Friday 22 June 2012

Experimenting with Google Sketchup

I haven't really been in a miniatures painting mood the past few weeks and have been away visiting old uni friends recently, so not much progress to show tbh. I did decide though that I wanted to try my hand at 3d modelling/sculpting before I went away though. Here are the fruits of my labours so far using google sketchup, a free and fairly intuitive program. I had a shot at the Acclamator class Assault ship featured in Star Wars episode II and III. 
Initially I thought this would be a fairly easy ship to do but as I looked at more reference material I realised it's actually an extremely complex shape - I'd have been better off doing a star destroyer or something. 
However, I persevered and if nothing else throwing myself in at the deep end forced me to become fairly effective at using the various tools on sketchup quite quickly. 
Some shape, such as the botton hull shape shown in the above picture, were extremely easy to make whilst others, such as the odd triangle with 'bits cut-off' (which is located above the engines), was extremely difficult to make. 
The engines were surprisingly easy although I got carried away detailing them before I read the guidelines on shapeways vis materials and print tolerances. I'll probably have to redo and simplify them if I actually decide to get this printed up. 
 I simplified the bottom of the hull pictured above as I no-one will really look at it anyway...
I decided to make the 3d model to scale with my current Star Wars fleet at 1:10,000. So its 75mm long, 46mm wide and about 20mm tall. Quite tiny really! I hope the details will come out if I use frosted or ultra frosted detail, although the costs could be prohibitive. 
This model is far from finished, as you can see. The nose and bridge still need a lot of work and then I need to work out how much detail and 'greeblies' to include on the hull. I'm having great trouble with the curves on the bridge but luckily the blockish greeblies will take no time at all. 
Overall I'm pretty proud with how far I've come on this program in a reasonably small amount of time (10 hours or so). If I did it again I know I could do it in a quarter of the time. For a start I'd only build one half, then just copy, past, flip and align.

 I can't wait to work out how to do curves and then I'll be away, the possibilities are endless!

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Missile tokens for BSG

I haven't really been in a hobby kind of mood these past few weeks. I painted a few figures after getting back from holiday (more repeats of stuff I've already shown on the blog) but haven't felt the urge since. I've been spending most of my free times playing Empire Total War instead, what a time vampire! So I'm afraid the blog has been a bit quiet of late after the May splurge. 

I lieu of any new progress here are a few 3d counters I made for use with my spaceship stuff (mainly BSG) a long time ago. They're pretty basic, cocktail sticks sanded to shape with fins made from thin card and tail plumes from cotton wool. Not the neatest work as I'm sure you can see. 
The different designs as so they can represent different types of missiles at a glance. The smaller missiles represent ant-fighter 'cluster' missiles. These were prototypes so I painted them in lots of different patterns to see which I liked best. I think If I did them again I'd actually wouldn't put any colour on them at all (its very cartoony!) and simply do grey ones for the Colonials and metallic ones for the Cylons. 
As you can see above they're relatively flat and because of the bases 'lip' they can be easily stacked. This is so that multiple missile tokens heading in different directions can occupy a single hex without things getting mixed up. You simply place them on top of each-other. 

I'm gonna take a trip to Dark Sphere this afternoon and pick up some good grey-blue paint for my Colonial Vipers. I have tons of BSG stuff assembled and partially painted and feel like making some more progress with the project. Of all my projects this one is probably the closes to completion, it just never quite got there... 

Sunday 3 June 2012

Lookin' good, more bases finished up.

I managed to get some more bases done and painted up for my 15mm forces. These are the same set I did a quick tutorial on how to make. I think the results are worth the effort:
The bases are done with a thin layer of white filler (to raise them to the same height as the figure bases) and layer of fine sand and small stones pva'd on.
I added a few bits and pieces to add some interest to these and make it a bit more interesting for me. Here are some rocks made from some dried splintered wood I had in my basing box:
I wanted to try and add something to these bases to make them look a little 'alien' and found the perfect thing in my basing box. These strange plants are made from dried buddleia stems from the garden and have a nice bumpy texture:
A forgotten gas or poison tank I made from a flamethrower tank, some tau pulse carbine and some guitar wire.
Here are the finished bases with a lick of paint. My gf helped me do these and she quite enjoyed it so I'm giving credit where credit is due! Perhaps I'll be able to rope her in to do more later on...
The rocks came out quite nicely I think in the end. It took quite a while to get them looking as I wanted, mostly thanks to a flesh wash, nuln oil and some drybrushing.
 The rusted up tank complete with gauge.
I went for a fairly striking deep red on the 'alien' plants, inspired by the bloodgrass from Oblivion. I'm not sure how much I like the result; I plan to leave it for a while and repaint it brown if I decide I don't like it.
Finally a few pics of the finished bases in use with a few figure I have painted up. They're pretty much exactly what I was after so I'm fairly chuffed.
Now to get more infantry painted, I have a ton of stuff left to paint, I'm so slow!!!!!

Saturday 2 June 2012

Back from my travels...

Me and my girlfriend got home from our lovely holiday in Sorrento yesterday so its back to posting as normal.  There wer a few things of 'hobby' interest from the trip and here are a few snaps.

These are nativity backdrops from Naples and were scaled about right for 54mm miniatures. The work on them was quite impressive and though a little rough I liked the rustic feel of the buildings. Definitely inspiration for future terrain projects.
 Some crusaders in a souvenir shop
Some tiny scenes (the figure were about 10mm in height) with really impressive details. Ridiculously expensive though!

On a not so hobby note here a few photos from the balcony our hotel in Sorrento looking out onto the bay of Naples. Beautiful! (credit goes to my girlfriend who took all of these great pictures).

More hobby stuff, probably 15mm sci-fi, coming up!
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