Welcome to the Highlander Studios blog.

I won't promise any earth shattering revelations here. What I will be trying to do is post some new products as I release them, share some thoughts on gaming and show some pics of games and other stuff that I enjoy. So come in and make yourselves at home.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Galactic A-hole Pre-order

     I don't usually do pre-orders. However I just got off the phone with the mold maker and the production molds are finished for the following codes:

VIC-121      British Firing Line W/ Masks     $5.00

     Click the title for a direct link to the product. Any orders for these will ship late next week.

     Here are a few more photos of these guys painted.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Colonial British Deck Guns

     I had an inquiry a couple of weeks ago about the British Naval guns I designed for 15mm games a while back. This person scratch builds models in 1:60 (close enough to 28mm for government work) and was looking for some deck guns. I have no intention of producing these designs for anything larger than 15mm gaming, but rescaling them and making them available on Shapeways was an easy fix.

     OK. Not quite that easy. I set aside the project after the first batch of prints arrived. The 3D prints were great, but they were too accurate in scale. This made them impossible to put through a mold and cast reliably. Some parts needed to be beefed up to work right. Disheartened, I moved on to other projects and tucked these files safely away... somewhere... on one of three computers. Yesterday I revised a months old file for a client that needed to be tweaked. Lo and behold... there were the deck gun files in a nearby directory.

     Scaling the guns from 1:100 to 1:60 is a matter of Math. 100 divided by 60 is 1.67. Easy right? These models were checked with the .stl viewer and any problems were corrected. They were then uploaded to Shapeways where the files are run through their preliminary printing checks. This tells you if the file will print at all and if there are walls that are too thin and may cause problems. Some of my walls were still too thin even at the larger scale.

     When I encounter these problems, my first response is to go back to the modeling software and see if I can thicken the problem areas. So I'm doing this and that proverbial light bulb comes on in my brain.

     In my research of 3D printers I learned that the x-y resolution is not the same as the z resolution. Often the z (up/down) axis is a lot more fine tuned. Instead of struggling through the rebuilding of some parts, what if I just switched the print axis?

     Evidently my assumption that a company's printing software would look for the best possible print direction was incorrect. Sometimes there are glitches and sometimes it just prints what you feed into it. So I switched the up axis of the models and they passed the preliminary checks. Granted this is only for Shapeways frosted ultra detail material and not most of the others. But that's the stuff that gives the best surface and finest resolution, so I'm fine with that.

     End of the story is that now there are three British deck guns available on Shapeways for use in 28mm gaming.

     Nordenfeldt 5-barrel gun:

Hotchkiss QF 47mm cannon

Hotchkiss 1 lb. rotary cannon

     Clicking the title will send you directly to the item at Shapeways.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

To the Sound of the Martian Guns

     My first trials with parts printed in Shapeways' frosted ultra detail were a success. For whatever reason I never got pictures of the printed models. But here is a shot of them after they were cast, assembled and primed.

     I did not do a lot of clean up on these before they went into the mold. I had several other models arrive at the same time so I did various levels of cleanup on them ranging from none to about 15 minutes of fine sanding. These were soaked in a Bestine solvent bath and then lightly sanded.

     There are some deck guns on pintles as well, but I haven't had the time to get them on a small deck diorama.

     Anyway, here are a few photos of the painted models.


     These are 1/100 scale models that could be used for any naval cannon you think they'd fit. I'm still designing the crews and deciding how I want them packaged for sale. I'm leaning toward gun packs by type and separate crews. That makes the most sense to me so people aren't locked into purchasing Martians if they have no use for them.

     The Hill Martian command set is also done. They've been available since Cold Wars this year, but I haven't taken the time to make an announcement. So... here they are.

     There are four figures in the pack. The standard is a bare pole. So add whatever flag you like. Mine is printed on paper and attached with a 50/50 glue/ water mix.

     The last VSF item for the day is a small conversion of the British firing line pack. I needed to bulk out a master mold quickly this week and I've been wanting Brits with masks and tanks on them. So we introduce Victoria's Bug Boys.

     I'm planning to have these in production by the end of August. Earlier if the mold maker's schedule allows.

What a Bunch of A-Holes

     This set of Galactic A-Holes should be available between late July and mid August.

     They are sculpted in 1/100 scale for use in 15mm gaming.