03 December 2018

Printer Upgrades for my Creality CR-20

So I've been working away on my CR-20 3D printer to reduce the running noise. The base printer out of the box is pretty noisy and I could hear it at the other end of the house. Which means it was driving the wife crazy with her super sonic hearing of a teacher. The printer itself has been great, just the noise level was a bit much for being the same room for long periods of time.

The first and simplest upgrade was to print out some squash ball feet from thingiverse.com. Then place some old packing foam under the printer. This reduced the noise by about 4-5 decibels. Four squash balls and printing some feet cost about $20 NZ. So not a bad start.

They look something like this (just a shot from the web as example)

After that I ordered in from China three dampeners for the motors as this was the next most recommend thing to do. A couple of weeks later they arrived. It took a few days once I had them to go though and get them installed. I ended up having to bust out the Dremel and pull the printer apart to get the Y axis to work. A slip while cutting saw me jump but thanks to safety gear no loses of fingers or blood, just some paint on the metal mounting plate.

This was by far the greatest reduction in noise, even though it only dropped the actual noise level buy another 4-5 decibels, it has cut down the higher pitch frequencies which were the ones that penetrating the walls and you could hear at the other end of the house. For less than $20 NZ delivered its a no brainer.

So after a bit of fun getting the upgrades installed and the printer settings adjusted slightly,  an average of 10 decibels decrease for $40 NZ ... not bad at all and I very pleased with the results.

Now onto printing some more upgrade parts for the printer ... and a few more Manticore's and Scorpions ... you can never have too many tanks after all.

02 December 2018

Battletech and 3D Printing

Well its been an age since I posted last. We have been playing Battletech and Hail Caesar of late and I actually finally managed to beat Mark's Romans a few weeks back with my Pyrrhic army.

On the Battletech front my push to build a full 8x4 city table top is continuing. With my recent purchase of a Creality CR-20 3D printer. I'm now well into printing buildings and learning the in's and outs for 3D printing. Which there are alot of. I've approached it as a hobby and expect to have a fare number of failures along the way. Thanks to YouTube, Facebook and internet I've managed to resolve most of my problems pretty quickly.

With all the data out there in the cloud on 3D printing it hasn't been hard to pickup and get going. I'm already at the point have having installed some upgrades on the printer, and have already got my next few upgrades lined up. The biggest challenge was to get the noise level down when it was printing. I've now got it down to around 55 decibels from 65, so simply closing the down to my office keeps the wife happy.

So far I've done a couple of buildings and a bunch of smaller tanks and vehicles.

I also created some radar maps for areospace fighters a couple of months back. Still ahvent got to use them yet in a game but looking foward to it.

Last weekend we were in Wellington and went along to the Weta Workshop with a couple of the lads and did a couple of tours there along with checking out the World War I displays at the museums. It's my second time through Weta Workshops and I was still amazed at what they create. They have even added in a few things about 3D printing since I was there last, which of course I was rather interested to see. They have some seriously awesome printers there.

We were aloud to take photos in the Thunderbird tour. In this first photo, forget about Mr Will May's and look at the background... now wouldn't that be an epic Battletech board.

I'm seriously gonna have to 3D print some of the Thunderbird ships.

 These young fellers just cant help themselves.
 The perspective modeling was awesome.

Heading back out of Wellington Airport we ran into Smaug so I had to stop for a selfie. 

11 September 2018

Cityscape and Roads Battletech

The cheap as toy road tape turned up in the post from China today, I got it off AliExpress. I rolled some out over a couple of bits of balsa wood I had sprayed grey as a test.   Cheap, quick and looks the part. The tape inst that adhesive, but its meant to be for little kids and removable, so I was expecting that. Next step is to test gluing some down with watered down PVA.

Most of my building are getting close to being finished, just need about three times as man now.

Roll on the weekend for some more gaming.

Battle Tech Buildings W.I.P

Just a quick update on my Battletech building projects. My latest addition to the city buildings is my Cybertech building. I've used one of the transfers I made using the Testors self print transfer sets.

With my Nova Cat Clan mechs in there early painting stages in the background.

10 September 2018


On Saturday we got a large game of American War of Independence going, using the Black Powder Rule set at the South Auckland Club (version 1 rule set. Looking forward to getting my version II Rule set when they come out). Some of the others got stuck into a few games of Hail Ceaser at the same time.

 We used one of the rule book scenario's which ended up being quite one sided towards the American's. So much so it was over in about 3 hours. It was the Brandywine scenario, with a few tweaks to suit the models we had. Even with the tweaks to the troops it was pretty much one sided affair. The three move rule to get over the river was a huge sticking point and we would reduce that to a 2 move if we played that scenario again.

After the British bashing, we reset the table and went for a straight out pitched battle, with each of us taking 5 brigades each and random traits for each one, thanks to Saul and his magic bag of trait tokens. It ended up being quite a bit of fun... always is when your winning. 

12 August 2018

Battletech Tokens

Now that we are getting back into Battletech Alpha Strike in a big way, I decided I didn't like all the dice on the table following the Mechs around to keep track of the movement. Then I also wanted something to help keep track of the other options and effects. So I made up some home brew tokens with a little help from images acquired from the net as inspiration, I came with with this set. Haven't got to play a game using them yet. But it should make it much easier to track things and will look way better in the table.

The blank ones at the bottom are from random effects and scenario objectives etc. I've printed the sheet out and laminated it, then cut them all out. This way you can use a dry easier pen to write on them. Time will tell how useful they will be.

25 July 2018

Reviving the blog and Battletech

oh ..snap.. its been so long I’ve almost forgotten what blogging was like.

I just discovered my old friend “Live Writer” .. like my favourite ancient pair of wool socks .. you just cant get rid of it.

So on the gaming front I’ve been getting back into Battletech, using the Alpha Strike rules and managed to convince Mark to play a few games. Which then turned into a full on revival, which then lead to recruiting a few others into it.

A few shots from the game last weekend, and us trying out my home grown scenario.

2018-07-22 11.29.062018-07-22 13.29.292018-07-22 14.18.18

The plan is to run a campaign for about 6-8 games with about 6 players, from the Succession War Renaissance ,up to 3049. Then if that is successful, run a second campaign into the Clan Wars.

I’ve made up a territory map which will change over time as players win or lose territory over the campaign. unfortunately the maps is from the Clan wars 3050 period on, but that's all I have at that large size.

I used the big universe map from the box set I had, laminated it and have made up some bases with magnets drilled into the centres. Then using an old tin house for sale sign as a backing, we should have a great evolving map over time.

I just need to cut down the sign to size and put house insignia's over the tokens. So far the concept is going to work sweet for mapping out the movement of winning players and houses.

2018-07-23 18.51.45

03 March 2018

Castle Build

Inbetween lawns, gardening and going to see Black Panther today I've almost got my Castle build complete. I haven't gone with building the traditional square, which ends up a big foot print but still small space to hold troops. I've gone with a long wall with a few different angles so we can do out some large battles.

01 March 2018

Dice trays and bases.

I've been getting bases from Battle Kiwi for sometime now. As a local supplier, Olivier has & is, always great to deal with. My last order was no exception. with some custom bases I requested for my Hail Caesar army. 
These are the new bases for my Light cavalry skirmishers, which have turned out awesome. It will make it easy moving the skirmishers around the table and easy for everyone to tell that they not formed up and skirmishing.
Cavalry skirmish bases

Cavalry formed base

I also got a custom dice tray made up. With my wife being Norwegian and playing Saga at the moment I couldn't go past having a Shield Maiden as the background image.

The tray is really nice to roll dice on, with the faux leather (yeah I had to look at that up, its artificial leather). The dice stop nicely and don't really bounce that much. Of course you could get the dice to bounce right out if your gonna be a He-man about it. For the price I think its well worth it.

One thing to watch out for if you get a custom one made, is the image you use, make sure the lines are thick. The Shield Maiden has some fine detail in and around her face and it gets a bit lost in the dark tones.The details is there, it just blends in when you look at it from further away.  But the pattern in behind her stands out really nicely. Just something to consider when choosing your image.

  You can check out the dice trays at https://www.battlekiwi.com/product/dice-tray/

I'm also making up my own dice holders for wound count, and using the corner position on the movement trays. That way is simple to move the units around and not worry about moving all the wound tokens with the units. really good when you end up in the middle of a messy mass battle. They are just made from some old grey-stuff I had lying around and a 20 mm base and take a 16 mm dice.

and last of all my new generals for the Successor army ready for some undercoat and paint.

24 February 2018

Eastern Irregulars Saga session

So today I ventured across town, well 45 mins drive to the other side of the city to meet up at the newly formed Eastern Irregulars club to learn to play Saga. I believe this was the second club meeting. Held in Spell Bound games in Pakuranga. An interesting little place, a huge floor space, with war gaming, board games and card games stuff strewn around the place, along with a role playing group, Magic and other card gamers.

I've had the rules for Saga for a year or so and plenty of Vikings, but never got around to playing, and now of course the 2nd edition rules are out.(Friggin Typical) I could come up with some excuse about not reading the rules this week, but I cant, I was just a slack arse this week. So it was trial by fire in a four point four way game. Will, Jason, Lee and myself. After 7 rounds and adding up the points, I came in last... no surprise, but I got a good look at the mechanics and how things worked.

My Vikings expand out as my Saga dice played nice for me

Lee's Welsh started doing sneaky things.

Jason's Norma's thundered across the table at the Welsh

Will play's conservatively a bit like his paint scheme.

 My hearth guard and Warlord toasted some of Will's warriors before coming to a brutal end

Jason's Norman's got to feel Lee's trickery and pointy sticks.

Second game was a doubles game of Lee's concoction, as he tryied to play ref since there was 5 of us left for the afternoon. This was where I got to feel the wraith of the Jomsvikings, which by a bit of luck didn't end to badly, as I lost all my guys except for 4 levies and my Warlord, at the same time wiping out most of the Joms' . My viking partner (Brent I think.. fist time I meet him) took the win for us by getting to Will's Warlord in a one on one.

So for my first two real games of Saga I had alot of fun, and thus ordered the new rules books.
Looking forward to more games out east with the Irregulars.

17 February 2018

Jet ski's and castles

Jet ski's and castles, yep, absolutely nothing to do with each other, but that's what I did today.
Went out to the beach and for a few hours and shot a few photos of the guys and girls at the Yamaha Free ride competition.  I couldn't handle the jandle and stay the whole day as my back has been playing up, but still had enough time to get some nice shots.

Then I worked on my Castles, yes plural. One I'm scratch building and the other mammoth beast, is a Warlords games one, with a stupid amount of parts ... but it looks awesome, even at this stage of undress.

Soooooo many sprues... so many parts.

Once built and ready, Mark and I plan to do a mass Hail Caesar battle including the castle which will be a huge 1000 point battle.