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Digital collecting is cheaper and takes less room

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  midnightblue 1 week, 4 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #1620298

    blinky465
    15539xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I just bought some minis. Ok, not actual minis. But some .stl files for minis that I can print out, whenever I have the time/inclination. I got the same dopamine hit from “ooooh new shiny”. And, honestly, when I get around to painting them, they’re going to look – to quote @lloyd – flippin’ amazeballs.

    I figured a while ago that I’m more of  a mini collector than mini painter – and far more of a painter than I am a gamer/player. Much like when I discovered I don’t actually like Blood Bowl, I think I’ve finally realised that I love *the idea* of miniature painting far more than actually knuckling down and painting stuff.

    I love the idea of having a load of really cool, nicely painted minis. But the gulf between not having some minis and having a load of nicely painted minis is massive. From not-having-minis to having-unpainted-minis is a tiny step, but from unpainted to nicely painted is massive. And I’ve already painted some minis. I think they’re nicely painted, and I really like them. But that doesn’t stop me wanting mooooaar. More minis, even though I’ve got loads that used to make me happy but now make me sad.

    Which made me realise – I’m a collector more than a gamer.

    But I’ve also got tonnes of unpainted lead and plastic and resin. And, after collecting it, and getting the “oooh new shiny” thrill out of the way, the truth is, most of my unpainted minis make me sad. Or guilty. Just seeing them sitting in boxes and boxes – never any closer to getting to the painting table. And that’s not what this hobby is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to make us happy, surely?

    In fact, a few months ago, I gave away a load of minis. And while the recipients probably thought “yay!” when they received them, I can’t help but think they’re also now slightly saddened by having them, sitting in boxes, unpainted. I, on the other hand, immediately felt happier, having offloaded my “shame” onto someone else. And having shifted a mountain of unpainted resin and lead, I was immediately ready…. to buy some more!

    So now I collect “digital minis”. It has all the benefits of actually buying little bits of lead and plastic with none of the drawbacks! I can look at them on the screen and imagine how cool they’re going to look when they’re painted. I can customise and kitbash them, all without super-gluing my fingers to my cutting mat. I can even print multiple copies of ones I really like.

    But they take up zero room. I no longer have literally hundreds of reminders of how I’ve not managed to get as much done as I’d hoped hanging around the place. I don’t have to keep clearing them away from my painting area, and humping boxes and boxes of them around on the shelves, trying to find just the one I fancy painting this time. I can start a new mini without feeling guilty about all the others I haven’t yet printed and painted – because they don’t actually exist!

    It’s brilliant.

    And the cost of not having painted some minis? About the same as if I’d bought actual, real, physical models. But instead of, say, four or five more grey plastic minis being added to a box somewhere, I’ve about forty or fifty .stl files just floating about in the ethers (and backed up onto my portable hard drive).

    And since it turns out that I’m more of a collector than a painter, more minis for less money = even more happiness.

    I see that even @avernos has joined the fun, with his leet digital painting skillz.

    Now all he needs to do is ditch his plastic mountain and fully embrace digital mini collecting 😉

     

     

    #1620418

    blinky465
    15539xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Here’s a classic example of what I was on about: from this month’s Printed Obsession Patreon – a super-creepy looking puppet master character that – when placed in an appropriate diorama for example – would look amazing, even just as a display piece.

    puppet master

    Now I’d love to own this figure – just so that one day, eventually, I’d get a chance to paint him up, splash on some washes, pick out all those lovely highlights with some bright edging, and when he’s painted up, he’s going to look absolutely splendid. But if I bought this as a resin piece, it’d probably a) cost more than I’d like to admit, after p&p costs are included and b) sit on a shelf gathering dust, or lie in a box, forgotten about, for literally years.

    Yet for just a fiver you get the .stl files for about a dozen minis, some scatter terrain and a caravan terrain piece – and the best bit? Completely guilt-free and taking up no space. I get to add to my collection of “cool minis” with none of the buyer’s remorse.

    But – should the day ever come when I’m ready to tackle this piece – I can recall it from “the cloud”, print it out and start to paint him up straight away.

     

    #1620454

    ced1106
    Participant
    4124xp

    I guess my main question for any technology is whether or not something will be obsolete by the time I want to use it. I know 3D printers are advancing, and many creators are giving away .stl files for free (someone’s made every D&D monster as a free 3d print).

    Then there’s the software. HeroForge has shown a demand for customized miniatures (usually for RPG’s), and conventional mold casting can’t do this. And then there’s the overseas, VAT, and other costs. KS has entire *games* you can print out. PDFs are already well-accepted by the RPG community. Printable miniatures bypass the casting side of business, expanding the range of miniatures (and miniatures games) out there.

    I don’t do a good job organizing my photos or my RPG PDF’s, so don’t see myself collecting .stl’s. But hunting for a proxy miniature for a game (eg. Gloomhaven) is a waste of time and often has me buying a set of miniatures to only use a handful of them. So, in that way, digital miniatures are much better than physical ones!

    #1620460

    damon
    7386xp
    Cult of Games Member

    How ‘future proof’ are the files? If there is a step change in the printing tech, will they be compatible? I’m completely ignorant on printing tech but looking at the history of say audio or computer tech I would be worried that ultimately my files could become inaccessible/unusable?

    #1620461

    blinky465
    15539xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @damon – I don’t think there’s much to worry about there; it’s not as if some new super-format will come out in future that will make all of the current, existing files obsolete! There’ll always be an upgrade path. There are already plenty of converters for changing from one file format to another – after all, a 3d mesh is basically just a load of points in space, however you decide to connect them up.

    I don’t think mp3s have changed much since first coming onto the scene some time in the mid-90s. You can *still* get your VHS tapes put into the cloud as .mp4 files….

     

    @cdn41 – I’m not sure how buying cards for a completely different game type can substitute the main driving force which is “I’m getting this new mini because when I get time to paint it, it’ll look awesome”? .stls change the cost and storage (of otherwise buying minis) but other than that, the benefits (to a miniature collector) are pretty much the same. How are you turning pokemon cards into miniatures?!

     

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  blinky465.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  blinky465.
    #1620484

    damon
    7386xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Ok, cool, ta. If that’s the case then I don’t see a downside, perfectly valid way to collect minis. My Luddite tendencies usually get the better of me when presented with new ideas that challenge my preconceptions. 🤔

    #1620540

    sundancer
    31596xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Uses less space, yes. Cheaper? Well, when limited by space you need to stop sooner or later… if not limited by space you could spend way more… (and at some point the 3D printer is bought and then the minis get printed and printed and here we have the space problem again 😉 )

    #1620594

    darkvoivod
    4327xp
    Cult of Games Member

    The one thing in this digital age I’ve noticed is that digital only contents soon looses it’s perceived value for me.
    I used to value books, cd’s and dvd. Now I have Netflix, Disney plus, Spotify and an e-reader filled with more books I’ll ever read.
    I still enjoy music, movies and stories ofcourse, but it doesn’t tickle me as it used to. I liked looking through my collections. It was cool to browse the bookstore for a new purchase with limited funds or play that new cd over and over. Now I hop from one to the other not having time for a repeat visit, because something new came along and, well, I have the subscription already.
    I’d think it’d be the same with STL files for me, especially with al the freely available stuff and patreon subscriptions. My limited access to the goods is what make me value them.
    I’m sure to get into 3d printing, but it will never beat the real thing. One thing about this hobby is that a huge part gets me away from screens.

    And I have to many mini’s as well. I recently just decided to become more selective with what I purchase. I have my monthly budget for hobbies and it’ll probably be spend on mini’s one way or the other. Rather have 5 new mini’s in my 50 euro’s of STL’s adding to the projects I haven’t finished yet. It would just make it feel like my pile would grow even harder, if though it’s not physical.

    Just how I look at this of course. I’m not gonna tell you what to do with your hobbytime/money.

     

    #1620635

    tacticalgenius
    3216xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I play my CD’s and watch my DVD’s, but my digital content, not so much. It has it’s advantages while travelling but still, not a luddite but like tactility.

     

    #1621305

    puyzen
    2310xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @blinky465 as a collector what is your opinion of NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens)?

    Many collectors like the rarity element so should there be a limit to digital sculpts (like with NFT)?

     

     

    #1621327

    blinky465
    15539xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I don’t fully understand the whole NFT/blockchain thing; a few years ago, investors were literally throwing money at anything that mentioned “blockchain” (I even attended an event at the Eagle Lab in Sheffield in 2018 where no less than four “blockchain tabletop games” were funded (I’ve yet to see a one released yet). I even walked away from a job around about that time, because the company thought it was all cool and exciting (and, presumably, would attract clever developers) because “it was blockchain” – yet not one person could even justify, let alone explain it’s use. The start-up company has since, predictably, gone bust with zero assets and a talent pool of dubious quality.

    From a technological point of view, I think they’re a bit of a curiosity. A bit of whimsy. The idea, however, of creating artifical scarcity, I find abhorrent. And the ecological cost? Burning about a tonne and a half of coal to create the power to compute a unique UID? For me, it’s a bit like setting up a colony on Mars – sure, it represents the pinnacle of human intelligence and technological advancement. But with everything so utterly messed up here, in the real world, why the hell are bothering with it?

    Maybe it’s my lack of complete understanding that puts me off the idea. But I’m starting to feel like the only bit I don’t actually understand is the “why”.

    #1621328

    blinky465
    15539xp
    Cult of Games Member

    (just to clarify, I’m not denigrating anyone who actually does work with blockchain – and if I still had to pay a mortgage, I’m not sure I could be so choosy about which jobs I would accept or reject! I just think there are better things we could be spending our collective intelligence on than creating vehicles for people with money to be able to transfer their funds securely – either as cryptocurrency or “investable assets” – from place to place – since ulimately, that’s all adding “provenance” to an asset (especially a  non-tangible item) is doing; creating a “story” of the journey of that thing, that can be proven – or disproven if it’s tampered with.)

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  blinky465.
    #1658722

    refersent
    Participant
    92xp

    I tried to give a more digital life – I bought an e-book and tried to read every day. But I, like blinky465, more collector. After reading the article https://eduzaurus.com/free-essay-samples/of-mice-and-men/ about the book of John Steinbeck, I decided to read his novel completely. But in electronic form, I did not enjoy reading. Then I realized that it was not for me, I sold electronics and bought a real paper.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  refersent.
    #1658735

    blinky465
    15539xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @refersent – reading should always be from books 😉

    I’ve had a programmer/integrator, electrical engineer/inventor kind of job for nearly 25 years (I *still* don’t know what to call it) and many times have spent six months or more creating a fancy-pants all-electronic, virtual method of working, only to recommend the business rips it all out and goes back to paper and pen. Sometimes it’s just better!

    #1663451

    georgewilson
    Participant
    180xp

    Hello everyone. In my opinion, the NFT is something that is becoming popular and something that people can trust. Don’t you think so? I am convinced that in the future, in a few years, it will become very popular and many people will start investing in it. But don’t you think it’s time to invest in it now? For example, I would like to invest in NFT in MyImpactPower project, which are aimed at environmental problems. In addition, their goal is quite worthy, so it is certainly worth our attention.

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