3/25/2016

Frugal GM Review: Dragonlock Miniatures from Fat Dragon Games

Frugal GM Review: Dragonlock Miniatures from Fat Dragon Games
I'm pushing this week's review up a day so I can remind everyone about Fat Dragon Games' 50% Sale over at DTRPG.

OK, with that service announcement out of the way I can dive into this week's review. A while back I was gifted a set of Dragonlock Miniatures: Lizardfolk Set 1.

I love the idea of being able to print out miniatures on-demand, assuming you have a decent 3D printer......which I do not. There are places locally that will 3D print items for you. The initial online quotes I got were, as one of my gaming buddies would say, recockulous (which is a step-up from ridiculous) and I was never able to get a real quote from an actual person, even after getting in touch with someone from one of these places.

I pretty much thought to myself, "Well that just sucks" and had pretty much given up on getting anything printed until I discovered the main office of the local library has a 5th Gen MakerBot. After reserving some printer time (a 2 hour block) I lucked out by showing up early and was able to print out two minis from the five mini set. Each print took approximately 80 minutes from start to finish. I could have printed at a lower resolution, shaving the print time to 45 minutes each.

2 minis straight from the printer
I'll have to admit I loved watching these minis print out one tiny layer at a time. I couldn't make out each individual layer being deposited, but after a while I could see tiny ridge lines from each layer. Since I had the benefit of the extra time I printed these two out at Tom's (Tom Tullis, of Fat Dragon Games) specifications, well at least I used PLA and printed at 100 microns (0.1 mm).

I had some pictures from the print, but I forgot to switch over to the macro mode and, well they suck. It is rather difficult to see the detail on the finished figures, so I went ahead and applied a dark green wash so you can see the details better.

Fat Dragon Games Dragonlock Miniature
Fat Dragon Games Dragonlock Miniature This was the 1st mini I printed. A Lizardfolk with an axe and a big shell on his back for protection.

Fat Dragon Games Dragonlock Miniature
Fat Dragon Games Dragonlock Miniature This guy had a big spear which was cool to see printed. As the mini got close to being finished the spear tip was the last thing to be printed on one layer and then the 1st thing to be printed on the next layer. I don't know why, but I found that fascinating at the time. Trying to discern what was actually layed down was still difficult.

Fat Dragon Games Dragonlock Miniature

Another shot of the axe guy.










Overall I think the minis are pretty decent. I have a feeling that there is a lot to learn when it comes to 3D printing and I'm certain that once I get over the learning curve of just not 3D printing, but how to finish off these prints, that I'd be happier with the results.

These minis feel quite sturdy, a lot better than the plastic from the Reaper Bones figures do. I don't know if I should be priming them differently that I do my other figures, but again...learning curve. The minis definitely look better than they do in the pictures because you won't be sticking them up to you eyeball for extreme nit-picking observation.

Outside of the need for a 3D printer the cost for these minis is outstanding. $5 for the files and a pittance for the plastic to print them out. That being said.....I think I'd be a bit on the fence about using these miniatures if I had my own printer. If I needed an army of Lizardfolk and I wasn't going to paint them.....it is a no-brainer for me. The only real issue I have is the time investment. With minis I'd probably be more inclined to order a couple of Bones figures and paint them up. Five Lizardmen figures would be, well let's say $15 for the set. Definitely more that the $5 for these minis, but I'd make more than $15 in the 7 hours or so it'd take to print up this set.

Frugal GM 4 Star Review: Dragonlock Miniatures from Fat Dragon Games
For me it comes down to the time investment, and how many minis I wanted. Realistically I'd need more than 5 Lizardfolk, so the Dragonlock minis would win out, but I'm trying to look at this from a different perspective.....

....of course this is just for the minis. All bets would be off when it comes to the rest of the Dragonlock line. Now I just need to get a 3D printer!