How to : Lets start at the begining....Blueprints!

I use large sizes of trash paper lying on the floor to draw all dimentions that I pull out of the computer by scaling with a digital, scanned ruler. By using separated layers, I get to manipulate the on-screen ruler, zoom in and get almost perfect dimensions of most props. That's the way my GB props and cane of the Emperor were scaled out.

I was contacted by Mike Rush, who emailed me his kick ass blueprints.. Here they are!


Mike has yet to post on the baord, but maybe we can get him to interact directly!

Mike was also nice enough to email me how he made these plans, so here is his words directly!


Okay, here goes - don't know if I can successfully write any of it down


I put the scans of the toy into Photoshop and adjusted them so that they
were all the same apparent scale, and laid them out into end, side and
plan views. This entire image was then moved into Illustrator.
(Specifically, the bitmap was placed on its own locked layer underneath
the 'work' layer so that it could easily be turned off and on to check
progress.) I've used a few CAD programs but I prefer Illustrator every

The scans were a great starting point but couldn't be taken too
literally as many things didn't line up with each other. Why not?
Perspective. Perspective is the enemy, because things further away from
the eye look smaller (for example the two blisters on the cab roof).
Don't be fooled! As long as you cross-check each thing you draw with the
other two views, you should have no problem. I learned to draw
orthographic projections years ago at school (on paper!) so I'm used to

To begin with you have no set dimensions. Beginning with the side I drew
over some of the major shapes. (The landram is forgiving because it has
some good clear horizontals and right angles, which helps.)

When the side view is done you have set down the lengths and heights.
Using the lengths from that view, I drew a plan by adding the widths
from the scan. Now you have three dimensions for things. Therefore you
can fairly simply make up the end view. The way it works is, if you have
two views of something you can extrapolate the third view without too
much trouble. Take the roof turret for example: I had a side view and a
plan view but no end view, so I used the side and the plan to work it

Once the three views are established you can go to town adding the
details. The more you do, the easier it gets - because everything
relates to everything else in a certain way. If you've made a mistake,
it will show up almost automatically because you will find you won't be
able to add it to all three views. How much detail you add is a matter
of choice. (I left the panel lines off because I couldn't see some of
them accurately enough.)

The isometric view is done because apart from finishing off any set of
plans nicely, it also acts as a final check to see if everything you
drew 'works' in 3D. This was also done by hand, not using a 3D program.

As for scale, it really makes no difference because you can draw at one
scale and change it later (the beauty of computers). I drew these plans
over the scans, so that's what size they are currently. If I now wanted
to make them a specific scale, I would just need one measurement from
the original toy, and I could then scale my drawings up or down until
they matched. If I knew a measurement from the real landram I could use
that. In general I draw things like props 1:1 (within reason), or if
it's something bigger like a vehicle, I use 1:10.


I beleive one of our own will also have a step by step guide on how he builds his plans, comming up soon!

Excelsior!!!! (Man, I wish Stan Lee would create some other cool sayings!)

</SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>SinkTube Jedi wrote:<HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>Nice thread guys, now do the Valley Forge from Silent Running or the Ark from Starlost!</TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>

LOL... You do the Valley FOrge, and I will do the Ark...


Doesn't seem like there's a lot of point in me continuing to post my blueprint technique as Mike's results are much better than mine. - Martin
</SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>WanObiJedi wrote:<HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>Doesn't seem like there's a lot of point in me continuing to post my blueprint technique as Mike's results are much better than mine. - Martin</TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>

Your technique is valuable to me. I have started using DeltaCad and find it very user friendly. There are quite a few things I need to learn how to do. I don't see anywhere yet on how to make invisible lines.

I have a Mace Windu VD saber print I'm working on. I'm having trouble figuring out the measurement for the tapered pommel area.

If anybody uses DeltaCad and wants to give it a shot, I can email what I have done so far.

Please continue. You both have different ways of getting the same results. Does not mean that one is better than the other.

I too have started with DeltaCAD and have learnt more in your post than reading the manual for a month!

As someone is finding this useful I will continue. This installment is to put the tracks on the elevation I had started previously:

The World isnÂ’t Flat

1. WeÂ’ve drawn outlines with straight edges. How about circles? The tracks will be our example here.

2. First, on my printout I draw a rectangle that encompasses the tracks. Using the same techniques as before I put this shape on my blueprint.

3. I draw a centerline for the rectangle and squares for tracks and wheels at each end of the tracks. I also find the center point of each square.

4. I can now draw the circle for the outside diameter of the tracks.

5. I take the thickness of the tracks and draw another circle.

6. And repeat for the track teeth.

7. I can now draw horizontal lines for the tracks and teeth.

8. I can now remove superfluous lines.

9. Using the same box and draw circles technique I can add the other wheels.

10. The following two pictures show the wheels and tracks completed with and without measurement lines. For the sake of convenience I am not going to add teeth to the tracks.

nice work guys.

I on the other hand do most of my work in 3d since that's what I do at my job.

The way I go about doing things is as follows:

I'm gonna use the Han SOlo Blaster mount as my example.

1. First thing I do is find all pictures I can of the item in question (blaster) for references. Problem is that we don't know the exact dimensions used but we do know some of the dimensions for the mauser, scope, etc.

2. Problem with photos is distortion, so keeping that in mind, I look for a side, front, and top view and bring the images into Adobe Illustrator and rescale the images to be full size in relation to that one point that I know of. In the blaster case, I know that the scope is 7/8" and the Mauser magazine cover is 1.5" (I've got a real mauser to compare to).

3. When I rescale the image to one setting, the other isn't exactly right. Say, I scaled the scope to 7/8 but the magazine well was 1.495" due to distortion. NO biggie at all.

4. Once I've got my basic measurements chicken scratched on a piece of paper, I open up my cad program (Solidworks 2001 Plus) and begin drawing all the components in 2d fashion. One piece at a time.

5. Once all the parts are drawn and extruded (turned into a 3d part), I assemble, and then render the images in the same views I have of the real things. I superimpose and make sure that everything lines up.If it lines up on the screen to what I made, then I make an initial prototype.

6. I compare the prototype to the photos, to the drawings and tweak little measurements here and there. Once done, I make
then make a final prototype to make sure it is right. When I say final prototype, I treat this one like it's the real deal so that if everything works, then it is the final part I'm going to make.

The nice thing about creating in 3d is that you can then get all of your 2d drawings directly off of the 3d part. INstead of drawing 3 different views of somethign and then doing an isometric view to see that the parts work, you create the part 3d first (if it doesn't fit together, you can tell right away).

Example pics:



3d render

2d Drawings

The next elevation

1. Just as we printed out then side elevation we now need to print out the head on shot of the vehicle to work on.

2. Again, weÂ’re assuming the vehicle is 7 feet from the bottom of the tracks to the top of the roof. Measuring my printout that is 108mm. Therefore, 1mm on my printout equals (7*12)/108 = 0.78 inches

3. LetÂ’s start with the waistline again. I want the front elevation to start 2 scale feet from the completed side elevation so I draw a temporary line 2 feet horizontally from the waist and vertically to mark the height.

4. Using my measurement and calculation I determine that the vehicle is 82 inches wide. I draw this one my blueprint.

5. As we already have nearly half the measurements we need from our side elevation we can transfer these to the head on view with temporary lines and fill in the rest to get the main body shape.

6. Using the same method of transferring measurements from the side elevation and calculating dimensions from the head on print out we can add the tracks.

7. Finally, we remove the temporary lines and add some missing details.
Turning the corner

1. Time for the birds eye view of the vehicle. We actually have all the measurements we need so it is a mater of transferring them from the two previous elevations. To do this we need a 45-degree to ‘bounce’ the head on dimensions. Again, lets have the new elevation 2 feet from the side elevation so we need to draw a temporary line 2 feet up from the extreme top left of the side elevation.

2. We now draw out bounce line from this.

3. Now lets draw the temporary lines we need from the head on view to the bounce line.

4. Using the bounce line we can now turn the dimensions from the head on elevation so that they are of use to birdÂ’s eye elevation.

5. Using temporary lines we now transfer the dimensions from the side on view to birdÂ’s eye view.

6. We can now ink in the birdÂ’s eye view outline.

7. The remove the temporary lines.

8. To add the window detail weÂ’ll bounce twice; once of the temporary bounce line and once of the nose of the side elevation.

9. We can then ink in the windscreen and remove the temporary lines to complete the birdÂ’s eye view.
Using the techniques described previously you should be able to guess how weÂ’re going to add the remaining elevations. The following picture shows my progress without comments, as I am doing nothing new but am simply transferring measurements from one elevation to another and inking in the outlines.

To get the right side elevation weÂ’ll use the mirror trick as this is a simple example. Find the half way point between the left side elevation drawing and where you want the right side elevation to go. Draw your mirror line.

Copy and mirror the left hand elevation.

Erase your remaining temporary drawing lines, add a title and any dimensions that you want displayed and youÂ’re done. Of course this was a very simple example with many details omitted but I hope you get some idea of the technique that I use and find useful. Please bear in mind that I am not a trained draftsman or graphic artist of any kind and I use the cheapest CAD program available so someone with better tools and training may be able to provide better techniques that I can.
Wow.. You guys are answering a hell of alot of questions...

I really think this thread needs to be archived once we are done...

I'm getting ready to start a scratch build of a Star Gate, with lights and sounds and special effects, also semi-working staff and zat gun. need input, detailed photos, and any thing else wold be welcomed. Have already started on the mechanics.
UGH...just noticed the age of this thread that someone dug up...disregard.
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