Paint all the Patreons (PatP)

There’s this drawer, where I collect built and partly primed models, ready to start painting something new when I’m in the mood for it. To be precise, there are multiple drawers split over multiple closets and rooms. And spread over all drawers, there’s this one kind of Minis which get less attention then they should. Those are the printed ones, occupying a very special spot in my pile of shame without having done anything to deserve this.
Every month I visit Patreon and look what cool new minis I can get. And from time to time there are also new Kickstarter projects. Long story short… I have soo many Gigabytes in STL-files and some dozen already printed minis, but until i started this new project, none of these are fully painted.

The Dilemma

There are multiple reasons why I haven’t painted any of them, but none of the reasons are important for this project. Because this project is here to finally paint them and, even more important, give you out there a glimpse of the wide variation available stuff to print.
Every month, dozens of studios and designers are pushing out new Minis in higher quantity and better quality than before. The pandemic situation of 2020 gave 3D printing and selling STL-files via Patreon a big boost.

Printed Pile of Shame
3D Printers are a great way to expand your Pile of Shame…

So… did I paint some 3D printed Minis last year? Well I painted some terrain from Dannys „The Lost Adventures“ Kickstarter. I also printed some of the Minis, but only one of them ended painted, and that was by a friend. Shame on me.
I painted around eighty Minis last year, that’s quite a big bunch for my ratio. But I always tiptoed around the printed minis and never felt that I had the right idea in what style to paint, for which project to use them, and so on.

The Solution

Therefore I started this project, so that I can’t hide myself from the unpainted resin any more.
Right now I only support two Patreons creating Minis. I simply could challenge myself to paint at least two to five minis from both every month. But there are SOOOOO many Mini-Patreons out there. What if I’m missing out on the good stuff?

A few of my early prints from Titan Forge (Patreon) and The Lost Adventures (Kickstarter)

I found this helpful list from MakerFun3D and added some more Mini-Patreons that I found after some research. This list surely is far from complete. As of right now it has stunning 122entries. I added a few more and will try to update it on a regular base. Here is the list as Google Sheet. If you know some Patreons that are missing, please feel free to leave a comment.
Every month from march of this year on, I let a diceroll decide for one of those Patreons. I pledged, printed and painted around five Minis from it. In this series of articles you’ll find detailed pictures to see how the prints turn out and how they look after a detail-enhancing preshading and finally with some paint on. I will try to document interesting stuff like; do the Minis come pre-supported? Are the supports good? Are they detailed enough to be printed upscaled as busts or 75mm? Do they work for your next RPG or an army project? Also pricing, how’s the community, modularity, seperate bases, long-term-boni and so on.

This whole thing came to my mind, because I a) wanted to paint some printed models and b) start blogging again.

The Setup

If you are interested in doing something similar or just want to know what it takes to get some printed stuff for Tabletop; here’s a quick run throuh my setup. In the future, I will probably go more in depth in different parts of this.

  • Filament (FDM) Printer: Prusa I3 MK3S; FDM printers are the choice to go for Terrain and bigger stuff, where Details don’t matter that much. You can get a similar print-quality with cheaper Printers like Ender3 for less then 300$
  • Resin (SLA) Printer: Elegoo Mars; cheap, reliable and easy to use. Together with the necessary starting-equipment you are around 350$
  • Filament: Mainly PLA, differnt Brandings. I prefer Sunlu, Filamentum & Prusament for better quality. But cheaper ones for around 18$ per Kg or less should work too.
  • Resin: Just switched to Water-washable Resin. Costs similar to the standard stuff around 20$/lb
  • Paints: I prefer Vallejo for cost-efficency and color-accuray, but also use lot of Citadel, some Revell (cheapest available for me), some ArmyPainter, Scale75 and other
  • Brushes: Mostly synthetic for day-to-day-painting. For more quality/control Artis Opus Series M and a daVinci Size 0.
  • Airbrush: Harder Steenbeck Evolution Two in One
  • Kompressor: Revell Master Class
  • Light: Daylight Ringlight-LED; it has just replaced my older Daylight Lamp, since the LED’s can be a lot brighter and deliver a smoother light.

This is just the stuff i got over the last years and which works for me. Please don’t take these as buying guides.

Filament or Resin?

A few years ago, Resinprinters where way too expensive for hobby-users. But since they started using Phone-Screens as projectors, the prices have dropped rappidly and now there’s a big range available for around 300$. But for that money, you can also get a nice Filament Printer like an Ender, Creality or more. And they can deliver good results too, not as crisp and detailed as with resin, but fine for a lot of Tabletop-Related stuff. Just take a look at Dany the DM on his Youtube-Channel 3D printed Tabletop. He shows a lot of cool prints and gives a ton of tips and advice, especially for FDM-Printers. Here are some examples.

Some generel advantages why you should consider getting into 3D printing:

  • Material-Costs are extremely low (18-25$/kg FDM, 20-25$/lb Resin)
  • Basic-Setup costs around 300$ or even less
  • Scaling up and down things as you like
  • Lots of free and cheap Miniatures/Terrain-files out there

Overall, you can divide the two technologys as follows.

Filament-Printers (FDM)

  • User-Friendly due to mostly harmless materials (especially PLA)
  • Big communitys worldwide with a good support
  • Great for terrain
  • Miniatures are not as sharp as Resin, but usable for Roleplaying-sessions
  • FDM-Printers are Multitool-Maker with nearly endless possibilitys to print tools, household-improvements and so on.

Resin-Printers (SLA)

  • Resin is a toxic material, so you need to wear gloves, protective glasses and a filter mask
  • Resin can be nasty when it leaks out of the bootle or your printer-tank due to unawareness
  • Great for Miniatures
  • Less good for Terrain, since it’s more expensive, Build-Volume on printers is usually smaller and it’s more brittle then Filament
  • Easy to sand and smooth.
  • Resin-Printers have smaller scale of use-cases. They work mostly for jewelry-prototyping and Miniatures.

Some Printfiles even come in multiple parts for better detail quality. Example from Unit 9 (Patreon)

And here we go

Oh, yeah… the obvious question: Why not Youtube?
First answer: Taking video footage and editing takes up more time, then typing down some words and take some decent pictures.
Second answer: I never managed to make more then a few videos about a topic and I’m honestly not sure how this whole thing will turn out in the long run.

The first Review will be online next week and covers my Patreon-Pledge from this March. It took me a while to figure out the concept and format for this, so i beg you pardon for this delay. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see that i’m already working on the May-Pledge. Furthermore, i also did some Live-Painting via Twitch and will continue with this. So if you are really interested in this topic and want to grab the chance to ask some questions live; this is your chance.

Do you also own a 3D printer? Do you have favourite creators for printable stuff? Post them in the comments. I’m always excited to explore new designers.

If you liked this article and want to read more about this, feel free to follow me on one or more of these platforms.
Live-Painting every Tuesday on Twitch at 19:00 GMT

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