First up, shameless personal plug; Iíve restocked the shop with the kits that have serviceable moulds. If anyone is on the fence, Iíll be honest and say a few more sales before the end of the month would be welcome and very helpful. An unexpected strike at my other contract job has pinched my finances this month. Iíll be fine either way (strike was several weeks, but over now), but I wasnít expecting to be relying on the studio for proper income quite so soon. I respect that the stock is just too limited for now. So, if avoiding shipping costs with a split order is a factor, I totally understand, and Iíll be happy to offer free shipping on your next order to those who can help over the next few weeks. Again, my situation isnít critical, but every bit helps when things are unexpectedly tight. So please, only
help if itís within your budget to do so. Thanks again to everyone, past, present, and future, who supports me on this endeavour; itís finally
starting, and the best is on its way.
*Starts to shake with anticipation!*
Reverend: ďDo you see the light?! Have you seen the light?!Ē
Jake: ďYES! :cuss I see the :cuss light!Ē
*Gospel music rises*
~The Blues Brothers
Content Warning: Massive
wall-oí-text-ní-pictures to follow.
That said, all other kits are currently being redesigned (or will be in the future) along with new kits being created, and they will start appearing over the coming weeks and months; hence the creation of this article to showcase whatís on the way in the near future. I was having a bit of Ďdesign ADDí when I started, bouncing between several ideas because I wasnít really considering how I wanted proceed. Trying to do too much can quickly mean that nothing gets done, so Iíve since come to the conclusion that I need to start back at the beginning, as it were. Iím going to start by focusing on the Rhino and then the stock Land Raider, and then consider what to do next, once those models have received some attention. Thatís not to say I wonít add other independent kits along with these designs, but these will sever as my focus for now and Iíll use other ideas only when I need some distraction, before they get their own focus in the future.
To the left; well thatís a familiar profile. To the right; and it only takes all of this to draw it accurately.
I see now that itís going to be all but inevitable that Iíll need to create a 3D model of each kit that Iíll be designing for. Itís a lot of work (it took many hours just to get this preliminary 2D sketch done) but once itís finished itís both an invaluable design aid and a very useful tool to consider a design in context rather than floating in space on a screen or in a mindís eye; useful for both me and the potential customer who might want to support the development of the kit.
I started with my old 2D CAD designs when I set to work updating my Rhino Trim kits for rapid prototyping. Importing the files to Solidworks is easy enough, but without getting into unnecessary detail, it became apparent that any time saved would be lost later down the line. This just reinforced that I needed to model the Rhino in Solidworks and create the kits on the model itself. This required recreating themÖ again, but thatís what needs to be done sometimes.
Mk.3 is a refined version of the original Chaos design that takes advantage of some curved lines made possible with the new process.
I really had no idea how popular these Trim Kits were going to be when I started making them. Iím glad to offer what I think is a unique kit that people like, but my old production method for them was simply too labour intensive for me to continue producing them in that manner going forward. Now that Iíve had some time to work with my new vacuum pump, which can pull a stronger vacuum in a fraction of the time, Iím feeling more confident in producing these kits with less labour if I design them properly.
Mk.4 is a intended to be something of a middle ground design; it fits in fine with a Chaos or Renegade force, but with no overt chaos elements also fine for Imperial.
So, these new designs have a much more significant sprew than I was originally considering. Iíve done them this way for two main reasons. Mainly, the vacuum casting process simply needs as many exit points as possible, in logical locations, to permit air bubbles to escape the components. But if Iím going to add in all of those vents, Iím going to do it right and take advantage of them. By adding some extra sprew sections to ensure the parts are completely encircled the delicate Trim components get some extra protection and resist warping when tightly packed for shipping. The delicate nature of the parts being prone to warping in this way was one of the few complaints these kits received, so I hope this alleviates the problem.
Mk.5 is clean cut with no extra embellishment intended more for Imperial vehicles, but naturally theyíll still work just fine in a Renegade or Chaos force.
I still want to do a few more designs to offer more variety, but Iím going to start with these to make sure they cast as intended and there are no kinks in 3D printing parts this thin. With the sprews for support it should be no problem, but I wonít know for sure until I have parts in hand. The bulk of the sprew will also add to the final printing costs, but Iím confident that the modest extra cost is offset by the improvement in production and by proving a better kit for the customer. Itís also a little funny that laying out the parts and designing the sprew took almost as much time as designing the actual kit components; everything always takes longer then youíd expect.
The Mk.2 Rhino Tracks are intended to look aggressive, plain and simple. Inspired by other Ďspikyí tracks Iíve seen, Iím quite pleased with how my take on the idea turned out.
I wanted to recreate the Rhino Track kit I produced before, but again, I want to have the option to offer more variety. It took quite a bit of trial-and-error to come up with two unique link configurations that actually fit the model nicely. For some reason, the size of the wheels on the Rhino model and the angles that are required createÖ problemsÖ when trying to get the links to travel cleanly the entire length of the model.
Based off the original Mk.1 Tracks, the Mk.3 design simply takes advantage of the refinements that can be made to the design in Solidworks.
Again, Iíll start with these two designs, and consider adding a few more in the future. Now that I have a starting point, I can easily strip the tread pattern off of the links and update it to something new. Itís one of the wonderful things about digital design in general. There are many opportunities to explore different ideas without needing to start from scratch; simply save the file as a new iteration and go to town exploring any changes you want, safe in the knowledge that you can return to the original file at any time.
The final full showcase for today is the Incursus Medium Siege-Ram Mk.1 designed for the Rhino chassis.
With this kit you can see an example of what will feature more-and-more in other kits; modular parts that can be switched-and-swapped and/or assembly options to provide the builder with some choice. In this case the smaller hydraulic bits can be rotated and Siege-Ram plate can be mounted either way. Sortaí like choosing between giving the Ram an under bite or an over bite. Iíll also be doing a Ram plate with some Chaos details at some point, but thatís not a major change now that I have this base 3D model, so Iím focusing on a few other kits first. Such asÖ (oh, Iím not done yet)
Ok, this is a recycled image but itís what Iíve got for now and it is whatís getting worked on over the next little while.
I havenít had a chance to get back to this design while I was working on getting this other stuff ready, but I want to do it to accompany the other Rhino kits so itís on my virtual workbench again. Naturally, being designed for the cupola opening of the Rhino, it will fit on practically any GW tank, but this is a fitting time to get this kit into production. For now I just want to get the Combi-Flamer/Melta/Plasma components complete and see how it all looks resin, then Iíll consider how I can get a selection of Heavy Weapons to fit the design for a future update.
Hinted at in an earlier image, two new version of the Interitus Missile Launcher, Mk.3 and Mk.4, are in The Works as well.
These kits are almost
ready, but the pictured base mounting plate still needs a bit of detailing, and I want to make a smaller mounting plate that can fit the front cupola opening so the builder can choose where they prefer to mount the launcher. There are also a few other tricks designed into the kit in line with the modular swappable parts and assembly options concept that I mentioned earlier. Iíll be sure to showcase those features when itís done. While not exactly ground-breaking, Iím quite pleased with what I came up with to solve a production problem, and it actually provides more options for the kit. Win-win!
Both the Missile Launcher and the Combi-Weapon kits will be done with Chaos/Renegade versions and Imperial versions similar to the Trim Kits at the beginning of this update. Where it makes sense and where there is demand, I plan to make that a running concept with most kits. I may not able to do every version right away due to costs, but if thereís demand Iíll be happy to cater to it. Which is why I think the ĎAdopt A Kití idea should work well. I can finish kits and develop the ones I can afford, and those that people like that I canít get to right away, they can be supported and helped into production. At least, thatís how I hope itíll work.
Last but not least, hereís another image of the new Spaced and/or Ablative armour with additional components for the Predator version of the chassis.
This is a perfect example of a kit that would be very hard to create without the 3D Rhino model to work from. For now everything is just floating around the Rhino, so I need to get under it and figure out how itís all going to actually attach to the model. Iím going to produce this design first as a bit of a test to see how good the final fit of the kit will be. Iíve tried hard to make sure the 3D model of the Rhino is as accurate as possible, but I wonít really know until I have parts that I can work with. Iíll do several tests with templates cut from paper, in an effort to find any mistakes before I send the parts off to be printed, but that wonít be a guarantee since some places are difficult or impossible to test using that method. The turret being one good example. So, the plan is to start with this kit since it can work well with both a Rhino and the Predator. It will used a little less material to start in case there is a significant problem that requires a reprint. And, since itís a Spaced Armour solution it will be more forgiving on how it fits the model. Hopefully if there are any minor fit issues, I can fix the casting prototype by hand, and make the required adjustments to Ďtuneí the 3D model for future designs.
Ok, with that Iíll bring this sizable update to a close. I was going to ramble a bit about a few other things, but the hour grows late and this has taken a little longer to finish than I was expecting. Those musings will have to wait for another time. As always, comments, questions, suggestions, input, or any other hobby/shop talk are always welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read and having a look.