If you have been wishing you could use one of my Gnome miniatures for your next character or campaign, but do not have a 3Dprinter, now you can buy physical miniatures directly from me! I have added a Miniature section to my Etsy shop. These miniatures are printed by me in a durable ABS like resin. They are 28mm scale (1:56) for tabletop games like D&D or Pathfinder.
These are just the first available– I will be adding more as I have a chance to print and paint. Make your next character a Gnome!
I have been seeing little game tables advertised on Facebook called Level-Up that cost $370 for what is essentially a modular table on skinny little legs… I felt that though the idea is a good one: elevate the map surface above the character sheets, dice towers, drinks and snacks–but the execution wasn’t very inspired….
So I took a look at a model that I had originally created in Animation:Master for my Balrog model, and thought about how to modify it to make 3dprintable Moria pillars for table legs.
I decided to split the tabletop into 12″ squares with 4 legs. this will allow you to configure different size map tables, and designing the pillars to sit on 6″ centers will let the pattern continue underneath the game surface. I was going to use plywood for the table surface, but it was cheaper and looked nicer to use ceramic floor tiles!
The tabletop is about 7″ above the table, so it sits above the level of soft drinks and glasses. But is still low enough to give the players an unobstructed view of the game.
I was really happy with how this turned out! The floor tiles were only $2 a piece at Lowe’s, and the grid was drawn with a Sharpie! The pillars for each table were about $10 worth of resin, but it was much faster than printing on my FDM printer (at fine resolution, my Ender3 took about 20 hours for 1 pillar, while the Mighty4K printed 6 of pillar A in about 10 hours)
If you like this project and would like to make your own, you can get all of the files for $12 at Cults3D.
It is New Years Day, which a lot of people use to come up with resolutions…Instead of that, I thought that I would post some work from the past year and talk about what I’m working on now, and what will be coming up on my Patreon and Cults3D in 2022.
I’ve got the first set of gnomes for Gnomepoleonic Wars finished. I will be adding additional sets with different headgear (Bicorn and Shako hats). These minis are going to be great for tabletop wargames, and that has me thinking about publishing a Gnome Wars rule book, using my own wargame system!
It will not be limited to just Napoleanic battles, but works for skirmish games, scifi wargames, fantasy and historic. And it will be able to be used with any miniatures, whether traditional or 3dprinted–not just mine–Though I will use my own miniatures and illustrations for the book ( I better model some Space Gnomes…)
I also plan to release PuzzleLock Dungeon II this Spring. This is an improvement over my earlier PuzzleLock Dungeon, because I have focused on fully printed rooms and corridors (which make better use of the printbed), and have offset walls to maximize the playable space of the grid.
I also want to put up some more figurines on my Etsy shop! I have shown off a few on Facebook and Instagram, and based on the response I think there might be a desire for them amongst fans who don’t have access to their own 3Dprinter…
That’s the update for now. I hope that you have a Happy New Year!
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:
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.
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
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…
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:
One of the most intimidating things for new users about 3Dprinting resin miniatures is adding supports. But actually it is pretty simple!
There has been a few requests on Facebook groups that artist should provide the models pre-supported, but I will try to explain why that is not a good idea and demystify the process….
When you are 3Dprinting in resin, the model is printed upside down. The build platform dips into a vat of UV light sensitive resin, and the layers are exposed from underneath.
So the trick with supports is to keep them small enough that they are easy to remove (usually with tweezers), but strong enough that they don’t break during the lifting process between layers.
If the supports don’t hold, you may find the build plate with only supports, while your miniature is just a silhouette at the bottom of the vat of resin!
The first thing that you may think is that the supports are too thin, and that you should use medium or heavy supports, but that is not the problem…
The reason that the support failed is the exposure setting!
The default exposure for this printer is 8 seconds/layer. But on the bottom layers on the build plate it is much higher–that is why the support raft is successfully printed, while the model was dropped. The resin was not cured enough to pull the next layer off of the FEP film (at the bottom of the vat).
Not all printers and not all resins have the same exposure settings. In this case I was using Anycubic Grey resin with a SparkmakerFHD. The default settings for exposure are calibrated to the resins that are formulated for it.
I found a table online for Anycubic resins with the proper exposure settings, and changed that setting in the Chitubox slicer.
In this example, the supports are the same. But the successful print on the right had two more seconds of exposure per layer. That made the supports strong enough to hold on to the model.
Editing “Auto Supports”
Adding supports is as easy as one-click! But after Chitubox generates supports, you need to look at the result to see if you like it. There could be areas that still require support or there may be supports that are not needed.
Though I have set this to Light Supports, I have modified the diameter of the supports to be even smaller… The default diameter is .8mm with .3mm contacts. This is still too heavy for 28mm miniatures, so I have been experimenting with .6 (or .5) diameter with .2 contacts!
There are some heavy pillars running between the arms in this example. for some reason, there is no taper, and they are going to be difficult to remove without damaging the miniature… So, I have selected the removesupport button and selected them–clicking the button again removes them.
After deleting the supports that I didn’t like, I used the Add button to create some new ones. If you only click the same spot, it will give you the same result as Auto… Instead, Add the new support to an existing support pillar–then use Edit support to drag it to a new spot, adjust the height, and drag the tip to a new target!
With this delicate balance between resins, support diameters and exposure settings, calibrating your printer requires a few experiments to get it “just right”. But once you have figured it out, supporting a model is very simple.
Here is an example of a miniature printed at different scales. One size is for tabletop play, and the other is for display. If the model were pre-supported, the supports would be much thicker and heavier when scaled up! In my opinion, it is better to scale the model and support it in your slicer. It also gives you the freedom to print with FDM or SLA style printers.
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.
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
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!