Monday, April 29, 2013

First batch of half-height walls submitted

That's one of the promo pics (I'm *terrible* at promo pics!) for the first set of half-height walls. Thoumont's Stone Half-Height Walls.

I sure hope people like them. I really think the size is perfect for minis.

I'm waiting to get feedback on this set before I clean up and submit others.

Cathedrae TLX

I realized I hadn't even cracked open the PDFs of the Cathedrae Noctis, so I decided to dip my toe in and see how bad it would be to get it down to TLX format.

With other conversion-type kitbashes I've done, one big question is whether the walls and posts will look good together. I'm not pursuing this as a conversion right now - just playing around with the textures slowly, seeing what kind of effects will come from it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Picture of the fountain

Well, that's it! It's pretty close to what I was hoping for, but it's WAY to fiddly to be totally happy with. I think the fountain part in the middle should be a teeny bit smaller, and the lion head should be smaller by quite a bit. I also have to imagine that making the fountain base in two parts - one being a hollow hex, and then a solid hex for the water inserted in the middle - would be easier than assembling the little pieces. The tabs will be much bigger, and the assembly is more straight-forward.

But, I made it! I'll try a version 2 and see how much easier I can make it. Time to buy a full version of PePaKuRa Designer!

Quickie update

Not that I'm *trying* to jinx myself, but I think I've resolved the ink issue, and so I'm starting to print some photo-quality half-height walls. There are almost 20 pages dedicated to just Thoumont's. I think I'll just do the stone walls first, in all their sizes, with all the posts. There are a lot of cutfiles to make...

On a different note, I figured out how to get a Sketchup model into PePaKuRa Designer, and from there, into GIMP for texturing. My first model is a fountain. I think the textures came out great (if a little dark) but I have a feeling I will have to experiment with how to actually build it out. Some may like assembling little pieces. Others might prefer building larger, easier geometries that glue together. It's off to a good start, tho. I just printed and cut the first attempt, and will be assembling it tonight to take a snapshot of!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Half-hearted half-height walls pics

Here are a couple pictures to show off the kind of thing that just slows down the process of getting a kitbash ready.

I have just about completed all the post variants and wall lengths for five different textures. That includes three Thoumont's walls (stone, plaster and wood), the Friar (stone) and the Garden (greenish stone). I need to get more cutfiles completed, but I have enough done that I wanted to snap some in-use shots. Here's the sample print of the walls for The Garden:

Thankfully, that image is a small enough size, lousy quality and shot at an angle. It helps hide the fact that the printer decided to crap out on me just now, so there's a cyan band through everything I've cut out. Hmph. I'm sure it's something easy to fix, like pulling some ink through the system, but still - what a pain.

That's a shot for size-comparison with some 28mm standees. It's about as small a wall as I can do with TLX posts. It holds together pretty well.

So, sadly, I don't have any good pics to show off yet. I still have some fixing to do with the sheets - the score lines are all but absent, so if you're not super familiar with TLX stuff, it might be hard to score these. Also, I'm going to do a Himmelveil Streets set, and maybe a Himmelveil Canals set, too. Someone on the WWG forums had the right idea that these can be used to lift up docks on the water, so I might do a special kitbash for the Canals set, making a small ramp that leads up the dock. Oh, low steps... that was the other thing I was considering... Basically lopping off the top two steps on a regular stair prop.

I'll still try to get at least one of these sets done by the end of the week, then I'll cool it for the remainder of the month.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

SwiftScenics Thoumont's - not dead! NOT DEAD!

Ugh. I was 'done' with this thing months ago. MANY months ago. But I haven't been able to snap any quality photos of the buildings. As a result, it hasn't been able to push itself past a novelty kitbash. This weekend, I spent some time extracting all the textures so I could take some screenshots from Sketchup. Here are some shots:

I've really tried hard to extract the textures for each peace properly and apply it to geometries that match the real world down to 1/16". It's actually pretty darn time consuming to make these 3d models, but now that I've got them together, I can try some fun stuff. Already, you can see I've started playing with adding standees to the pictures. It's not yet done right, but it's a start. I don't know if the WWG guys will like the renderings or not, but we'll see.

Extracting tile images isn't so bad, so I might try to take some pictures against a Hinterland Forests tileset.

Thoumont's Rounded Gables


Here's a preview pic:

Ok. That's a pretty weak copy-and-paste job, but I'm TIRED! These came out pretty nice, though, so I'm hoping to get some positive feedback from people to know whether I should spend the time making some for other sets.

Two weeks to go in the month, so maybe I'll have a chance to get some of the half-height walls completed and submitted by then. I might try to get a Friar-based set of walls done, specifically because I haven't released any kitbashes for that set yet, and it's really a gorgeous set. It deserves some kitbash lovin'!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Half-height walls are coming

The series of half-height walls I've been wanting to do is now in full swing. I've got templates made for the half-height 2-, 3- and 4-way posts, including their angled variants. I've also got templates made for 3", 6", small and large angled, and arc walls. I'm going to shoot for, I don't know, maybe a set of three walls related to Thoumonts, two related to Himmelveil Streets, maybe one for the Friar set, and one for the Garden set. I'd like to make a set of low walls that look like shrubs too, to support making a "garden maze" kind of thing. They're pretty quick to churn out, but I'll try to do only one set at a time as kitbashes, in case there are comments or criticisms.

After I make cutfiles (sooner rather than later!) I'll snap some pictures of the walls in action.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gables - now with more whimsy!

I had this idea hit me on my way home from work a while back, and it's taken me a bit of work to eke out the time to see it through. I'm not done but the modelling seems sound.

That unnecessarily blurry photo is showing off a new type of gable that can be affixed to a 3" or 6" roof section. Actually, now that I've tried it out, it's a teeny bit wide for a 3" roof section, but I'll be darned if I'm gonna go and redo the whole thing now! Hah! Either let it hang over a bit (which should be OK) or snip the extra corner bits down a little.

I really like how it's turned out so far. It's what I was imagining it would be! Two should fit side-by-side on a 6" roof section, too.

It is a solid piece of geometry - a bit of a pain to get put together, but clearly not impossible. I chose to glue the back in place first, and once that was in place, the front kind of snaps in and stays put. I might try a test build where I've glued the front on first, to see if that's any easier. I suspect it might be, only because the back is sloped.

So, I'm leaving on a couple day vacation, but when I get back, I'll put some Thoumont's and some Feisty Friar textures to work on this baby, and work out some instructions. I'll submit them as two separate kitbashes, since they pertain to two different products.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Secrets of Glenmoore-dahr

The follow up to The Hermit's Shack is going to be a writeup of a new location - The Glenmoore-dahr. It's gonna be a bunch of random background information about an area that can serve as a destination for some adventure. I'm trying to keep all the text game system neutral, with historical notes, possible NPCs etc.

For maps, I think I'll make a hand-drawn map of the wider area, and if I can manage to kitbash some Swamp Woods Village tiles then I'll use the TLX Planner to lay out some stuff.

TLX Roof System Redesign

Having been through the process of kitbashing an ENTIRE TLX roof set, I can say with some authority that they're a pain in the butt. But, what's worse, they're really single-purpose. The trusses have roof textures applied to them, so they can only work with one type of roof. Boo...

What I really want is a set of trusses that can work with ANY roof texture. I've been thinking about this for a while, and here's where I'm at so far.

Rather than having roofs that slip into the sides of the trusses, make it so the tabs on the roofs bend inward, and so they cover the whole truss and slot inward. I tried this on and end truss and a 2-way truss. On and end truss, it was as simple as cutting the slot on the outside rather than the inside of the top of the truss. For 2-way trusses, I redesigned the whole thing so that it assembles easily, and has a slot down the middle of the top, rather than on the sides. Both hold the roof very well, and they don't seem to have any problems with lining up right. The roof pieces required some additional work as well - new template to move the tabs to the right spots, and some cleanup of the textures to fill in the extra area.

It looks promising. If this works out, I will probably try to kitbash the few roof systems that exist to use this system. That will let me interchange roof pieces and trusses however I want.

This also opens up more possibilities. Now, the roof pieces can extend OVER the truss, rather than just being right up to the edge. I'm not sure, but I wonder if I can do a gambrel-style roof by making new trusses and using these modified low roofs...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Encounter: The Hermit's Shack

I cleaned up the layout a bit, and added a cover picture. For the price, I think it's good enough for now, and I can more onto something else. I'm still calling it a "draft" until I get some feedback.

Download The Hermit's Shack (draft 2)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TLX Undercrypt

I have been playing around with the "classic" set Ruined Undercrypt of Kelmarane, and have teased out a couple walls and two sets of floor tiles. I'll post more as I complete them, but here's some samples of the floor tiles:

There are details on the tiles that I'd likely want to clean up - the corners have shadows built into them because the original floors had a very specific layout they were designed for. I can remove that, so they blend better. The greenish floors - there are at least one or two more types of tiles I want to try to make so they are more versatile.

These are almost far enough along for me to make some real tiles from them!