Here's a couple WIP renders of a mech I've been working on. It's about 50% done and I'm pretty happy with how it's been going. My workflow speed is improving, this is about 8 hours of work split over two days. I expect to have it finished shortly after Christmas.
Shown below with an alternate arm configuration.
Shown along side the Tomahawk model for compairson of detail.
I've been quite busy with a new job which hasn't left a lot of time for modelling. I found myself with a free afternoon and a hankering for some 3d work.
Dusted off this guy and he's 90% done, a few touch ups to the rear and revisions to the legs and he'll be good to go.
I also pieced together a couple quick samurai style sashimono back banners for use with some 28mm models I"m working on. I'm not very good with soft surfaces, fortunately my buddy Steve was able to help with the cloth and give it some nice wind effect.
They should work well if I convert any more Hatamoto-chi mechs. Hoping to have prints of the banner in hand within the next week or so.
I saw this posted on MSN and thought it was a rather amusing attempt at a civil defense vehicle.
It's armed with a BB shooting mini gun and water bottle launcher so it can terrorize your neighbor kids pool party.
With an upgrade to it's opperating speed and refit with actual firepower this thing could be pretty cool. The video is a bit like watching an out of date work training session, or inflight emergency briefing. Rather flat and dull, but mech heads will see that it has potential.
I know that most of your guys probably aren't sifting through my older posts so it's not something that jumps out but I've removed almost all pictures of the 1/285th scale Robotech models.
The main reason is that I don't want them being used to promote any potential Robotech game. The minis grabbed a lot of attention with potential players, which was fine at the time but now that I won't be involved with the project I want to avoid generating any confusion with new readers.
I've been getting a lot of emails about the minis asking if they'll still be used, or about what plans might be in place etc. All I can say is that my versions will not be used at all. I have no clue who they might be getting to do sculpts or what quality they might be or even "if" they are going to actually be produced.
I wasn't privy to any information other than what we'd discussed relating specifically to my minis. So that means when it comes to what can we expect to see? Well, your guesses are as good as mine.
From what they've made available on their website, Palladiums newest announcement said they have the rights arranged with Harmony Gold, but at this point they are at the most basic stages of development and indicates they don't have sculpts sourced.
They may have the rights to make miniatures but that doesn't mean it's an ironclad guarantee that anything will actually be made. You can always buy rights to a product and choose not to exercise them. Will we see minis? I have no clue. Will they be any good? Again I have no clue.
They seemed to be looking for the lower end of industry pay standard so IMO that doesn't bode well for sculpt quality. If they decide to fund it properly maybe they'll get some top notch sculptors, but if they are looking for average or lower pay then the miniatures will reflect that.
(which is also why I don't want people thinking my sculpts are the ones be developed by Palladium)
They want a product made as cheaply possible with maximum profit, which is a standard business practice. However my personal feelings are that if you have a well sculpted professional product you will see far greater sales than a run of the mill sculpt that you could get from Reaper or Iron Wind for example.
I was willing to scrape my teeth in order to get the mini made as it's something I was passionate about. It's a tremendous amount of work to sculpt a 30-40 model range especially if you are trying to juggle a team of freelancers. They may find artists willing to work in that price range but I don't think the quality will be there and the time lag will be massive. I'll be interested to see what type of product (if any) they manage.
What about about rules? I have no clue.
Rules weren't really one of the things I was pushing, I was working on my MSIA adaptation simply to have something to show minis off with and generate interest with. It was never a serious consideration to begin with as my primary concern was with the miniatures themself.
Palladium's announcement only mentions them producing the miniatures as accessories for their RPG line, there's no mention of a miniatures rules system. Maybe that's something that will be addressed in the future or it could be an indicator of a line exclusively of miniatures and rules may not be a feature, I'm not sure.
Regardless of how it pans out I'm sure people will use them with Battletech, or Tomorrow's War or whatever system they are partial too. Likely any of those choices would be better than a Palladium system anyways so I don't see that as a loss.
I do want to say thank you for all the kind comments and support I've received about the minis. It's encouraging to get that stuff and know that there are fans out there. Parting with Palladium at this point is a very good thing, I've gotten some serious notice from other companies and it's generated several sculpting commissions for custom mecha. It's also freed up time to work on my own personal sculpts again. It's going to allow me to focus on my own designs which grants me a lot more creative freedom and personal satisfaction.
I also thought I'd share a bit on insight from several former Palladium staffers which is well worth the read. It also gives me a further reinforcement that not working with them on the project any further is a major blessing.
Pieced this together earlier today, went fairly quick as it's all simple shapes. About 4 hours to build. I may give it a few more minor tweaks and it'll be off to printing. I'm thinking I should also do an underslung arm mounted version?
I also made a modified longer version comperable to my long rail gun.
I'll admit I love the original Starship Troopers movie for all it's grade B glory. I also sat through 2&3 which were horrid and totally fell flat in being a delightfully bad movie, they were just plain bad.
A long while back I saw the early trailer for the new animated movie and was somewhat intrigued, at first I thought it was for Halo as they deliberately avoided showing the helmet until the last frames. I figured I see it simply due to the animation.
Today I saw this and it had me scratching my head, unlike the early teaser the animation quality just isn't there and why use the old crew? The original was good for some laughs but I just don't see how this will even come close to making the bar as a delightfully bad movie, it just look horrid which is a shame. The animation has areas that look amazing but there's some areas in the preview that look like they are game footage from a playstation rather than a proper CG film.
Another upcoming movie that I don't get is why remake total recall? The worst part is that it looks to be a complete remake rather than just a continuation, why reshoot the movie almost frame for frame when the original nails it right to begin with?
I'm all for seeing Jessica Biel onscreen in any movie so that's a redeeming value I guess, but wtf?
Colin Farrel? Double wtf?
I hear there are also plans to remake the original Robocop, I'm sorry but somebody should be shot for that one. I could sit though another horrid sequel , a remake hell no. Do what you want with crappy sequals leave the original movie alone.
Now things are not all bleak and dispair. The new Dark Knight movie is about two weeks out which I'm dying to see as the other two were stellar.
Then the nugget that has me super excited is The Man With the Iron Fists, Wu Tang five deadly venoms style Kung-Fu by Tarantino. While I may love robots, samurai and kung-fu movies are my lifeblood and why I spent 12 years doing martial arts. This preview is total kung-fu nerd chubby material.
Kill Bill was like an all you can eat buffet of juicy samurai tribute with salad bar kung-fu dressing. Man with the Iron Fist is full on Wu Tang tribute which I know won't disappoint. While the deadly venoms have been around for ages much like with Kill Bill I know he will deliver with his own flair and reimaging, so while it's covered ground it'll still be fresh and new. Man I cannot wait to see this.
I spent tuesday afternoon assembling a group of Battletech N scales which got me charged up to get working on some models again.
Yesterday evening I started putting together a new mech torso as I wasn't entirely happy with the previous version. Something wasn't sitting quite right with it and I wanted move away from the sporty look so that it'd give the model frame a bit more weight.
The new design has some obvious influences from gundam and a little bit from front mission.
This will form the upper torso, the hips and should pads will be seperate parts so that kit can be posed. It still needs a bunch of work on the venting and have panel lines added but it gives a good ida of what I'm aiming for.
No real sketches or anything just making it up in my head as I go. The rear will have a number of small jump jets and later on I plan on doing a booster pack with G tanks that'd bolt onto it's back simular to some of the gundam deep space packs.
It'll be done both in 1/285th scale and also in 1/200 scale, probably around 70mm for the N scale version.
Today I also started messing around with a Mospeada cyclone model. I have the basic legs roughed out I'll fine tune the parts and proportions after I get the body pieced together. I'm planning on doing it in 1/48 scale so roughly about 36mm.
So far I've been working from an old animation book, I need to dig up some additional reference pics as the line art is kinda hard to work from at times.
Edit: Burned a few more hours tonight, here's the updated model.
For the 30th anniversary of Macross Bandai is reissuing the 1:100 Macross Factory.
As a kid it was always my Holy Grail, never did get one, but I spent almost weekly trips drooling over the copy the had on display at the hobby shop.
They also have a smaller 1:170 scale version but I've always wanted to get the larger scale as it has extras the small version doesn't (the crew). The smaller version was sold under the Robotech Defenders branding by Revell.
The 1:100 factory comes with an Armored Valkyrie and a Tomahawk, so right there it's worth the price alone. It also comes with a bunch of support vehicles and support/ground crew. It's priced at $69 on Hobby Link Japan so it's a steal for anyone looking for the pair of mecha let alone the hanger detail and engineering cranes.
As I've gotten older and looked back on things that I enjoyed as a kid I've had the bittersweet realization that they benefit heavily from the haze of time making them seem so much cooler and detailed than what they really were. Anyone who's gone back and watched Robotech or GI Joe as an adult probably has asked themself was it really this dated looking?
The animation is scratchy, there's often lots of film grain and rough spots, but the reality with these shows is that they weren't made with a very high production budget even back then and they don't look any better after 30 years. But Bandai video has finally released a Blu Ray version of Macross that does justice to how cool I remember the show being in my head.
Blu Ray Opening Scene
VS old Macross Movie version
Screenshots of the cleaned up animation
This isn't the most recent of news as the release has been around for several months but being a simple white boy living in the US who doesn't speak japanese I'm a bit slow on keeping up with all the Utaku/fanboy updates. It's available only in Japan but it's region free (it can be picked up on Amazon Japan). It's in Japanese language only with no subtitles... but who needs subtitles for MECHA ACTION! Besides we all know the story anyways Minmei sings, Lisa cries, mecha fight and shit blows up.
The downside is that when in Japan they charge by the pixel when you are getting anything in Blu Ray and the boxed set sets you back between $400-$600 depending on if you get the standard set or the limited edition one. One nice thing though is that it includes discs for Do You Remember Love? (DYRL) and an extra 100 minutes of special footage all of which has gone through the same amazing upgrade to Blu Ray format. The limited edition also comes with several reprints the Perfect Memory animation reference books.
It also includes video footage for a game by Pachinko that from what I understand is supposedly compatible with japanese PS2 system (wtf?) but I'm not 100% sure on that so don't rely on me for that info. No idea why on earth they'd do it as PS2 format being that those systems have been dead for 7 years and counting.
Clips of additional Bonus Material
Who ever thought a 30 year old cartoon would look so good? With the price tag sadly it'll be a pipe dream for a while and I'll have to make due with You Tube footage. But damn does it look sexy.
Now if only I could somehow scrub my eye balls clean from the horror of recently re-watching the Kung Fu series, so many fond memories forever destroyed... somehow I suspect there's no amount of HD filtering that can repair that part of my childhood. Sigh, at least I'll always have Macross/Robotech.
This is totally unrelated to the boxed set but if you want a good laugh at some super deformed stuff I also found this.
They've already crushed their inital funding goal and for good reason, this game is smoking hot. I watched a demo for it at Adepticon and it is a total blast. They also had some of the minis on display at the booth and having seen them in person they are every bit the quality that is shown on their page. Definately some of the best plastics that I've seen to date.
One of the really cool things is that there are a lot of individual/unique zombies in the mix so you don't just get a bundle of repeat zombies, from what I saw almost every zombie is unique which give sthe minis a lot of character. Several of the leader zombies are simular to those found in left for dead video game, the fatty, the runner, the witch, the brute.
Then many of the hereos are "not" versions of some of favoirite film characters. The government defense conrtactor doubles for Micheal Douglas in falling down, the guy with the shotgun given the right blue shirt will easily double as Bruce Campbell aka Ash from army of darkness. The promos bring us a "not" version of Bruce Willis and Danny Trejo.
Game play was quite smooth and it was a lot of fun to play, the board is modular so it can be varied for repeat play and I imagine they are already planning expansions.
At the time of writing this there's 9 days left to pledge on kickstarter and if you pledge there' some cool extras to be had. When I talked with the guys from cool mini they said we'd likely see the stuff late Aug to early Sept but there's no hard release date just yet. I've dropped in a pledge and can't wait to see the game in hand.
A couple weeks back I sent some casts to Maz aka Winterdyne in order to get some pieces done for display. The stuff I do is fine for demos but I wanted something that really caught people's attention and that meant going to sombody with a bit more skill.
Last week he sent pictures of the Tomahawk, which in the pre-Adepticon rush I forgot to post here. Earlier today he sent me pics of the Regult along with a few touch ups to the Tomahawk. I particuarly like the shin as it's a subtle nod to Battletech, both have so much shared history in the gaming realm that I felt it's very fitting even if it's not Robotech canon.
If you want to check out more of his great work Winterdyne's studio is here: http://blog.winterdyne.co.uk/
Needless to say he has my approval and I totally love the work so far.
Over the last several days I've been running my demo events for Robotech which have been a blast but also extremely exhusting.
They've been in the evening and thurs and fri were completely tied up doing the prep work, so I didn't see much outside the demo area. Sat morning I went to the con for about two hours to wander around the main gaming hall and dealer area for a bit of me time. The Crystal brush event was underway and there are some seriously impressive entries.
The 70mm Mohawk Tribe Warrior is my personal favorite and the one I hope wins. The detail is just stunning and I can't stop gushing over how much I like it. Despite the weird lighting that is back lighting everything I was able to take some half decent pictures but, it's so much more mindblowing in person as the color transistion is just incredibly smooth. I also like the natural look of the piece which boldly stuck out in a mostly sci fi competition.
I'm not sure who painted it as the judging is done blind, but whoever did this nailed it out of the park IMO.
Not all the pieces are on display at the same time so there is probably stuff I missed, some of the artists are only able to attend for a single day. Additionally they are usually shuffling stuff around as they are taking photos so each time you swing by the case there's typically a few models that weren't there previously.
Here's another one I though was pretty killer. It's in 70mm scale as well.
Between my demo games and convention stuff I took several hunder pics, it'd take me forever to upload them to my blog so I've set them in two seperate photobucket galleries.
Now if you've ever wondered what 1,500 gamers in one room looks like it's pretty overwhelming and it took me 4 seperate shots to pan the room from the front enterance. The low ball estimate was 1,800 people signed up for events, however there's likely far more people actually attending. To come in and browse or buy things at the dealer hall doesn't require a badge. My badge was 2600 something so it's likely there were the better part of 3,000 people attending this year.
One of the unique aspects of Adepticon is that in order to play in the events you need to have you army painted. It's a bit daunting and I've yet to actually play due to it, however when you attend it's very easy to see why. It's a visually stunning event to see so many painted armies on table in one place and it always gets me charged to finish my own stuff. I just paint horribly slow, so a whole army is massive undertaking for me. I've made a pledge that this is the year I finish up my Tau army so that I can play them at the 2013 Con.
The Mayan Doomsday calandar of course says the world will end in Dec this year, which is right about the time I'd be finishing up my army, so maybe they are on to something ;) It'll surely be a sign that the world is ending if I had a painted army.
What adds to the visual feast is the stunning amount of terrain they have. I've seen individual tables at other conventions that are a bit higher in quality. However Adepticon has 400 tables all of which have an excellent standard as these pics illustrate.
Starting roughing out some legs, inspired by the Front Misison mecha which also share some similarities with the Leynos mecha. I'm not sure how well the legs fit with the torso design, I'm going to think on it for a bit, suggestions & comments are welcome.
While not a formal organization I've have a bunch of friends and forum friends chip in on different areas covering both the 1/200 scale models as well as the 1/285 scale stuff and I just wanted to say thank you for your help. I've mentioned stuff in little snips here and there but it's easy for it to get lost amongst the detail.
Seb - bang up job on the graphic images and helpful critique.
Zac - for a withering critical eye and no nonsense critique (as always).
Greg B- for inspiring a lot with his 1/200 scale project log on TMP.
Mark - for playing some test games.
Leif - for playing endless battletech games with me when we were growing up.
Jason - for helping answer my endless list of sculpting questions over the last two years.
I decided to take a short break from the Macross stuff so I could work on something a bit more free form and off the top of my head. The macross mecha are of course great but ttediously recreating the detail is a bit dull. I've had several weapon designs done for quite a while and wanted a body to go with them so I started piecing one together.
Initially the body on this was really wide which is where the Fatboy name came from but I may need to rename it now that he's slimmed down. Fatboy is still pretty dang catchy so I'll have to make a beefed up version of this so the name doesn't go to waste.
This is scaled for N-Scale and should measure aproximately 60mm when finished.