A military vehicle I started work on. Thread Resurrected June 2017

Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823
edited June 2017 in Hexagon Discussion

Hi everyone,

Here are a couple of images of something I've begun in the past week. Hexagon behaved beautifully apart from a several crashes in 'decimating by slice'. That's the main action that causes occasional problems for me and it's generally caused by some earlier action that wasn't a good thing to do.

EDIT: I meant to say 'Tessellate by Slice'

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  • kaotkblisskaotkbliss Posts: 2,900
    edited December 1969

    Wow! Looking good so far. Wish I could model like that.

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823
    edited December 1969

    Thanks, Kaotkbliss, for your nice comment!

    I don't know whether you have done much modelling or have used Hexagon in particular very much.

    I can honestly say that, if you are a beginner, you are not at all far behind me in what you can do with a little persistence. This is my third vehicle and these have been the main projects I've worked on. The difference with this one is that I'm putting in as much detail as I can. But the details, in isolation, are mostly simple shapes.

    Before I built the first vehicle (from a magazine tutorial), I had played on and off with the basic functions of Hexagon. I would make a cylinder, add thickness, extrude faces, sub-divide, scale, etc. I didn't make anything realistic but it was captivating! However I couldn't see how even to begin making something until I followed the magazine tutorial where a car started as out as simple cubes and cylinders.

    I took inspiration for this model from another magazine showing a resin kit version being assembled. Without any blueprints or side / top / front images I'm just putting it together in the best proportions I can.

    Now, I'm acutely aware that real experts frequent these discussions, but in case any complete beginners are reading this I would repeat advice I heard on one of the Geek-at-Play videos: start by building models out of primitives such as cubes and cylinders.

    I've put together an illustration of how cubes and cylinders can be used in this way and apologise if this is too basic and simple. Perhaps a total beginner will stumble across this and find it useful.

    Best regards.

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  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823
    edited December 1969

    Hi Kaotkbliss,

    Re-reading my reply above - I hope it didn't seem in any way patronising towards you. From the number of posts you've submitted, you aren't a beginner!

    I hope it came across in my reply above that I'm well aware that others here are far more advanced than I am! I hope to learn from any comments.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,247
    edited December 1969

    Novice or no, you've done a really good job of it and your advice on starting with the basics is spot on :)

    If you don't mind a bit of constructive criticism, the topology on the turret is very much out of character with the rest of the model; I imagine you tried to make the whole turret assembly one piece and had to cut in edges to get it all to fit together?

    Good practice to make it out of as many separate meshes as you can get away with and keep your quads even, as you have the rest of the model. Makes it a lot easier to model, UV map and texture.

    You have done a terrific job of the tires :)

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823
    edited December 1969

    Hi Roygee,

    Thanks for the encouraging comments!

    Yes the turret had a few slices cut in so that I could create hatches at the top. I don't know whether removing the extra edges from the side will cause problems if I get to the stage of UV unwrapping.

    Thanks for the comment about the wheels. I tried several times to get what you see but have a couple of misgivings. The wheels' profiles might be too square and the treads come down the sides all the way to the metal parts. The metal parts are too large, actually - so I might be able to salvage them (or I might just stop while I'm ahead!).

    I started a new Hexagon project so that I could start working in more detail to parts such as the main body and the turret. The problem I now have is that I have two versions - one wholly based on the other. With so many parts I need to figure a way to get the best from both projects back into one. True beginner's error!

    Before posting this WIP I took some basic renders of the vehicle in Carrara and showed it in the Carrara forum. There are a few posts with images and some discussion of non-photorealistic rendering.


    Here is an image of the later project. Bits and pieces are floating around!

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  • kaotkblisskaotkbliss Posts: 2,900
    edited December 1969

    I don't feel patronized at all. I may have posted a bit, but I've not done much at all in modeling so am a complete beginner (I still don't even know most of the tools or what they do yet)

    Most of what I have done, is taken custom clothing from a 3dsMax created object and edit them in Hex to fit Daz's Genesis 2 figures (Maybe making some small changes to the look along the way).

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,247
    edited December 1969

    What a pleasure it is to see someone using Hex to make original models :)

    My guess of why you cut in the extra edges was wrong!

    Just made a quick mock-up of the turret to illustrate how the hatches could be made by extrusion instead of needing to cut edges all the way around the mesh. Also to show how chamfering the edges gives a nice solid metal look, without having to smooth. Economy of edges is my guiding principle :)

    Yes, I've seen your renders on the Carrara forum and I like what you've done. If you do decide to eliminate some of the extra edges, take a look at how I've terminated multiple edges in diamond shapes to keep them all quads.

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823
    edited December 1969

    Well, after quite a break from this, I started work again by building the turret once more from scratch.

    As I try to add details I feel the need to re-do more parts - when does it end?

    Most of the small details seem to me to have a clumsy quality. Bringing small parts to lie on flat surfaces involves bringing them together 'by eye'. There is always a tiny adjustment which doesn't go quite right.

    There are more details to be added on the main body. The wheels need to be re-done - but I will only adjust proportions rather than start over. (These wheels in this version are proxy models).

    I want to add mechanical stuff underneath as far as I can get a broad idea of the components.

    The body and wheels need lots of little bolt-heads here and there. It gets to be very finicky.

    Any advice gratefully accepted!

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  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,247
    edited December 1969

    As I try to add details I feel the need to re-do more parts - when does it end?

    Short answer - never!

    This model is getting better with each showing.

    I have projects that have been in the pipeline for years - which I've put aside waiting to learn some technique or other to improve something.

    Couple of hints - use "snap to" and/or "lay on" for easier alignment.

    When it comes to fine detail you need to start making choices about how much should be modelled and how much faked through textures, bump, normal or displacement mapping.

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823
    edited December 1969

    Thanks once again, Roygee, for commenting. The encouragement you give does wonders for motivation levels.

    I need to look at the tools you mention - they sound exactly what I need.

    I'll soon need to create some tubing with bends - for hooks, railings and so on. I guess I'll need to learn to use some of the line tools.

    Some of the railings will be circular in diameter and will go up, across, along and down again - all with right angles. An interesting task that will probably take me hours before I know what I'm doing.

    For bolts (which I'm modelling even though these are candidates for texturing) I need to learn how to make duplicates with offset or other spacing to make life much easier.

    I also need to do a better job of grouping the many parts so that I can freeze them once they are done. It's all too easy to select the wrong part and nudge it out of place.

    My ambition for this model was to create it in Hexagon and try to rig and texture it in Carrara for animation. Then I'd like to see it rendered in Bryce! I'm not an enthusiast of military things but vehicles such as this one are nice to model - they are more forgiving than a sleek sports car or aeroplane, I think.

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823
    edited March 2016

    After somehow abandoning this project I decided in the past day or so to see if I can get it finished.

    There isn't much to show yet but I've spent quite a few hours tweaking parts or re-building them as well as doing a ton of house-keeping.  By that I mean merging the good bits from multiple saves, re-naming objects to be meaningful, grouping objects logically, etc.  All that for me is part of the learning curve and a few lessons have been learned.

    The images below are far from being anything final.  I have been re-modelling the tyres and wanted to build a realistic underside with differential units and a bunch of other mechanical stuff.  In the images below these and a lot of other bits are only mock-ups of things to be modelled.  Other parts - as before - are invisible, or floating out of position for one reason or another.  In the images, I've sub-divided one of the new tyres but I think I prefer the non-subdivided version.  But I would need the tread to be less deep, I think.

    Apart from all that,  I'm discovering the odd quirk in Hexagon's behaviour, which is good.  I had one crash, just after a save.  Strangely, it was only when using Backspace to delete some edges, then the leftover vertices.  Usually that works OK in my experience. 

    These are each very much a WIP:


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  • kaotkblisskaotkbliss Posts: 2,900

    Very nice work!

    It looks almost like you used the Smooth option on the driver's side tire but not the others

  • Amazing piece of modeling Marcus.

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823

    Hey, thanks for the very generous comments!

    Yes, I have subdivided the front tyre but these images suggest that the un-subdivided might suffice.  But I would need to make the tread more shallow at the top.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,247

    Wow - I am impressed!  Looking really good - a suggestion - a very small bit of chamfering on the outer edges of hard surfaces helps sell the model by giving it a more chunky feel than sharp edges.  I do prefer the smoothing of the tyre treads - gives them a more worn look, although they should be a tad less thick.

    Keep it up and please keep us updated on progress:) 

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 15,001
    Roygee said:

    Wow - I am impressed!  Looking really good - a suggestion - a very small bit of chamfering on the outer edges of hard surfaces helps sell the model by giving it a more chunky feel than sharp edges.  I do prefer the smoothing of the tyre treads - gives them a more worn look, although they should be a tad less thick.

    Keep it up and please keep us updated on progress:) 

    And like the chamfering on the edges...it, beveling, edge loops can control the effects of the smoothing on tread.

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823

    Thanks again, Roygee and also mjc1016 for advice.

    Since I decided to put mechanical parts underneath, I need to build a chassis and this means re-working the lower body.  I've started with a new body, which is still in two halves.  I will work on one half, while leaving the other to give an idea of the final shape.  Then I'll duplicate the good half with symmetry and weld them together.  Up until now, I only had wheels floating in position - no axles, etc.  As well as re-building the body, I now need to drop the wheels into a lower position, narrow them (or widen the wheel-arches).  All these adjustments are changing my original overall shape to one that may end up looking more like the real thing.  The real thing sits higher from the ground than my model, is a little more squat and the wheels are less chunky.

    Roygee, here are some wireframe shots.  There are proxy shapes that have yet to be modelled properly and, because the body is still in two halves, many parts penetrate and will be adjusted later.



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  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823

    This thread has nine lives, I think.

    I've spent some time doing individual details to build the underside and to replace some proxy shapes with more detailed stuff.

    I've made the final wheel after no satisfactory results from chamfering the tread.  I may sub-divide the metal part but have a lot of wheel-nuts to place first.

    Nothing shown is final;  I've toyed with the idea of an engine but have no good references.  All the other bits need to be re-sized in relation to each other and some are only in one half - to be mirrored with symmetry.

    These are probably the last images I'll show before it's finished - which may be never at this rate!  This model was meant to be a personal test of giving something my best shot.  But each small part could be adjusted endlessly and I don't know when it stops being worth it.  Strangely, I am still only using a small sub-set of Hexagon's features.  There are tools I've never touched and don't yet know how to use.



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  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823

    Sometime after I started this project, I bought the following item here in the store:


    Recently I took a very close look into its geometry and can only wonder at how well it's made.  There are so many parts which seem to be much alike in all military vehicles but the one I've linked to does them all so well.  I look upon it as money well-spent even though it makes my own effort look so poor in comparison.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,247

    Making really good progress. Always a good idea to take a close look at what the pros do to get an idea of what is involved.

    I used to go haring around the bush in a very similar scout car in my younger days:)


  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823

    Cheers, Roy.

    The vehicle you show looks much more complex than mine yet it also shows some similarity of parts.  That's one bonus from trying to get details done - they might be re-useable!

    I started this without any particular interest in military items but this model-building exercise has led to a certain fascination.  I think being inside one of these vehicles in in a life or death scenario must have been truly scary.  But they would have been fun to 'hare around' in out in wild places.  I guess they were real bone-shakers.

    Here is a link to some images of the vehicle I'm trying to re-create.  Once I add the underparts, mine will sit higher as I mentioned before but I will probably keep my wheels a bit oversized.  Under close inspection (of the pictures I've seen) the original isn't even symmetrical (from the front, mainly) but I'm only trying to get pleasing proportions even if they are off.  I suppose they were designed in a hurry and built for function rather than the showroom. 


  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823

    OK, I'll post another image showing the various bits I'm trying to make for something that might pass as an engine.

    Although I've done a lot of work on any cars I owned over the years, I haven't much of an idea of what an engine for this machine looks like.  There are some images on the web giving partial views and I'm starting from those and letting imagination take over.  It's all for the challenge of trying to make the various shapes look vaguely mechanical.  I think the real item wouldn't have four spark plugs coming out of the rocker cover.  But it's all for fun. 

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  • SF-DesignSF-Design Posts: 984

    Hi everyone,

    Here are a couple of images of something I've begun in the past week. Hexagon behaved beautifully apart from a several crashes in 'decimating by slice'. That's the main action that causes occasional problems for me and it's generally caused by some earlier action that wasn't a good thing to do.

    EDIT: I meant to say 'Tessellate by Slice'

    wow! looks really good! smiley

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823

    Roygee, thanks for the links to so many engine references.  Many of them are for the Ferret but are good to refer to.  There are many great references for that vehicle on the internet - maybe I'll have a go some time after this.

    There are only partial views of the actual engine I need in the searches I've done but I'm also lacking in the basic knowledge of how these things were made to be able to make good use of those.  As you can see it didn't stop me trying!

    That being said, any mechanics taking a look at my second attempt can have a laugh.  It is meant to look like an engine but I know as a fact that has major flaws.

    I need only to make an exhust pipe, sort out the fan belt and pulleys and build a central part which joins the various prop shafts.  Then I will assemble the whole thing with a lot of scaling adjustments and go round the outside adding further handles, etc.

    All that will be lacking is an interior but I'm definitely not going to bother.  At a minimum this would be a driver's seat, steering wheel and linkage to the steering rack and some dials, pedals and gear-sticks.  But none of this would ever be seen (same as the engine!)  There needs to be a driver's window-hatch on the outside.

    @SF-Design - many thanks for your kind comment.


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  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 1,130

    It seems to me that the plated-wolf model is pretty detailed in some ways (perhaps it's more of a "fantasy" vehicle?) but yours is more detailed -- and more realistic -- in other ways. Apples and oranges!

    I liked the "armored car in the living room" in Roygee's image search, but I have to wonder what that's all about. laugh

  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 1,130
     But none of this would ever be seen (same as the engine!)  There needs to be a driver's window-hatch on the outside.

    IMO little details, like some engine-under-the-hood can add quite a bit to a model's "desirability factor". Especially if the hood opens a bit so that you can "look inside" and the wheels turn, the turret rotates and the guns move etc... all are good to have. But your model looks good enough to use as a static object in any "military base" scene where there might be some tanks and trucks in the background. Yours can easily go in the foreground I should think!

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823

    Hi Roman_K2

    Thanks for commenting - It's  much appreciatedsmiley

    When I started this, I was using a magazine article showing a resin model kit being assembled and set out to create the overall shape as far as I could see it in the pictures.  Most of the original vehicle I showed was based on just that plus some photographs from the web, like the ones I linked to.  But very recently I've made image searches such as Roy has done and can see that there are tons of resources to use.  As I mentioned before, there are great similarities in a lot of the vehicles - a Russian car from WW2 is often almost a replica of a German one.  They also seem to come in versions Mark 1, Mark2 and so on.  So a lot of parts are replicated from one model to another.  Then there are endless add-ons: ropes, chains, tents, tools to offer modelling challenges.

    I think the Plated Wolf model is a generic vehicle which is modern and draws on many features of real-life vehicles in use today by military or even humanitarian personnel (minus the big gun!).  I can only guess that a lot of effort was put into NOT re-creating something which actually exists (I can only guess - possibly it's for copyright reasons? Or perhaps DAZ doesn't want replicas of real world vehicles? - although there are some such as the Citroen 2CV in the DAZ store).

    I don't know whether you have been able to examine the Plated Wolf model or whether you have looked at the promotion pictures.  I examined the actual model very closely and was extremely impressed by the sheer competence of every little detail.  It has small parts built to perfection - such as a radiator fan - that would never ordinarily be seen.  It has influenced me - at least I hope it WILL influence me in the future.  smiley  The main lesson it has taught me is that each little detail can be done well or can be done shoddily.  An example would be the straps on the stowage bins on the outside of my vehicle.  I've just indicated straps but on a model like the DAZ one, the actual buckle and rivets would be visible in close-up.  Also even the tiniest parts are chamfered. On the other hand I lose my way by trying to make things one-piece but sometimes the professionals just let one object penetrate another and I can see that being done on the Plated Wolf.  I expect to do that much more than before.  An example might be the 'ribs' on my engine block.

    Thanks again for your comment.

  • Hermit CrabHermit Crab Posts: 823

    After posting I saw your further comment!

    Yes, I agree that such details add a great deal.  The lengths I'm going to could result in a model that might be used somewhere such as in a book cover if it was cleaned up and properly textured.  I'm also thinking of re-use of parts.  I have vague plans to create some fantasy vehicles - perhaps semi-toon, if such a category exists - and getting a feel for what parts might be involved is a first step.

    On another forum (for Iclone) there was a discussion on making models and I posted a Carrara video for that discussion.  I hope I'm not over-exposing this now - I'm always aware that there are many others here who are really accomplished in the things they make.  But if you have a couple of minutes, you can see an earlier version of the turret being assembled.


  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 1,130

    I didn't look at the Plated Wolf too closely, no... but I did enlarge a couple of the promo pics to try and get a general sense of the "feel" of the geometry and detail level, relative to my similar sense of your military vehicle. Again my comments are based on my own very quick look-see and folks shouldn't take them too seriously - I'm a modeller who is often quite happy with the just the Toon Plane and Toon Tank and stuff like that! Ha ha ha.

    Very aware of the importance of little details like the straps etc. Most recently I was very happy to see the G.I. helmet in DAZ's "Private May" has a nice buckle and webbing and so on. A little shader effects and some BUMP file adjustments and it's good to go! See attached quickie render that I tried. Perhaps if you put Genesis females, with the PM helmet, in your promo pictures for your upcoming COMMERCIAL MODEL (hint hint) the results would be strapping! I think that's an English colloquialism. smiley

    Also re: details - see the air horns and heavy iron castings and handrails etc. on this diesel locomotive I sketched -- from an original photo if I'm not mistaken. (I did this many years ago when I would make my own Christmas cards sort of thing, and I THINK this is from my own imagery, back in the days of Tri-X pan 35mm film - hold your fire if this is not the case; I'm only human and after a while the memory starts to go.) Anyway a lot of the bumpiness here is actually my pencil point digging into the surface of the illustration board but nobody can say that I didn't try to achieve the effect of many coats of paint on rusty steel! The original drawing would have been about 3 inches across in this cropping and my scan resolution was probably three to four times the 2048 pixels at 72 dpi that you see here. Point being that I spent more time on the handrails than on the beautiful old CNR logo... Now if only I could do this in Hexagon!

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