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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bug Hut Mk I

   I spent some time playing with filters and such to texture the Space Bug hut. Here we have Bug Hut Mk I.

    I chose a watery copper with a force field door for the test printing and assembly. The whole model has been scaled down to about 85% of the original size to allow for two complete buildings per printed page. It's still large enough to serve as a pre-fab shelter for a squad of bugs.

    The Inkscape file was left as a multi-layered drawing so I can make variations later. There is a layer with the base color, one with the transparent filter effects, one with the shapes outlines and a text layer. For the final production PDF, I'll include several color schemes and textures and a couple of variant doors. But for a first build to practice all of the new skill sets I need to develop, Mk I is not too bad.

    Please feel free to Download the one page PDF and play around with it. Bug Hut Mk I. It's a big file yet (2MB); I haven't compressed the graphics so I can work on it more for the final version.

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.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Post Fall In Recovery and Goblin Factory

    Fall In has come and gone. The three weeks leading up to it were a bit crazy. I had forgotten just how much work goes into getting a game together to run at a convention. I shared table space with Ken from Proxie Models and Don from the Goblin Factory. There was a lot of good company and conversation all weekend. I had a great time talking with people during the dealer hours and running the Custer on Mars game on Friday and Saturday nights. But, man, was I wiped out when I got back.

    After several days of taking it easy, the weather turned nice and my fiancee put me back to work on the outside of the house. The time working outside wasn't a total loss, though. I was able to sort through some commission work, do some online research and paint a few sample figures during the dead time. With the concrete patching, scraping and painting of the porch wrapping up this weekend, I'll finally be able to get back to sculpting.

    For now, though, here are a few pics of the new Oriental Goblins from the Goblin Factory. The first is a group shot of the goblin Ashigaru with yari and the command figures.

    The command figures include a samurai commander and a standard bearer. These will be going into their own pack once production begins.

    The yari goblins will be sold in their own pack. I'm not exactly sure what Don has in mind for the final packaging, but it will include some multiple of all six poses.

    As you can see all are in different poses and have armor and clothing.

    The master mold has been made and we're waiting for Old Glory to do the first two production molds. For now there are a few pre-production sets available at Highlander Studios. I'll be selling the new Goblin Factory figures until his website is completed and in working order. These sets include one each of all eight figures and sell for $15.