The Engineer says: "Like this heavy-caliber tripod-mounted little old number designed by me, built by me, and you best hope... not pointed at you.
It's been quite a while since I updated my website with any new content. I've had a lot on recently and when I did have time I've been working on, what I can only describe as, my mammoth of a project. I'm not going to give anything away on that one yet, but it's proving to be very ambitious and the costs are starting to add up. So I thought I should do a few mini projects to break things up and maybe, even raise a little fund to help out the project. This brings me to something new. This model is actually purchasable from my new Shapeways shop that I've just opened!
The sentry is actually split up into 3 separate "products" in my shop. You have a pack for level 1, level 2 and level 3. So if you wanted a level 1 gun only, you can choose to just buy the level 1 pack and then you don't have to purchase the parts for the other 2 levels. Each level requires the preceding levels however, so if you wanted a level 2 gun you must purchase the level 1 parts and to get a level 3 gun, you need to purchase both level 1 and level 2. Just like in the game really; you can't build a level 3 gun without first building/upgrading the previous leveled guns.
I've designed it so none of the gun actually requires glue to assemble, so this means you can always choose to purchase a lower leveled sentry now and you can choose to upgrade it at a later date. Ordering all 3 "products" at the same time will save on shipping costs however.
There isn't a painted version you can purchase, but painting it yourself and making it your own is half the fun.
You can find my shop here!
I started this model at least a year ago (probably more), but for at least 10 months it just sat on my hard drive, gathering virtual dust as I was working on some other things. A friend finally convinced me to go back to it and finish it off and pretty glad he got me to do it.
As normal (when I have a video available that is), I'll start with an embedded Youtube video. This video is actually more aimed at being an instructional video on how to assemble the gun and how to change it into the 3 different leveled sentry guns. However at the end of the video, you will see some pictures of my sentry gun that's been smoothed and painted.
Making the 3D model
So, I dusted off my model file and loaded it up again in Modo to finish it up. The file had barely gotten off the ground from level 1, but that turned out to actually be a good thing. I've learned one or two new things about 3D printing since starting the model and I was now making it with the intention of selling it on Shapeways so changes needed to be made.
I needed to change the model somewhat to be printable at my target scale. This meant some details needed to be changed or even omitted. New details also needed to be added to facilitate the idea of being able to upgrade the gun from level 1 to 2 and finally on to 3.
Post process after printing
Cleaning/smoothing out the parts
I then went on to follow the same practice I have done on previous models. I started with a good clean of the pieces as there was trapped powder that hadn't been cleaned out. Most likely you will have powder trapped in same areas I did, so I've put down a list below so you can have a list of areas to check (of course, you should just give them a quick general clean too). Some of the parts are small, so clean them in a bowl of water so you don't lose anything down the drain. I used a very expensive tool (an unfolded paperclip) to help me pick free some of the powder.
- Level 1: Within the main tube on the leg section
- Level 2: Within the Gatling guns
- Level 2: Between the barrels on the Gatling guns (I used a paper clip here to free the material between all the barrels)
- Level 3: Within the 4 rockets
Once cleaned, I then tidied up some of the small holes. Because of the nature of 3D printing, small holes generally don't come out perfect, so these needed tidying up so they're not obstructing the wire later on. The holes are designed for 1mm wiring, but the wire I was using happened to be 1.5mm wiring. So I used a 1.5mm drill bit to clean up these holes, but if you are using 1mm wiring you should just use a 1mm drill bit. Of course, try threading through the wire to make sure it's ok. Below are the hole locations.
- Level 2: 2x on the canister cover
- Level 2: 2x wire blocks
- Level 2: 2x Gatling guns
I then went onto the smoothing stage (optional stage, as paint helps smooth the surface, but I just choose to do this).
Painting and applying the finishes to the parts
Finally on to the fun part. Painting!
Some of the paint work was airbrushed on, but a lot of the model was actually painted on with a brush. Using some thinned acrylic paint, I gave the model some colour and followed the sentry gun texture from the game (mostly anyway, I didn't follow it exactly). I decided to go with team red ..... because I only had red and ran out of blue paint :P
I tried to make sure that nothing was painted on too thick as paint adds thickness and can potentially stop pieces fitting into one another properly if it's too thick.
As always, I want to protect my paintwork with some varnish. I think it's even more important when you have parts touching and so it protects the paintwork when they rub against each other.
Onto the decals next! There was only 1 decal I put on, but you can put a decal onto each bullet chain link to add some additional detail (I didn't have any clear decal sheets left so I haven't done this yet, but may do in the future); the warning label on the side of the rocket pod. I then hit the pod with 1 more coat of varnish to protect the decal.
Putting it all together
Time for the final assembly. This bit was a snap. If you watch my youtube video above, I show you how everything fits together and it's pretty straightforward. The only additional thing was to cut some wire to thread the wire blocks onto (again, all covered in the video).
The finished product!
Well, that wraps up this post. Remember, you can purchase the model (unpainted) from my Shapeways shop and the levels are split up into 3 items, so you only need to order up to the level you want :)