MechWarrior 4 Osiris

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by c_furuti, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 0A - Introduction

    In the long time since I posted something noteworthy here, I've built a few MechWarrior battlemechs - Madcatmaniac/Cantaris's MW3 Shadow Cat:

    IMG_6804A.jpg IMG_6806A.jpg IMG_6781A.jpg

    Then Planet Starfreak's MW3 Shadow Cat:

    IMG_6811A.jpg IMG_6815A.jpg IMG_6787A.jpg

    (interrupted due to upper limit on number of attachments - continued later)
  2. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 0B - Introduction, continued

    Shiftdel's MW4 Shadow Cat:

    IMG_6792A.jpg IMG_6798A.jpg IMG_6802A.jpg

    and Whammy/Shiftdel's Warhammer IIC:

    IMG_6818A.jpg IMG_6823A.jpg IMG_6831A.jpg

    (interrupted due to limit on attachments, continued later)
  3. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 0C - Introduction

    In each model the number of articulations (15 in the Warhammer IIC) and added detail has increased. Articulated joints not only make models poseable, they ease storage a lot. All models were printed 4 pages/sheet, for an approximate scale of 1/94 (reduced from 1/80 due to margins). For the Warhammer, several parts had to be extended, because they intersect where joined - since I lack Pepakura Designer and the 3D model, I used Inkscape as a poor man's CAD; fortunately all extended parts are generalized prisms so a 2D tool suffices.

    After a long time, I'm nearly completing my WIP, the MW4 Osiris by Cantaris, also in 1/94 and articulated as well (like most chicken-legged mechs, only ankles and legs intersect, so only ankles require extension). I chose it due to its prominent compound curves, which add interest despite the challenge to build smoothly; also, it's my first light mech.


    The next posts will present my customizations. Recently Milleniumfalsehood posted a very interesting thread about joints with more than one degree of freedom, but I won't use that lesson here: my articulations are simple cylinders.
  4. Vortex_4200

    Vortex_4200 Member

    Very nice work, look forward to seeing more!
  5. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 1 - Feet and toes

    I had never articulated anything as small as those toes, but fortunately their shape eases the job (articulating toes of the MW4 Shadow Cat at this scale would be much tougher; I'd have to add a "bone", like I did for the Warhammer IIC's foot's front part).

    First let's plan the articulation geometry. Unfortunately I couldn't find an orthographic view feature in Pepakura Viewer, so I approximate it with a narrow field of vision. I take a screenshot of the side view and load it in Inkscape. Then I set the "no material" option of PV, and export a PDF of the foot and toe parts. In Inkscape, I load the PDF and select only the white polygons for the faces of parts (leg, ankle, foot, toes) involved in the screenshot. I scale the screenshot and rotate the polygons till getting a good superimposed match (the rear toe was moved a bit in order to reduce weakening of the foot).


    Now circles are drawn representing the axles, as big as possible to make a strong joint with enough friction, but not so big as to weaken the parts (holes will be cut for both male and female joints). The polygons are duplicated, printed and laminated, then glued to the inside of the parts, both reinforcing them and guiding holes.

    Inspired by Shiftdel's generic joint set, I wrote an application for drawing male/female cylindrical joints of any length and caliber, but for the toes I used only the female parts; the tiny male axles are replaced by rolled paper tubes, reinforced with CA. Also, I will leave the female joints open-ended, just this time.


    Here's one front toe, with its female joint and the male axle. After an additional polygon is glued, a second cylinder will reinforce the joint. The toe is so small, a laminated block will turn it solid.

    I IMG_6545A.jpg

    Here's the foot, reinforced and cut; once the sides are glued, the axles will be inserted and fixed with CA:


    The toes and an almost completed foot:

  6. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 2 - Ankles

    Like in all BattleMechs I've built, articulating the ankles involves
    • extending the upper portion which penetrates the leg
    • dealing with the ideal rotation axis, usually near or at the leg's lower edge
    A screenshot and face polygons loaded in Inkscape determine both the amount extended and axles placement for an adequate swing angle.
    The light blue rectangle is a "bone": its lower end articulates with the angle, the upper one will be glued to the shin. This allows a thicker axle and a low rotation pivot (thus a wider swing angle). Here are the original and extended ankles, plus a jig which will ensure the legs will be fixed at the right height:
    A pad with the same side profile as the ankle holds the male joint; the female one is simply a ring at the bone's end:
    The flaps in front and rear of the ankle are loose: they help hiding the joint without preventing extreme flexion.
    Different from other joints in this model, friction of the ankle's can't be adjusted once set in place. It must be carefully adjusted so the model won't topple over, but not too strong because the foot/ankle glued area is very small
  7. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Fantastic job!! This is a model to follow, fer sure!!
  8. jase9112

    jase9112 New Member

    really cool. being new to this thing i'm still in awe that you can build battlemechs like that. much less articulated ones! one more skill to work on lol.
  9. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 3 - Legs

    Again a screenshot helps designing a reinforcement/hole guide for the sin.
    One of the reasons for my glacial build speed is a near-obsession with reinforcents; this is especially visible in the knee joint. Chicken-legged knees demands a lot of friction, and I don't want the joints to be ripped off when I do want them to turn. The lower faces were removed and two thick pads added to guide the insertion of the ankle bone:
    IMG_6583A.jpg IMG_6584A.jpg
    Thighs are comparatively simpler. A small bolt-like part slips on the joint like a ring.
  10. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 4 - The hip

    I decided adding the three joints to the hip while still partially attached to the sheet, fearing too much handling would tear the narrow "neck". In hindsight, I should have cut off the neck at the start and reattached it later, but I was afraid the long section could get misaligned. Actually I should have simply left some white paper around the neck, to be trimmed later - duh.
    I cut only enough to lift the tabs, which make sure the reinforcements with hole marks are properly aligned. After joints are glued, additional reinforcement layers are applied:
    The hip fully detached:
    IMG_6596A.jpg IMG_6600A.jpg
    And closed, with thighs assembled:
    IMG_6605A.jpg IMG_6614A.jpg
  11. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 5 - The lower hull

    Some mistake happened in modelling or texturing the lower hull, a wrench-shaped base partially clamping a pentagonal prism:
    Either the base's near-vertical rear section or the prism's texture is too broad, because the orangish features (some kind of hoisting hardpoint) are partially covered. I decided to preserve the texture by narrowing the whole base:
    prt03.jpg IMG_6609A.jpg
  12. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 6 - The front hull

    My favorite challenge was making as smoothly curved a "nose" as possible, avoiding the faceted appearance of the original parts:
    pvSS5A.jpg parts75A_1.jpg

    Parts were modified in Inkscape:
    • folding lines were removed, since I wanted curves anyway - lines only serve to emphasize the faces
    • in the very tip, I split the central face apart, because it's hard cleanly cutting away those two tiny wedges around the connected edge, and it's much easier just to glue it back later (BTW in this model the central face joins on the left side, not centrally - if I left the edge connected, it would probably show up asymmetrically)
    • curves require gluing flush, thus tabs go away except where faces join at an angle
    • the rear face won't show, so I removed its texture

    Each ring is closed and joined to its neighbor by a crown of inner aligning tabs:

    After the glue sets, additional tabs complete the junction:
    IMG_6627A.jpg IMG_6630A.jpg
    And yes, several layers of reinforcement are applied while the hull is smoothed.

    I left a small gap on purpose at the top, where tabs from the canopy will be inserted later.
  13. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    That last piece is fantastic. One of the most compound pieces of anything I've seen made out of paper in a while! :)
  14. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    "Compound"? Well, someone could model one of those false thumbs worn by magicians. A paper prosthesis :mrgreen:

    There are three more round pieces. This one should have resulted better had I not left too much of the dark edges when cutting. I should have sanded a bit before gluing :cry:
  15. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    You could fill those with chocolate and have Easter Eggs!! :)
  16. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 7 - The canopy

    Lacking creativity, skill and references for scratchbuilding a cockpit, I just replaced the canopy's windows by clear plastic, painted very dark green on the inside and backed with cardboard. For the Warhammer IIC I used a packaging blister; this time, I saved an old laser-printed overhead slide, nearly as thick and much smoother (unfortunately, it's also easier to scratch).

    The front window was redrawn, and folding lines removed (the original part was concave, due to a notch in the hull). Tabs are also repositioned, otherwise they would be too thin.
    parts75A_2.jpg IMG_6615A.jpg

    Because I finish models with a spray of matte varnish, I must build, paint edges and varnish the canopy right now, and later it'll be easier masking the whole part than just the windows.

    The three tabs in the front are seamlessly glued to the inside of a gap previously left on the nose; the remaining tabs won't be subject to tension and can be folded inside as usual.
    IMG_6625A.JPG IMG_6633A.jpg
  17. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Intermission - small problems

    Right after the canopy there's a wedge-shaped part, for some reason asymmetric; I just trimmed it.
    pvSS6A.jpg parts75A_3.jpg

    The textures on the side hulls don't always match where edges meet, a problem shared by many models distributed as PDO files plus alternative skins created with a template overlaid on some semi-random pattern: texture "flows" between some pairs of faces, but not all of them. This is especially visible with more striking skins with high contrast, for instance this Luftwaffe-inspired one. Notice that, for each combination of 3 faces joining together, at least one pair has a texture break (red markers):

    Another problem is a pattern stretched between faces (green marker):

    Contrast with Chokipeta's Front Mission 4 Zenith, where camouflage spots match perfectly along any 3 faces:

    I suppose this can only be done by hand, which precludes fast creation of perfectly matching skins from arbitrary images.
  18. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 8 - Side hulls

    Now the main parts of the central hull are ready and can be joined.
    IMG_6640A.jpg IMG_6643A.jpg

    Let's work on the side hulls. On the rear, there are two hexagonal prisms capped with domes; like for the main hull, their folding lines were removed, the central face split and curves smoothed. Here's the original dome - see the small white wedges around the connected central edge? I simply can't manage to cut them right, thus the splitting.

    I incorporate the shoulder's female joint to the bolt-like socket:

    And complete the hull assembly. Again I drew in Inkscape a simple L-shaped jig (not shown) to make sure both side hulls are glued aligned:
    IMG_6658A.jpg IMG_6681A.jpg
  19. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 9 - Weapons I

    The weapon pods on either arm are simple boxes so I added some details - purely speculative, but this is a fictional entity and existing artistic renderings don't always concur.

    The laser gun pod on the right repeats the same texture on opposite lateral faces - thus the stencilled text appears on the inner face under the socket and mirrored. I covered the inner face and panelled the outer one. Holes were cut for recessing pseudo detail at front and rear:
    pvSS11-12.jpg IMG_6684A.jpg IMG_6685A.jpg

    For the otherwise featureless top panel, I scratchbuilt a louver (it's just a matter of calculating lengths given an angle and paper thicknesses). The first strip in the template will be cut in groups of three rectangles; the "s" sections will be glued to thick spacers cut from the second strip; "h" sections are hidden from view.
    partsLouver.png IMG_6678A.jpg

    The louver (seen above from the underside) and an encasing "bathtub" are painted in tones of metallic gray.
  20. c_furuti

    c_furuti Member

    Part 10 - Weapons II

    For the missile pod, I covered the vents on the inner side and cut open those
    on the outer one.

    The front face was recessed like the gun pod's, and a hole covered by a small box replaces the dark spot on the bottom rear:
    IMG_6692A.jpg IMG_6695A.jpg IMG_6697A.jpg

    The face with cut vents is painted dark gray on the inside because its backing card (also painted) is glued a bit spaced to add depth.
    Each missile port was cut and a short tube attached (I know, many MW missile holes are hexagonal. Maybe next time. Just kidding):
    IMG_6700A.jpg IMG_6846A.jpg

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