Friday, August 8, 2014

2014 Merka Tank Prints

The venerable Merka 5, the mainstay of the Earth Force armored forces, is due for a refit.

It has been a fan favorite for years.  The old hull mold ("mould" for you UK folks) is showing its age, though, and Rebel Mike decided to have it reprinted.

I asked for, and received, permission to revamp the classic digital sculpt.  A few edges were smoothed, a few details reworked, and the side skirts were revamped in a staggered pattern, to give it more of that "Merkava-In-Space" feel.

The turret was left alone, since it still rocks mightily.

We also did a 6mm version of the new hull, along with the turret.

This is why you pay more for high-resolution prints.

Look at that.

You couldn't dream of getting that smooth and crisp detail five years ago.

Truly gorgeous.
 

 Here are some close-up pics of the 6mm Merka, with a 15mm scale Titan Marine for size reference.

 
 
 
 
Here are some more comparison renders of the old and new hulls, side by side.  Ah, I love the sight of "render grey," don't you?  ;)

The reprinted hull and 6mm Merka are off to the mold-makers.  I'll update when they're for sale at Rebel Minis.

Printing by Paul at VisionProto.com
Buy once, cry once, I sez.  The quality is definitely worth the price.

Best,
JBR

Sunday, July 27, 2014

MERCS Combat/Security Droid: The CPP-209

Look at this beauty.
28mm Scale, but he's a big boy.
Over 55mm/2.125" in height.
Let me show you how he came about...

I was tapped by the gentlemen at Mercs Minis (now known as MegaCon Games) to help out with their massive Mercs: Recon. Kickstarter effort from last year.

Them being longtime clients, I readily agreed.

So, I started out with some great Keith Lowe source art.  This isn't going to be a simple "sculpt one side, and mirror the whole thing to be symmetric" build.  I like a challenge.

Here are some preliminaries.  Raw bulk-outs.  Feedback from KS backers was not positive, but that's to be expected.  This is just the beginning.  Tom Mason, a great sculptor in his own right, was my art director on this build, and gave some great guidance and feedback along the way.  Thanks, Tom.

Here's an old blog of Tom's to show off his sculpting.

Here's his Twitter feed.
 
 
 

Then, First Wave of detailing.  The feet have been reworked, and initial paneling is done on the main hull.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Then, Second Wave.  I started offsetting render settings to show the contrast between parts.  The midsection have me a little bit of trouble, trying to make a segmented transition that flowed well and didn't tear molds.

 
 
 
 
 

Third Wave.  Grilling and final panel lines are here, and main armor configurations are finalized.  The front sensor array/logo needs rework.

 
 
 
 
 
 



Ready For Final Approval.  Lots of little detailing, grilling, paneling, and polishing.

I really like how this guy has turned out.  Exploded views are for clarity for the client.  The final pose will be fused from the waist down.

 
 
 
 
 
 


And Final Posing.  One leg was to be offset, for a more menacing pose.
Something about "20 seconds to comply," or some such, I don't know.  ;)

Final height of this bad boy is about 55mm, or about 2 and 1/8 inches tall.  He'll make a fine "Two Inch Terror," if you're so inclined.

I am grateful to Megacon Games for trusting me to put my own stamp on some great concept work.

This design hearkens back to a classic design, but definitely stands on its own.  Sinister, cobra-like, and menacing.

I'm very proud of this.  More updates on this as printing and production happen.

I'm slammed with sculpting projects and real life, so this update will be up for a week or so, barring any breaking news.

Best,
JBR