Monday, April 16, 2012

Update April 16, 2012

Those who watch my shapeways store may have noticed a fairly substantial addition of product last night.  I finally got some time to upload some of my new weapon designs.  If you haven’t checked them out yet you can take a look at my shapeways store.  Now obviously I you can take a look for yourself but I figured why not talk a bit about what I’ve done with these designs and where my inspiration came from. 

Now as many people know I’ve been working on some of my mini’s for a while to make them better and cheaper as well as a bunch of requests.  Its eaten a lot of my time. Particularly the shelling models which adds a good 2 or more hours to the design process on a model.  Not to mention I have a pretty big backlog of models to try and shell.  Incidentally if a magical pixy wants to shell all my models for me shoot me a message LOL.

Anyway, I’ve been working hard on stuff that has started to feel pretty mundane.  That’s pretty much why I started a blog. To share wisdom and make myself feel productive when a single project takes most of an evening to finish.  Generally I work pretty fast on projects so one project taking forever feeeeeeeels so sloooowww…

So I’ve felt unproductive for a while and then saint patties day rolled around and I got drunk.  You know that sort of heavy buzz you get after 7 or 8 Guinness and a few shots.  Not throw up drunk or black out drunk just hazy enough that you remember what happened but maybe not the exact order.  Well I was out with friends and at some point, as often happens to me I started sketching stuff.  Of course when I get a good idea I gotta get it done so I came up with some designs and then out came my laptop and sketchup just happened to come on.  So about a week later I pulled out the stuff I built and decided it was actually good.

The two spear designs I made sort of inspired me to do some more work.  I shared some images with a couple friends and got some more inspiration from them.  What started as 2 spear head designs expanded into a series of quick weapon blades.  Each one took maybe an hour to make so they weren’t complex but they still had some cool unique details.  For the most part I was wasn’t so much thinking of making them as troop weapons as crazy cool one off weapons and such.  I still intend to toss some of them together as a variety pack at some point.

The first two projects and a couple that followed were inspired by a bit of celtic mythology.  A friend in Ireland by the name of Red has been requesting a bunch of celtic inspired icons for his space marine army. Apparently between the lager, the holiday, and the projects I’ve worked on for him I decided to Wikipedia celtic mythology.  I was particularly interest in how legendary weapons which I could make 40k variants of.  There is a particular legend about a spear named the gae bolga that thirsted for blood.  Once it penetrated a man it couldn’t be removed except by cutting it out of his flesh.  I pulled out real images of celtic spears to start and made an embellished but mostly realistic design.  But then a bit more spikey version seemed like the best way to go.  So I did a sort of fantasy design with nice point hook like fins on it to shred some enemy skin.  But then after a discussion with Red I realized that, the design needed to be both a bit more brutal and at the same time less common place.  So I went back to the drawing board.  I finally settled on a long sawblade like design with outrigger blades for that extra shredding power. 

Along the way I came up with some other ideas.  I tried a comet design that looked awesome but didn’t really scream brutal sea monster bone spear that thirsts for the blood of men.  But it also got me thinking about other weapons.  The celts had a lot of swords, most were remarkably like the gladius, double edged short swords with slightly curved sides to the head.  These were simple and easy to make but they also had a few unique designs. Heavily curved personal blades that are reminiscent of the indian kukri.  And of course the classic long sword like Excalibur were celtic too.  So I started making a few of them.

And then of course the celts did use axes a lot.  Almost all axes are the same design.  They aren’t fancy just a big heavy head.  The celtic axe is pretty strait forward. A slightly sloping blade supported by the body of an axe head that curves back from bottom to top making it narrower at the handle.  I built a head for the axe design and then started thinking about a personal project of mine.

I came up with an icon for an aquatic space marine chapter a while back and thought up an intriguing backstory.  So naturally I thought I’m working on an aquatic army idea so might as well make a couple tridents.  I started with one that expanded from a spear head to a trident.  It was simple enough to do but it wasn’t quite enough. An aquatic army needs a bit more aqua than a spear/trident transformer.  So I started with some sketches of waves and made an intricately bladed design with a squid like power cable design for the blades.  It felt right so I did it and I’m glad because the design looks great.

Finally I decided I needed a special armature for the pole arms.  I build an intricate pole arm that uses a more rounded handle and power block for the design.  This replaces the older handle and square power block that I designed a year or more ago when I started.  I figured what the heck and pulled out my old pole arm models then.  I used the new handle design rebuilt them.  For several I had to modify the blades. The glaives and scythes were particularly testy about a new handle.  The design was sortened and revised to make short handle axes as well.

So over all we get 24 weapons sets.  Over a dozen new designs and several redesigns.  They’re scaled off of my grey knights pole arms so most are about 40mm tall or more.  Take a look and enjoy.


  1. I just saw your Shapeways store, and am REALLY impressed! I'd like to get some of the stuff there, for various different conversion projects. How do I go about purchasing/commissioning/begging you to make me some of those designs?

    I found my way over there via, where I use the same username ( catharsix ) that I use everywhere on the internet. You can PM me there, or shoot me an email, or whatever.

    Keep up the good work!


    1. Well cathersix, I'd suggest you start your request by registering at shapeways. Its free to register and even free to start your own store. They have a huge set of categories you can browse to order items. To purchase existing items in my store simply go to the product you want, choose the material you want it produced in (i'd recomend Frosted Detail for best quailty), then checkout with the quantity you desire. Shapeways accepts Paypal and most major credit cards. Once an order is placed Shapeways will 3d print the models you requests. If there is an error (happens sometimes), Shapeways will notify you and me so the issue can be fixed. As for commissioning new items shoot me a message either on shapeways or through my blog's email and we can discuss what you'd like. I don't charge for requests but I do add a small fee onto the models that are sold to recoop my costs. Also bare in mind this isn't my "Job" I do this as a hobby so it can take sometime to get requests done. And I do warn you that there are some jobs that I won't take or that are just unfeasable.