Magic: The Gathering Soldier Token

April 8, 2013


I’m still working my way through the list of Magic: The Gathering creature tokens. This time it’s back to White with the Soldier token.

This model is distributed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US license. It’s also available as a 3D print on Etsy.

I’ve worked as a game industry artist for getting on ten years now (note to 16-year-old-self: WIN) and I frequently get the same question from relatives of non-industry kids who want to get into the business.

What should I study if I want to get a job as game artist? This question comes up at the dentist’s office more frequently than you’d think.

The short answer is: study art and, to a lesser extent, math. Study drawing first, then sculpture, then painting. Get at least a B in an art history class so you’ll have an inkling of how to evaluate your own work. Have a decent grasp of geometry and dabble at least a bit in C++ (or at least Python) so you know what the programmers are talking about.

Worry about learning software later.

But if there’s one sub-subject I’ve found incredibly useful over my career, it’s the study of armor. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to create a suit of armor for a job. Or just a helmet. Or a dwarf rocking a hauberk. Or a Marine from 2125 with her ballistic combat gear.

If you’re a fantasy nerd you’ll probably absorb a fair amount of knowledge by osmosis, but be careful about learning from fantasy art. An awful lot of non-functional armor has been rendered by artists who haven’t hit the books.

Years ago before I retired from combat with the Society For Creative Anachronism (I kept losing dental work from being whacked in the helmet with rattan cudgels), I spent weeks building a lorica segmentada out of sole leather and 3/4″ copper pound rivets.

Wearing, tweaking, wearing, tweaking, and then fighting in that armor taught me volumes about pinch points, flexibility, and ventilation.

I wrestled with this model for a while, going back and forth between what’s historically accurate and what’s cool, all the while hindered by what’s possible with the current generation of 3D printers. I put in a fair amount of detail that I can’t print yet, especially in the skirt.


And of course I’m limited by the 3D printing overhang rule, so the pose is fairly static. And that sword is crazy large but that’s about the smallest it can get and still print reliably.

Unfortunately it’ll be a while until consumer-level 3d printing technology catches up with modeling and scanning software. I’m looking to create miniatures that are at least of the quality one can get from a large-scale foundry like Games Workshop. The resolution’s almost adequate on the Replicator 1, but the lack of ability to print overhangs is a huge limiting factor.

The Form1, and up-and-comers B9Creator and mUVe are looking like serious contenders for my next upgrade, since they appear to have a higher resolution and their prints are mostly unfettered by gravity.

Updated MTG Cat Token

March 21, 2013


I created my first Magic: The Gathering cat token a few weeks ago and since that time I’ve cranked out a few more creature tokens.

The original token’s base was incompatible with the new tokens, but that’s been fixed meow now.

If you’ve got your own 3d printer, download the model here. The .zip file contains both the old cat model and the update.

Don’t have access to a 3D printer? No problem. I’ll print you a dozen at my Etsy Store.

This model is distributed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US license. Please remix and enjoy.

Voronoi Cat Fail

January 31, 2013

voronoi cat fail

Magic: The Gathering Cat Token

January 25, 2013


I’ve returned to playing Magic: The Gathering at the request of my kids, who like all good nerdspawn are completely obsessed with the game. Thankfully it’s weaned them off Dungeons and Dragons for a little while, so I don’t have to spend my Saturday afternoons planning dungeon crawls when my Valentine’s Day Arduino project is behind schedule.

I’m planning to put a new model up every Friday for a couple of weeks. They’re likely to be mostly MTG models, since everybody in the family’s got decks and we cover the gamut of mana colors. Everybody needs tokens.

My wife plays a white/blue deck, and when White Sun’s Zenith appears, suddenly the rest of us are overrun with 2/2 cats.

If you’ve got your own printer, you can help populate the world with cat tokens, just download the model here.

Don’t have access to a 3D printer? No problem. I’ll print you a dozen at my Etsy Store. Meow.

This model is distributed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US license. Please remix and enjoy.