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3D printed fantasy armies question

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:33 pm
by Gungnir
A question for the hive mind.

Actually I want know what would be a wise thing to do – I know this is an odd place to ask anything about wisdom, but I know I can depend on at least some honest answers here.

I’m officially retiring in June. As a retirement project, I want to take up 3D printing. We’re talking about late this year, got another big project first.

During the last few months, I have designed a few thousand 3D-printable figures, for both Fantasy gaming and for large scale model railroading. I’m showing a few elf figures – a regular, a female regular or militia, and a member of a guard unit.
I plan to do them in the current scales from 20 – 32mm, would have to do a test run to see if smaller is feasible, doubt it though, even with the high resolution of the latest printers.

I’m planning several armies, at first only infantry, later also cavalry and artillery. Dragons as well as various monsters are also available already.

Right now I’m thinking of the following armies: amazons in three different outfits (shirt/skirt/sandals, skirt sandals or just sandals) plus elite troops, humans: regular troops, guard units, and both male and female militia, elf regulars, female troops, elite troops, dwarf males and females.

As an example, here are some designs for an elf regular, an elf female and an elf guard:




In principle, I’m building packs of say 6 troops, all with similar style weapons (long: spears etc., short: sword, mace etc. and archers) in one set of poses per set: on the march/advancing, spy/reconnaissance teams, charge, combat, fleeing/surrender, casualties, as well as relaxed camp poses. All figures would be available individually as well, at a lightly higher price. There will be command figures as well – separate officers and an overall commander in suitable poses, as well as sitting GHQ war council figures.

On the opposite side(s), I’ve made a first start working on orcs (regular and armored), lizardmen and -women, as well as a few other ones.

My main question for you lot is this:

I plan to issue a new set every week or so – I am only a one man band after all, and this will be only one of several I’ll be testing.

What would you prefer to see:

a) present first as many different races/types as possible, then add to those to slowly build up all armies
b) issue first a large variety of sets for one army, don’t move on till the next till it’s a playable army, with alternate units added in future.
c) Any other option

Sorry, can’t say anything about prices yet, that mainly depends on printer speed. For those who know a bit about 3D printing: considering what’s on the market now I’m planning on buying a Creality CR-10, both for the 50micrometer resolution and the huge print volume, which might come in handy for my G-scale railroad.

The figures shown were designed in Desktophero, with just some of the hundreds of new poses I added to the meager selection the program comes with.

So, opinions? General remarks? Suggestions? I already know I’m bonkers, no need to repeat that, it’s already well documented.

Re: 3D printed fantasy armies question

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:31 am
by bangorstu
I guess it would depend if you were aiming at the mass fantasy army market or the role-playing one.

As someone who is in a D&D campaign, I'd like variety and a whole bunch of races - I know my GM is especially finding it hard to source kobolds...

Others will want the ability to filed units of 20 spearmen cheaply!

But looks an interesting venture, will follow it with interest.

Re: 3D printed fantasy armies question

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:03 am
by Gungnir
I'm thinking mainly of massed armies, since that's my own main interesest in Fantasy, but as said, all figures plus probably some alternatives will also be available separately.

Re: 3D printed fantasy armies question

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:27 pm
by black hat miniatures

It is an interesting idea but I really don't think that FDM printers are suitable for mass production of figures from what I have seen and experienced.

I have a fairly expensive Cubicon Style which produces good quality prints but it still isn't anywhere good enough to produce figures. The terrain pieces I have printed are good but I ended up moving all the running gear for my 54mm armoured train to metal production because it takes too long to print them.

The CR10 looks good and I have looked at it as an additional printer to print larger terrain pieces on and would buy one if I had anywhere to put it, but I still can't see myself producing figures through FDM printing any time soon.