Sunday, November 11, 2012

Vehicle Update 11-11-12

As promised I’m back to give you a look at my vehicle designs.  I’ve been working a lot of different projects lately.  Several of these designs still have some work that needs done but even so you’ll agree they are progressing well.

Iron Horse Bike
This is a quick preview of the an item you won’t see appearing on shapeways.  This design was commissioned by Rob Angell and will be cast and sold through his website The Iron Horse will be cast and sold as a stand in for rough riders in guard armies.  It’s inspired by a WWII Triumph motorcycle.  This is almost the final revision, drastic changes will be made to the seat and wheels.  Curious Constructs will be sculpting the rider, Rob’s skills with greenstuff are fantastic so go check out his designs and keep an eye out for the Iron Horse.

the Iron Horse's design is made after a WWII era Triumph Motorcycles.  The body style and structure are intended to evoke a functional military aesthetic and at the same time show a degree of embellishment of a decedent empire.  The tires and seat will be completely replaced in the final design.  The body and front forks cast separately to allow the bike to be assembled in different possitions.

The Iron Horse is designed for standard army soldiers and so it's structure is much thinner than bikes designed for Star Marines or other genetically engineered super soldiers.  At the same time it's body is intended to be durable with detailing designed after appropriate real military vehicles.

Iron Eagle Bike
The Iron Eagle is my personal take on a dedicated Star Marine military motorcycle.  Modern military's use motorcycles as fast recon vehicles and front line carriers.  The add mobility to a standard infantryman allowing them to cover a great deal of ground.  In the Warhammer 40k game system motorcycles fill a remarkably similar roll to 18th century cavalry. In 40k the motorcycle is little more than a horse used to charge the enemy and deliver sword and bolter where its needed. This is generally due to the low priority placed on troop survive-ability. The death of one or two bike carried troopers who happen to get stuck in melee is considered more acceptable to the military of the 41st millennium than to the US Marine Corps. Ultimately this just means the Iron Eagles design needed to serve less of a light duty combat roll than and more of robust melee roll to fit the game.  At the same time the 40k artistic aesthetic is quite... dated and has more of a historical feel than a science fiction feel which I needed to update.

Here we see the Iron Eagle's front forks with a good look at the wide wheel used to support the bike's, and the marine's, ample frame.  The wheels are detailed with a dirt track tire tread seen here without its smoothing.  The front cowling is wide with a horizontal head lamp reminiscent of blackout lamps used on modern military bikes.  On either side of the cowling the bike mounts dual gyrojet rifles (weapons subject to change).

The basic design of the motorcycle isn't changed from modern bikes but the frame is much thicker and more sturdy made of heavy plates.  The bike's body design is extremely angular, its faceted structure is intended to be reminiscent of military stealth aircraft and/or the heavy armor mounted on tanks. 

Alternate side view of the Iron Eagle.  Its engine is still sketched in at this stage. A more detailed engine is being constructed, I chose to leave it off in these images until its totally complete.  This gives you an idea of the length of the bike's design.  It is stretched out giving it a low center of gravity to support its substantial weight on.  Weapons mounted on the "eagle" series are standard squad weapons mounted in a specialized operating housing that fires the weapon from the handle bars.

Rear view of the bike, again displaying its signature wide wheel base.  Here a good look at the quad exhaust pipe system.  One of the tactical disadvantages large bikes often have is their loud volume, the substantial size of the quad exhaust system is intended to mitigate this.

An over the shoulder view of the bike's console.  The bike's console is virtually the same as those mounted on other "eagle" bikes I've constructed.  The seat will likely change as I'm unsatisfied with it.  The Iron Eagle's low profile and high handlebars shield the rider on the charge while still giving them an excellent vantage point for operating their weapons.

Iron Eagle Heavy Bike
The Iron Eagles design fits the roll of a fast, lethal weapon's delivery platform.  You can consider both the vehicle and the rider those weapons.  Modern military's intermix special and heavy weapons into squads to maximize the capabilities of the unit.  Iron Eagle bike squadrons are intended to function the same way.  For this reason the heavy bike variant was designed.

The heavy bike's front forks have two narrower wheels rather than a single one.  This gives room for the bike to support a front mounted heavy weapon. In this case a thermal cannon.  The front forks will likely be redesigned to account for a wider array of weapons in the future.

A quarter panel view of the Iron Eagle Heavy bike.  Here we can see the bike's dual front wheel which offers a wide support to absorb the recoil of its heavy weapon.  The weapon is mounted low along the wheel base offering the most stable fire support possible.  When in doubt the rider still has access to its standard complement dual gyrojet rifles.

Steel Eagle Bike
The Steel Eagle is a custom design I came up with a few months back. I was disappointed to see Distopian Legions came up with a similar design and previewed it sometime last week.  Ah well, slow to market I guess.  Anyway, the Steel Eagle is a bike based on a tank chassis.  

Unlike a traditional bike it uses a dual tread steering system as apposed to forward wheel steering.  Two lines of tread run down the the length of the bike offering incredible traction and an extremely stable bike support base.
Structurally the Steel Eagle is roughly the size as other "eagle" bikes.  Its chassis is inspired by the Sherman tank with its exposed tread well.  Rollers line the treads keeping them both in line and in contact with the ground.  The design's tread well is entirely hollow at present and will be filled in as I finalize the design.

The Steel Eagle's design hasn't been completed yet. It's missing a set of controls which will be mounted below the console along with its fuel tank.  The bike will have more complex control structure than other eagle designs because of the complexities of operating a tracked vehicle.

The Steel Eagles design makes it ideal for a fast attack vehicle. It's dual tracks allow it to turn on a dime and the large traction surfaces will give it the ability traverse terrain other bikes can't reach.

Sky Eagle Grav-bike
I uploaded the first version of the Sky Eagle almost a year ago.  The initial design was good but I've tried to make it better. All the design elements are there but some changes have been introduced to improve the design as a whole.

The forward cowling on the Sky Eagle mounts dual gyrojets like all eagle series bikes, however these are mounted internally to protect the operating components at high velocities.  The lower cowling is given over to a scoop that channels air into the grav-cycle's jet engines.

The entire mass of the bike, and its rider, is absorbed by a gravity sling mounted below the bike's body.    Mounted at the lowest point on the bike the gravity sling develops a fixed gravitational point that repels the local gravity field in exact opposition to the standard mass of the bike.  Because of the precise calibrations needed grav-bikes must tuned to the planets they operate on and require a local gravity field to run smoothly.

The Sky Eagle's aft section is dedicated to low temperature oxygen jets that propel the vehicle.  The thrusters are modulated to maximize speed and maneuverability for the bike.

The bottom of the bike mounts 6 O2 thrusters that steer the bike allowing it to jink and turn at top speed.  Without the gravity modulation offered by the gravity sling the thrusters wouldn't have enough pressure to lift the bike let alone turn it at top speed.

The under carriage is a rigid armored structure that protects the rider and drive components as best as possible.  The forward fins collect air which is funneled through the drive jets and steering jets.

The body of the bike is structurally reinforced with segmented struts that help it cope with the stress of high speed turns.

Hurricane Gunship
The first version of the hurricane gunship was uploaded to shapeways shortly after the original Sky Eagle.  As with the Sky Eagle I've revised the hurricane to improve what worked and remove what didn't.  I hope you like.

The hurricane is a lightly armored, heavily armed gunship equipped with a turret mounted dual gatline cannon and wing mounted weapons.  Seen here equipped with missile pods.

A forward view of the hurricane note its elaborate forward targeting array. The sophisticated equipment in the targeting array allows a single pilot to control all on board systems.

Profile of the hurricane shows its compact size.  Not only does its size make it a smaller target but it also grants it a great degree of maneuverability.

The hurricane is driven by two powerful jet engines that give it VTOL capability.  Though lightly armored the hurricane is a sturdy craft capable of atmospheric entry, and both atmospheric and space based combat.

The Hurricane has a twin tail fuselage and high quality aerodynamics.  Coupled with its powerful engines its a perfect weapons platform.

The Hurricane uses oxygen gets to grant it extra lift during flight.  In space flight these variable thrusters are the primary means of attitude adjustment.

The dual gatline guns of the hurricane bring fire for effect to ground and air targets alike.

Vortex Gunship
The vortex is an offshoot of the Hurricane design.  The vortex was intended to be an alternate body design with a single tail but grew into an independent project. Originally abandoned I revived the project with some added inspiration from 1980s GI Joe toys.  The Hurricane and Vortex share many similarities in design but you'll not a different over all intent as the Vortex is an atmospheric vehicle.

Seen from above you'll note the primary difference between the Hurricane and Vortex is the fuselage and drives.  In place of jet turbines the Vortex uses twin vectored rotors.  By angling the fans and their blades the Vortex can rival air superiority fighters for mobility and speed while in atmosphere.

The Vortex has an identical weapon load out to the Hurricane though customization may differentiate them further along the design process.

The Vortex's fans are large dwarfing the size of the Hurricane's jet engines.

The Vortex's steering is assisted by a tail rotor. The body lines of the Vortex are derived in part from the Comanche attach chopper. 

The Vortex has half again the Hurricane's wingspan as seen here.  In spite of the increase wingspan the Vortex is still an extremely compact aircraft.

Like the hurricane the Vortex relies on light O2 jets to add additional lift and steering capabilities.

The design of the Vortex isn't complete, as noted earlier its weapons load-out may change.  More notably you'll spot a distinct lack of fans within the rotor housings.  I've... removed them for remodeling.  rest assured the vessel will be flight worthy by the time of deployment.

Next update... Shoulder pads.


  1. These are all excellent. I can't wait to see them available.

    Will the flyers be able to use SM vehicle doors and stuff?

  2. These fliers don't have doors, they are too small so just a cockpit. If you are referring to weapon sponsors the fliers will come with all weapon options needed once complete. (Guns are mostly done, see last week’s post). There is still plenty of room for icons on these guys if you want to embellish them.

  3. These are beautiful! I especially like the Iron Horse and Eagle, and the grav-bike. Do you have any of these (or the shoulderpads) that you've printed up that you could take photos of? I'd love to see these in plastic.

  4. Steel Eagle is cool, but it has a number of design flaws in therms of the track's mechanism.

    1. LOL, since I don't study tanks constantly I'm sure it does have some mistakes sadly. It's been a long time since I even worked on that design but what is specifically wrong with the tracking mechanism?