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May 2009 19

40k Leman Russ

Hobbies Warhammer

Leman Russ 08
Latest Render

While my Tau Hammerhead is coming along nicely, I needed a bit of a break from it.  I decided to model something from either the Imperial Guard or Space Marines codex.  I don't have either army, but I do have a Leman Russ that I was planning on turning into an Ork battlewagon..  So it seemed like the natural choice for modeling..

The model is still in pieces which as actually a boon because I can hold and model each part individually and then assemble them.. or at least I hope its that easy..

As with the hammerhead I plan to show a render of the model for every 4 hours (or so) of work.

Note: This post will be updated a lot as I work on this model.

Leman Russ 01
Leman Russ 01

First 4 hours -- Believe it or not, that's 4-ish hours there.   I wanted to take advantage of instancing for all the bolts and rivots as well as the spiral lathe for the springs.. took me a bit to figure that out..

What's nice is, there is actually only ONE rivet and only ONE bolt assembly.  They are then instanced into the 8 bolt assemblies, and 90+ rivets you see here.  This means all I have to do is adjust one rivet, or one bolt and the others will match.. Or more importantly, texture only one and you texture them all.. Yay!

This mesh promises to be WAY cleaner than the Hammerhead mesh which at this point I'm embarrassed by..

Leman Russ 02
Leman Russ 02

+2 hours -- Okay I have added more features and details to the side of the hull.. The two side doors are open to the world now, as well as adding various other bits and greebles.  I'll add doors later, as well as adding the sponson which can be used or not depending on the vehicle I actually want..  (Lots of different vehicles in the 40k universe use the same basic body.)  I have also started working on the track which I have to figure out how to correctly shape itself around the hull.  I know Modo has an ability to do this, but not sure what it is..  I may have to poke around on the forums to figure this one out..  (Note: the track is currently WAY undersized, I realizes this and it will be fixed)  All in all it's going wonderfully.. I'm enjoying this quite a bit!

Leman Russ 03
Leman Russ 03

+6 hours -- or maybe even a bit more..  So for this addition you'll note that there hasn't been a huge addition.. but it took a long time..  That's due to the tank track.. Holy crap I want to club a baby seal..  It took me ages to get the tracks in place and working.

I ended up having to do the entire thing by hand since the path instancing tool in modo just doesn't work as advertised.  I followed all the tutorials I could find and none of them work.  It's a really simple process too, but the results were completely wrong each time, OR the application would just crash..   It really irritated me to no end..

But at this point the tracks are in place and ready to go, as well as having the room to put in the roadwheels and what not behind the scenes, which I will do next.   Once I get those in place I can start adding the main body..  That or working on a sponson.. not sure which yet

Leman Russ 04
Leman Russ 04

+3 hours -- I finally completed the back/inner side of the tread housing.. The sides of the tank are pretty much complete at this time, sans the sponsons and texturing.. gleee   The more I look at the track the more I think they are a bit too thin.. I'll have to beef them up a tad, but in order to do that I have to redo them all the way around the housing.. Ugh.. I'll get to it..

I have instanced and mirrored the main side in order to see an opposite.. I'm trying to figure out about how far apart they should be for the tank innards to fit..   This render also signals a slightly different render style from the others.. I'm adding in the ambient occlusion data for the render in order to give the image a more gritty film look..  Fun fun!

Leman Russ 05
Leman Russ 05

+2 hours -- Roughing out the hull!  Well I have the basics of the hull roughed out..  Now for the painful process of multiplying every single edge around the entire thing to soften them a tad.  I typically would edge bevel everything but that's just about the worst way to actually do it apparently..

Once I get the hull to subdivide the way I want/need it to such that it maintains the shape while providing clean lines I'll start working on the hull mounted cannon.   I haven't forgotten the sponsons or the track fix.. I'll get to it.

At this point I'm not sure the best way to go about subpatching the hull.. I have tried a couple things and the results were never very good..  I'm going to post on the Luxology forums and see if they have any advice.. most the folks over there are stupidly gifted when it comes to this stuff.. someone is bound to have an idea..

Leman Russ 06
Leman Russ 06

+5 hours -- I spent today touching up a lot of things with the russ.. The tracks are looking a lot better now.  I thickened them up quite a bit, though you really can't tell that via the render.. they are actually twice as thick as they were before..

I haven't quite decided what I want to do about the hull with regards to rounding and what not.. My traditional method is to edge bevel instead of subpatch.. but subpatching looks way way better..  So I dunno..  I'll probably just bevel this one too.. Either way, while thinking about that I went ahead and created the sponson and the bolter.. It's just about 100% accurate, but looks kinda plain.. There aren't a lot of details on there.. I might have to spice it up a tad..

I did create the 40k Imperial Aquila though.. I figured if I'm gonna have it on there its not going to just be a texture.. It's gonna be modeled onto the tank.  I'll have to put it in a bunch of places so I figured I might as well do a good job of it..   Came out quite nicely I think..

40k Imperial Aquila 01
40k Imperial Aquila 01

+2 hours -- I have completely redone the 40k Imperial Aquila.  The version that is in the 06 picture is good, and actually better looking than the one on the model, but my buddy who knows about these things explained how it was still wrong. So with that I completely redid it using an even more accurate picture to make the model.

I went WAY over board heh.. Each Aquila has over 3k polygons..  That's more than the entire sponson.. Bolter and all..

Leman Russ SDS Example 01
Leman Russ SDS Example 01

+6 hours -- Thanks to the information provided by folks like Michael Blackboum and Richard Hurrey I am going through and adding the edges necessary to correctly subpatch the body of the Leman Russ..

It's a lot of work.. basically for each edge becomes roughly 7 edges.. (hard to explain that without pictures.. but just believe me.. )  So its a lot of polygon slicing..  The main point of which will be to give the hull a "real" look.   I could have just beveled all of the hard edges but that starts to a ) fail at certain intersections and b ) look less real as you zoom in.

Consider is this;  Imagine if you will two polygons intersecting at a 90 degree angle.  In reality nothing short of a razor blade has an edge like the one those two polygons have now created..  it just doesn't look real.  By adding a bevel you can make it look more real, but as you zoom into that bevel the polygons become apparent..    But by subdividing as you zoom in the renderer automagically generates more and more polygons.. so it always looks smooth..  That's a win for me.

Simply put, it looks more "real"..  This has been a trail let me tell you, but now that I understand the concept I'll be doing all my models this way I think.. The results just look a lot better..

Leman Russ 07
Leman Russ 07

+3 hours -- Okay I have finished completely subdividing the hull of the tank and then went on to build the front little window hatch also using subdivison and subpatches.. It will take some getting used to but I can really see the power of doing things this way..

Now that I am not fixing parts of the model I had already created, I can now go on to actually continue creating stuff..  Next I plan to make the front turret..  Fun stuff!

Leman Russ 08
Leman Russ 08

+4 hours -- I have added the nose cannon as well as making some modifications to the sponsons bolter..  The new gun is completely subdivided and looks pretty good.  It looks like its too big to me but all my measurements assure me it's the right size..   Maybe it wont look so out of place once I get the top turret in place.

There is a lot of stuff going on in the back of the tank that I have yet to even start on.. I'll probably start tackling that next.

Leman Russ 09
Leman Russ 09

+2 hours -- I have been putzing around with several things for this update..   Firstly you'll note a color change in my render.. heh I was goofing off with the light and environment settings to see what I could come up with..   I'll probably keep playing with that so .. expect some differences..

Further, I roughed out the top turret housing and started working on that.. It doesn't look to scale to me.. it looks small, but all my measurements say its correct..  shrug   I have also started adding detail to the rear of the vehicle.. Lots of work to do there..  I'm gonna begin on hatches and things first..

I have also been designing and pondering a couple animations with this and other 40k elements.. One of them deals with a drop pod which I need to model..

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