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Author Topic: Fred's 15mm Workshop - Devils Reef Light - an offshore lighthouse for Innsmouth  (Read 3705 times)

Offline frd

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So, I decided to make myself a topic to share the tabletop stuff I'm working on.

I'm still pretty new to the hobby, and as I discovered in this topic, I'm as much of a dreamer as I am a modeller. I enjoy coming up with narratives for my games and then building the things to match them. I work pretty slowly, often starting multiple projects and working on and off them as inspiration strikes - meaning that updates might be sporadic, but they will come.

I'm (at least for now) focusing exclusively on 15mm. I dipped my toe in 28mm when I started, but quickly got overwhelmed (by the detail, choice and cost!) and found 15mm to be much more to my liking. Not only I don't have to be as detailed with painting (which is not a forte of mine), it let's me have more terrain than what I could in 28mm in the same space. Sure, there isn't as much variety in available miniatures as 28mm, but if I really need something very specific, I can always fall back on some 3d printing. Not to mention, limitations fuel creativity.

Currently, I'm working on a kind of imagi-nation solo campaign. Originally inspired by Jakub Rozalski's art, it evolved into its own thing; a loosey-goosey worldbuilding project mixing a lot of things I enjoy. It's a bit pulp, bit wierd fiction, a dash of dieselpunk and interwar aesthetic set against a backdrop of late XIX / early XX century alt-history. Saying all that, I build worlds from bottom-up (not top-down), so none of the big ideas are really set in stone yet, but it at least gives an idea what to expect on here... at least until I get distracted by some other project ;)

So, without further ado...
« Last Edit: January 22, 2024, 04:37:04 AM by frd »

Offline frd

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Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2023, 01:50:46 AM »
Decrepit Fishing Boat from the Lovecraft Country

While I haven't decided what exactly is happening in the Americas in my setting, I do know I want to mix in some Lovecraftian weirdness in the North East. Honestly, working on the "state side" stuff was not my priority, but as I needed a break from working on my big globetrotting tramp steamer stuff, a smaller project would be a welcome change of pace. Not to mention, actually finishing a thing (I have many unfinished things waiting) would give me a jolt of motivation to keep on chugging. I wanted something I could use with the steamer, and as I got some deep one minis a while ago, I thought something vaguely Innsmouth inspired would do the trick. As I was already researching early XX century boats, I decided to add another one.

As much of my stuff, this boat is made of pretty cheap materials (in this case coffee stirrers split in half make for a decent plank at 15mm) combined with some 3d printing. Originally I started making a model based on this free paper model of an Admiralty 61.5ft Motor Fishing Vessel, but it literally fell apart. Which is a shame, as for once I was documenting the progress with photos. But I forgot that I used cardstock as a part of the frame and as I went to sand off a failed paintjob, I started wet sanding and scrubbing, which started dissolving the paper and the hull planking just started peeling off.

Well, I really needed to finish a project, and as I already did bunch of research on early XX century boats and I had the materials -  I decided to try again. This time, going with a simpler hull design (the back curve gave me the most trouble when planking the last one) which I can 3d print to avoid the paper fiasco. I ended up with something along the lines of an Eastern Rig Dragger, but with a stern more common to Western Rig Draggers. It might not be 100% accurate, but looks plausible enough for me, and for my take on the already imaginary Innsmouth.

So, I 3d printed the frame with attached hull shape. Then I planked the hull with coffee stirrers split in half aged with a rubbing alcohol/india ink stain. I attached them with a mix of CA and PVA glue - dab of CA to keep the curve, filled with PVA between the dots. I managed to reuse the deck from my previous failed attempt (it was made with the same split coffee stirrers, but it was already weathered nicely so it would be a shame to throw it away). All it needed was some trimming as the deck is now shorter. During the whole ordeal I ended up making 5 slightly different wheelhouses before I settled on one I ended up using (which funnily enough is not the last one I made, but one before). It is made in a similar way to the hull: 3d printed "frame" planked over with those aged coffee stirrers. The window glass is just some transparent plastic packaging roughed up with sandpaper. Then it was time to paint.

I had bad time painting my last attempt: I wanted to make the paint look old and peeling so I used a coat of acrylic over PVA glue technique. This makes it crack pretty well on plastic laying flat, but not as well on almost vertical wood. This time I just put a thin coat of paint and, before it started drying, dragged a small wire brush making the paint more textured, uneven and showing some of underlying wood color. Not as eye catching as the PVA cracks, but good enough. Will be experimenting more with this approach on some other terrain in the future for sure.

For the wheelhouse roofs I used the alcohol/india ink stain I had left over from aging planks. Brushed it haphazardly over a dark metallic color then sprinkled some home-made weathering powders. The powders absorbed some of the stain where they fell, making it for an aged/rusted effect I'm quite pleased with. Another one to add to "further experiments" pile.

I tried to make the mast with some wood bits I had laying around, but nothing worked that well. In the end I designed and 3d printed a basic mast that would not be out of place on such fishing boat. Same for the little detail bits on the roof. The cargo cover, on the other hand, is - you guessed it - split coffee stirrers glued together and painted.

I'm calling it 99% done, as I will probably add some spot weathering and maybe few more details. Until then, here's some pics, as I typed more than enough already:
« Last Edit: May 29, 2023, 02:23:03 AM by frd »

Offline Pattus Magnus

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2023, 05:06:43 AM »
That certainly turned out well! I like the shape and the weathered decking.

Offline blacksoilbill

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2023, 05:11:09 AM »
That is painted beautifully! The weathered wood is really something.

Offline fred

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2023, 08:08:00 AM »
That has turned out really well. I like the idea of using 3d printing as the base, then using more traditional media for the visible layers.

Sounds like a lot of effort went into this boat, but the result is great.

Offline OSHIROmodels

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2023, 08:20:54 AM »
Looks great  8)



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Offline Codsticker

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2023, 12:19:48 AM »
That turned out really nice. I really like the mixing of the 2 mediums: 3D resin and wood. It seems like the best way to get the most out of the materials.

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2023, 12:36:55 AM »
I'd say that by the time you are an "old hand" at the hobby you will be a minor legend.  That is really nice work in 15 mm.  Will give me some ideas to use for my current 'side' project, a pulp game with a seaport that needs fishing boat or three.  Mine won't be as nice as yours, though.

Offline frd

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2023, 03:44:06 AM »
Thank you all for the warm and welcoming feedback - it really means a lot :)

I will probably tinker with the boat a bit more this weekend as after looking at it, I think it could use a bit more detailing here and there.

@Codsticker: I wish I had a resin printer. I only have an fdm (which is basically extruding hot plastic through a tiny nozzle), which can't do fine details as well (you quickly learn how big .4mm actually feels when this is the limit of detail you can print :P), but doesn't need a dedicated room. Resin fumes are toxic, so running it in the living room or bedroom, which are my only two options currently, would not be the best of ideas. Maybe one day...

Saying that, I do really like working with wood. I really like how it takes the paint and how easy it is to stain and age. So, even if I get a resin printer one day in the future I will keep using wood.

@FifteensAway: Don't sell yourself short - I'm sure your model will be awesome! And I'm always happy to see more tabletop pulp stuff. Also, if you have access to an fdm printer I'm happy to send you the files I made, as I know from experience that scratchbuilding the hull by hand can be quite tricky :)


Meanwhile, I started working on another thing - a town house based loosely on a  1920s building from my home town that I always liked. Honestly, I was meaning to get to it for a while now, but all the feedback on here gave me a big jolt of motivation to get it going!. It will fit into the the small town eastern/central Europe that was the original focus of my imagi-nation thing (but now it's split between that region and the globetrotting team). It looks like this one will be mostly 3d printed, but I do plan on making it on a larger base for it with a garden and maybe some utility buildings to accompany it - very much inspired by the awesome "farm tile" I've seen on Roll-a-One blog. We will see how it goes :)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2023, 05:37:31 AM by frd »

Offline Pattus Magnus

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2023, 05:47:24 PM »
The initial design work looks quite good to me. Itís a cool looking building! Iím very interested in seeing your model once itís done (and any updates you do on the fishing boat)!

Offline frd

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2023, 01:38:20 AM »
Thanks Pattus. Progress is being made. Although, as it tends to happen to me, I got sidetracked.

I went down the research rabbit hole about the type of roof tile that would be used on that house when it was first built as I couldn't quite make it out from the available photos (and as I live thousands of miles away now, I couldn't take my own). I managed to find a good contender, modeled it... only to find out that the model was too complex for my poor computer to handle that many copies of the tile at once. So, I had to go with a really simplified version of the tile. It should still look good at the scale, but it's a shame nonetheless.

Anyway, this where I am now. I only put a single version of each window (I will print them separately so they are easier to paint/detail) and the top balcony railing is "unfolded" for ease of printing. It's getting there.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2023, 02:26:02 AM by frd »

Offline Jorenm

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2023, 06:13:20 PM »
That ship looks so cool! I don't suppose you'd share the STL?

Offline frd

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2023, 12:20:18 AM »
That ship looks so cool! I don't suppose you'd share the STL?

Thanks Jorenm! Happy to share the stls - attached below.

If you end up making one, do share - I would love to see your take on it!

edit: the attachment was messed up (the hull was missing), so I removed it. See this post on page 2 to get the file.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2023, 11:45:21 PM by frd »

Offline frd

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Fred's 15mm Workshop - interwar town house
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2023, 01:02:22 AM »
:? Mistakes were made :?

A slight hiccup. It seems I have messed up the scale a bit and ended up with a town house as big as a church! I didn't have the dimensions of the building so I just got the door the right size and calculated other dimensions from the photo. Either I got my math waaay wrong, or I shouldn't be shooting for "true scale."

So, I decided to redesign the building from scratch to fit with the few buildings I already made and what buildings are out there in 15mm (and had their dimensions listed). It's much better, but if I were to do it again, I would probably have made it a bit wider. Well, the main walls are printed now and I don't really want to print them again (it takes a while to print and I hate wasting filament). I will put on the roof tomorrow (it's going to be like 8h  :o) then all the details and hopefully I can start painting this weekend.

Offline Gunbird

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Re: Fred's 15mm Workshop - interwar town house
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2023, 02:58:16 PM »
Both look nice. Your big(ger version) house has windows that are a bit smaller then were I'm currently living, these windows are a good 3 metres tall, and from the floor to the roof is almost 3.5 metres. Old school/convent, they don't make things like this anymore. So not that out of place in 15mm, but maybe not as practical. Looking forward to seeing them painted up.
Who is Gunbird? Johan van Ooij, Dutch, Mercenary Gamer, no longer mobile and happy to live life while it lasts >> http://20mmandthensome.blogspot.com/


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