Over the past month I've been working on the furniture included with the 4Ground mall. There's furniture for a coffee shop, gun store, pharmacy, clothing store, sporting goods store, and a hardware store. All of this furniture is on thick, laser cut cardboard.
I don't like it.
It's finicky, and the pieces don't quite fit together like I want. Things don't seem straight enough. Or flush enough. I'm not sure which. After a month, I've got most of the coffee shop and gun store furniture together. There's also some generic shelves that (can) go in all 6 stores. There's some other shelves that may go inthe clothing store, I'm not sure.
One of my nit-picks is the pieces aren't grouped per store, but in a way to maximize used space when the laser cuts. That's fine, I understand the economics in that. My nit-pick is how pieces fall off/out over time as I shuffle pieces laser cut sheets around trying to find part AE4 when it's not with AE1-3, and all the miscellaneous parts that fall away from their identifiers that I'll have to try and match up later.
Waiting for glue to try between pieces on a 14 piece sales counter takes some waiting time, too.
While making seemingly random furniture, I've moved forward on my test for store signs. My goal was to have non-permanent signs so that I could switch out store names based on my whimsy of the moment. To work well, plus add to the cool factor, I decided to model and 3D print some kind of frame I could stick the store sign in. My first endeavor into printable 3d modelling! In preparation, I'd picked up a few modelling lessons on Udemy during a good sale and had worked my way through about half of them when I had an idea of what to put together in Fusion360. It took a handful of false starts, but I finally had a 2-piece model that should work for what I needed. I then went about fiddling with the damn printer bed leveling off and on for 2 weeks. Interesting thing I learned about my 3d printer in the garage - don't print if it's under 60 degrees. Things don't turn out well. My glass bed is ever so slightly warped up in the middle. I'm not sure if heating the bed makes this better or worse over the time of a multi-hour print, or if it makes any difference at all. As it is, I try to keep most of the printable area as close to the middle as I can, and so far that's been working.
After I printed my sign frame, I went into Paint Shop Pro and made some testing signs for size and resolution. It seems that no matter what resolution I set my images (300DPI) or printer (600DPI) I always get pixelation. Maybe it's the graphics program from 2004? Anyway, I printed/cut/glued and saw that the sign looked about right on the store front.
This was a test sign, so it was ok to mess around with - I didn't bother cleaning up the edges, as part of the test was "will just using chrome spray paint without priming work?" (yes!) One of the things I wanted to try out was to use Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to give the feeling of a glass insert on the sign. This stuff was mentioned in a Facebook post for a gaming group where they were putting this on their cardboard tokens. It helped protect the top (images get scratched sometimes) plus gave some depth to the flat cardboard.
Turns out it worked pretty good. The Mod Podge makes for a decent glass substitute, plus it helps cover up some of the pixelation on the print. The other bonus I was hoping for is that it doesn't look as much like a piece of paper stuck behind some plastic.
Next will be properly trimming up the plastic - it was printed with a skirt to help with bed adhesion, but they don't snap off as clean as one would hope. Soon I'll have signs for all the stores.
And then they'll just need some freakin' furniture.
In the time of being socially distant while working from home and avoiding the plague, some more progress has been made on the 4Ground mall. The mall roof section is now done. The only hard part here was matching up the parts with the directions. There were 2 of everything, as there are 2 roof sections, and within each section there are parts that look awfully similar but are sized ever so differently.
I also managed a return to my resized map tiles. Nothing noteworthy to show graphics-wise, but my homemade vise for flattening out the tiles is working well. It's a couple of pieces of wood (shelf cut courtesy of Lord Ford) with some trigger clamps to bear down on everything. Between glue and humidity these things bow a lot, and this seems to help.
I also got the Anycubic Printer back to level and started cranking out interior clutter for mall stores - checkout stands, shelves, trash cans, etc. On Thursday I saw the spool of filament was getting low. I still had the unopened package of filament that came with the printer, but to be safe (in this age of socially distant plague) I went ahead and ordered a couple more spools as I've got a lot of printing planned.
With that said, there may now be a little printing break as I learn/figure out how to edit STL files in Fusion360. All the examples I've found so far are for earlier versions of Fusion with menu options that I don't have.
2020 is the year Jer and I play Gaslands. Attempt to play Gaslands. Play with Hot Wheels and say we're getting ready to play Gaslands.
This past week, I fired up the "new" 3D printer and printed bites and pieces for Hot Wheels cars. I haven't done anything with the printer beyond the standard set-it-up print after I first got it. I've been watching more and more people use resin printers, which gets me wondering how the old fashioned printer will fare on small, Hot Wheels sized, details.
After copious Gaslands searches on Thingiverse and Yeggi, I had plenty of bits. Armor, guns, some rally/checkpoints. For the better part of a week the printer printed. And then I messed things up. When scraping prints off the bed, the bed scoots. My natural grabbing point for a scooting bed is the front leveling knob(s). Eventually, I unleveled the bed enough that prints started messing up. Possible associated, the garage got colder and my print settings weren't warm enough so that the plastic was cooling too fast - so I got some printed strings of plastic.
Overall, I think all of the printing worked out. The details seems good enough to work. We'll see how I feel after some priming and painting. I'm also going to try an easier route of painting/weathering Hot Wheels which doesn't involve drilling out the rivets to take the cars apart after reading an article on just weathering the cars. Weathering attempt #1 I hereby proclaim a success!
For when the painting mood hits me, the final Foundry minis are primed. They're primed grey, which is not my normal priming color. It will be interesting to see how that works out.
Whatever I do next will be somewhat weather dependent. Alabama is about to have winter for the next week or so as it gets down to freezing. Basically, nothing involving the garage will get done. While printing is the most obvious hold off, gluing map tiles (which is always on my to-do list) will also be held off. Mall buildings have yet to be started, so they're an option. As is playing around with the graphics of whatever I'll put in those stores.
Thanks to a Miniature Market sale, I ordered some more DC/Batman minis with which there will be a (negative) update to the spreadsheet to start out the year. As I have a love for racing games, I also placed an order for Rallyman GT, but not the Kickstarter version, last week.
My last odd purchase of late has been for a lot of Classic GI Joe TPBs which I used to have, but think I gave them away at some point in the past decade or so when it looked like IDW was going to reprint them all in hardback books. The Joe comics were my childhood, and I've been meaning to re-read (and even read some for the first time) for while. I've grown disenfranchised with modern comic stories as I can't find anything I like where I fall in the target audience. Now I'll see if I can relate to when I used to be the target audience.
After mentioning the TTCombat gas station for the past couple of weeks (or maybe a month), the final product really doesn't live up to the hype.
Thanks to a suggestion from Bob, I was going to go with the Gulf Oil color scheme of Orange and Blue, but the signage on this version of the kit had Dinogas and the dinosaur burned into the wood instead of heavy cardboard (which could be easily switched out) that I was expected. For whatever reason, I thought of the Joker and his classic orange & purple motif, which was an easy jump to make the dinosaur purple, ala Barney!
I still need to work on masking when spray painting stripes. I still got a little bleed this time around. I was also using old, and I mean old, Citadel paints for the detail work on this kit. Most of the paint was just shy of dry in the pots. I was thinking the thickness of the paint would work well on the MDF - and once again I think I came away with mixed results.
The 3D printer was cranking out interior fillings for this building for the past couple of weeks, too. Thanks to a Kickstarter (which I'll link to the website when I can dig it back up) of modern furniture and building materials, there was a "Tire Shop" set which gave me enough stuff that would fit in my little gas station. I actually printed a lot more than I used. Once again, my little trick of using sticky tack to keep everything in place worked out. I Google-Imaged some random vintage signs to help fill out the walls. My favorite little inside joke was getting some Roxxon signs as a throwback to when I read Iron Man all the time, a good 20 years before the movies came out.
I don't really count buildings in the To Paint tally. They're on the list, just not the part I show. As such, this counts as progress in spirit!
The TTCombat gas station is taking longer to wrap up that I predicted. Once I got the 3D printer printing again, I got on a bit of a roll
printing things out. I'm not sure how much of the above will end up in or around the gas station, but it's sure not going to be an empty building!
After ~2 (maybe 3?) weeks of printing, at 100% infill just to give Daniel a coronary, the printer is now off and getting a little rest. Printed models
have had brims cut, errant plastic trimmed, and run through a thorough warm, soapy rinse to help get rid of cruff that will get in the way of the
next step, PRIMING!
The way the rest of the week is looking, said priming may not happen until Friday or Saturday.
Just because they look out of place, the 4 discs at the top of the picture are tank tops for Pringles cans, which will hopefully work as fuel tank/storage for the gas station.
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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