SU-152 Tank Destroyer

Published on May 22, 2011 Hobbies 3d graphics, Tank « Prev Next »

SU 152 -- Current Render
SU 152 – Current Render

I have been playing a lot of World of Tanks lately – more specifically, I have been playing the Soviet Tank Destroyers and I finally got into the tier 7 vehicle;  The SU-152.   I liked the look of the vehicle enough that I thought it would be fun to model one up.

I also thought I would twist this project up a bit and do two things I haven’t done before;

  • I will be creating this model in 1 hour increments, and will only spend a grand total of 10 hours on it. *At the end of 10 hours, I will release this model to the wild for free.

Now I may work on the model more than 10 hours once things are all said and done, but my goal is to get the model mostly done in that 10 hour period and release it.  Anything I do beyond the 10 hour period is mine =)

Also, I will say that as far as WoT goes, the SU-85 is much more fun to play and will likely also get a model from me once I get this 152 bug out of my system.

So with that here we go.

SU 152 -- Hour 1
SU 152 – Hour 1

Hour 1 – Setup and Initial shape

The first hour I spent setting up my backdrop images that I would be using to model this sucker as well as creating the basic lighting rig, and render settings.

Once I got all that crap out of the way (and I’m not sure it was fully fair of me to count that as part of the 10 hours.. but I did..) I started on the basic shape of the vehicle and had hoped to get a lot farther along than I did.

SU 152 -- Hour 2
SU 152 – Hour 2

Hour 2 – Refine basic shape

The second hour I spent getting the main body to match up with the backdrops and to get all the curvy bits to curve, and the straight bits to be straight.   The body you see is still synchronous along the x axis, but wont be for long.  Again I had hoped and planned to get more done in the second hour.

These hours are going by fast!  I wrote out a plan of what I thought I could get done in each hour and I’m failing to make the mark.

SU 152 -- Hour 3
SU 152 – Hour 3

Hour 3 – Rear end work and beginnings of road wheel

While I added a lot of rear end basic shape, the majority of the work in this hour was on the beginnings of that roadwheel.

The reason I spent so much time on it is because its a 100% subpatch, where as the main body of the tank isn’t at all.   This means the road wheel once done, is done.  Wont need to revisit it to get the detail out of it.  Even so again this hour flew by.

SU 152 -- Hour 4
SU 152 – Hour 4

Hour 4 – Making the body 100% subdividable

Okay so the subdivision thing had to be resolved as it’s unacceptable to me to model up something that can’t be subdivided.  So with that, this hour was spent converting the entire tank body to sub-d.   This pretty much ends the synchronous body work as the details I start to add are all going to be off center one way or another.

This was an ugly sub-d conversion as I really was pressed for time, but it works and renders out nicely as you can see.

SU 152 -- Hour 5
SU 152 – Hour 5

Hour 5 – More Roadwheel work

I spent this hour working on the road wheels.  The tracks are going to take the longest amount of time for sure, but I had hoped to have all of the road wheels done by this hour.  I had hour six set aside as the hour in which I would make the single track, and then in hour seven I’d get it correctly arrayed around the road wheels.

Well at this point I don’t have all the road wheels done.  I still have the six main road wheels, their spring assemblies, and the three return wheels to do.. =(

It’s becoming increasingly evident that 10 hours will not be enough time at my skill level to get this thing done.   I’ll likely release the 10hour model, then continue on with it and release more as I get more done.

SU 152 -- Hour 6
SU 152 – Hour 6

Hour 6 – Even More Road Wheels!

I spent this hour adding the six primary road wheels to the model.  Thankfully, its the same road wheel cloned a bunch of times so not a lot of extra work was needed.. I just had to create one wheel.    Even so it took a long time to get it looking the way my plans show.. its actually a very detailed wheel..

I still need to model up the linkages that go between the backs of the wheels and the hull, create the three return wheels and if I have time, add some of the details that are missing.

Once that’s done.. Track!

SU 152 -- Hour 7
SU 152 – Hour 7

Hour 7 – Road Wheel details and return wheels etc..

This hour (which in all honesty was closer to an hour and a half) was spent getting all the road wheel details in place.. The wheel pistons, spring assemblies, and return wheels are all in now.

Again thankfully I only had to do each one time, then clone them over and over.   I also skimped a little on some of the details just due to time.  Like for example, none of the wheels are actually connected to anything.. They just kinda float there.. I’ll get to that eventually, but so long as it doesn’t show up in a render…

In hour 8 I hope to get the track done, leaving hour 9 and 10 for the body details and gun.

No way in hell I’m making it in 10 hours..

Modo CTD
Modo CTD

Hour 8 – Crash To Desktop

I love Modo.  I really think its easily one of the best modeling packages out there, but its instability pisses me off..

The application just randomly crashes to desktop sometimes for no apparent reason.   In 301 I used to avoid certain tools cause they just about always caused a CTD, but in 401 its mind bogglingly random.  You can use the same tool a 100 times on the exact same model, and on the 101’st time it will crash.

I end up saving my models quite often for fear that this will happen, cause I know it will.. I hate it..

SU 152 -- Hour 8
SU 152 – Hour 8

__Hour 8 – The real thing.. __

Okay so after storming away from the computer in a fit of pique I came back and got back to working on what I was doing.  I was working on the roof doors and spring hatch assemblies.

Not much for an hours worth of work I know.. The crash really took it out of me..

Hour 9 will be my finishing off the roof and rear nurnies/greebles and then save hour 10 for the main gun.

I have accepted that there is no way I’m going to get the track on the tank within the 10 hours, so that will have to come at a later time. sigh sorry.

Either way, at hour 10 I’ll release a link to this model.

SU 152 -- Hour 9
SU 152 – Hour 9

Hour 9 – Roof Nurnies and Greebles

I went as fast as I could to get all the little roof details in and it still took me an age.   Most likely, for a 10 hour project I am employing way too much detail.. I just don’t know how else to do it..  The more I think about it the more I think that making extremely low poly models (for games and the like) is an art form that I’m not sure I’ll ever master.  (Modo says I’m up to 2.6 million polygons.. The WOT game version probably has only a couple hundred.. )

The rear end of the vehicles is still entirely unfinished and that sucks.  I’ll get to it, I wont let this one go unfinished as I am enjoying it but it wont happen in the 10 hours

I will be using hour 10 to work on the gun.

SU 152 -- Hour 10
SU 152 – Hour 10

Hour 10 – Gun!

Well I got as much done as I could in the short period of time that I had left for the main gun.. A lot is missing, and I’ll have to get to it as I can.

All in all this has been a very good experience.. 10 hours is no where near enough time to do anything remotely close to a fully finished project.

Plus, with the 2 CTD’s that happened, setup, odd breaks and overages.. this 10 hours was likely more like 13 and that just wasn’t enough..

My plan is to continue updating this guy and post the results here.

But as I promised above – Here’s the model – SU152 at 10 hours in Modo format:

I would ask that you please not directly link to that file on your sites, but rather host it yourself.  If too many people start linking it I’ll be forced to remove it.

Usage;  You’re free to use this model in anyway you see fit so long as you please give credit where credit is due by mentioning my name {Jason ‘‘Palamedes’’ Ellis} and give me a link back to this page so that others can use the model too.

Any and all comments are welcome..  Feel free to email me at;  

SU 152 -- Hour 11
SU 152 – Hour 11

__And so it continues! __

Hour 11 – Chin!

So I have gotten over my disappointment at not being able to finish the model in the alloted time period and continued to work on it.  During this hour I added the “chin” stuff that sits under the gun mantle.

I wont be updating the downloadable model on the site every time I do work.. But I will update it every couple of hours or as I see fit.

Also I might stretch the hours in to two or three hour sessions instead of a single hour in an attempt to get more done.  One hour is a very short amount of time and passes very quickly.

SU 152 -- Tracks
SU 152 – Tracks

Hour 12 through 16 – Tracks!

Okay here you see the rear sprocket with 4 tracks wrapping around it..  I’m embarrassed at how many hours I have spent on not only modeling up a single track foot but also getting it correctly sized such that it can  actually articulate around the road wheels and sprockets.

I’m still no where near done.  There is no thickness to the tracks right now at all and I don’t have any pictures of the inside of the tracks, so I’m going to have to kind of make up some of that.

This is also a really bad render.. sorry about that..   Either way I’ll get it done and on the model so that it looks good eventually.. I like where I am headed with it finally, its just taking a long time..  Each track tread (foot? shoe?) has a lot of curves to it for traction that I want to get right.. More tomorrow.

SU 152 -- Hour 17/18
SU 152 – Hour 17/18

Hour 17 - 18 – Rear details

I stepped away from the tracks for a bit in order to do some rear details..  There is still a lot of work to be done back there and I need to get to it sooner or later.

I also changed the render light rig a tad bit by removing the directional light in favor of an area light.  The directional light was behaving oddly..

Also, the more I look at it the more I think my gas tanks aren’t large enough.  I’m looking at some research photos and in all photos they are clearly bigger than in my plans.. I’m going to scale them up a tad I think..