Friday, April 3, 2015

Ironheart Artisan designs

Ironheart Artisans design plans

After spending so much time with Alex Landing at the Ironheart Artisans (facebook) booth at Adepticon, I have been itching to find ways to contribute to Alex's business. I floated a bunch of ideas his way and have a slew more to share, but I wanted to produce some working models to show the ideas in a three dimensional form.

So with so much running through my head it was tough to choose where to start. I wanted to put something together first that could be easy to develop/market and worked with the current materials available. 

I went to A.C. Moore and picked up a bunch of balsa wood to work up the demo pieces. I had never worked with balsa before, so the texture was a little strange. One major thing to note, if you are going against the grain then it is difficult to re-cut a piece of balsa if you only need a very small sliver taken off because of the spongy nature of the wood. The material compresses as you cut across the grain, so make sure you have very sharp knives. Going with the grain it is very easy to shave off more. All pieces were glued together using Aleene's wood glue, which adheres well and quickly cures. 

I'd be happy to get some feedback on these pieces. Hopefully with some final work up, if well received this may make it to market.

10-yard Stand-up Dumpster

Ironheart already has a complete 40-yard roll-off dumpster kit and a set of wood pallets which add a great deal of texture to a tabletop game of Zombicide, Deadzone, or a skirmish game of 40k. The scale for the pieces is correct and with that in mind, I tackled a 10-yard stand-up dumpster first.  

I started with some sketches and used this Warhammer Astra Militarum guard member for height comparison. I tested out with a number of scales sizes (1:56, 1:55, 1:60.96, 1:48) before getting the dimensions correct. I wanted to make sure this was relative to the actual size of a stand-up dumpster and based my height at a dumpster we have at our softball fields with an approximate height of a guardsman. 

As you can see, I did have some difficulty with the balsa wood, but I am sure with some additional practice, this won't be a problem. I started with identical front and back pieces, which would allow for the sides to surround. This is so that when I translate to the mdf design, the tabs will sit snug together. I didn't think the balsa forgiving enough to build with a tabbed design. 

So I cut out the front/back then made the sides with the appropriate depth to hold the front/back pieces. I also included sufficient height so that the lid pieces would fit within the frame of the sides. I made one solid piece for on the top. This would be where the lids connect. This is a split lid design as you'd expect. Each piece was marked using a standard No. 2 pencil so it has some texture. Those will be translated to laser cuts. The front is also marked similarly to add a bit of detail to the piece. 

The slots for the forklift are a three part assembly. I used the same piece of balsa for the entire assembly, so that is the reason for the depth of the forklift holes. The top and bottom for each piece were cut to length then angled. Then the spaced is a small piece just glued between.

After it was glued together, I remembered that there would be need for a side door given the height of the dumpster. I roughed in the side door but cutting small slices going with the grain. This let me notch out the top and bottom cuts against the grain. Then I marked a few lines where the rails for the door would be and added the textured door to the piece. All together the piece is a total of 14 pieces. 


Now for the next piece, I again wanted something that was ubiquitous. This inspiration came as I was sitting at my son's baseball practice. My youngest was asleep in her car seat and I was sitting idly watching Facebook updates. The school where he has practice is under construction and that's where I was inspired by a few ideas. The first though, was something I just had to put together. Unfortunately, this initial creation wasn't started until about 11:15 pm and so the initial quality is a bit worse. 

I give you the port-a-potty. This was overall pretty easy as the sides are all the same size pieces. That makes cutting pretty simple and as you can see, the scale was pretty easy to figure out. 

The roof was by far the trickiest part. I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve, but it was late and I was tired which meant I didn't quite achieve the final result I wanted. I also didn't spend much time working on the details on this to really sell it as a finished portable toilet. In the end, I need to do some rework to it, but wanted to at least get the concept created so I can refine it later. The total number of pieces for this is 9, but that will probably come down to 7 when I make some modifications. 

The first st of changes will come this weekend. I'll be modifying the front/back so the pieces are a bit of a different shape. I think making the slight peaked roof as part of the front/back will allow me to then have a simpler roof design. This will also make mounting the exhaust pipe a little easier. 

As I said, I'd love to hear any comments you have on how to make the pieces better and if you think this is something you'd like to see available to add to your gaming tables.