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I’m Back – Again – This Time For Real

Right, so not even a week after my last post, my computer decided to die again.  This time, it was the computer itself, not just the hard drive (I go through hard drives like I go through coffee filters).  No matter, the PSU (power supply unit) was five years old, and the previous one lasted for five years, so I thought that might be the issue.  It wasn’t.  After replacing the PSU, the computer still won’t boot.

 

All it does (this is both immediately before and after switching out the PSU) is display the CPU, but not the GPU or either of the hard drives, as it should.  I’m sick of troubleshooting, and since hunting season has arrived (I’m an avid hunter, for those who didn’t already know), I don’t have time to deal with it.  For the time being, I’m using my second computer, which has some important ramifications for this shop.  I will still be able to work on the website and process orders, but I won’t be able to add anything that requires a new model file, so don’t count on any new products for a while.  However, since the last update, I have painted some new catalogue samples for KV-1 and KV-2 variants (and I just now realised that I forgot to photograph the unpainted models, silly me), so the consolidation I spoke of in “the first re-organisation” can finally begin.  A video will also be posted soon showing multiple tanks being painted at once, making use of some painting fixtures that I designed, printed, and assembled myself.  The 3D-printed components of the painting fixtures will be available for sale, and the video will explain the difference between painting fixtures and painting plugs, the latter being components required to build a fixture to paint multiple tanks at once, as well as to mask surfaces on multi-turret tank models (e.g. T-35, T-100, SMK, when I finally get round to adding them).  Another upcoming project is to experiment with winter camouflage, and I will use the U-3 (which was first used in the Winter War) as my test subject.

I have four different paints with “white” in their name, and here they all are:

The second from the left (RAL 9002/71.119, “grauweiss/white-grey”) will be what I use for the main colour coat.  It is almost indistinguishable from the primer, and this is certainly one of those instances when having black primer would be useful, but I don’t care.  I will probably document this experiment in yet another video, and if successful, it will serve as a winter camo painting tutorial.  I imagine that anyone buying printed models from me is probably a much more experienced mini painter than I am, but I like to have resources for novices available anyway.

All that being said, since the market for wargaming miniatures is basically dead, and has been since three months after I published my website, I’m putting this entire project on the proverbial back burner for however long that no-one has disposable income.  Once I fill my tags (any hunter knows what that means), I’m going to look into starting a custom metal fabrication business while learning yet another type of programming in my spare time, and by June, I’ll start looking for a job as a programmer if the metalwork doesn’t bring in any money.

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I’m Back!

Hello everyone!  This post is just a quick message to let you all know (including the lovely people at Wishpond) why you haven’t heard anything from me for the past six weeks.  I had some major computer trouble, starting with both of my hard drives dying at the same time.  Between data recovery and the slow delivery of the new drives (one of which may be defective, so I will take it to the Geek Squad and have them look at it), I have been without a functioning computer.  Combine that with the fact that this had to happen during the hottest part of the year, when I stay inside all the time, I had absolutely nothing to do.  To make matters worse, I still don’t have access to my e-mail, since I’m using an upgraded Protonmail account, and I missed my last payment due to being offline, and because of some other shenanigans, my credit card is frozen, so I can’t pay for anything online right now.  Since I need email to register Autodesk Inventor (AGAIN, for the like the fifth time), my system still isn’t fully functional yet, and won’t be until after I get things sorted with the bank for the third time this month.  That’s all that’s left for me to do, since I’ve already installed all the programs that I need to use.  Anyway, that’s about it for now.  I have a lot of content prepared for you, most of which will be exclusive to Hive (follow me there if you don’t already, the link can be found under “Rescources” on the “About” page), but I intend to finish re-organising this website and, hopefully, add some valuable content to it.  I have prepared a miniature workshop tutorial video, one in which I demonstrate the construction and use of painting fixtures for large batches of tiny tanks, I just need to get over my recording anxiety and actually film it.  Hopefully, I can get that done soon, because the weather abruptly cooled off a few days ago, so I can go back outside and do things like target practise.  ‘Kay bye!

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Old Miniatures for Sale / Старые Миниатюры на Продажу

Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge the pointlessness of publishing this post in Russian as well as English.  Thanks to my government being stupid (as usual), I am prevented from doing business with my own countrymen, not that I expect many orders from either Russia or Ukraine, given that 600 roubles is a bit stiff for a piece of plastic that’s barely larger than only one:

Прежде чем я начну, я хотел бы признать бессмысленность публикации этого поста как на русском, так и на английском языках.  Из-за того, что моё государство глупо (как обычно), мне не дают вести дела с моими земляками, не то чтобы я ожидал много заказов ни из России, ни из Украины, учитывая, что 600 рублей – это немного жестокого для куска пластика, который едва больше одного:

1:285 scale KV-2 on top of 1-Rouble coin

 

Anyway, in the interest of both expanding my brand and clearing out my old inventory, I will offer old miniatures printed at Shapeways on my Etsy shop.  As I mentioned a very long time ago, sometimes I had to validate models using the “print it anyway” option, available only to designers.  This has left me with a fairly large collection of tanks and sailing ships that I have no use for, so if you are interested, keep an eye out for them, as they aren’t all listed yet, but will be in a day or two.  Since these models were all printed under the old pricing system, they will be much less expensive than if you order the same models from Shapeways now.  Here is almost everything laid out on a table:

В любом случае, в интересах как расширения моего бренда, так и очистки моего старого инвентаря, я буду предлагать старые миниатюры, напечатанные в Шейпвейз в моем магазине Эци.  Как я уже упоминал очень давно, иногда мне приходилось проверять модели, используя опцию “печатать это в любом случае”, доступную только дизайнерам.  Это оставило меня с довольно большой сборник танков и парусников, которые мне не нужны, так что, если вам интересно, следите за ними, так как они ещё не все перечислены, но будут через день или два.  Поскольку все эти модели были напечатаны по старой системе ценообразования, они будут намного дешевле, чем если бы вы заказали те же модели у Шейпвейз сейчас.  Здесь почти все разложено на столе:

Here are some of the items I will offer for sale, or more precisely, models that I’m trying to get rid of:

Вот некоторые из предметов, которые я предложу на продажу, или, точнее, модели, от которых я пытаюсь избавиться:

Flying Dutchman in Green Laser-Sintered Nylon
Flying Dutchman in White Laser-Sintered Nylon
1:285 Object 279 (2 Available) in Translucent Fine-Detail Plastic
1:285 Valentine Bridgelayer (3 Available) in Translucent Fine-Detail Plastic
1:285 Object 220 (5 Available) in Translucent Fine-Detail Plastic
1:285 M6 Heavy Tank Variant T1E1 (7 Available) in Translucent Fine-Detail Plastic
1:285 M6A2 (7 Available) in Translucent Fine-Detail Plastic
1:285 Old WoT KV-4 based on Project Strukov (5 Available) in Translucent Fine-Detail Plastic
1:285 KV-3 (5 Available) in Translucent Fine-Detail Plastic
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Exxp.io Hive Integration Test

The last post  was meant to be cross-posted to Hive via SteemPress, but SteemPress no longer appears to work, so I added the Exxp.io plugin to do the same thing.  This post is nothing more than a test of that plugin.  If are reading this on Hive, please check out the previous post to see what I am up to.  I had considered setting that post to private and then re-publishing it, but since post updates are also cross-posted to the blockchain, that would unnecessarily complicate this experiment.

 

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The First Re-Organisation

This is the first major update to the website since it went public over two years ago.  The blog is no longer a collection of featured images with each main model that I offer, and will no longer be the focus of this website.  The new focus of this website will be the shop, and in the near future, its appearance will change as well, since I plan to change how products are sold.  Currently, I am playing around with a test page for this very purpose:

If you visit the shop, you may see a preview right next to the KV-2-152 model (the most common variant).  This page is password-protected, since it is a test of a new ecommerce setup.  I hope to consolidate as many products as possible, reducing the number of product pages from 48 to 30.  This will further make the website easier to navigate.  Meanwhile, all blog posts made prior to this one will be re-purposed to be more informative.  The red “Read more?” text on the product page will direct to the repurposed blog posts, for those who are interested in the history and technical aspects of the original war machine.  New blog posts, on the other hand, will include new product announcements and website updates, and not simply information pages for tanks or warships (when I start expanding my catalogue, that is).

Finally, since this is the first blog post I’ve made on this website since installing SteemPress, this post itself is something of a test.  If you are reading this on my website, you may have noticed the unusual tags #print3d and #creativecoin.  On Hive, tags and community names must begin with a letter, though it is possible to add a tag that begins with a number if a user is using the PeakD interface to create a post.  Creativecoin, meanwhile, is a Hive Engine token that artists and other creatives use.  Other Hive Engine tokens include MEME, Archon, Foodie, and STEM.

Finally, if you are reading this on Hive, here is a link to the original.  I wish I could make side-by-side bilingual posts on my website, but I suppose I could use the up-and-down format that, for instance, @andrianna uses for her own bilingual posts.

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Supreme Command Reserve Tank

In 1956, in the wake of the disastrous Hungarian Uprising, Soviet High Command, better known as STAVKA, saw the first proof of what they had known, and had tried to tell Stalin, for years: their heavy tanks were obsolete. Modernisation efforts were begun on several existing designs, such as the ISU-152K, which entered production in that same year. New designs were then drafted by the leading Soviet tank designers, such as Zhosef Kotin, Nikolai Shashmurin, and Lev Trojanov.

Object 279 at the Kubinka Proving Grounds

Three clandestine tank projects were drawn up to replace the T-10, which was already undergoing modernisation. In spite of the fact that NATO referred to the T-10 as “the monster hiding behind the Iron Curtain,” STAVKA knew that its performance in its original configuration would have been unsatisfactory on a modern battlefield. The first replacement to be drawn up was Object 277, which was very similar, apart from a lengthened chassis and larger turret mounting a 130mm cannon. Object 278 was similar again, but slightly larger, mounting a 140mm cannon. The front of the hull was also changed from a pike nose to an elliptical shape, similar to that of the American M103 heavy tank. However, Lev Trojanov came with a design radically different from any tank before or since: Object 279. This bizarre tank had four tracks supporting a boat-shaped hull, whose aerodynamic shape would prevent it from being flipped over if caught in the secondary blast radius of a thermonuclear warhead. By this time, tanks were already equipped with NBC protection to shield the crew from radiation, but Object 279 was designed for nuclear war. Object 279 had the lowest ground pressure of any tank ever built, and the suspension arms were mounted to hydraulic track pods. The wheels could be retracted for driving on particularly soft ground, or when the tank was parked. At least one prototype was constructed and tested at the Kubinka proving grounds in 1957; some sources claim more than one was built, but only one still exists. As Object 279 weighed 60 tonnes, it was subject to cancellation when Nikita Khrushchëv ordered in 1960 that no tank over 37 tonnes be produced. None of the innovations unique to Object 279 were seen again on a Russian tank until the development of the Armata universal combat platform in 2014.

Models available:

Object 277

Object 278

Object 279

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IS-6

Following the mediocre test results of the IS-4, as well as the tentative rejection of the IS-5, Soviet tank designers decided to experiment with German design elements in their next heavy tank. The IS-6, while similar to the IS-4 in most respects, had additional angles on the rear of the hull, more severe angles overall, and two main differences in the running gear. The first experiment, Object 252, used large road wheels and eliminated the return rollers. This was similar, not only to the late-war German heavy tanks, but also to the contemporary medium tank T-54. An alternative design was drawn up with a pike nose, but this was never built. The second experiment, Object 253, kept the same type of running gear as on the IS-4, but with a diesel-electric transmission, similar to the petrol-electric drive that the Germans had experimented with on multiple occasions. Without the inconvenience of their factories being bombed, the Soviets believed that they would have more success with this type of drive than the Germans did, but test results were, once again, mediocre.

Models available:

Object 252

Object 252U

Object 253

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M26 “Pershing”

The M26 was the product of an effort to replace the M4 Sherman medium tank, but went in an entirely different direction. The first iteration of the effort was the T20, a more compact version of the M4 developed in 1942. The T20E3 had the old HVSS replaced with a torsion bar suspension, and looked like a smaller version of the Pershing. Further developments included the T23 and T25, alternating between HVSS and torsion bars as the designs became heavier and heavier. The T26 was the first model to be field-tested in Europe in February 1945. The T26E3 was the first production variant, the result of field modifications to the T26E1 prototype. After receiving great praise from U.S. Generals, the tank was re-designated M26, and named in honour of World War I U.S. Army General John J. Pershing in March.

The next variant of the M26 to be fielded was the T26E4 “Super Pershing,” a stop-gap tank with additional armour plates mounted to the front of the hull and turret. The T26E5 also had thicker armour, but built into the hull design, rather than externally mounted, thus it didn’t have a noticeably different appearance, as the E4 did. The M26E1 was a further development of the T26E4, and the last variant of World War II. Subsequent variants served in the Korean War, by which time the M26 was reclassified from a heavy tank to a medium tank, given that the U.S. Army was fielding much heavier tanks at the time. The M26 was developed into, and ultimately replaced by, the M46, M47, and M48 Patton tanks.

Models available:

T26E5

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IS-5 / T-10

Object 272 – the tank I’d like to own IRL

The IS-3 suffered from a number of shortcomings, both in terms of design and execution. For instance, it had no headroom in its turret and a mere 3 degrees of gun depression. It was also unreliable, something that its predecessor was not. However, there were too many advantages to both the frying pan turret and pike nose hull to simply give up. Zhosef Kotin, therefore, redesigned the tank from the ground up, lengthening the chassis and making the turret a bit taller, increasing the gun depression to 5 degrees. This design, originally called IS-5, was ready for production as Object 730, but it was shelved in favour of a few alternatives, most notably Nikolai Shashmurin’s Object 260.

“One of the two first experimental tanks designated IS-5 (Object 730) with ventilating cool-down system. ČKZ, September 1949.”

Object 730 was not revived until after the rejection of the IS-7, and it was re-named IS-8 as a result. After a few minor tweaks to the design, it was finally approved for production as the IS-10 in 1953, but in the wake of Stalin’s death that same year, it was renamed T-10. Initially, the T-10 had the same 122mm D25T rifled tank gun as all its predecessors, with the exceptions of IS-1 and IS-7, but later versions introduced a semi-automatic breach block and a bore evacuator to clear out the fumes faster. A modernised version of the T-10 entered production in 1957, which was equipped with the longer M-62-T2 rifled tank gun, a 750HP engine, and NBC protection. The T-10M was produced as Object 734 at the Chelyabinsk tractor factory, and as Object 272 at the Kirov Plant in Leningrad. Hilariously, tanks produced at different factories had incompatible parts, at least until Object 272 was made the standard in 1962. In 1967, the T-10M was supplied with APDS and HEAT ammunition in a vain attempt to make it as powerful as the T-62 medium tank, but nothing could change the fact that heavy tanks had already been obsolete for a while. The T-10M was the last heavy tank to serve in the Soviet Army, though it was not actually retired until 1993, two years after the Soviet Union collapsed, making it one of the longest-serving tanks of all time, and certainly the longest serving heavy tank of all time (unless you count the IS-3 that rebel forces commandeered during the Donbass war).

Models available:

Object 730 (IS-5, original engine deck)

Object 730 (T-10, modern engine deck)

Object 734/272

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IS-4

Beginning in 1945, several new tank designs were drawn up to replace the IS-2. Object 703 was not the first new design, but it was the first to enter production, hence its designation of IS-3. The title of IS-4, meanwhile, went to Object 701, which took longer to develop. This tank had an overall design much more similar to that of the IS-2, simply larger. The chassis was lengthened, having an additional pair of road wheels, and the angles on both the turret and hull front were more severe. However, the IS-4 offered no significant advantage over the IS-2 other than a faster rate of fire, and was a much more complicated machine to produce. Two experimental tanks were drawn up that used the exact same hull, but with different running gear to support a heavier turret: the ST-1, which had the further advantages of greater gun depression and magazine capacity at the cost of increased weight, and the ST-2, which was the same but with two guns. Neither left the drawing board before Zhosef Kotin started yet another project.

Models available:

Object 701

Object 701-1

Object 701-2

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M6 Heavy Tank

T1E1: oh, the horror – I need to make a better model of this

Before its involvement in World War II, the United States had very little in the way of armoured fighting vehicles. There were a few tanks, or “gun motor carriages,” as they were officially known, that the Americans supplied to the British, such as the hastily cobbled-together M3 Grant, but nothing impressive otherwise. Development of what would become the M4 Sherman proceeded slowly, enough that a lengthened version was developed alongside it as a comparable heavy tank: the M6. The first version of this was known as the T1E1, but other prototypes were built as well before the project was scrapped, as the 56-tonne tank was not nearly as heavily-armed or armoured as comparable German or Soviet designs. Toward the end of the war, modified M6 prototypes were used to test large tank guns under the designation M6A2. One dilapidated M6 is still preserved, though missing its tracks, and the only remains of the others are a few vintage photographs.

Models available:

T1E1

M6A2E1

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AMX AC

With Germany’s rather abrupt defeat in 1945, the Wehrmacht simply abandoned most of their equipment, leaving whoever came across it to do with it as they pleased. The French took advantage of all the abandoned panzers, particularly the Tigers, as well as the self-propelled guns based on them, and used them as a basis to make their own new generation of “Auto-Canon,” beginning with a 100mm turretless vehicle to complement a newly-developed tank with a 90mm gun. As the need arose to develop larger and more powerful vehicles, the AC was up-gunned to 120mm before the concept was abandoned entirely when a tank mounting a 120mm gun was finally developed.

Models available:

AMX AC mle 46-100

AMX AC mle 46-120

AMX AC mle 48-120

AMX 50 Foch