CBF Shipbuilding, in cooperation with RKSL Studios.
Well it all started many moons ago, back when 1982:Flashpoint for the Falklands was forming. I was asked to join that team to do island building. The person who was doing the ships quit and I offered to give it a go. Turned out I had a wee bit of skill, and my own interest in nautical items helped.
The first ship I built was HMS Invincible, and I am glad I no longer have that version (at least not without digging through old cd's), it was so simple, but from this one build I learnt many things..
- You can take off using a ramp in OFP
- The ships could not be more than 64m in length, so was broken up into shorter lengths and at that time, placed on map carefully.
- A column of ships with ramps can be fun in Humvee.
A Much later version of HMS Invincible, just textures to finalize
OFP had a huge benefit for me, I did not have to learn how to model the underwater parts of ships, this is where they get really curvy.
It did however let me do something for the community that was not being done by anyone else in any quantity. I added quite a few ships to OFP:
- 2 Carriers (HMS Hermes, HMS Invincible)
- 1 Landing Assault Ship (HMS Fearless)
- 1 Beach Landing Ship (RFA Sir Galahad)
- 1 Landing Craft (LCU Mk 9S)
- 1 Destroyer (Type 42/1)
- 2 Frigates (Type 21, HMS Plymouth)
- 4 Merchants (Elk, Baltic Ferry, Nordic Ferry, Atlantic Conveyor, SS Canberra)
- 1 RFA Refueller (RAF Fort Austin)
- 2 Patrol Ship (HMS Endurance, ARA Guerrico)
- 2 Sumbarines (HMS Oynx, ARA Santa Fe)
A few of the ships lined up for review (or rather picture taking)
I would also add a method that would be seen in later Bis games, multi-part ships..
Most of these ships got upgraded several times, with HMS Fearless being the worst. She started from scans of the plans from an Airfix kit. I later found out just how inaccurate they are!
Out of all these ships, HMS Plymouth is the only ship that I went further than required, and I did a full hull model, something that would be of use much later. (cut the underwater part off for OFP, but it was built in its pure form for later use)
HMS Plymouth, Early view, showing full hull
So you all wondering, why mention all this old stuff, we got ArmA 3 around the corner and OFP is so old now.
Well ArmA 1 I started to experiment a bit with ideas and even ported over from a couple of other games some ships for theory work (they didn't get released for obvious reasons)
I learnt a few more things here.
1. Most other games have ships models that are too low quality for what I need, OR are far too detailed...
2. Adjusting models does not work, its too much work.
3. Its MUCH easier to use them as a rough guide and effectively build new.
This would be a good thing as it has meant that all I have has been built or totally rebuilt by me, and has meant I learnt more 3d modelling.
An ArmA 1 experiment with attachto
So what I am actually working on, what is likely to see light for ArmA 3.
As can be read above, she has been in and out of a few roles, which means she becomes rather suitable as a floating base, or a ferry, or a patrol ship... Also I liked building the original so I wanted it..
Now the model is an upgraded version of the OFP one, with the underwater portion 'made up' and attached. Textures, well these have to be totally re-done as the model got adjusted to correct some discrepancies.
I also worked on something new for ArmA 2, cranes... after all this ship has 3 big ones
Forward Port Crane loading a Humvee
Yes it works, but... its humans only.. (although with mission scripting you might be able to make it work without humans)
Now some of the testing was fun...
Yes cranes are useful on a battlefield... moving obstructions.. (the Launcher was chosen as a vehicle of suitable size and style) The cranes are 'attached' to the ships so in theory can be attached to anything.
View from deck below the Bridge
A civilian Ro-Ro (Roll-on Roll-off) Ferry. This is based on a ship called Emerald Express made by G & G Shipping, Florida (http://www.gandgshipping.com/) This vessel suits the transport of vehicles to and from shore, whether is a proper dock, or a beach...
Early image showing sort of load space available
Later image showing detailing starting to appear, note she is still in 'basic' colours
With the minor adjustment of leaving the back open, she works as a floating bridge between other craft too.
Enough clearance to carry larger loads.
LCT Mk 5
A WW2 era landing craft, some may even still be in use today, real load 150tons.
Plenty of space
Even for big loads
Another old ship, real ship is laid up somewhere, I think...She has had little adjustment since the OFP model 'cut' in better places to make it easier to work with.
HMS Plymouth alongside the dock at Siposis
Two early images of the rebuild:
Clear deck, ideal for helicopters, with a bit of cover..
What is so special ? These are only useful static...
Well, turns out with UNN's fantastic help I have a system built where you can drive on, tie the vehicle down, then drive the ship away, untie the vehicle and then drive off at a new location. This also works with helicopters on the flight decks, and allows landing while the ship is in motion (but its not easy trying to match speed)
So what else is in the pipeline ?
Personally I would like to try and get many of my OFP ships converted over. I have an island that I have dreamt of doing right from the start of OFP and its useable now but lacks lots.. I'd also like to build dockside equipment and sections to allow for greater utilization of the vessels. (There are 27 'intentions' in my work folder... I expect about quarter to make it...) Currently in the "RKSL Paintshop":
- A small patrol boat is currently with the painters.
- A small personnel landing craft is with them too.
A road crane for doing what my testing allowed, but a proper visual crane..
So how does this fit in with RKSL ?
Well Rock and I go back to the OFP days, and we sort of help each other out. Many of my vessels will see action in the IAP setup and this helps me to realize something I have wanted for a while. My own personal island will fit in with IAP as its based in a similar region and may even see release too.