3D printing is growing both in the areas of industry and as a hobby. Many tabletop gaming players dream of getting a 3D printer and printing up all the models they’ve always wanted.
While that may be possible for some, most 3D printing hobbyists can’t afford to by the level of printer that it takes to print models for games like BattleTech. Most of the 3D printers available to consumers are not suited for that kind of detailed printing. That’s not to say that these printers aren’t capable of some amazing things, but usually models in the BattleTech game scale are not something they can handle.
So what kinds of things can consumer level 3D printers do? In the roughly six months that I’ve been into the 3D printing hobby, I’ve printed some pretty cool stuff. Statues, terrain, Pokemon, and more. There are a ton of things to do with a 3D printer if you take the time to learn how they work. I don’t know near everything about 3D printing, and I’m having a great time with it.
This dwarf statue is but one example of what you can make with a 3D printer.
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through Thingiverse, which is an amazing website full of free 3D printable files that creators have uploaded to the website to share with the community.
As I was browsing I found the page of creator LordNova2 who had shared a couple of really cool MechWarrior and BattleTech related designs. Among those designs was a Clan Ghost Bear medallion. Being a Ghost Bear at heart, I had to download it right away.
And then, I completely forgot about it, until a few nights ago.
One of my 3D printers (I have two) had just come off a big project I was working on, and I decided to print something fun. I thought I would share the process that followed my decision.
Some of you might have seen this thread on the official forums where user Ion Raptor has been working on a mobile 1/5th scale replica of a Ghost Bear Warhawk prime. I asked him what gave him the idea for this. He answered:
“The idea was from a sad lack of BattleTech costumes besides the occasional pilot cooling suit. The MW4 Warhawk itself was chosen because of its blocky and imposing design. The prime variant was a product of finding shipping tubes the perfect size for PPCs. The Ghost Bear scheme came from the pilot figure I bought, which was a Max Steel toy that happened to have grey and blue shorts on. If I ever do one again it will either be much smaller or through commission so that logistics are someone else’s problem.”
The Invasion of Rasalhague reenacted at Gencon 2014
Even though it was decades ago, I’ll never forget the Saturday morning where I became forevermore helplessly, HOPELESSLY addicted to large military robots. I have since developed a bit of ‘flowery’ disdain for the bastard chimera that is the Robotech saga, but I am at least nostalgic that it was the vehicle with which I first was introduced to Supredimensional Fortress Macross.
It was 1985. I was eight years old, and until then Saturday morning cartoons consisted mainly of an assortment of Hasbro toy advertisements and video game tie-ins. Anime was and would continue to be very sparse (though much of it was animated in Japanese studios). Transformers (of the aforementioned Hasbro adverts) had a very strong effect on me for getting turned on to big stompy bots.
And then Robotech showed up; which took the transformable robot thing and showed that “hey- people can drive these things dammit!”. The VF-1 Valkyrie in all its flavors (which became the Wasp, Stinger,Phoenix Hawk and their LAM equivalents), was NOT a nae indestructible machine like the Transformers were (until half of them got spawn-fragged in the animated movie the following year). They, at least the tan-colored ones popped like zits throughout the show. But they had it easy compared to the thrashings the poor Destroids received.
Three variant Valkyrie variable fighters; originally used as the Wasp, Stinger, and Phoenix Hawk ‘mechs.
Fan films have been around a lot longer than YouTube has. In fact I remember downloading a number of them from the likes of WinMX and Kazaa. Well over a decade is long enough to put together a fine assortment of good, and not so good work. Fan films generally fall under two varieties: music videos set to mainly MechWarrior videogame stock footage, and the far less common scratch-made films like you see for the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises. I’ll be focusing on the latter.
This first film is a stock video type, using scenes from the films Stealth, Matrix Revolutions (for some reason), Space Battleship Yamato, and of course footage from the opening to MechWarrior IV. The war poem is Lay the Down MechWarrior read by George Ledoux and written by Glen Byrum. It is superbly written and performed; I believe originally for advertisements for MechWarrior IV Mercenaries.
“Red Bone Run” was featured on the No Guts No Galaxy broadcast, and features a Panther, Bushwacker and a couple of tanks who discover a rogue Smoke Jaguar Timberwolf from a downed DropShip. Straight forward and right to the point. The ‘Mechs are rendered well, and the art style is heavily lined and stylized, giving everything an almost embossed appearance. The pilots seem flat and out of place though. Sound effects and music are well done and scored in-house.
“Red Bone Run” Timberwolf having words with an enemy Bushwacker
I know I talk about him a lot, mainly because of how much he’s involved in. Let’s face it; Tony Scroggins is good at networking. Almost as good as he is at designing custom Reseen Marauders. He always seems to be working with somebody on something.
I emailed him on Piranha’s contest last week, and unknowingly unleashed the Kraken upon the contest. You can see here in the official contest thread that there is mainly positive feedback when he said he’d enter himself. Not to belittle anyone’s artwork, if you look on Deviant art, there is probably as much high quality fan art as there is professional work. So Scroggins entering is probably blowing the Bell Curve.
Scrogginized MAD in 3D.
Judging by his popularity though, I don’t think too many people mind. Thanks to RAGoody via Reddit.
I would SO try my hand at this if I were not involved artistically with another, non-BattleTech related subject. If you can pencil, use a 3D rendering program, or even sculpt, you can try your hand at Piranha Games’ MechWarrior: Online Marauder redesign contest. I’m hyped at this not just because the Marauder is one of my all-time favorite ‘Mech designs (and that goes back to the Glaugg Officer’s Combat Pod design from Superdimensional Fortress Macross), and not because the reseen version looks…. well not bad, but definitely not like a Marauder should.
Not a bad design at all, but doesn’t look like a GM model body revamp either.
No, What I would like to see take to the field is the unholy offspring between the Piranha artists signature blocktastic look and Anthony Scroggins’ version of the venerable ‘mech. I even emailed him to make sure he knew this was going on. I don’t think he’d be eligible, and it really wouldn’t be fair to most other fans if he was. But the Marauder is one of his favorites too, and would like to see him get involved somehow.
Submissions must be in before November 10th 2013, at 11:59PM PST, and you also need a MW:O account on the website. Voting begins on November 13th.
It will be interesting to see what people come up with.
Tis time I have a twofer interview; Chris Gotcher and the Shimmering Sword himself, Anthony Scroggins. We havequite a bit to cover this time so I’ll jump right in.
Ron: Greetings, gents. I’ve been following your work, and been hearing some cryptic, teasing glimpses of some side projects between you both, especially with ‘Mech Engineering Quest. Though I was never involved, I have seen a few non-canon BattleMech designs here and there, and was wondering if you would tell me a bit about Engineering Quest and your current projects.
The Duchy of Andurien- Someone was watching Mirror-Mirror when they created this flag.
Anthony: Mech Engineering Quest is pretty self-explanatory, players got together a role played a design into existence. I was the first choice for having it visualized, but the job went instead to someone willing to work for free, which is definitely understandable.
Chris: Well Mech Engineering Quest was a group RPG organized by “Anontech” and focused on the life of Mech Engineer Danny Holdt; the obsessive-compulsive, insomniac, coffee, and cigarette-fueled new lead designer for Skvorec Armorworks. Skvorec was a Marik startup in 3040 not much better than a Solaris chopshop in the Reaches, but with room to explode with military rebuilding from the Andurien War.
I was on the main forum about a week or so ago when I ran into a thread dating back to April regarding a MechWarrior comic from IDW Publishing – the outfit behind the new generation Transformers comics. After pulling my socks back on I emailed the media relations department to see if the book was still in production, on course for an October release, and being written by John Barber as per the IGN article. This will be the first professional BattleTech franchise comic to my knowledge since the 1994 tie in to the animated series; BattleTech: Fallout.
Ahh, Fallout. Even in the 90s they managed to capture that 80s look.
Welcome back to part two of my spotlight on home simpits. In the course of my investigation I came to meet Night Reaper; whom I covered in the previous article. He had quite a bit to say on the subject, so I decided to expand the coverage of home simpits. Apparently with an eye out for freebies and some ingenuity, a home ‘mech cockpit might not be so far-fetched for your home.
Ron: What possessed you to put a pit together?
NR: I was a huge fan of Mechwarrior 2 and 3 way back when. So when MekTek released MW4 for free and not long after Mechwarrior Online was first announced, I couldn’t stop talking about it. Around that time, my son (who was 19 at the time) bought the Steel Battalion game and controller and brought it home to play on his old Xbox. He didn’t like the game that much, but I loved that controller and found that it can be hacked to work with Windows. A couple of days later, I saw that my neighbor was discarding a couple of large pieces of framed OSB; “chipboard” which had been a failed attempt at a workbench or something.