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3DAlienWorlds BLOG

Shoulder joints for the Eldar Wraithknight

2020-01-22 by David

I recently splashed out on a beautiful Games Workshop model I'd been wanting for several years now - the elegant Eldar Wraithknight. I've been slowly assembling this large (10"?) model, but was puzzled by the kit having 4 arms, but only 2 shoulder joints. 


I guess they want you to choose your weapon arm loadout and glue those arms in place, but in this golden age of model kit construction, it seems stupid not to make a kit that comes ready to be magnetised - so you can just pop off one arm and replace it with another before a game.

All they need to do is provide 4 of these shoulder joints, rather than just 2! Grrrrrrr!


So I quickly modelled up my own replacement part, and printed some out.

Pretty close, eh? GW's plastic moulded part on the left. It even has a slot on the bottom to glue in a magnet.


This handy little part has been uploaded to Thingiverse, so you can download it for free and print it if you need to:


Have fun!


Tags: eldari  free  thingiverse 

Taui Landing Pad available NOW!

2020-01-17 by David

The first piece from our new sci-fi terrain range, the large Taui Landing Pad, is now officially available for download!


  Taui Landing Pad  



First of all, here is the landing pad in its most basic form. The energy lift on the right can be raised or lowered during play, and the blue ion shield can be moved around the outside to your desired location.




This is the back of the landing pad, on which I added a symbol to match my T'au models. Please note that this was a customisation of the terrain piece - there are various geometric shapes included, which can be arranged or combined as you wish.


If you've been following the blog recently, you'll know that the landing pad is also designed to be printed in clear PLA filament if you wish, so this is my landing pad with some LED lights inside!



Looking down from a higher angle, you can see how nice this looks on the top surface, with all of the blue inset lines giving off a cool sci-fi glow!


If you place a couple of spare LEDs underneath the energy lift (on the left), you can also light that section up too.

This is the rear of the landing pad, with the LED glow shining through that strip and vents around the outside, and even around the circular motif on the left.


The energy pad in this photo is in its 'up' position, level with the top rim of the landing pad.

The energy lift has a clever little toothed slot, which allows for it to be raised or lowered during play.

If you remove the ion shield from the top rim, you can still see that LED glow also shines out from the circular track slot.

Another pic of the landing pad without its forcefield. The 50mm (2") height of the pad provides good cover for your troops.

And finally, here's an extreme photo of the LEDs in action, in case you fancy playing a night mission!


The new landing pad is available from today.


  Taui Landing Pad  

Tags: taui  LED  release 

Painting and lighting the Taui landing pad

2020-01-16 by David

The Taui Landing Pad is about to be released, so here's a little painting guide on how it was painted!

Please note that although somebody with airbrushing skills could do an amazing job of smoothly and quickly producing the "glow" effects with paint (and we're looking forward to seeing what people do with it)..... that somebody is NOT me!! I can't use an airbrush, so from the start this was planned as terrain that could be printed in clear PLA filament and lit from inside using LEDs. This is how it was done.....

Clear filament is interesting stuff to work with, but what it isn't, is easy to see!! So I decided to give most of it a preliminary basecoat of paint, and THEN work out where it needed work to smooth off the print with sandpaper and filler.


So this photo above shows quite clearly where my printer had a slight extrusion problem, with the tiny holes around the join between the two wall sections! Oh no! Fortunately I was able to quickly patch those with some cheap woodfiller, and smoothed off a little with some sandpaper.


The first coat of paint (an acrylic called Camel, by Americana DecoArt), as you can see in the previous photo, didn't cover the model smoothly, so I painted a second coat of the same colour over the top, which gave me this fairly smooth finish.


It was pretty easy to use a brush neatly for this, as all of the blue lines are inset into the model enough just to paint sideways along the edge without making a mess.


You'll also notice that I customised my landing pad with the symbol for a Tau force on the side. There are various geometric shapes included in the files (in this case a small circle and two 'wings'), so you can arrange them as you wish to customise your model.





To provide some highlights to the landing pad shape, I edge-highlighted with a rough brush using Flayed One Flesh (Games Workshop acrylic paint) which is similar enough to the Camel basecoat that it doesn't require any fancy blending techniques.

Finally, I edge highlighted again with a smaller brush using Bleached Bone (another Games Workshop paint). Again, no fancy blending techniques were required here.


I also highlightd the Tau symbol from light grey up to white, to provide some visual contrast to the rest of the building.

I'm not going to lie! Painting the hexagons on the landing pad surface was tedious! So sitting down with a long movie (or two!) to listen to, I carefully painted each hexagon first in Camel....

.... once more in Camel (as shown in the pic above), then edge highlighted in Flayed One Flesh and then Bleached Bone.

The last few things to paint were the energy lift (again I customised my model with a white Tau symbol) and this forcefield.


After some research, I decided to be quite subtle about painting this, just adding some three-pointed 'flicks' of the very light blue paint Blue Horror (by Games Workshop) in the grooves between the hexagons. I actually started adding paint to every junction initially (you can see this on the bottom left corner), but then decided to only add paint to half of the junctions. The slightly random effect of this looked better to me.

Lastly, people often ask what lights work well for terrain. For small stuff like samurai lanterns I normally just use single LED tealights for a flickering warm glow, but on something like this landing pad I needed more powerful lighting. So I invested in a couple of these string LED lights. They are only a few dollars from the internet.....

... and have a pretty powerful glow to them! Being able to quickly reshape the wire and redirect the focus of the LEDs is a definite advantage!


The Taui Landing Pad will be released tomorrow, so watch this space!


Tags: taui  LED  painting 

Printing the Taui landing pad

2020-01-03 by David

The new Taui landing pad has now been fully assembled, and is a real sight - Behold, the Terrain of Pure Blueness!!!


So for now please excuse the shocking colour of the PLA filament I used (there is a reason for this, I promise!), and take a look at the assembled model.....

At almost 40cm long and 34cm wide (16"x13"), this thing is pretty big! It's got a solid 5cm height, which blocks line of sight to most infantry-sized models.


This picture shows the energy lift in its UP position.....

... while this pic shows the energy lift in the DOWN position. There are some tiny teethed track hidden inside, which allow the elevator's position to be adjusted during play.


You can also see the ion shield with its distinctive hexagonal design. There's a small inset track running around the edge of the landing pad, allowing you to carefully slide the force field around.

With the ion shield removed (power failure?), it's still quite an imposing structure.

This is how to raise the energy lift. By gently tilting the front of the piece up by about 10 degrees (as shown in the picture), the locking teeth disengage and the lift can be slid up the groove to its new position. Letting the lift return to its normal (level) position will automatically lock it in place - it's all thanks to that most hi-tech of technologies... gravity!

I printed the energy lift with its hexagon design for these product pics, but for the painted version I actually plan to use a different geometric design.

You'll also see there are a few geometric shapes to the bottom left of the pad in this picture. These can be arranged in your chosen pattern and glued on to the flat circular inset part on the back side of the landing pad, if you'd like to customise it to your army's motifs.


The landing pad will be hitting the paint desk this week, for a release in min-January. Watch this space!


Tags: taui  printing 

Assembling the Taui landing pad

2020-01-01 by David

Happy New Year to you all for 2020!! May your printers never run empty!


With the new year to celebrate, we have the first pictures of the printed Taui landing pad to share with you soon. But first, here is an assembly guide for those of you about to tackle this big terrain piece......



First thing to note for this landing pad is that the exterior wall is printed UPSIDE DOWN!!!!


Since the outer wall is intended to be printed in colour-tinted clear filament, and to be lit with LEDs from the inside, walls that will block the light inside the model have been kept to a minimum. To that end, exterior walls are only 2mm thick, and internal supports have been removed.


Obviously printing curved models without overhanging supports is tricky, so the main 6 sections of the landing pad should be printed upside-down (as oriented in the files) at 100% infill, without any supports at all. I recommend printing with a brim, too, for better adhesion to your print bed.


When you have printed all 6 wall sections, you'll see that they all have a flat surface at each end - these are for gluing the sections together. In order for the strongest possible join and to minimise gaps, I recommend quickly smoothing the ends flat with sandpaper. I used 400 grit sandpaper, and each section only took a few seconds.

You can then glue all 6 wall sections together, as shown. They are numbered from 1 (bottom left), going clockwise to number 6 (bottom right). You'll notice that section 2 and 4 are the same, with that large dome-shaped bulge, but actually you can mix and match sections freely, as long as sections 1 and 6 (at the bottom) are included.


Next you need to print 6 sections of the inner ring. Again, sections 1 and 6 (shown in the image above) are a slightly different shape, while the other 4 sections are four copies of the same file. Start by gluing ring sections 1 and 6 into the outer wall, as shown. Then fit the other sections one at a time. You may find the final ring section is too tight to fit - I had to sandpaper 1mm off from one end, to get a perfect fit.


(A slightly modified version of the ring file, 1mm shorter on each end, has also been included in the set)

The energy lift acts as a large (10cm / 4") platform at the front of the pad, elevating models from ground level to the top surface of the pad. Printing this is easy - the outer ring is a single print (best printed at 100% infill to avoid inner lines, if you are printing in clear PLA).


Then you can print either the hexagonal surface shown in the photo above (again, at 100% infill), or you could choose a geometric design version instead.


I chose to print both versions - the hexagon version for the product pics, and the geometric version to customise it to my Tau models.

The energy lift ring is designed to be a VERY precise fit in the landing pad. You will probably find that you need to gently file down the two "teeth" from the back of the ring, as shown in the photo above, to get a perfect fit.


Ideally, you want the ring to fit in the slot and slide up and down when tilted up slightly (about 10 degrees), but when you remove your hand the weight of the lift itself will hold those two teeth against the inside grooves of the slot on the main pad. So to get that perfect fit, try filing off a fraction of a millimetre at a time, until the fit is right.

The top surface of the landing pad will look best printed as one large, single piece - but only if your printer has a print bed of 24cm. For smaller printers, a version cut into four 12cm sections is also provided, which can be glued together.


If you choose to print the four-part version, I recommend printing the central support cylinder as shown in the photo above, and gluing it in the centre of the underside, for added strength.



Assembled pictures are coming tomorrow, so watch this space!!!

Tags: taui  assembly 


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