Thursday, February 02, 2023

Shop Notes: 2023-02-02 - Base Coat

I spent the last couple days thinking of a color scheme for my dragon, since, being mythical, there isn't a set color pattern granted by nature.  Annoying! 

 I've settled on something in a brown with red-ish highlights.  Not sure of the entire look, but that will do as a starting point.  Toward that end, this evening I air brushed a coat of brown - Vallejo's Dark Earth to be precise - all over the model.   

Tomorrow after work I hope to travel to the next town over, in which contains several hobby stores, in which I shall purchase some paints for the finer details.  For now, it's solid brown.  It is a beginning.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Shop Notes: 2023-01-31 - Base Painting

This evening I finished painting the base for my massive dragon model.   The base features a rocky archway and stairs to a summit, an idol, that I can't determine is supposed to be carved wood or stone, and a bunch of crystals growing around the edge.  I really don't like the crystals - they don't appear natural like that (mind you, neither do dragons, so I'm not really winning the logical argument here).  However I decided to make the best of then by painting them in blues, reds and purples, as they sometimes appear in geodes and precious stones in nature.

The paint job is a base of grey, with a series of washes and inks of umbers, siennas, and white and burnt ochre pigments.  Followed up with a linen white dry brushing to bring out the highlights.  I like the natural colours of that palette, and the pigments give the base a more realistic texture.   

I am letting the base dry overnight, then I will spray it with a matte clear coat.  I will follow that up with a high gloss clear coat on the crystals to give them a shiny effect.

After that I am moving on to paint the dragon itself.  However the Maple Leafs play the Bruins tomorrow night, so starting on the dragon may be delayed until Thursday.  Go Leafs!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Shop Notes: 2023-01-28 - Dragon Quest Priming

 Todays goal was to get the dragon model primed.  Normally I prime my figures using an air brush.  However, due to the size of this figure, using spray paint from a rattle can made more sense, both from an economical and a time saving perspective.  I use Krylon Paint + Primer satin black as my preferred paint for this sort of thing. 

Using a spray can requires taking the model outside to spray it, so I don't fill the house with paint fumes.  Fortunately the weather was conducive to that - thats not always the case during winter here in North Carolina.m.  High 50s, and dry.

It took me all afternoon to get the models painted  - spray part of it, literally wait for paint to dry, move it, spray another section, rinse-repeat.  I waited an hour between sprays, and an hour before bringing the model back inside.   I am now letting it sit overnight to ensure the paint+primer hardens properly.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Shop Notes: 2023-01-21 - Dragon Printing Complete

Today, after more than two weeks of solid effort,  I finally finished printing all the parts for the massive dragon model.  The process had several hiccups along the way, including having to acquire a new 3D printer, so it has been more of a hassle than I expected. 

It is good to have this stage of the project behind me. Tomorrow the assembly can begin!

Friday, January 20, 2023

Shop Notes: 2023-01-19 - Dragon Quest Printing Proceeding

Progress is being made on printing out all the parts for the giant dragon model I am currently working on 3D printing.    Right now the last piece of the wings is printing.  After that I have one body piece to re-print (it was printed on the old janky printer and has a big hole in the side), and one part of the base to print. 

Each of the remaining parts takes 10+ hours to print, but I can now see the end of the print phase of this project.

As an aside, I posted a video of a handy trick I had for making 3D printing easier.  That video can be found on my YouTube channel here:

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Shop Notes: 2023-01-17 - 4K vs 8K

 I was curious to see what, if any, the upgrade to an 8K 3D printer would bring. Given the build plate is almost the same size between the two printers (the 8K being less than an inch wider than the old 4K version), the 8K should  result in more detail in the printed model, at least in theory,  In practice whether more details reveal themselves in the print depend on whether the details exist in the 3D model, and whether the cured resin allows for more refined details.  The real world is fuzzy, so more pixels in the digital space does not necessarily translate to more details in meatspace.

Since I had the dragon head already printed in 4K, I printed off the same head in 8K, just to compare apples to apples.   This image is the result, with the 8K on the left (foreground), 4K on the right (background).

It is not quite as easy to see in the photo, but in real life the details on the 8K version are indeed more defined. There is a marked increase in definition on the skin texture, especially around the eyes and the snout.

So the 8K definitely provides me with more details in the final print.  This should translate into more details in the painted model, and in the final image made with this model.   Exciting!

I think the decision to spend the extra money to upgrade to the 8K printer was the right decision.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Shop Notes: 2023-01-16 - 3D Printing Back In Full Effect!

 Good news! My new 3D printer, the Elegoo Saturn 8K, has arrived.  I spent the afternoon setting it up and running it through a successful test print.

Everything looks good, so I have restarted the laborious process of printing all of the dragon bits. I am going to start by printing off the remaining parts, then going back and reprinting the parts that did not complete properly with the old broken printer.  Some of those old parts are fixable with putty or other means, so I may just fix them instead.  Leaving them to last gives me some time to mull it over.

I still have a week of prints left to do... better get at it!