Lighting Experiments - (Video Companion)

My last video covered the fact that I've been experimenting with lighting the Assault Carrier for X-Wing and my angst surrounding the fact that I am really outside of my comfort zone. I've had a lot of really good feedback but I also got a request for some photos of the project - which sounded like a great idea to me. If you want to really follow along, be sure to watch the video. 

 The inner workings of the Assault Carrier

The inner workings of the Assault Carrier

When I decided on this project in my head I thought that this large model would have a ton of space to work with to do what I wanted to do. Once I opened it up the amount of available space wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. That's mostly because of the number of supports holding the thing together. Still, it should be more than enough to do the lighting that I want to do. There's certainly enough room for LEDs and fiber optic filaments. It's really only the power that is at issue.

In a perfect world I want this to be powered by rechargeable batteries that could be charged by plugging in something like a cellphone charger that plugs into the receptacle that's mounted on the model so you don't need to open it up. Bonus points awarded if the model could remain plugged in so that it could sit on a shelf while lit indefinitely. That's in a perfect world. I know that I could power it with large, watch-like batteries. That solves the space problem. It means that they won't be rechargeable and I can live with that. What I still need to determine is how long those batteries will last before needing to be replaced. If they last for an hour that seems less than ideal. This is something I can test, though.

 My current components.

My current components.

So, I bought most of this stuff more than two years ago when I had determined that I wanted to try a lighting project. Then they sat in my shop doing nothing... At least they didn't cost much. Actually, that was a cool discovery, that you can grab the stuff to do this kind of project on the cheap. Take a look:

Of course, that's just the bare-bones. Enough to play around and prove to yourself that you can make light - like a god! I'm still going to need some switches, a different power supply (I already have a soldering iron) and.. I'm not sure what else.

That's really the big takeaway for me on this project. I mention it in the video but I think it's worth mentioning again. I don't know what I don't know and that's what makes this simple project so difficult for me to move forward with. Every decision has me questioning myself. It's tough. I imagine that anybody getting into miniature painting for the first time feels much the same way. 

 Baby steps...

Baby steps...


Kingdom Death: Monster - Thoughts on the minis

Yesterday as I was building my first batch of Kingdom Death: Monster miniatures I was struck by a couple of thoughts. First, that they were really nice minis. Second, that I can imagine a large number of boardgamers who are going to be incredibly frustrated as they attempt to build these things. These thoughts were so strong I recorded a video about it:

After I recorded the video I continued working on the models. What I decided after completing my first batch is that overall the minis are actually harder to build than I first thought.

One of the minis that I hadn't gotten to yet was the Watcher. This has similar problems to the Phoenix that I mentioned in the video. Lots of small pieces and not instructions to help. Now, I don't think that this one is quite as impossible to assembly without assistance, but I think that you'll end up having to do what I did and really study how other people have put it together. You'll also realize that while many of the pieces have a clear home, some of them are open to interpretation as no two photos of the Watcher seem to agree on placement on some of the pieces. In the end it's no big deal as there are any number of ways you could put the detail pieces on and have it look good.

The White Lion ended up requiring a lot of sanding to get rid of the seam lines between the pieces. Even with as careful as I was in assembly and gluing there were a couple of decent seams in the back end. Not a lot of work, but worth mentioning anyway. The more annoying seams were actually around each ankle where the feet attach since those pieces have a lot of recessed detail.

The Butcher, the Hand and the King's Man all had some fairly challenging bits. My biggest problem with all of the models is the use of joins with no positive connection points. That is, when two or more pieces can go together in an effectively unlimited number of ways. The King's Man's legs are like this. The rear half of the White Lion had this issue as well (which is why it needed so much sanding). The difference with that is you could easily see where it should go even if there was nothing in the design of the pieces helping you to get it into position.

The survivors are probably the easiest to assemble overall. I mentioned the small feet and the possible problems of those connection points on the base. Well, it was worse and better than I thought. Worse because the models are meant to be mounted to special bases that have sculpted faces on them which makes trying to find good connection points for the feet a little tougher than normal. Better because the plastic cement seems to hold them to the base just fine (even with the tiny feet and sculpted bases).

I'm probably going to be doing more videos on this project because there seem to be a lot of interested people out there. Not surprising considering how well the Kickstarter did.