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Cavern sets: different paints?
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TOPIC: Cavern sets: different paints?
#25174
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
Hello everyone. I'm relatively new to collecting DF so sorry if this is an old issue/question.

I got a Cavern set direct from DF last year. I just got another one off eBay that was unused (all the pieces were still in plastic). The color scheme of the one I just got was darker and matched much more closely the color of the CRW and Cav Lakes sets I have (also got from DR direct); my first Caverns set is paler. They both look fine, but the eBay set has a different wash or something. The eBay set had a product catalog from 2000 in it, so although it was unused I assume it actually was produced earlier than the one I got last year from DF.

Is this common? Do the Cavern sets vary their color by vintage or production run?

I also noticed that the color of my Sci-Fi sets don't exactly match. My one Beta set is shinier and more silvery than the starter or alpha sets I have. Is that typical too?

Thanks for any info!
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#25175
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
the same is for my Beta Set, seems the little chinese people used another silver color or wash.
It's sad that it is so, cause the beta-parts always stand out. The extra 6" walls also, seems the
whole batch is affected.

For the caverns it could be, i have only old Cavern sets, and these mix perfectly with lake and
river sets. I bought some 4"x4" floors in December and these are the same color as my
old ones (bought the cavern sets in 2005.
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#25176
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
While were on this topic...

I've noticed some difference in color & thickness of floor tiles for the standard dungeon stuff as well as different stone work/sizes on my diagonal walls.

Is this something explainable (i.e. newer vs older sets) or an aberration?
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#25177
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
I know that when the Fantasy Floor and Fantasy Starter sets were released, they were a distinctly different color and texture from all my previous sets -- I seem to recall DF acknowledging a new approach, which accounted for the change. A new paint, maybe?

But overall, I think it's just a matter of handpainting and human imperfection. Some pieces won't look EXACTLY like other pieces. I also wonder about how age affects things -- there's far more yellow in my older pieces, and I wonder if that's simply the yellowing of resin aging, and it's showing. I mean, some of my pieces are ... gulp ... like eight or nine years old now.

L
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#25178
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
Purplesaber

Yes there are differences - this isn't a new topic. As a purist you will notice - but once in use tend not to realize the difference after a while. Mix your sets up and then have a loop how long it will take you to sort them out again ...

About the reasons cited above - I think to remember that Stefan once said they had changed the Chinese company making them. This of course also means a different colour as whoever is doing it now won't do exactly the same. There is also the issue a cost involved to produce exact the same colour over and over again on handpainted pieces. If you buy normal tiles (for walls) and even paint in big buckets you are often warned to check out the colour and that there might be differences in different batches.

And even if paint is the same - I noticed the resin itself did change at least once. This means that you need different paint to get the same overall look.

With DF going for years it's inevitable that there will be differences over the years.

Now to L - interesting question if the paint changes with age. Another question would be if the paint changes with light. While all my normal pieces are in boxes I have all the non-stackable River and Lake pieces build up as semipermanent huge diorama as one single shelf unit (40cm *100cm). They are therefore more accesible to open light ...

And a last bit:
Stefan said in a different thread that the very first DF pieces had been produced in white (creme?) resin. This way chipped paint showed up much easier for the pieces they took from fare to fare - and they changed it. Not sure if these pieces ever were sold or if they changed it before they started selling DF.
Maybe someone here still has such old very first pieces.

Thod
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#25179
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
Harneloot, one of the drawbacks about working with multiple resin casts is that you will find warping, shrinkage, and differences in thickness in some of the pieces. Even when resin is carefully measured out, each new cast will be and is different than the previous. I've noticed that some of the floor pieces in my brand new MBS set are slightly thicker (or thinner) than others, and some of the walls are taller than others. Not a major deal, really.

Even with the best quality control, the medium (resin) is something that will produce varied results.


Regarding the paint scheme, I think that several folks hit it on the head with the paint process. Not sure so much about the effects of age on our stuff--I have some of the dungeon pieces from when this product first came out and they still match very well with newer stuff I've purchased. Sure there are slight variations here and there, but you can find the same thing in any structure's interior coating. Just think of the effects of light and shadows on different walls of the same color.
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#25180
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
Hello Guys,

Not sure if I can answer everyone to full satisfaction without seeing all the pieces...but here's the general scoop on our processes:

All the pieces are painted by hand by dozens of different painters. as the years go by, the painters come and go, so regardless if we are at the same factory, it's basically like the work is being done by a different crew every time, as sometimes the turnover in these workshops changes yearly...not everyone is cut out for this kind of detailed work, month after month, year after year...
contrary to the popular jokes, we don't use "slave labor" these are mostly students from the countryside trying to earn money for school in the big city. The large majority are female since they have a harder time finding work and because they seem better adjusted to the kind of work that usually involves painting "pretty" little objects...the kind you see in card stores or gift shops...I often try to imagine if some of these girls are horrified or amused at some of the things they end up painting for us...I suppose it depends on their personalities...Anyway, they work from master paint samples (done by me) as well as archived photographs of the models. At one point, when we changed factories we took the models as well as the photo's and the master molds of all our pieces to the new factory.

As far as the method and paint used, it should be the same, as all the factories of that region use the same paint and methods when doing these particular (resin crafts) sorts of work. if there are differences, it is the human element, part of the charm, in my humble opinion.
I have found that when mixed together, as are the pieces in my collection, I don't notice any difference large enough to warrant me pulling a piece out of my set-up. (if anyone has such a piece/or pieces I invite you to mail it back to us for replacement or refund.) The difference in stone colors of the walls and floors, some more yellow, some more brown, some more grey, actually adds to it IMHO. imagine what these pieces would look like if they were sprayed on by a machine process...every wall exactly the same color...in fact it would look very machine made and not natural.

The casting is also done by hand. Every single piece brushed into a mold, and let to dry in whatever atmospheric conditions are that day or time of year. depending on the weather, the pieces shrink in varying degrees...Resin casting is not an exact science...if the pieces were plastic, they would fit more precisely together, like LEGO. however, they would also look like LEGO. Slick and plasticy. Once again, I prefer the hand crafted look. We could have gone with plastic at the very beginning, when I started this company. In fact, many other companies have tried similar "dungeon" products in plastic for just those reasons of uniformity and ease of production...however, I always felt that what I liked about these pieces was the material. the weight, and feel of the pieces in your hand. the sound they make when they click together. they actually feel like stone, and in a way, you might feel like you are actually building something of substance when you devise and lay out your models. Personally, I wouldn't get the same satisfaction with plastic lightweight pieces. Plastic, for me, is the realm of toys, non harming substances for a younger crowd who tend to bounce them off walls and stick them in mouths.... Metals and hard Resins are more of a craft, they command more care and respect...

Hope I haven't offended any toy collectors or plasti-crack users out there...no Evil Doom thoughts meant, I have some plasti-crack figs myself, as well as many fond memories of LEGO building, man I used to hoard that stuff! Just wanted to express my thoughts about why we went old school craft although we live in a modern world. Most customers are pleasantly surprised when they recieve their first package...not what they expected in this age of uniformity. Yes, there are some worts or wormholes, like when you go to the farmers market for organic apples and pears, but that's part of the charm...

Sincerely,
Stefan
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#25181
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
Wow, thanks Stefan, that was very interesting to read.

And just a quick note -- I agree with you about resin. I am a toy collector, and I have some pretty neat plastic terrain pieces for various kinds of lines (Star Wars, fantasy toys, Lord of the Rings, etc) They can be fun - but they feel light, smooth, and made of plastic.

It is very much part of the appeal of DF that it feels so much like stone. The pieces are heavy, they are solid, and the texture and weight is all suggestive of the environment. It's really the best way to do it. And it's also very much appreciated!

L
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#25182
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
Stefan,

Nicely said. I often get great comments about my DF when new gamers see it for the first time. Keep up the great work.

-Shadox

BTW - I also like the slightly varied color in my pieces. I have go so far as dry brush a couple of them with some olive colors to give a different look.
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#25183
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
Thanks for all the responses! I especially appreciate that the creator himself took the time to describe the manufacturing process -- thanks Stefan. What a great company!

Just to be clear: I wasn't complaining, just observing and wondering how common the color differences are. It doesn't bother me at all with the Cavern Sets; the Sci-Fi maybe just a teeny bit because you would expect space ships and futuristic buildings to look pretty uniform, but it's really nothing significant once the pieces are in use.

Looking forward to collecting more sets!
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#25184
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
I noticed that some individual cavern peices I purchased after my initial cavern buy as well as some standard dungeon pieces I bought at the same time were in fact both lighter in color and noticibly greener (again a lighter shade of green) then my older pieces. To some degree - but to a lesser extent - I have noticed this in river & lake sets (a bit lighter in color as opposed to my earlier cavern sets) - but these aren't so bad. But what is clear to me is that at one point in time certainly peices were being put out that were noticibly different and much lighter in color then the originals. On the other side I noticed that my cavernous passage set peices seem somewhat darker/darker green in color...for what its worth...
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#25185
Cavern sets: different paints? 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
Thanks for the feedback guys, I always take any criticisms very seriously, and pass the remarks on to the factory.
Actually, I am very thankful that you guys are a very understanding lot. In fact, in 10 years time we have had only a handful of returns, and two of those were just mistaken orders...but i want to assure you that we will as always try to get the colors to match as perfect as possible and in extreme cases reject bad matches. in one case, we actually rejected most of an entire 20ft container! Hopefully, we will never go through that again...since, i would imagine that after you do that to the factory a few times they might start to decide that maybe our tiny company is not worth the bother...

Even with our quality controls, at the factory and here in the US it is not possible for me to personally check every single piece when it lands in our warehouse. if you ever get a real dud, mail it off to us for a return/exchange anytime.
of course, If we were some fly by night company, If we were truly worried about our quality of products, or bad service complaints we wouldn't have a forum section here where people can post pictures......so far people have been really nice...(hope i didn't just jinx myself)

Thanks everyone!

we will be vigilant.
Stefan
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