I’m still here

FFXIV Emperor hairpin 3D printed

Hi! I’ve not gone anywhere – I’m just having a bad time of it at the moment. Most of my sewing/printing stuff is in boxes. I’m not sure when that will change but it’s making things a little difficult at the moment. My hosting wanted to charge me a small fortune to renewal so I had to quickly cancel than and am slowly rebuilding the site. My attempts to print and post 3D printed goods has fallen flat – some have arrived just fine but one was basically stamped on by the postal service and the other was so well packed and completely crush proof but still shattered due to vibrations and generally being thrown around. However, things are starting to look up. My mental health and motivation are improving. I’ve got some really fun cosplay/props to show and want to start making plush toys again. Things have moved on a lot since I started this website in 2016 – Patreon formats are the norm and updates come with a price. I wont be doing that. I know I wont have the time to bring monthly dedicated updates to make it worth a subscriber fee and tbh I don’t necessarily I’m still here

Dialing in your Elegoo Jupiter – from someone who wants to throw theirs out a window

I’m celebrating a year of resin printing today, and coincidently also in the middle of sorting out my new Elegoo Jupiter. I knew that larger build plate equals more mess and more scope for failure (more suction force, more likely chance for cascade failures, etc) but I didn’t think it would be quite as troublesome as I’ve currently found it. When I originally set up my Mars 2 Pro a year ago it was a case of printing a few calibration tests, finding the default settings from Elegoo were actually absolutely fine, and cracking on with printing. There’s obviously a lot to learn when starting out including how to support correctly (and when not to trust pre-supported files), what to do after failures and how generally to minimise mess, but the smaller printer really was just plug in and print. The Jupiter on the other hand has been a bit of a nightmare so far. First two attempts the calibration test wouldn’t even print. Everything stuck to the FEP. It seems that levelling and general adhesion of the build plate seems to be the problem for a lot of people finally getting their printer from the Kickstarter campaign. So I’ll Dialing in your Elegoo Jupiter – from someone who wants to throw theirs out a window

Resin printing and toxicity – keeping printing safe for you and your environment

Resin printing is still an emerging technology that is becoming increasingly popular to print miniatures and decorative items, due to it’s ability to reproduce fine detail at a price point that is reasonable to the hobbyist. UV light cures resin on a build plate which builds up a complete model. Specialist resins also allow for rubberised items, castable prototypes and (at a high cost) low shrinkage high-quality dental models. The major downside of printing with resin is the resin itself, which is toxic to touch and produces strong fumes. Though the level of fumes varies between resins, none can be classed as completely safe. Safety equipment for printing Resin fumes I’m particularly sensitive to resin. Not to touch (I’ve touched accidently either by handling uncured models when I first started, or from breaks in protective gloves where resin soaked IPA seeps in), but I react if I inhale resin fumes I quickly end up with a swollen throat. We first started with the printer in it’s own room with an open window but the smell of fumes was significant outside of the room and I’d have a reaction. I’ve found that the suitable amount of fume protection is: Resin printer Resin printing and toxicity – keeping printing safe for you and your environment

Happy 2021

Chocobo figurine

Oh it’s already October. Oh dear. I’ve been suffering a bit of burn out due to a several month long project that wasn’t hugely successful and a lack of inspiration as to what to make once I had my time back. Combine that with the general fatigue of the pandemic and exhaustion from working full time, I’ve really struggled to continue with crafting and maintaining the website. However I’ve been able to change my hours to work a little less and have found some inspiration in a new resin printing hobby. I’ll definitely go back to my plushies – there’s a few unfinished and a small list of items I still want to make. I’ve invested so much money into fabric I daren’t stop anyway! But for now I’m having a great time printing and painting figurines. So far these have been from video games (taking the in game models and enhancing – so wont be anything I’ll be selling) or from a few Patreon creators (my favourite so far is Lord of the Print). The results from the printer are astounding. I picked up an Elegoo Mars 2 and ABS-like Grey resin (as it’s supposed to be pretty forgiving Happy 2021

Vanguard plush from Demon’s Souls

Demon's Souls Vanguard plush

I’ll admit, my only experience with the Souls games is Bloodborne. I had no idea what I was getting into when I bought it – I’d just heard around the office that it was a really cool game so bought it at launch assuming it would be happy romp through a demon infested city a little like Devil May Cry. At first my partner and I were like … what are we doing wrong? Are we going the wrong way or not using an important feature? Why are we dying all the time? Then we learned. Yes: dying all the time. That is the game. Enjoy. So while I’m intrigued by Demon’s Souls – I really wont be playing it. I want to go back and replay Bloodborne (I did finish it in the end) but remember the struggle and that’s just not my kind of thing. I need to relax with gaming. That’s why I gave up raiding in Final Fantasy XIV. I don’t have the time any more to be that frustrated. To celebrate the PS5 Demon’s Souls remake I was commissioned to produce a plush toy of Vanguard. At the time there was barely any resource on Vanguard plush from Demon’s Souls

Rot plush from Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Kena plush

I’ve got my PS5 pre-ordered so I’m allowed to start getting excited about next gen games! One of the games I’m most anticipating is Kena: Bridge of Spirits – the graphics and atmosphere look cute and Ghibli-esque. I was worried initially seeing the first trailer that it was going to be a little like Pikmin due to the rot, but it looks like that isn’t the case (and my only reason for worry is that I’m utterly rubbish at Pikmin). I think Kena: Bridge of Spirits was going to be a launch title, or close enough to count, but has unfortunately been delayed until Q1 2021. To tide me over I’ve made two of the rot. The first is a standard rot with a few little mushroom spores and leaves. Apparently you can customise your rot with hats, etc in game. Mine is eu natural. The black embroidery on black fabric didn’t really work on this one an he’s a little … plain I guess? So I decided to make Hero Rot, who sits on Kena’s shoulder With faux fur, little antlers and many more leaves and flowers, this one turned out so much cooler!

Demon Lord Ninetails plush (Okami)

okami ninetails plush

Okami is one of my favourite games and I’ve been meaning to make this plush for a long time. Now I have the embroidery machine I could actually make it a reality! However I didn’t expect it to take me over 6 months to complete. Even when making significant progress on something like the tails, the shear amount of work still involved was daunting and stopped me continuing at a couple of points. Underneath all the detail is a very simple sitting fox template. The mask took an hour on its own to embroider and the first attempt I made at it when all skewed at the end where something went wrong with the machine – the gears got jammed or something – and I had to start again as all the outlines ended up wrong. Each tail was almost a plush on its own with an individually embroidered mask recreated from some blurry screenshots from the game, detail in cotton and various faux furs and painted and varnished prayer beads. The tails are all wired so they can stand up (they can be a little unruly though). Of course the demon fox has little beanies too. I was so Demon Lord Ninetails plush (Okami)

Mixed media Spriggan plush – Final Fantasy XIV

Spriggan plush

If you’re not familiar with this particular type of spriggan, they appear in Final Fantasy XIV and particularly like rocks and other shiny items. A made this pair just before Easter since they always feature in the Easter events. These are made from extremely soft faux fur (it looks like faux rabbit fur – I got it from a remnant bundle from a fashion website) as well as a little minky and whatever ribbon I could find around the house. The mouths are made from air dry clay, acrylic paints and coated in polyurethane gloss varnish so make them super resistant to damage. I’ll be selling one of these (with a piece of rose quartz to keep) when my web shop reopens after lockdown.

Dress-up Amaurotine moogle

Emet moogle plush

This little one is based on the generic moogle template I’ve used before for Mog of War and Kupirate, which was originally based on the moogles from World of Final Fantasy. The moogle is grey and comes with a removable cloak and two different masks so they can dress up as either a regular resident of Amaurot (or Hythlodaeus) or as Hades/Emet-Selch with the additional Ascian mask. Originally the cloak wasn’t going to be removable but he’s so damn adorable without it on I’ve made it so that it can be taken off. It was also potentially going to be two different plush moogles but the cloak was such a faff to make I really didn’t want to make another >_<

Cactuar coat hook

cactuar coat hook

This little plushie cactuar has a heavy duty cook running through his body, so it can be screwed to the wall and take a fair weight. I imagined it for coats in the hallway but at the same time I wouldn’t want him getting too worn and dirty from constant use, so might put it up in the bedroom for nice safe dressing gowns. This is actually something I tried to make several years before I first tried out making plush toys. The image below shows my first attempt (2014) compared to now (2020). I was very pleased at the time with my original attempt but it really did lack any detail. I’d love to put all the improvement down to a few years of practise, but the new embroidery machine really did help a lot with the finish too. If you’d like to know the template I can post it up, but it really does depend on the hooks you can get your hands on. It’s been so long since I bought these I can’t find the product page for them any more!