Welcome to the Highlander Studios blog.

I won't promise any earth shattering revelations here. What I will be trying to do is post some new products as I release them, share some thoughts on gaming and show some pics of games and other stuff that I enjoy. So come in and make yourselves at home.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

15mm Space Bug Pre-fab Shelters

    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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is a good design and if I may offer some suggestions to make it highly buildable try designing this utilizing 4'x8' sheet materials so there isn't too much waste. It could be made of laminated plywood, OSB plywood or corrugated plastic like Coroplast. I'd like to see how you intend to build the exoskeleton framework, doorway, waterproofing details and so on. The top roof hexagon could be an operable ceiling vent that opens like a trap door. You could use a polycarbonate for the roof vent and windows for maximun security and strength. There is a white adhesive backed roofing material you can purchase called Peel and Seal. A dome builder/designer I know of, a Robert Conroy used it on his geodesic domes. Putting in a floor to attach the structure to is also a good idea to keep the wind from blowing it away and keeping supplies and furniture dry. Good wind resistand design you have there. Best regards, Rick