Adventures in Miniature

After I quit traveling for work in taking my new job, I started experimenting with the hobby of tabletop wargames, specifically my gateway drug was Fantasy Flight Games tabletop Star Wars Legion. Little miniature star wars land battles? What’s not to love.

Well for one my inability to paint things, and weirdly a crippling anxiety to want to learn on a bunch of plastic I purchased with the sole intent of painting so I can have little land battles. That’s a topic for another post one day.

Not wanting to ‘waste money’ I bought a resin printer so I could print and paint the minis and if I screwed up, i could toss this plant based resin and not worry about it. After I got my printer, I discovered the second problem. There weren’t a lot of ‘inexpensive’ options, and resin printing was new. So my Photon S sat for some time gathering dust, but after discovering that digital sculptors were creating and selling kits via Patreon for between $10 and $15 a month…sign me up.

I’d waffled on spending $10 (? after spending money on a printer, and letting it sit, thanks brain) but then Scott “The Miniac” over on Youtube posted a video and highlighted the first Patreon I joined, Cast N’ Play. This pretty much opened the flood gates, as I quickly discovered Artisan Guild and Titan Forge. It’s been a few months and I now have more mini files than I can shake a stick at….and I still haven’t painted one more than maybe primer and a base coat before getting frustrating and tossing it (Yet another blog post)

Now it’s been several months, and a couple more patreon or patreon like places where I’m getting a significant number of models a month. I’ve been using my MS OneDrive since I have 1TB due to an Office 365 subscription but other than copying my files somewhere it doesn’t help with the management of the files. Sometimes there are updates, either due to a file error or a support being moved and changing one file when you download a big zip and making sure you got the ‘fixes’ is tedious on a good day when it’s copy files into a directory.

So I’ve started an effort to do a couple things. The first thing is to better manage my files. Initially I think I’ll do one major thing, but a better option might be to manage by project vs one big thing. I need to experiment more. The second is, well, could I turn this into something bigger where other people could use it? Do I want to either sell this as a service or create an open source project? Time will tell. I’ve never been much of an entrepreneur but this has been scratching around in my head for two months now.

I’ve done my initial experiments in that I have created a gitlab based solution on my personal server that I run in the house, and now I’m seeing how it works to add/make changes/commit changes. Obviously at its core it’s a simple git statements but that’s not overly user friendly now is it? If I wanted to re-sell this I’d need to make this a lot cleaner for a ‘regular’ person to use. Now 3D Printing is extremely fiddly. This isn’t something a ‘normal’ computer user will be doing, this is somewhat power user. So having a solution that is a little ‘fiddly’ but offers a better experience for Sculpters to provide than the current options of pCloud or Sync…could that be useful?

I’m hoping to document my experience here. I’m not a power developer, I’m a solution architect. I could probably design a prototype but if I really want to do this I might have to contract out some of the work. Time will tell, i may get bored and wander off as well.