Limited Edition Figurines

After the trauma of dealing with scammers using my photographs to rip people off with phony ads on Facebook, Amazon, and Walmart this Spring… I started looking for a way to make my gnomes available to fans who did not have access to a 3Dprinter.

I decided to create a limited edition of these gnomes. 8″ tall, solid resin, hand-painted in loving detail. Each gnome figurine is designed, sculpted, 3dprinted and painted by me, the original artist. Each sculpture is limited to only 50 pieces, and comes with a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. These exquisitely sculpted Guardin’Gnomes are created in resin using a process called stereolithography, which allows for details as small as 43µm (smaller than a human hair!). The 3Dprinting process can reproduce details and undercuts that would be impossible with traditional mold-making.

This charming Gnome adventurer carries a sturdy wooden shield, and a heavy mace. He carries a pack of supplies on his back. He is ready to defend both your home or garden.

This mighty warrior gnome carries a sturdy shield and broadsword. He wears a winged helmet and heavy coat of scalemail. On his back is his adventurers pack full of supplies. He is ready to defend your home or garden!

This stalwart gnome stands ready to defend home and garden, with his winged helmet and coat of chainmail. He carries a heavy bronze spear and wears a pack of adventuring gear on his back.

This tough little gnome is armed with horned helmet and chainmail, and carries a big axe. He is ready to defend home and garden!

This wise wizard gnome wields a carved dragon staff and a heavy spellbook full of magic that he can use to protect your home or garden. at his waist he has a couple of scroll cases, as well as his trusty dagger.

This beautiful gnomess healer carries her holy symbol on her staff, and has her hand raised to cast protective magic on your home or garden. Her cap is adorned with pearls and gold decorations, and on her back is her adventuring kit of supplies.

These six Guardin’Gnome designs are also available Unpainted, if you would like to paint it to suit your style. Available exclusively through my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/zandoria

Beware of Scammers pretending to sell Guardin’ Gnomes

Some scam companies have been offering my Guardin’Gnomes for sale on Facebook….. they are not legitimate, and if you bought anything, you got ripped off…. there are now more than 24 different scam e-commerce sites—all running the same fake Ads!!

While they are using MY photographs, they are actually sending people a cheap knockoff:

counterfeit gnomes

Beware: Gardensel, Birdfreed, Bakamaka, Risesuntime, Gardenlawnia,Huuoko, Carbinu, Marrshoppy, Goodberty, Aloudtouching-C, Annibuild Store, Plasticbasin03, Completedglee_01, Leaderkk Work, Ewshee Star, Coreyv-1, Apbuying Mall, Intent-genial-style, MicroTango_US, Leaderii, Lovenon, S-Snail-OO, Miarhb, Merys Christmass, (I’ll just keep updating this post…)

I filed a DMCA takedown request through Facebook and got their ad removed for copyright violations (using my photographs). But they launch new pages faster than I can keep up. They are even trying to sell them on Amazon and Walmart!

If you are interested in my Gnome designs, they are 3dprintable. You can get the models for your own 3dprinters at Cults3D: https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/art/guardin-gnomes

If you would like to see more of my work and help support me as an artist, I have a Patreon page, where you can do so. Patreon is a way for fans to join together to help support the artists they love:www.Patreon.com/Zandoria

For anyone who really wanted a Guardin’ Gnome, and disappointed to see that it was some scam company stealing my photos, I’ve created an Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Zandoria
I will be 3D printing them in resin and hand-painting.

Please share this!

Painting 3Dprinted Miniatures

I finally sat down and painted a group of my Gnome miniatures. One of the things that I was pleasantly surprised about, was how well the micro details showed up even at 28mm scale. I put in a level of detail that enables you to print my designs at different scales and have them still look good, whether as a tabletop miniature or as a figurine.

I am not a professional miniature painter, but I was very happy with how they turned out. I used craft acrylics and a wash to bring out the details (as described in a previous post about painting Guardin’ Gnomes). The wash brought out details that I couldn’t even see when holding the miniatures! Similar sized miniatures that are injection molded cannot hold the same level of detail… These are printed on a SparkmakerFHD which is pretty low resolution compared to newer printers, so I can’t wait to see what they will look like on a 4K printer!

If you would like to print your own, they are available individually on Cults3D or you can get access to ALL of my models when you join my Patreon!

Trolls

My newest theme for my 3Dprintable miniatures is Trolls. I’ve been researching a lot of artists and Scandinavian folk and fairy tales for inspiration. I think the biggest influence that I have is the fairy tale artwork of John Bauer.

I see them as big and shaggy, somewhat beastly in form… As I read some of the stories, I thought about our cousins the Neanderthals, and how they were displaced by our ancestors. The trolls seem to have retreated from the noisy humans and younger races in the same way, and I wondered if that might be a possible origin of their stories, (as well as yetis and jotun and even bigfoot!)

I started with a drawing in Procreate, and then a ZSphere armature in ZBrush for the basic form.

After sculpting the basic Troll body, I brought in some other 28mm scale objects as a reference, so that I could be sure my finished miniature would look good on the table after printing.

Using my drawing as a reference, I detailed the fur and the Trolls accessories. The John Bauer troll illustrations were influenced by the dress of the Sami people of Norway. So I decided that I would also draw from that, as well as relics from bronze age Scandinavia, such as the Troll’s sword:

Illustration from “The Troll Mother seeks a Wife” by John Bauer

I really liked Bauer’s big noses, so I decided to use that in my interpretation. Another artist that I love, Paul Bonner, also gives his trolls big noses and cites John Bauer as an influence!

This is the finished model, rendered in ZBrush. I exported this as an .STL file for 3Dprinting for my Patreon.

3dprinted on a SparkmakerFHD

I was very happy with how these Troll turned out, so I am planning to sculpt a few more trolls for my Patreon. If you like it, and would like to print your own, they are available exclusively at www.patreon.com/Zandoria

Painting 3Dprinted Gnomes

I had a few comments about my paint job on these gnomes, so I thought I would post some step by step pictures of the process, in case that would be helpful to you as you paint your own…

If you have any printing errors, the first thing you will do is fix them if you can. Sometimes you might have partial print failure (if a support gets knocked over) and it could leave you with a missing portion of your model. If you have something like a layer shift while printing, you can separate with the putty knife and glue it back together. I have even used a wood-burning tool to weld PLA pieces together or smooth out a rough print!

This missing portion of the shield looks like splintered wood!

Sometimes rather than fix it, it might work even with the print failure–This Gnome had a support fail, which left a portion of the shield missing. Rather than try to fix it, I thought that it looked like it could be battle damage, and decided to just go with it!

The first step that I did with these gnomes was to apply a surface primer. I don’t know if it is really necessary, but since my silver metals will be drybrushed over it, I decided to use a black primer.

The chainmail texture printed very cleanly! All It needs is a little metalic paint drybrushed across the links. The goal here is to not have much paint on your brush so that it will only hit the raised areas, and leave the black showing in the crevices. This paint is Folk Art metallics–the other colors that I will use are Apple Barrel and Deco Art–It is about 50 cents for a 2 oz bottle at Walmart.

I will go section by section and paint a solid color for each item. Often I will go over an area with two coats to try and get an even coverage.

After the base colors are dry, I mix up a wash of black and brown thinned with Acrylic thinner. I think that using acrylic thinner gives a better result than just thinning with water. After the wash was dry, I painted the dark parts of the eyes with a tiny brush.

The next coat of paint is done with the same colors as the first coat. You can also add a couple of drops of glaze medium into your color to thin it, if you want to build up the color. In this step, I want to bring the color and saturation of the original color out, while leaving the recesses dark. Don’t paint over all of the wash that you’ve done, but let your bright color blend into it. You can use wet blending to soften the transition into your recesses. Even the armor and other metallic areas will get a second drybrush coat.

When I’ve finished the second pass of colors, I will go into the details like the eyes, and add the iris color and specular highlights.

details added to the eyes

The last step is to add a gloss varnish to the eyes and lips. And maybe a satin varnish to other shiny areas.

After Painting, your Gnomes are ready for the Garden!

If you would like to 3dprint and paint your own set, you can get the STL files at Cults3D

Gnomes

sketchbook

I had this idea that I thought would look pretty cool: Gnomes for D&D, bust sculpted in the style of Garden Gnomes! Where they typically have a pointed cap, I would keep that shape, but make it a pointed helmet. This was a series of sketches that I made the next morning when I woke up with the idea…

Gnome with “meat tenderizer” mace!
28mm scale mini
Garden-sized!

After I sculpted a few, I decided to make a “Garden-Sized” version for the yard! The mini is printed on my SparkmakerFHD and the big version on my Ender3.

I am sculpting some more for my Patreon for next month, but if you would like to get these you can buy on Cults3D:

Gnome with Sword
Gnome with Axe
Gnome with Mace
Gnome with Spear

Porkus!

This is a new mini that I sculpted last month for my Patreon. I had done the illustration as an “art test” for Wyrd Miniatures, and later decided that I would sculpt it too, as it would make an awesome mini for D&D–especially with Descent into Avernus campaign setting.

The name “Porkus” was a little nod to the Demon-Prince “Orcus” which was a big villian in AD&D when I was a teenager… I started with a ZSphere armature in ZBrush2020 and sculpted the model, giving him a meat cleaver as a weapon.

After finishing the model, I 3Dprinted it on a SparkmakerFHD resin printer. Which is a type of printer that I talked about in an earlier post.

turntable animation

The model is available to all patrons, but if you would like to print it for your campaign, the .STL file is available for $5 on Cults3D

Patreon

I have been pushing my STL files on Patreon, trying to get enough supporters to sculpt minis full time. If you have a 3D printer, you can get access to my back catalog of 3Dprintable miniatures for only $9.95!

SparkmakerFHD for Miniatures

SparkmakerFHD was a Kickstarter that I backed last year, for a low cost resin printer. Though I had vowed never to pledge on another 3d printer kickstarter again, I couldn’t resist… I worried when it didn’t ship when anticipated, but eventually it arrived!

My first print on the SparkmakerFHD

I had never used a resin printer before, so I was a little intimidated. I read through the manual a couple of times before I began. I bought nitrile gloves and lots of isopropyl alcohol, and watched some YouTube videos. Eventually, I overcame my fear and turned it on!

For my first print, I loaded up some of the miniatures that I had sculpted for my Patreon into Chitubox (the slicing software), used “Auto supports” and clicked SLICE.

I assumed that I would get some failures, and that I would use that experience to learn how to improve my prints. But when I came back and checked on it a couple of hours later, it was done printing and everything came out perfectly!

After removing the supports

When I had first shown these designs on Facebook, someone said that the weapons would be too thin, and these same models uploaded to Shapeways got flagged as unprintable, because the blades and crossbow strings violate their minimum feature sizes…

I have had some experience with Shapeways, because I was one of their Designers-For-Hire and had done some contract modeling for them as part of their Design with Shapeways service… Their minimums are put there to make sure they they never have a problem (and have to reprint or refund), so they are meant to play it safe (for Shapeways)…

But as you can see, the blades and crossbow strings printed just fine.

The Cimmerian printed at 120mm

My next print was to see how big I could go, so I scaled up Conan the Cimmerian to 120mm and let it print overnight. I added some more resin to the tank before I went to bed (I was paranoid that it would run out).

The Cimmerian at 120mm

I was totally impressed with how this turned out! This is on a resin printer that was only $250 on Kickstarter (it is $349 on their website)

Now that I’ve got this printer, I am thinking that I can use it to produce physical miniatures for sale. The level of detail that can be achieved is far superior to what can be done with injection-molding. There is no tooling cost, and no inventory, everything is print-on-demand.

I’m weighing this idea vs just selling .STL files, since even though it is pretty simple to do, there are many more gamers and painters who would rather just buy a mini, rather than printing it themselves.

The Problem of Miniature Scales

3D printing is enabling everyone to create their own miniatures, rather than buying mass-produced ones. This leads to a problem with scale, when all of these miniatures are on the tabletop.

Andrew Loomis “Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth”

Like most artists, I learned proportions using “heads” as a unit of measure, and the human figure as the reference.

Most of the Ral Partha, TSR miniatures that I have in my collection are 25mm scale–which for traditional wargaming, means that the figure is sculpted so that it is 25mm from the bottom of the feet to the eyeline. The actual height of the miniature might be 28-30mm depending on the headgear….

Games Workshop and others started making what is called “Heroic Scale“, and others have started use the term, but it is not consistent between companies, and with the dozens of artists creating 3D printable miniatures, the scale and proportions seem more confusing than ever….

Hero Forge Scale

This is a sample model from Hero Forge, A company that lets you configure a miniature and then order a print or download the .stl file to print it yourself.

Though this is a nominally a “28mm” figure, you can see that it is 32mm tall (28mm being the distance to the eyeline). I have heard some people give the advice to a new sculptor (wanting to make miniatures), to just base it off a 32mm figure, But that is not enough direction…look at the proportion of the figure based on HEADS–it is only 5-1/2 heads tall!

Normal human proportions, compared to “heroic scale”

When you look at a normal human figure at 32mm tall, the head is much smaller compared to the “Heroic Scale”. It is only 4mm, compared to 6mm. So even though the figures are the same height, the normal human figures look tiny….

This is true, even when you put this same figure on the table next to the old 25mm metal miniatures. The average size of the head on those old minis is 5mm.

5mm HEAD height

At 5mm head height, a normal proportioned human would stand 40mm tall (if standing upright), and the Hero Forge model would be a dwarf (as far as proportions go), but at least they would look right on the tabletop.

Since I am beginning to make miniatures myself, I needed to figure this all out and create a template for my figures that will work for my miniatures and look good even next to someone else’s miniatures…

5mm Head, 7 heads tall

A 7-HEADS figure with a 5mm head, is 35mm tall (standing upright). But when posed in an action pose, will stand a little shorter (28-32mm). This is the template that I came up with, after trying variations in proportions, that I believe will look good on the tabletop, even when mixing between traditional miniatures and 3D printed ones from different artists.

If sculpting smaller races, such as Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings I will alter the proportions (4-HEADS) appropriately, so that they are shorter on the tabletop, but keep the heads 5mm.

It may be a non-issue, since whenever you are 3D printing, you can scale a model however you like… Whatever proportions or style of miniature that you prefer, if you are mixing and matching sculpts from different artists or companies, if you keep the skull sizes the same, they will look better on the tabletop.