Saturday 21 January 2023

Jessie's Prints - Episode 24 - I like Big Girls, I Cannot Lie

This week I are mostly been printing big women.

My foray into large scale 3D printed models continues in the early weeks of 2023 as I have printed off a series of large scale ladies.

Becca - Cyberpunk Edgerunners (Cults 3D

The standout character from last year's Netflix Original Anime Cyberpunk Edgerunners was of course Rebecca.  A cute little anime girl with a foul mouth and a fouler temper, Becca is the eptomy of the live fast die young aesthetic of cyberpunk.

Becca Cyberpunk Edgerunners Netflix 3D Print

There are a few Becca STLs out there some good, some bad but this is the only one I could find which was free.  That's why the pose is so weird but then so is Becca.

Harley Quinn (Fotis Mint via Printables)

When I heard that Fotis had put all of his sculpts onto Printables I jumped at the chance to print one out and chose Harley Quinn.

She is the spitting image of Margot Robbie and printed pretty well as a single figure with the exception of the back of her head which is nore an issue with my attempt at supports than the model itself.  The base printed seperately and I don't know what happened with scaling but it is a bit of a chonker.  This is going to be a real challenge for me to paint as I'm not very good with actual faces.

Harley Quinn Margot Robbie 3D Print Fotis Mint

Ylenia Bloodthorne (Capritor Miniatures)

My clubmate Dan backed this Capritor Kickstarter and sent me the files to download and print for him.  This is my first foray into 78mm multipart minis and she came out okay.  I had little instruction in terms of sticking her together (hence the weird arm position) and she is so fragile that if you breathe on her she will snap.

This is part of the issue with resin printers and more specifically the resin you print with.  Sometimes a mini will just be too spindly to survive and Ylenia is in that category.  But I guess what can you exect for something so highly detailed and anatomically correct.

Ylenia Bloodthorn Capritor Miniatures Kickstarter

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Is the OGL Debacle D&D Red Pill Moment?

I didn't get too excited when I heard about the release of One D&D, I'm not really a D&D player having moved over to the OSR years ago.

However, the handful of times I played 5th Edition, I found it was increasingly difficult to play without having a DnD Beyond account.  The shift to digital sessions and VTTs during lockdown was a gift from the Gods for WotC.  A whole new breed of player was introduced to TTRPGs without the Tabletop and this online thing just felt right to them.

Now that lockdowns have been lifted, IRL play has returned but for a growing segment of DnD players they have stayed online safe within the technology bubble and IP that WotC owns.  The revelation that they intend to milk this captive audience for every red cent they can should come as no surprise.

As Gary Gygax famously said,

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules."

Subscribing to a system with little option for homebrew and games being run by ChatGPT style bot DMs very much sounds like the plot of The Matrix.

My fervent hope is that, like Neo, this new breed of player throws off its bonds of slavery takes the red pill and finds out that other TTRPGs offer a much more interesting, diverse, challenging and satisfying experience.  

One D&D Blue Pill Red Pill The Matrix

Sunday 1 January 2023

Jessie's Prints - Episode - 23 - OMG Akira is 40!

Today I learned that the classic Anime Akira is 40 years old.

Thanks to Katsuhiro Otomo for bringing this groundbreaking work to life and making such an impression on me as a teenager. 

Fortuitously this coincided with the completion of my 3D Printed Kaneda Bike model which I began back in July not long after I got my resin printer..

Akira Kaneda Bike 3D Model - Poster

Akira Kaneda Bike 3D Model

Where can I download a 3D Akira Bike Model?

Well handily you can download this model from Thingiverse

Life is a Journey not a Destination

This is a big model meauring 9 inches long and 3.5 inches tall and Kaneda is 4.5 inches tall, so too big for my Photon Mono 4K.  I had to slice each half of the bike using Meshmixer and in hindsight I should have hollowed it out because it used up a huge amount of resin.  

Akira Kaneda Bike in progress

The sheer weight of the parts of the bike (480g) or the way I positioned it on the bed created some defects with tearing of the seat on the left side and the right rear tear drop and seat being mishappen.

480g of Resin Akira Bike

It was a major job to get it all aligned and fitting nicely and if I had my time again I would probably scale this model down a touch.  I followed the glue-up with some milliput to gap fill and a lot of sanding.  I decided to reslice the control panel as the misalignment of the join between the parts was just too much for me to bear and I'm glad I did.

Kaneda came out great on the first try but I had to reprint his right hand after the fingers broke off during painting.  Kaneda is a bit low poly compared to the bike and I guess that few people bother to print the figure as a result.  Rescaling may also fix this issue to some degree but I would definitely try to learn how to smooth out those facets in blender or meshmixer.

The Future is Clear

The next challenge was to make the canopy without the use of a vacuum former.  I printed out the supplied canopy and then filled the inside with milliput.  With a screw driven into the milliput I created a sort of buck (red) which I could hold with a pair of molegrips.  I then clamped a piece of acetate (green) in my workbench and heated it up with a hot air gun (Thank you middle aisle at Aldi).  

Sketchy Heatforming Canopy of Akira Bike

When the acetate was sufficiently hot and drooping I plunged the buck into the acetate.  Overly dramatic? Perhaps, but this is seat of your pants modelling and, despite it being a completely sketchy process, it worked amazingly and I got a stunning result on only the second try.

It Ain't a Picasso

Painting was surprisingly pain free with the bulk of the work done with automotive rattle cans and plenty of masking tape.  Touch ups were done by spraying the paint onto a card and then brushing onto the model.  Surprising effective thanks to the self levelling nature of rattle can gloss paint.

Panel gaps were lined in dilute black acrylic and the detail work on the dashboard buttons and screens completed in short order.

Akira Bike Dashboard

Stickers or Decals?

IMHO an Akira bike without decals looks wrong so I scoured the internet to find decent images, harder than you might think, purchased some white decal paper.  You won't believe the hours I spent deciding if I would go with the poster version solo pill logo or the "Good for Health Bad for Education" roundel version for Kaneda's back patch.  I borrowed a laser printer (thanks Paul) and printed up a sheet.

What a nightmare!!! The laser copier couldn't cope with the decal paper and it made a right mess.  I briefly contemplated printing out a set on sticker paper, my rational being that in-universe these are actually stickers applied by Kaneda himself.  I persevered and managed to cobble together a set I was reasonable happy with.

The process of application was also troublesome with some of the toner coming off and the decals wrapping back on themselves.  If anyone has tips on making your own decals please pop a comment in the box below.  If you want to download the Akira Bike decals please feel free.

Download Akira Bike Decals

Final Touches

I scratchbuilt a headlight lens from plasticard and the indicators got a lick of paint.  Necessity is the mother of invention and, when it came to the mirrors, I turned to the foil inside a crisp (chip) bag.  Yes, trash went into the making of this model.

I'm pretty pleased with the end result especially given that this is the first really big model I've scratchbuilt.  There are some things I would do differently like creating two decals for the dashboard.  There are somethings I might go back and fix like adding some neon piping around the tyres.  It's never ending really, but for now (at least) I have stuck a fork in this project, I'm done.

With all modelling it's less about the finished article and more about what you learned and how you stretched yourself along the journey.  Please feel free to share links to your own modelling stories in the comments below.