Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Unauthorized Mods, Part 1

CAV, or Combat Assault Vehicle, is the intellectual property of Reaper Miniatures.

It's currently on long-term loan to Jon Walker at Talon Games, who is bringing it back to market.

In May of 2010, I was working up a new concept for CAV, when the announcement of its new management was made

My proposal fell by the wayside before I could pitch it to Reaper Ed.  No worries, since I've been busy as hell since then (thankfully), but I've toyed with my updated versions of the Classic CAVs ever since.

So, here's a case of "what might have been."  I am doing this little revamp of the 70 Dictator as an exercise in staying fresh with my digital sculpting and concept design abilities.

This is not a sanctioned project on behalf of Talon Games or Reaper Minis.  This is just a "digital sketch," for lack of a better term.

Some of the concepts explored in this evolution might make their way into my own designs someday.  Those parts that are not owned by Reaper are my own.  Just so you know.

 The 1/100th Scale Butcher and Dictator 70 models, upscaled from their original CAV models.  I did a full blog post about them here.
 I called this the Davis Joint, after a friend of mine who suggested it.  To me, it provides a good range of motion for a model, while still looking like a flexible bit of gasket protecting the joint's innards.  It has made its way into most of my mech sculpts over the years, in one form or another.

 
 
 
 A walk-around of the 70 Dictator.  This was originally a 1/60th scale model I made under license from Reaper.  They later asked for a down-scaled version of this model, in 1/160th scale, for tabletop use in the game.  This was the crowning jewel of my career for years.

Nice model.  Now, let's chop it up.

 Removing the torso joint.  This was a twist-lock joint, that enabled the large model to come apart for storage and transportation.  It was fused in the 1/160th model.  I have other plans for this section of the mech, so off it comes.

 I start the mods by cutting the hull down the middle.  It was always a touch too thin for me, so I want to expand it.  I split the model using a planar surface like a knife.
 
 Here are a pair of screen shots of the hollow shell of the cloven main hull.
 I extend the edge of the model.
 Then mirror it, and join it to itself.
 Viola, a wider cockpit.  Now it looks a bit too pudgy for the updated look I want.  We'll get back to that.
 I start making major modifications.  Like chopping the mech's head off.  A long, thin boolean rectangle acts like a chisel or guillotine.

 I want that middle section gone, so I create two large blocks, and subtract them from the existing models.
 
 
Again, this update is getting to be too pudgy.

I want sleek, sexy, and streamlined.

So I do some stretching, some tapering, and come up with a look for the main cockpit that I like...
Those side modules on either side of the cockpit are going to have to go.  I have an idea forming.

More to come.

Best,
John Bear Ross
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