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Author Topic: 3D mech designing?  (Read 1410 times)

grabula

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3D mech designing?
« on: 06 September 2013, 22:22:26 »
hey all, I was perusing ironwind a couple of days ago and I noticed that most everything looks to be hand sculpted.  It's surprising since digital sculpting to 3D printing and so on has become so attainable.  If you look at companies like Wyrd miniatures for example and what they are doing in digital to plastic I'm really surprised this hasn't been looked at harder.  The two special mechs you get in the 25th anniversary edition looked like they may have been?

Anyway I'm just curious why BT minis haven't gone this route yet?

I'm not knocking guys who do it by hand, I do a lot of my own scratchbuilding, but, I feel like the BT line would get a huge boost being digitally sculpted, even if it doesn't go to plastic.
Hexes make me sad...

cavingjan

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Re: 3D mech designing?
« Reply #1 on: 07 September 2013, 18:13:13 »
Been discussed numerous times over the last year. Here is the latest.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,32365.0.html


grabula

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Re: 3D mech designing?
« Reply #2 on: 07 September 2013, 21:03:33 »
Thanks,  this thread can be deleted!
Hexes make me sad...

BirdofPrey

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Re: 3D mech designing?
« Reply #3 on: 08 September 2013, 02:23:00 »
To expand on it a bit.  I am sure most of that is just business inertia.  They've been hand sculpting metal for so long it's just easier to keep doing that.  They have repatedly stated they aren't switching to plastics since it would take too large and investment for their company.

As far as 3D printing goes, they have looked into it and are currently doing a sort of pathfinder project with the Land Air Mechs to test the feasibility of having the masters modeled in CAD and printed. 
Back when the Star League LAMs were fan funded, they originally suggested they wanted to try doing that, but their lack of solid information led to them lowballing the figure massively thinking they could do it on the funds it would take for hand sculpting, but then found out they couldn't.  Several months ago they took another crack at it by doing a kickstarter to fund the WoB LAMs for the same process in collaboration with a 3d printing company near them.  They overestimated the cost that time, so that when they added stretch goals they put the first item at $100 over the funding goal, and even after missing the last stretch goals they seem to be committed to bringing us all the LAMs.

They went with the LAMs because the artwork was done as 3d models by Stephen Huda, who made the models available to IWM, so the sculpting cost was already sunk by Catalyst Games Labs and readily available making it the perfect choice.  The whole thing seems to be a learning experience as I have heard through their postings they have had to make some adjustments to the models a bit to mold right, and the company doing the printing itself needs a bit more experience with the requirements for miniatures since that's not the sort of thing THEY do.

Hopefully things work out and IWM manages to make it feasible to make more of their minis this way; even with their crappy phone camera photos from gencon, you can tell the detail is pretty good, hopefully it translates to the metal.

grabula

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Re: 3D mech designing?
« Reply #4 on: 08 September 2013, 06:03:45 »
I was afraid of that.   I think it was a good step going to a full set of simple rules with alpha strike.   While some of us old  time dont mind the record keeping of cbt it's tough to find large sections of the gaming crowd that wants to put that much effort into it.
the next logical step would be to adapt to 3d design and ultimately better material.   I can see holding of on plastic. .. good plastic that is,  I think its the best way to go long term.

I mentioned this in the other thread but doing a starter type game, call it Alpha Strike delux where you get the rules,  source maybe etc... like the Box set now.  Instead however you get say 8 mechs,  prepainted and assembled, ready to play.   Contents would look like this:

Alpha strike rule book
4 maps
4 dice
4 Draconis Combine painted mechs
4 Jade falcon Clan mechs, painted
record sheets
quick start Dragon vs  Falcon book with a little history and a couple of historical scenarios.

Follow this up with Faction vs Faction kits that come with:
8 prepainted mechs 4 for two different factions
record sheets
2 maps
a versus book like in the main set that includes a little background,  and some scenarios to play.   Maybe include some expanded rules.

You put out the starter kits to get people into the game,  then you well mechs as they are now, though you push for more 'lance' type sets including combined arms force boxes and maybe even larger company sized force boxes since alpha strike can support it more easily.

This all my vaguely sound familiar right?   Because this is the winning combo alley everyone has figured out!   A solid starter set to have people a first taste and then expansion packs our unit boxes and battle forces to really jumpo in with not feet.

Ever since fanpro picked up the rights I feel like while someone wants to put out all this ffort on books  and expand the universe but its all feet dragging when out comes to the miniatures. .. ironically enough for a miniatures game.   I think plaguing it safe is what's slowly killing this game.  When wizkids did MWDA IW and fanpro/catalyst should has new looked at prepainted kits for BT, in plastic.   I think they would have seen a surge in popularity.


P.s. dont malign prepainted minis... any hobbyist understands that prepainted minis are primed and ready to record custom paint jobs while the large portion of non to barely hobbying players can have their cake too.  Its an extremely myopic way to come its otherwise.   It's collectible that would be a huge mistake.
Hexes make me sad...

 

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