LED-Lit Balcony

I wanted to create a balcony/overlook/overhang of some kind for Legion. I haven’t seen much in that regard at all. I started by trying to create something with Bespin / Cloud City vibes. Once I was finished with a first draft, I kept thinking it absolutely would have to have some lighting. I had been looking for a good excuse to do my own LED lighting and this was perfect. At first I tried a design with many smaller, evenly-spaced lights just like the movies.

I wasn’t totally satisfied with that (and it was going to be difficult to wire), so I started over from scratch. I’m very happy with the final result. I learned a lot about designing for LEDs and it will definitely improve my next design. The panels are extremely easy to customize. I went with a traditional Star Wars look for the walkways and a slightly modified version of the Imperial emblem (to make it a single piece). I also designed several different types of supports for mounting it.

My initial cloud city inspired design with many small lights.
My final design used just two large LEDs below the floor.

A-Wing 1/55 Scale

This project started out as an idea for a quick print to give to a friend that was visiting. We decided on this model of A-Wing because I thought it would print better. It was scaled to match the medium-sized Action Fleet series.

My printer malfunctioned and I ended up having to order a replacement part. Since it wasn’t going to be finished before the end of the visit anyway, I decided that I could take my time and add a custom paint job. These are the reference images that I used for the design:

A-Wing concept from
Rebels concept art by Ralph McQuarrie
How I laid out the print to minimize the need for supports.
All of the components after printing.

After it was assembled and I had started painting, I realized this thing really needed a stand. I threw one together very quickly in 3D builder and it worked great. I also printed a Mandalorian mythosaur skull stencil for use with an airbrush. The results really blew me away and I ended up using it to do some weathering, engine wash, and battle damage.

The jagged corners look bad, but get smoothed out by the print’s low resolution.

X-Wing: Ground Assault (Tabletop Simulator)

I recently discovered the X-Wing: Ground Assault fan-made expansion. I knew immediately that I wanted to make my own minis and give it a try, so I started searching for 3D models. I found a few that I liked and designed my own bases, then it hit me. I’m already gathering all of the 3D content, why not make a digital version first? I have been tinkering with X-Wing on Tabletop Simulator and knew it would be the perfect platform.

After learning how to create custom content, I realized a couple of things. The bulk of the models that I had found were too complex to be imported and they weren’t textured. I started my search over again. I began looking at older Star Wars games that would both be textured and low resolution. Empire at War and its expansion included most everything that I would need.

Models and textures were extracted from Empire at War game files.

I had to take a crash course in modding EAW in order to get the data in a useable format. I used several different programs to view, extract, and convert the models/textures from a proprietary format.

Models were reassembled in Blender and game artifacts like collision boxes removed.

I was extremely happy with the results, but soon realized that I had another problem. There was no way for me to extract the animation data. Humanoid models are typically posed with their arms outstretched by default, so I had to find a way to easily rig and pose the infantry units.

Infantry models had to be rigged and posed from scratch.

Luckily, I found a Blender extension called Rigify that can generate a skeleton for you and automatically attach it to nearby vertices. With just a little bit of manual cleanup, I was able to rig the infantry units and put them into somewhat believable poses. Fortunately for me, they look fine at the extremely small scale they appear in Tabletop Simulator.

The other components were pretty simple in comparison. I modeled the bases myself and extracted the card and tool images from the Ground Assault PDF. The dice/tokens/etc were imported from the X-Wing module I was already using. Finally, I made custom Snowspeeder bases using a program called Strange Eons with the X-Wing plugin and then I sliced and diced one for the AT-AT since it’s a custom size.

I really enjoyed working on this project and learning all of the different skills I needed along the way. Most importantly, it feels really good to contribute back to the community since I’ve been able to utilize so many free tools and modules built by others.


VT-49 Decimator

This was the first large base ship that I have made for X-Wing Miniatures. I found a great source model that even included the stand. However, I was a little unhappy with the lack of details. I decided to try adding some myself.

Fusion360 has a great feature where you can import a vector image and use a projection of it to split faces on the model. I found a great line drawing of the Decimator and converted it to SVG for this purpose. After the new edges were in place, I adjusted the height of some of the panels and I dug out a 0.4mm trench where they represented gaps between panels.

SVG sketch overlaid on a 3d mesh body.
Freshly assembled Decimator on the left, Ghost on the right.

Overall, I was very happy with the result. I split the print into three pieces for the best orientation. I used some metallic paint and the red came out a little duller than I had hoped, but I think I achieved the ‘evil’ look I was going for.