Aaron and Zac at Battlegroup Helios answered some of my questions on the painting and design process for their amazing ships.
Aaron and Zac at Battlegroup Helios kindly answered some of my questions on the painting and design process for their amazing ships as well as offering some advice for aspiring model makers.
How large is the team over at Battlegroup Helios? Is it just you and Aaron Dickey?
Correct, just the two of us. Aaron takes care of the website, design and 3D modelling. I take care of the scratchbuilding casting and distribution. It’s a good team!
Your design process seems to involve Aaron sketching the models out on graph paper and then you using creating a 3d model using a CNC router and a cutter ready for final sculpting work followed by casting. How long does this process take from be idea to creating a sellable product?
Our process isn’t actually that set in stone! Yes, Aaron does devise concepts which he then refines on paper. He’s a really talented artist! From there we have two options: either Aaron will 3D model the design for printing or I’ll scratchbuild the design (with the help of a 2D CNC router for creating base shapes in plastic sheet). It comes down to time availability which, since we both have very busy full-time day jobs, can be scarce at times! So far only the Helian Frigate variants have been scratchbuilt. The cruisers and corvette were 3D printed.
There isn’t really an answer for the typical timeframe to take a concept to market. It’s kind of proportional due to the size (obviously a larger model takes longer to design) and again due to time availability is FAR longer than if we were doing this full time. 6 months is probably the average.
There is quite a lot of high praise for these models around the web, I’ve put a few together myself and I can see why as they are really well designed models with plenty of space for expert painters to really go to town on them in the prows, was this your intention when they were designed?
Absolutely! Aaron also being a talented painter means that he’s able to approach the design from many perspectives and often wary of adding too much detail in certain areas.
Have you worked on any other projects using these skills before this both inside and outside the miniature gaming world?
I’ve scratchbuilt and cast many of my own space ship (and other) models prior to this. I’m an engineer by day and a lot of my fabrication skills cross over. Aaron is a professional graphic artist so that’s obviously why he’s so good at the design and illustration side of things.
~ Any buyers out there?
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