Kaja Blackwing profile
Kaja Blackwing
Kaja Blackwing
A creator of 3D models, 2D graphics and animation, music, and video tutorials of all those things. I work on custom projects all the time, and I welcome a challenge.
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Subscribers at this level will be able to request delivery of $30 worth of unpainted miniatures per year (which can go quite far in my shop, depending on your interests). For some of my models, this can be more considerably more cost effective than buying one directly from my Shapeways shop.

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Recent posts

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
End-of-Month Update for October 2019: Happy Halloween, I'm the Mad Toymaker!  Seriously, I've been so busy with setting up my 3D print shop that I've had to neglect blogging, for the most part.  Since releasing the T26E5, I've printed a couple of them, along with most of my other tanks.  I don't have video footage of post-processing tank models yet, but I do have a video showing the post-processing of a sailing frigate.  Here are my two print shop videos that I have public so far:
https://www.bitchute.com/video/VGkavFVZUdoc/
https://www.bitchute.com/video/ARR9UdQ1yx9a/
My setup has changed since these have been filmed, and there is one more piece of equipment I'm waiting for before I make my next video.  If you want to see what I've printed so far, I have links all over the place.  Check out my photos on Steemit, an outline of my plans on my WordPress blog, model files for sale on Wargaming 3D, or actual models for sale on my website

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
I finally finished the T26E5.  Those of who saw my previous Steemit post on the subject will note that I've been working on this project for four days, and I rarely take so long on a single model.  Then again, as I've explained, American tanks tend to be much more geometrically complicated than Soviet tanks.  Even the bizarrely-shaped Object 279 wasn't as frustrating as this thing.  However, now that it's done, I may re-make the T29 hull with more detail, but that won't be for some time.  Hunting season starts tomorrow, so, depending on the weather, I'll either spend all day outside, or go back to virtual shipbuilding, as I have several pending requests, the first of which I will probably record.  Anyway, you can find the T26E5 on Shapeways, and here are some pictures:

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
End-of-Month Update for September 2019: from now on, I'm going to post regular updates on the last day of every month, as a report of what I've gotten done.  This month, I signed up for Wargaming 3D, and once I start printing models, I will start populating that storefront.  I had a "business trip," to be unnecessarily self-important, that turned out to be a complete waste of time, since my client cancelled the meeting at the last minute, thus pulling me away from my tractor canopy project for two full weeks.  However, I still found things to do.  I re-scaled the Preussen, and wrecked one of my own ships, which you can see here.  Per a customer's request, I'm going to be adding another ship and a corresponding wreck.  Both of those models will appear after I finish the T26E5, and all of this should be done in the next few days.  Since the ship in question is a carrack, I make those in a different manner from steamships of ancient war galleys, and will therefore record another walkthrough video showing that process.
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
After my last post, I almost abandoned SubscribeStar, but some recent encouragement on Steemit has changed my mind.  10, 561, 1545, and finally, 1549 - those were the numbers of upvotes on my most recent tractor canopy update post, I watched the count skyrocket over three days.  There is a link to a BitChute video there, but you can watch it here as well:  https://www.bitchute.com/video/o4sRZlcXXwEt/
So, now I have reason to shamelessly beg for money again: you can help me keep my metal shop running (at least until I start making a profit off my projects)!  I have no idea how I should start restructuring my goals, but a new welding machine may be one of them (I hate touch-start TIG), or at the very least, new hoses, since mine have sprung leaks (don't fear for my safety, it's only argon).  Of course, I'm not going to give up on my 3D printing shop either, but Formlabs is behind on delivery.  I have a list of my most important projects on WordPress, if you're interested in checking it out.  I'll be happy to add to that list as well, and document the progress for the purposes of education and entertainment.
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 25 Jul, 2019: Sorry for missing last week's update (oh, who am I kidding, no-one follows me on this site anyway), but it wasn't for lack of productivity.  I've been working on my website quite a bit, and I have most of my models indexed, even if the product pages don't exist yet.  I described in detail what my intent is in a recent Steemit post, and provided some preview screenshots on WordPress.  I still need to get more information about what type of resin I should make these models from, but communicating with Formlabs is next to impossible.  I have two more tanks available, the VK30.02D, and the fictional AMX M4 mle 54.  Yes, I know, it's listed under "historical tanks," only because both the hull and turret actually are historical, but not that specific combination, which is the same problem my T-150 model has.  On the DIY front, I've had to delay working on the tractor canopy because of multiple other things that required my immediate attention, among them my car (I hate cars), problems because of the weather (I hate summer), and several things round the house breaking all at once, simply because of age (I hate modern manufacturing).  Well, I may not be able to assemble that tractor canopy any time soon, but I still get to do some welding.  
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 11 Jul, 2019: I've switched briefly to working on German tanks, and the hull for the VK30.02 Ausf D is now done.  There are three different turrets I could put on it, so I'm probably going to offer three different options, depending on what my customer wants.  I went into more detail in a recent Steemit rant, in which I discuss some issues I've faced making model tanks.  On the DIY front, I've also started work on a custom tractor canopy, and I go into that here.  There's a video link in the Steemit post, and I'm not going to add one here directly until I start on the actual construction, since that will be much more interesting to watch.  
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 4 Jul, 2019: To all my Yank customers and followers, Happy Independence Day!  Since I currently live in the US, I'll be celebrating along with you.  Anyway, since my last update, I've finished the AMX AC 46, which you can see here.  I have two versions available, one with a 100mm cannon and another with a 120mm cannon.  After finishing that, I put together yet another pond video, and unlike my previous pond videos, this one has generated some interest in the project.  You'll have to view it on BitChute to see the comments, but you can still watch it here.  I had other outdoor projects planned, but before I can move on to them, I really need to do something about the sun.  Therefore, the very next thing I'm going to do is design and build a canopy for my tractor.  This should be fun, you'll get to see a more practical application of CAD, and I'll get to show off my metalworking skills.  Anyway, that's all for now, I have grilling to do!
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 27 Jun, 2019: Sometimes, I don't understand what goes on at Shapeways.  Just when I think I've figured out what I can get away with in terms of design features, somebody changes the unwritten rules.  When the customer who requested my ship chain went to order it, it got rejected, even though each of the individual ships in it was approved for production without the need for validation.  So, having to deal with that has thrown a spanner into my plans, but it's nothing more than a minor delay to my other projects.  However, this unpredictability increasingly justifies getting a selective laser sintering machine for the production of tiny sailing ships.  I can still make them with the Form 3 LFS that I will be taking delivery of in early-to-mid August (I had to postpone my order because of some fraudulent activity on my debit card that needed sorting out), but while LFS is capable of much greater detail than SLS, post-processing is much more time-consuming.  I expect about five minutes to clean up a model tank, but up to half an hour for a similarly-sized sailing ship - unless I make the hulls and masts separate pieces, but there are plenty of reasons to not do that.  Therefore, since the LFS machine has already been paid for, I will probably update my goals soon, and change the top goal back to paying for a small SLS machine.  

On that note, since I'm pushing back the beginning of production by about a month, this will likely interfere with my travel plans to Moscow.  Regrettably, this likely means no pictures from the Great Patriotic War Museum until much later, but perhaps I can use this opportunity to book a trip to Kubinka (which must be reserved at least two weeks in advance).  So, for all my existing customers who enjoy my work, how much would you be willing to pay for an autographed photo of me standing in front of your favourite tank?  I'm serious: give me a list now, so that I have something special to add to my miniature shop.
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 20 Jun, 2019: I took a brief break from working on tanks to make a chain of ships for another customer.  This was a fairly simple process in Blender, and I made a video of it.
https://www.bitchute.com/video/cmHLOYiTqx71/

Upon returning to tanks, I started on the AMX AC 46, a French tank destroyer built on the AMX M4 chassis.  Here are some pictures.  If you're wondering why there is a complete vehicle half and another set of road wheels, that's because the suspension is asymmetric.  I explained why I have to make tanks like this in such a manner in a blog post about the King Tiger.  Speaking of which, I sincerely hope that I haven't been making the suspensions BACKWARDS on all these tanks, since I've gotten conflicting information and bad drawings in the past.  In fact (and I mentioned this at some point in the five-part walkthrough) I had to reach out to someone at Kubinka to ask what the roof of the SU-100Y looked like, because there is a drawing out there that has two round hatches on top of the casemate.  Those are not there on the actual vehicle, and since it's a self-propelled artillery gun, not a tank destroyer, it has no need for them.

I'll post pictures of the AMX AC 46 to Steemit when it's all done, just as I always do.
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 13 Jun, 2019: Now that the pricing system at Shapeways has stabilised again, I've begun to fix minor problems with some of my 1/285 scale tank models, among them the IS-2 M1944 and KV-5.  As of this post, the only two left to fix are the IS-4 and IS-6, but I may not get to them for a while.  The IS-2 in particular underwent the greatest change, specifically to the front end of the hull.  I explain that change in this video, which I made back when I updated the 1/100 scale IS-2 M1944 model.  As usual, here's a link to my shop in case you want to browse my collection: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/steampunkkaja?section=Historical+Tanks+1%2F285&s=0

Keep an eye open for my next CAD tutorial on BitChute, I'll have another pond-related video after that, and probably some cute wildlife videos in the future.

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Double bogies drive me crazy!  Seriously, Sherman fanboys can defend them all they want, but there is a reason that most modern tanks use torsion bars, and no-one uses double bogies anymore.  As you may know, most of the tanks in my collection are Soviet, and most Soviet tanks, even during the War, used a torsion bar suspension, as did many of the German tanks, especially the late-war heavies.  The same cannot be said for British or American tanks, which have complicated bogie suspensions that take a long time to render.  The problem is only made worse by the fact that 3-view drawings don't show how these mechanisms are constructed, so I end up spending hours at a time looking at photographs of both the real tanks and plastic model kits trying to get a good idea of how to make them.  The first time I went through this was with the Valentine Bridgelayer, which has two mirror-image triple bogies mounting road wheels of different sizes.  I had made my own tank with a double-bogie suspension based on the Soviet T-35 prior to that, but it doesn't count because I wasn't trying to copy anything.  I wound up featuring that in a video.  The other examples are shown below:

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 6 Jun, 2019: I'm working backwards here, since I totally forgot to share the link to my latest pond video.  I've done a bit more work on-and-off since recording this, but in recent days, the weather has been so damp and the vegetation so thick that I have to take frequent breaks to strip nude and check every square millimetre of my skin for parasitic arthropods - and I've lost count of how many I've found.  So, not at all efficient.  Hopefully, with the weeds now cut back and the clippings raked up, it won't be so bad when I go back to it.  On the bright side, I keep dredging up lots of large stones, which will become my raw materials for later parts of the project.

On the tank front, I'm currently working on the VC Firefly, and since it's a well-known design, I don't have the problem of trying to find decent drawings.  I may have something to show in the next day or two.
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
I changed my mind about adding new tanks to Shapeways.  As of yesterday, I've added three more tanks, and I have four more that are in need of some slight changes.  See, the problems with the pricing have finally been sorted, and they are much more reasonable now.  I'm still going to start making them myself (I already ordered the machine, I may as well use it), and I can still do so cheaper than Shapeways, but at least Shapeways isn't ridiculously expensive anymore.  To be specific, each tank now costs $7.50 to make, instead of $15.  Originally, the minimum price was $7.50 per component, and each tank has two.  However, enough people complained about the price increase that the algorithm was changed yet again.  Miniatures are still a good bit more expensive than they used to be, and much more expensive than I can make them for.  Currently, all my tanks are $9 and up for single pieces, and sets of five go for $25-$30.  It is, of course, much more cost effective to buy them five at a time, and ordering an entire army at once is most cost effective, since you still have to pay the same shipping cost whether it's five tanks or a hundred.  According to my preliminary calculations, I can make these tanks myself for $5 each, but the cost per tank doesn't drop the way it does with Shapeways if you order more.  However, $5 per tank translates to $25 for five of them, so if you're building an army, ordering from Shapeways will be just as expensive as ordering them from me.  None of this really means anything, though, because I don't know how long the printing or post-processing will actually take, and my current cost estimates are based on educated guesses.

Don't forget to check out my shop inventory:
https://www.shapeways.com/shops/steampunkkaja?section=Historical+Tanks+1%2F285&s=0
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 30 May, 2019: Hopefully, last week will be the last time I miss one of these updates for a while.  I could go on a rant as to what interrupted me this time, but this isn't the place to gripe.  For now, I have finished the AMX M4, which you can see here: https://steemit.com/tanks/@steampunkkaja/the-amx-m4

Below you can see the AMX M4 by itself, as well as my tank collection as it currently appears.  The IS-3 and ST-1 both need guns, and the IS-4 needs its turret geometry fixed, but I have other things I need to do before then.  The VC Firefly will likely be the next tank I make, and then I will probably take a break to work on ship token sets (and another CAD tutorial video to go with that) before I tackle the rest of my outstanding requests.
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 16 May, 2019: I don't have anything to show at the moment, I've been travelling again, but I finally started dredging my pond.  I may have a video up on BitChute showing the progress of that project, along with some footage of the animals that were keeping me company (a frog and a snake).  For that reason, I'll probably make a cute thumbnail with Pepe the Frog sitting on my rake, or something like that.  On the web design front, now that I'm back in my primary office, I'm going to start populating my miniature shop with all the right product entries, update the database, and return to working on the newest batch of 3D models.  Hopefully, I won't have to deal with too many interruptions - some suspicious activity in my bank account has stopped me from ordering anything until it's sorted.  I should have a better update for everyone tomorrow.
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post
Weekly Update for 9 May, 2019: Even with limited files on the computer I'm currently working from, I was able to create a total of nine product pages with options for fifteen different models.  This is a far cry from the 39 different tank models I currently offer in my Shapeways shop, but I now know that my website at least works.  Feel free to contact me if you want to start placing orders now.  After I return to my main office, I will be able to finish filling my inventory and complete several new tanks that were recently requested.  These new tanks will NOT by added to my Shapeways shop, so the only place you'll be able to order them from is my own website.  As a reminder, production will begin in July, and the first models will ship in August.
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Kaja Blackwing
Public post

Weekly Update for 2 May, 2019: A day late and a dollar short, again. I missed the last weekly update and couldn't get this one done on time because I was busy. However, I have good news: I have finally gotten a business plan for my online miniature shop, and set up a few more pages. In order to install the WooCommerce plugin, I had to make the site public, but it is hidden, meaning that no search engine will find it. I have a message on the front page to indicate that it is still under construction, but you can poke around and see what's there: https://kajminiatures.com I can't really offer products for sale until production begins, but I can still take informal orders right here, so I at least know which models to start printing as soon as I get my LFS machine.

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post

I copied my tank model database into Microsoft Excel for the purpose of calculating costs of making these models. The material cost has already been established, but the print time and clean-up time are just guesses for now. Most of these values will be very similar, because of the similar size and shape of heavy tank models. As you can see, given my current estimates, the cost is going to be slightly higher than my previous pricing at Shapeways, but less than half the new Shapeways prices. The only parts of this spreadsheet that are permanent are the model volume and material cost. The current time cost rate of $0.42 per minute is derived from my normal labour rate of $25.00 per hour. Shipping is going to be an entirely separate cost, and just as before, ordering a large number of models at once is most cost-effective for collectors and wargamers alike.

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post

Weekly Update for 18 Apr, 2019: I apologise for missing the last weekly update, but things have been hectic. Plans have changed here as well: the $4000 goal will be repurposed for a Form 3 LFS (low-force stereolithography) machine from FormLabs. The $9000 goal for a benchtop SLS machine will be removed entirely, because I found a better SLS machine for a mere $5000, and Red Rock 3D may be cheaper still, once they release their prices. See, because of recent price gouging at Shapeways, I have decided to stop selling 1/285 scale tank models there, and produce them myself. I hope to reduce the prices to what I was originally selling them for, possibly less, so that I can continue to provide high-quality miniatures at attractive prices (and not lose so much money to Shapeways in the process). FormLabs also offers the capability to print in investment-casting-quality wax, so I may be able to move my entire operation, including making jewellery, into my own facility and just leave my Shapeways shop open as little more than free advertising. However, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm going to take this one step at a time, and start with 1/285 scale model tanks. The Form 3 LFS printer ships in July, so I can wait to place the order until it's completely funded if I so choose. If you are interested in seeing what the facility currently looks like, check out pictures on Steemit: https://steemit.com/photography/@steampunkkaja/3d-printing-and-cnc-machining-workshop-potential

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post

Right then, after reviewing the footage in my last subscriber-exclusive post, I have changed my plans. Until I find out exactly what the file size limit there is for videos, and thus how long of a video I can post and still have an intelligible picture, videos will NOT be posted here first, and then uploaded to BitChute. Supposedly, large files can be linked via Google Drive or Dropbox, but I don't use either, so my only real option is to keep subscriber-exclusive videos short. Half-hour CAD tutorials are huge files, so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. So, the point of this is that, if you want to subscribe just to see my video projects, don't bother.

In other news, my sales of steampunk airships has increased recently, so I'm considering making a CAD tutorial for one of those. If you are interested, send my a sketch of your own design, and I'll record myself rendering it for you.

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Kaja Blackwing

As promised in my previous ...

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post

Weekly Update for 4 Apr, 2019: After teasing it for almost a month, I have finally gotten around to recording method 1 for making frying pan tank turrets, using the IS-3M as my example. Videos take a while to convert from .flv to .wmv formats (I tried using the .mp4 converter built into VLC, but none of the settings I tried exported the audio, despite my careful inspection to make sure everything matched). Therefore, I'm not sure if you'll get to see the video today or tomorrow. I will upload each video pertaining to the advanced rendering techniques I use to make the IS-3M turret as I get them formatted right here on SubscribeStar, but they will be visible only to my subscribers. A day or two after all videos are recorded and formatted, I will then upload them to BitChute. I intend to keep this specific project limited to 2 videos, one for each method of rendering the basic shape, but a third may be required to show the details, if I deem it necessary.

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post

Weekly Update for 28 Mar, 2019: Outdoor projects have been taking up much of my time, but I have been able to take short breaks to work on models and updates a few minutes every day. I have finished the IS-3 hull, and I will move on to the turret in the next day or two. My intent will be to upload the tutorial here first, so that my subscribers can see it before I publish it on BitChute.

For some reason, SubscribeStar is not cooperating today, so I can't place the images where I want. I have no idea what you'll actually see, but a picture of the IS-3 hull is below, as well as a preview of the tank model database as it currently appears. I will put this version online so that you can download it as soon as I finish the IS-3 and IS-3M.

If you have any blueprints to contribute to any of my pending projects, or have something that you'd like to see me make, contact me either here or through Shapeways: https://www.shapeways.com/designer/steampunkkaja

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post

Weekly Update for 21 Mar, 2019: Work on new tank models has been postponed in the wake of False Spring, which I am taking full advantage of. Videos of my pond project are up on my BitChute channel, though I had to throw out about half of my GoPro footage, since the camera shifted and got stuck on my feet for ten minutes straight. What I was left with wasn't much better, so I am considering adding a goggle-mount camera to my list of things to get. At least then I will know exactly what the final product will be. I explain in both the video description and a recent Steemit post what the basic problem was. The bottom line is that I cannot complete AND film this project on my own, as I previously thought. I need either an assistant or a better system. Tomorrow's forecast seems to indicate the end of False Spring, however, so I will have an excuse to work on miniature tanks again. I have a returning customer who has requested quite a few different designs, only two of them Soviet. Keep checking up on my Shapeways shop and my blogs if you're interested.

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Kaja Blackwing
Public post

Weekly Update for 14 Mar, 2019: I have been exceptionally active on Steemit lately, mostly with 2D art, so head on over there to see what I've done. Spring is also on its way, finally, so outdoor projects, or rather videos of them will start to show up on my BitChute channel. I'm also making plans to visit Moscow at the end of the summer, but that's hardly relevant aside from the fact that it may eat up quite a bit of time - unless you want to pay to make weird poses in front of tanks at the Great Patriotic War Museum (I doubt I'll be able to schedule a visit to Kubinka). Back to the topic of 2D art, I'm currently working on ancient creatures from my fictional world, so if you'd like to see detailled pencil drawings or digital art of any of the bizarre critters I've come up with, subscribe and let me know.


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Star Stats

32 posts

Goals

$200
to reach
the Goal
Monthly operating cost. This covers everything I have to pay for once a month - electricity, coffee, petrol, and wine ("step aside, coffee. This is a job for ALCOHOL!"). Yes, two of those power my machines, the other two power ME.
$700
to reach
the Goal
Outdoor projects - I need to build a roof for my spring-house, another one for my cesspool (and I'd also like to build a deck to hide the whole thing and keep potted plants), and a canopy for my tractor to keep the sun off my head (noticing a theme here?). As of September, that last project is almost finished, and will soon be taken off this list.
$1,700
to reach
the Goal
New TIG welder. My current machine is touch-start, which I am not fond of. Since the hoses are wearing out and starting to leak in multiple places, I now have an excuse to replace it.
$2,000
to reach
the Goal
Annual software cost. Subscriptions aren't cheap, and the new stuff can do a few things my old programs can't. If you enjoy my digital artwork, please support this goal.

Other stars

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