It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these, and while I’ve done some work on a few projects, nothing called to me to post about until now. I’m still very much learning in the painting process, but I do feel like I’m making progress at leveling my skills. Again, I am very aware that my stuff has the imperfections of learning, but that’s part of the whole process and I have decided to embrace that.
As in my previous articles, I will preface this by noting that none of the products I will reference were provided to me by any sort of sponsor or company. Some we selected on our own and others were recommended to us or were mentioned by someone in the gaming community online.
In the past few months, I started DMing for a group of elementary school kids, which has me trying to print and paint more things because they get a real kick out of it. Some of those things are more practical than others. In my DMing, I use cards for when my young players cast spells or want to use items like potions that they give me. Things that recharge after a rest I return, and others go back to my inventory. To hold onto these cards between sessions, a Spell Card Holder works perfectly. When I saw the one from the Fates End Furhaven Campaign that we backed, I knew we needed to print it. The Furhaven RPG is taking late pledges here. Many of the 3D printing files can be found in their store, including the one I am featuring here.
The files for the Spell Card Holder were set up to be printed supportless, so our FDM printer (a Creality CR-6 SE) was going to be able to handle this just fine. Printing time was on the shorter end compared to some projects we’ve done, but we did have some print errors that we had to troubleshoot to get a cleaner print. On that note, my husband has gotten so much better at reducing things like stringing, which we dealt with in earlier prints. I would like to note that we printed it a touch bigger than the average spell card just to make it easier to get cards in and out. To give a size idea, the cards are about the size of a typical card from a collectible card game like Pokémon or Magic: The Gathering.
These are the settings and filament my husband used:
- Time: Bottom: 13.5 Hours. Top: 11.25 hours.
- Filament: SUNLU PLA Grey 1.75mm.
- Printer settings: 0.4mm nozzle, 0.12mm layer height, 0.3 mm line width, 10% skin overlap, 20% infill, 50mm/sec print speed.
Before it was time to make things pretty, my husband glued in the little magnets that keep the two halves together. Once that was done it was ready to go with barely any cleanup needed. Painting is usually the part where I come in. For the record, I tend to use paints from the different Scale 75 lines. For priming this spell book, I used the Scale 75 Holy Charm Brush On Primer from the Instant Colors line (white-based) for everything. The brushes I used included several from Citadel and some cheap make-up brushes from e.l.f. Cosmetics. I’ve had some really good luck with their blending brushes in particular.
The book got its base in Speed Metal from the Metal N Alchemy line since I liked that sheen it gave. The aged pages were based on Werewolf Brown from Instant Colors. The main jewel was a tricky situation. Usually, if you can print in clear you get a cool effect by painting with inks. However, the jewel was not something I could print separately, and if you’re not printing at 100% infill, clear will show through. Of course, painting at 100% is time-consuming and PLA-eating. So how to paint it to look like a jewel? I did the most reasonable thing I could think of: I asked the owner of our favorite local gaming store for advice. J told me the best trick for this situation is to base it in gold (because metallic gold has such a high shimmer content) and then paint over that with inks. So, I did the jewel base in Elven Gold from the Metal N Alchemy line.
With phase two, I used two layers of Inktense Cyan from the Inktensity line to color the jewel. Right away, I loved the effect. Those reflecting colors really did show up and make it feel more like a real jewel. The pictures don’t quite do the color shifts proper justice, unfortunately.
Finally, the dry brushing stage was up. I choose to dry brush the metal bindings and decorative bits in Elven Gold. Next, I dry brushed Hykey Yellow from the Fantasy & Games line on top of the pages to give an aged parchment look. In both cases, I used a selection of Citadel brushes. I also watered down some of the Werewolf Brown to gently brush over all of the gold sections to give it just a touch of definition.
The final step was to seal things up. After some experimenting over time, we have found we like Rust-Oleum Clear Satin Enamel the best for overall sealing. I still wanted some of the bits to look shiny but not the whole book. To give a bit of extra shine to the gold parts and the jewel, I used a makeup brush and some brush-on gloss primer from the D&D Prismatic Line by Vallejo. It looks so much better than the first hollow spell book project we tried. Here’s a look at our finished project:
If like me, you are newer at this hobby and want to learn some techniques including things like dry brushing, which I mentioned, I recommend looking at Lyla Mev – The Mini Witch’s Channel. I like that there are some good selections for getting started without being too overwhelming.
Overall, I am pretty pleased with how this turned out and how far we’ve come in both printing and painting. I’m really excited to show this one off to the kids I DM for and I love that I have an item that can be both practical and cool. I do like testing things out at the prop size level to sort of ease the learning curve before I try it on a tiny mini. We’re absolutely going to print more from Fates End, and I look forward to seeing their future releases.