While I've been under the weather this week, I took a few minutes here and there to start designing some terrain and vehicles for the space bugs. I stared with some rough sketches.
I decided on a basic hexagonal design for the bug buildings. The other constraint from my buddy who designed the bugs in the first place is that they are fairly low tech metal users. So the designs will incorporate hard angles and flattish surfaces.
I've been playing around with Blender for my 3D modeling. It probably has the most difficult learning curve of all of the modeling software I've tried, but it's free, very computer resource friendly, cross-platform, has built in animation and a game engine that I plan to use for later projects. You can check it out at blender.org if you want more information.
I plan to create some PDF downloads for folded paper models first. So I built a low poly model in two parts. The basic dome is one and the door is the second.This made unfolding it easier. I had to select a part and unwrap it in the UV editor, move some pieces (OK, all of the pieces) around and save the file to edit in a photo editing program.
These are the unwrapped parts. The piece above will make the basic dome shape. The one below will create the door.
I've uploaded them as .png files so you can take them and play with them in your own editing software if you like. They need most of the gluing tabs added and textures added. I use GIMP, Inkscape and Open Office for editing. They are all free and fairly powerful programs. Click on the names if you'd like to check them out.
I Imported the saved parts into Inkscape. Sized them correctly for my bugs and printed them out. Once printed I drew some tabs, cut and assembled the model. The test build was satisfactory. It's the size I wanted and all of the sides matched up the way they should
I'll be adding the textures to it over the next week or two. When I'm finished, I'll also be adding detail to the 3D model in Blender for later prototyping in 6mm. For the actual 15mm sized models, it's probably easier for me to cut out styrene from the PDF layout and build the masters for casting in resin. We'll see how that all goes later.