I spent a couple minutes mocking up some snow camo today. I don't live anywhere near snow, but the color palette was nice for trying out some new techniques I was messing with. Above is a GIF showing 3 test patterns. I like the center one best.
I designed this first. Dark grey, white, and a blue-grey background.

This pattern came third, using a hint of blue-grey for the main color, and a touch of brown in the shadows.
This pattern has too much blue to be effective, in my opinion.


Back In Business

Well readers, I have managed to renew Cardella.tk, from the old Swagmart blogspot site. This will be the home of this website for the foreseeable future. With that hurtle taken care of, I can focus on making more props and crafts.

Thanks for your dedication, have a good one.


Airsoft 40MM Grenade Launcher Pistol

 As part of my final exam for one of my first Mechanical Engineering classes, I had to redesign something. I more or less made an airsoft 40mm Grenade Pistol. This was a group project, but I ended up doing about 90% of the work. 
The barrel is long enough to accommodate a nerf football loaded backwards. When fired, the nerf football would tumble until the heavier nose was flying first, resulting in stable and "correct" flight without a need for an excessively long barrel. This particular screencap was nabbed out of a 3d PDF I made of the assembly. Not as flashy or smooth as my semi-transparent Solidworks screencaps, but the ability to send it via email to nearly anyone, and have them be able to rotate it is pretty cool.
And with the handle. Simple pivot trigger. The barrel swings down. The design currently lacks a lock to keep the barrel locked closed. Velcro or magnets are a super simple way to fix that, or a simple pivot lock like on the M79. My school has a 3d printer, which could be used to produce most of the parts for this model. The only problem is that the ABS plastic they use in it costs $12 per cubic inch. That's a little rich for my blood. Shelled to about 4mm thick, this entire model minus the barrel and pins would cost ~$50. For that price, I think I will try to make one out of laminated plywood.

Program is Solidworks, in case you were wondering. Wonderful program, it's a joy to work with.

Comments, questions, concerns? Anyone want the model, or have suggestions for making it better?


Camo Development - First Installment

See anything in that picture? You probably do, but it's just a quick test. Of what? Both my photoshop abilities, and a series of camouflage patterns I'm creating.
This is one of the latest variants I've created. There's a horizontal bias, just like you'll find on many modern digital patterns. Rather than traditional "Analog" patterns like M81 Woodland, or new "Digital" Patterns (CADPAT, MARPAT, Army UCP, Air Force Digital Tiger Stripe, etc), I was using halftones. Somewhere along the way I read that the fewer colors you use, the cheaper printing on fabric will be. With that in mind, halftones are a logical choice to allow gradients while maintaining a low number of colors.
Here's one of the earlier patterns I made, without a horizontal bias. It actually turned out better than some of the later patterns. This has also been a fun experience playing with photoshop. The actions pallet allows the user to record actions; so I essentially automated the production process. All I have to do is select the colors, and push "play", and another pattern is generated. Another big deal in camo design is fractals. After spending quite a bit of time sorting through fractal art programs, I discovered that photoshop's "Clouds" filter is a fractal noise generator. Very cool, very accessible.

How does it look? How could it be improved? What color schemes would be desirable for future patterns?


The State of Things: Salem Mask, Youtube, Chainmail

I have been receiving a great deal of emails about my Salem mask lately. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of the file. I am not quite sure what happened to the download, either. If any of my readers still has a copy saved, please go ahead and send it to me, or leave a download link in the comments. I'll make a new post about it for everyone.

However, I do have a solution. Here is a link to an improved file. However, this is not my file. All credit goes to Alien Technology Studio, the creator of the Pep file. I must say, they did a better job at the Army of Two mask than I did. Happy building.

Second on the lineup: As with summer 2010, I am hoping to revitalize this site. I'm looking into renaming and getting a proper domain name, as well as starting a Youtube series. How tos, reviews, and the like would all be covered.

As I was reviewing the post "A New Beginning", I noticed I didn't follow up very well on my list of to-dos. Here's a quick rundown of how that played out:
  • Chain Maile (Soda can tabs, possibly actual rings later) - I have two videos - (Vid 1) (Vid 2). These were uploaded so my Uncle could take a look at what I was doing, and offer suggestions. I ended up getting Aviation snips, and making about a 1 foot by 2 foot section of European 4 in 1 pattern maile.
  • Great Helm (Sheet metal) - Cardboard template made, never a metal version
  • Ghillie Suit - Check it out!
  • Assassin's Creed Hidden Blade (Aluminum, Leather) - Sitting in pieces on my workbench. No plans to complete.
  • IWB Holster (Leather) - I completed a Pancake Holster, and quite like it. I also created a revolver holster.
  • Messenger bag (Black Canvas, green nylon) - I completed a prototype summer 2010. I have a post about this just about ready to publish.
  • Pepakura Helmets (Halo CQB, Recon, ODST) - The CQB helmet is the closest to completion... And that's not saying very much.
  • Painted/Modded Buzz Bee Rapid Fire Rifle - No plans to complete. I did mod some Buzz  Bee Double Shots, though.
  • 3Ds Max tests - My 3d modeling has shifted from artsy 3d models to CAD drawings for college. 
My upcoming projects are most likely to include the following, not in any particular order:
  •  Airsoft Gas guns
    • RPG shooting full-size Nerf Vortex Footballs
    • Styer AUG or Magpul PDR based non-blowback rifle, running off 12G CO2 cartridges
    • 40MM Grenade Launcher Pistol - I designed a version of this as one of my engineering class's final exams.
  • Combat Shirt Prototypes
    • Cut & Modded surplus BDUs and undershirts, like an updated version of this.
    • Completely homemade, custom pattern. A few prototypes in off-the wall colors will make an interesting post.
  • More PT caps, in different colors.
  • Ghillie suits
    • 3 Ghillie Capes, one in tan, one in green, and one brown. I designed a pattern which allows these to be easily cut and created.
If there is anything specific you would like to see, drop me a line in the comments. I have had one youtuber request more pep files. I will see what I can do about that.

That wraps up the current state of things. Have a good one, readers.