Dinogas Is Open


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!

3D Printer gaming miniatures ttcombat

Itty Bitty Motorbikecycles


I seem to be at the cusp of starting things that are going to take longer than a week (or two) of my free time. I mentioned that next I would work on finishing motorcycles or starting one of the 1:48 models I'd picked up. I indeed finished the motorcycles, but they're nothing special. Instead of starting a model, I got lost searching various paint/camo schemes and wondering just how do I properly paint a model - gluing everything, masking parts, and painting was how I used to do it, but I think my skill set has risen to something more difficult. I'm not sure what that is yet.

I fired up the 3D printer for the first time in a month and printed some stuff. Most of it was disposable, just to see if some scaling would work (the answer: sometimes). At some point the extruder became clogged, and the simple fix of setting the temp really high did not work. This isn't something I wanted to muck with on a Sunday afternoon, so I'm leaving it clogged until I can talk to the Printer Cabal and gain insight on their learned ways of declogging that bastard.

The last thing I did over the weekend was start the TTCombat Gas Station I've had for a while. I thought I had gotten the deluxe (bigger) version, but I instead got only the basic. While not a big deal, the Dinogas sign & lettering are burned into the MDF so I'm not going the customized route I was planning. I'd talked to Bob (who may be reading this on his phone) about gas station color schemes and most that I know lend themselves to some green, which I want to avoid this time since all the other buildings I've made have way too much green. The Gulf station orange and blue was a good alternate, but orange and blue dinosaur doesn't really work.

A purple and orange dinosaur though....

Since no new minis were bought, progress on the overall list!

3D Printer gaming miniatures reaper chronoscape ttcombat

Moon Light and Open For Business


Once I saw Christian's Moon Light, I wanted a moon light. I saw that Amazon had 16-color moon lights. The lone review on that light stated it was problematic. With only 1 bad review I decided to take a chance and ordered one. It arrived, I charged it up... and the damn thing didn't work. There was another Amazon option that caught my eye - a newer model/print, and larger. So I ordered that one, as I needed a box to ship my return of the non-working light back in. It makes sense to me! The newer, bigger light arrived and it worked like a charm.

I'm not as good a low-light photographer as Christian, but it was fun playing with the different colors.

With the mini mart and coffee shop complete, it was time to add them to the cityscape of the zombie apocalypse (or whatever else might come along down the road). My regular, modular map tiles are 7.5" square(ish). The mini mart had a 6.5" square footprint, which would allow for a 1" leeway for space, maybe a sidewalk around the building. The coffee shop was 8" x 6", so it would overflow a little.

And that overflow option bothered me. I wanted a parking lot for these shops. I'd made some parking lot tiles for the map before, but they didn't really work. The spacing was all off. I opted to try to layout something using some multiple(s) of 7.5" that I could keep together instead of cutting into sections, and it would still work with the pieces I'd been using. After some fiddling, I settled on a 22.5" x 15" layout - it would fit on foam board that I already had, and it would give me enough room for the 2 buildings and a little parking. Even though I made everything in Paint Shop Pro using a 22.5" x 15" image, I split it into 7.5" squares for printing. Gotta love letter size paper. Everything printed out fine.

Learning my lesson from the Gaslands track where the glue I was using made the board bow, I taped the 6 pieces of printed map together to line everything up. From there, a light spray of (Locktite) adhesive on some foam board and it was stuck good enough for me, which is good enough for someone who's had glue problems lately.

And then, I had to play around with actually setting things up. New buildings! Moon light! I even remembered I had a star field for X-Wing that I could use as a backdrop!

I look forward to using more of Christian's ideas. Between the Walking Dead Lucille threat tracker and moon light, I've got to make sure he doesn't start charging me royalty fees.

gaming miniatures hobbies moon light ttcombat walking dead

Mini Mart and Coffee Shop


It's been almost 2 months since I first mentioned working on the TTCombat buildings. Beleive it or not it hasn't taken that long, I just keep going back and tweaking things.

The TTCombat buildings are more of a budget line of MDF building. That's not a bad thing. While I really like the 4Ground buildings, they can get a little pricey. Nice, but pricey. TTCombat would give me a chance to exercise my skills at nicing up some buildings. The first 2 commercial buildings in what constitutes my zombie apocalypse thus far.

At some point I'm going to have to explain the setting for my scenery and how it's not just for The Walking Dead.

The first building I worked on was the Convenience Store, well really a Mini Mart. I was shooting for a 7-11 color scheme thanks to a batch of spray paint that I picked up when Hobby Town USA was closing up. Honestly, how often am I going to get to use orange? I primed the interior and exterior white, masked off the middle and added some accent stripes of red and orange. It turned out pretty good. I then got cocky and tried putting a red strip along the top of the interior. Either I didn't mask it properly, or the paint just decided to bleed. It did not turn out well. I decided to go work on the second building while mulling over how to turn a messy red line into a happy mistake.

For the Coffee Shop I wanted to go with the overplayed Starbucks color scheme. The problem I would have to avoid is using too similar a green that I used on the Mini Mart roof. I thought I was going with a lighter green with the can of something Dodge Charger Green something something. I was going with a brighter green. Way brighter. but at least it wasn't the same! I stayed away from masking frenzy on the coffee shop. I started having fun adding printed out what not to the walls - a menu, random coffee propaganda. The kit came with a counter, table, and chairs, and it fleshed out the interior really well.

I returned to the Mini Mart after the coffee shop was done, and there may have been a sale at Hobby Lobby. To cover up the bleeding red line, I picked up some clearance duct tape that was lacking most duct qualities. It didn't stick very well. It was a decorative dark red. It was thin. No wonder it was on clearance. But it suited my needs as a replacement stripe to go along the top of the wall. I'd also been 3D printing shelves to go along the walls. I tweaked the settings of the shelves - I'd learned when getting furniture printed for the houses that the default "real" volume makes everything take up too much room. The first thing I did was change the shelves from 15mm depth to 6mm. Yes, that's tiny, but I wanted something with just a little relief on the walls - honestly I'd been thinking of just printing a picture of shelves to glue to the walls until I thought it'd be cool to use that printer I've got! The best part is... it worked! It took a while, as I printed out 15 shelving units that took anywhere from 2 hrs to 8 hrs (I was learning how to tweak things!) to print. Once they were primed, I figured grey was a good shelf color, and the random products painted I used the sticky tac to hold it all against walls or floor, where appropriate. I've got plenty of sticky tac as that's what I use to mount minis on blocks to hold when I go to paint them, yet most people use it to hold up posters. After the walls were lined with shelves, I decorated the otuside with some random sales propaganda. The Mini Mart turned out a lot better than it was looking when the coffee shop started.

I really need to work on some proper map tiles for these 2 stores. Parking with an entrance, and how to deal with the footprint of the buildings. I've been meaning to work on this for a while, but I keep putting it off.

3D Printer gaming miniatures hobbies ttcombat

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