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CAV terrain and 3D printing


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I have a small 3D printer and one of the things which has drawn me to CAV is the ability of said printer to crank out terrain pieces for the game.  Attached to this message is a photo of four CAVs next to some terrain I've already printed.  For reference, the pillbox is a free download in the CAV HQ downloads section.  The other two buildings are freebies from Thingiverse and are 6mm scale for That Other Game.  I scaled up each terrain model 150% as recommended and printed them in PLA plastic. 

The terrain pieces do have layer lines, but with some paint and at arm's length on the table they should look quite good.  I'm pleased with the results and I intend to print out more pieces. 

My question for anybody who sees this is: Do these terrain pieces look like they're in scale with the CAVs?  I know scale is a nebulous topic, but I'm shooting for "in the ballpark" here. 

CAV Terrain.jpg

Edited by Zimzerveran
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The back building look a little small for CAV but are fine to play with. Doing big buildings proper is always tough in 10mm scale at time. Use this for a guide...1" in CAV equals 15 feet (so pretty close to 1 foot to 1/16" making a standard a building "floor" measure around 3/4" for 10feet, with doors being around 7/16". As sort of reference on how big a building would be...the Empire state building would measure (in 10mm) 28.25" x 12.5" x 97" (Tall!)!

I like to use google maps to size real world building to get an idea of the area most common buildings would cover.

Here is one of our MDF buildings and it is 6 stories tall. Most CAVs are around three stories tall.

No photo description available.

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Yeah, I thought the one in the back-right was too small.

Thanks for the info about scale. I'm finding not all 3d model designers have the same ideas about what 6mm or 10mm mean. Scaling models up or dowm can get a bit sticky. I'll have to play around with it on a per-model basis to get good results.

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Where it gets messed up is how you define the height of an average person and whether you measure from bottom of foot to top of head or to eye level.  This is how I come up with the scale we use (1/180). We figure the 10mm from bottom of foot to eye level with an average height male at 6 feet (72"). Using the "idealistic" proportions seen here...

See the source image

This puts our eye level at 67.5 inches i.e. 10mm and an actual scale of 1/171.45 which is a weird number. I rounded up to 180 as at this scale the difference is just a "sliver" anyway and it makes it work out to 1"=15 feet for easier measuring. I guess you can call ours Heroic 10mm 🙂

Back in the days of old they used a 5'3" as average height while the average height in the US today for a male is 5'9". Using those numbers for 10mm you get 1/150 and 1/164 with the "idealistic" male. Hence why there are so many different right answers! 🙂


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A lot of n-scale train scenery also "works" despite being officially 150:1 - 1:60:1. I have some Japanese n-scale that I use, and it's really close. I think the building in the pic below is officially considered 155:1, but it's close enough.

If you are concerned about making scale work, I would highly suggest grabbing a pack of light infantry and using them as measuring sticks. The reason that CAV's scale is as consistent as it is is that CAVBoss and his artists actually care about scale. Hop in stream and ask him about the Ogre's cockpit and watch his face, lol.

Edit: Your prints look great, btw. Those print lines are going to disappear and just be texture once you get them painted.

infantry at building +mantis three-quarter view.jpg

infantry at building +mantis front view.jpg

Edited by Dave.C
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