Tag Archives: pinzgauer

Pinzgauer variations wrapped up

The last of the cargo shuttle variations just went up.

I’m done with them. The Ecstar scheme was done for the sake of completion (more on that later), and was inspired by some rail cars I saw at a train crossing several years ago, which were in a weird shade of rusty primer red with white markings. Being the big believer in verisimilitude that I am, I like to have a little ugly to go with the pretty just to ground things a little bit more in reality.

Time for a little background for those of you who discovered my stuff after 2010, since a few of you are wondering why I seem to be going overboard with the cargo shuttle liveries and why I used the phrase “for the sake of completion” earlier. Well, grab your favorite beverage and pull up a stump.

Back in 2007, the Handyman 350 and the Itoyo 950 sets came with a selection of cargo containers in different sizes, and those containers came in 5 different liveries. Here are a few photos I was able to scrounge up:

Old-style Transcargo livery

Old-style IFL livery

Old-style ConEx and Ecstar container liveries

Yep. Familiar, aren’t they? :D

When it came time to do the variations, this being a cargo shuttle and all, I jumped at the chance to do new versions of all of the 5 freight company liveries for the Pinzgauer. For the most part, I stayed pretty faithful to the old containers where the logos and colors were concerned, but I did update and freshen up a few of the schemes. In particular, I picked better fonts for some of them, tweaked the colors on some of them, and completely redid the logos for others. The upcoming containers in the spaceport set will be in the same liveries for that extra little bit of continuity.

And that’s a wrap for now. The next time we revisit the Pinzgauer variations will be sometime after the spaceport set, and the focus will be on adventurer schemes.

Updated files and some other stuff

Files Updated

I found an issue with some of the Pinzgauer variations on Frames 3 and 5 caused by a Photoshop “glue here” layer that didn’t behave correctly, so I fixed those earlier today and uploaded new files to replace them. If you already printed out these models, you only need to replace Frames 3 and 5.

Affected models: Transcargo, IFL, ConEx, and Rescue Two.

Sorry about that!

Site Tweaks

I made some minor code cleanup changes and some small tweaks to the project and catalog views.

New Pinzgauer Variations

I’ve also added 2 new schemes, a white/purple/orange Consolidated Express shuttle and a silver and green Zhang Xia Freight shuttle.

I liked the thought of having a classic raw metal scheme with painted accents,  I was flashing back to the first act of The Temple of Doom when Indy and gang are on Lao Zhe’s cargo plane and I really wanted that sort of “flying over the space Himalayas in a Chinese aircraft with chicken crates in the cargo hold” kind of sensibility, Chinese markings are equally at home in a Firefly or an Infinity setting, and the silver/green approach fixed the issue that prevented me from doing a Zhang Xia scheme in the first place, which was that I didn’t want another all-green model after doing Rescue Two. The last upcoming canon variation this week will be the rust red Ecstar shuttle, and we’ll revisit the adventurer shuttle later on.

Rebates

I made some enhancements and modifications to the rebate system to allow stacking of multiple rebates and to support bundle discounts for future models. As a test case, the Pinzgauer variations now have a bundle rebate of $5, and I updated the promo code balances of everyone who bought one of the variations early this morning. So if you happened to check your balance earlier and you were puzzled at why your balance seemed to be a bit bigger than it was before, that’s why.

The idea behind the bundle rebate is to return to how I used to do things back in 2003, when I was still running Ebbles Miniatures. I had things set up so models were available individually and in a bundle at a discounted rate. The major difference between now and then is that the new system here makes it possible for bundles to be living products that I can continually add more items to rather than being permanently frozen once they go on sale.

(Apr 6, 2012) More color! More math!

2 things to relate in this post: a new shuttle and a quick heads-up about the math behind the project meters.

I wanted more color, contrast and variance for the spaceport dioramas, so I’m doing 2-3 more civilian Pinzgauer schemes while working on the spaceport stuff. I finished one today and added it to the Pinzgauer Variations page:

Sorry about the frenetic pace of variation releases. I’m not expecting anyone to try and keep up, I’m just basically getting them out of the way now so I’ll have them available to park in spaceport dioramas and walkarounds later on. Because a spaceport without spaceships doesn’t make any sense, right? :lol:

The next 2 freight shuttles are going to be a white/purple/orange ConEx shuttle and a rust red Ecstar shuttle. That should be enough color variation to make a pleasingly interesting composition, and they’ll blend in nicely with the upcoming cargo containers and modules, which are going to be in the same sort of company livery.

I also want to do one adventurer-style scheme later on. Something that’s not corporate, but looks like it’s owned either by a private individual or a sole proprietorship–sort of like the Serenity or the Millennium Falcon. I haven’t thought of a good scheme yet, but I want it to look like something that a group of adventurers could own, and preferably something that makes it feel like a character in its own right.

That’ll complete the “ugly shuttle” section of the tarmac nicely.

Also, don’t be alarmed at the sudden drop in the project total for the spaceport. It occurred to me earlier today that the project totals weren’t adding up in a sensible manner, and it was because a number of the spaceport pledges were using carryover credits from the Pinzgauer project and the system was counting that like it was new, fresh money. That ain’t gonna fly when I do the books, so I took some time to sort out the front-end and back-end display totals to more accurately reflect discounts, credits, and rebates. It also saves me the trouble of having to log into PayPal or Stripe to see what the real numbers are. So, it’s not a glitch or anything, it’s just that the Spaceport Set I project meter is aware of discounts now. :)

(Apr 5, 2012) News Roundup

Lots of stuff to report. Wow. Where to begin?

First, pretty pictures. We have 3 new Pinzgauer variations…well, you guys found 2 of them early when I accidentally published the Pinzgauer variations page, but I’ve added a third scheme to that page as of this morning, a blue Transcargo freight shuttle scheme:

More details here: Pinzgauer Variations

Okay, let’s move on to the new project framework. I spent yesterday implementing some pretty big upgrades/enhancements and testing them. To begin with, I had this sudden epiphany that if I made a few changes to the project framework, it could also power a regular store. I actually set up a testing page to proof that idea the other day, but you guys found it before I announced it. :lol:

I had to implement a fix for cases where a supporter had a PayPal email address that was different from the email address they prefer to receive mail at. My solution was to set up an aliasing table in the database where I could establish old-to-new email pairings, and wrote a function that does a quick lookup that returns the correct email. This should ensure that your files and notifications are sent to your preferred email address after your first order, provided you inform me that you’d like your email to be different, of course. I would like to automate this at some point with a self-service dealie like the Discountron. Speaking of which…

The Discountron was originally supposed to be an interim, transitional sort of thing that brought old supporters across from the old clunky WordPress crowdfunding plugin to the new infrastructure, and the plan was that once everybody had used up their promo code balances, I would drop the Discountron and move away from cart buttons to buy-now buttons. So, it had its own database table and didn’t keep track of ongoing balances (that was actually done by polling Digital Delivery App directly). However, the idea that the project infrastructure could simultaneously power a conventional storefront with only a few changes made me reconsider. I then decided to simply integrate it fully into the infrastructure–it’s fully updated between transactions and can now be used to check your current balance. That brings us to…

I had also set up a rebate system. The original intent of this was so that supporters could acquire the requested variations at a lower price than someone who missed the support boat, but 2 more realizations hit me shortly afterwards: I ought to tie it directly into the existing discount system so people only need one code and they can stack rebates, and the other thing was that it’s a nifty way to deal with bundles because each additional scheme after the first is discounted by the rebates from earlier purchases. And you can keep track of it all via the Discountron. This took most of my day yesterday.

Speaking of the “it can also power a store” feature. I extended the database structure to accommodate 2 different presentation methods, then created a basic product block. I can choose between a regular crowdfunded project with the meter and multiple levels of support, or I can opt for a sort of catalog view where each support level is a standalone product that belongs to the same theme, or I can even split the difference and do a hybrid view. The things I can do with something like this are pretty cool. The Pinzgauer page at the beginning of this post is an example of the store-style presentation.

You guys might have also noticed a slicker, more updated look to the product blocks, project meters, and the Discountron. That was another thing I spent most of last night on–I created a pluggable widget that displays a single product. The project meter and Discountron are also pluggable widgets. So, even if I change my blog software or decide to go back to using a regular website, it’s all portable.

Okay, on to models. I’ve updated the Pinzgauer machine cutting files to fix Frame 42, which had some issues. There were also 3 extra blank pages in the VT-3M model PDFs, which I have also taken care of and updated. So if you need those files, go ahead and grab ‘em again.

I don’t think there are any more major or semi-major bugs with the infrastructure at this point, so I think it’s safe to get back to work on the spaceport stuff.

It’s past my bedtime. I’m going to go ahead and upload the new updated Pinzgauer files to WWG, then I’m going to bed.

(Apr 1 2012) New Pinzgauer files shipped

I just wrapped up nearly everything and pushed the “Ship Files” button for the newly migrated Pinzgauer files a few minutes ago. :D

Highlights:

  • Renumbered some parts on the frames and redid the instructions. Apparently, I’d gone and made a dog’s breakfast of the numbering in the instructions, and it completely snuck past me because familiarity blinds you to errors that are blatantly obvious to someone with fresh eyes. So, I fixed that. I think. I mean, I put in an earnest effort, but I’m also a bit fried between the ears. If you find I missed something again, please tell me in the comments section so I can fix it and then I’ll go stand in the corner with a conical hat on my head.
  • While I was at it, I also changed the landing gear pads a bit so they’re joined together rather than framed.
  • Fixed cutfiles accordingly. At least, I think I did–that was a couple weeks ago. If I didn’t catch everything, feel free to smack me with a trout in the comments section.
  • Texturing has been redone a bit. While I was doing the Rescue Two variation, I stumbled on a way to make the multi-tone panels pop better, and since I had to fix the files anyway, I went ahead and rolled the multitone panel improvements back into the base schemes too.
  • This one mortifies me the most–I actually spelled one of the supporters’ surnames incorrectly on the production credits page. Somehow I dropped a letter from the middle of his surname and didn’t notice it until today when I was doing the data entry during the project migration. I’ve fixed that as well. Sorry, Andrew!

Okay, you should be receiving an email that contains a list of 5 links. Let me know if you run into any download problems, and please do let me know what you think of the email formatting. :)

If I got everything right this time, I’ll go upload the new files at WWG for the customers who bought the Pinzgauer there.

UPDATE (April 2, 2012 3:34 AM CST): The download issues should be fixed now. We figured out the problem, and I had to implement a different way of streaming files that was a little friendlier to the weenie shared hosting server that my blog is on. Sometimes I miss that beefy private server I had back when I was doing this as a real business. :lol: