Miniatures - tabletop/rpg/decorative

Discussion in 'Miniatures and Scale Models' started by dynath, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. I've been wanting to create tabletop miniatures for a long time, but keep putting it off.

    I've been following the Miniatures section of Shapeways (especially SciFi) for many years, and have come to admire original-universe designers such as coines23 and others (he's the one that comes most immediately to mind).

    In the late '80s and early '90s I was designing rudimentary Star Trek ships using the shape of guitar picks for the primary hulls long before anything other than a dish (or elongated dish) were used in Canon (or even FASA)(I like to say that I designed the Voyager before Paramount did. ;) ).

    I love the "used universe" feel of Original Trilogy and Rogue One Star Wars ships, vehicles, and structures.

    I have tons of ideas; I just need to refine and then model them (too many locked away in my mind).

    I'd like to work mostly in starship scales (such as 1/2500, 1/5000, etc.) and scales such as (approx.) 6mm (1/285), (approx.) 15mm (1/120), and (approx.) 25-28mm (1/72). I'll officially work in the fractional model scales, but they'll work with the approximate tabletop gaming scales.

    It's all speculation right now, but I'm inspired by the models that I see in Shapeways shops every day and I've just invested in a 43" UHD TV to be used for my PC's monitor (OMG, 3ds Max looks BEAUTIFUL on this little wasted modeling window real estate!). CorelDRAW doesn't like being that large, though, so I use a considerably smaller window for that.

    Promoting my shop (once it's populated with some models) will be an issue for me. I don't belong to many online communities, and the ones I do belong to I'm relatively unknown (if at all). I always cringe when I see a brand-new member come onto a forum and promote their wares out of nowhere, but that's exactly what I'll need to do. Thankfully, I would think it's a little easier having a trusted manufacturer like Shapeways handle the actual money, manufacturing, and shipping.

    I'm looking forward to getting involved here (instead of being just a lurker) and sharing my designs, as well as commenting on (complimenting) others' models.

    Okay, that was more of an introduction rather than just saying--"Hi, I plan on designing for the Tabletop Gaming Community."

    My bad.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
    Andrewsimonthomas and lockey25 like this.
  2. lockey25
    lockey25 Well-Known Member
    Hey guys I have been designing game miniatures for Dota 2. I have also started a series of original artwork and design called Bumblings. I hope you find my characters interesting. I am looking to add on to these with new and more interesting characters. Let me know what you think of these, appreciate it.

    Drawn_Steel_Hero likes this.
  3. TrueBlueDogemon
    TrueBlueDogemon New Member
    Remind me to make more miniatures on my shop. I'm kinda new to the miniatures business, just posted a new model on my shop a few minutes ago. Anyways, onto the scale of my model: It's barely over the minimum scale of 7.5mm. When I first uploaded it, I upscaled it by 1.5x because it was too small.

    Josh (aka The Epic Squeebo Guy)
  4. lockey25
    lockey25 Well-Known Member
    625x465_15709924_9116745_1473941257.jpg Collection of full colored sandstone dota2 miniatures on my shop. What else would you like to see?

    Check out my shop
  5. MelangeToys
    MelangeToys Active Member
    Just ordered my first miniature.

    002-170218-Beauty Base-06.png
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  6. AlleighBrown
    AlleighBrown Member
    I'm brand new to shapeways and am trying to get into designing my own miniatures for DnD :)
    Really interested to get started here :)
  7. CybranKNight
    CybranKNight Well-Known Member
    I actually did something rather similar for the Pathfinder game I'm in, I couldn't find a suitable standee so ended up coming up with something on my own! xD
    AlleighBrown likes this.
  8. AlleighBrown
    AlleighBrown Member
    Cool! I'm hoping once I get down how to make my own I can try to make some custom orders and fund my college a little bit too.

    Did you do your own 3d and design work or did you have to find someone else to do your 3d work for you?
  9. CybranKNight
    CybranKNight Well-Known Member
    I do my own designing, I'm not good with Organics though so I bought DesignDoll to create a base from and have been modeling the armor and stuff over that.
    AlleighBrown likes this.
  10. darkedgeunl
    darkedgeunl Member
    I've checked your page @ Cybranknight. Excellent designs!

    photo9.jpg photo8.jpg
    MelangeToys likes this.
  11. CybranKNight
    CybranKNight Well-Known Member
    Thanks, and same to you! Modular Designs always need a bit more thought put into them than we figure at first! xD
  12. darkedgeunl
    darkedgeunl Member
    It's definitely worked out well thus far. Local gamers love 'em. 19149104_264058630737550_5486388128848378981_n.jpg 19149039_264027830740630_9153312302034912780_n.jpg
  13. darkedgeunl
    darkedgeunl Member

    Excellent work ProjectMobius. I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing more of your designs!
  14. Rikk
    Rikk New Member
    I am try something
  15. Zandoria
    Zandoria Member
    WIP_11[2].png I've started making miniatures, mostly 54mm, but am going to make 28mm too. I was hoping to get into sculpting freelance with some of the miniature manufacturers, but I'm finding that they only want to pay $350-$400 for the master sculpt (even though they sell the cast miniatures for $25-$50)...

    This really surprises me that artists are working for essentially minimum wages, making big companies like Games Workshop and others rich...

    With Shapeways materials like BHDA an artist can offer his work directly to his fans, in a quality equal to a master print, without any of the loss of detail that will come from mass-manufacturing!
    The method is also superior to traditional casting, because you can create poses and undercuts that would be difficult or impossible to mold--and you can make the figures without having to cut them into pieces to mold (requiring assembly for the customer). You only print what is actually bought. There is no tooling cost. There is no inventory to keep, and your models are always "in stock".

    I believe that 3D printing empowers artists to create their own series of miniatures, without giving up the ownership of their work for slave wages.

    Here are a couple of examples of my work. There are more in my shop and at my website:

    These painted ones were painted by Shoshie Bauer for Shapeways, and are part of the collection that they are exhibiting this summer at trade shows.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017 at 12:16 PM
  16. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Ages ago the rule was 10 dollars per mm for hand made sculptures. Probably the rate is similar now, as with many other things there is little progress; everything moves to capital while labor is getting the short end.

    Also the 25-50 number includes third parties. The shop probably keeps a 30-50% of that. Maybe there is also a distributor/importer, keeping another %. The miniatures could come in a box with good foam and a color photo (if not a fully printed sleeve box), so painter, photographer & printing had to be paid too.

    Tell that to the companies that close down or are trying to sell their ranges. Or to GW and their recurrent issues with the big network of shops.

    Except having to clean up the print more than normal. Mass manufacturing with professional made casts requires less cleaning by customer, with a lot less connection points and no layers. Some of the methods have no effective loss, silicone can copy even the smallest surface bumps down to things appearing shiny or matte as in the original. Also, master prints are done at higher level too.

    If it is so great, companies would had replaced the production methods already, instead of using 3D just for the first stages.

    But then painting can be a nightmare. Good splits should be no problem when assembling. Silicone moulds can do some complex things too.

    Sometimes what sells is "limitited run". Marketing tricks.

    As long as you sell as much to cover the basic design and the small tweaks... say every repose takes 30 minutes (fix the wrinkles to match, etc), and markup is 5, you are making 10 per hour and still not covered the original modelling time, the computer, the programs, the insurance, etc.

    Good luck anyway.
  17. Zandoria
    Zandoria Member
    The High Definition Black Acrylate is printed at 50 micron layer height. It would be good if they had an option to print at 25 micron too. That is the only difference in what Shapeways offers compared to the master print that is used for mass manufacturing ( if it is a 3D printed master)
  18. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Right (or even better, some printers can go lower)... but the point is the customer doesn't receive that from mass manufacturing, but a copy from a reviewed and fixed master. From 3D printing they get the one that needs finishing. Another copy? Another session of cleaning.
    MelangeToys likes this.
  19. Zandoria
    Zandoria Member
    The finishing/prep work on the HDBA print is no more than they will spend cutting off the sprues on an injection-molded kit
  20. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Injection molded kits have no print lines in curved/angled surfaces. Good moulds have no flash line, just 1-4 injection points per part.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017 at 6:33 PM