Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gorilla Animech Now For Sale From Rebel Minis

The Gorilla Animech from Rebel Minis is now available for sale.

This big brute can be found here, at this link...

Here are some assembled pics.

The Gorilla Animech is a pretty technical build, but there is an assembly guide in downloadable PDF form that will be provided at checkout.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Animechs From Germany

A few Animechs from Rebel Minis, painted up by Olaf Dittmar in Germany.

We're worldwide, Ma!  ;)

Shared with permission and thanks to Olaf.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Wildcat Fever: The .50 Hardy Ross Magnum

I have had an idea knocking around my head for a while, now.

Basically, a big bore cartridge.  This would be a thumper, and probably cost ten dollars a round in a five-thousand-dollar custom rifle, but I just want to see if it can done.  Eventually.  When I have that kind of cash to blow.

Which definitely isn't right now, trust me.

So, I want to take the .505 Gibbs, a famous African hunting cartridge, and shorten the case to 2.950 inches.

I would open the neck up to be able to take .510 projectiles, which would enable folks to shoot surplus .50 BMG projectiles and an assortment of other projos in the .510 diameter category.

Overall length, digitally, at least, would be in the neighborhood of 4.580".

Yes, before you ask, it's meant to give the human race a chance in the looming robot/raptor/robo-raptor apocalypse.  ;)

JBR Cola for scale.  .505 Gibbs in the middle.  .50 HRM is the big'un.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Scorpions Scorpions Scorpions

I started digitally sculpting as a freelancer in 2001.

Ed Pugh, of Reaper Miniatures, recruited me to help with their new CAV mecha game.

One of the initial sculpts was the Borsig-Spline Scorpion, a mean little scuttler.

Fast forward a couple years, and I was designing a larger version of the Scorpion CAV for my licensed line of 1/60th scale (28mm Tabletop) metal and resin CAV kits under the Hellion Productions label.

Here are some new renders of that beauty...

It was a multi-part kit with a lot of articulation.  Each of those legs could twist off for storage, and the turret was able to elevate and traverse.  There was also a full detailed cockpit with flip-top canopy.

It was the victim of cruddy casting, and the guy never returned my master.  It broke my venture into retail, but it made me focus on freelance sculpting.  Hard lesson learned.

Matt, the CAVBoss at the time, wanted to make a tabletop 1/160th scale version of the resin kit, like we did with the resin 1/60th Dictator, which became the '70 Dictator.  Alas, CAV was fading away, and the plan fell through.

CAV is back, now, offered by Talon Games, who bought the license from Reaper.

Many years later, I was approached by Bob Mervine to sculpt a neo-steampunk Spider and Scorpion, among other mechanical animals.  They were for a 1/300th scale (Epic Tabletop) game he had in the works called WildFire.

Here's how that first version of the ScorpionMech looked...

Older approval shots.

And with my newer render settings...

Now, of course, I've been given a chance to do some really wicked Scorpion Mechs in 1/100th scale (15mm Tabletop) through Rebel Miniatures as part of their Animechs line.  Rebel Mike was kind enough to buy the line from Bob and give me a shot at resculpting the Spider, Scorpion, and Wolf.  I was able to bring the designs up to date and rework them so that they were compatible with the RUM-V line of modular products.  A very cool update.


Well, that's my long and complex involvement with mechanical scorpion mechs!

Thanks again to Ed Pugh, Bob Mervine, and Mike Renegar for the opportunities and work.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

New RUM-V Wheels For Your Vehicles, Too

Per another user request (Thanks, Mr. Hamner), I sprued together six wheels from the RUM-V files, and put them up on the Shapeways store for Rebel Minis Digital Direct.

Here they are.

This will let you create a wide variety of vehicles, including some of the following.  New wheels are digitally mounted under the old pre-RUM-V Combat Flatbed hull.



New RUM-V Pods For Your Combat Flatbeds

Had a little bit of upload fever, and put three pods in the Rebel Minis Digital Direct store on Shapeways up for sale.

My thanks to Donovan Borman for the boot in the ass to get this going.

These are preview pieces for folks who want to jump the production line, and get their customization bits now now now.  ;)

We don't put a markup on them, for now, since the prices are already high enough.

First is the RUM-V Combat Flatbed APC Pod.

It's a 1/100 scale bit that fits on the back of the Combat Flatbed, and can carry a small number of troops.  It also has a RUMV-compatible top hatch, so it can also mount a weapons turret or cupola like the ones already sold by Rebel.

Next up is the RUM-V Combat Flatbed Turret Adapter.
No illusions of cramming troops in here.  It's just a riser pod that lets you mount turrets like the heavy gatling turret.

And last, but not least, is the "Winnebago-Style" overhead camper APC pod originally crafted for the Combat Flatbed.

This older pod isn't RUM-V compatible, per se, more of a prototype and vision of things to come.  It does fit on the back of the Combat Flatbed, though, and has a quirky look that I like.

So, there you go.  Order away.  Default materials are White Strong And Flexible, which doesn't give the best details, but does keep prices down.  If you want tabletop quality, try the higher definition plastics such as Frosted Ultra Detail or Frosted Extreme Detail.  The price climbs astronomically, though, so brace yourself.  :(



PS, here are a few variants and variations of the RUM-V Combat Flatbed and Civilian Flatbeds.

 Winnebago style pod on the Civilian Flatbed hull.

I went a bit wild with the combos.  You can too, with those adapters and other parts from the Animech Kickstarter.

I love the RUM-V system.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rhino3d Tutorial: Making Treads and Tracks, Part 1

One of the more odious tasks for me, as a digital sculptor, is tank tracks.
I can do them in my sleep, now, but at first, they were no fun.  Plus, they used to crash my more feeble sculpting computers, leading to much frustration.
I still carry some of that residual hate.  Damn you, tank tracks.  ;)

Now, I'm not going to get technical on you.  There are various types of suspensions, wheel and sprocket arrangements, and tread types.  You can research that on your own.  Here's a good start...
Everything Is In The Suspension
Sherman Road Wheels
M1 Abrams Suspension
Leopard 2 Suspension
WW1 Tank Suspensions

As you can see, there's a variety of approaches.  The simplest is the type used on the early British tanks in The Great War, and which has been emulated in WH40K Imperial Guard Designs and some charming Alternate WW1/Martian Invasion games for their steam tanks.

Also, the tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Tread units running all around an armored block. Simple, and no major complications.  Let's do that one first.

I work in Rhino3d, so adapt to your program and work process as necessary.

 First, a trapezoidal line.  A closed curve, actually.
 I fillet the four corners with a nice radius, rounding it out.
This is what I call my Main Reference Line.  Remember that.
 I extrude that closed curve into a shape
 I offset two curves from the main ref. line.  One larger, the other smaller inset.
 Rhino lets me use two closed curves on the same plane to make a hollow shape.
 I do that, making it slightly narrower than my main tread unit body.
 I subtract that large hollow collar from the main shape using a Boolean Difference.  Basically cut one shape out of another.  This creates a shallow trench all round the center of my tread unit.  Individual track links will fit in this trough.
 I chamfer the outside edges, because I'm a fussy git.
 I create the outline of my track link.  Nothing complicated here, but I want to make sure it fits inside the confines of my trough.
I mirror the line, and make it a solid shape via extrusion.
 I chamfer the edges of the blocky tread link.
 I rotate it 90 degrees, and see how it fits.  It fits!
 I then use a command in Rhino3d called Array Along Curve.  I select my link, select my Main Reference Line, and play with things until I have an evenly spaced number of tread links all around the outside of my tread unit.
 I end up with 57 tread links all arrayed around the edge of the unit.
 Rhino handles the orientation automatically.  In the past, on more complicated builds, I have had to manually rotate each tread link around the curved edges.  Nothing is perfect.
 Now, there's a number of gaps between the links, the trough, and the main body of the unit.  I offset the Main Reference Line a wee bit to the interior.
 And extrude a shape that will be a substructure, holding everything together.  The main details are still evident, but when fused, the unit will be one cohesive piece.  This is necessary for casting and printing.  Small voids equal death.  Lack of detail equals death, too.  A balance is struck.
 So, there's our completed tread unit, ready to be fused together.
 The tempation is strong.  Let's make a tank.  First, we copy the tread unit.
 Create another closed curve.  This will be the profile of the tank hull.
 We extrude it into a shape that fits between the tread units.
 A couple cylinders, one for the turret, the other for the barrel, and it's a tank.  Too squat and fat, though.
 I scale the hull along one axis, squishing it without changing other proportions, and move the tread units up against it.

You can put armored skirts over the top of those tread links on top, you can add any variety of rivets and surface panelling to it.  This is just a simple tutorial on making WW1 style tread units.  More advanced stuff later.