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.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Monkey Boys

    This week it has been refreshing to get back to sculpting full time. It took a while to build up steam again, but here are a few of the new pieces heading to the caster next week.

   You've seen a few pictures of two of these guys before, but here is a group shot of the first pack of Zhuh Zhuhs for Two Hour Wargames' 5150. These mercs will be sold on the Highlander Studios website under the Zap, zap, zap! Die, die, die! science fiction heading.

    I'll be adding several other packs of monkey boys as quickly as I can, but Space: 1889 needs to take precedence right now. I did spend a few minutes grabbing some reference shots for the next set which will be the gangers.

    Big Momma should be a lot of fun and I have some specific images in my head for the silverback.

    I may just call him Binky.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Air Freshener Plus New Router = ?

    Susan decided I needed a Kindle Fire for all of the extra wedding work I've done in the the last 2 months. What can I say? I have a really great woman. However... the Fire was a bit frustrating. I reset my router, changed security settings, reset passwords and read about 20 articles on connecting the Fire to your existing wireless system. None of these things worked to get online with it. So off to Walnut I went to scope new routers.

    Jump back in time about 18 months...

    Several conventions ago I noticed an air freshener in a restaurant bathroom. It had good domed shape and arches that were scaled beautifully for 15mm gaming. Loads of sci-fi and VSF potential. I refrained from stealing the freshener. A month later I visited my parent's and found that my mom had these same air fresheners in the house. She even had a few that were used up. I took them home and stored them for later projects.

    Back in the present...

    New router plus air freshener equals...

    Martian stronghold!

    Well, the beginnings of one anyway.

    A little bit of detail sculpting and a quick paint job later I ended up with this.

Took a couple of hours of work, some garbage and a little paint and putty.

    The dome was left as a separate piece so I can move it around or leave it off if I wish. I'm also deciding what kinds of other movable detail elements I'd like to add. Walls, a mooring tower, stuff like that may well be in the future.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Starting small... really small

    Wedding plans are fairly well firmed up and I've had more time to get back to work. I'll have a few traditional sculpts to show off next week, but for now I'll start with some digital work.

    Learning new skills is always fun for me. What isn't particularly enjoyable is when I've taken an extended leave from practicing them and need to get back up to speed. So when I had time to get back to the digital sculpting, I decided to start small... really small. Like 1:1200 small. Enter the Space: 1889 steam launch.

    I borrowed a friend's copy of Cloudships to play and check the detail and actual size of the models. I've been left with a minor dilemma. The models in the game box are not 1:1200 scale. The measurements work out to right around 1:1000 scale. So... do I make them 1:1200 and have them be noticeably smaller or make them 1:1000 and have them integrate well with the plastic ships? I'm trying to find some of the older metal releases to see how they measure up. In the mean time I need to get some build on the computer. The beauty of 3D software is that, once I have it modeled, I can scale it however I like with a few simple key presses.

    I decided to start small. The steam launch seemed like it would be easy at first. It consists of a low number of fairly angular shapes. The real problem was deciding how detailed to make the first model. I could have gone overboard with rivets and plates and such, but this ship will only be 15mm long even if I produce it in 1:1000. So some extraneous details like deck planking, rivets and bands on the boiler were left off. I also left the gun mount empty for now. I'll be designing separate models of those to import to each ship as needed. When I finalize the model for 15mm printing, I'll need to go in and add all of the gubbins and extras. For the smaller stuff I want the prints to be clean and easy to paint.

    Here you can see some of the lift panel details. I'm still working on a good way to do them that doesn't involve moving each separate panel into place by eye. I have to play a bit and see what I come up with; especially on the angled bow and aft sections.

    After seeing the crispness of the trash can prints, I'm excited to find out what this will look like in person. I'll have one printed while I'm off being married and be able to see what modifications I'll need to make for the final printing. I may well find that all of the little details will show up and have to add them for both scales. I'll post again when I can provide some pictures of the real item.

    OK. The lift panels are worked out.

    I've added the Nordenfelt. Hopefully that will print.