Pacific 24 Just about to drop it into Substance. Missing some detail but there is space for them on the UV. #wip #rksl #Arma3
Formerly Known as "WIP Wednesdays". Now its probably best to think of this as "When we get chance Wednesday".
Pacific 24 Just about to drop it into Substance. Missing some detail but there is space for them on the UV. #wip #rksl #Arma3
A return to 4am baking... well unwrapping Pacific 24 7.8m Rib for the Royal Navy ships we have in WIP. #wip #rksl #Arma3
DS30B - In Buldozer - Nearly there now. Working on animations and materials tweaking #wip #rksl #Arma3
DS30B - Bit more progress - Some Labels applied. More detailing to go. #wip #rksl #Arma3
DS30B - Even more progress - I've been asked why I'm posting unfinished shots. The best way I can think of to demonstrate progress is showing shots at various stages of development. ? Proper update article coming soon #wip #rksl #Arma3
Bit of progress since the earlier pics. Now ready for Pre-Paint and detailing to begin. These shots are In Substance with just basic materials applied. #wip #rksl #Arma3
Late night job #5311: DS30B - 30mm Cannon for the RN Ships. The later version of the DS30M with the Bushmaster will follow at some point. And there will be a version with the Enhanced config, the one with the martlets #wip #rksl #Arma3
If you follow any of our social media or are part of the RKSL Discord you may have already seen some or most of these. But may not understand whats actually going on.
Recently MikePhoenix approach me asking about doing a joint project. A completely new Queen Elizabeth carrier. Something we both think the game needs. The more British kit the better.
Now this is a big project. Its over 280m long, 73m wide, Is a bloody awkward shape to model and it's going to use a lot of polygons. Mike and I are splitting the load between us. Mike is doing the two islands and I'm doing the hull. After that we are sharing the load and making parts and details as needed.
To answer some of the questions people have already asked.
Q1) Will he have a hanger deck?
Q2) Will it have capaults?
A2) Yes and no. The real carrier does not. but due to game engine/AI limits there will probably have to be a "'mock' catapult so that mission makers can launch planes etc.
Q3) Does the ramp actually work?
A3) Yes. But there are limits. Planes either need to be given reinforced landing gear and setup for it or be speed limited to prevent explosions.
Q4) Will it be moveable?
A4) No, its simply too big its a static object just like the BI Carrier.
Q5) Will it have all the rooms and bays?
A5) Nope. it's just too much work to do that. but it will have some keys areas, the Hanger deck, briefing rooms. Boat bays and other practical areas.
Q6) Is it going to be armed?
A6) Yes, Phalanx, 30mm Cannon, GPMG and if we get time M134 Miniguns.
Q7) Do we get an F-35B with it at release?
A7) Probably not at the same time. But there is one coming.
And feel free to join our discord channels for the latest stuff.
RKSL Discord - https://discordapp.com/invite/YegMy24
Mike's Polygon Factory - https://discord.gg/nxxMRZG
Thanks for looking.
Mike and Rock
MikePhoeniX & I are working on a brand new Queen Elizabeth Carrier model and I needed something to test ramps and STOVL setups with. So I dug out my old Harrier GR9 #rksl #wip #arma3 #testing
I discovered a new forum - at least previously unknown to me - where someone was loudly broadcasting his mistaken belief that I have lied about the LPD. So for my loyal and possibly disloyal followers is the old ALPHA ingame.
Its fair to say my focus has been a bit all over the show recently. And that's for various reasons you aren't really interested in. But needless to say the LPD has never really been out of WIP. Its just been slow going. Trying to find ways around the game engine limits and issues.
Right now the main issue is roadways. For those not of the modding persuasion these are the defined areas that you may walk or drive upon in a model. Now the issue here is that once you place a roadway on top of another the game engine doesn't like it. At least for some things.
So lets imagine this. Each deck has a roadway:
_______________ Flight Deck _____________
_______________ Deck 1 ________________
_______________ Well deck ____________ \___LCU MK10____/ or \__LCVP__/
Either a Vehicle-In-Vehicle enabled LCU or LCVP carrying a vehicle enters the well deck. Try to unload and the game engine can't work out which deck to put it on and spawns it (typically) off to the right of the ship above the water. You are now down one vehicle. This is a bit of a problem, Its one that can't be solved when using VIV without a game engine change.
The fix is to rely on PhysX. Now this comes with problems too. Depending on the speed of your PC results may vary. Dodgy physx calcs can result in the LCU and vehicle its carrying being fired across the map... cue hilarious A3 video montage of flying tanks and subs. etc.
Aside from the usual issue of geometry limits, dodgy configs, scripting and a myriad of other things this problem is the reason i haven't released the LPD or had much motivation to work on it as a priority.
Anyway, here's some WIP pics.
I was asked about how practical it is. The answer is that you can get a full size HAM HX60 or HX58 down the flight deck ramp. You can fit 4x LCU mk10s in the welldeck and it carries 4x LCVPs on the davits...Practical enough?
Been quiet for a while...again. Wildcat is still plodding on. I've recently had an unplanned & unwanted 'holiday' cut off from my project drive but i've not wasted my time while confined to bed. Managed to get a few other bits done & started more floaty things #rksl #arma3 #wip
Several people have been asking for an AW159 update. I don't have anything pretty that demonstrates progress so here is the Project summary sheet.
All the bars go green and it out for release.
Hope that satisfies.
Yes I know yet another project but its not as bad as you may think. Im sick of the GPMG and M3M Loding. Its not fun so been taking a break = New Merlin HC4, interior progress...nowhere near done. Proper WIP update soon. #wip #rksl #MerlinHC4 #arma3official
I have a headache from banging my head on the desk. I really hate making SMDI textures. ??? #rksl #wip #arma3official
Slowly, slowly, painting monkey. GPMG is getting closer. Working my way through all the components and detailing. #rksl #wip #arma3official
The GPMG saga continues. Last night I discovered the dims on the original rounds and ammo box were out. Which led me to remake the rounds, link, box and adjust the model some more (changes the UV). One step forward, two back. ? #rksl #wip #arma3official
GPMG v3: After 30mins in Substance. I'm not unhappy. Still lots more to do. ? #rksl #wip #arma3official
More LCVP...the tedious LoD creation has begun. Any modder will tell you this is a horrible grind. You realise should have done a better job making the model...and think about rebuilding it. Which causes more delays or you just say **** it and crack on
#rksl #wip #arma3official
Quick update. sharp-eyed ppl will notice the fixed CCTV camera on the mast. I noticed in later pics this has been swapped for a TV/IR Turret Camera. This is now supported in the Commander's Turret. Nearly done tweaking, more texture work and then lods
#rksl #arma3official #wip
It will hold:
Bay covers are toggeled via attributes (atm) not sure about that either.
The ViV option will use 90% of loadspace.
#rksl #arma3official #wip
It's been an all nighter again. I got frustrated trying to sort the cargo out on the HAMs so I repainted the LCVP mk5 ? This was going to be part of the LPD pack but I'm now thinking of releasing this as a standalone. Personnel and ViV versions are inWIP
LCVP mk5 External 95% done. Details are almost done and now exporting from Substance. Cockpit next. (Is it a cockpit or a bridge?) Just realised i dropped a clanger with the lifting hook pedestal...kudos points if you can work it out.
There has been a lot of interest in the HAM Trucks. More than I actually thought there would be, with lots of questions, suggestions and offers to test etc. So, I thought it would be good to do a bit of an update. People asking about the Wildcat and a few others, I’ll cover those in another post. If you are lucky enough to be part of our Test Group or managed to get your hands on a leaked version (The leaker has been found and disposed of) you may have seen some of this already.
HAM? Are you dyslexic?
No I am not dyslexic. Some people have said the name change is about Copyright (its Trademarks if i'm being picky) but this isn't entirely true. It is a long story, from a long time ago. But it came about during a research phone call with MAN trucks PR team. Partly to ask for info but to also confirm their policy on the use of MAN trademarks in non commercial ways. I had previously emailed but after a week i decided to chase it up. To cut a long story short I was asking for information on the HX and SX series trucks and the person I was talking to got very snotty with me. Very Rude, I was polite but persistent and the call eventually ended with her calling me 'an ignorant pig' and slamming the phone down. So now we have HAM trucks brought to you by an 'Ignorant Pig'.
PS I did speak to the actual PR Manager afterwards and he apologised and sent me a tonne of info and some MAN Goodies but I like the name so much I've stuck with it. By that I mean HAM not Ignorant Pig
HAM Status – What’s going on?
It’s getting there. Progress is slow and steady. The problem with making a mod is that once the visual model is done everyone thinks that’s it. Its ready to release. Sadly, it’s not that simple and explaining that is something I seem to do a lot of recently.
Once the model is done you need to animate it. Even then you’ve still got the other LoDs to do. Each LoD is supposed to be 50% of the faces of the one before it. This takes time to do properly. In the earlier lods you don’t want to go too far as you lose too much detail as that will cause obvious transitions and ‘popping’. Next is the Geometry (Collision detection LoD) and PhysX Geo, View Geo, Fire Geo and Hitpoints… and once all that is done. Testing, scripting, tweaks, reworks based on feedback… and…and…and…you release it. Then everyone finds the bugs you missed. AND if you are lucky, they actually come to you and tell you about it… if you are lucky.
So be nice, be patient and see what happens.
What different kinds of HAM are we getting?
There are four different kinds of chassis types planned and each should come with different flavours:
1) 4x4 HX60
Arguably the common workhorse, doing many different roles through the British Fleet. There will be a Troop-carrying version that will have Driver + 2 in the cab and 14x Cargo Seats in the rear. The Cargo version will have an open back with panel sides. How this is going to work is still something I’m trying to work out. Time will tell.
2) 6x6 HX58
The HX58 is big brother of the HX60, it uses the same suspension system but its taller, has larger and more wheels, carries more weight than its little brother. This means that its ideal for special purpose roles such as the Unit Support Tanker.
3) 8x8 HX77
The largest of the HX chassis system the HX77 is the heavy load carrier of the fleet. In the real world there are several cargo versions but since that should be well catered in game with the HX58 I’ve chosen to focus on the EPLS version. This is the Enhanced Palletised Load System, the replacement for the aging but very successful DROPS system. EPLS also allows for standard ISO Containers to be loaded without special equipment which DROPS did not. Obviously giving operators far more flexibility on operations.
Obviously, you can see the HX77 model isn't complete at the time i'm writing this. The chassis needs adding, but the reason for this is simple. Optimisation, I'm trying to get as many versions as possible, with the most detail out of the fewest possible textures. As such i'm taking my time to get the chassis right so you don't see too many odd texture matches or seams.
Returning to in-game capability, I had hoped that Vehicle-In-Vehicle would be a perfect solution to this, and to some extent it is. Unfortunately it seems you can’t animate the ViV points after Init. Which means although I spent a week making a lovely, fully animated system for it before I tested that. I probably should have proven the concept first (Hindsight is a wonderful thing) It is incredibly disappointing to find that you simply cannot animate it. @Bohemia, any chance you can fix that?
I've tried several other non-scripted methods, physX and geo cages, roadways with mixed success. Until I can come up with another solution, I’m just going to leave the VIV option in there.
Off the back of the EPLS project there will also be several objects that allows you to setup FARPs and FOBs. Fuel Racks, Repair Workshops, Medical bays etc. As well as various shelters and systems that can be carried either on the DROPS pallets or directly on the backs of the Trucks themselves. Most of these will serve a practical purpose, others may just be props. I'm Not sure yet.
BELOW : Dismountable Fuel Rack - You can see these at various places in FOBs around Afghanistan and Iraq. They serve as a semi-permanent but still moveable fuel station (Bit of an oxymoron i know) complete with pumps and hoses needed. Tankers are a limited resource. This is a cheaper way to deploy a fuel reserve into the field and not tie up a tanker. It makes sense to produce a flexible multipurpose truck and drop these 'modules' off where needed than it is to buy a tanker for every base that needs one.
I think its obvious that this is a big pack and a lot of time and effort has gone into it. So I hope you understand that not everything may be available immediately. Time constraints are a real issue here as is my ability to get everything scripted perfectly. If my free time and testing goes well everything should come out in the first release. If not then there will be a future updates.
In ArmA we have 3 types of Supply Truck: Ammo, Fuel and Repair. The Cargo variants will have the option to load Ammo resupply pallets onto them. The Unit Support Tanker and the EPLS with the Demountable Fuel Rack takes care of the Fuel option. This leaves Repair. Now I've spent a lot time talking with players asking what they want and how they want things to work. Most feel the "Magic repair truck" feels a bit like cheating...but its useful. Other want something more practical. I am going to try and cater for both. The magic option will be part of the first release. The more 'practical' option will likely come a little later.
4) 8x8 SX45 – Future addition
This probably won’t be immediately available. While is does look very similar its actually a different cab and suspension setup. And the rear structure and crane represent a lot more work.
It may take me a little longer to get this in game and working how I want. It will fulfil the role of the repair truck with a few extras if I can get it working… since the EPLS/ViV issue bit me in the arse I don’t want to commit to all the details just yet but I'm hoping to make it a bit special.
So that is it for today. I hope you liked it and it answers some questions.
I’ve not done one of these for a while. Real life just keeps butting in so sorry about that. The website has been neglected too. The ease of shoving a picture and a few words up on Twitter and Faceache has won out over blogging. I’ve just gotten lazy...ier? ?
So here we are, if you are one of my Twitter or Facebook followers you already know most of what I’m going to talk about. There are some new bits so you may want to stick with it.
Some of you might remember from back-in-the-day (ArmA1) when I released my first Lynx AH7 & 9 pack, nearly 11 years ago now. I said I was rather fond of the aircraft type, I have lots of good memories of testing the betas with some great lads. Not to mention many evenings with a decent single malt and Gordy listening to 50 years of experience designing and operating many of the Westland Aircraft. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago but every time I see a Lynx I have to smile.
The Wildcat perpetuates that tradition of smiling, for a slightly different reason. I have a fond memory of a cold winter’s night in a country pub near Yeovil getting plastered with Gordy. And one of the most epic drunken rants in history. One that drew an audience that laughed, howled and boo’ed on que as if scripted. Gordy hated the Wildcat and wasn’t quiet about it, he considered it a huge mistake. “Remaking the same old tired airframe without any real innovation.” The phrase a “polished turd” came up a few times. An exercise in Politics, myopic penny pinching and a thousand other little phrases delivered with grand passion and no small amount of humour. While he wasn't a fan of the Politics or management of the project he was very proud of the company and the legacy of Westland Helicopters having been a part of it for so long.
And talking with a few people that now operate and maintain the aircraft I think all that is largely true. They seem to have the same issues they had with the old Types: Ah7,9,HMA8 & HAS3. And some new ones introduced by the new technologies bolted on.
In the mid 90’s the UK MoD announced they were going to replace the Royal Navy’s Lynx fleet with new HM1 Merlins. Thanks to some fear mongering and subsequent politics, funding battles and some reported back room deals that did not happen. Westland Helicopters managed to push through a proposal to extend the life of the fleet with the eventual replacement of the AH and HMA fleets with a new common platform that became known in the popular press as “Future Lynx”. In the MoD this translated into two programmes. Surface Combatant Maritime Rotorcraft (SCMR) and Battlefield Light Utility Helicopter (BLUH). Eventually, after several years and increasing costs both project’s specifications were “streamlined”. The National Audit Office conducted a study in 2004 and found that the Westland proposal for BLUH was not economically viable. The report suggested that an alternate aircraft should be considered. Eg EC635, EC120 or the NH90. None of which would have included any manufacturing in the UK. Realising this the Politicians pushed the MoD to reduce the Utility requirements and instead opt for a more reconnaissance biased aircraft. BLUH was then renamed BRH (Battlefield Reconnaissance Helicopter). The MoD ran a competition inviting Manufacturers to bid on the new requirement. In the end, thanks to Westland being the last airframe manufacturer in the UK and some politics in back rooms around Westminster the £1Billion contract was awarded to AgustaWestland.
As the design matured and production began many commentators saw the obvious similarities to previous Lynx designs. The claim is that the “AW159 comprises 95% new components; the remaining 5%, consisting of such items as the fuel system and main rotor gearbox, are interchangeable with the Lynx AH7 and HMA8 variants.”
This is true when compared to the older fleets but most of the systems including the engines, gearbox, avionics and software came from the existing Super Lynx 300 programme. The only genuinely new and “innovative” design came in the form of the new airframe. The claim there is a much-reduced RCS and in conjunction with new composite rotor blades creating an overall “stealthy” package. I’m not sure that’s true but as with most defence projects there are a lot of buzz words being thrown around for the purposes of marketing. But there is more internal space for fuel and avionics. The cargo cabin (I’m told) actually got slightly smaller.
Operationally, the design changes have not improved much for the passengers. Health and Safety Regulations meant that the old sling style benches were removed and replaced with proper crash worthy seating. Which, let me tell you are even more uncomfortable if you are larger than a fourteen year old wearing webbing. This reduced the number of people that could fit in the back from a max of 8 (skinny people with no kit) to 4 plus a door gunner. Having seen 4 people in the back of the Wildcat I’m not sure where the door gunner is supposed to sit. I assume he (or now possibly she) is supposed to get intimate with the gun mount.
In terms of general capability, the Wildcat is a huge improvement over the old AH7,9 and HMA8. The uprated engines and BERP IV rotor blades give the Wildcat a much better payload and performance even over the “legacy” Super Lynx 300.
Famously the AH7 simply could not operate in the Hot and High environment of Afghanistan. They tried in 2006 but they very quickly discovered that the summer temperatures meant that the aircraft simply wasn’t able to produce enough power to fly safely. A UOR (Urgent Operational Requirement) was raised to upgrade the AH9 to AH9A standard. Basically, replacing the stock engines, gear box and blades with those of the SuperLynx 300. This gave the aircraft enough power to operate for most of the year in Afghanistan.
And the new radar and Optical camera system have made the Wildcat into (on paper at least) a very credible ISTAR platform. The naval variant now also has the capability to carry a host of new weapons as well as the legacy Sting ray torpedoes, GPMGs and the M3M .50 cal machine gun.
There are two versions in operational use by the British Military:
HMA2 – Maritime Version
AH1 – Battlefield Reconnaissance
The upcoming release will have both variants. The HMA2 will support the Martlet, Sea Venom, LAU5003/CRV7 and M3M weapons. Since the AH1 lacks radar it will only have GPMG, M3M and LAU5003/CRV7. It will also be able to lift slightly more underslung payload as its technically lighter.
Sea Venom is the replacement for the Royal Navy's Sea Skua missiles. Just like the Sea Skua it replaces Sea Venom is designed to attack small to medium surface targets, such as fast in-shore attack craft ranging up to the size of a corvette. With its 30 kg warhead, the missile is also capable of inflicting significant damage to larger vessels through precision aim point selection, and can also attack static land-based targets.
The missile is capable of being fired from over 20km away and features several attack modes including sea skimming and "pop up/top down attack." Our version of the Sea Venom replicates that. It uses an IR Seeker with the option of either Cruise of Top-down modes. It should also be possible to send targeting info via datalink. Its just something that I haven’t tested yet.
LMM was Thales' response to the MoD's Future Air-to-Surface Guided Weapon (Light) FASGW(L) requirement. LMM has been designed to be launched from a variety of naval, air and land platforms against a wide range of targets. But is only in UK use on the HMA2 Wildcat
The missile is described as a High precision missile capable of engaging small fast-moving targets at range with low collateral damage. Carried in packs of 5 missiles per pylon, typically on 2 pylons giving a normal payload of 10 missiles. This apparently makes the missile suitable for Drug Interdiction and river/littoral combat roles. Developed from the earlier Shorts (now Thales) Starstreak missile the Martlet has an IR guidance system with future planes for a Laser guidance option. This means that in game you will have both IR and Laser guidance options to exploit.
The LAU5003 is a common launcher pod for unguided US 2.75” FFAR and CRV7 70mm rockets. It’s a common NATO setup and one that’s used until recently on the Harrier GR9 with great success in Afghanistan. It’s the same rocket and warhead as is used on the British Apache AH1 albeit in a different pod. Commonly used for target marking and area denial. Both versions of which will be supported (hopefully – I’m having an issue with effects) in game.
I’ve already blogged about this part of the project but just to recap:
The M3M Machine gun was brought in to British service to improve the effectiveness of the Lynx series of helicopters. Equipping the Royal Navy's HAS3 and HMA8 naval Lynxes, Merlin HM2 as well as the British Army's AH9As in Afghanistan.
The first British M3Ms to see service were mounted on the RN's airframes for drug interdiction operations in the Caribbean. Where more than a few Drug Runners in Go-Fast Boats got a bit of a wakeup call.
You can read the rest of the article here.
Finally, the old faithful. I do plan on making a version with a modified legacy Lynx mount and GPMG. I’m not sure it will see the first release but it will be added at some point. Its not a huge project but as with the limits of the game engine it will mean a separate model. The Dynamic Loadout system doesn’t cater for turrets instead of pylons.
The entire project is intended to use the Advanced Flight Model. I stopped using the basic setup a long time ago. And the AFM give me so much more features to exploit than the basic flight model allows. Having said that, there is a workable basic flight model. Just don’t be surprised if a lot of the information on the MFDs does not work.
As always, I’m going for a realistic setup. I’m trying to make the MFD’s as practical as possible. With the instrumentation giving out accurate data. At least as far as the engine allows. There is still a long way to go but I'm adding more in and fixing things everyday.
Things like deck handling and options for set dressing are being considered.
There will be 3rd Party Optional/Recommended addons. But these won't be a dependency. I've chosen LESH's Towing and Duda's Advanced Rappelling as neither make dependancy demands or have much overhead. Please contact me to discuss options if you desperately want something supported. I'm open to adding hooks, but not dependencies for other systems.
Not all aircraft are the same. Learning to fly the Wildcat with its quirks is part of the fun. The Flight model is easy to master, but it does have some bad habits you do need to learn. VRS occasionally catches you out. There will be some limitations about payload. Eg don’t expect to load Sea Venoms, Martlets and still get a squad in the back. It is going to complain… a lot.
So that’s it. Project recap, plans and pics what more do you want?
"When will it be released?"
Possibly the most asked and most annoying question to answer. Ok we aren't that far from a release. There is still lots to do. Fiddly things, bugs to fix. Scripts to finish and tweak. Most testing. I've been play testing this week with DAR-V mostly with good results. I've have tonnes of feedback, including a nine page PDF with calcs, suggestions diagrams and odd sketches. But the answer is always going to be:
It will get released when its done.