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Part 1 – The first steps to making a model kit….

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3D CAD model of the Stasis PodThe first stage in developing and creating any model kit is the concept. A good idea forms the groundwork to the overall finished product. The initial idea for the Stasis Pod came from a variety of scifi sources online and reference model from DAZ3D, and was rooted in all aspects of scifi genre. We knew that a  lot of current model kits are based on either space ships, characters or current fantasy-based TV shows that already had a wealth of content and audience but we wanted to create something new and unique but also had instant appeal.

So our approach was to take something that was easily recognizable across any science fiction or fantasy brand, and be the beginnings of our own range of kits. We chose a Stasis Pod or bio-pod for the first kit as it gave us a range of options for the model builder – clean and pristine or broken and damaged – the model would be able to build and paint this kit in a variety of different ways and dioramas. Once we knew this, a  wealth of build options become available and are appealing for the model maker.

Based on an original model purchased from DAZ3D, we modified and refined this idea into architectural views (side, front, back etc) that we could base the 3D CAD model on. The render we’d purchased was suitable for 3D gaming, but not suitable for the production of a model kit having no depth or structure to the 3D model render files. A lot of time was taken thinking about how the Stasis Pod would function onboard a spaceship; how the door would open, or the control panel would be interfaced with by the crew. We wanted the modeller to be very creative in the way they built the model kit and put a lot of detail and thought into the ways we could provide this.

Captain Concept SheetNext, the design was discussed by a few of the team and we worked in some further ideas – how would be mechanically fit a figure inside, how would the Lighting Kit work – this presented its own problems but more on that later on! Questions arose on the overall build process and how it also affected how the model would be constructed. Although we initially thought the kit would be under 20 parts, it quickly became obvious that more than 35 parts would be needed in the final kits. We finished with 37 key component parts in the model including the clear acrylic parts that such as the door glass or light strips. Each part needed some ‘real world’ thought on how they would be interacted with by a human. We wanted the kit to feel real.

Concept Ship designsAs we worked on the sketches, a backstory was being written about the universe and time period that the kit was coming from. This has now formed the basis of our brand – Hostile Realms™. It was important to us that this kit was not the first, but a range of kits from which we can create other ideas around. We knew that having a variety of content was going to be exciting to our audiences.

In our next blog entry, learn about how we build a 3D CAD model ready for printing.

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