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Saturday, January 20, 2018

3D Printed MWO Commando COM-2D

For Christmas, my family did something amazing -- they bought me a 3D Home Printer!

It is a PLA printer, which melts plastic and 'paints' the model from the bottom up in paper-thin layers. I'm still getting the hang of using it, but I found out a few neat things on the internet:

1st: The people who make Mechwarrior Online gave permission on the forums for people to 3D print their Battlemech models.

2nd: there is a stickied post by the Admins on the official Battletech board game site, in the Miniatures sections, which says that it is okay to print out your own figures -- as long as you are not sharing them, selling them, or otherwise profiting from them. We have permission to post photos on our own personal blogs, etc, but we do NOT have permission to share and promote imagery of them on the official Battletech board game forums.

So, I will not be sharing any of this with the broader Battletech community on their forums, because people are only to share one-off original sculptures or Iron Wind Metals photos on that site.

However, I am allowed to share what I'm doing here on my personal blog with you readers, and I am allowed to make models for my own personal use.

The Mechwarrior Online models are optimised for displaying inside a computer game. That means many shapes in the models are un-printable unless modified in a 3D modelling program such as Blender, so I am having to do all sorts of edits on these models before I get a working print-out.

I printed the Commando five or six times before I finally ironed out the parts that were causing print errors. Now I have a set of files where I can simply load up the base Commando without any equipment, then 'import' whatever equipment I want to put on it, then export and print out the resulting model.

My first working test is this Commando COM-2D in the photo below. I was able to equip it with its SRM-4, SRM-6 and Medium Laser, but I can re-equip the computer model and print out any variation!

I am printing them out to Life Scale at 1:285 scale (6mm scale). It's amazing how out of scale many of the official figures are, so I'm enjoying printing these figures out to scale with model scenery.

I am working out 'life size' measurements through a range of sources. My favourite source is the original MechCommander computer game manual, which lists a bunch of mechs with actual meter measurements. So, the Commando is 11 meters tall. I was then able to convert that to 1:285 wargaming scale, to get a perfectly sized miniature.

Next up I'm trying to edit the Awesome computer model to get a successful print out of it. It's HUGE when printed out at correct scale! I'm printing it out as I type this, and it's taking hours and hours, so hopefully it will work out -- I've already had 4 goes at printing out the Awesome, each time it stuffed up and I had to edit the model and printer settings. Luckily, once I work out what doesn't work, I can avoid that mistake in the future.

Click on the photo to see a bigger image of my edited COM-2D from Mechwarrior Online.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Battletech Awesome on the Coast

Playing around with some of my holiday photos: insert a miniature (an 80 ton Awesome) into the scene, paint on some dropships taking of...

As always, click for larger view.


pastel sketch Battletech Hornet

One of my hobbies is sketching with pastel pencils. I thought I'd do a quick sketch of a miniature for fun, and picked the tiny Hornet, and added some surroundings.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blue Team mechs so far

I've painted up a hunchback, whitworth, Valkyrie (new sculpt version) and an old Ral Partha battlemaster (original design from over 20 years ago), to add to my blue team.

As always, click for bigger view.




Wednesday, October 25, 2017

3D Hexes mostly all painted up and turned into a map!

As always, click on photos for a bigger view.

Here's what my first goal has been: converting Battleforce 2 map sheet plus half of 'river running through forests and hills' map sheet that I can't remember the official name of.


And here it is in 3D - but with only 1/3rd of the trees (because I ran out of trees, and also, because my trees are the wrong gaming scale!)


I've got a HUGE amount of 6mm gaming scaled trees coming, so I should be able to do all the forest tiles up properly once they arrive. And the trees will be smaller instead of being 8 to 10 or more storeys high!

Here's some close ups





Tuesday, October 24, 2017

finished painting, glueing, flocking ground level of hexes

Took most of the day, but I've got the ground layer of hexes all done now. It's great being able to stand back and see the flocked grid worked out! It's like having a free-form miniatures terrain board on the table, but with the grid it should be great for all kinds of games. I'll probably get some of the old grid-based WoC Star Wars skirmishes happening on there at some stage too (but mostly it will be for Battletech related stuff).

Now I've just got to do all the 3D hex pieces for the hills and height levels, etc.


Monday, October 23, 2017

got another heroscape box!

Thanks to my family for getting another heroscape box for me as a present :)

Now my maps are an extra 50% longer on the table, taking up most of my table now, and I can make some cliffs and things now with all the extra 3D hexes!

I still have to paint and flock things, so at the moment the raw heroscape plastic is still showing through in some places.

I've place some of the Battlemechs and vehicles on there to give a sense of scale. It feels really 3D now compared to before!

As always, click on the pictures to see it better.