Saturday, November 9, 2013

Family Business....

Here is one of those odd ironic moments. My Dad used to work as an engineer on Britain's Polaris submarine fleet. My latest project has been some model work for Neo-F/X for Dennis Bailey's 'Starship Polaris' project. Odd, huh?
My first build is an Atlas class Transhuman Authority Transport - as outlined in the sketch below - I think the artist may be Jason 'Vektor' Lee who designed and built the hero Polaris vessel.

The brief was to build two versions - one weathered and one damaged - although ultimately there are three - one factory clean to get the base textures, then the weathered and damaged versions.

Like the Polaris, the shuttle features fold out 'sails' which I gather are part of the FTL drive assembly. It has a vaguely insect like quality to it - reminds me of a flea for some reason.
With that nailed down, I moved on to the damaged version.


Fun with fire damaged hull panels and exposed airframe details.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Up Next...

Carrying on from the previous, been applying some of the new texturing to some of the existing models.
First up, the Sherman Class...

And then the Santee...

Sunday, August 4, 2013


After posting the previous updates on the Ajax and the Ptolemy, a few people put in requests for a set of orthographic views. Here's my first attempt at putting together a couple of sets...

Click through for the larger versions :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I mentioned that I was still not happy with the texturing on the Ajax after finishing the footage for the trailer a few months ago. Finally got time to sit down and revamp the texturing to produce something I am a bit more satisfied with.

Having got the Ajax more to where I wanted it, I was also able to start bringing the Ptolemy Class Transport up to a similar level.

Quite a productive couple of weeks work. Now to start looking at texturing and finishing off some of the other models I have sitting on the drive...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It's A Lot Less Bovver Than A Hover...

Here's an interesting little tale that illustrates the tortuous development that a model can undergo when the initial concept has not been 'nailed down' so to speak.
I was approached by Michael Struck over at Neo F/X to see if I could build a hovercraft for a project he was working on. Initially it was going to be an industrial concept with plates and rivets. I was rubbing my hands with glee and looking to drag my Airfix SR-N1 kit out of storaage to get some reference material.

However, the concept rapidly changed to something more like the VW Aqua concept that has turned up on the internets recently, only with a more 'retro' feel.

Good chance to get my head around some automobile style sub division modeling, I thought to myself. After some false starts, I finally came up with this.

Good model, but not retro enough. The word from on high was to dump the hovercar concept and go more for a 50's/60's rocket car look. Back to the graphics tablet I went.

Shiny chrome rocket sled it was. This two seater version was to prove a little too compact. Out went the canopy and seats, in went a larger cockpit window.

Interesting progression...

Just in case you were wondering, the title comes from a mid eighties UK advertising campaign extolling the virtues of a standard lawnmower over that of the new fangled Flymo hover mowers that were all the rage at the time - interesting what tangential ideas the mind can throw up.

Gamers' Rebellion Book Trailer

Just finished off the trailer for the third book in George Ivanoff's Gamers trilogy.

Although some of the elements where created in Poser/Cinema 4D, I was able to create some of the 3D work directly in After Effects using Video Copilot's excellent Element 3D plugin. It will be intriguing to see the comparison between Element and the new Cineware plugin that allows Cinema 4D scenes to be utilised directly in After Effects CC. Some suggest that Cineware may spell the demise of Element but I suspect that the plugins will cater for different aspects of 3D use within After Effects.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Here Today, Gorn Tomorrow...

Been working on some shots for a trailer/preview for the Ajax project. Since the pilot episode features the Gorn, TPTB wanted a Gorn Battlecruiser for the teaser ( I don't think that is too much of a spoiler since a lot of the behind the scenes material for Ajax has been showing some of the Gorn props). Now, the Gorn ships were never actually shown in the original TOS episode in which they first appeared - "Arena", although a new CG ship was created for the Remastered version of the episode. However, the Gorn ships were featured in the miniatures line for Star Fleet Battles, which owes some of its stylistic influence to the FJ Technical Manual. Dilemma time - which version do I go for. The SFB versions were a little bland, but were iconic with 'fans of a certain age' - however, in my internet travels, I had come across pictures of an SFB Gorn miniature which someone had upgraded and detailed.

This served as my basis for the design. Unfortunately I do not have the name of the original modeler, but please consider them duly credited. I've kept most of the original detailing, beefed up the weapon emplacements and replaced the nacelle bussards to differentiate them from the Federation design.

Since it is based off the SFB configuration, I should be able to produce some of the other designs using some of the parts that I have already built.
And here is a compilation of some of the footage from the teaser. Some are upgrades of the shots from the previous test footage - better texturing and compositing, little touches like the moving stars seen in the TOS footage, while others are new shots. Still not quite there yet with the texturing on the Ajax - it's pushing too much into a silver grey rather than the grey blue that we are used to seeing in the original 60's footage - more tweaks to come.

Compilation from Henry Gibbens on Vimeo.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Adding to the Convoy...

Just to add to my transport ship pool, here's the early draft of FJ's Ptolemy class transport.

Seen a variant on this design that uses the expanded engineering deck seen on the Coronado class featured in an earlier post - makes sense that this design could do with a beefed up engineering section to cope with the extra demands that extending a warp field around the containers would produce. May render out that variant to see how it looks.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Touch of TAS...

Here's the latest version of Starbase 15. Still more detail to add, only the basic colour scheme at this point but starting to look the part.

And here's a rough comp that was needed for an on screen graphic during filming on the Ajax bridge later this week.

The script calls for a number of ships to be seen around the station as the Ajax arrives. Thought it might be nice to have a few cargo craft as well as Starfleet's more typical ships of the line. Gave me an excuse to make a start on a Sherman class Cargo Drone - as seen in Star Trek - The Animated Series - 'More Tribbles, More Trouble' if I remember rightly. At the moment I have gone for the cargo pods shown on the Starstation Aurora blueprints rather than the grain pods seen in the TAS episode.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

That's Still No Moon...

Since it looks like the Ajax vignette has been put on the frontburner, time to get Starbase 15 dusted off, detailed and a coat of paint on. The asteroid has changed since the previous version - more potato like was the request and the hanger bays have been redesigned. Added what will eventually be an arboretum/environment dome on top and further details as well.