So, these days, 3D prototyping's pretty ubiquitous, but even five or six years ago, it was still cutting edge, sci-fi, whazoo stuff, even though Reaper and I had been hammering out dozens of models since 2001.
A lot of folks didn't know how the process worked, and what it would entail in both costs and resources. So, I spent a lot of time talking to folks from around the world, giving them my take on things.
Thus, it was somewhere in the 2005/2006 era that Rebel Mike and I first made contact. We had a couple emails, a few long phone conversations (Mike can talk ;) ), and I didn't hear much back for a while.
A few years later, in the spring of 2008 or so (time blurs, and I'm getting old), I get another email. It's this Rebel Mike guy again. He has an idea for 15mm scale tanks, and a VTOL aircraft. This was back when I had a few irons in the fire, trying to jumpstart 15mm with my own projects on this side of the pond (GZG had the market cornered on the other side of the Atlantic).
The VTOL was described as a combination of a Huey and the shuttle from Space Above and Beyond, but smooth. Smooth detailing is the emphasis, nothing chunky. So, I come up with this...
Clunky, no? I thought so, too, but Mike greenlighted the project, and away we went.
The "Slick" concept grew into the Saber VTOL once I started modelling it in 3d, a nice model kit that doubled as both infantry carrier and gunship. Here's some of the prototype pics of the Saber, as well as the Earth Force APC...
Mike was rather pleased with the result, and painted up a few...
They sell like hotcakes (the 15mm market was starved for VTOLs at the time). A great relationship was born. I still like the results, even going on four years after initial design.
You can still find the Sabers for sale on Mike's website.
Here's the Saber Troop Carrier.
Here's the Saber Gunship.
And to think it all started with a phone call...