Wing Commander Tallahassee Cruiser

Discussion in 'Gaming & Toys' started by Resurrected Hobbyist, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    If you've been following my F-103 Excalibur project thread, you've seen that I've been bouncing all over the place with it. Well that's because I grossly over-estimated my skills/under-estimated the demands of the project. Originally I was aiming to design, build, paint, and install lighting effects on a 16" model of the Excalibur. And while I'm at it let me go work to achieve the top 10% performance of pole-vaulters. It's not that it's not possible, but it's so far beyond what I am currently capable of achieving that the development path went from being a path to being Snake Way from DBZ.

    So I tried stepping back and doing a more scaled back project and went to try and take the paper-craft model for a 2" vampire and upscale that to scratch build a F-109 vampire. Well the big challenge here is the scale of the original template. I'm not 100% certain about this, but it looks like the template is built directly from the in-game model and templates. Well this is the point where the age of WCP comes to be a problem. The textures just don't scale well and a great deal of detail is lost in the process. I've reached out to DefianceIndustries to see if he can hook me up with a PNG of the textures for his High-def Vampire. He said he'd be happy to but timing kind of sucks at the moment so it would need to wait a while.

    Well then I tried doing a full scratch build of a simpler fighter and looked at the Hornet. I was able to do a lot of work on developing the template for it... right up until I realized the meassurements I have been taking weren't accounting for 3 Dimensions. On the Excalibur that wasn't a huge issue because of the way the Excalibur was designed. The couple times it would be relevent were fairly miner. On the Hornet... yeah basically 3/4 of the meassurements I had taken are probably incorrect.

    So as you can see I've made a lot of extra work for myself and it gets frustrating. So I decided to take a step back and work with something that already had a template. Did some looking and found templates for Broadside, The Dralthi, the Arrow, The banshee, and a hand full of others. For whatever reason none of them caught my attention.

    Then I stumbled on a template of the Tallahassee Cruiser. Initially I was going to just stick it in my library but then I looked at it a bit closer and realised there is some more potential for the otherwise fairly simple model. So I decided to make an enlarged version and prototype it. In this case the template was intended to build a model that's about 2.5 to 3" long so I upscaled it to about 12" and then did a rough build in cardboard. This gives me a good idea of size and spacing and also some problem points in building a more up-scale version of the ship.

    [​IMG]
    This is the finished rough model. For a quick build it turned out rather well. But there are some problems with it, some of them because of how I built it and others because I used something a lot thicker then a single sheet of card stock to build. The first thing is that I built the model from front to back and then bottom to top. Having built the model once, I would completely reverse that and build it from top to bottom, back to front. The front is largely enclosed and self supporting, while the back with the bridge, engines and several sections all joining together is more dependent on components joining together properly to support other components.

    [​IMG]
    The bridge of the model is a good example of this. Since I built the main hull block before the bridge block the bridge didn't line up quit right with the top of the hull. Where has if I had built the bridge first, and then used that to brace the main body, it would have lined up better.

    [​IMG]
    The tail end of the model is a similar issue, though for other reasons. In this case, it's because the model used 3 components, two with some very small parts to them, to assemble this construct that is intended to affix to the back and basically wrap around the bottom of the main hull. Next time these 3 parts are getting re-designed to be stronger and be used to help shore up the contours of the model.

    [​IMG]
    The top hull of the model seems a bit odd as it seems to be wider then the lower hull. Intially I thought I had built the model wrong, but upon closer inspection I found that, no I hadn't. It is actually designed that way.

    However I did make a couple modifications to this model out of the gate:

    [​IMG]
    There is a block on the top of the forward prow that looks like it's a landing platform or a swappable module area or similar idea.

    So version 1.0 under my belt I moved on to a version 1.5:
    [​IMG]

    In this case I'm working to adapt and modify the build to address the problems I encountered during the version 1.0 so just as a refresher the majority of issues I encountered in the first build I felt could be address by changing the order in which I built the model.

    As you can see the lower assembly and bridge all fit much better with the rear assembly. To help with planning I modified the template part to have several sections named, which you can see with the rear assembly (And yes I didn't account for the part being printed 'upside down') the bridge, and the under carriage. I also re-designed the section in the back, between the engine blocks to be one large part that connects directly to the under carriage. This tightened it all up very nicely.

    With the forward prow I like wise started working in a different direction then when I first built. In stead of building from the front back, I am working from top down:
    [​IMG]
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  2. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    And plowing onto version 2.0 now. I've addressed many of the hickups and issues I encoutnered with the 1.5 version. The single biggest change I made in this version is the flight deck. In the prior version the flight deck, or at least what is suggested to be a flight deck, was built out of 2 parts that were then attached to the rear of the rear assembly. In this version I've built an internal structure that stuck out the back.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the flight deck mounted in what will become the rear assembly. Those white step blocks are the engine inserts. Building the flight deck like this also helps to reinforce the structure of the rear assembly.
    [​IMG]

    I'm also working on adding additional details. As I'm sure we're all aware the original in-game models as used in Heart of the Tiger are painfully simplistic and dull looking. So I've been hopping around and collecting immages of the Tallahassee to find inspiration of new details to build and incorporate into the model. The WC Saga models have been proving particularly helpful in this regard. I do have to say that the Tallahassee models from WC Saga doesn't exactly match the style of the WC3 Tallahassee. So I'm kind of picking and choosing what details to incorporate into the model. The first such effort can be seen here.
    [​IMG]

    And that brings me to a rather sizable problem: Basically I lost my source file with all my resized parts and info for resizing parts. Remember the original template was for model that would about 2 inches long which this model is about 12" long so there is a fair bit of scaling. Well I lost the source file I assembled with all my notes and information in it. And while I know I had scans of the original plans that I used for guides to build the new parts from, I do not know what the resolution of those original scans was. Hence why the inner body is exposed like it is. In the short term this is actually a good thing. My ultimate end-goal with this project is to built thel in styrene and apply some lighting effects. So this gives me a good means for planning out component placement.

    And speaking of components, one of the improvements I made in this version is the inclusion of a... um... main deflector? Big blue light. The big blue light thing. I added that. Sort of. My originaly intention for building and mounting it didn't work out quit like I thought it would. But that's the entire reason I'm doing this builds first. So I can make this particular screw ups and learn from them.
    [​IMG]

    I used a new method of mounting the neck to the rear assembly. Nothing terribly complex, but I used parts from the neck to form plates that provides some good contact area and reinforcement for where the parts come together.
    [​IMG]
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  3. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    It's good to see someone take a standing of where they are at and be honest about it. I have over reached many times myself. I would advise to be careful with the seams. You are using very thick cardboard. That thick, I would bevel the edges at 45 degrees to the match seamlessly. A lot depends on whether you are going to paint and use filler. Always choose a surface and end there flush, those corners are hard to fill, and you're doing so much of the hard work while cutting, make the edges meet flush. Choose a direction and stick with it. It will be much more uniform in the end. Definitely not enough "Wind Commander" models. Great choice of subject! :)
  4. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator Moderator

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    I fully understand over reaching on a particular project as well. I too have done that a time or two.

    Back in 2013, I posted a tutorial on what I called "PAPER PUTTY". I got the original idea from my grandfather, who would gather up all of the sawdust that he would create after wood working. He would then mix it with wood glue and make a "putty" out of it to fill in cracks and problem areas. So, I decided to try the same, but used paper dust (from sanding paper into a dust) and mixing it with white glue (to the thickness and consistency that I needed). Here is the link to the thread: http://www.zealot.com/threads/paper-putty.173697/
    I hope that it will help you with filling in gaps and cracks in your models.

    I wish you the best of luck with this project. I will be following this thread to see how it turns out!
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  5. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    As far as the Cruiser goes, the cardboard is just for cost of development. My intended end result is a styrene model with some lighting effects. I'm just using the cardboard because it's cheap, readily availability and works somewhat the way that Sheet styrene does so I get a good idea of sizes and problem areas. When I get to the point of building the styrene model I'll be using filler putties and scraps to fill in spaces as needed.

    hmm paper putty. I've done the wood putty thing a couple times before but never considered 'paper putty'. I'll check that out. thanks.
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  6. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    You'll run into the exact same problems in styrene. Also, you could have done that model in 110 card stock, and the fit would not have been as crucial, and easier to fix. The thickness of the material will matter whether you make it of wood, plastic, bricks, either way, that is a major component of modeling. Putty should be used for covering mistakes that could not be helped, covering seams, not for filling in over huge gaps on models that were not planned out. You may find working with models that have bulkheads a good way to learn how to fit seams. If you make the bulkheads straight, squared up and true to form, you will then understand how you can fit edges together and end up with something presentable.

    I am posting a picture of the ship, because to be honest, I couldn't tell howit looked. I look forward to your styrene version. ;)

    Attached Files:

  7. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Addendum:

    I really look forward to your styrene model. Your construction techniques, etc. I like styrene, as you can make really great flying aircraft out of it. I would also like to learn how you do the graphics, painting etc. Sounds like an interesting project to follow. :)
  8. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    um... okay. Well First thing, that image is actually from the fan produced game Wing Commander Saga. Second, the template I'm working from is actually based on the in-game model from Wing Commander 3 which had very many details not present and frankly only barely referenced.

    This is the in-game model:
    [​IMG]

    and just to really trip folks out, this image is assembled using the in-game graphic mesh for the model:
    [​IMG]

    kind of helps put things in perspective to see how big... er tiny, the mesh files were for the game.

    Third... um... why did you post the image again?
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  9. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    I double posted the image I posted by accident, otherwise, I have only one picture posted. I like the pic you posted much much better. It just looks all around better. It's hard to work from Tiny meshes. What kind of software are you using? I may be able to make the meshes bigger for you, depends on the format. ;)
  10. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    my printer, a ruler and pencil.
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  11. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Old school! Cool! I have lofted many sips, with only one more addition, string. It's nice seeing some really fabricate something from scratch. I am a Master Machinist, and a Tool and Dye maker, I also program CNC machines, and do CAD. I started with blocks of titanium, aluminum, Aromatic Polymide Fibers suspended in a proprietary composite solidified epoxy (like Kevlar) and made Helicopters parts just using a Bridgeport miller, and rotary table, and blueprints, of course. Later I started programing and designing fixtures, and the parts program. The basis of making stuff from scratch really put me ahead of other people who could not see something made in their head, and a path toward it.

    I look forward to you styrene models, I have made many a glider using styrene, something I may get into again. I started out the way you are doing now, and the oldest model I have, which came out perfectly, is still in my possession. Just a little Sharpie sailboat of the one I owned. Made from scratch, like your doing, it is my favorite model. :)
  12. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    So have a bit of a so-so update. I am continuing this project... sort of. My summer semester is proving to be nigh-hellish as I'm talking System Analysis, Introduction to Information Systems and Network Security Fundimentals this semester, and the first two of those classes are regarded as the most demanding classed in this program under normal circumstances. And I'm taking the 8 week version of them where they are normally 16 week classes. So I do not have the time right now to commit to this project beyond what I did today. Which was take a break from class work before I decided to gouge my own eyes out so I wouldn't need to look at one more DFD or RAD diagram.

    So what am I doing? Well, I'm sort of starting over... kind of. As I mentioned previously I lost the file that had all the notes for scaling so I couldn't finish the last version of the model I was working on. Well, I desided to take the first steps and go big or go home! I went back to the drawing board and re-scaled all of the parts. How big did I make them? Well... here's an example:
    SAM_3954.png

    Here you can see the previous model laid ontop of the page that has the part for the left side of the forward prow. You can see the prow itself is nearly as long as the entire previous model. If my numbers are correct this should turn out to be about 24 1/4" long when it's built. I'm going for a large model to push myself, and to give myself a good canvas for 'developing' details and materials for it. Remember my ultimate end goal is to have a ship on a base with lights. Going for this large of a model give me space to work with.

    For the cardboard verison I'm marking down lots and lots of meassurements as well.
    SAM_3953.png

    But as I mentioned, my class load is rather demanding this semester. So work is going to be sparcefor at least the next 4-5 weeks. We'll see how my work load is after that.
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  13. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    So I took a few hours off from... well every thing today to do some work on the big verison of the Tallahassee.
    SAM_3955.JPG

    I think this shot makes a good effort at showing the size difference. The prior version is about 11" long (show on the left) while this large version will be abound 24" long. Seeing the fully assembled smaller verison, along side the partly assembling engineering section for the large version I think helps show the difference really well. I've been including meassurments in the parts as an element of planning so I can go back and develop new details, design new parts etc. As an example, I'm thinking about how I can build the engines so that they are A-lighted, and B- have a distinct structure to the glow when I get around to building the finished model. Knowing that the smaller engines are 12mm by 12mm helps me keep track of sizes and area to work with.
    SAM_3959.JPG
    This is an an example of something I should have thought about when I was laying out the parts for the flight dech, but sadly I did not. What I could have done is built up the internal structure of the flight deck to support the forward section of the engineering section. Oh well, this is why I'm doing this in cardboard. Try, screw up, understand, and develop.

    SAM_3962.JPG
  14. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    The thickness of the cardboard would allow you to put it on a hard straight edge, and file a 45 degree angle, to make the ends fit seamlessly. Just thought I'd through that out there. :)
  15. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    You've told me that before and every time I'm tried that all I wind up doing is destroying the edge and having to clean up a pile of dirt. Do you have a tutorials or a video that shows the process or anything?
  16. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    You would have to use Machinists files. The trick is to have a good eve, make a cardboard piece with a 45 degree angle, and have the end of the part you are sanding on the end of a table or some other straight end. You run the Machinists files along the end, you don't go up and down, the angle of the files edge with take off the paper. Sometimes, if the cardboard delaminates easily, you glue the edge with a glue that dries hard, this will then allow for better control of flaking and dust. You can do the same thing with a block of wood and fine sand paper on it. Whatever you use must be of a fine grain. This will give you really sharp edges that will seal tightly and have more surface area for the glue to hold onto. It's a trial and error thing that would improve your seams greatly. If this is a "mule" for a styrene project, then it might now be worth the effort. Of course, if you did the edges like I explained, you could bond the styrene to the cardboard model, using as an "armature" of sorts,, you would end up with a incredibly robust model. :)
  17. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    Zathros... you really need to learn how to evaluate your audiance. I understood... eh... maybe a third of what you just said. What are Machinists files and what makes them different from say jewler files? what does delaminate mean? What sort of glue are you suggesting? How fine are we talking? 2500? higher? What do you mean by 'mule'? I don't understand what you explained so I have no idea what you are talking about when you reference an armature.
  18. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    O.K., Machinists Files usually come in a 6 pack (or more), at any fine tool sore or you can fine a nice collection at Amazon. They will have a small flat file, round file, files that do not file on the edge, a nice assortment, you will understand their uses when you have them in your hand, and will probably never be without them afterwards. I probably have 30 or so in my shop. I have odd curved ones, 40 or 50 years old, that I never see for sale anymore. You can find this stuff at Tag Sales, if you look hard, and find the right kind, usually an Estate sale. See pic below*.

    Sometimes, some cardboard is made of different layers pressed together, and you file the edge, the layers come apart, or leave a lot of "fuzziness". This can be manged two ways, by either some light moisture, to gethe fussy strands to bond back with some paper, as far as glue goes, that depends on what you can personally tolerate. You going to be gluing the edges anyways, so only if the layers came apart, would this be an issue, and I would suggest using a different cardboard, or laminating 110 lb. card stock.

    A "Mule', is a test model, or what you intend to make as a final product. I have designed a few recumbent bikes, and always made a "mule, something I could cut up and weld, to get the final dimensions, so when I made the final one, it could be more finished looking.

    An "armature", is something that you use to build off of. In electronics, it is the core of an electric motor before it is wrapped (or afterwards, depending about ow you are referring to it). Artists use "armatures**" to make clay models for animation. Sometimes people will make an armature of a model, then glue on finished pieces, so as when you look at the finished product, you have no idea that it is held together with bailing wire and hay. Essentially, an armature is a core, that is at the center of something, usually that moves, but now necessarily, an armature acts as a guide to model something also.

    Google this stuff, and you will find man varied, and useful answers to these very basic concepts, more than I could possibly put down here, it will save you lots of time, and effort.

    All my responses are directed at the average audience of this forum. I don't go way out there, I could, but I don't. We could discuss the elastomeric properties (the ability of an object to retain it's original shape after deforming forces are applied) of what you are building, and does it need to be so stoutly built, I think you could go with much thinner material and achieve the same results, if not better, and it's easier to cut too. IMHO :)

    *machinist files
    machiist files.jpg

    **one type of armature

    pro_armature.jpg
  19. Resurrected Hobbyist

    Resurrected Hobbyist New Member

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    Yeah... I'm not in that average. My expierence with model design and building is... "I glue the template to the cardboard, I cut the cardboard, I glue the cardboard. Cutting is easier with an exacto-blade then with scissors so I use an exacto blade. White glue is less frustrating then super-glue so I use white glue." And... yeah that's about it. The entire rationale behind my Resurrected Hobbyist brand is "Here is how I f*cked up. Here is what I learned from that."
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2018
  20. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    It's never too late to step up your game. Use UHU brand glue, it won't water damage your parts, or Aleene's glue, and Zip Dry for the tough stuff.

    Please watch out with the swearing, we have a family oriented form :)