When I was a child, I did love dinosaurs. Well, still nowadays I do love dinosaurs, but like many children all around the world, at that time I was obsessed with dinosaurs.
There was a product that I particularly liked: a kind of gypsum (or something like that) rock with a plastic dinosaur fossil inside it and all the tools to pretend to be an archeologist and carve the stone 'till reaching the fossil.
It was awesome.
Recently, I realized that cleaning 3d prints remind me a bit of that experience because the process is almost the same: hidden inside a dense netting of resin supports, there is a small 3d print that awaits to be discovered, cleaned, and brought to life!
It's a delicate affair, because you have to be extremely careful in order not to damage the 3d prints, knowing that every little touch with sandpaper will be forever impressed in the final resin kits.
There is no margin for error because you know that if you damage the original 3d prints you have only two choices: repairing it, at the risk of ruining the original sculpt, or going for another run, wasting money and time.
When I started to directly clean the 3d prints of my kits, I didn't like at all the experience: the anxiety of making some mistake was overwhelming and I spent all the time praying for not ruining everything. But there is a consistent save on costs if I clean 3d prints by myself, so I decided to keep doing it (you know, money is money!).
With time, my confidence augmented and now I don't say that I love to clean 3d prints, but let's say that I found many interesting sides that dramatically change my point of view about it.
First of all, it's an intimate moment between me and my creations, it's like (allow me this comparison) giving birth to them: it's a painful and long affair, indeed!
After months (often years!) spent on designing a new kit and convincing as many customers as possible to give me some of their doubloons to produce it, it's when I receive the first 3d print that I can really touch with my hands the final result.
I found that it's an incredible way of learning, as a miniature manufacturer, because it's only when I have a figure physically in my hand, at the right size, that I can judge all the design and sculpting processes made to create it. Sometimes everything seems perfect, it's so rewarding, some other times, instead, I realize that I could make it better, or just that it is different than how I imagined it in my head.
Once I assemble the figure for the first time, it's like getting acquainted with it for the first time, it's a kind of spiritual moment.
Egoistically speaking, I like to handle directly this process because, even if in an almost invisible way, I will have some kind of physical contribution to the final kit. I repaired some of the Elves 3d prints making them perfect, and even if you (luckily) can't see my touch, it's so rewarding to know that I had a (little) part in the process!
This is probably my masterpiece. This is the 3d print of the new Female Adventure incarnation (that will replace the actual one). It's a slightly more aggressive and armored version of our lady Dwarf, that will be available soon. Once received the 3d print, I noticed that the edge of the compass was too thin to be produced without risks. I had no time to make Valerio edit the sculpt and then go for another print, so I had to deal with it. I am not a sculptor, so sculpting that thicker edge (using milliput) has been an enormous task that required many and many tries before being decent enough to be approved (by myself, one of the cruelest judges on Earth, for what concerns my works!).
This time, I'm so proud that there is something directly made by me in the final sculpt that you will paint!
What I'm trying to explain, with this post (apart from showing you an awesome sneak peek of the Hounds of Zorn Uzul and the new Female Adventurer!), is that there is an enormous amount of human interaction behind a miniature kit, and this obviously doesn't apply only on my figures!
From the moment when an idea pops into my mind, to the moment I put the resin kit in a box ready to be shipped, there is a constant creative relationship between the creator and the creations.
Cleaning the 3d prints is the last step where I'm directly involved, and it's exciting to do all my best to enhance as much as possible the awesome sculpts of Davide and Valerio and try to deliver you something that is as close as possible to the original 3d sculpt.
Oh well, and I save a lot of money.
Sorry, I'm a Ligurian after all!
So...have you already preordered your kit of the Hounds of Zorn Uzul?! And don't forget to grab a copy of the mystery box, only 31 copies still available!