Sunday, 20 September 2020

Tower Aeternus - 3D Printed

When I first started 3D printing I looked around at what was available to print. There's quite a lot out there and a lot of it is free. However some of the better bits are paid for items and I was drawn to the collection of models on Printable Scenery. I've been slowly building items from their OpenLock collection, including the tower I completed a couple of months ago, which is the start of a much larger castle project.  However there's a lot on the site that is not OpenLock.

Having quite an extensive Mantic Elf army I was drawn to their Elven terrain collection and decided that I had to print at least one of the items from that. Thinking this may be the only item I'd print from that I decided I might as well go big and choose the largest building, the Tower Aeturnus

I bought the STL files for this back in late June and have been printing it since then. It's a big model with a lot of detail and I've had a lot of stress getting it finished. I had initial success and then for a while my printer was failing to print any of it. This was due to me installing a very poor steel nozzle, which I replaced in mid august and since then I've been able to print things properly again. I managed to finish printing the model a couple of weeks ago.

I've just finished it off and now it's time for a few photos!

My Mantic Elf Army loves it's new tower.

The Elf Prince can now see the enemy from afar.

In Middle Earth, Galadriel and Celeborn also see the advantages of the tower.

There's a fair bit of internal detail visible from the outside.

The tower breaks into 4 pieces to allow
 access inside and easier transportation.

The tower really is huge and dwarfs all my giants
even the huge (unpainted) Mantic Giant.

Looking at how well this has come out I may have to do something else from the range... though at some point I have to print some of their historic ships!

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Man O'War Norse

It's been a while since I painted any Man O'War models, but I decided it was about time I got some of the ones I've had primed finished off.

The first of these are the Norse. 

Monday, 10 August 2020

Liber Militum Tercios - Defenders of the Realm

My blog posts are like buses. There's none for ages and then two turn up at once.

The second post today is about the 6mm English Civil War game we just finished this afternoon. It was the 3rd scenario in the Liber Militum Tercios : Kingdoms expansion book and was the reason I had to get that Walled Town Set painted up. 

In addition the town was a bit too big to play on my usual board so I had to get the new cloth painted up for a larger battlefield. It's intended for use with the larger Blücher scenarios as well and is about 8ft x 8ft in total size. Though we used 6ft x 4ft of it. Hills were placed under the cloth and I was pleased to see they produced no creases at all.

The scenario is based around an assault on a stronghold. A fort is suggested, but I couldn't find a nice 6mm star fort that I liked to 3D print, so I went for using the walled town as the stronghold.

The attacker gains points for damaging the stronghold and the defender gains points for destroying attacking units. The clever sliding scale of game length and victory points that is one of the best features of the rules comes into play to make the scenario work really well.

The defender can put 4 units in front of the stronghold to act as a shield, the rest is in a reserve towards the back of the table. The attacker gets their whole force up front.

I was the defender as Royalists and Brendan the attacker as Parliament.

Royalists to the left, Parliament to the right.

Brendan advanced all the way across the front. Because the Stronghold actually blocks movement and line of sight I had to send my troops around the sides

The troops in the centre stopped at the hedges and commenced firing at the defending troops shielding the town. The flanking troops were headed off by my reserve forces on both sides and combat was joined.

Eventually I pushed back the cavalry on my right flank repelled the infantry on my left, but the shield was very thin and Brendan's artillery managed to get a few plum shots on the town.

I rushed the flanking forces around the front. The New Model Army troops stayed behind the hedge and I was able to shield the town. Brendan was trying to bombard the town with artillery rather than assault it with infantry.

In the end it was a very close "Pyrrhic Victory" to me as in the last turn I destroyed several of Brendan's units and he failed to hit the town.

Another really good scenario and quite a unique one with a siege-feel to it. Very well designed indeed.

Total Battle Miniatures - Walled Town Set

I've been quiet recently. I have been busy though. Mostly I've been painting 6mm English Civil war and playing Tercios as previously. I've also been busy 3d printing, though I've not got many models to show for it.

Anyway, yesterday I finally finished something worth blogging about. It's the Total Battle Miniatures "Walled Town Set" from their 6mm Pike and Shotte Big Battalions range. 

The main base is actually a big resin cast unlike their other bases which are made of rubber. I've mounted it on a sheet of 2mm MDF to blend in with the battlefield better.

This will be the centrepiece of our Liber Militum Tercios game this afternoon.

This takes the same 30mm based buildings I've already got for use with Napoleonics, so changing a few over makes it usable for nineteenth century Europe as well. I'm thinking it will work nicely for some of the larger towns for the 1813 campaign I have planned for Blücher.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

3D Printed Additions to My 28mm Medeival City

Though not the reason for getting the printer it was inevitable that I'd make some additions to my medieval city with it. There are so many free and paid-for designs available.

Right back when I first looked at getting extensions to the Dungeon I had considered 3d printing as an option, but discounted it because the Hirst Arts option was so much cheaper, easier and faster. This is true even now and unless I'd already got the printer I'd not be doing this.

So anyway, I have chosen to print up a couple of test pieces. The first is the free design from the City of Tarok Kickstarter by Black Scrolls Games. This stood out to me because it seemed well designed and looked pretty... plus was free. I had to split the model up because the build-plate on my printer is just slightly too small for it. This I first tried in Blender, but really struggled. In the end I used Meshmixer and that was a lot easier.

It's a great model with slots for window glass and movable door. Although it does have internal detail for some reason the chimney does not have a fireplace! It has painted up nicely and should fit in well with my other buildings

However because of this lacking of internal detail that also seems to happen with some other ranges and the issue with having to split the model up I doubt I'll be making more of this range.

The other thing I've been looking for was a castle set. For this I decided to give the Rampage Castle set from Printable Scenery a go. This is a modular set. You print out individual sections and fasten them together with some special clips. The system is called OpenLock and the basic structures are Open Source so anyone can make stuff to work with it and put their designs online. As a result there are a lot of options available.

I have started with their basic tower, the parts should be able to be used in other designs. You have to purchase sets of files to make the pieces and this is quite expensive to start with, but I've become quite addicted to making these. I expect that I'll be making a lot of this over time. Each piece is small and has a short print time making them ideal for sneaking in whilst I'm in the house rather than the 11 hours plus print times of some other buildings!

Again there are moving hatches and doors in the designs. I've painted the tower up to match my Hirst Arts stuff and I think it looks good.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

6mm English Civil War Village or Farm

When I got my 3d printer a couple of weeks ago I looked around for some buildings to use with my 6mm ECW games. As you can see in earlier blogs I've used some with my existing village bases, but I've been inspired to do something better.

With Liber Militum Tercios a unit effectively completely occupies buildings, or in my case the entire village. With that in mind I decided I wanted something specifically sized to take one of my units.

I'm really pleased with how this has come out. It's really given me chance to make a little diorama. I think I'll have to do a few more like this.

One of the buildings, that garden and the cart can be removed to allow a unit to occupy the farm.

The farm was built from the Eskice Miniatures buildings with quite a bit of modification in Tinkercad.

Monday, 29 June 2020

A couple more games of Liber Militum Tercios

We played the games, I took the photos, but I never got around to posting the battle reports of the last two games. Sorry! Anyway here's a quick run-down, with what I remember.

The fourth game was, predictably, the fourth scenario in the book, "Question of Honour". This was quite similar to the third game in style being played short-end to short-end, but had symmetric objectives. Each side had a vanguard and a rear guard. I'd added a few extra Pike and Shot units into the forces for this one.

Deployment: Royalist on the left, Parliament on the right.

The plan was that at the top of the table the cavalry would clash and the lower half of the table the infantry would fight.

However once the cavalry got close together the Royalist cavalry actually changed direction and headed towards the centre of the table where the Parliament infantry were starting to cause some real damage. This left the the Parliament cavalry a bit at a loss as their target had vanished.

Royalist cavalry arrive in the centre where the infantry is struggling.

Parliament cavalry chase after them.

However the Royalist cavalry does not really make the difference in the centre and a lot of units are destroyed in the melee. Troops are spotted around the battlefield, it's very bloody. But in the end the Parliament troops are victorious, but not my much. Only a "Fair" Victory for them, but their first one nonetheless.

At the end the armies are both in disarray.

Plenty of casualties on both sides. Royalist left, Parliament right.

The fifth game was, again predictably, the fifth scenario, "Capture the Hills". In this one there are between one and three hills in the middle of the table (we rolled for one) and the deployment is on the diagonal. Victory goes to the forces with control of the hills, with some interesting ways of calculating the victory points for that. I'd added some mounted arquebusiers to Parliament, a musketeers unit to the Royalist forces and more artillery for both.

Parliament got to choose sides and used that choice well to choose the far superior side. I was stuck with my Royalists with loads of terrain bottle-necking my troops and blocking my artillery fire.

I didn't realise until the game started that the rocks in front of my artillery in the foreground blocked line of sight.
Of course I couldn't move them as limbers have not arrived from Heroics and Ros yet!

A narrow gap between the town and rocks.
The Parliament forces had loads of walls to hide behind.
On the left flank our cavalry forces clashed, but his was larger than mine and soon he had my cavalry on the run. But that didn't matter, at least I'd diverted his cavalry from the hill, that was the only objective.

Cavalry clashes. Some of my infantry marches through the wood.
I marched quickly up the hill to gain the advantage. The Parliament infantry stood behind the walls and shot at me. I had to cycle units to the front, have the front ones fall back to recover and repeat. My infantry was taking heavy damage but holding.

I have plenty of units on the hill.
Brendan timed his attack on the hill with perfection. With a roar, the Parliament troops climbed over their walls and up the hills. They were fresh, but my troops were heavily damaged. Units started to rout but still I held on, not allowing him onto the hill.

Eventually though the Parliament forces were too much and the hill falls. Though again only a "Fair" victory to the Parliament forces. They'd taken hardly any losses. The Royalists on the other hand had taken a hammering, but today it was that hill that mattered, not the blood of Englishmen.

As we play more and more the rules get more fluid and we enjoy it even more. The next scenario is the last in the main book, but there are another six in the expansion, and of course they all have good replay value.