50mm to 40mm rescale
8th Mar, 2015

Now that I've had the 50mm 3D print of the 50mm floor part for a few days in my hand, and seeing how miniatures look on them, I'm now wondering if 40mm really might be a better size for the floor tile after all? 40mm will still take 25-40mm bases, and look less bare with the smaller based models than 50mm. It's true 2 x 25mm based models can stand side by side on the 50mm tile, but many miniature manufactures now use 32mm bases and they do not fit neatly side by side onto a 50mm base so that justification is gone. Considering the future trend of base sizes are probably going to increase (they started out at 20mm!), the part has to look good with 40mm and 32mm bases.

In regards to 'Space Hulk' I think the 40mm tile with sloped walls could accommodate the awkward genestealers with their wide arms (around 50mm across) despite their small 25mm base. I think I can thin out the wall top to around 20mm to get 40mm (floor) + 10mm (slope indent) + 10mm (slope indent) to get a total of 60mm from inside wall top to opposite inside wall top. Maybe even thin the top wall down a bit more, to around 15mm to improve that distance to around 65mm.

While rescaling I made a couple of refinements to the part: the grill is a little more chunky on the 40mm, to test it out and see what it feels like once printed. Also tweaked the connectors to see if I can tighten them up a bit.

50mm floor part - 3D prints
25th Feb, 2015

The 3D prints arrived from Shapeways. Frosted Ultra Detail, with a light spray of Grey Plasti-kote. At 50mm there is plenty of clearance for a Grey Knight mounted on a 40mm base.

Suitable for Grey Knights!

The grill mesh is perhaps a little too fine for Shapeways to handle 100% but the overall effect is not too bad. There are striations on the upper flat surface (the border around the grills) but nothing a light sanding couldn't take of. The prongs on the locking mechanism feel pretty strong with a light squeeze, and they seem to be a close fit and grip well when being pushed in, but once fully together the locking lugs are a bit loose (about a 1mm of play). In a future print I'll tighten that up a bit in the design.

50mm floor part - render
15th Feb, 2015

These are the new 50mm floor part for the sloped wall tile set. The playing surface is made up of 4 x 25mm grills, to allow two 25mm based miniatures to stand side by side. The locking tabs are like those plastic side release buckles. Once connected the floor parts should be pretty stable during gaming.

The concern is the prongs on the locking mechanism. I'm going to print these up via Shapeways to see if they are flexible and strong enough. I know Trollcast is very different from the Acrylic of Frosted Ultra Detail but it should give me and idea.

Windows/ Linux GUI
26th Jan, 2015

As a windows user these are my thoughts on the GUI, and the up and coming windows 9, erm, 10. Currently I use windows 7, though this is more due to a lack of compelling reason to upgrade. I do no mind windows 8 or 8.1 once the start menu is added back in, and if I was buying a new PC I would use it, thought the interface is not perfect. There seems to be a drive to change the GUI for windows. I suppose this is because windows 7's GUI would be a little fiddly for smaller devices (which are very popular) and it's getting a little old. I think Microsoft wants a new way of doing this, fresh and bright. So they came up with windows 8 which is really nothing more than exploding the start menu all over the screen to make the icons big enough for fingers on small screens.

Soon windows 10 will be out, and I hope they add the start menu back, but if they really want to change it up I think there is a rich resource they can mine for the layout of the GUI: wed pages.

Let me explain. OS and their GUI develop very slowing compared to the massive turnover or website design. All websites need to be easy and quick to navigate else businesses lose money. It's kind like evolution for the internet, certain characteristics of design win out and prove popular. Most websites now have good navigation, with clear, top of the page, categories with drop down menus. I think this would make a good basis of a GUI for an OS as it is proven to be quick and seeing as everyone is used to seeing it: intuitive and second nature. They also collapse down to lists for use on mobile phones. Kills two birds with one stone, and no changes needed to the GUI for either.

I put together a rough concept of what I am talking about here: 'mofo os'

Seems simple enough.

I would also like Ubuntu (my fav Linux distro) or an Ubuntu derivative use this. I think the unity interface wastes space and is a bit awkward.

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Sloped wall tiles
6th Jun, 2014

This is a new design of wall tiles with sloped sides. The idea is to keep the floor part a reasonable size (take bases of size 50-30mm) yet allow miniatures will limbs and weapons that extend beyond their base to be used. As mentioned in one of my previous posts the Genestealers from Space Hulk are mounted on a 25mm base (original 1E set) yet their arms are about 50mm across. A Grey Knight has a 40mm base (as do all the new Terminators) and the sword and storm bolter arms extend beyond the bound of the base. I could do a 60mm floor part which would give enough clearance but I think that is getting too large, so I came up with this design;

This design with a 50mm floor part would give a total distance between the top parts of the wall of around 50mm (floor) + 12.5mm (slope) +12.5mm (slope) = 75mm which is more than enough clearance for a Genestealer or Grey Knight. Interestingly at 40mm we get 60mm from wall top to wall top, which is also plenty. I think I'll start with the 50mm and take it from there.

HR Giger dies at 74
15th May, 2014

He was one of my inspirations growing up. I remember watching Aliens (1986) and walking away in a day dream. I then watched the original Alien on video (remember those?). His book the Necronomicon was amazing if a little sexually twisted 🙂 His art spoke to me, it showed me what a person can do if they put their all into something and the strange worlds they can create, worlds which have an impact. It's hard not to be moved, in some way, when looking at his work: a mix of attraction and disgust, that the horrors are more than merely grotesque they have an aesthetic beauty to them. It makes it more difficult to dismiss if deep down some part of you likes it, some base Id within.

I can't think of another alien design that comes close to classic xenomorph. I say 'classic' as most alien/ monster designs age, after a while they look silly, but the xenomorph still looks sick (in both sense of the word)!

I will miss his influence in the world. There really is (was) no one like him. Unique.


Shapeways problem
9th Apr, 2014

My new walls for my prototype modular floor tiles turn up today and I'm not happy. There are some very serious distortion in the prints, and they both seems to have a lace like pattern inside. I've contacted Shapeways about this, and they have asked for photos and are investigating. I know Shapeways doesn't have the highest detail, and they are 'cheap' for what they are, but I at least expect my prints to be straight if they cost 100 euros!

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Prototype MFT
5th Apr, 2014

It's been a long time since I've posted an update. I guess I needed a break to recharge my artistic batteries, and re-evaluate what I wanted. Over the last few years I've not be idle in the hobby. I've been collaborating with Ed over at TFM (Troll Forged Miniatures), helping out with his Kickstarter, and writing up a new game. Once component of this game is a new range of Modular Floor Tiles (MFT) that will be sold by TFM. Here are a few shots of the 3D printed prototype, used to evaluate the product's structure so I can iron out any wrinkles that may present themselves before moving on to detailing;

As you can see from these photos the floor tiles are assembled from two parts: a '40mm' grill floor part (with 5mm border), and a wall part (which when connected covers 5mm of the floor part, the border bit).  Using these two parts you can build any type of floor tile you like: cross, T, or L junctions, corridors, and even rooms. The idea is to reduce the variability of stock held by TFM, streamline fulfilment, and make shipping easier via flat-packing. It's a bit like Legos only for Terrain. These two parts will be 'Trollcast' (which is Ed's fantastic spun cast plastic) with each spin yielding around 8 parts. This should keep the costs down. Well that's the concept...


I made the tiles large enough to take 40mm bases, and I thought this would be enough to accommodate the new terminators, and the 25mm based Genestealers. It's only when I received my 3D prints that I realised there was a problem. I noticed that the Genestealers that came with my original box of Space Hulk were too wide for this 40mm tile. It's only by getting these 3D prints that this issue came to light. The card floor tiles that came with Space Hulk have 30mm squares, and it was easy to fit the Genestealers 25mm base within them. However card tiles do not have walls, and the Genestealer arms are much wider than 30mm! I completely missed that. The Genestealers are far to big for the Space Hulk card floor tiles!


I'll be redesigning my MFT to 50mm. The floor grill will be made up of 4 x 25mm square grills. This means it will be compatible with a lot of other 25mm based terrain, though it will not exactly be compatible with my original set of Space Hulk. This is a shame, but one day I may come back and do a 30mm based design just for the sheer hell of it (not sure they would be made, but I love puzzles and it would be fun to work it out!). I hope to have a whole range of floor tile types, and as I only need to make a couple of parts it's very doable and low risk. Time will tell is this is idea is as good as I think it is 🙂

Happy Holidays - 2013!
25th Dec, 2012

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a very merry Christmas and received all you wished for (and specifically told your family and friends to buy you!). May the alcohol flow and the food be plentiful - then roll on the New Year celebrations 😀

I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be a good year. Ed's fantastic Kickstarter goodies will be out around May, and I'll be helping out with website. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he comes up with. For my part I'll finally kick the WarSpike basic rules out of the door. It's been a long time coming, but I hope it was worth it.

All the best,


TFM Kickstarter
16th Oct, 2012

Ed has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his personal sculpting drive. With the success of Trollcast Ed has been doing a lot of production work for other companies, to pay the bills, but this has left no time for himself. He aims to sculpt a new alien line of miniatures, starting with the ‘alien grubs’ (drawings by Des Hanley).

Update 09 Nov 2012: Kickstarter has been funded! New art for stretch goals and add-ons (Hound, Sky Hunter, Queen, and Queen 2, Wyrm, Fiend, Swarm Warrior, Stealth Swarm Warrior, Swarm Master, Alien Hunters, and Dreadnought + guns) has been added, with new greens for a grub, host, and a WIP of the Wyrm.

Update 14 Nov 2012: The final amount raised was $54,090!

TFM Kickstarter

Assimilation Alien Hosts Kickstarter