Archive for August, 2010

Dragonfly – Papercraft VTOL

I finished up the Dragonfly paper VTOL this weekend. I’m fairly happy with how it turned out in the end and it should make for a good addition to my terraforce army. Ironically I have built two but neither is in the colour scheme I selected for my army, but thats test builds for you.

I had mostly finished the texturing before Annette’s back gave out for 2 months, although there was still a solid 3 days worth of work to finish the model off. Basically I started of by re-familiarizing myself with the GIMP layout and checking what was missing. First up I had to complete some minor changes to the overall textures and adjust some of the glue tabs, plus design some landing struts. Once that was done I temporarily exported the files and created the craftrobo GSD cutting file.  Then I completed my first coloured test build, while constructing the below test build I took all the construction pictures I would need for the instructions:

The Dragonfly looks a little odd on it’s landing struts, but I don’t expect if anyone else does make one that they’ll be using them.  After the above test build was done I extracted each of the unique layers from GIMP that I wanted to use in the layered PDF. This step is quiet time consuming as you have to be careful to include the correct GIMP layers on your exported layers. I ended up with 24 layers exported ready to be turned into a layered PDF, which is just an import and then save as layered PDF job. Before generating the layered PDF I used the pictures from the initial assembly to create the instructions on how to put a Dragonfly together. This is the bit I like the least as it’s horribly time consuming and it seems when you get to the end you haven’t really achieved anything. I put the instructions together using Openoffice and then exporting it as a PDF document. After the layered PDF had been assembled I carried out one last test build to confirm everything was okay one last time, as it turned out I had missed a couple of scoring lines on the GSD cut files. We end up with the stock military Dragonfly paper VTOL, I mounted it to a 40mm square base:

The clear stand is just a folded up piece of transparency cut a glued with superglue (see below).  I’m not 100% happy with the dragonfly there are three spots that I feel are to fiddly and in future I’ll be more careful during the design stage. watch out for the windscreen, body and the rocket pod holders. The last thing I did for fun was create a bit of a fluff or background  for the Dragonfly in the theme of a military file. You’ll need to click the image to read it 🙂 :

As the Dragonfly PDF is a layered PDF you will need to use Acrobat 6+  to correctly view it and set layers on and off. The files are quiet big 12mb for the actual build file and 2mb for the instructions so it’ll take a little time to download:

Dragonfly (30mm) – PDF

Dragonfly Instructions – PDF Instructions

Dragonfly GSD Page1 – GSD, save as and rename extension from .odt to .gsd

Dragonfly GSD Page2 – GSD, save as and rename extension from .odt to .gsd

Stand Final – Templates for the Posts , no GSD as it blunts blades very quickly

A few notes on the stand posts I have done two heights and a flying level, bank right and bank left version. When you glue them up Superglue gel is easiest to use as it doesn’t run everywhere and cause the transparency to frost up. If you don’t have printing transparency simply print the template out on plain card spray some re-positionable spray glue (no spray glue, cheap glue stick should also work) onto the front side of the card and lay a piece of normal transparency on top. Simply cut out following the card lines and peel the card of the back when your done, you may need to rinse the transparency of before assembling to get rid of sticky residue.

I’m pretty tired as pulling the above together in the past 4 days has been pretty full on :). If anyone does build one I’d love to see it, feel free to post a link in the comments or post a pic in onemonks gallery.

May all your enemies tanks turn into smoldering slag piles, onto the next project for me.

Bugbears (Onemonk bash) – Paper Miniatures

I needed a little bit of a rest from drawing as I was getting a little bit frustrated with my current attempts at drawing my next paper miniatures. I really like Onemonks bugbears but unfortunately their is only one miniature. Bugbears are one of my favorite fantasy monsters so I decided to do a little bit of modification to the existing miniature to come up with four new ones.

I’m not going to detail exactly what I did as it would take to long a post 🙂 . I worked on each variant for about 1-2 hours each trying to make sure I hadn’t corrupted Onemonks artwork to badly and that the fronts and backs still aligned. I ended up with a Gimp file over 2gig in size when open and something around 200 layers for the 4 miniatures , the old computer was really starting to chug at the end. I constructed a:

  • Spiked stick club version, the club was borrowed from a troll,
  • A round mace version taken from Onemonks weapons sheet,
  • A dual weilding axe bugbear, existing axe plus one from the weapon sheet,
  • And a longbow wielding bugbear, I’m unsure if bugbears use bows but it looks good.

I had fun making these as I find bashing and modding much more relaxing than drawing, probably the most disappointing piece is the rear of the shield arm it just looks a little odd, but overall they look okay and the edits are hopefully not to obvious. A picture of the finished  bugbears:

Once again a big thanks to Onemonk for allowing us to mod his figures and change them around. I’ll definitely be putting these into Onemonk’s hoards once they are back up and running.

The GSD and PDF are below, As usual if you save the GSD rename it to .gsd rather than .odt:

Paper Miniature Bugbear(Onemonk mod) – PDF

Bugbear – GSD

Have fun with them.

Redback Spider – Paper Miniatures

I wanted to get some practice sketching up insects so I decdied to make a paper miniature based on a spider. Although not technically an insect I felt the extra pair of legs would just be more practice. Looking around at the different spider species,  I decided to base my paper miniature on the Aussie Redback spider. After several days of practicing sketching spiders in 3/4 view I finally ended up with a bit of rough sketch that resembled what I wanted.  I decided to do something a little different with the spiders as I always liked those miniature packs were you get small and big critters. I thought I’d do two sizes as flat miniatures and a third size as a 2.5d miniature.  Looking at the D&D scale chart I decided on the sizes of  medium, large and huge spiders. As usual I did the outlining and colouring primarily in Inkscape:

I decided to overlay the red strips in Gimp as it has much better control for that than Inkscape. The two smaller flat spiders were fairly easy to design where as the 2.5d Huge spider required a little more work and a pre-final test build to ensure I had the legs the correct length etc. I was hoping the whole lot would fit on  one page but as it turned out that wasn’t possible. The small and medium spiders are on one page and I did mirror each size so there’s 8 spiders on the page. The huge spider is on it’s own page with it’s instructions following it.  Here’s a final shot of the whole family all built up and waiting to devour the next group of adventurers who wander into their nest:

I’m very happy with how these paper miniatures turned out and although the  basing was a little larger than I originally wanted, the medium ones will fit into a 25mm base and two of the larger ones can be trimmed to fit into a 40mm base (Onemonk Bases here). The hair looks much better on print out than it did when looking in Inkscape although if you pick one up and look at it very closely  it does look a little odd.

The GSD and PDF are below, As usual if you save the GSD rename it to .gsd rather than .odt:

RedBack Spider Paper Miniature – PDF

Redback Spider Medium and Large (pg1) – GSD

Redback Spider Huge (pg2) – GSD

Anyways welcome to the parlor said the spider to the fly 🙂

Chromatic Dragons – Paper Miniatures

This was a little bit of a cheat project as I simply used the dragon from the below Elven Dragon rider miniature and re-coloured them the five evil dragon colours.

I did spend a little bit of time messing around with the re-colours as I didn’t want to have to create and export each colour from Inkscape to Gimp and then texture up the missing parts. I ended up creating a pile of layer masks for each of the main components on the dragon  body, wings and chest, Then I simply desaturated the color from the dragon and overlaid a new layer of the colour I wanted. I ended up with some minor pixels in some locations a bit of an odd colour but on print out they are invisible. A shot of all five dragons built up:

The GSD and PDF are below, As usual if you save the GSD rename it to .gsd rather than .odt:

Chromatic Dragons Paper Miniature – PDF

Chromatic Dragon Paper Miniature – GSD

Anyways hope some poor adventurers get toasted 🙂

Elven Alliance Dragon Rider – Paper Miniatures

I’ve been working on putting together a Elven Alliance Army using Onemonks Elven Alliance paper miniatures/standees. I always liked the Dragon rider from the old warmaster High elven army and no elven army is complete without a dragon rider. So I drew a dragon and then combined one of Onemonks existing elves with my dragon, it turned out pretty good and it’s the first standee were it almost turned out as I visualized it in my head .

First up was to draw a dragon, I looked at the old warmaster mini and used that as the base for my drawing. I did change a few things like the front leg being way up in the air. After redrawing a resizing the drawing a few times I ended up with the below:

It wont win any prizes or drawing contests but it provided me with a base to use to start drawing in Inkscape. I began tracing the above in Inkscape and made a few changes as I was tracing the drawing in: thickened the body, made the wings flatter as I planned to do a 2.5D model rather than flat, Redraw/modified the legs and feet, actually drew a hand. I’m not sure why but I can draw passable hands/claws in Inkscape but on a piece of paper no luck. I coloured the dragon as far as I could in Inkscpae but due to all the complex curves etc I could not colour as far in inkscape as I normally do. I was very careful with the colouring this time and used high contrast shades as I was pretty disappointed with the Chimera shading. Below is the final export from Inkscape, you can see all the parts that were assembled later in Gimp. I also did a test build at this point just to check everything worked as expected:

After importing the exported file to Gimp I broke each component onto it’s own layer and then begin the task of colouring and finalizing the pieces. First up was the body shading which was done by doing an ever shrinking mask of colours for the body and flood filling these masks with lighter shades of blue. Once all the layers were coloured I blurred them all and then combined. This step was extremely fiddlly as I had to find a compromise between to light and to dark. Next up was the reverse side of the wings which compared to the above was a very easy; apply drop shadow each layer and assemble the layers in order. This bought the dragon step to completion:

Now I needed to add the rider. First up I rechecked the sizing of the dragon compared to rider and checked that on my craftrobo cut template. I had a little bit of space and as the dragon was looking a little puny next to the rider I scaled him up by 10%. Next was to assemble a rider, using all three of One monks Castailian Knights I manged to assemble a complete (very close) Knight with no weapon. Next I grabbed a pike from the elf pikeman set and shortened it’s handle and lengthened the shaft a little, I also added a larger hand protecting cone similar to what you see on jousting sticks. Lastly I grabbed a shield from the elf Javeliners as it seemed more appropriate for a Dragon Rider. After fiddling around with the above parts and using the most minimalistic additions so that edits are hopefully not obvious I ended up with a workable Dragonrider.

Adding the Rider to the back of the dragon was simply a matter of sorting the layers in the correct order and erasing parts or pieces of parts that couldn’t be seen. Lastly I layed the Rider out onto a page and created the Craftrobo GSD cutting file. As it turned out I had scaled the dragon up a hair to much so The elfs head just pokes out of the cutting area but it’s an easy 2cm curve to cut by hand. Final print/assembly/Test cut and I ended up with the below:

Pretty Happy with how it turned out, I would recommend using at a minimum the 50mm pill shaped base, better is a 40/50mm square either way glue the dragon into the base permanently. You’ll definitely need to add some weight to the base to make it 100% stable, ie magnetic bases or cut your own from magnetic sheet . I will release the Dragon as a separate standalone mini later, I need to figure out an easy re-colour method (a post/project for another day). A big thanks go’s to Onemonk for allowing people to use and mod his existing models. The GSD and PDF are below, As usual if you save the GSD rename it to .gsd rather than .odt:

Elven Alliance Dragon Rider – PDF

Dragon Rider – GSD

I hope some other people get some fun out of this standee.

Chimera Monster – Paper Standee

I decided to try my hand and designing a chimera paper standee. I just about bite of more than I could chew :). The chimera is really four different critters all rolled into one and I struggled a lot with drawing the lion and dragon parts of the chimera. Before I started drawing the Chimera I hunted around the net for some inspiration in the end I used this picture along with D&D Chimera mini and picture in the 4ed monster manual to provide inspiration.

Then I started drawing, I ended up with piles of failed dragon,lion heads and wings. I followed quiet few tutorials over at Dragoart and in the end between their and plenty of practice I ended up with about 5 different okay looking drawings. I scanned these in and then traced them in inkscape. After assembling the drawings in inkscape I ended up with the below (colour was added just to stop me getting confused):

I had not digitized the wings or the tail at that point. I finished drawing a set of wings I was happy with and also lengthened the legs a little. I also changed the lion from having a close mouth to a roaring/biting mouth, The 2nd picture below also show’s the mini in an almost completed colouring state:

As you can see the colouring really helps make the mini look much better. There are plenty of things I’m not happy with on the drawing but if I waited until I got everything perfect I’d never get anything done, plus practice makes perfect…or so they say :). Once I had a front I was happy with I proceeded to create a matching rear. I do apologize for the spartaness of the rear side but I was a little burnt out after all the effort I had to put into the front of the Chimera. I decided to do a version of the Chimera rampant as well and below you can see the two types side by side. As I can fit 3 of each type to a page I have also done a blue and green dragon coloured version:

I pushed the brightness and contrast up a little after the above test ones were printed and cut as they seemed a little to dark on print out. The GSD and PDF’s are below you can also find the finished mini’s on the static papercraft page:

Chimera Paper Standee – PDF

Chimera Page1 GSD file

Chimera Page2 GSD file

Also avaliable at 4shared as a zip:

Chimera Zip

If they print out to bright let me know and I’ll upload a more toned down version.

Lego Clone Army – TX-130 Saber Class Fighter Tank

No Clone army is complete without some form of tank. Lego set 7679 is of the TX-130 Saber Tank, it’s not a bad set and from a wargamming viewpoint not to oversized compared to some of the other sets which if you fielded them would simply fill up the tabletop. However when I set the tank up on a tabletop is was a little on the big size just over 18cm square (7inchs). I decided to put my tank on a diet  but I didn’t want to destroy the overall look as I feel lego did a fairly good job replicating the TX-130.

Original left , Mine Right

First up was the chassis looking at it I could see there appeared to be a wasted row of studs around the outside of the cockpit area (blue arrow above) and some opportunity to shorten the length of the tank. As it turned out it was very easy to thin everything down by 2 rows of studs, as the central cockpit area fit easily in the new narrow space. Next  up was to shorten the length a little so the tank didn’t appear to long and thin. I removed the flip up engine area and simply streamlined the front slope, saving a few studs in length. The basic construction and appearance of my tanks central area appears the same as the stock tank unless you compare the two side by side then it’s noticeable narrow and shorter. I also added a hinge to the upper gun so the little shield is angled but the guns can articulate up and down independently, my antenna are in storage position. Next up are the sponsons.

Original Left, Mine Right

I’m not a big fan of the red bricks mixed with the dark red so one of the first things I decided to do was replace all the red components with dark red. I also prefer no sticker so I left it off on one of my tanks (the other came pre-stuck on, thats 2nd hand for you :)).  Looking at the sizing and how much I thinned the main chassis down I decided to take 1 stud of width out and drop the length by 3-4 studs. This meant I lost the little front compartment (no big lose), I did however retain the swivel under rocket pods at the rear. After a fair amount of messing around I ended up with a very nice sponson.  I happen to like it more than the original but that might be because I built it :). Not much else to add except you can see I added a few extra smooth tiles to the top.

Putting it all together I ended up with a rather nice TX-130 tank that fits nicely within a 17cm square and should serve me well for wargamming:

No mock up on this one as it’s very much just a mod of an existing set. I’ll continue working on this lego clone army and my other projects.

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