Archive for the 'Papercraft' Category



Papercraft Build – Undersea Kingdom

Squirmydad (Mayhem in Paper)across on the cardboard warrior forum designed a paper version of the Juggernaut from the Undersea Kingdom TV show/series. Right about now I can see most people scratching their heads as I was. Basically it was a 1936 TV series put together to compete against Flash Gordon. It’s not what you would call a high budget series. However when I saw some of the pictures that Squirmydad posted from the series, it tugged at my nostalgia bone in particular the Volkites (large robot guys) . I suspect they remind me of the monsters from the early Doctor Who episodes I used to watch as a kid, you know the high budget monsters from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Doctors stint in the TARDIS.

Volkite Upclose

Squirmydad was almost finished the model so I thought I’d try my hand at drawing some Volkites. As Squirmydad was almost finished the Juggernaut I drew and finished these fast. These are the quickest I’ve ever completed some paper mini’s basically from scribbling on the page to 5 finished mini’s was about 3 maybe 4 days. I did use every trick I could think of such as mirroring bits and reusing as much as possible. I was pretty happy with the results although I did fall into my usual bad habits drawing them but still learnt a lot. The one mistake I did make which made it to the final versions available is that the fold line on the tabs is about 1/64 (1/2mm) to high so you’ll need to score just below the line not on it (I must have bumped the line at some point).

Juggernaut with Volkites in foreground

Squirmydad did an excellent job on the Undersea Kingdom Juggernaut, considering the flimsy reference pictures available I think he has nailed the vehicle almost perfectly. The model is very easy to build, I assembled it in one afternoon and it has that classic Sci-fi retro feel. Squirmydad has also done a set of Robo/Silhouete SD GSD files so for those who own one of those cutters the model is even easier to build. There is a full sheet of clear instructions as well, although for the most part the model goes together easily enough and I only checked the instructions twice.

Juggernaut by Squirmydad – Mayhem in Paper

I managed to finish up 5 Volkites, 4 with guns and 1 with just traditional claws. Now I’m not entirely sure I got the colouring right as the show was in black and white but I coloured the models to give them that retro sci-fi feel without going to over the top. I then didn’t do my normal trick of procrastinating over the small imperfections and simply wrapped them up and called them done.

Volkites ready to Invade

Lastly a picture with the Volkites around their Juggernaut vehicle. Now the observant of you will note that the Volkites cant actually enter their vehicle,  being to tall. Interestingly if you look at the original shots of the Juggernaut and the Volkites from the TV series you’ll notice that in the show they likewise couldn’t physically fit in the Juggernaut. So I think somehow Squirmydad and I got the scaling spot on and as with all good 1930’s sci-fi you’ll have to get inventive with your scene cutting 🙂

Volkites and Juggernaut

Squirmydad had one last piece of fun with the models and did a quick 1930’s inspired movie poster of the Juggernaut and Volkites.

If you’d like a copy of the models you can grab them from the Mayhem in Paper website:

Link to Mayhem in Paper Freebies Section

Link to Juggernaut and Volkite Zip

Hope you have fun terrorizing your 1930’s sci-fi pulp hero’s 🙂

Cardboard Warriors Forum – Paper Miniature Hoard 102

Just a quick post, I’ve just finished assembling the cardboard warriors forum hoard 102. There were a number of submissions from different artists which resulted in 8 pages of miniatures. It has taken me some time to layout the miniatures, test cut and photograph them. I’ve done two different PDF’s one with SD registration marks and the other with Cameo registration marks both are contained in the zip below.

Currently the November hoard is open which is Xmas wars and Super Heroic, so I’d encourage anyone who has ever wanted to try there hand at creating a paper miniature to give it a try, make sure you check out the guidelines first.

You can currently get the file  from my dropbox folder, but I suspect it will be available from the Onemonk hoard area shortly:

Edit: Now Available from the hoard pages

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15349793/Hoards/….Hoard%20102.zip

Not much else I can really add except I’ll be finishing the May/June hoard shortly.

Enjoy 🙂

Papercraft Build – Capital City Build Stage One

To go with the half sized Lost Reich mecha  I’ve been building, I have slowly been working on a small Fat Dragon Capital City build.I plan on using this build for Lost Reich and Destroy all monsters or Mighty Monsters games. As those games can involve a lot of smashing and building destruction I worked on customizing a fair number of elements and incorporating magnets and metal into the pieces.

First up I had to work out the scaling to use to get the Capital City down to Z-scale, by a happy coincidence this was fairly easy, basically each 7inch tile was scaled down to 2 inches square and then I recombined 9 of these together to form a new 6inch square. This is just slightly smaller than Z-Scale however they look good on the table. Each tile was also designed such that the road exits on each side are in the middle, the only tiles that don’t respect this rule are the highway pieces but I can live with those being special.

As part of the above tile scaling and creation process, I created several custom tiles; parking lot, street parking and dual lane highway tiles. I created all these at full size so that later if I want to build a full size capital city I can use those elements in the build.

Next up was working out how to join the tiles together along each edge and designing some way of allowing magnets to stick to the tiles. I also wanted to do slightly raised footpath/sidewalks to give a little dimensionality to the tiles. I played around in sketchup with the design until I came up with the below. After that I then did numerous test tiles using different basing materials and glues but didn’t uncover anything to new,  although I did use up a bucket load of time.

The basing material I settled on was PVC foamboard it is much stronger than the regular paper foamboard but extremely tough to cut. I created the little tin circles using a hand sheet metal hole punch and then tapping them flat with a hammer. I probably could have saved some ink by not printing the sidewalks out on the lower pieces but at the time I thought I might have to use the layout before all the sidewalks were ready, but this turned out to not be the case. The spacer pieces I simply created as craftrobo cut files and then cut them from 200gsm card.The edge joiners are simply pieces of flex magnet on the edge of the tiles and I cut up some cheap steel rulers to make joiners.

Each building will have a very thin disc magnet in its’ base to stick it to the board, you can see my first prototype building in the below pictures.  I will do a separate post on the buildings at a later date when I have built some others, as they are also not exactly stock. Here’s a quick picture of the underside of one of the corner sidewalks about to have the washer and metal discs glued into place.

Below is the initial  GIMP layout of the city which I used to make sure I built the right tiles. the city  it’s self is  currently 61cm x 61cm or 2 feet square consisting of 16x6x6 inch tiles. If I had built the tiles at full size this would equate to a gaming table approximately 214cm or 7 feet  square. Later I will figure out some other city layouts and make some additions, one addition I do plan to add is  a city park which I’ll size so I can drop it in were the carpark currently is:

And lastly a few pictures of the finished tiles laid out in the above design, as you can see I did change the design a little from the prototype layout above:

The full impact of the raised sidewalks isn’t really coming through very well in the above photos but they really add a dimensionality to the tiles which the human eye can pick up at a significant distance (at least across the room).

Now I just need to finish building the mechs, buildings and props but those will be posts for another day.

Papercraft Build – Skorpion 3d Leg Mod (Lost Reich)

I’ve been building a few Lost Reich mechs released by Fat Dragon Games. This post will show the mod and some of the process I used to make 3d legs  for the Skorpion model. The model itself I like but the flat 2d legs although quick to build were not really doing it for me, so I decided to see if I could design some 3d legs to go with the model.

I had a number of design constraints as it was an existing model:

  • Retain the slip on and off cockpit design that Tom had built into the stock model
  • Keep the footprint of the model the same
  • Simple to build but strong (not sure I succeeded on this one)
  • Lastly keep the leg look the same (angles etc).

So I went through a few design iterations using Trimble sketchup (Yep Google sold the program). I pretty much got the legs themselves right on the first try but I tried to simplify the hip section down and just ended up using up time for no real benefit and going back to my initial idea, its very true what they say about first drafts. A screen grab from sketchup of three versions:

Sketchup models: Top row unused drafts, bottom final version

Once I’d settled on a design I went through my usual flattening process using flattery in sketchup and then exported the svg file. Then I used the existing leg textures and textured the various shapes. I did have to create a few panels for the back of the legs and the underside of the hips. Next I created the Craftrobo/Cameo cutfile and did a full size test build:

  First Test Build at Full 15mm Size

The legs themselves were quiet easy to build although a little repetitive as you need to build 4 of each part and then glue them together. I totally understand why Fat Dragon Games (FDG) released the stock model with flat legs as construction is much quicker, simpler and I would imagine much less intimidating for people who don’t normally build paper models but want to play Lost Reich:) . I posted a couple of pictures of the above up on the FDG forum and Tom gave the okay to share the file so I  assemble some instructions and tided up the main file a little. As part of assembling the instructions I added a new way of identifying parts a bit like Lego instructions where the particular segment your working on  is highlighted. I’ll probably add this method of identification to any instructions I do for new models in the future, plus I think it looks neat:

Instructions Highlight Examples: See Instructions below for others

The last little test I did was to build a half size version of the Skorpion with my leg design above. This was interesting to say the least but I managed to get one built, I did have to cut off a few glue tabs as they got to small and superglue was a must as holding the parts to wait for glue to set would have been difficult. You can see a side by side picture below of a full size Skorpion & half size Skorpion and one of the half size Skorpion on it’s own:

Z-Scale (1/210-ish )version and 15mm version
 Z-Scale (1/210-ish )version: Easy to see the trouble I had edging the legs at that size, yep toothpick gun barrel

I’ll post more about the z-scale version when I’ve built a few more mechs up at that scale.  I’ve uploaded all the files to the Fat Dragon Games forum (fan created models), so you’ll need to go there to download them. You will need a forum account to download the files:

Skorpion 3d Legs and Cut Files

Note One:  to use the above properly you’ll need either the Skorpion Mk II or the Skorpion from the starter set:

Skorpion Mk II

Lost Reich Starter

Note Two:  Not sure if anyone wants the blank leg geometry but here it is in a PDF ie no textures. Just to save headaches I’m releasing this piece into the public domain. If you use it I’d appreciate a mention but no obligation :).

Legs and Chassis (blank geometry)

Have fun with the legs and please use responsibly 🙂

Papercraft Build – Lost Reich (Fat Dragon Games)

Fat Dragon Games released the Lost Reich game and miniatures about 12 months ago. It’s almost impossible for me to not pickup any mech based game so I had to grab this one, although due to the house renovations etc I’ve only just started to build up a few of the models. (Sorry about the rough pictures my camera is really starting to show it’s age and needs to be replaced.)

For those who aren’t familiar with the back story for Lost Reich the Short Fat Dragon spiel sums it up nicely:

LOST REICH is  set in an alternate history, where the Nazis fled to Antarctica at the end of WWII and secretly began rebuilding their armies, patiently waiting for the day their Reich would rise again. Taking place in the near future, armies of Allied and Axis walking mechs battle for territory and resources across the world.

When you pickup the starter it comes bundled with lots of goodies; mechs, rules, terrain and more. But for this post I’ll just cover four of the mech types that I’ve built up so far, two allied and two axis types. Of course I could not resist making some minor alterations when building the mechs which I’ll cover below.

The biggest change I made to the mechs was to build them at 50% of size, which changes them from being 15mm to about 1/210 or 1/220 (approximately z-scale) depending on what scale you consider 15mm to be. I plan on doing a special city game board scaled to z-scale for use with Lost Reich, Axles and Alloys using micromachines (more on that later) and one of the Big Godzilla Monster fighting games. Additionally Z-scale means I can build a large layout which only needs to be 60 cm (2 feet square) or if I really want to push it 90cm ( 3 feet square) but I’ll do a separate post when it’s completed. Other than the scale change the miniatures are pretty much stock. I did add a different number to one mech, played around with adding some art to the side of another a bit like aircraft nose art and lastly added little magnets in there feet so there bases can be removed/swapped easily just in case I wish to try different rules or simply have the bases match the terrain they are being used on.

Panzermech 1 and Sherman Mk 1 (1st Test Photo using the Wifes mobile phone)

Overall the mechs were very easy to assemble, made up of simple-ish geometric shapes and they look good on the table when assembled. Making these at full size would be a snap and I’d say you could easily construct 1-2 a night while watching TV (more if you have a Craftrobo). For myself making them at half size was slightly more challenging but they still came together well and about the only part that caused me real issues were the now teeny tiny gun barrels, but in retrospect I should have just used matchsticks and coloured them in  black or grey with a  sharpie/texta :).

Panzermech 2 (2nd test photo using the wifes mobile phone)

First up two of each of two of the Nazi mechs; The Panzermech 1 (double barreled mech)  and Panzermech 2 (shoulder pods and 1 gun barrel). I like the design of the both these mechs although the Panzermech 2 is my favorite of the pair. I’ll definitely be making a few more of those and when I do I’m tempted to make the shoulder pods magnetic and then do a dual rocket and dual Plasma Gun variant :).

Group shot Panzermechs (using old camera)

Next up 2 of the US mechs, The Sherman MK 1 ( Gun barrel one) and Washington (Rockets only). I made 5 of these in total, I placed some art on the side of one and tested out doing some color edging on that mech but I personally prefer black edging.

 

Group Shot Washingtons and Shermans Mk 1 (Using Old Camera)

Heres a closeup of the front Washington a little more side on so you can see the nose art I placed on the side of the mech, borrowed from a WW2 aircraft. I like the idea of doing this but maybe not for every mech , more the special or one off ones.

For a last little bit of fun I took a picture of the Mechs and then dropped it onto a poppy field picture by glasseyes over on flickr released under CC 2. I picture it as 2 US mechs out on Patrol and they stumble across 3 Panzermechs. The question is can they get out of there and report back before the Panzermechs obliterate them?

Link to full size version

As I finish up more mechs I’ll put up separate posts for those mechs, the next ones I plan to work on are the Scorpion and the Sherman Mk 2. One day I might even get to play the game :).

See you all later.

GIMP – Getting Started with Papercraft Modding/Bashing – One

First up normally when I start talking to people about GIMP they get all nervous looking and edge towards a door, I think they assume I mean these, so to clarify my post is about GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). I wrote this blog post for a few reasons. First I wanted some basic info to go with the Lost Reich posts I’ll be putting up later and as I seem to have posted/sent information like this out a few times to different people I thought others might find it useful.

First up the online Gimp help files are actually helpful and very well written so I would encourage people to have a flick through those. I will admit that for a new user they could seem a little over whelming with the amount of info presented. The full help files can be found here, I suspect most people will want to jump straight to Chapter 3 in that document as that’s were the real meaty help and how to use starts. My post below  is a bit of a shortcut primer to just get you up and running quickly and start hacking some basic mods into an existing paper models  but is no substitute for the full help files and hard won experience.

If your switching across to GIMP from your totally legal and fully purchased copy of photoshop. I would encourage you to stick with GIMP it took me about 3 months to become fully comfortable with GIMP when I switched over from my old copy of photoshop 5/6.  Now I couldn’t live without some features in GIMP such as “Paste as New Image” (suspect photoshop has that now) and the ability to push docks onto my 2nd monitor as separate Windows. I will admit though that sometimes it takes a little longer in GIMP or it takes me time to locate a plugin to do the same job but unless your a high paid commercial graphic designer, GIMP should meet your needs :). Just give it a chance and give your mind a chance to learn (re-learn) where everything is.

* I have assumed with the below that the user has some understanding of terms like “docks”, can install the software and has some basic level of software knowledge. If not drop me a comment and I’ll try and clarify or help further.

Getting GIMP and First Startup

First up download GIMP and install, the version available when I wrote this is 2.8.2, so your success with the below instructions might vary if we are now up to version 4 and/or its the year 2022.  Personally I prefer to use the portable version to the full install version as I tend to run GIMP off my external HDD I carry with me everywhere.

Next up launch Gimp either via the menu item/desktop icon or via the GIMPportable.exe if using the portable version. Now hopefully you’ll end up with something that looks like this on the first launch:

No I’m not a Starwars and Lego Fan..not at all

The first issue most people have is that we have 3 separate windows, if your running dual or more monitors I’d encourage you to leave GIMP in the above configuration. This will let you push the main image window onto one whole screen and manage the docks on your second screen so maximizing space when image editing (be nice if GIMP just treated both screens as 1 big screen..maybe next version).

However if you prefer a single window or have only one monitor, simply place GIMP into Single Window mode by going to the menu item “Windows” and select the bottom Option “Single-Window Mode” (depending on how your OS operates you may need to close and restart GIMP to have single window mode appear). Below are two more Screenshots, one in single window mode and the other how I have Gimp setup on two monitors (I normally have more docks opened out and untabbed):

Personally with dual monitors I find the above restrictive, but everyone has there own preference so use what your most comfortable with.
I wish it looked that clean IRL with no monitor bezels 🙂

On the odd chance someone is missing some of the default docks to get those back simply go to the “Windows” menu item and first check that “Hide Docks” isn’t ticked on if it is untick it or simply hit the tab key. If you still have no luck go to “Windows” menu item again and select the recently closed docks option if there any options under that select them and it should return your docks. Still no good, Okay one more easy solution to try, go to menu item “edit” and select “preferences” then select “Window Management” (2nd last item) on the small screen on the right then select the “reset saved window positions to default values” select ok on the question that pops up and then hit ok and close GIMP and relaunch. Hopefully the default dialogs have reappeared.

Still no luck? You have my sympathies and I have no idea whats happened to your install, maybe best to try a re-install or try the portable version I mention above, but if you want you can rebuild your docks by hand but it is painful. First up hold ctrl and hit b this will return your toolbox you’ll need to re-size it a little as it will probably be long and thin. Next Select the “Windows” menu item again then the  Dockable Dialogs and select the ones you want one by one and drag the docks back together. At a minimum you want Layers, Brushes and Tool Options. However many others are useful such as Channels, Paths and Undo history but you’ll figure out what you use/need over time.

Basic Paper Model Mods

Okay number one rule with anything in GIMP, most stuff can be subject to an undo, as with most programs undo is under the edit menu item or triggered through a ctrl-z, so don’t be afraid to use it :).

Getting the PDF into GIMP

This is actually much easier than you would think, the worst thing is that Gimp can’t handle layered PDF’s so it only imports the default view you get when you first open the PDF. I’ll cover a work around for this in a later post:

First Launch GIMP

Then Go to “File” then “Open” and browse to the PDF you wish to open and select it (I opened One Monks Old Devils-Imps.pdf ), you’ll be presented with the below:

The most important point on this screen is to make sure the resolution is set to 300 (pixels/in – default setting) and then click Import

In the above this was a simple 1 page PDF if I had imported a multi-page (not layered)PDF I would have seen multiple pages (see below) on the selection screen and each page I selected would be given it’s own layer in GIMP – Think of layers like different bits of papers with a different picture/drawing on it.

We now have our Imps inside GIMP seemingly ready to go, however if you simply print the page now from GIMP you’ll notice it comes out a little smaller than out of the PDF. I don’t fully understand why but there appears to be some internal margin in GIMP which forces the document to be shrunk on print out. To get around this we simply shrink the paper (canvas) size a little.
Go to “Image” then select “Canvas Size” (Do not use Scale Image), your canvas will probably be 2550×3300 px, Click on the “px” value (see below) and change it to %, change both values to 92% (optional turn on the little chain-link icon and change just the top value and both will match or very close). Press the “Center” button and then press “Resize” (you may have to play around with the X and Y values to get the robo marks to stay in view)

Okay why did we just do that last step? If you now go to “File” and “Print”, select your normal printer, now see right at the top you have a tab next to “General” called “Image setting” click that (see below). See the Resolution is  set to 300, If you don’t shrink your canvas a little Gimps internal margins kick in and the resolution on this screen will be above 300, normally around 320-325  and hence your print outs are small. Now on the below screen you can select the “ignore margins” button and manually set your resolution back to 300 but I tend to forget and end up wasting ink and paper… feel free to check out the below screen before you shrink the canvas.

One Way of re-colouring

As with most software there are 3-4 different ways of doing something. GIMP is no different and the below is one way you can re-colour in GIMP, the below will however only let you re-colour it wont for example let you apply a different camo texture, but I’ll cover that in a later post. This way is very quick but not without its limitations it will change all instances of that colour/hue to a different colour/hue. So it works best on large single colour critters, Demons, Dragons, Trolls etc.

You have your Image all ready to go:

Next up go to “Colors” and select “Hue and Saturation”, this will launch this screen

I want some Blue Devils, so I select “R” for red as mostly their skin is Red and now I simply adjust the Hue slider until I get a nice Blue shade. If I want a lighter Blue I simply adjust the Lightness and Saturation Sliders (make sure the little Preview box above “help” is ticked on) until I’m happy with the colour. Below are some example re-colours and the settings used to achieve them. In both cases I adjusted both the Red and Magenta channels but have included screen grabs of both.

Blue Frost Demons

How about some Bright Green Forest Demons?

Once your happy with the colour, select ok and the minis will be re-coloured then save your version as an xcf  file and print your document, cut out (or run through your Cameo/Robo) and enjoy your newly coloured minis.

I’ll leave it  there for now as this post is very long, hopefully there is enough above to get you started. I’ll cover a bit more in other posts later this and next week, I have 3 posts part drafted. If you want me to cover something specific feel free to leave a comment asking/requesting it and I’ll try and add it to my next post.

As always have fun

Papercraft Build – Sanity Studios: Orcs

I’ve built quiet a number of  Sanity Studios paper miniatures, so I thought it was time I did a review of one of their sets so I picked latest set. They have just released a very nice set of Orcs which is the first set in there Green tide army. These are the more modern take on Orcs that we have all come to expect when someone says Orc, ugly, brutish with green skins. For those who are unaware Sanity Studio’s has a set of tabletop rules to go along with their paper miniatures called Bellicose, I’ll probably do a review on rules in a separate post later on. To save me some space you can read about comparable scaling in this post. I will just mention that the Orcs stand a little taller than a Sanity Studio’s human, approximately 30mm to the eyes.

There are a total of 10 unique Orcs in the set with an additional 3 which are a mirror of the first 3 so your not wasting paper when you print them off (a nice touch).  This gives you 13 orcs across two pages. Additionally there are 3 skin tones available for each Orc, Green, Dark green and Olive. This means you can print of the pages 3 times and have 39 Orcs that are all slightly different.

Sanity Studios Orc Skin Tones

The first page contains 6 unique Orcs, wielding a variety of weapons, shields and armour. The poses are very dynamic and really convey a sense of movement in each of the miniatures. All the miniatures are very good on this first page with my favorites being Orc3 and Orc6, my least favorite is Orc2. The photo below shows the 6 Orcs in stock Green skin:

Orc1, Orc2, Orc3, Orc4, Orc5, Orc6

The 2nd page contains 4 unique Orcs and 3 mirrored Orcs (1,2 and 4), for 7 in total, the poses are likewise very dynamic across this page. My favorite from this page is Orc8 with Orc7 running a close second, I’m going to pick on Mirrored Orc2 as my least favorite. The photo below shows the 7 Orcs in stock Green skin:

Orc8, Orc7, Orc9, Orc10, 1Cro, 2Cro , 4Cro

As you can see from the above pictures the Orcs are coloured/shaded differently to David Okums work. David goes for a more comic book cell shaded look for his mini’s were as Labrat from Sanity Studios colours/shades  similar to how you would have if you were painting a metal/plastic Orc miniatures. Both styles work well on the table but I have to admit when placed side by side on the table the Sanity Studio’s mini’s do seem to “pop” a little more, but this could just be my own personal preference seeping through as they both look good even at longer distances, either way your not going to go wrong picking up work from either artist.

Sanity Orcs vs Okums Elves

The Orc’s come with a premade craftrobo/silhouette  cut file so if you have one of those cutters it’s very quick to go from pdf to a couple of units of Orcs. Unfortunately an optional Cameo layer was not included but this can be addressed using a ruler and black pen. Handcutting will be a little slower, as you can see from the above pictures the Orcs have quiet a few small shapes protruding off them which increases the time it takes to cut them out. The added detail does mean the Orcs have a better overall impact on the table.

At the moment these Orcs would be great for populating a warband for a skirmish level war game eg SoBH (this will be one of my uses). They’d also be great for a GM to use in  a dungeon for a role playing game. There’s not quiet enough to populate up a full fantasy Orc army but I know Labrat has some goblins in the works which will then make these much more usable for larger army wargames. I know from reading the Bellicose rules (were these minis are intended to be used) that in the future Sanity Studios/Labrat will be working on several other additions for the Orc army such as:

  • Goblins
  • Goblin Pedal tank
  • Hobgoblins
  • Ogres
  • Shaman
  • Orc Warlord

No idea when they will be available but Sanity Studios has been filling out there troop roster for 24-36 months now so I’m fairly confident we’ll see most of the above at some point.

The Orc set is $3.95 which is good value for money, you don’t get as many different Orcs as David puts in his sets but David appears to be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to number of paper miniatures in a release. These Orcs are also more what people think off when they think Orc so for myself they are an excellent set/instant buy and lastly and most importantly you can never have to many Orc’s :).

Have fun gaming :).

UFO MK I – Papercraft

I’ve spent the past 2-3 weeks working on finishing a papercraft UFO, primarily to use with Okumarts retro aliens. The UFO itself is reasonably small (75mm/3inches across), this does mean some of the parts are quiet difficult to build due to the size of the parts. The Guns are the most fiddly followed by the canopy and then the rest of the UFO. I will warn that this is not an easy model to assemble and you will need at least 2 hours to cut and assemble the clear canopy version, the first time you make it. I have also included a solid coloured canopy if you don’t want all the internal detail

Quick Download Links
UFO Mk1 Final – PDF (25mb)
Instructions UFO Mk1 (5mb)
UFO Mark One Studio  (rename extension to “.studio” after download)

I designed the base UFO in sketchup and ran through several different designs before settling on an Octogon as the bases for the UFO.

For each of the initial designs I also built a rough version in plain white card to see how hard the design was to build. I added some small plastic beads to the below gun ends to help give them that more retro laser/gun look similar to how Okumarts drew his weapons.

To try and make the instructions a little clearer after I’d flattened the model and textured it. I laid the texture over the top of the sketchup model and created some renders for use in the instructions. Below are some renders I made up for the instructions, you can see the rest in the instructions :). I learnt a lot about what not to do when trying to texture a model in Skechup and will be much more careful with the layout of any future models.

As far as texturing goes it was fairly standard GIMP work, I did add two base  texture types a sort of brushed metal look and a more enamel paint look. I put in a large number of colour options as not all the colours worked with both texturing looks, plus I’ve learn’t to keep my texture and colour layers seperate so that adding a new colour is just a matter of duplicate existing layer and flood fill. I also split the base and cockpit out so you can have a coloured top, a metal coloured base and then if you like a different coloured metal texture for the inside of the cockpit. I added a few other customizable bits such as; different insignia, different light colours, several different engine globe colours and two different clear canopy designs (see final picture (type two) and test build (type one)) . There is a studio cut file for the model (use the new Studio Designer to open), I included both an SD and Cameo layer for cutting, the SD is the default layer so if your cutting on the new Cameo don’t forget to turn on the correct layer before printing (if anyone does use a Cameo to cut the file let me know if it works :)). I have hand cut and cut with the Silhouette SD and due to the size and scale of some parts on the UFO if you can afford the time I’d definitely recommend hand cutting as the human hand and eye are still more accurate than the SD, with the small parts on the UFO even a small mis-alignment during cutting can cause problems during assembly of the UFO.

Newspaper Mockup: City Scape by Barive, Text inspired by H.G.Wells War of the Worlds

I actually had a lot of fun putting this model together, with both the dragonfly and dunebuggy I used a lot of time up learning how to best lay the files out etc which meant a bundle of re-work for both. Although still a lot of work the UFO seemed to flow much better and I knew what to do to help speed up certain steps and what to expect in regards to amount of work at each step. A rough breakdown of time is about a 1/3 on the mesh, 1/3 on texturing/layout and 1/3 on instructions.

I’m off to build a few more UFO’s so that my retro aliens can face of against the terra force marines and at least have some chance of competing against the Dunebuggy and Dragonfly. Hope you enjoy the model :).

UFO Mk1 Final – PDF (25mb)

Instructions UFO Mk1 (5mb)

UFO Mark One Studio  (rename extension to “.studio” after download)

Flight stand from Dragonfly

Papercraft Build – Dave Graffam/Thomas Weaver Observatory

I’ve spent the last week working on Dave/Tommyguns Observatory model.  This is a free model but it is full of character and is unique as far as I have found in papercraft terrain. I did make some slight modifications to the model as I was building it, primarily I increased the size of the model by 145%, added an inside and tried my hand at adding some extra detailing to the model. I plan on giving this model to a friend to use as part of his warmachine table layout and I think it should fit in well with the steampunky feel of the Warmachine universe. I added the extra details to the model so it can be used as an objective in a scenario and look a little more special.

Due to the extensive changes I have made to the model I can’t really give you a step by step on what to print and how to replicate what I’ve done but hopefully the below pictures of the model and the comments I’ve made will help if you do wish to try. I will say edge under absolutely everything in black before gluing things in place as this will help cover up miss alignments and small gaps.

First up the telescope it’s self , I cut the end out of the telescope and glued a glass bead into the end of the telescope, I glued the blue end I’d cut out to the bottom of the bead to give a deep blue effect otherwise when you look at the bead you would have just seen the black inside the tube. Other than the clear acetate windows this is the only part I’ve added to the model which is not paper. I did try to make several domed paper parts but they looked terrible. I also printed out the parts twice and cut out bands of wood (doubled up 2 layers of 220 gsm) and glued these around the tubes to add some extra detail, the very end one I increased in width by 100% to add a shroud effect around the glass bead lens.

Under Construction

Completed and Mounted

Next up the base: In GIMP I split the lower walls from the upper dome on the lower side of the metal flange. I then increased the wall height by 6mm (1/4 inch) so I could insert a foam floor later on. Next I added wood texture across the entire inside base. It was a simple matter to print out the lower walls floor and pretty much assemble as normal. Although I cut a dodecagon of foamboard to insert into the floor first and glued the walls to this (triangles on the underside)then dropped in and glued the textured floor on top of this.  I also cut out the windows and doors to enable me to fit them back later on. Once the outside was assembled I cut small segments of foamboard and glued these along the inside of the wall for strength and thickness. I then modified the external plaster texture to fit on the inside of the model to become the inner walls (102% height 90% width). Before gluing the inside in place I cut the window and door holes into the foam inserts then test fit the inside insert and marked were the door and windows would be and cut these out, the inside was then glued in place. I next added some flex steel (turned out to be un-needed) around the top edge and glued it in place and then covered this with a special dodecagon wall topper I made up in GIMP. Last step was to add some acetate windows, hinged door, framed star charts for the inside and window frames on the outside and the base was done.

Outer Walls and Floor in Background

Floor Glued in and Inner Foam Support Added

Finished Base

Next up was the top inside and out, this was a right pain in the neck as I had to design a telescope end and eye piece inside the Observatory. In the end I got a design that fit although I did make one piece slightly to long if I make a second one I will shorten the 2nd main bend a little. Sorry getting a little ahead of myself, assembling the outside was fairly easy, once again I cut out the windows before assembly. I then glued a foamboard dodecagon piece to the inside of the base of the dome approximately matching up with the steel flange graphic on the outside and about 6mmx6mm square (1/4 of an inch). Once this was in place I glued the top together in pairs to keep it symmetrical then glued the pairs into fours and so on until it was glued into the dome shape. I next added some detailing to the top (all double thickness 220gsm card) such as the horizontal wooden beams, the window frames and a cap to the top of the roof to help finish it off. At this point I also glued the acetate windows onto the inside of the dome top.

Outside Glue Up

Finished Outside Top

Onto the dome inside. As I wanted the wooden dome to be thinner than the masonry walls I kept the dome as only a double card thickness. To line it I simply printed the outside again and cut these into individual triangles, reverse scored them cut the windows out and glued them into place, there is a slight bulge on the inside were they cover up the windows. Next I added 6 small (5mm square) magnets to the foam flange and then reprinted the wall topper from the base and glued this to the under side of my foam flange. I likewise duplicated the outside texture and glued this to the inside of the foam flange. I didn’t bother to detail the inside of the dome as it’s almost impossible for someone to look up into the dome while gaming without removing the top and then your focused on the bottom. I did add an inside tube and eye piece to the telescope as mentioned this was a right pain but I finally got the geometry worked out on my third test build.  Unfortunately due to the small windows it’s very difficult to see from the outside but it looks nice when you pull the top of the model. To help hold the top to the bottom and cover any small miss alignments I made up a double wide metal textured piece and glued this on the bottom of the dome, this slides over the base and is a very tight fit (magnets seem to do nothing) if I was to redo the flange I’d put a thickness of card behind the card flange to give a little more play. On the plus side pulling the model apart requires some force so accidentally knocking it apart during gaming would be impossible.

Inside Top Lining

Finished Inside Top

Overall I’m very happy with how the model turned out, it let me try my hand at detailing in paper which although fiddly is no worse than scratch building in traditional materials except no painting and as an added bonus the model is extremely durable/strong due to the added bracing. The extra detail helps make the model pop on the table from a distance.

So why not go and grab some of Dave’s models or Tommygun’s and either build them stock or try detailing one up as a special terrain piece.

Finished and Assembled

Papercraft Build – Okumarts Darkfast Set Two: Wood Elves

This is the second set in Darkfast series released by Okumarts. As the numbering for the Darkfasts series starts at zero this set is labeled as Set Two: Wood Elves. You can read about the size/scaling and background information in this post to save on repetition.

As you can guess from the title of the set this set contains Wood Elves. Before I proceed any further with build review a little bit of disclosure, I’m a wood elf fan, they are one of my favorite races in any fantasy setting so be warned this review might be a little biased due to my Wood Elf tinted glasses. The Elves are drawn in what I would describe as classic D&D elf style, the elves are slightly shorter and of a thinner build than your average human.  There are a total of 18 unique miniatures in this set broken up into two sets. The first twelve you see when you open the PDF are warriors and these are printable in four colours with white hair; green, red, blue and white with an extra green set with brown hair. The second bonus set of six (turn off the five warrior layers) are available in the one colour however Okumarts has really raised the bar with them, there are four Buck (Deer) Riders and one male & one female wood elf Druid/Mage. Below are photo’s of the various miniatures avaliable in the set in various colours:

Elf Sword (M), Elf Sword (F), Elf Archer (F), Elf Archer (F), Elf Archer (M), Elf Archer (M)
Elf Archer Chainmail(M), Elf Spear (F), Elf Spear (M), Elf Spear (M), Elf Sword Heavy (M), Elf Sword Heavy (F)
Elf Buck Rider Archer (M), Elf Buck Rider Archer (M)
Elf Buck Rider Spear (M), Elf Buck Rider Spear (M)
Elf Druid/Mage (M), Elf Druid/Mage (F)

This set is stunning and extremely versatile, again the colour selections for the miniatures and the dynamic poses Okumarts has selected look really good on the tabletop. I can see a lot of uses for the miniatures in this set:

  • There are six special looking mini’s that would make good PC’s or important NPC’s, Elf Ranger Sword (M), Elf Ranger Sword (F), Elf Sword Heavy (M), Elf Sword Heavy (F), Elf Druid/Mage (M) and Elf Druid/Mage (F).
  • Both male and female variants of every miniature, except the Buck (deer) riders.
  • Extremely dynamic poses.
  • Deer Riders, great idea and well executed.
  • Lots of different troop types.

The outlines on this set are slightly more complex than the previous two with a few deer antlers, cape ends and hair spikes, however overall they are not difficult to cut out. The back to front alignment on the first twelve miniatures and the Druid/Mage is as usual excellent. I did however notice that on a couple of the buck riders there wasn’t quiet enough black border on the rear side, this was easily fixed with a black marker. Do keep that in mind when cutting the miniatures out as you will need to cut out the miniatures from the front side (face side).

The set contains a good number of figures that can be used across an RPG from PC’s, NPC’s down to simple forest border guards. It would be a great set to use to play out an encounter with elven border guards as the PC’s try to enter Wood Elven lands.  Depending on how the initial encounter played out you could have the PC’s being pursued by ardent Buck riders across the rolling plains away from the forest.

There are more than enough figures to make up a very nice and varied Warband for Song of Blades and Heros in fact with the varied figures in the set you could do up themed lists; all mounted, all ground  or a mixed wood elf warband. Elves are contained in the main Song of Blades and Heros book on page 26, I plan on using the stats for heavy cavalry with the Buck Spears and have made a new profile for the Buck Archers (see below). All the other miniatures equate out reasonably well with the stock list, with a few double ups:

  • Elf Warrior (SBH) = Elf Spear
  • Elf Archer (SBH) = Elf Archer
  • Wood Elf Warrior (SBH) = Elf Sword
  • Wood Elf Archer (SBH) = Elf Archer or Elf Archer Chainmail
  • Elf Wizard (SBH) = Elf Druid/Mage
  • Elf Hero (SBH)= Elf Sword Heavy or Elf Archer Chainmail
  • Elf Commander (SBH) = Elf Sword Heavy
  • Wood Elf Commander(SBH) = Elf Sword Heavy
  • Elf Sneak (SBH)= Not really one, Elf Spear (F) is close
  • Elf Cavalry (light) (SBH)= Elf Buck Rider Spear (better fit below)
  • Elf Cavalry (heavy) (SBH)= Elf Buck Rider Spear

Wood Elf Buck Archer (Bow and Riding Buck)
Points 50   Quality 3+  Combat 3
Special Rules Mounted, Shooter (Medium)

Being a bit of Wood Elf Fan I also had a quick look over at Wargames Unlimited – No Quarter and they have a Wood Elf Army list already (cue squeal of delight). There are not enough miniatures in this first set to have a different miniature for each profile avaliable in the wood elf army list. There are however more than enough different miniatures to put a reasonably well rounded fighting force onto the tabletop. I went through the avaliable miniatures and matched them as closely as I could to those avaliable on the list, As there are a number of duplicates don’t forget to use different cloak colours and different hair colours to represent different unit types if you need. I also added a few idea’s from other papercraft manufacturers (all free):

Individuals and Leaders

  • Elven King – none that are really special enough
  • Woodland Noble – Elf Sword Heavy or Elf Sword
  • Clan Leader – Elf Sword Heavy
  • Totem Bearer – none
  • Elven Warlock – Elf Druid/Mage (M)
  • Elven Witch – Elf Druid/Mage (F)
  • Elven Sorceress – Elf Druid/Mage (F)
  • Elven Sorceress on Unicorn – none

Core Units

Elite Units

  • Greater Tree Spirit – none ( Onemonk Halloween set tree  or WorldWorksGames Halloween tree or Eddnic’s Treant or HannesX’s Treeman)
  • Border Gaurd – Buck Riders (Spear or Archer)
  • Levy Nobility – Elf Heavy Sword
  • Woad Warriors – none
  • Eagle Riders – none
  • Huntsfolk – Elf Archer
  • Clansfolk – Elf Sword

Remembering you wont ever field every troop type in every army list that you field for a particular battle. Below I’ve put together some quick army lists as well as the number of times to print a particular page to field the army of that size(2 Okumarts miniatures only, 1 mixed list):

500 point Army

503 points total

Print: 2 of page 1 and 1 of page 2

General

Elven Sorceress (Elf Druid/Mage) – 59 pts

Core Units

Woodfolk x10 (Elf Archer) – 280pts

Elite Units

Border Guard x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

1000 Point Army

986 points total

Print: 3 of page 1 and 2 of page 2

General

Clan Leader (Elf Sword Heavy) – 55 pts

Individual

Elven Sorceress (Elf Druid/Mage) – 59 pts

Core Units

Schiltrons x8 (Elf Spear) – 264 pts

Woodfolk x10 (Elf Archer) – 280pts

Elite Units

Border Guard 1 x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

Border Guard 2 x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

1500 point Army

1485 points total

Print: 4 of page 1 and 2 of page 2 + 1 WWG Halloween tree

General

Woodland Noble (Elf Sword Heavy) – 92 pts

Individual

Elven Witch (Elf Druid/Mage) – 59 pts

Elven Warlock (Elf Druid/Mage) – 59 pts

Core Units

Schiltrons x8 (Elf Spear) – 264 pts

Woodfolk x8 (Elf Archer) – 224pts

Woodfolk x8 (Elf Archer) – 224pts

Fae Lorn x4 (Elf Sword) – 128pts

Elite Units

Border Guard 1 x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

Border Guard 2 x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

Greater Tree Spirit (WWG Tree) – 107pts

For me this set is a winner, one of my favorite fantasy races and usable across all three types of games I enjoy playing for a very reasonable $2.50 (USD) . I’d recommend  buying the set, no matter what game your going to use it for you will get good use out of the set.

Overall I have been very impressed with the Darkfast series and will pickup any more miniatures that Okumarts releases in this series to add to the ones above.

Have fun gaming


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