Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Update April 24th 2012

Well I've been on a bit of a roll for the last couple of days. I’ve built a few new ranged weapons to go with the large number of melee weapons that I uploaded last week.  The bulk of the work I’ve done though has involved updating a multitude of my ranged weapons.  I went back and measured my test prints in WSF for my bolters and related weapons.  My master model in sketchup was scaled perfectly to match the rogue trader era plastic bolters I had on sprue. Unfortunately the STL files I had uploaded had a scaling error that made them approximately 15% larger. I believe this is because of the old process I used to use involving the software Cadspan.  Cadspan is hard coded to use inches as its measurement while I work in millimeters.  The result is a bit of scaling when I moved between these softwares.  The same can happen going between Meshlab during a shell operation.

When it comes to gluing miniatures together the 15% difference doesn’t mean much.  On standard weapons like the bolt rifle or “gyrojet rifle” it adds a quarter of a millimeter onto their thickness.  Tiny. Larger weapons like the multi-melta or “thermal cannon” have a more significant millimeter added onto their thickness.  Unfortunately 3d printing is a cubically priced so that 15% adds approximately 2 bucks to a printing in FD and nearly 4 in FUD.  This significantly drops the price of some products in the detail materials.  Unfortunately it also means that printing in WSF could fail.  I’ve disabled the Strong and Flexible line of materials.  Looking at WSF next to FD its clear the quality difference is worth the price. Of course if people want to gamble on WSF they can email me to request I turn on the material but I take no responsibility if it fails, often my designs are to detailed to print in WSF anyway.

I also took the liberty of removing weapon grips on most of my ranged weapons.  Unless the weapon grip is specially designed for the weapon there is no point.  Nearly half of the errors I’ve fixed over the past 6 months occur due to thin walls on the weapon grip.  Between the shear amount of work they have caused me and the fact that most people will cut the grips off to put them on a model anyway I’ve just decided to get rid of them.  At some point I’ll probably make a generic weapon grip that passes wall thickness so it can be mounted on any gun.

I modified pretty much all of my weapons this way.  This has resulted in a buck or two drop on pretty much everything with some of the larger weapons dropping closer to 3 or 4 bucks.  Of course this is a double edged sword, though the price dropped it limits the miniatures to the frosted detail range of materials which cost more to start.  It is seriously making me consider increasing the amount of weapons in each model, with the annoyingly high 5 dollar startup 5 weapons per model sets the price a bit high.  I know everyone would love to get more for their money but I’m not sure.  If I make models with too many parts in them I’ll never recoup the cost of my test prints.  I’ll have to think about it a bit longer.

So along with my revisions I also got some ideas for some new weapons.  I dusted off some common 40k weapons I’ve had half finished for a while.  These include flamers, heavy flamers, heavy bolters, arbites shotgun and infernus pistols. These guys are properly scaled the first time so I won’t need to go back and fix them for miss-sizing.  Of course once I start working I have to go overboard, so I also build a couple of new designs.  I designed a weapon I call a magnetic accelerator rifle designed vaguely off of a description from a star wars novel.  Its stout and rounded which makes it a bit bulky but still a good design.  What I spent the most time on though is my “advanced gyrojet” designs.  I started looking at the basic bolter design I originally duplicated and considering how it would evolve.  So I built a futuristic bolter design. It has some curves and is thinner and employs a modular tac system.  It sort of reminds me of a hybrid between the hk-36 and a bolter with some more rounding done to make it sleek.  I put together a couple of different designs, including the basic assault rifle design and an a sniper rifle.  The assault rifle includes the standard sickle clip and a modern sight design as well as a variant with an attached bayonet.  I also made a squad weapon with a box magazine and shell catcher, this variant has a mechanical aim assist on its barrel, I envision it as a tool to prevent muzzle rise.  The sniper rifle includes a traditional long range scope and a bipod for those dirty jobs. Its design is clearly related but much longer and more imposing. 

Well the new designs are up as well as the revisions.  If you get a chance check them out.  What’s next? Well blog wise I want to put up some more back story for my army designs and hopefully work my way around to getting some rule ideas for count’s as for them up.  Model wise, I’ve got a lot of revisions to do.  Along with my scaling issues I’ve discovered that my arms need heavy revision, I’m blowing out my arm designs into both male and female variants.  My current designs are scaled closely to what I intend to do for female marines.  A new variant with thicker arms and hands will be for males.  Further I’ll separate the hands from the arms allowing for variant hand positions.  The exception to all this will be the power fists line which will maintain their integrated hands by necessity. Unfortunately shelling power fists has proven to be too problematic.  As such they will generally remain solid but I plan on using extra detail to thin the designs.

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