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3DAlienWorlds BLOG

Introducing GRYM FORGE, our new Canadian print partner...

2019-08-11 by David

We're very happy to announce our partnership with a brand new print partner, GRYM FORGE, in Canada. They are now selling print versions of our entire samurai, Necrontyr and high elf terrain on their online store!

They are already offering all of the most popular pieces from our ranges of terrain, so for those of you who don't have access to a 3D printer, but still want a full tabletop of our feudal-era Japanese or sci-fi terrain, jump on over and see what they've got for you!

Samurai Pond available NOW!

2019-08-04 by David

Well, I ran out of BOTH water effects liquid AND time for this 😭, but they're finished enough to take some pretty pics for you! I'll go back again after a short vacation, and add another layer of resin water.


The Samurai Pond is officially available for download today!


  Samurai Pond  

▲ The big pond (printed at 170% size), in all its multi-coloured glory!


* Incidentally, I would recommend printing the pond at 0.1mm layers, if you have the time! I printed these at 0.2mm layers (because they were prototypes, essentially) and some of the rocks have quite shallow sloped top surfaces - which, as you can see, would have looked better with a finer print resolution! So please excuse my print lines!! 😳

▲ The smaller sized pond (100% size), with a very happy little turtle.

▲ The fish, half submerged in resin water effects, give the scene some real "life"!

▲ The ninja's looking at you 👀 ..... Can you find him before he strikes?!

▲ I'm quite pleased with how the turtles turned out too! Simple to paint, but look great.

▲ A wealthy samurai's house and gardens. And shiba dog keeping guard!

▲ Princess Pinkako, probably wondering where the dog's gone.....

▲ Printing the pond at 170% covers an area over 21cm wide, and I'm really looking forward to deadly duels across the waters....


The Samurai Pond is officially available for download today!


  Samurai Pond  



Painting the samurai pond

2019-08-03 by David

Phew! Finally done! As a painting project, there was a lot to do here. There are so many different ways (many better, of course), but here's a painting diary of how I painted up the 2 new Samurai Ponds over the last two days......

* Incidentally, I would recommend printing the pond at 0.1mm layers, if you have the time! I printed these at 0.2mm layers (because they were prototypes, essentially) and some of the rocks have quite shallow sloped top surfaces - which, as you can see, would have looked better with a finer print resolution! So please excuse my print lines!! 😳

▲ First step was to glue down all the accessories, except the lily pads, and undercoat everything. I had half a spray can of this lovely chocolate brown in the cupboard. 😋

▲ After a messy drybrush of lighter brown over the earth areas, I decided to tackle the water. Looking at real life photos of ponds, a green would have probably been more realistic, but my terrain rivers are already done in blue, so I went with a dark blue, and would try to add some green tinted water on top later.


Starting with a midnight blue to basecoat the water areas, I slowly mixed in a medium blue bit by bit, and used that mix to fill in some of the wider areas. Again, if you wanted it to look realistic, you should probably do the opposite - paint it lighter towards to shallower edges, and darker in the deeper areas. I'm compromising with what's easier to paint!

▲ Here's a reference photo of lily pads, to show that various shades of green work well together. After basecoating my lily pads in one shade of green, I realised that I really wanted to mix it up a little more, to prevent them looking too fake.

▲ So using some messy drybrushes of lime greens and some splodges of green wash, I was happy enough with these variations.

▲ Adding basecoat colours to everything else was next, so it was sandy yellow for the reeds, orange for the koi carp, khaki green for the turtles and medium grey for the stones.

▲ The bridges got their bright red railings and charadon granite (dark grey/brown) post caps, and then everything was treated to a heavy wash of either brown wash or black wash. The fish got a wash of orange, and the edges of the water areas were given a rough line of green wash to blend things together.

▲ Animals were next, and I used this picture of a pond turtle as reference.....

▲ .... to paint this! Khaki green basecoat, brown wash, then slightly lighter green splodges around the edge of the shell, and a few small dots of sandy yellow on the edges. Finally, a streak of orange on each cheek.


To be honest, looking at this closeup photo, it looks very rough (and the rocks look even rougher), but it's zoomed way in. I'm hopeful it'll look fine at a player's view of about 30~50cm!

▲ Koi carp were next, and again I would recommend getting a good reference photo to work from. The one colour missing from the photo above is black or dark grey. You get those in ponds too, but I didn't think that would work so well in photos, so I stuck with oranges and whites, mostly....

▲ After the orange basecoat and onange wash, I added light grey patches to various fish and highlighted those with white. One lucky fish got that gorgeous gold colour (yellow!), and then all the fish got flecks of black mottling.


At this point I also painted the ninja with a simple black hood and a few dots of skin tone. His head will mostly be underwater anyway, so it wasn't too important.

▲ The final stage of painting was to messily scrape lightgrey over the rocks (like a very heavy drybrush) and then drybrush the earth areas and reeds with a flesh tone. Then a few more patches of brown wash on assorted rocks, and one more pass with green wash on the edges of the water.

▲ Flocking onto pva glue was next, first with a darker green in a very few places....

▲ ... and then more heavily with a lighter green.

▲ After knocking off the excess flock, I dabbed patches of static grass onto various areas to give it more of a bumpy grass texture.

▲ At this point, I could have called it "finished" and just added a coat of gloss varnish.


But, since the model is also designed to be watertight, I wanted to add a few millimetres of water effects to create a greater depth....

▲ Yes, some of you older gamers might recognise this? It's some green ink from Games Workshop in the 80s, and I was happy to find it was still usable after 30 years!!!


So I added two drops of green ink to the last 5cm of my Realistic Water by Woodland Scenics, and gave it a swirl.


It looked like bright green mouthwash!!!! 😅


So I added a few drops of brown wash to calm it down, and carefully poured in a steady dribble of the mixture, first around the edges to ensure there were no gaps, and then the open areas to finish it off.


▲ Ta-da!!! This was about 2mm of depth, but upon drying it shrinks slightly to about 2/3rds of the depth. Doh! So I will try adding another pour later, but for now I have run out of both Realistic Water and time!!


I guess it'll do for now, so you can see the 'finished' photos tomorrow for the official release!



Printing the samurai pond(s)

2019-08-01 by David

Wow! This is the 150th blog post!!! Let's celebrate by showing you something pretty damn awesome......


The new Samurai Pond (and all the accessories) has now been printed! Not just once, but TWICE - just to show you the possibilities of scaling it up!


▲ This is the pond printed at normal 100% scale, which gives a pond approximately 12.5cm (5") in diameter. The bridge is a resized version of the one from the Samurai Bridges Set, carefully sized to stretch across from one bank to another.


It's a simple two part print for the bridge, with no supports needed. Then you glue the knobs on top and you're done. It is just wide enough for a 25mm base.


▲ The pond itself is a one-part print, and this one above was printed at 100% scale, at 0.2mm layers. The design is intended to be watertight, in case you want to pour in clear resin or water effects to increase the depth of the pond's surface. The thickness of the water "base" is actually only 1mm - something that can't easily be achieved with MDF or scratchbuilt terrain.


All of the other accessories were printed at 0.1mm layers, because they're so tiny! You can see that the reeds are designed to be glued to the base before adding any resin effects, but the lilypads are intended to be added AFTER resin effects, so they sit on top of the water.


Also included are koi carp (about 24mm long) in straight and curved versions, and it's worth resizing and mirroring to add some variety. The smaller fish in the photo above were resized to 16mm, and still printed okay on my Tevo Tornado (a PLA printer).




▲ ..... ta-da!!! Here's the BIGGER version of the pond, printed at 170% scale - giving a fairly large pond of approximately 21cm (8.5") diameter. This was also printed at 0.2mm layers, and did take quite a few hours!


As you can see, the bridge no longer stretches from bank to bank, so included in the set is a small movable "island", which can be moved around to fit your chosen layout. In this version, I used one bridge to stretch to the island, and then some stepping stones (also included in the set) to finish the path to the far bank.


▲ Some turtles are also included, partially submerged, along with reed clumps. Also, if you look really, really closely, you might see the ninja assassin - something I wanted to include because it's too funny not to include!


▲ Since the 'island' is movable, you can play around with layouts. This one uses two bridges to span the pond - which would look great reflected in the glossy surface of the pond. They're often seen here in Japan, and referred to as a "glasses bridge".


▲ Finally for today, this is a size comparison between the small and large ponds. No photoshop here!!!

Okay then, I'm off to start painting these cute little models, so stand by for some very picturesque painted scenes!


Designing the samurai pond

2019-07-31 by David

This design has been a whole lot of fun to create, and fit in as many cool little details as possible! The goal was to create a 12.5cm diameter ornamental pond, which could be resized up to double the size and still look convincing.

▲ This is the pond scaled to 100% size, giving us a diameter of approximately 12.5cm. Most of the surrounding banks are edged with rocks, and three grass/dirt mounds strategically spaced between them complete the watertight sides.


The idea is that you could paint up the surface of the pond as water, with maybe a coat of gloss varnish, or you could go one step further and pour in 1 or 2mm of clear water effects or resin to give it even more depth.

▲ To that end, many of the accessories are designed to be partially submerged in water - the koi carp fish and turtles are sliced to only show the top half above the water surface.


The pond set will come with a movable 'island' that can be shuffled about to fit whatever size of pond you print, and allow you to connect two bridges together naturally, or even lead to a path of stepping stones across the water.

▲ One tiny detail that's easy to miss is this ninja head, hiding in the reeds at the side. This is just a little fun extra, and should look great under a thin layer of clear water effects, breathing through his airpipe.


The lilypads can be placed on top of any water effects you choose to add.


Printed photos coming tomorrow!




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