Fist-Full Of Lead: Galactic Heroes

Marcus takes us through a recent game of Galactic Heroes.

Fist-Full Of Lead: Galactic Heroes
The boys and I have played a few skirmish games of late, and Fist-Full of Lead (FFOL) is a great option for a quick set-up bit of fun. Galactic Heroes is a stand-alone product in the series for space opera style action. It is produced by Wiley Games in the US and available in the UK from Oshiro Models.

A week ago I threw together a scenario which my youngest, Sun Two, and I blundered through (because it wasn’t that well developed, as a spur of the moment thing), but I forgot to take any photos! This week I wrote up a more complete treatment and we decided to give it a go on Saturday.

With some obvious inspiration (hint for those who didn’t grow up with the obligatory Cold War fiction) I pulled out my home made skirmish board with a surface that works for anything from an arid planet to the ocean depths and broke out all the sci-fi scenery (cue aquarium plants and buildings (some home-made from coffee jar tops) and some geodesic shelters from the lovely range by Alternative Armies Ion Age).

FFOL games rely on a deck of playing cards for activation. A player can use their own ordinary deck or use the bespoke ones available. These not only have some appropriate art, but also include on the relevant prompts with benefits that accrue from activating on certain cards. (e.g. +1 to combat (Jacks), heal a wound (Queen of Hearts) or (Sixes) reload). A player is dealt cards for the number of models they control. Then one player calls out the cards in rank order. When that player calls “kings” a player with a king can activate one of their models. If two or more players have kings, activation is completed in suit order. Each activation gives two actions. The models mainly use 1d10 for shooting and close combat, but a wide choice of traits vary the characters. Crews all receive one common “crew” trait (e.g. advanced comms or camo), leaders get three traits plus leadership, a specialist two and a regular one.  The traits provide a lot of character and variation to the crew.

Planetary Research Station Zulu
The war for control of Galactic Space is the coldest war of all. The mighty, technically advanced fleets of both the Rim-Ward Confederation and the Core Union conduct an unceasing ballet of probe and counter probe, patrol and surveillance in the effort to accrue the slightest advantage should the fragile peace fail. Unfortunately, this peace is threatened as a Union stealth probe has crash landed on moon Zulu. Before it crashed it transmitted critical information to a receiver on the planet. But the only occupants of this arid dustbowl are a group of scientists. Communication has been lost and a violent sandstorm rages.

Each side has inserted a team of specialists with instructions to bring back the critical information. Each side needs to contact the remaining civilians and roll successfully to gather information (tokens). After turn five each side has an opportunity once each turn to roll under the number of tokens gathered, which will provide enough evidence to recover the crucial data cache. The side which gets off the board first secures the vital data. However, where there are secrets there are spies! It is unclear how either side came to infiltrate agents into the expedition, but needless to say they did. No-one knows the identity of the spies. When questioning civilians, on a 9+ the subject is a proves to be a spy and attacks the team. The spy is then controlled by the other side, which is dealt an extra card next turn for the additional character. If an opponent’s spy is killed, deduct 2 from their intel total.

There were also some random events in the scenario, including weather changes (the game started with a lull in the storm), buildings blowing up and the dreaded sandsharks…

Finally, I controlled the Core (entering from the left in the layout picture). Sun Two the RimFed.

Turn 1
The game started with a brief lull in the storm. Both teams approached the research station from opposite sides, failing to make any contacts during this turn.

Turn 2
The first random event produced…nothing! No-one was wounded, so despite a sandshark roll, none appeared on the board. The Core Sniper having advanced toward a civilian was, ironically, picked off from a hill to the south east by a RimFed sniper. Out of action immediately! Snarot (a snake-parrot hybrid) struck back with a shot similarly wounding RimFeds Catman.

Turn 3
The weather closed back in with visibility cut to 12” and short range up to 6”.   A RimFed trooper interrogated a mechanic (Picture 3), gaining 2 info. with a roll of 7.

The Core leader, Sharon (looks a little bit like an ‘80’s Sharon stone-every collection should have one!), approached a venerable orange robot to interrogate it, but on a roll of 9 it turns out to be a deadly spy, rolling an 8 to wound. Sharon however is “Lucky”, so forces a re-roll…9! Sharon is not so lucky after all and out of action for the game.  Core forces have already lost two figures and have no information. RimFed’s Silva Slither (metallic sheathed worm) encounters another civilian and rolls for information, only to uncover another spy. The spy shoots but misses. By co-incidence both spies roll the trait “sixth sense” from my short “spy” list. They can re-roll one shot each turn (but the Core spy overlooked this at the time)

As the turn closed, Snarot tried to finish off the orange spy with a couple of shots, but missed. The Core’s own red worm (red and silver worms have a deep-seated enmity!), Slippery, again tries to shoot the orange robot, causing severe damage (a wound) and shock. For the Core, Spartan closed with Silva and engaged in close combat alongside the Core spy in support, wounding the metallic nematode.

Turn 4
Surely things would improve now for the Core? The random event indicated two information points in a random building. It turns out they are almost immediately adjacent to RimFed’s Antman. He not only collects these but encountering a civilian in the building, also gets another token from him! Slippery tries to finish off the robot, but fails. The RimFed uses a Queen of Spades to activate the robot, shaking the shock off but failing to return to action from the wound (You can attempt to recover; stand up and function after a wound. However, you need a medic to attempt to heal/get rid of it).  Snarot again fails to finish it off.

Snarot and Slippery finally finish off downed robot

Elsewhere, the Core spy shoots RimFeds Kanga, putting him out of action. RimFeds Hawk tries to get more information out of a yellow robot to no effect. Silva overcomes his wound, and while he remains injured, manages to stand. Antman, sensing the tide of the game is flowing substantially in favour of the RimFed, moves toward their edge of the board.

Turn 5
Visibility clears again. With a staggering 9 intel., the RimFed roll a 6, meaning that they have enough information to recover the secret data package. While slippery finishes off the orange robot spy costing the RimFed two intel., it is too little too late from the Core forces. As the RimFeds forces pull back they callously leave two of their team and their brokenspy behind. Snarot and Spartan try some long range sniping at the retreating forces to no effect. Hawk, Antman and an injured Silva (who makes a sliding equivalent of a limp) make it off the board for a substantial, if brutally efficient win, even while the Core spy puts Catman out of action.

A very bad result for the Core. No intel gathered and their leader out of action. The fact they knocked out the enemy spy and two combatants is cold comfort in this cold war. And no sandsharks. Again. Very disappointing.

RimFed robot spy and Union leads down. Slippery and Snarot survey the scene.

FFOL provides a very quick, interesting, narrative game with very little effort. It took no more than 90 minutes, if that. I am thinking seriously about a future campaign in a post-apocalyptic setting using FFOL – Wasteland Warriors and a road race element. This would allow a series of micro-games in a campaign where a number could be played in a day at the club.

One day…

Work in Progress Wednesday

Welcome to another Work in Progress Wednesday. We start with some English Civil War miniatures from club member Kimber. The image above is of the Royalist Commanders, below we have a Parliamentary unit.

Parliamentary unit with artillery

Next up Stephen has been adding more characters for both Sci-fi and fantasy.

Sirrek Kim (a scavenger from Magura IV) and Devo Whipitt (a corporate hit man). And another member of the College of Mages for a Dragon Rampant army, Maxander Lindstern.

Because I ask about this last week Andy has provided evidence of the various baggage terrain pieces he did fitting into his Ox cart.

But that’s not all Andy has been working on. Here he has started painting a kit of an Eagle from Space 1999.

1970’s Aifix model kit finally gets built

And finally (again) I’ve built even more 15mm medieval buildings for my Wars of the Roses battles.

Foam medieval houses

I’m currently engaged in a discussion with club members over the colour of plaster for buildings in the medieval period.

I should have the results by next week.

The Capture of Marco Linguine – Battle Report

John puts the 3D printed galleys supplied by fellow club member Colin into battle. This is a solo battle report using the Galleys and Galleons rules.

Introduction.
Rum Baba, an infamous Barbary pirate had been driven eastwards by the Christian warships but was still a thorn in the side of Venice. It was decided to despatch one of the newly built Galleass to their base at Chania in Crete to rid the Mediterranean of this menace for ever. En route, the Galleass and it’s escort were ambushed by Rum Baba and his pirate crews.

The Opposing Squadrons (details in Appendix)

The Venetian Squadron comprised the Lanterna Flagship commanded by Linguine, the new Galleass and a small Galliot to act as scout and draw the attention of the Ottomans. The Ottomans comprised Rum Baba in the Lanterna and three swift but lightly armed Galliots.

The Ambushing Ottomans lie in wait

Move 1
The Ottomans win the initiative roll and will move first each move. At the start of each move every vessel has to roll up to three D6 and roll equal or above its Q value to gain a successful action

This Galliot has a Q value of 2 so gets 3 actions, two of which it can use for movement. The double 3 denotes a change in wind direction one point anticlockwise. This does not affect the Galliots but may affect the Galleass which is propelled by sail.

The Galliots rush towards the Venetian Galliot intent on its destruction. Meanwhile, the Venetians move up cautiously and the Galleass takes in sail to maintain formation.

Position after move 1 from the Venetian side. They approach cautiously hoping to get a close range shot in before boarding actions begin.

The Ottomans move up and use their final action to open fire at long range. One point of damage is inflicted on the Venetian Galliot from this fusillade.

These two Galliots have a base combat factor of 2. The range is Medium so no firing factors are added. If the target is doubled by the modified dice roll a point of damage is inflicted and the target then has to roll on the Critical Damage table. If the attackers roll is even, it causes one point of damage with no roll on the Critical Damage table.

The Venetians move into close range and fire back

In addition to it’s broadside the Galleass is equipped with Chaser Guns which have a combat value of 1. All firing vessels get a plus 1 for close range. BOOM!
The Galleass rolls a 6. This is a critical hit and the Galliot has to roll on the Critical Hit table and sustains another point of damage. It’s hit again later in the move and now has 3 damage points, one more and it will strike. Ouch!
The Ottomans strike back. The Lanterna causes a point of damage to the Venetian Galliot which closes with the Ottoman Galliot and takes another point of damage so 3 points of damage each!
As the melee rages, the Galleass makes good it’s escape

Two Galliots and the Ottoman Lanterna close in on the outnumbered Venetian flagship and the two Galliots who have locked in combat fight to a standstill. The Galliots have the Derring Do special rule and attack with reckless ferocity. In the first round, all base combats are reduced to zero.

Here with base combat values at zero, the Lanterna is up against. Here it loses the combat but has the Veteran NCO special rule which gives a +1 bonus when losing by one or the adjusted roll is tied. Both vessels take a point of damage as the adjusted rolls are now tied.
With the Venetian Flagship on 3 damage points, the Ottoman Lanterna moves in to deliver the Coup de Grace and Linguine Strikes his colours

With the Venetian Flagship on 3 damage points, the Ottoman Lanterna moves in to deliver the Coup de Grace and Linguine Strikes his colours
With the Galleass now a dot on the horizon, Rum Baba takes Linguine’s surrender and collects his prizes. He hoped for a profitable ransom for Linguine and whilst He would sleep well tonight in the company of concubines, that Galleass worried him. His captains had been reckless, they would need to be more savvy next time.

Appendix – Data sheets for vessels involved in the conflict

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

This week we start off with some Sci-Fi rogues and scoundrels  from Stephen. The miniatures are all converted using various bits from other sets and miniatures.

Ricard Snyder – a soldier of fortune from the colonies
Jesrick Yoon – a bounty hunter with a fearsome reputation
Babu Dor – a Jovian pirate from the Don-Andros system
Acton Ianov – a ex-naval pilot who now makes his way as a smuggler

Next up Andy has made more progress on his Ox cart. I wonder if any of Andy’s terrain pieces will fit inside?

Travel in the olden days

Now we have some RAF and Luftwaffe forces from Marcus.

Aces High!

And finally (why do I always leave my stuff to last?) I’ve made some progress on my Tudor buildings. I’m trying several different colour schemes and seeing how grey thatched roofs look, since that is normally the colour of thatch after a short time.

The many shades of Tudor

See you next week.

 

A Quick Camping Trip

Jeremey puts the Romans to shame by building a marching camp in just a few hours!

This all started because I wanted to expand my Wars of the Roses army to the point where I could field both sides. In many rulesets dealing with Medieval warfare a camp is required for each army. I only had one camp as I previously only had one army.

I therefore set about making a camp from scratch. Yes I could have ordered some tents and camp equipment miniatures but I was in one of my “Just make something” moods.

The Start of a basic palisade

I thought the easiest option would be a stockade/Palisade style camp. I already had a base and dug out the air drying clay to make the bank and interior terrain of the camp.

It was at this point things just didn’t work, the clay just would not stick to the wooden base as I was sculpting it into shape. So I took it off the base and continued on the work mat. But then I realised I needed to make an indentation for the cocktail sticks, sorry wooden palisade fence before the clay dried.

At this point I threw my toys out of the pram as I couldn’t see it working and I’d have to wait for the clay to dry. Then I had a eureka moment and turned to my old modelling friend EVA foam. I make everything out of the stuff so why not the camp.

The air drying clay is ditched in favour of foam

I cut off of a EVA foam floor mat a couple of strips to act as the defensive bank and also (just because I could) another couple of pieces to turn into a hut/shed.

Life would not be worth living without a hot glue gun

I then fired up the hot glue gun and stuck the foam to the base. Instant results and no waiting for clay to dry.

20 minutes later and the palisade is complete!

Ah I hear you cry but how did you create a gap for the palisade. All that was needed was to cut down through the top of the foam bank and then push the cocktail stick down through the cut. I simply used a little bit of superglue to stick them together. I then went across the top with my wire cutters to trim all the sticks to the same height.

Back to the hot glue gun

At this point I could have gone back to some for of putty/clay to model the inside terrain of the camp. But I was on a roll and wanted the camp finished in a day!
So I went back to the hot glue gun and used it to build up the ground against the foam banking, and I also used it to create the muddy path between the two entrances. This is easy to do, you just use the nozzle of the glue gun to melt the glue as you run back through it. I also made a little pile of logs for scenery.

A splash of brown and a bit of flock

I then turned to painting the camp. A simply covering of brown followed by a bit of dry brushing with lighter shades took care of the camp and surrounding palisade. Once the paint had dried a bit I spread PVA glue and sprinkled some flock.

The hut/shed takes form

Having to pause to let the PVA glue dry I turned to the other piece of scenery the hut/shed. To build this I stuck two pieces of foam together wit the glue gun and then cut out the entrance, I then cut the top of the block into a slanted roof shape. The roof was made by cutting a very thin layer off the foam floor tile and sticking it down on top. This formed a nice curving roof.
To create the look that it was thatched was done by drawing the craft knife gently across the top. Just enough to score it not cut it.

The finished camp

A quick paint job on the hut including painting on the wooden beams in the wall for that medieval look took moments and then I stuck it in place.
At this point for finishing flourish I added some different flock to break up the grass areas. I do have a couple of figures I might add to this, but for a model that took me about 3 hours I’m really pleased with the results.

Work in Progress Wednesday

This Wednesday we start with some adventurers for Perilous Tales painted by John. Above we have the Gentlemen and below the Ladies.

and the Ladies

Next up a rarity from Phil showing his new Quar project.

Creevin and Fidwog cavalry

Steve has added a bounty hunter to go with his recent Spaceship model.

This is the notorious bounty hunter, Boone Sadist, with his ship Scourge Reaper…

Continuing with his Dark Ages theme Andy has an Ox Cart on the workbench.

And finally for this week I decided to scratch build a new camp for my 15mm Wars of the Roses army. I’ll probably do a post about how I built this camp.

See you next week.

Reinforcements Have Arrived

Jeremey shows off his Wars of the Roses army now that it’s complete (well almost).

On the 17th February 2020 I put up a blog post about the first Wars of the Roses units I had managed to paint up. This was the start of my very first historical army. Fellow club member Stephen was also painting up his own Wars of the Roses with the idea of fighting the various battles thoughout the year.

We managed one battle before lockdown scuppered getting down to the club.

First battle to test our Wars of the Roses armies

So I packed up the army for the following months and turned to other ptojects. But I kept drifting back to the army and found myself making terrain. Given the first Battle of St Albans was essentially a town battle I started making tudor houses.

Still a lot of work to do on these buildings. More plasterwork and thatched roofs

But Stephen started to post a few solo battles using his army and mentioned adding a few additional units, so I caved and ordered some more for my army. using the Sword and Spear army lists I went for a few of the support units. Welsh Longbows, Welsh Spearmen, General Spearmen and Mercenary Crossbows.

Welsh Longbows and Spearmen on the Painting Table

I painted these using the same method as my existing units. Stephen had painted his units in uniform colours but I wanted a much bigger variety. Although armies of this time were starting to wear their lords Livery, but I didn’t want to tie my units down to any particular faction.

I picked out a range of colours (various, browns, greens and the odd khaki shade) and painted different parts of each miniature so that no two miniatures were the same. This was potentially more time consuming but I still went through the miniatures like a production line.

Another new aspect for this army was to make the flags changable, in order to allow my army to represent any side in the conflict, or for when several lords bring forces to the battlefield.

Changable Flags for my Units

I simpy glued the flags together and left a loop to fit over the flag poles on the units.

And so finally I got to a point where I had a large enough army for a real epic battle.

The whole army with a multitude of flags
The Left Flank of the Army
The Right Flank of the Army

Work in Progress Wednesday

First up this Wednesday we have some more 6mm Hammers Slammers from Mark.

The first detachment for Hammers Slammers

I’ll let mark explain a bit more about the paint scheme “My first Slammers section almost completed minus the infantry, this is a Zaporoskiye strike detachment painted in a Berlin Brigade inspired urban cameo scheme; given that I’ve used green in place of grey I guess you could say it’s semi urban.  This section includes my second prototype which has a lighter brown, feel the darker works better at this scale. 5 more sections to do then I’m ready for battle.”

Next up Paul has well … Paul can explain the madness. “I have had a rush of blood to the head and replaced my 1/200th WW2 and Post War Armour Infantry, with 1/300th. Currently finishing off 8th Army and US in Tunisia, good start on the 16th Parachute/Air Landing Brigade (for post war interventions) and a Japanese WW2 Independent Brigade.

We’ve all suddenly decided to switch scales, haven’t we?

Andy has got close to finishing his Dark Ages figures, with just some shield transfers and bases to do.

The Dark Age mob is almost finished

And lastly for this week I’ve decided to paint yet more 15mm Wars of the Roses Men at Arms.

Two more units of Men at Arms and a couple of commanders

I didn’t paint these originally because I’d already done two units and the Sword and Spear army list said that was the maximum. But I’m hoping to have enough units to field both sides in a battle, and so added these to the painting table.

See you next week.

Work in Progress Wednesday

It’s another Wednesday and here’s what the club members have been up to.

First up Marcus has completed the spaceships he’s been working on with some lovely paint schemes. These I believe are from Ground Zero Games with the one in the main picture being from Zandris IV.

The Fleet Gathers

Next up John has painted some 3D printed ships.

3D Printed Venetian Galleys

You will rcognise these from the blog post on Monday about first experiences of 3D printing.

Tiny but well details ships from a freely available 3D print model

And lastly to go with my city ruins I’ve had a go at general rubble piles. These were made by crushing up the remaining plasterboard pieces and dropping them into a watered down PVA solution.

Rubble to go with the ruins

I then simply poured the solution out and left it to dry. Nice rubble if you can get it.

See you next week …

Experiences with a 3D printer

Club member Colin takes us through his first attempts at 3D printing.

The idea of 3D printing has always interested me. Being able to design and make your own models easily and quickly appeals from the point of view of having total control over the modelling and wargaming experience. Its therefore been interesting to watch the 3D printing technology evolve and see how early adopters have used the technology in the wargaming space.

1/200 scale tanks – free download from thingiverse.

As a casual observer and follower of the 3D printing scene it can seem a bit of a daunting area. There are lots of helpful youtube videos and other content on the internet to inform. But you do come away with the impression that it is still a complicated area to get into with choice of printer, associated software to drive the printer, and then setting everything up so that it just works seems non-trivial.

However this Christmas I thought lets give it a go and get hands on to see what its about. The first decision point is the type of printing technology you want to work with and there are two methods to consider here – Firstly there is filament printing which involves a roll of plastic which is then fed into a print head where it melts and is deposited in layers to build the model.
The other option is resin printing where liquid resin is deposited in layers and cured into a solid layer by UV light.

Filament printing is not as precise as resin printing, but tends to offer scope for bigger models, is faster and generally a more simpler experience. Resin printing is more suited for detailed models such as miniature figures but requires dealing with liquid resin which produces odours, has to be stored correctly to avoid exposure to UV light and then when the model is completed, it has to be cured and washed – a more messy experience

Initially I was thinking resin printing was the way to go but then decided filament seemed a lot more straight forward as I dont have access to a dedicated workshop area and just wanted to get up and running with as simple a process possible.

Renaissance galleys – free download from Wargames Vault. Wargame Lepanto with 400 ships for a couple of pounds.

The printer costs between the two technologies don’t seem to differ much and this then drives the next decisions – how much to spend and which printer to buy.

There seems to be three cost categories of printers – Professional £1,000+ , top end hobby £600+, and entry level hobby between £150 and £350 with many supplied as self assembly in this category.

One of the best known brands in the entry level category is Creality with their Ender product range. The Ender 3 is promoted as that offering the best and biggest community support. I’d come across it before and seen some of the youtube content explaining how it works and comparing the various revisions. It so happened when I was looking to buy that Creality had just announced the Ender 3 V2 which came with some significant enhancements to the previous version such as a heated print bed and so I decided to go with this. The printer is made in China and stocked by Amazon for about £250.

6mm block ancients for big battles – free download from thingiverse.

So come Christmas day the printer was revealed from Santa’s sack and the challenge with constructing it began. Its a kit model and suggests a couple of hours are required for assembly. As i say above there are lots of supporting community videos with guidance here. My advice in retrospect to anyone attempting the construction would be to spend some time in advance and watch some of these videos. I just ploughed on, with the instruction manual which can be a challenge and really needs a decent translation into English but on the whole it is fairly navigable as far as the actual construction is concerned. Every now and then I got stuck and had to quickly google for a helpful video just to make sure I was on the right lines.

Eventually I had the machine constructed and powered up and I now attempted to do an initial test print. Thats where the fun started. Before printing the machine must be calibrated in terms of the print bed position and the dispensing end of the filament. The manual explains how to do this using a piece of paper as a feeler gauge to setup ready for printing. However there seems to be a fundamental instruction missing from the manual regarding calibrating what is termed the z-stop. This is a switch which tells the printer where the bottom of the z vertical access is in relation to the print bed. If this is incorrectly set its impossible to go through the software driven instructions from the LCD panel on the printer. This was probably the biggest obstacle to overcome and eventually the right youtube video was found which clarified how to manually adjust this ready for calibrating the print bed.

Jutland at 1/5000 scale – free download from thingiverse.

So now with it ready to print you need something to print. This opens up the other side to the activity which is using software to design and build the 3D models for printing. A micro SD card is the storage mechanism used by the printer to access the models, and an LCD panel with a navigation button is used to initialise the printer and select from the SD card the model you want to print.

A 2mm village designed on tinkercad in half an hour with half an hour to print

The printer comes with an SD card loaded with some sample models and a USB adapter for plugging the SD card into a computer and downloading models created there. And its here that the whole area comes alive. There are thousands of freely available models to download for free and print with many wargaming examples. www.thingiverse.com is the leading site here and is a great starting point for finding ready to go models.

Taking a step back if you want to design your own models the process starts with 3D computer aided design software. There are free applications here which are very professional and full function such as Blender. And there are easy to start with services such as tinkercad.com which runs in the browser and allows you to design using very simple building blocks with next to no learning curve required. The output from the 3D CAD application is an STL file.

Costing just pennies

In order to send this to the printer it has to be sliced, and for this another computer application is required. The Ender printer supplies an application called Cura, but there are others available for free. The slicing application asks what printer you are using and adjusts settings accordingly, you import the STL file which has been created by the design software (or downloaded from thingiverse for example), and then the slicer splits the model into slices on the x-y plane which the printer can understand and print. The output from the slicer is a GCODE file which you then transfer to the printer via the SD card.
Within the slicer app you can adjust the model in terms of scaling it up or down or cut and paste to create multiple models.

The first models I attempted to print were some wargaming items from thingiverse and this brought me back again to some of the issue with the printer setup. Bed adhesion seems to be the main topic of conversation on the community sites. If the print bed is not precisely level then the model will not adhere to the print bed and will slip at some point in the build process and ruin the print. With the early printers a common solution is to put down a layer of masking tap on the bed and start the print on that. Or use glue on the print bed or even hairspray. The heated bed on my model of printer aimed to solve this problem but because the bed levelling is a manual process there is scope for not getting this quite right. I struggled with a couple of initial prints here, and then after the usual search for an explanation on the internet just resorted to putting down a layer of spray glue which solved the problem and successfully produced my first prints. I subsequently resorted to a Pritt stick which works well and eventually graduated to no glue prints.

The other thing to mention with the output from the slicer app is supports. Because the printer works with layers from the bed upwards it needs a degree of continuity from one layer to the next and can only cope with overhangs of around 45% to the vertical. For models which fall outside this constraint the slicer app introduces supports as part of the build which can be removed after printing. The type of support, density etc is a complicated subject in its own right but for those aiming to build complex models is a key necessary understanding and often comes down to trial and error. With block type structures such as tanks you can get away with simple supports and/or re-orientating the way the model prints – so gun barrels are best printed vertically for instance.

Its worth mentioning at this point the economics of the subject. Along with the printer I got a 1kg reel of PLA plastic. This cost around £20. So 2p per gram of print material. A lot of the models I mention below are produced with 1 or 2 grams of material. So the potential for building models at a few pennies each is clear.