Monday, 23 October 2017

Review: Fat Dragon Games' Village STL Files

Recently, Fat Dragon Games sent Must Contain Minis access to a selection of their Village STL files (3D Printer Models) through DriveThruRPG for review. We sent those files to site contributor Dave, who has access to a 3D printer. These files sent are part of Fat Dragon's DragonLock series.

Review: 3D Printed Fountain from Fat Dragon Games Village Market STL File
A look at a painted fountain from the Village Market STL Collection

Within this article, Dave Lamers took all of the pictures. He also wrote the outline and review notes for this article. Jacob Stauttener fleshed out those ideas into this article and edited some of the photos.

The first item that we are looking at is the Village Fountain. In our last article about DriveThruRPG selling more than just PDFs, Dave was just starting to paint this terrain piece. The piece is now complete and it looks very nice indeed.

The detailing on the Gargoyles is nice enough and some decorative work on the concrete is also apparent. 

Fat Dragon Games 3D Printed Village Market Fountain
From the side, the terrain piece looks pretty good. I really like the glossy water effects that Dave built into the model. 

28mm with 3D Printed Fountain - DragonLock Fat Dragon Games
Some 28mm miniatures hanging out around the fountain. 

A look from the top. This is a good sized piece. 

Overall, Dave was pretty happy with the fountain and started experimenting with the buildings. The house sections below are from the Village Buildings 2 Set.

The building pieces as they came off the printer. Looks a little "wavy" with extra lines to me. No worries... Dave knows how to clean that stuff up.

For those wondering, the column in the STL file is not a closed circle. There is still some clean up to do on these models.  :)

Initially, the building pieces start a little "wavy" due to how things come off of Dave's printer. In the picture below, you can really see those waves / lines.

3D Printed houses for Historical Wargaming
The pieces come off of Dave's printer with a bunch of extra lines on them. It is just the way the printer works.

Sometimes, Dave files those lines off, but for these pieces, he dipped the walls in acetone. He finds it best if he applies the acetone dip twice.

Dave dips his 3D printed model in acetone to reduce the appearance of lines.

Below is a comparison picture of the texture before the dip (on the right) and after the dip (on the left). If you zoom in, the difference is very noticeable.

The wall on the left had two baths in acetone. The one on the right is how they come off the printer. Note the difference in texture. 

After the piece gets two baths in acetone, Dave paints and then washes the piece.

The painted wall.

The painted wall with a wash applied.

The piece really takes shape and looks good when Dave follows this procedure. He found that as he printed the pieces, that he wanted to create more.

Below are a few observations that he made of the sets that he wanted to share with our readers.

First off, the walls are mirror images of themselves on each side of the piece. You can see along the top of this piece that the wall is the same on each side. Regardless, he felt that these walls had a nice "flowing" pattern when paired together.

The wall pieces are the same on each side of the printed model. 
Dave also noticed that the pieces slide together very well. You could use this kit modularly and flat store everything, but Dave plans to glue his sets together for strength and durability.  

Dave found that the pieces slide together like a dream.

For the pieces above, it took Dave just over three-hours to print each "Long Wall" and thirty-minutes to print the center column. Because of the length of time it takes to print the pieces, Dave plans to use the building without a printed floor. I wonder if other printers would print the pieces off faster.

The "Long Walls" used up about 10 meters of plastic while the fountain used 13 meters. The post in-between used up a meter of plastic while the bookcase (below) took about 5 meters of plastic to print. For those that don't own a 3D printer, 10 meters of plastic is not as expensive as it sounds. If you buy a system that can use spools (instead of only cartridges), I hear that the price per meter of plastic is even less.

3D printed Bookshelf miniature
The bookcase from the earlier post along side some 28mm miniatures.

The time it takes to print items and the material used can vary based on printer and selected print quality. It can also vary based on the wall thickness and how much "infill" you choose to use on the model. Dave mentioned that he wished he saw suggested numbers from Fat Dragon for the infill and quality levels at which to print the model.

When we first chatted about Fat Dragon Games, Dave was a little skeptical because he was used to downloading STL files from free sites. Why pay for something that you can get for free? When Dave received the files, he was very pleased with the quality of the product and the ease of which he could use the files.

A big thanks goes out to Fat Dragon Games for sending us these files.

For those that want to support Must Contain Minis, you can also find these files on DriveThruRPG. If you purchase from there after using one of the links on this site, a portion of the sales goes to Must Contain Minis.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Article Written by Jacob Stauttener
Article Outline and Review Notes by Dave Lamers
Pictures by Dave Lamers
3D Printing by Dave Lamers
Pictures Edited by Jacob Stauttener


Disclosures...

Fat Dragon Games provided Must Contain Minis with the ".stl" files of their Village Collection. 

Must Contain Minis has a Sales Affiliate Relationship with RPGNow, DriveThruRPG, and the Wargame Vault. This article includes multiple affiliate links. If you visit them from one of the above sites with a link through this page and make a purchase, a portion of the sales goes to supporting Must Contain Minis at no extra cost to you.  

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