a customer's massive Warhammer 40k collection

The Artist of War Etsy store is live. The first product featured is the Detolf Expansion Bracket. A 3D printed resin bracket complete with hardware which, when combined with a shelf material of your choice, will allow you to add extra shelves to your IKEA Detolf Display Cabinet.

In the future I plan on selling garage kits, STL files for 3D printing, painted models/armies, and additional wargame solutions.