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post #131 of 320 (permalink) Old 09-08-15, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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First up, more semi-random babbling about various things that have been asked or wish to comment about. Over the years Iíve made people swear at me (in a good way), deem themselves unworthy (you are, we all start somewhere Ė build something!), call me crazy (in a good way), and otherwise give me very positive feedback to what I can do. I always contended that I prefer the term eccentric, since it makes me sound interesting and wealthy but I do recognize that it takes a certain kind of Ďuniqueí to do what I do. Iím glad the designs I come up with resonate with people, and I really do appreciate the great feedback and input; itís a conscious effort that I try to follow a design language with the work Iím creating and Iím glad it shows.

While I finished several great kits this summer, (more still working their way through production) there were several others that I couldnít get to as planned. To those who were interested in seeing bulk trims, the Jetbike, and the Storm Raven extension, in particular, know that they are on deck and Iím going to do my best to try and get progress on them as time permits. As usual, this is also only the beginning but Iím still learning much as I go; now that Iíve had a taste of digital creation and have a better understanding of what to expect I plan on doing soÖ muchÖ moreÖ Stay tuned.

This extends to Loyalist kits and ultimately other factions. While Chaos will always be my first calling and be the primary focus of my studio while I gain momentum, Loyalist kits will increase considerably over the coming months and years. I hope to branch into other races once Iím done with college and turn my focus to really pushing the studio to the next level. This could mean kits by my own hand and/or work done by commission or collaboration with other talented individuals. But thatís still a way off, and another story for another time.

Itís been mentioned a few times that Forge World should give me a job, but unless I move to London I donít think that will be happening anytime soon; itís my understanding everything is designed and prototyped in-house in London. I understand that itís usually meant as a joke, or only semi-serious, but there is a part of me that would really enjoy being able to do work that is Ďofficialí. I think GW is cutting themselves off from a world of talent and maybe when Iím done college thereís some way I could make them see that. Wishful thinking? More than likely, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. The down side of actually achieving official status could very well be loss of creative control, so there is another side that reminds that sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for. Well, Iíve rambled enough, so letís get to the meat of this post; the good, the bad, and the ugly (as it were) of where Iím at today.



Shapeways knows how to pack an order, thatís for sure.

When the box arrive I though there must be some kind of mistake, it seemed far too large for my order. I had ordered several pieces, but they were mostly very small. Once I started digging in I found they had individually wrapped each-and-every piece, no matter the size.


The Frosted Extreme Detail print process from Shapeways comes with a few technical considerations when being used to make casting prototypes.

The first Iíve already spoken about; where the wax that is used to support the object during printing comes in contact with the object, there is a noticeable Ďfrostí as the name suggests. On most surfaces and locations itís actually not that bad and seems subtle enough to vanish under paint. The second is a very noticeable layering on two opposing sides of any object that is most pronounced on sheer vertical surfaces; this seems to be some limitation of the print process and most noticeable on flat vertical surfaces. When the surface has a grade or a curve the problem becomes much more reduced and becomes reasonable, but it is quite strange. What I have also noticed is that surfaces that suffer from this and also come in contact with the wax will get a much coarser Ďfrostí that benefits from being gently sanded to refine and improve the finish.

Finally, the material is very hard and tough; scraping with tools and scrubbing with a steel wire brush does no damage but cleans the surface well. However, it is reasonably brittle. While it will hold up well to being scrubbed and sanded to refine the surface, dropping an item on a hard floor will many times cause items to break. Case and point, the poor barrels for the Auto Cannon unfortunately fell and were ruined. I couldnít believe it when it happened; they are reasonably small and you would think they wouldnít hit with such force. A replacement will be printed, but it is going to delay the release of this weapon system. All weapons will be offered separately, so these will be available in the near future once a replacement arrives. A few other parts will require a redesign (more on that in a moment) and thus a reprint, so this will be joining them.



Notoriously difficult to photograph, here Iíve tried to show the frosting at its worse.

It effected the missile racks so badly that it made me actually come up with a far superior design that should solve my original problem (mould rubber around the edge of the missiles in tubes is so delicate that it wears out very quickly Ė the Ďfrostingí texture would only make that worse) and make the moulds last much longer, but also make a more versatile kit. Instead of making it on one piece Iíll do the missiles as a layer, and then a keyed plate with holes in it will be placed over. The way the launcher assembles will make the join all but invisible, and it will make it easy to remove a few missiles to simulate a weapon that has fired some of its payload. This change has delayed the new Havoc Launchers, but the final kits will improved for it

Center you can see the bad kind of Ďfrostingí on a flat surface straight from Shapeways, and you can see it actually glitters it is so coarse. To the right that surface has been scrubbed with a wire brush and washed; while the surface is improved and very smooth, it is also quite rough with a noticeable coarseness under the fingernail. On broad flat surfaces like this a simple sanding and filing will quickly make the surface acceptable. If there is more detail it naturally becomes more work.



While it does look interesting in the mould rubber, the translucent nature of the material is actually quite frustrating.

Not really understanding just how much of an impact the Ďfrostingí would have on my processes I tried to make moulds as with my own prototypes. This quickly turned bad as the moulds were prone to tearing during de-moulding of the prototype. Not being able to get a good idea what the surface was like came back to haunt the first cast; the quality was just not good enough. The top layer of banding in the far right shows the coarse layering and how badly it can effect a surface. Below are surfaces that have been Ďfrostedí with the wax support material; again, it was just a bit too rough to be acceptable. So, while the mould being torn wasnít a good thing, it gave me an opportunity to clean things up before trying again.


Ok, letís get to the one issue Iím having with the Rapier Platform. Itís driving me nuts.

Put simply, The edges of the tracks are being beyond stubborn, and itís really annoying when every other part of the kit is casting so perfectly. And I do mean every part. Everything Iíve tried with the current mould will not remove the last couple of bubbles on the track. So, in my usual effort for transparency Iím just giving an idea of the minor flaws that will be unavoidable in these kits while I get a different mould setup to try another idea.


The flaws are minor on an assembled platform, and Iím sure I can hear people yelling to not worry about it and get the damn kits up for sale!

But, you wouldnít like the kits I make if I wasnít as particular as I am. After everything Iíve tried to eliminate these flaws Iíve just learned to accept them for now. While I have only planned on these three weapon systems originally, I canít see why I couldnít also do other weapons over time. I canít promise a time line, but I can say itís possible at some point.

For now, these prototypes need to start returning on their investment so I can start doing more! These will be up for sale in the next day or so, along with the Siege Ram for the Land Raider. The Chaos Rapier chassis and weapons will be sold separately so you can have a choice to have them individually for projects or together as built by the studio. Other kits will start appearing as I work out final issues and get replacement parts. The smaller bits will start turning up once the larger kits have been sorted and can start generating some capitol to invest in more rubber and plastic. They are great little bits, but they need to wait while the large kits get finished.

Thanks as always for reading, and I look forward to do much more in future. For now, my classes will be starting soon so studio time will again become very limited. But with the new tools at my disposal that continue to grow and develop, there will always be something in the works. Please Stand ByÖ

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #132 of 320 (permalink) Old 09-08-15, 11:20 AM
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Stellar work as always! I'd say I'm sorry to hear about the problems, but I suspect they will just make you an even better caster and fabricator.

And yes, be careful what you wish for. It's a very different thing being the creative force as opposed to carrying out directions.

Chaos Army Showcase with photos (Updated 2013/12/02)
"To endure one's self is perhaps the hardest task in the universe." Frank Herbert, 'Dune Messiah'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dethklokk
"CHEESE!" is the battlecry of the ill-prepared.

Originally Posted by Deathscythe4722
Could someone please call the police on this guy? I can hear the English Language screaming in pain. This has to be illegal somewhere.
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post #133 of 320 (permalink) Old 09-08-15, 12:02 PM
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Thanks so much for sharing this with us mate, it's really great to see the process behind your awesome designs and creations.

Iraqiel

Check out my Imperial Guard Battle-Group-in-the-making as it slowly takes form! Located just here:
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...my&army_id=705

And my collection of all things - particularly Grey Knights; Guard and Adeptus Mechanicus: https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=129966
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post #134 of 320 (permalink) Old 09-27-15, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Default Enter, the Spartan, stage left

Thanks, as always for the positive support everyone. While not my intended update, I've got *in his best Prof. Farnsworth voice* "Good new everyone!" and I figured it wouldn't hurt to share.

Thanks again Malika, I always appreciate input. While that conversation seems more about dealing with the wax residue (an issue if you plan to paint SW prints directly) I'm more interested in improving the surface quality or avoiding poor surface quality in the first place. Since casting prototypes are usually treated with an oily release agent for the process, the oily/waxy residue from SWs process is not an issue.

Also, let me just answer some questions from another corner of the interweb... For niche models that I would have a hard time getting to, I plan to do Bulk Trim packs that provide several lengths of trim, some with a few corners, some with faction suitable motifs (arrows, blades, lightning, skulls, shields, open fields, etc., etc.), and lots of long lengths. They will require the end builder to cut the strips to length and do a little cleanup work where they meet at corners, but that seems much better then trying to scratch build it all. Trim kits for specific chassis, where it makes sense, will also continue to be designed.

The Loricatus Mk.I will be replaced. It puts me in a catch-22; it's a popular kit that I want to replace, but it also takes a considerable amount of rubber for the moulds. If I'm going to pour that much rubber, I would like to update the kit to include some of the many improvements I've made to my studio. It's going to be worth it (it'll be amazing, just wait and see) but that means it'll be more time before I can get the prototypes done. This project (and others like it) will happen; more on what I'm eluding to later. Hint: think super modular, giving the builder the freedom to mix-and-match more.



Warmaster, the production and trade negotiations of The Works have proven beneficial; our Mechanicus are pleased to have secured a Spartan battle tank, a true relic of the Long War for the Legion armoury. Reverse engineering of key subsystems has already commenced.

After dealing with most of the major expenses that the studio created over the summer, I felt it was safe to take advantage of Forge World's free shipping offer for Sept; and wouldn't you know it, the Spartan was just the right price to meet the minimum limit. One part early birthday present, one part studio investment seems like a reasonable mix.

I've had so much interest and requests for doing kits for the Spartan and Sicaran it seemed like a logical addition to the studio; I simply can't build for something without the actual model to take precise measurements and do test fitting. But, thanks to those who have offered; know that there might be a future role for people like you in my large plans - but I digress, for now.

Because I recognize the base cost of a FW model, kits for FW models in particular will focus on being more efficient. In fact, the form and level of detail on these tanks makes all but necessary to keep additions less elaborate. There just aren't the same long uninterrupted lines like the stock Land Raider and Rhino chassis. So, this will reduce the mould count, and therefor the cost of these kits. Cermite/Extra Armour and 'Dozer/Destroyer Blades are the first ideas that come to mind, but I have other voices whispering concepts all the time...

My first impression of the kit is one of sheer awe; in both raw mass and level of detail, the Spartan delivers. While the Sicaran and Fire Raptor are both amazing looking kits there are issues and elements with both (build fit issues mostly, but some details) that don't appear to be the same with the Spartan. I won't know until I actually assemble it, but it appears to have a much cleaner fit and less warping than any other large FW kit I've received. The details are also just a bit more refined and polished all around; nothing that makes other kits inferior, but it just seems like whoever make the prototype really did it right and took their time.

It will also be effective as a lethal weapon for home defense once assembled; each of the side chassis components that mount the tracks are a massive solid block of resin. The fact that they were able to do a piece so large without it warping in some way is impressive in of itself. For as large and bulky as it is, the footprint of the tank (without the center hull that adds the 'beak') is surprisingly close to that of a stock Land Raider. Naturally, I will document the building of this when it starts. I've already done the same for the Fire Raptor progress, so know that I've more than a few things up my sleeves for future updates.

The signal may go weak sometimes, but signal never stops...

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #135 of 320 (permalink) Old 11-09-15, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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*Subtle tosses an image out from under the rock of higher education*

Sometimes, I get free choice in what I can do for a college project, and since I do so many 'consumer items' most of the time, I like to have a chance to do something unique but still relevant. This time I was aloud to do this for my Solidworks course.


At this point all I can say is... It's a solid! It's a SOLID! It turns out making a Solid Body from Surfaces is actually a little tricky. This damn helmet as been hard, but I'm starting to get it!

Unlike everything I've 3D modeled up to this point, this was done almost completely with Lofted and Swept Surfaces, not Solid Bodies. By using a Surface and then Knitting the resulting form together you can much get more control over complex forms. This helmet was created from a set of 2D drawings (Top, Side, and Front) that was extrapolated from the flat drawings. Needless to say, It's given me a respect for what surfaces can do, and being only my first try, I can already tell that with more practice I should be able to do all sorts of interesting forms. My future Jetbike project will be even better now that I have a better idea how this works.

There are a few more layers of detailing that will go on this helmet before it needs to be rendered, but I'm pleased with the progress. I'll be sure to show it again when it's even further along and/or finished. Maybe someday I'll re-scale it (it's roughly life size at this point) and have it rapid prorotyped so I can paint it as a bust. I could never sell it, but as a personal piece I could make one.

But, for now I have to put this aside while I shift focus to another project. ~21 days until Winter Break...

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #136 of 320 (permalink) Old 05-05-16, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Fee-fi-fo-fum!



... ... ...

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #137 of 320 (permalink) Old 05-05-16, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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... I smell the blood of an Englishmun.



... ... ...

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #138 of 320 (permalink) Old 05-06-16, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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... Be he alive, or be he dead.


... ... ...

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #139 of 320 (permalink) Old 05-06-16, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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... I'll grind his bones to make my bread.



More pictures and many more words to come, when I have more time. All these photos obscure how much other crap I need to get done, but I needed some bench time, or I was going to lose my mind.

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
~ Ace Rimmer

"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #140 of 320 (permalink) Old 05-07-16, 11:02 AM
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Tantalizing!

Chaos Army Showcase with photos (Updated 2013/12/02)
"To endure one's self is perhaps the hardest task in the universe." Frank Herbert, 'Dune Messiah'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dethklokk
"CHEESE!" is the battlecry of the ill-prepared.

Originally Posted by Deathscythe4722
Could someone please call the police on this guy? I can hear the English Language screaming in pain. This has to be illegal somewhere.
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