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post #241 of 302 (permalink) Old 06-03-18, 06:24 PM
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The combi bolter mounted in the turret ring looks super sweet pal
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post #242 of 302 (permalink) Old 06-03-18, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Now that I have all of the pieces of the puzzle together I can make almost anything, within reason. Expect to see all sorts of new things now that I'm getting things sorted out. Fun (if a bit stressful) times!

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



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post #243 of 302 (permalink) Old 07-18-18, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Comm-Link ∙ Active
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Motivation Subroutines ∙ RecalibratingÖ
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Information Exchange ∙ Update
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+++ Output Quota ∙ Inadequate +++ Incentive Reprimand ∙ Administered +++ +++ Praxis Protocols ∙ DecryptingÖ +++ +++ +++ Output Quota ∙ Adjusting ParametersÖ +++
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Praxis Protocols ∙ Initialized
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Motivation Subroutines ∙ Updated
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Ok, so maybe four versions of the Interitus Missile Launcher redesign with four missile options was a bit ambitious to start, but I really wanted to make versions suited to Loyalist and Chaos aaand an alternate version with a lower profile, so four was what had to be. With the number of moulds required and the additional cure time the new rubber is adding, itís taking longer than expected; driving home that I simply need more and/or larger pressure chambers sooner rather than later; all in due time. However, things are progressing and while there still a few moulds to go, the end of these are in sightÖ sortaí.


Iím happy to find that the components donít need any special treatment before the mould making process. Past 3D prints Iíve worked with had a porous surface that would bind with the mould rubber if the parts werenít treated.

So, thankfully this isnít a problem with the components Solus is producing. I still need to remove and clean up the supports used during the printing process, but thatís not too bad, usually. While the printing resin is very strong and hard itís also somewhat brittle and itís prone to chipping if you donít take care as you file and sand them away. If it happens itís usually a toss-up between repairing the chip mark or just printing a replacement part. Beyond that, this is how parts turn out straight from the printer right into the RTV rubber. Fewer steps in the production process, Itís a good thing.


Moulds for the Launchers are still in the works, but the yolk is ready and looking great. Naturally, itís magnetized for posing/swapping and theyíll be included in the kit.

The only catch with the yolk components is hidden within the current moulds. While theyíre producing great parts Iím finding that it takes quite a bit of force to remove the parts from the moulds. The new rubber Iím using is very tough but Iím just not sure how many pulls Iíll be able to reliably get from them like this. The mixed outcome is somewhat good since I had done them as simple and straightforward as possible, so I can see now that Iím going to have to do them in a way thatíll take a bit more work, but thatís just what some components need if youíre going to make moulds in what I feel is the right way. The two-part moulds take more time and effort, but I just canít ignore the superior results.

Besides that minor hiccup, these are looking as good as I could have hoped. The rest of the moulds will be finishing up over the next few days and fully assembled photographs of the kits will be sure to follow. After that, Iím going to be pulled by my ear, figurativelyÖ mostly, but a bit literally, by my family to spend a week out of the city at the cottage. While a large part of me doesnít want to leave the manufactorum as Iím finally gaining momentum again, Iím quite sure itís in my best interest to relent and expose myself to some unpolluted atmosphere, some dirt, and a dose of solar radiation in order to maintain some semblance of an immune system. Naturally, Iíll be taking some hobby supplies and such along with me for the evenings, so Iíll keep some progress going of some sort, but Iím still not sure just what quite yet.

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



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post #244 of 302 (permalink) Old 07-20-18, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Well, Iím not going to get all the moulds done before I flee the city for the week (heading out early tomorrow), but Iím in the home stretch. I just need to get the second pair of missile components moulded for this set but thatís no problem now that Iíve done the first two and theyíve worked out perfectly.


Split like this to solve a production problem with rocket/missile ordinance loaded in tubes, itís worked out nicely. However, the sprew is causingthe part to be a tiny bit out of alignment in this image.

When created something like this as a single part the mould will wear out rather quickly as the delicate rubber creating the missile detail tears away; a mould for a part like this would need to be replaced 4-5 times beside the moulds for the rest of the kit and that just didnít make sense. This solution was to avoid that problem, and it solves the problem perfectly as the moulds for both of these parts will now wear about the same and in line with the rest of the moulds for the kit. But once I solved the problem it quickly became apparent that it also adds to the design in other ways. First. I made a few different missile types to add options for the builder. Itís also very easy to remove a few missiles and drill out the back plate to make the rack look like itís launched a volley or two. People who prefer to do subassembly paint jobs might also want to paint the missiles first before inserting them in the front plate. A reasonably small change equals win, win, win, for the kit? Works for me!


From my mind, to the computer, to Servitor Solus, to reality. Since the old counts-as Havoc Launcher was one of the first kits that my studio started producing, itís fitting that it should be one of the first to get a proper reboot.

A few moulds in the set will need a bit of tweaking the next time I make them, to let the parts pulling free easier, but thatís no problem and all part of the ever ongoing process. Everything assembles perfectly with just a tiny bit of wiggle room to permit glue between seams and gaps and avoid any possible shrinkage causing fit issues. As with the Pintle Weapons, this is one part creating a newíish kit, but also one part testing the waters to make sure more ambitious future designs should be possible. Not that I expected any problems but these first few kits were small enough to fail without wasting too many resources. Prototyping resin is expensive so naturally, I want to save mistakes and testing for the small stuff. Again, just look at those clean lines, sharp details, accurate fit, smooth surfaces, and know that I am completely giddy with anticipation to see just what I can do with this at my disposal. Oh little Havoc launcher, you signify so much more. *Subtle grins wickedly*

The Mk.4A Loyalist version is also finished and looking great, but I just donít have time to assemble one right now. I still need to complete the moulds for the lower profile ĎBí versions and the corresponding missile insert components so the ĎAí kits will be in production a few days after I return to the studio and the ĎBí kits a few days after that. Thanks as always to everyone past, present, and future, who are making it possible for me to do this seriously. I hope that I continue to show that Iím very serious about producing some of the best models and miniatures available, and while the start-up is going a bit slow there are great things in The Works as the momentum continues to build over the coming weeks, months, and years.
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post #245 of 302 (permalink) Old 07-30-18, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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+++
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Comm-Link ∙ Active
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+++ NeuralCongress∙ Initialized +++ Transmit∙ 'Dragoon Zero-Six tack Zero-One... Telemetryconfirmed. Hold for Engagement Protocol down-link.' +++ Receiving∙ 'Zero-Six tack Zero-One... Transmitconfirmed. Slowing locomotion to 3%. Awaiting Engagement Protocol down-link.' +++
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Comm-Link ∙ Active
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"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #246 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-08-18, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #247 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-11-18, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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++++
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Comm-Link ∙ Active
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Information Exchange ∙ Update
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+++ Compiling Data +++ Data Review ∙ Complete +++ Kastelan STC Evaluation ∙ Complete +++ Assessing DataÖ +++
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Preliminary Assessment ∙ DisplayingÖ
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Optical Input Array ∙ Inferior ∙ Poor field-of-view hinders situational awareness during combat engagements.
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Onboard Ammunition Supply ∙ Inadequate ∙ Limited ammunition solution shortens effective ranged combat durations.
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Rate of Fire ∙ Average ∙ Improved projectile delivery solutions would significantly improve target saturation.
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Close Combat Weapons ∙ Uninspired ∙ The Omnissiah demands improved combat weapons worth of this honoured chassis.
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Iteration Subroutines ∙ Active
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Altering STC ∙ OngoingÖ
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Improvement recommendations to follow. StandbyÖ
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Comm-Link ∙ Active
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"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."



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post #248 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-12-18, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Arg! (Really? Youíre going to start this with ĎArg!í) Ė (Yes, yes I am.) HehÖ ok, so Iím having a bit of a hard time formulating how to write this because I suspect that this update is going to be a bit scattered. So I guess Iíll just start at the beginning and go from there. While on a certain level I should be painting (the Dragoons will be getting a coat of primer soon enough) when I can find the time for personal projects, I just havenít been feeling the groove for that and Iíve only had the itch to build. So I figured as long as itís in my list I may as well not fight the flow and I turned my attention to the Kastelan robots Iíve been alluding to.

Up front I want to say just how impressed I am with how the Kastelan kits assemble, using small hidden locking pins and tabs to make it easy for those who want to build them as-is; but if you remove the pins and tabs the model becomes adjustable at the ankles, knees, and hips, providing a more ambitious builder the option to change the pose however theyíd like. Even the toe caps on the feet have a simple rocking mechanism to provide a little bit of added flexibility to the pose of the feet. Whoever designed this kit had the right idea, thatís for sure.


When in doubt, mock it up. Sometimes thereís no alternative to just making a few quick tests using some paper and minimal materials.

I never liked the curved magazines on the Phosphor Blasters and always felt that they should be at least larger ammo drums. The way the Kastelan kit assembles, itís all but begging to have the lower arms totally replaced and I think Iíll be doing that when I get to making alternative Close Combat Weapons. So I considered creating large ammo drums attached to the arms, but then I saw a conversion with a back-mounted ammo pack with a feed leading to the arm and it really seemed appropriate. In order to get the right length and an idea of what kind of curve would be the best starting point, I did some quick-n-dirty mockups with some arcs of paper. Iíve also always been underwhelmed with the barrels, so some bits of styrene tube quickly visualized some obvious barrel swaps that will help complete the updated look.

Not only did the test with paper strips help me with the shape and curve of the ammo feeds, it also illustrated that the ammo feed will really want to swing back-and-forth depending on the position of the arm. Where I would have likely made the ammo belt feed straight out of the ammo box if I didnít do these tests, this gave me the idea to make the attachment round so it could rotate. Not only will it be functional, I think it adds a good detail that will tie the components into the rest of the model.

Happy with the shapes and forms I was getting after a few tries I figured it would be a good idea to test just how easily I could expect the materials Iíll be working with to bend and twist. No matter how I design these components the ammo feeds are going to need to be bent and shaped to fit the model.


Iím pleased to discover that the resin used by Servitor Solus is thermodynamic (OoooÖ a $4 word) so thereís no problem heating it to deform it.

While Iím not sure Iíll be taking advantage of this property all that often in the future, itís nice to know I have the option to 3D print something flat and heat-form it if that is useful. I also took the time to quickly do a test with the polyurethane resin that I use to cast. Resin has the same properties, letting you heat it, deform it, and when it cools it will hold the new shape, but Iíd never actually done this deliberately with this resin so I just wanted to make sure itíll play nice. Iíll be 3D printing these parts for my own use but when I do them as a kit for the shop in the future I just wanted to make sure thereíd be no surprises. To anyone wondering, yes, I will be producing all of the kits I create for my Mechanicus army project to be offered in the shop, but theyíll be happening sometime in the future when Iíve got a few other projects done first.


I wasnít sure which I preferred, so I did versions for both of the barrel ideas; an over-under Ďtwo fingersí pew-pew style, and a tri-barrel rotary spray-n-pray version.

Since neither is too elaborate it wasnít too hard to do a 3D model for each idea so I can see how each one looks in the end. Iím very tempted to do another version of this idea that completely replaces the lower arms with more elaborate Ďdeath raysí with large swags of cables to attach to the power plant, but for now, I think this is a solid upgrade that wasnít too much work and should blend nicely with the model. I think itíll go a long way to elevate the badass factor of the Kastelan a notch or two.

I do have plans to do Close Combat Weapons, but theyíre going to be more elaborate and I donít have any melee Kastelan Robots in my list right now, so Iíll return to do those in the future. I think what I want to try to create is three Ďbuzz sawí blades that have a snipping scissor action so they can emulate the original fists a little. A suggestion to incorporate Combustors into the weapons is also something I think Iíll add as well. But, as I said, unfortunately there just isnít enough time to tackle them right now but expect to see them appear sometime in the future.

Well, that is after I do something about that damn headÖ ďOh, this wonít do. Youíre such an interesting monster. An interesting monster requires an interesting hair doo!Ē ~ Bugs Bunny


I respect how faithful theyíve tried to be in creating the Kastelan model; Iíve seen the original concept sketches so I understand why it looks how it does and why it stands out in the Mechanicus line.

When the Mechanicus line was first released, to me, the Kastelan Robots seemed a bit out-of-place and they didnít mesh that well with the rest of the models. While their look has grown on me over time I still think they have several design elements that make them unique within the line. If someone thinks this is a good or bad thing is obviously subjective, but my point is that I didnít think I could do anything that would dramatically change the look of the models, but I could address a few choices that were made to be faithful to the original concept sketch, but which I think detract from the design. In this case, itís gottaí be the egg head with the derpy Ďviewportí that provides no peripheral vision.

The concept on the right was my original plan when I started this, but the version on the left, thatís truer to the original, happened along the way; once I got the armoured shell done it was just too easy to add the smooth screen/glass to create an alternate version. I think both do a good job to provide the model with a unique look while getting rid of that niggling problem of no peripheral vision. Taking a few design cues from the Omnispex Iím quite pleased with how they both turned out and I canít wait to see how they look on the Kastelan model. As with the components I made for the Dragoon/Strider kit, I wonít know how well they will fit the model until I have a chance to 3D print them; odds are good that theyíll need a bit of adjustment to perfect the fit.

Unfortunately, I havenít had the time *Subtleís eye twitches* to get Servitor Solus working on these yetÖ *Teeth clenched, Subtleís face contorts horribly and then relaxes* Ö so these digital previews will have to do for now. Once I find the time *Eye twitch!*, I should have some prints to show in the nearÖ *Looking as if heís about sneeze, Subtleís head suddenly explodes! After a moment, his hands begin to blindly collect the pieces raining down and awkwardly attempting to reassemble them on his neck.*

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post #249 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-18-18, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Iím sorry up front if this turns into a bit of a ramble. Iíve been trying to work several things out and itís got me thinking about lots of stuff at once, and rather than agonizing over Ďpresentationí Iím just going to try and get it all down. For those seriously interested in seeing The Dark Works grow I ask you to please read (or skip) to the end.

I really wanted to reply sooner, but the delay illustrates the catch-33 (a mutated evolution of a catch-22) that Iím now in and why I was saying in my last post that things might be a bit scattered. Iím trying to do several things on different fronts so itís hard to talk about them all and keep them distinct. While it is a joke, some days I really do think my head is going to explode as ideas, goals, expectations, and plans keep bouncing around inside my skull. I really enjoy writing these updates aiming to make them closer to small written articles than just a typical W.I.P. post and theyíre very intentionally meant to be an extension of the studio. Iíll get to why I think this is important later, but the point Iím making here is that these updates are work that takes away from my studio time and thatís really been pulling at me as I try to reconcile everything right now.

With regards to studio work, Iím progressing, but I keep underestimating the time things will take; I keep thinking that once Iíve got the moulds done Iím finally good-to-go for the new kit/s, and thatís true, buuut only after I take a few kits and assemble them very cleanly, carefully take photos, tweak and edit the photos, set up the shop for the new product, and do a casting run for the kit/s. Yeah, just get the mould done and youíre good-to-goÖ after all that other stuff. And thatís just the basics to take the prototype and get it into production so while Iím doing that Iím also trying to juggle everything else. Iíve said it before, Iím starting to completely sympathize with a Tech Priest who suddenly realizes that an extra arm might not be such a bad idea. Servitor Solus is truly a gift of the Omnissiah, but a servo-harness sure could come in handy right about now.

So, with only two hands and one brainpan to work with, time and multitasking are naturally my biggest barriers right now. However, Iíve been really pondering as I work and with the success of this first round of kits, I think it may be time to find my can opener and let some worms out. Iím making good progress but itís not quite enough as I start to really push to gain momentum, and I need to accept the reality that I need some extra breathing room.


When I first devised the solution to split the missiles from the tube they were sitting in I had no idea if it would really work or be practical.


Now that Iíve got the proof-of-concept in my grubby fingers and in front of a camera, I think the results speak for themselves.

First up, a final look at the Interitus Missile Launchers to showcase the various missiles types and how they look in grey resin. These have turned out so well that Iím really looking forward to exploring the concept in future projects, large and small. You can expect to see a selection of ordinance to choose from in all future missile based weapons, but I might need to space them out a bit as making the moulds for the missile components does slow down the overall completion of the kit.

Sharp-eyed viewers might notice a few lines and/or some layering showing up in a few spots thanks to the strong lighting Iím using. Rest assured that while you can see them in the images because of the lighting they are so fine (20Ķ or less) that Iím all but positive they will disappear under a layer of primer and paint. Iím going to be priming my next round of Mechanicus models for painting soon so Iíll be sure to do a few of the new kits as well so I can get some paint on them and see how they look with some colour. However, as with everything, Iím rather strapped for time and it will happen when it can happen; the Dragoons are all but begging to get some paint so itís getting very hard to ignore them.


The moulds for the lower profile ĎBí variant are also complete and theyíre looking great but Iíve only just started to cast them.

The success of the fit and assembly is also encouraging. Iíve mentioned in the past that I want to create a Modular Assemble System in my kits providing unique assembly options, modular inserts, and ranges of kits that are designed to be compatible and interchangeable. This small series of kits illustrates the concept perfectly. Itís not just a single missile rack kit intended to primarily be a counts-as Havoc Launcher; choose the style, the loadout, how you assemble it, where you want to mount it, and magnets will always be included to aid in that flexibility further. Better miniatures for better builds.ô

So, Iíve been slowly casting in the background, while I try to work on all the other facets of the studio, while also wanting to create some content, whileÖ slowlyÖ goingÖ crazy. Yup, I have to accept that I need to get some crowdfunding support started. Iím happy with my results and I know that the momentum is starting but itís not going to happen fast enough. Iím starting to bounce on the breaking even line but I need some proper positive flow if this is going to start taking off at any kind of serious pace and thatís what I need right now in order to cover expenses, invest in lots of the less glamorous things that the studio needs in the background, and ultimately expand outside of the basement, hire more staff, and/or find the right partner/s. Iíve hesitated because I know that itís going to require me to split my attention even further as I figure out how to set it up and in turn since it will also require that I start actually marketing the studio on a larger scale than I am currently; Iím not that keen on the added task/s in the juggling act but reality doesnít care about my feelings and itís inevitable so why not now?

Thing is, most reasonably comparable crowdfunding drives Iíve been looking at for inspiration involve a small group of people and they can illustrate with images and/or 3D models what they have planned in order to create a series of funding goals. Iím not really in a position to do that; I have a huge list of future projects, and I like to think my work so far shows that Iím up to the task of making them real, but I donít have the funds or the time to create the illustrations and/or 3D models to showcase a large body of kits that I want to create. I know I have a good body of work I can present to show Iím capable, but Iím worried about a lack of visual aids to really illustrate my ideas for kits going forward. Additionally, because Iím in complete control of the entire manufacturing process, unlike other studios I donít really need a large block of money to outsource the manufacturing that is the core of the business; I need some extra capital flowing in to help with general month-to-month costs, strategic investment in equipment over time, and help in building up some reserve in preparation to really expand. Finally, how the heck do I keep the content creation as part of this? I love doing it and really want to expand/evolve/improve it over time, but quite frankly it is work that Iím doing, that does create value (if the feedback is any indication), and right now Iím doing it for free. If I had my way I would gladly keep doing it completely for free but I canít ignore the reality that it takes away from my very valuable studio time so I need to tie it in if Iím going make it work.

Still with me? Wow, really? I appreciate your putting up with my rambling attempts to describe some of what Iím trying to sort out. If I can write all of this, just imagine what itís like inside my brain, because this is just a fraction of it all. And then thereís Ďthe voices from the warpí constantly giving me more ideas and plans and laughing/daring/taunting me all the time and well, it gets a bit noisy sometimesÖ errrÖ Where was I?

So, what Iím going to do is set up a Patreon account and another conventional crowdfunding source like GoFundMe. The GoFundMe will be for those who want to invest a larger single amount in exchange for future product. To keep things straightforward I think Iíll make it a flat % bonus on every dollar invested; for example, invest $30 and when the selection of kits youíre interested in is available receive $40 in product of your choice; Iím still contemplating just what % is generous without shooting myself in the foot. Iíll provide an itemized list of planned kits and work at them as I see fit providing previews and updates as often as I can manage for transparency sake. However, one of the rewards I will offer people who are interested in funding me at higher levels will be to pick what kit the studio will focus on; it will need to be on a first-come-first-serve basis but if someone is willing to offer a Ďtipí and enough up front to buy several of an elaborate kit, then yes, The Dark Works would be happy to attend to your wargear needs more promptly.

For those who would like to support the studio through its content creation and might be interested in seeing it improve and evolve to video Iíll offer Patreon for support. For now, if I can get even a modest number of people to donate $1 a month I can better justify taking a day off to write up an article and if it gains enough momentum they can be more frequent, larger, and more involved; more in-depth how-to articles and additional fiction, for example. In the future, Iíll be expanding the studio outside of the basement but I donít want to move the entire studio, only the casting equipment, mould library, and stock, which take up the most room, make the most noise, and create the most mess. With the extra room and all of the digital design equipment remaining Iíll turn the space into a proper set to shoot video on so I can elevate the content to the next level. Iíll be doing all of these processes anyhow, so Iím sure there are people who would like to get some insight by watching over my shoulder. Iíd be happy to make tutorials and document the process for those who might be interested; mould making, casting, scratch building, painting, 3D modeling, and anything else people might like to see and hear me ramble on about.

Please keep in mind that this is a 3-5 year plan, so itís not like Iím trying or expecting to be doing anything too ambitious for some time, but I need to set the goalposts somewhere as I work to build momentum. Itís like Iím putting together a jig-saw puzzle and Iíve got the outer edge done. Iíve got all the piece here, I just need to put them together and see what the picture looks like.

Ok, I think Iíve mused quite enough for one sitting, but Iíd be happy to hear feedback, ideas, and any suggestions that might provide some perspective or any other insight. As I mentioned, with this will also arise a need for more exposure and marketing, so Iím happy to entertain input anyone might think would be helpful. Feel free to reply here, by PM, or by email via The Dark Works depending on how directly youíd like to talk. Iím still considering so much, Iím happy to get some perspective from outside of my self-made bubble.
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post #250 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-18-18, 04:23 PM
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Liking what you are doing with the robot ammo feeds, I have been experimenting myself (unsuccessfully) to model ammo feeds myself, as I want to do twin auto cannon dreadnoughts with impractical but cool roping ammo feeds. Kudos on your efforts
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