Hello, I am Anh and I like making cool stuff
I am currently working on a 3D printed Catan set, I plan to rig up the Tiles wirelessly with bluetooth so they can trigger LED lights when the physical accelerometer dice are rolled. I think dice roll is a fun aspect of a board game and it would be neat-o if we can toggle "fair mode" and "random" mode. All tiles will use diametric 3x6mm magnets. This is a log of my project; pretty much a Captain's Log. I think this project is cool because it introduces me to things I've never done before like soldering, firmware modifying. But it also takes things I am pretty good at like Painting, designing. I think painting is pretty relaxing and soothing. It's nice to be away from the computer and just concentrate visually, and just work with some dexterious skill and what might be a lost art. I think this project will take about 3 months, which I can always go back and keep adding layers and detail to the tiles. Painting in layers throughout the project would be cool if I can keep a neat log of all the progression pictures..
I print with an Ultimaker 2+ Extended. All pictures are taken with a Pixel 2 XL. They are mostly untouched, full-resolution 4k. Clicking the picture will allow you to see it at full resolution.
I handpaint the tiles and this is now mostly my painting gallery (for now). I will keep logging this project including the tech, the code that I write, photos wiring/soldering the lights, working the BLEs, other rando stuff. I will also try to tidy up this site to a "real" site
My work is focused on Bluetooth Low Energy beacon solutions; so I an amazing opportunity to utilize the technology to do this little project while still using some old skills and improving them. It's a pretty good harmony.
Ideally the tile setup (underneath the printed and painted tiles) will look like this
Here's the Github repo. This is largely where I brainstorm/design the technical aspects.
First, I'm building a quick image gallery using JS and heres some nice pics as I wait for paint to dry :P (will paginate later)
1/23/2018 First print! Guess which tile?
Its like 2 rax barracks pumping out 4 Marines
Look at the detail on the desert, the grooves/lines creating texture. The cactuses look so great too!
Base coat was done. I did not have "desert" color paint so I just used a mix of Metallic Red and Brown
Top Coat Matte will help dull out the colors so it does not look metallic
I plan to top coat everything all-together
I applied weathering here using the Tamiya Weathering kits. I think the weathering kits are awesome, really brings out the detail for all the grooves and lines in your model
Primed and ready!
I was super excited about the details at the barn and the Sheep/Wheat at in-front of the barn
Look at the detail on the Wheat fields!
Here's Lumber printing, you can see the stringy artifacts.
I plucked out these artifacts
Fast forward... these were my steps
I applied a layer of lighter Green (Mixed Military green with white). I will go over this with the green to give it some texture
The Wheat tiles were a bit tricky, and funny. I started painting the base coat of these tiles as Brown but later I decided to do Light green. Then I really couldn't recall what What fields look like so I went to Google. After some thought, I wanted to keep the real color of the similar to what the cards are. So I mixed some Brown and Yellow to get this darker yellow. Then I painted the wheat tops with yellow. It actually turned out pretty well because it gives the house a nice mini lawn and some grass growing around the trees. I later added on rocks and details to the houses and piles of wheat. Then I added some wheathering to get some detail on the "rise" or sides of the wheat fields.
This was before I went back and layered green on the lumber
I applied a base coat of Grey. Painted the trunks Brown.Then painted the trees Green. I added a paint mask to the little cart so I could paint the wooden supports without geting paint on the cart.
I added some detail to the cart
"Three's a party!" -Tommy Wiseau
The white didnt turn out so well, I think it was because there was another layer of paint below it and the brush itself was not great at painting and was better at detailing. I went over it a few more times later. Added some unique details to every house and silo top. I didn't want to add too much detail to distract players
I definitely went over the rocks later
can u imagine?
Here is the Wheat tile, some extensive detail work here. (the rock was redone later..) Used the Tamiya Weathering kit to add some Mud weathering to the high rises of the Wheat
I used the gunk oil wash technique on the Ore mountains. I actually kind of liked it when the mountains were black so I rubbed the oil out and then applied it again to get some texture.
Added Gun-metal weathering to make it sparkly. A good guide on gunk-oil wash is Here This is really how Star Wars and other Sci-Fi movies quickly make set props for space battles. Quick steps below:
You can see my Gunk Oil wash finish on the RX-78-2
Added some color to the cart, you can see the Oil paint effecting the wood, it looks great. I also splashed some oil paint on the trees and cleared it off to give it some coloring/shading as well
I later decide to paint it to brown anyway haha. I may later decide to try to paint it black.
I probably want to fix the weathering on the Wheat. at least on the top portions. I probably need to go over it again or wipe it down take off the weathering.
Brick tile after it has been cleaned and washed
Sheep is done! I will wash and prime it. I plan to paint it with a base coat of light green
Starting 5 waters tiles. This blue Filament is amazing. I use Argos 3mm. A roll is $22 on Amazon. To print all these tiles on white.. barely took a good amount of the roll of white filament. Off the top of my head, a roll of filament would probably last for 4 Catan sets.
After letting the white Primer dry, I mixed orange and brown together to get this nice dark orange color, used that as my base coat. I went over again with this colo and took more brown. Then I went around the edges with brown. After that I touched up on the intersections of the brown and orange with another layer of orange-brown mix, that was a little darker. This allowed it to have a pretty nice blend. Then I proceeded to paint the tree's bark and then the tree tops. Next up would probably be to touch up the Stone hut (grey I am thinking? or some white grey brown mix), the rocks, mountain texture to look like Clay mountains and the little clay bricks
These are my bluetooth chips and receivers. I don't think I will use both but I would enjoy playing around with them anyway. The left chip is the nRF8001 which is a Bluetooth receiver and transmitter. This is my ideal chip. The one on the right is a Circuit playground to test/mess around with. I got these chips from Adafruit.These would go under the hex tiles when I place the tiles inside the border with the magnets (to be printed). LED lights should be arriving, I ordered 6 LEDs per tile. Upon further thinking, I will probably need to use the Adafruit Featherchip but its sold out at the moment so I will practice/mess with the NRF. I have a Gunpla LED idea I'd like to do with it anyway
First, tried to mimic the rock segregation on the mountain. That mightve been a bust. I had a nice brown/orange mix with a red tint on top. That looked nice too. I think I can keep trying to work on the color separation after revisiting. There's about 5 colors in there: white, grey, gold, chrome silver, the metallic red, the orange/brown. I added some grass to the mountain tops. I looked at some images and some had grass on top. Painted the rocks brown and went over the trees again with green. I am pretty happy with this outcome and will go back and details some more.
I want to try to get the color separation down really well. I think i might go over it again with the orange-brown so i can cover up "too many spots". I might just scrap it and go back to my original orange-brown mix with a tint of metallic red. I also need to color the actual bricks and the hut. I think coloring the hut a tan would be cool.. or white/grey.
View from the back.
"Threes a party hehe" - Tommy Wiseau
Starting the base color of Light Green for the Wool Tiles. Decided I want to keep the house white and masked it with tape. I was going to do this for all the sheep but that was tedious.
Heres what it it looks like before the final detail of the rocks
Rocks painted and the sheeps have faces!
all 5 tiles
All tiles now. Need to wait for the rest of the water tiles to print before I start mixing paint and detailing the waves. I am still waiting for the LEDs to arrive to begin playing around with the chips. Still have to print out the hex border/containers and the number chits as well.
Starting the clear filament. I am waiting on dear Dakanzla to update the STL files with inserts for the LED lights (they all arrived btw) but I want to print the water tiles and test out the fit on the hex border tiles.
Here it goes!!! this is 12+ hrs later.
Okie Dokie. Testing the fit with a water tile. It's PERFECT. I have a new schematic with higher rise so it will allow me to fit my electronics (the current base is a little too short). I am now working to get the firmware working correctly for the bases and then the dice
Refreshing my Python since the Feather NRF will be using Python. I think I figured out my main script. Too lazy to fetch the data because the Pi isn't hooked up on the internet but you can see the snippets of the simple code. For this picture I just hardcoded the 7.
Code-wise, this was just testing out to call specific lights. For the code in my game, it would have to be
if value_dice == 8: loop through all chit_value with 8.. subprocess.call('python LED.py') if value_dice == 7: loop through all chit_values.. subprocess.call('python LED.py')
I was seriously about to give up and make this project low tech.. given the cost, the effort but this brought some light back in my motivation, CARRYING ON..
I wanted to get a nice little preview of how it will look like once its put together. And I am super delighted! So already this project is looking great but Bluetooth LEDs would make it incredible :D. I thought for a second my magnets were too small but after testing it, they seem pretty good!
Nice Warm day (thanks Global Warming) at a 70-80 degrees and sunny to Top Coat. I don't think I can get a better day than this! I did 2 layers of top coat, I turned the tiles around 180 degrees between the top coat. I top-coated with Kylon UV resistant Matte coat.
I immediately went back and repainted the wheat patches yellow where I had left it white. phew
As you can see theres alot of work needed to clean the artifacts on the ship and sails. It isn't smooth so i had to run it over an x-acto knife and take care of all the artifacts. And then try to sand it down.
Heres one cleaned
The harbor tops just sit on top of the harbor base top (that sits ontop of the water tiles with the insert). Its a pretty good fit too, the lil pegs keep it secured and are perfectly sized
Printing chits on clear next
Glued all the land pieces to the bases with Cement Glue. Most of them fit well too. I would not sand the edges or even remove that many artifacts as the artifacts actually help it fit and squeeze into place. Glue is still necessary
Still need to paint the sea, harbors, paint the chits (print on clear, just need to print the text on black and red for 6 and 8). And then custom player pieces? For the most part.. this game is operational now!
I bought a Raspberry Pi Touch screen 7in, I want to use this as the interface (it was a pretty good option). I broke down and pivoted :( I think making it totally modular is a a gold tier goal (I think it can work with IR..) But regardless I need a central processor to assign dice values to tiles and send signals out on when to turn on/off the LEDs.
The fork now is...
1. Go with IR receivers and make the Pi a Sender. The tiles can have their own LEDs and chips. This might be extremely feasible.
2. Go with a Board that you can place tiles on top of, this board will connect to the GPIO of the Pi (i bought an extender) so that each LED unit per tile attaches to 1 pin and you can call it. I prototyped it above.
Basically solution 1 uses solution 2 but with IR chips, Coin-cell battery and LEDs on the actual tile. Might actually consume less battery than Bluetooth as well. I think formfactor will be small enough so I do not have to change the tile height.
I am slowly painting the ships. I think its all pretty well detailed, the sails are white and the wood (even in between) is brown. I still have the 4 ships on the left to finish up. As well as the little wood dock peg.
I am not quite sure how I want to paint the harbor tops. I pulled out the original game and saw that the harbor tops are pretty hard to disgintuish from one another except for the resource so I think to keep it align with the original theme of the game, I will paint them stone or grey for the base, and then detail the house and the crates and barrels. Each resource will have its own color as the tile (have to mix the paint lol).
I want a nice neutral color for the 3 for 1 and I am still deciding what to use. I am leaning towards blue. Just like the original. I think I will use Gundam blue but the paint lid is stuck so I'll have to address that later..
I used a black sharpie for the 2-6 and 9-12 and it turned out fine. I tried to paint the chits with a red Gundam Marker and it did not come out too hot. I also ran out of Iso Alcohol to try to clean it up lol. I am going to reprint the 6 and 8s and use the Red Sharpie. I found the Red Sharpie shortly after ~_~
Here's what I am printing now, this is a tile container for the Water tiles. Theres a neat little STL with all the tiles holders with different measurements for the tiles. It all snaps together. I think ill find a simple box to keep it all in.
At this point, the game is pretty playable, using the games cards, set pieces and the regular water borders. so yay
Took the game out for a test drive with some friends with some partial missing pieces (player pieces, harbors). Turned out great! I was blue and was in 2nd place... rolled 7 twice on my roll and lost my hand twice for the nuts
The next day I got to painting and voila
Now printing the containers, top coating the harbor tops, printing the the player pieces
Captions aren't really needed
Here are all three game pieces, I first printed a Futuristic Set cause I liked the simple lines and design but it ultimately did not fit with the theme of the game and looked really offsetting. So now I am using Medieval pieces. I would like to play around with the Warcraft and Starcraft STL files and put them on a circle so it can fit on my tiles.
City, even my Pixel 2 camera is struggling to capture all the detail
On other news for the LED portion, I purchased Addressable LED strips and will use this. Pretty much I will design "Under Chits" that will need to be organized before the real tiles and real chit are placed ontop
Case : Link
Number (Chit) tiles: Link
Microbit (for LED chit display?)
stuff for hardware