I've set a goal for myself a few weeks ago to work on 3D modeling in Blender for 1-2 hours a day. During that practice I've found easier and faster ways to model some things. I've also learned a good deal of new techniques and commands. One of the items of business for these sessions was to clean up the Martian artillery drawings.
I received my prints from Shapeways and found that scaling the models down from the 25mm deck plans was not enough to make them look like viable weapons for 15mm figures. The prints were huge. I get that some of the Martian guns are large, but I want them to look like they could actually be mounted on air ships and manned by a reasonable number of crewmen. So I scaled all of the models down another 40%.
I was also able to use a Boolean modifier to add slats to the wooden sides of the cannons. I'm sure there was a simpler way to do it, but I don't know it yet. The simplified boards should print nicely at 1/100 scale and give a good visual effect.
There were a few other areas that the printer thought would cause problems. So I made the pintle for the deck guns a separate part. This will also allow the customer to angle the guns up or down if he wishes.
When I did the original models, I thought the lob gun was too large. So I scaled it down 40% before the printing. It was the only model I liked the look of next to the Martians when it came back. That's how I decided on 60% for the other models.
I don't get to put in all of the time I'd like on 3d modeling, but the couple hours a day during the work week has really improved the work flow. I'm starting to remember that when I model some parts, I need to do some detailing or smoothing steps first and then simplify the mesh. By doing that, I've been able to cut down the size of the files by 50- 60% for most projects. That makes email delivery and printing a lot easier.
Now I think I'm ready to go back and tackle the British weapons. I was having the opposite scaling problem with them. The models scaled from actual technical drawings were just too fine and small to print well. That is also a problem for mold making and casting later on. Fingers crossed, people.