Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dropship 5-26-10

The work on the model continues. Learning a lot of new tricks with Blender all the time. I’ve been working on the nose gun set up. I’ve been trying to keep the whole ship low poly, at least on the first pass through, but once I got to those guns, I’m starting to have to get more detailed to make them look right. There's been a lot of teeth grinding with those guns, because it's very hard to tell how they are put together from the pictures I have of the original model. BTW, be sure to check out Fil Barlow's original design for the dropship on this page at TrooperPX’s Starship Troopers Reference Site. It would be fun to model that aas some kind of a variant version. Or maybe as a med evac ship. I always thought the Trooperverse needed one. If you look around on TrooperPX’s site you’ll find some rejected dropship designs also. Anyway, I’ve also worked on the pieces that sit on top of the cargo bay and cleaned up some of the geometry in the cockpit, getting rid of triangles and some unnecessary faces.

Here’s an old render I did of a Tanker Bug model I made a long time ago.

I need to rebuild that model. It's poly bloated and has about a million things wrong with it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dropship 5-20-10

So I got a lot of work done on the cargo bay and the cockpit canopy. As you can see in the pics below, I went with the version of the cargo bay that is cut away to make room for the engines when they swing in.

Now that I got the wind shield in, it kind of looks like the love child of Tom Servo and Crow from MST3K.

Here's a quick and dirty render of one of my older models. It's supposed to be like Whiskey Outpost, the fort in the Starship Troopers movie where Rasczak died (or as some people refer to it, was given a painful chest wound by his sergeant and left to be killed by the Bugs). I tried to make my version a little beefier, a little closer in tone to the series. Still, it's kind of a dumb way to build a fort, having the supports on the outside of the wall like that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dropship 5-18-10

A couple screenshots from the last day or so. Finished the side intakes and I think I’m happy with the piece that sits behind the cockpit.

Trying to keep it simple and low poly on the first pass in case I need a low poly version and then when I’m finished I’ll go back through adding some bevels to get rid of all those sharp edges.

Here’s an older model that I haven’t got around to finishing yet. It’s the barracks module that gets used throughout the series for all kinds of things. I have another version of this model, along with the railgun tower from the series that someone else built, but the readme that came with the model said that the author didn’t want the model used with any program other than lightwave. He also didn’t want the model redistributed, and seeing how his website has died since then, there wasn’t any way for me to hook people up with it without violating his wishes. So I started work on my own version of it, and this is as far as I got before I moved on to something else. I’ll get back to it sometime.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dropship 5-16-10

I’m not what you call a fast modeller:) A little progress was made on the Dropship model. I built the frame for the cockpit window, worked on the side of the cockpit a little and then worked on the little intake thingy on the nose. That part took an embarrassingly long time and way too many do overs.

Last time I mentioned variations in the models over the course of the Roughnecks series. Look at the nose gun in this pic:

and then look at the one in this one:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dropship 5-12-10

The next model will be the Dropship from Roughnecks:

I started this project a while back, and decided I’ll jump back into it now that the Retrieval Ship is done. The only problem is that the reference material I have for the Dropship is nowhere near as good as what I had for the retrieval ship. I like having blueprints to work from. So, I started out by making some, sort of. I made lots of dvd screen captures, trying to get every angle of the ship that I could find. I managed to find a few good side shots and using them as background images in Blender and switching back and forth between them, I drew out the side view of the ship.

I gave these lines a black material, made them shadeless, and set the material to render the wireframe. I set the world color to white, aimed a camera at it, set the camera setting to ortho to get rid of any perspective and was able to get a rendering like this:

As you can see, in the top picture I have a halfway decent front view, and I’m taking the side view pixels and moving them over to start adding three dimensions. So far I have part of the front end well on the way:

The bottom part of the nose has been a little frustrating. The guns cover up a lot of what is going on behind them, so I’ve been having a hard time figuring out what it’s supposed to look like back there. I can tell you, after studying this ship waaaaay to closely, there are variations of it throughout the series. The original model has some differences in the front of the cargo hold and the engines collide with it when they swing in. Later versions have this part of the cargo hold modified to make room for the engines. See pic at top and then this one:

So, which version should I be sticking to? I think I'll go with the modified one when I get to that point.

I found another guy who likes making models from the SST universe. His stuff is made for games, so they are low poly, but when you check out the screenshots you'll see that he is really very good. Check out his work at the website for the game mod he's working on here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Retrieval – Done for now.

Well, I’ve taken the retrieval ship as far as I want to go for now. The textures can use a little more tweaking and I still need to build a cockpit interior, landing gear, and ramps, but that will have to be something I work on when I’m a little less sick of it:) Here’s some renders of the model in a scene with some lighting. I managed to get Blender’s focal blur working and these are some of the best looking renders I’ve ever made.

I like to highlight other Roughnecks 3d modelling I see online so I will point you to Kevman3d’s T-101 Marauder Duck. Would love to have that model.

Also, if you use 3ds max, here is an arachnid model I found that you could download. I converted the model and imported it into Blender, but all the pieces were out of whack and it was looking like it might be impossible to get it fixed. It did look like a good model, though. Be sure to thank the author if you use it. You can see his e-mail in the mesh of the model itself (

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Retrieval 5-04-10

Been blendering away, getting closer to finishing up the Retrieval Ship. It’ll be nice to work on something else. I’m trying to get this one finished before I get distracted by some other shiny object.

As you can see, quite a bit of progress made up all over, especially the swing arms and side engines. I ended up rebuilding the swing arm because the geometry was a bit of a mess and impossible to map.

At this point I’m having to resist the urge to go back and redo things in the textures, as I’ve learned better ways to do things in the intervening time since I first made them.

Here’s another of my older Roughnecks models. This is the landing pad that was seen in one of the Tophet episodes. Blister Bugs spit acid all over the structure and it collapses, right after the troopers escape to the Retrieval Ship. It’s big and probably has too many polys for anything but still pictures, but I still think it turned out pretty well. I’ve learned a lot since I made it, so I think I could do better in parts now.