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About this blog

Formerly Known as "WIP Wednesdays".  Now its probably best to think of this as "When we get chance Wednesday".

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Rock

RKSL Studios J-20Ok so this is a revisit of an old project.  I've not had a lot of free time the last few weeks so this is something that should really have been posted in June. 

I was recently talking to someone about materials technology, specifically aerospace composites.  (We have some 'interesting' chats) We were originally discussing aeroelasticity in aircraft design, then we predictably got onto stealth technology. And of course, which is best etc.  F-22 vs the world kinda BS (More on that later) but the Chengdu J20 came up and then we finally got back on to addons...

Now when the J-20 first appeared on the public scene and the first pictures came out i started on a model.  I have a thing for exotic and unusual aircraft, so new tech demonstrators and projects always get my interest up. The original model I made turned out to be out of proportion in a lot of areas.  In my defence there weren't many actual pictures at the time but more have become available the last year or so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see the original model I made in these WIP updates:

Honestly I wasn't unhappy with the model at the time, but it did just look "wrong".  So it got left behind.  Every time I went to pick it up it didn't feel right so I dropped it in favour of doing something more constructive. Finishing the Typhoon usually.  But in early June this year I came across some decent high-res pictures of the J-20 prototypes. 

Chengdu J-20

RKSL Studios J-20

They sparked my interest again. So I remade it:

RKSL Studios J-20

The original model just looked... well a tad anorexic.  At the time one of the original comments was "Give that plane a sandwich!"   As I said there weren't too many decent pics available at the time so I didn't have much in the way of reference material.  But armed with the new pictures it got more interesting and I spent a couple of days re-working the original model. 

But that didn't last long, I ended up remaking about 70% of it.

RKSL Studios J-20

RKSL Studios J-20

If you spend the time looking at the actual plane and then again at my model you can see the difference and why it needed an upgrade. I'm actually rather embarrassed about it. The proportions were terrible!  About the only thing I got right was the length.

RKSL Studios J-20

When I started making this i had no plans for it what so ever.   I just thought it was cool and wanted to make a J-20.  Now with IAP and other projects slowly maturing it seems like a it might just have a place in the story lines.  

With ArmA3 looming in the near distance this will definitely only be an ArmA3 project.  After the game goes gold we (RKSL) will probably make the jump over to the new platform.  That all for this week.

Rock and the RKSL Team.

Rock

Phew... after a very busy release period for RKSL, we've finally found a little time to catch up on our lives, go on holiday, and enjoy the sweltering weather. Personally, it's been a relief to have gotten the Foxhound out as a public beta, and the feedback received has been fantastic, as well as some extremely useful bug reports and general wishes in terms of functionality and config. I'm working on a small update which should be finished soon, that will address some of the main items people responded about, and from there it's off to ArmA 3!

RKSL Studios Jackal Protected Patrol Vehicle

On the subject of ArmA 3 (and somewhat 2, depending on my time as ever), I've been tinkering in O2 once more, trying to make amends for my previous attempt at creating a Jackal. Now the UKF one wasn't horrendously bad, but looking back it left a lot to be desired, and with BAF introducing the Jackal 2, it did look rather dated. However, I felt the BAF could be improved on/corrected, as well as a few iterations added.

RKSL Studios Jackal Protected Patrol Vehicle

So, what actually started as a quick 'what can I model in 24 hours, purely in O2', has come a little further. The model is fairly complete, although there are a few items missing here and there, and the face count needs to be reduced a touch.

RKSL Studios Jackal Protected Patrol Vehicle

Eventually, I'll also be adding a lot more clutter and equipment, as well as the various weapon systems employed on the Jackal. We'd like to see it in both ArmA 2 and 3, but time will tell. As ever, these have been modeled completely in O2, just rendered in another program for added 'dazzle'.

Hope you're all having a great summer.

Messiah and the RKSL Team.

Rock

British Armed Forces Day 2013

Saturday the 29th of June is UK Armed Forces Day

It seemed appropriate that since we benefit so much from the contributions of our (all of us are British subjects) Armed Forces that we help raise awareness and celebrate the work they do in our name.

To that end on Saturday the 29th at 15:00 BST we will be releasing not one! But two addons.

1 - Typhoon FGR4 v2.6
2 - Foxhound LPPV by Messiah

If you are a regular visitor to the RKSL Website or BI Forum thread you'll know quite a lot about both the Typhoon and the Foxhound. Well the time has come to release them into the wild!

Foxhound LPPV

The Force Protection Ocelot is a British armoured vehicle that has replaced the United Kingdom's Snatch Land Rover with British forces. It was given the service name Foxhound, in line with the names given to other wheeled armored vehicles in current British use, such as Mastiff and Ridgeback. The goal in replacing the Snatch Land Rover was to improve protection of personnel against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Which really wasnt hard since the Snatch was never intended to withstand those kinds of attacks.

I think Messiah has definitely outdone himself with this one. Considering this is his first addon since returning to addon making after 4 year break he's set the bar really high now and its going to be hard to keep up with him... but we're going to try!

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I asked Messiah to describe the features for the Foxhound he just said:

Not really sure there are any features, per se, just adds a couple of Foxhounds :)

So with that I'll just say that, this is a BETA version and it comes in two colours: Tan and Green. Thats about it really.

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There are some issues with it, they are noted in the documentation, but those should be fixed in the next BETA or FINAL release.

 


EuroFighter Typhoon v2.6

Its finally ready. The long overdue and awaited update to the original BETA released nearly 3 years ago...

The latest build includes over 500 changes, improved handling, new loadouts and most visibly a new cockpit and HUD setup. The 2.6 package also includes a plugin system that supports every nation that currently operates the Typhoon but also allows the end user to create their own plugins and skins.

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We've tried to ensure that every Nation has a representation of their own Typhoon squadrons where possible. Some nations information isnt really that easy to find so we apologise if your national plugin doesn't represent every squadron or scheme available.

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With every nation represented and each plugin having about 20 loadouts and variations in the PBO thats about 140 options to play with! Should keep you lot quiet for a while.

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And a little boast here. I am absolutely confident when I say this is the only addon out that that has exploited the class MFD command to this level. With 5787 lines of code supporting 12 active 'panels' I know that no other addon prior to this has such a dynamic cockpit as this... and I have plans to go even farther in ArmA3!

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Get counting guys... only a few days to go!

Rock

wk24_article.jpgSome updates just aren't all that visual.

Its been a rather odd week lots of travel, work, socks, unwrapping and textures but not really much I can really show you.  Well nothing that interesting anyway.  So this week its a quick run down-round up.

Before I go much further I need to say that the Typhoon WILL be released at the end of the month to coincide/support UK Armed Forces Day so sit tight and shut up about it Cool

Onwards and upwards...

 

BAe Hawks

  • Common textures - Think of this a base layer which all the textures will be drawn from.
  • Pylon Setups - As with Typhoon 2.6 all the possible pylon configurations are going to be supported.  Ranging from the "clean" to the 'almost impossibly well hung'.
  • Model.cfg - This was really only an update from ArmA1 standards but its now setup for ArmA2's animation sources and been tweaked a bit to make it all work smoothly.
  • Hawk Specific Stores - Pretty much every aircraft has something unique to them.  The Hawk has a number of fuel tanks and fairings specific to them and them alone.  Eg the modified fairings used on the Red Arrows and Training Aircraft.  I've managed to model nearly all of them now.

 

CBFASI's Patrol Boat

This got some attention some time ago now its finally getting some textures.  It's slow going but it is starting to actually look the part!

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The Ultimate Weed Killer

The rest of the week has been mostly laundry and trying to catch up on sleep.  And rebuilding a Oxford Allen Motor Scythe. This thing is lethal!  My step-father bought it to cut the tall grass at their house in France.  Typically since hes not mechanically minded (he was a civil engineer on the railways once up on a time) I got stuck with re-assembling it and getting it running.

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The one pictured isnt the actual one we have.  But its raining outside right now and I cant be arsed to go get wet.  Its really over engineered in a very 1940's British way which is rather cool but its incredibly heavy and has absolutely no regard for health and safety.  When the engine is running the blades are constantly moving.  There is no brake, clutch or safety cutoff.  Once its running and in gear it just keep on moving. You have to either shut the throttle off or try and fight it back into neutral.  I have visions of it running off and eating its way through the trees!
 
I'll post video at some point. It should be good for a laugh.
 
Have Fun

Rock

Rock

wk23_article.jpgSo another late one. Jet lag is a full on b!@%ch. I was so tired I walked off the plane and nearly all the way up the jetway still hugging the little pillow they give you sleep with. A rather lovely stewardess had to chase after me and retrieve it. Then a 2 hour schlep through customs, tube journey and another 3 hour train ride home and just as I walk through the door I get turned around and have to go back out again. I think its understandable that nothing much got done after that. I slept 21 hours straight. Well there might have been a few pee breaks...

OK so you want updates. Well this week covers so many active and possible projects that its possibly just too much to take in. The pic kinda gives this one away but Its an ejection seat. Its intended to represent a Martin-Baker MK10 ejection seat. As with most low poly things some accuracy has been sacrificed to make life more practical. Poly counts and a lot of baking of details etc but I think its good enough for this application.

The MK10 seat is a development of the MK9, introduced in the 1970's its a popular choice of escape system for many western aircrat. Wikipedia lists quite a few. I'm not sure its all that accurate ( The Eurofighter Typhoon actually uses a Martin-Baker Mk16A but the early prototypes did use the MK10B at one point) so take a few things with a pinch of salt but its a useful claim for us.

List from Martin-Baker.

 

"Take the hot seat"

This is the medium poly model with high-resolution textures that we're going to use to bake onto final low poly model.
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Eventually the Mk10 will equip quite a few RKSL Projects.

  • BAe Hawk 60/100/200
  • Panavia Tornado GR4
  • SAAB JAS-39 Gripen

Just to name a few. There are also a number of IAP aircraft that will use it. Right Im off to bed again. I'm seriously tired so I'll catch you all another day.

Have Fun
Rock

 

Rock

Ok so I'm traveling again. More precisely I haven't stopped traveling yet, at this rate I might never stop. I've made it home 9 nights out of 38 so far. Right now I'm in a Travel Lodge near Farnborough, I'm not alone either. My traveling companion this week a very hairy guy called Clive that could easily pass for Viking or maybe a Norse God if you squint at bit. (I have to say that since he's sat opposite watching me type.) Thankfully we are not sharing a room because I think he's just pulled the waitress. :lol:

Week 21 was a bit of a quiet one. The RKSL Website went live, its still not finished but certain dark and secretive things needed its services. But alas I was still on the road so I havent really had time to finish the Typhoon Package. Which is probably not a bad thing since the testers seem to be finding lot of niggly little things that i missed previously.

Soooo, Week 22, as mentioned I am yet again divorced from my main workstation and project drive. SO I'm cheating again this week. Another game of:

"Guess Who" #3

Obviously its the low poly model, Its not hugely accurate but I think its good enough to have some fun...
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The Usual Rules Apply:

  • RKSL/IAP/BETA Team members are banned from playing!
  • You only get three guesses and then you are out. Even if you send them by email, PM and post (Yes Chris this means you, you freaky stalker-person) :D
  • Guess correctly and accurately and you'll see some more pics.
  • If no one get its It will be shown as next week's WIP Wednesday.
Check out the comments below for the answer!
Have Fun
Rock
 
 
Rock

After a three-ish year break its back. The website lives!

 

 

Today would have been a very big day. Ok so the unearthing of the - still slightly - incomplete website is pretty 'big' but I had planned to let the Typhoon 2.6 escape today. Unfortunately Ive had another week of meetings, some travel and desperate deadlines. And to top it all I've been putting together a quote for my dream 3D job.

Something had to give and its was Addons.

About the website
Ok so its not all there, somethings still need integrating so please bear with me while it get it populated and fully integrated. There are over 500 pages already and its still growing. I'm trying to get all the downloads sorted and the relevant documentation uploaded asap. Its slow going I'm afraid, I have so much work on right now I'm only managing an hour or so a day on the site so this might take me some time to get everything up and running.

I'm hoping to implement a proper Bug tracking/support system and a decent project tracker for the RKSL and IAP teams. Part of the system is there but I still need to write part of the bridging code. And free time is somewhat rare these days.

Hey-ho Its been a long, long, long week here in the RKSL bunker. So much to do and absolutely not time to do it. :evil: Which means very little visual news this week. But I've been trying to write the new Typhoon documentation with limited success. Work has delayed the release somewhat but it should be ready very very soon.

So with that little missive, Im off to bed and I'll post another something in a few days.

Rock

Rock

It's Greased.... errr... Foxhound?

 

 

 

Particularly slow progress from myself these last few weeks, work, life, relationships taking their toll on my free time, but regardless I've managed to crack on with a few bits and bobs since the last update and fixing up a few issues with the first Alpha that the team have been playing with.

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Most of the changes are of a visual nature; texture and rvmat aesthetics mainly concentrating on making the wagons feel more used, dirty and dusty, as well as being less shiney.

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Work has also been done on the damage and destroyed models, as well as the destructable tyres. Whilst these sort of features are pretty 'standard' on most addons these days, it's a first for me, so I'm particularly excited about getting them working :)

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And finally, I've also rigged up the randomised number plates. Again, a small detail, but again they were fun to set up and add that little extra visual 'oomf' to the wagons.

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There's been some mutterings about released dates, how much is there left to do, and the usual assortment of questions. There's a bunch of fiddly little things left to do, all of which are quite dull and time consuming and concern ironing out errors and bugs. The interior also requires some rvmats and the crew anims need finishing off as well.

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However, the Alpha is quite advanced, and rapidly approaching Beta at this time - whether that means we'll run a public Beta, like we have done with the Typhoons, or not is still being discussed, but with the onset of A3, we do want to get this out to you in its A2 form before starting on A3.

That's about it for me today!

Rock

Its an upload...

I'm having problems getting this video onto YouTube when it finally uploads I'll post properly when its done. 

Its finally uploaded, just took eight and a half hours. I have such a crap internet connection. 

These last weeks have been very productive in terms of RKSL & IAP work. Between us we've managed to bottom most of the bugs on the Typhoon. So much so that I'm relieved to say its at a point I'm comfortable enough saying we'll release it in a couple of weeks. I have a few things left to do, mostly with the weapons pack and I'm waiting on any last minute feedback from the Beta and UKAF guys but I think its finally ready.

 

 

I havent managed to get everything into this release that I wanted to but I've decided to leave some of the new things until ArmA3. Or maybe that should be I dont have the time to add these features just yet :D

Anyway guys Its coming. Its just over the hill. The Monster!

Rock

I don't really know how else to approach this. I am getting a bit pissed off with ArmA3 and the PMs/emails from people porting our stuff over and expecting it to work in the ALPHA perfectly.

RKSL Studios does not support any unofficial ports of our addons into ArmA3.

    1. Guess what kids it doesn't work! And It wont work bug free either! ArmA3 doesn't NOT support all the same features as ArmA2 yet. Nor does it share all the same class names.
    1. NO we arent going to fix it so it works in ArmA3 ALPHA any time soon no matter how many times you make demands and threats.

Ever since some muppet put a video of the Typhoon in ArmA3 I've been inundated with demands to fix it. I've even come across at least 10+ people hacking the addon to "fix" it and distributing it to all and sundry. Some even had the balls to come and ask me for the MLODS so they can do it themselves. I've spent nearly all of the last 3 weeks replying to emails and chasing down the hosts for these edited copies.

Guys please don't edit the PBOs. It causes so many problems for us that it just destroys my enthusiasm for making public releases.

And please just hold off using our stuff in ArmA3 until all the features are supported and we OFFICIALLY release an ArmA3 version.

Back to the plan

Ok this week I've had a lot to choose from. I've been travelling a lot again which means I've been lurking in airport lounges and trains for hours on end. Which means I've had quite a lot of time to get some work done. Mostly unwrapping though, which I hate. But it has been a very productive time with 3 projects almost completely unwrapped and ready for texturing. I've even managed to make a start of the Typhoon v2.6 (A2/CO final version) documentation.

Since last weeks little game ended so abruptly and I haven't finished the renders for this week's effort I thought we'd try for something harder.

Guess Who #2

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This is a very hard one. So I'm going to give some clues.

  • Its not in British service
  • It is going to feature in IAP but could well be of interest to several other mods.

So here's a few more clues:

  1. Its not or will (most likely) never be in the UK service.
  2. Its large but not too large.
  3. It started "life" as something less "warlike" (In the real world)
  4. Its quick.

And here is another picture...

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Evodan got it...

I thought this one would run for the week but I think the 2nd pic gave too much away :?

Anyhoo... more pics:

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Flax can now spill his guts 

It is a JHSV obviously still very much in WIP. I still need to add everything below the waterline, some external details and the ramp etc on the rear. It has an enterable interior and with PhysX could be mobile aswell.

The "plan" is that it will feature in IAP as part of a side campaign that Flax wanted to get into.

Outside of that I saw it as a mobile base for small teams and an interesting "modern" warship to make for the IAP (2020+) time frame that could 'happily' cross over into the Fantasy Alternate reality of ArmA3.

Anyway, Im going to have to sort the next WIP out sooner than I thought...  I would have bet it would run all week.

Rock

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Ok so I've an epically crap day today and I'm tired, grouchy and lots of other things... so I thought we'd play a little game.

Correctly guess what this is off and I'll show you some more pics.... dont guess and I wont. :twisted:

NOTE: All RKSL, IAP, PRACS members and Sekra are banned from playing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jonasdc9

Jonasdc9 and BritishFalcon both got it right.

It is indeed a Gazelle.
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Destined for IAP on the OPFOR (ASA) side I though what the hell I'll make a British version too(And since Redders is being so generous I'm probably going to have to make a Royal Marines skin).

I may even make a French version eventually. Its not hard to convert....

Rock

Rock

Its been another busy week for the team. So much so that i'm really not able to do it all justice in a quick wip report. So I'm not really going to try. I'm just going to pick out some of the visually more interesting things.

Lights! - Light Tower for a new generation - Get it?

I've previously mentioned these last year in the Projects that time forgot post. I've been messing with the textures this week and consolidating some of the other objects for IAP into a single pack.

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Its all very daft but I loved it for the flaws in the first model from OFP times. So much so that I'm not fixing a single flaw. Just wait until one passes you going the other way at 100kph!

Power - Even more missiles for the OPFOR

Earlier in the year I added some Russian missiles and bombs to the Air Weapons pack. Now we're adding some Israeli and Chinese versions to support not only the J-10 but loadouts for other "international" aircraft.
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This is the Python 3 which is also made under licence by the Chinese as the PL8. We'll also be adding a few other missiles to provide balance for the western versions already in the pack.

Action... Foxhound in game!

And Finally, and far more impressive than anything else shown today is Messiah's utterly beautiful Foxhound... in game!

Messiah has been banging (his head) away getting the textures and rvmats done. Da12th has made the anims and I've been helping debug the geo Lod and model.cfg. Its just so beautiful it makes me want to cry... I couldn't choose just 3 pics so you might as well have the lot!

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I've still got a load of things rolling steadily towards completion but its probably best to leave those for another day.

Have fun.

Rock, Messiah, Da12thmonkey and UNN.

PS I've finally squished all the bugs on the Typhoon... guess what that means!

Rock

 Ok so yet again I'm late getting this out. Largely due to the fact that I've just not been too organised this last week or so. I'm going to blame the pain killers im on for the moment (nerve pain in my right leg) but really its more that I was having a "I can't really be arsed day" on Wednesday.

A couple of weeks ago, my Mum was rushed into hospital due to a vomiting bug. Doesn't sound like much but since she's on permanent Chemotherapy even the slightest infection can be life threatening. Since then i've had some trouble finding a lot of free time to mod. At least in anything longer than 30 minute sessions. So its been one of those bits and pieces weeks again.

Messiah has had some impressive successes with the Foxhound this week. Da12th has made some spanking new custom anims for it too. And let me tell you it looks soooo good in ArmA2. The ArmA3 version, with all the working displays, mirrors etc is going to be so very cool.

CBFASI has been making ships again for IAP. Giving the ASA some much needed amphibious capability. But the lack of PhysX and a fully capable game engine in ArmA3-Alpha's current build is going to make some of our plans a bit more difficult to realise for a while.

Meanwhile I've been odd jobing. Picking up little easy to fix jobs and the odd bit of planning. But I've spent most of my free time upgrading the CVF (Queen Elizabeth class) Carrier.

"Its just so big its just wants to make you cry."

We've has a large ship assembly scrip working in game for some time now. Largely for static objects, but UNN and CBFASI did upgrade it to use the attachto command available in ArmA2 (The scripts were originally developed in the OFP era and refined in ArmA1 then largely forgotten. Or at least put on a back burner for a while.)

We resurrected them when IAP was conceived and I rolled out the CVF models too. They work quite well in ArmA2 and OA. At nearly 300m long and 70m wide its a big lump. Its all fully walkable, working lifts etc but the Ski-ramp has a tendency to damage planes at the moment. I'm hoping PhysX might help there.
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I've mentioned the CVF carrier in earlier WIPs and with the release of ArmA3-Alpha I've been forced to re-evaluate model standards and textures. The OLD CVF model really doesn't cut it when you can swim around underneath and the detail is a bit sparse. And I've realised now that more pictures of the real carriers being built are available that my model isnt actually that accurate. It just needed some love. I've rebuild most of the hull and I'm just working on the Hanger deck.

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I'm slowly working my way through that model unwrapping and texturing as I go. But its a big space, as you can see form the pics above. Thats 24 Typhoons in the hanger deck in that picture. With a bit of reshuffling 30 won't be too hard. Its going to be quite interesting filling the space properly.

Which brings me onto these, fire extinguishers. Storage Lockers etc. I've just spent the last two days texturing doors, cabinets and fire extinguishers. I have much more to do too.
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ArmA 3 and beyond

The current build is already working ingame. I've managed to get all the current features working properly and even the lifts seem to work OK with planes on them.
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It looks like its all going to work... who knew!

Have fun

Rock

Rock

Returning to normal scheduling this week, with a yet another quick update on the Foxhound (I'm sick to the back teeth of not being able to show you her ingame at this point in time). She has made a few tentative steps in the ArmA world, but my laptop isn't really capable of showcasing her in all her glory, so you'll have to wait till it's at an alpha stage and someone at RKSL with a better PC can take some screenshots.

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This week it's about the interior. Initially I'd expected to just create a quick, workable interior and leave it at that, on the premise that people probably don't pay all that much attention to what's inside a vehicle.

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(Un)fortunately, my pride got the better of me, and I spent the Easter weekend going a bit overboard on the details, correcting the model and generally tarting her up.

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As ever there's still some work to be done, mostly involving finishing off the interior grey paneling, dirtying them up and then adding the last few details such as cable conduits, net pockets and interior lighting installations. And then, as ever, normals, speculars and other bells and whistles.

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And yes, the intention is still to release the Foxhound for ArmA 2, if only as a Beta (depends on my time) and then continue developing her over in A3 in time for the full release.

We hope you've all had a cracking Easter,

Messiah and the RKSL Team.

Rock

 Apologies again for a late one. Its been difficult to get free time to write this week. I've got a lot on. OK so this week's update is late and a bit all over the place. Earlier in the week I managed to kill my backup-backup headset. I managed to stretch the cable so much it broke. Something I confess I seem to do rather a lot. So I spent most of Wednesday night with a soldering iron and the remains of 5 headsets trying to make one good one. I think I've succeeded. I've managed to squeeze some nice speakers, a USB power line and pretty decent mic into one of my old flying headsets.

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I don't think it looks too bad. Although I am going to replace the mic cable with something a bit more robust and replace the knackered old Trackclip Pro with a custom piece that discreetly fits in the headband.

Soldiering on...
So onwards and upwards. Quite a lot has been going on in RKSL, IAP and the community since the release of the ArmA3 alpha. Predictably the new game has jumped into the forefront of everyone's mind. With literally hundreds of new user made missions appearing and everyone rushing to port their content forward.

Messiah and Da12thmonkey are both chomping at the bit to learn as much as they can about the new engine. Thanks to efforts of some of the BIS staff official 'guides' are appearing on the Biki which is going to make getting stuff moved over a lot easier. I think Da12th has got a good handle on the character anims. Messiah is determined to get the Foxhound working in ArmA3. But sadly for me I'm still experiencing the predicted Steam and internet connection dramas. No matter what i do I cannot get the damn thing to run offline and even when i do have internet connection i seem to be timing out. Anyone know a friendly BT engineer?

So as you can imagine I'm not quite as excited about ArmA3 as most. I have had a few hours in it. I've driven, flown, swum and walked around for a while. The new features, Render-to-texture, physX etc are enough to get me quite excited about the possibilities for future addons. But its not really taken my focus away from ArmA2 just yet.

Its not a plastic bath toy...anymore!
I've made some progress detailing the Ambassador III ship. The external was just a bit too clean. Someone mentioned they thought it looked like a "plastic bath toy". So I've begun to add some more details to make it seem more 'real'.

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The new render to texture tech has peeked my interest too. It means that we can now do a lot more interesting things with consoles and displays. Each weapon operator on the Ambassador III can now have their own working display, which is going to be rather cool.

Anyway that's the late WIP update... on this F$#@ It Friday.

Have fun.

Rock

Rock

So, to be quite honest, I've not been that productive as of late. Real life work has taken it's toll, keeping me at the office untill odd hours in the night (I'm here as I type this update), and I've taken a brief, but renewed interest in playing Sim City 4, after how badly the new Sim City was received and what they'd done to it. Sigh...

However, it's not all doom and gloom. The A3 alpha has given me the energy to get the foxhound up and running, and these past two day's I've set about finishing off one of the more vital aspects of any well built and efficient addon; Levels of detail (LODs). Back when I was new to the modding scene, I really hated making LODs... and... well... yeah, nothing has really changed, other than that back then I thought creating LODs simply entailed just deleting parts of the model, with some interesting instant pop up results in game.

Thankfully I've matured a bit in my modding capabilities, and I like to make sure that the the lesser appreciated parts of an addon see just as much attention to detail as any other. Good lodding takes a bit of time and patience, but in the end I feel it's paid off; it's got a few of us stumped as to which LOD is which at times, which does make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :D

Anyway, I'm rattling on now, so I'll finish off this 'quick' update with a series of screenshots of the LODs, ranging from the primary down to the fourth. There are two others (six in all) but they're really not that interesting. Enjoy.

Primary/First LOD - 14000 Faces

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Second LOD - 7500 Faces

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Third LOD - 3800 Faces

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Fourth LOD - 1800 Faces

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(Oops, just noticed a missing cyclinder on the front tow rack - nevermind :roll:)

Rock

Confused?

Well this week its all about equipping the Ambassador III class missile boats. According to the published specs for the ship it has AGM-84 Harpoons. Well with this being for an ASA (OPFOR) ship I wanted to give it an alternative and more flexible capability. Which, in this case is the the GRAU 3M24 "Uran" (translates as Uranus according to Wikipedia) or Х-35У or AS-20 'Kayak'. Under NATO parlance its know the SS-N-25 'Switchblade'. How many names can this thing have?

It is also nicknamed Harpoonski for its similarity to the AGM-84 Boeing Harpoon which lets face it is a bit easier to handle. Either way its a cruise missile with both anti-ship and land attack capability. Which makes it ideal for the Missile boats.

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As with the earlier WIP entry about the SeaRAM [1] [2] this is another component system for use on our ships and other kit ultimately for IAP.

The plan is to use the BIS Artillery module to control the use of these missile batteries which will give some much needed support for the ASA forces. And before anyone cries "But this is a cruise missile not artillery." Yes we know but right now its a very good way of getting the capability ingame without a long development. Which I'm sure you will all appreciate.

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Anyway thats all for this week. Its been a close run thing getting this out before midnight. I was still making the launcher at 23:30 :D

Have fun

Rock

Rock

Messiah's Foxhound is getting some "baked love" this week.

Messiah has handed over his pride and joy to me so I can bake it some blankets...Infra Red suppressing camouflage blankets to be precise. They are supposed to reduce the IR signature of a vehicle significantly. I cant really comment about how well they work in the real world but i can tell you they are a pain in the arse to draw. Especially when it comes to creating normal maps.

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Which is why I tend to model things i cant draw and pray it looks OK on the bake.

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So what I am doing is creating a tileable model that can be overlaid on the exiting UV layout and baking that onto existing texture. Like so:

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Eventually it will cover the appropriate areas and then I can hand it all back to Messiah to finish off with some random colour variations and any extra kit on top of it.

Have fun

Rock

Rock

wk07_article.jpgOk so have you ever heard one of your friends tell a story about their day that just had a series of almost unbelievable events as an excuse for being late?

Get comfortable and listen up.

So yesterday I got roped in to helping pick up a 12ft x 6ft (3.65m x 1.85m) Slate bed snooker table by my Step-Father. My Mum and he, have a house in western France and its their dream to retire there. And part of his dream at least includes this snooker table (Its a big house). So he bought it on Ebay from a Conservative Club in a town about 30miles from where he lives.

The snag is we had to pick it up within a 3 hour window on Wednesday and we had to load it ourselves. Thankfully it was already disassembled. Well the table is made up of five, two hundred kilogram slabs of Welsh Slate and another one hundred and fifty kilos of Oak. And hes 64 and I have a bad back. Cue comedy image... nah it actually went quite well upto this point. Well it did start snowing before we left at 0930 and by the time we arrived at the club there was about an inch of ice and snow on the ground. Oh and did i mention the entrance to the club is on a big fecking hill? No, well it was. I had to get out and clear the snow off and spread some grit before we could park up.

So we loaded up, the lads in the club helped and we set off in my step-father's crapped out 15year old Ford Transit that spends at least 300 days of the year pretending to be a large rusty blue garden shed. Its snowing really hard now, thick, huge flakes and a biting wind that chills you right to the bone and the heater is blasting away. We come down out of the Pennines and get onto the motorway. All going smooth so far...

...then it cuts out. The engine, radio, heater, lights everything just dies in the middle lane climbing up a long hill. We went from 70mph to ~30mph in just a few seconds. My step-father managed to get it over to the hard shoulder and we sat and looked at each other. So I ask him, "Who's your break down service with?"
"I don't know." he replies. Good start this. I should point out that my step-father and I do not get on very well. We've never hit it off as they say.
"You do have cover though" I say.
"Yes", he says, "But its with my old bank". Oh shit I think.
So long story short I take a guess an ring Green Flag and they send a local firm to come get us. Hurray, I think. So we spent 45 minutes sat by the side of the road rapidly freezing in the cab of a knackered old van that's got more holes in it than chicken wire and a side door that doesn't shut properly. Held closed with a padlock with an alarm that permanently makes a sound like a Geiger counter ticking near a Russian nuclear power plant.

The tow truck arrives and we get out and he hooks the van up and lifts the front wheels. At this point he realises that the rear of the van is very low to the ground. He asks the next obvious question. "What've you lads got in the back of the van?"
"A snooker table" we say.
"A slate one?" he asks.
"Yes", we say.
"No fucking way" he says and unhooks us. He was very nice about it. But hes not going to take the risk towing us with so much weight in the back. We need a bigger tow truck says he. We've got to wait another 45 minutes at least. We just spent 20mins on the side of the freezing motorway in howling wind and freezing sleet and snow. Back in the van we go. An hour later the second, large tow tuck arrives. A nice big flat bed. No problem, they load the van and we hop in and off home we go.

Now as I mentioned it's snowing and as any British citizen will tell you when it snows our roads turn to ice rinks and everyone drives like a granny. It's got nothing to do with the fact no one prepares for the winter weather or knows how to drive in snow. Honest.

So it takes an hour to drive the 20-25minute journey home, arriving at about 1545. Where there is 4 inches of snow. At this point I should explain we live at the foot of a long steep and famously ice prone hill. Parked cars either side of the road and off we go (we did give he a choice of an alternative drop off spot but he said he could make no probs). A few near misses. Im talking the width of a credit card kinda misses here and we get down to the bottom of the tarmac hill and unload.

We say our thanks, and wave the Tow truck off. Only they aren't going anywhere, wheels spinning and ice and snow spraying up but no traction. They're stuck. So off I go again and get a shovel and a bag of salt grit. Thirty minutes later I've cleared and gritted about 20m of the road and they manage to get enough speed up to get moving...

... with a final wave I start to walk home. BANG, Tinkle, tinkle... I keep walking...quickly and don't look back.

Wasnt me, I didnt see nuffink guv, not a blind f'ing.

On the way past our van I check to see it locked. The rear door was open and would not lock (central locking only on this model) and with the battery flat I'm screwed. Off I toddle for some tools to liberate the battery so that I can charge it up. Only the socket wrench is too big to fit in the space available under the seat. Joy, 30 mins with a pair of pliers and a flashlight and I managed to get the restraining strap off and lift out the battery.

Its time for a brew while the battery charges.

An hour later and I'm back out in the freezing snow and sleet shower with the battery. All connected up and the door lock securely. Just out of morbid curiosity I try to start it and it catches. Meaning we can move it the final 50m to our house.

And that my friends is why I didn't post this update last night. I was absolutely freezing cold, tired and I honestly could not be arsed.

So this week's update:

Surprise! Its a J-10A. This has been my stress relief for the last month or so. As I've said in earlier post the proxy doubling bug has been driving me nuts recently so I started this because I was so pissed off I just wanted something nice and simple to do that did not involved chasing down bugs. Which is about 99% of all the outstanding live projects.

So yes I know its yet another "new" project and why haven't you finished the Tornado etc instead but guess what kids. its my free time and I'll spend it how I like so naaaaaahh!

Besides Its not really wasted is it. So far this has been a joy to work on. i've even enjoyed making the texture for it. Which is a first for me.

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So its a Chinese fighter, which is also a first for RKSL but I rather like it and I've always wanted to make one. Aaaaaand i wanted one for IAP.

The justification for the IAP thing is pretty simple.

  1. As it stands most of the African nations have older soviet era types that will probably be defunct by the IAP timeline of 2020+.
  2. Given the timeline its not impossible that China might have some spare J-10As to donate to the poorer ASA nations and FC-20s to sell to the richer ones.
  3. Few of the existing aircraft operated by the ASA nations are comparable to more modern Western types and with the Chinese connection in the story line an ex-PLAAF J-10A and the more modern export FC-20 aka J-10B seemed like a logical choice to balance Typhoons, F-35s and F-16s.

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The Chinese PR machine would have you believe its a match for the Typhoon and other Generation 4.5+ aircraft. Personally I doubt it given the stated thrust rating and mass etc but I reckon its comparable with the earlier F-16C and Mirage 2000 era types. Still not a bad plane.

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You can read all the specs and history for yourselves on the Wikipedia page But its got a capable suite of Air-to-Air weapons together with an equally capable if a bit limited range of Air-to-ground guided weapons. It should fit in well with the AI's ability to fly. (No hard to use weapons)

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Given how well it's progressing and in-light of several recent fixes for the Typhoon I may well release this for ArmA2 as well as ArmA3. I've really only got some of external details and the cockpit to do and it should be ready to go not too long after the updated Typhoon and Helicopters are released.

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As with the latest Typhoon we'll be providing plugin and texture templates for those that want to create your own skins.

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Oh yeah and my step father ordered the Chinese. The Yung-chow fried rice is actually quite good with the BBQ spare ribs.

Have fun

Rock

Rock

More typhoon news this week. We're pushing on with the fixes and some final polish. Da12thMonkey has been kicking my arse and finding bugs for me to fix all this last week as well as churning out even more plugins!

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Ok so these aren't exactly true to real life but Da12th has obviously had some spare time on his hands (I will be fixing that in the near future too :twisted: ) since hes managed to produce over a dozen or so "fantasy" skins for us to play with...

Skins featured are:

  • RAF
    • Red Arrows
    • No.74 Squadron "black fin"
    • Cold War-era camouflage
    • Desert Storm 'pink' (+sharkmouth nose art)
  • RAAF
  • RCAF
  • RNZAF
    • Old 3-colour green camo
    • Modern all-over dark grey
  • USAF
    • 'Hill' scheme (F-16 type)
    • 'Ghost' scheme (F-15/F-22 type)
  • Denmark
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • Czech Republic
  • Rep. Ireland
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Brazil
  • Oman (remnant from before I made the plugin)
  • RACS
    • Green/Sand camo
    • Grey/Blue-grey low-vis camo
  • Takistan

Ballistic09 was kind enough to take some screenshots for us:

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A texture and config template will be available with the released addon... which should be available soon!

Have fun

Rock

Rock

This WIP report should have gone out last night... I was nearly ready but I thought i'd just do one more little job. Which of course led on to just fixing that other niggly little thing... which predictably broke something else and before i knew it it was 2am.

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So I woke up this morning, shoved the paper work off my cluttered desk and went hell for leather at the Typhoon... and at about 2000 tonight I finally finished it. Well not all of it but the niggly bits and the things that i broke last night!

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What does this mean? Well the fix ends months of bug hunting and swearing, beard pulling and prevaricating over which model to bottom first. This will probably be the last big update to the Typhoon for ArmA2. I have a completely new model for ArmA3 so I'd prefer to focus on that from now on. But this is no small update.

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According to my desktop bug tracker it represents 531 changes since the beta. Only a few of which have been mentioned in the updates over the last year.

  • Flight model Improvements
  • Better AI performance
  • Improved handling for both keyboard and Joystick users
  • Improved scripts - Number of MP issues fixed
  • Improved Flare system integration
  • Restructured PBO for 3rd Party Plugin support.
  • International Plugin and Weapons load outs
    • Austria
    • UK
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Oman (New)
    • RedFOR - Fictional force for PVP and Training.
  • Larger selection of pre-set loudouts.
  • Improved HUD with Parallax layer
  • Improved Cockpit Displays
  • Improved wreck and debris.
    And a lot more.

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It also opens the door for a lot of other aircraft projects in our archive to be finished. Largely thanks to the lessons learnt on this development. Displays and HUDs can be more practical now and less reliant of animations which may (or may not) contribute to server lag.

I have the last 3 recorded bugs to fix and then its only the updated documentation to do and it will be ready for release.

Watch this space...

Rock

Rock

wk4_article.jpgAnyway, i haven't wasted the last 3 weeks. Despite spending way too much time playing Minecraft with Eddie and Sekra - waaaay too much time - I've managed to get quite a lot done. But very little of it is really visual.

My Hardware Woes

I've largely solved my PC issues. For that last 3 weeks I've slowly been rebuilding my PC. Well to be precise I've rebuilt it about 6 times from the ground up. Swapping out either new or borrowed components in the ever more desperate search for the cause of my CTD and Random Restarts. I'll be honest I'm still not 100% certain but it looks like it was down to a combination of video and audio drivers clashing and just locking the machine. After the last OS install and slightly out of date driver setup the PC has been quite stable for the last few days. Fingers crossed it will stay that way.

Loss of Comms

You don't realise how much you rely on something until it's gone. I've been having Skype issues for a while now. I thought it was only a month or so but it turns out - according to Skype's customer support - it's been going on since last July. As I type this I'm waiting to hear if my normal Skype account can be saved. Its supposed to be something to do with the MSN > Skype migration. It became 'corrupt' at some 'unknown point' and has been causing problems not just for me but pretty much every server its touched. So if you have sent me a message or contact request in the last few weeks/months and not heard back from me please be patient and I'll try and get back to you asap.

Progress of a sort

As I said at the start my progress so far this year isn't really all that visual. I've been forced to run windows in a Virtual machine on my ancient SGI 02 workstation. Which rather ironically can't run BI's O2 modelling tool. It does run Minecraft though despite the horrifically slow CPU speed by modern standards.
So progress has been more config related and more bug fix related. Work has covered about 20 projects. Mostly fixing my dodgy config and coding errors. But several SAM systems now work at least as well as the BIS ones do and should be future proof in terms of patches and updates. As long as BI doesn't change too many class names :)

Quick fire Updates

  • Tornado - Slow and very hard going but I have managed to make some progress with the cockpit unwrapping. I have realised that I need to re-nest the UV layout but once I get back into Modo that wont take too long.
  • Typhoon - Everything is fixed apart from the proxy doubling bug. Since I haven't been able to run ArmA its been hard to test this but it would appear - at least its logical - that its down to a model corruption and I'm going to attempt to export and re-import that mesh a new this weekend.
  • Christmas UAVs - There should have been a "family" of BIS-Standard enabled UAVs released on Christmas day. The reason they weren't is largely down to me having to work away in the 4 weeks run up to Christmas but my ongoing PC issues made them impossible to complete and release until now. About of a week's worth of evenings should see these done. Its mostly just textures and rvamts left.
  • SAMs - Rapier FSC and I-HAWK should both see a (BIS standard - ie not scripted) release. Again they lack some texture work and a bit of polish. The configs are now OA compatible and should inherit all the new features as and when they get patched in by BIS.
  • Lynx & Puma updates - As with a few other projects these now have new configs and slightly tweaked models. Folding in some of the new OA features that were missing before and making 3rd party plugins easier to use and make.
  • Merlin HC3 - I've decided, largely due to workload that I wont update the Merlin HC3 for ArmA2. The BAF Merlin seems to be perfectly adequate for most people and the Haters seem to think its better so go for you life. The updated RKSL model will now be releasing in ArmA3.
  • IAP for ArmA3 - Quite a lot of interesting stuff is going on here. Quite a lot of progress in the Core addon sets. But more topical is the situation in Mali. The insurgent activity and the French (in the IAPverse EU/NATO) intervention in Mali closely mirrors part of the existing story line we had planned so both Rob and myself are closely watching events with a view to some story updates and new equipment etc. Several new items have been added to the queue and we're seeing a lot of interest in partnerships for ArmA3. Which is really rather cool so early in the mod's life.

So that's about it. Messiah is off Skiing. I've been incommunicado so I have no real idea what the other lads have been up to. Hopefully we'll get a more interesting news package out next week.

Have Fun

Rock

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