Luther Caudle, also known as Lou is the guy behind War King Miniatures, offering custom 3D printing services, especially from Flesh of Gods collections. If you are often hanging around in Phrozen’s Sonic Mini Series Facebook community, you must be familiar with his name as one of the Group Experts. But has he always been this fond of 3D printing?
It’s All Started With Dungeons and Dragons
After first finding out about the games on the Netflix show Stranger Things, Lou’s children are excited about trying out the games on their own and ask Lou if they can play them together. Knowing nothing about the game, Lou started his own adventure to delve into the world of Dungeons & Dragons. He watched some Youtube videos to get an idea of what was involved and how it could work and went to order a bunch of D&D Essentials Kit.
While waiting for the kit to arrive, he asked his kids to come up with some characters for their game so they could start playing once the kit arrived. They ran up to the dining room and came up with their characters. His artistic 8 year old drew up everyone’s characters and presented them all to their dad with excitement.
A couple of days later when the kit arrived, Lou soon realized that there were way more things to learn and wrap his head around than he had anticipated. He skimmed through the guidebook and their D&D journey started.
Their first session lasted for about an hour and was a complete success despite being a complete ‘Theater of the Mind’ as everything other than the basic map was detailed and pictured in their mind. To make the game more alive, Lou decided that getting some miniatures would be a great addition for their next session. So he went online and found a website called Hero Forge where he could craft his own characters.
While pricing wasn’t horrible, he soon realized that their kids might accidentally break them and it would mean another purchase in the near future.
First Look Into 3D Printing
Having a coworker who was already into 3D printing, Lou talked about his latest game journey with him. His coworker offered to print some mini samples and to print Lou’s characters if he liked the results. However, the results of the printed FDM minis were not up to the standard he had envisioned and he was suggested to venture into resin 3D printing.
So there he went researching resin printing and printers. The Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K caught his attention as the highest resolution consumer 3D printer which price point he felt comfortable with. He pulled the trigger and continued his research into resin 3D printing.
The resin arrived and was easily set up. He dialed in his starting settings with the Aqua-Gray 8K and continued to print his character models from the Hero Forge site. And just like that, his next D&D session was no longer a theater of the mind as it was now accompanied by their own character miniatures on the table.
A Facebook Ad for Flesh of Gods
At some point during his early research, Lou stumbled across a Facebook ad for Flesh of Gods, designers of STL models for D&D tabletop miniatures. The models vary from hero characters to creatures all with their stat sheets for the in-game play. Lou is liking the look of their models and decided to give their subscription a go, thinking that he would just get all the forty models offered and cancel his subscription by the end of the month as he thought a subscription base model creator might not be exactly what he needs.
Yet the month rolled on and Lou was wrong, dead wrong. All the models were printed out great, came pre-supported, and incorporated perfectly into their game. Upon the end of his subscription month, he received a sneak peek of the upcoming month's models. His interest was piqued and he decided to stay for another month. And the same thing happened for another month, and again.
As he printed out these awesome models, he decided to use his photography gear and skills to take pictures of his prints and share it in God of Flesh’s Discord Group. Soon enough he became friends with the Flesh of God team and began working with them to provide photos of their printed models.
From D&D to a Group Expert to a Miniature Business
Around the time, Lou also encountered the Facebook group and community for Phrozen printers. He shared the photos of his prints in the group and found a helpful community with a wealth of information for troubleshooting resin 3D printing issues. Lou learned through trial and error with the help of the community and determined to pay it forward and help the community.
He had become an active member of the community that Phrozen approached him and asked if he would like to become a group expert to further provide help and guidance for the community. Lou gladly accepted the offer as he found Phrozen’s products to be top notch with a fantastic customer support. There he kicked off his relationship with the team at Phrozen and his journey as a group expert began.
Very soon he found himself with a back log of models waiting to be printed, so he decided that it’s perhaps time for a second printer. Having been smitten with his first resin printer the Sonic Mini 8K, he proceeded to purchase another one and decided to offer printing services for those who weren’t printing themselves. Thus, born the War King Miniatures.
He accumulated a wealth of 3D printed miniatures and found that an old friend of his was into tabletop gaming. Excitedly, Lou showed him all his current prints and what he’s been doing with Dungeons and Dragons miniatures. However, he told Lou that he should get some color on his table full of gray miniatures.
As he didn’t find luck upon reaching out to his artistic friends in the hope of finding someone to help him bring more colors to his miniatures, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Lou was neither a painter nor a drawing artist, but with a brush in his hand, he went to town. Months later, he now enjoys painting his miniatures and using them for his endless D&D sessions with his children.
With one thing led to another, now Lou has been 3D printing since August 2022 and has since delved deep into the realm of tabletop gaming, 3D printing, and miniature painting. Starting off with his kids' interest in the D&D game, a few printers, and dozens of resin bottles later, Lou is now a seasoned 3D printing enthusiast, a group expert, and he couldn’t be more excited to see how his 3D printing journey will unfold.
Trying Out the New Sonic Mini 8K S
As a group expert, Lou is one of the first to ever try out the latest addition to the Phrozen printer lineup, the Sonic Mini 8K S.
Having experienced its older brother—-the Sonic Mini 8K, Lou was initially hesitant to try it out. After all, he was expecting a machine that could outshine the Sonic Mini 8K, not one that seemed to be a much cheaper version of it. Reluctantly, he tried out the machine and saw how this entry-level printer compared to its older brother, and to his surprise, the results are shocking.
“WOW! Not only is the Sonic Mini 8K S a 22 µm XY resolution machine, but they have corrected the anti-aliasing issue that plagued the Mini 8k. The Mini 8K S has printed my smallest print yet, a miniature at only 5 mm tall, as well as holding its own during a full build volume test and printed the massive model with no issues on the first print!”
Lou ended up loving his newest printer and even considered making the switch to the Sonic Mini 8K S once his Sonic Mini 8K screens got to the end of their life span. He even found spending a little more money to replace his Sonic Mini 8K to be a justified choice for the new anti aliasing system in the Sonic Mini 8K S. And although he has initially was worried about the single linear rail in the Sonic Mini 8K S, he has yet to notice any issues when printing with it as it appears to be just as strong and sturdy as the dual linear rails.
“Overall, I am extremely pleased with their new Sonic Mini 8K S printer. It does everything the Sonic Mini 8K does and then more with the fixed anti aliasing, a lower price point that is great for getting into high quality 3D printing, and it has a really cool neon green cover that just pops in the printer room. Great job Phrozen!”
Special thanks to Lou for providing all the pictures. Curious to see more of Lou's artwork? Make sure to check his Instagram page at war_king_miniatures.
Models are from Flesh of Gods.