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Ender is now (mostly) working

I haven't posted in a while because I've been busy fighting my Ender 3. And documenting everything for See Mark Paint.

Here's my setup:



Here's my purchased and printed upgrades, with links:

The BLTouch is so I don't have to worry about bed leveling. The PEI spring steel plate was so I don't have to use tape or glue on the bed anymore. The upgraded bed springs was for... well, I was mucking around with the bed anyway, why not? Someone recommended them to me. The spiral wrap means I can group and hide all of the wires and tubes into a single group and not have to worry about layers of cable ties. The SD card reader makes inserting and removing the card easier, not only because it's a more comfortable size, but also easier access. I used to have to "scootch" the printer up to the table edge to get my fingers on the micro SD card. The extrusion mechanism upgrade was because the plastic extrusion mechanism broke.

The printable upgrades:

All this and more will be up in the 3d printing chapters in the next edition of See Mark Paint.

They followed me home, honest!

There I was this past Saturday, showing up to my FLGS for my weekly fix of "Blowing Shit Up" and they were having a flea market! A quick run to the ATM to pull out cash I can't afford to spend, and this was my haul:

Flea market games sm

Combined Arms is a 6mm 80's armor D10 game based on the Command Decision rultset. I played it while I was in the Project Warrior Wargame Club in Guam back in the late 80's and early 90's. I had long forgotten the name so I could never look it up, but I saw the cover and instantly recognized it. One time we actually tried to cross Battletech into it. It didn't end well for the 'Mechs.

The other game is the old AH War at Sea strategic-level game that I wanted to try out. Avalon Hill always put out good stuff.

But the best haul of all was the Purple Nurples. Yes, I used to be "that guy" back when I was young, dumb and ugly. The good news, I'm not him not any more. :-)

purple nurples

I admire the painting, especially the jewled cockpits. All of this is only "mostly complete," as I need to add another 'Mech from my stock to bring them up to two full lances, do base work on the ones that need it, print and install the ML barrels on the Pumas, Reverse the arms on the Toyama, things like that. The aircraft on the left are not from Battletech, so I will have to choose who they will be. I also have a couple of "Grav Tanks" from yet another game system that I will probably try to fit in there some way. But the purple and white on the gray just jumped out at me.

And here I was, thinking I was done patinting miniatures. Shit. ;-)

There's a New Printer in Town

These posts, I'm afraid to say are so infrequent that I feel I have to preface each one with "I'M NOT DEAD YET!" But that happens when you're working on a second website, an application, a book, looking for a job while fighting for ten weeks to be approved for unemployment, house maintenance, and 15 other things. I don't get a lot of time for modeling and posting here.

I managed to score some cash and acquired an Anycubic Photon printer a couple weeks ago. I've also been acquiring the ancillary accoutrements to make miniatures and I've actually produced a few.


I have about 80-90% of my seven current battalions, so I'm going to learn the ins and outs of the printer in filling my TO&E's out. Yes, this information will end up in the 4th Edition of See Mark Paint.

I'm actually kind of sad and dismayed about doing this. I personally like metal miniatures. I like their heft, their feel and their look. I also know that the advancement and decentralization of technology and information is pushing all of us away from the metal miniature. The production costs for injection-molded and now 3D printed miniatures are way lower and all that. For $30, I can get a liter of resin and use it to make almost a battalion's worth of miniatures, way less that buying metal from Iron Wind Metals. To me, it's just not right. I've met the people at IWM and they're good people. I hope they are going to survive this current crisis and remain profitable for many years to come. I am actually planning on making a run up there and just buying $1,000 worth of product just because I like them. Of course, seeing friends and buying Stroh's are also on the list when I'm in that part of the world.

Since I'm here, I'm also updating  and adding a few other pages. Here's my fleet of dropships:


(L ro R) Overlord-class TCB Fred Smith, Union-class TCB Benjamin Franklin.

In case you didn't know, I live in Memphis and the most-used three letter acronym here is "TCB," Elvis' phrase of "Takin Care of Business." Since Dropships deliver, I named these after very famous delivery guys. Fred Smith is the founder of FedEx, based in Memphis. Ben Franklin is the guy who's responsible for the US Postal Service.

TCB Leroy JenkinsLeopard-class TCB Leeroy Jenkins

Yes, that Leeroy Jenkins. The pinnacle of foolhardy charging into battle are those that ride Leopards into hot LZs.

A new addition to the Krushers

My "Brother-from-another-mother" Chris is our local Catalyist Demo Agent, and is worked like a dog by CGL during GenCon. He managed to slip this custom Banshee modeled and painted by Dave Fanjoy off the CSO table this year. This is the "Beat-Yo-Ass Banshee" piloted by Chris "Beatdown" Crews.

Beatdown Banshee

Chris even sent me a snapshot of it on the table:

Beatdown Banshee 2019 CSO tableBecause it obviously has a RAC-5 and an ER PPC, but no canon unit has that loadout, I decided to make my own.

Here is the Banshee BNC-4F. Introduced in 3086, it's very heat balanced, generating one heat on an Alpha Strike, it has 2 tons of ammo for a full 6 turns of maximum RAC fire. It has a slightly lighter armor load, but also has CASE and no XL engine so it doesn't die if there is an ammo explosion. It also has a Medium Pulse Laser in each arm and an ER Small Laser in the head. Since the club is actually an impromptu weapon, it's not part of the official loadout.

I made a record sheet and I am posting it here for you to copy and enjoy. Right-click and "Save As" to get it in full size.

bnc 4f.

Keep trying

On all of the wargaming forums and FB pages I frequent, I see one thread occur over and over again: I suck at painting my miniatures.

When I started painting, my miniatures sucked as well. My first wargaming tournament was at MidSouthCon 22. It was a 1750 point Warhammer 40K tournament and I ended up (I think) with Best General. There were four of us in the tournament, and two were teenagers. I had painted my force in 3 weeks because I spray painted them on the sprue, then clipped them out and assembled them. I used the Citadel Ultramarine Blue (as it was an Ultramarine force). What made the job REALLY bad was that I used to paint-pot (dip your brush in) Ultramarine Blue to touch up where the sprues were attached. They weren't the same color. The paint-pot was several shades darker.

In the years since, I have become a lot better. I can now paint to a "tabletop" standard, which means if you look at my models at arms length they look realistic. I am not the kind of person who wants to devote the time to paint models that look like they will walk off their bases and I am okay with that.

For those of you who think you suck at painting, and will always suck at painting, watch this.


In the works

In my "copious free time" lately, I have been working on a project. In the commission of that project, I saw a need and now have put the first project on hold until I can complete the second project. Both projects will be revealed at the appropriate time, but here is a proof of concept for the second project:

POC 15

Enhancing the Play Space

There are two rules to any "Man Project," 1) it will involve at least three trips to the Hardware store and 2) you will have to buy at least one new tool or piece of equipment to complete the project.

Ready to start again

I have had some issues going on the past few months that have caused me to neglect something that I use for stress relief: Namely, modeling and painting.

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