Thursday, October 11, 2012

2013 Calendar Submission - Missing Man

This year we, as a Traveller community, lost Andrew Boulton, one of the most influential CGI artists involved with Traveller.  He helped me along with advice more than once, and even though I didn't know him personally, his loss was still quite a blow to me.  This is for Andrew, and all the others that we've lost over the years.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hot Spots 1: Drifters Dock released!

Starships aren't built in a studio; they're forged in the Ironworks.

Welcome to Hot Spots, the latest release from DSL Ironworks. Hot Spots are designed to be quick locations used in your Traveller games. Need a bar for a shady meeting in a hurry? Perhaps a desert outpost, a landing bay, starport concourse, or an ancient ruin? Hot Spots are designed to fill that need, featuring full color interior and exterior renders, scalable maps, notable NPcs, and adventure hooks to give the busy GM everything he or she needs to drop that location into their campaign.

Hot Spots are compatible with all Traveller products, but setting neutral so that they can be dropped into any campaign. Background details are left vague enough so that each GM can fill them in with information that fits their game.

Drifters Dock, Hot Spot 1 is available exclusively through

Monday, September 3, 2012

Video Test, 10 Ton ATV

YouTube Channel

A quick video test of the 10-ton ATV for Technical Manual 2, mostly to check for lighting, etc.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I've spent most of my free time the last week or two working on several new texturing techniques, mostly using the compositing functions of Max.  Here are a couple of test shots of a new model that will be featured in another Technical Manual in the future.  The bright spot is that, if the numbers hold true as I perfect the technique, I should be able to texture a model in about 20% of the time it has been taking me, with similar if not better results, and much more flexibility.  Yes, it's dirty and beat up, but that's how I tend to like my ships.  The lighting is just a quickie rig, tho.  Wish I had more time tonight to set up a better one, but I must get to bed.  Cheers, all!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Christmas in July

Don't forget, it's Christmas in July over at DriveThruRPG, and DSL Ironworks is participating! Get 25% off our entire product line! This special sale ends next Sunday, so if you've been itching to pick up Quick Decks or our first Technical Manual, now is the time!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm back, and it's CONTEST TIME!

Greetings and salutations from the Ironworks. To celebrate the crazy hot weather lately, we here at DSL Ironworks have decided to have a little fun, occupy some time while sitting around the A/C, and give away some prizes. So, it's contest time - a deckplan contest, to be precise, with a twist. We've put together a relatively simple base 3d model, complete with templates for the deckplan, BUMP map, and texture map. Download the files, stat out the ship, draw up the deckplans, and then give it your very own paintjob! Submit your design files (stats, deckplan, and texture files) to DSLIronworks at to enter. The number of winners will be determined by the number of entries, with a minimum of 5 winners.

1st Place - Digital versions of DSL Ironworks complete line, plus a print copy of TM1 - Reprieve-class Escape Pod. 2nd Place - Digital and print versions of TM1 - Repreive-class Escape Pod. 3rd Place - Digital versions of the Quick Decks line of products. 4th Place - Digital versions of any two Quick Decks products. 5th Place - Digital version of any one Quick Decks products. Now, these are just the basic prizes, and some additional swag may be added. All entries will also be collected into a free PDF to share with the Traveller community at large, with stats, deckplans, and rendered images of your paint job.

The rules are simple - the ship design must be 150 dtons, use the provided deckplan layout, and use the Mongoose rules. Why 150 dtons? It's something different, and creates some interesting design choices. As for what type of ship...well, that's entirely up to you - escort, yacht, trader, whatever you decide to design. And it doesn't need to be a full starship either - it could be a system defense boat, heavy shuttle, interplanetary shuttle, or something else entirely. It's all up to you.

 One last thing - final submission date for entries is August 20th, and the winners will be announced August 31st. You can get the file package from the DSL Ironworks Facebook group ( or the DSL Ironworks Blog (

Get the File Package here!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Technical Manual 2 progress.

I'm still working through the variations of the 20 ton launch for Technical Manual 2.  This is a progress shot of the Search and Rescue variant; I'm currently working on the cabin interior.  I've also been considering a refinement of a design I did for the Judges Guild Type C cruiser pinnace for Technical Manual 3, with a few variants and interiors as well.

As always, comments are welcome, as are suggestions for future products.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just something I've been tinkering with...

A WIP shot of a side project I've been tinkering with, a scout ship in the 100 ton range.  I thought it might be fun to play a bit with the standard Type S specifications (2-G, Jump-2, PP-2, Bridge, 4 staterooms, air/raft) and come up with some alternatives to the Sulieman-class.  Pretty much still just a concept at this stage, but I rather like the lines of it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kankur-class Deckplans, trimmed and taped.

I finally had a chance to sit down and tidy up the 15 mm plans of the Kankur, getting everything aligned and taped down into poster size, then managed to get a few pictures taken to put up here.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the way things turned out; with a little work, it makes a very serviceable play aid for very little money (including printer ink).

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Astoria-class Executive Transport

Just a fun little side project I've been working on, which will appear in a future product.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

DriveThruRPG Wishlist Sale results

Well, the DriveThruRPG Wishlist sale was, by any measure, a fair success.  I have had fairly good sales on the Quick Decks products (not so much on the Technical Manuals - oh, well, so it goes).  Since I've had the weekend mostly to myself (yay!), I started working up what's next for DSL Ironworks - Quick Decks 4: Frontier Starports.  Originally, I thought perhaps that this would be another tile set, but I've spent the day playing with the way Acrobat X can rescale and tile a source PDF, and I think I've got it figured out how to much larger installations (and ships, too!) from one source page.  First, though, here's a sample of some of the tiles from QD4, arranged to show a simple (Class D?) port, with a couple of security checkpoints, a fuel pumping station, some dorms for visiting crews, and a couple of warehouses.  Oh, and a smallish landing pad sized more for small craft.  Just a quickie design, but still fun.  Apologies for the dark lighting.

The other thing I'm playing with today is the Kankur-class Frontier Courier, a 200 ton ship I had the deckplan already worked up for.  So, I printed out both the 25/28 mm (24 pages worth!) and the 15 mm (8 pages) maps for comparison, using some Cardboard Heroes I had laying around.

First, the 25/28 mm version.

And then the 15 mm version.

These were both created from the same pdf source file, which was scaled 1/4" = 1.5 meters (and gives one roughly 51 meters x 66 meters per 8.5x11 inch page).  The 25 mm version is printed at 400% and tiled; the 15 mm is printed at 240% and tiled.  It does a pretty decent job at both scales since the original is vector format.  You can also print it at 100% so it fits on a single page.  Gotta love vector graphics.  Here's a jpg version of the original as well.

So, I think this is the future for the Quick Decks line.  Sure, I'll probably still put out some additonal tiles from time to time, but I'm now leaning towards PDFs aimed at a particular target (starports, for example), which, in addition to the tiles to build your own ports, would probably contain complete designs on a few pages, which could then be printed out at whatever scale tickles your fancy, as well as supporting text descriptions, game stats, and whatever else seems to fit.  In all honesty, doing battle maps this way is a heck of a lot easier for me to do, and ship design has always been my first love.  So, ships, starports, highports, restaurants, clubs, bars, shops, virtually anywhere can be easily mapped at whatever scale the GM might need or want.

If you've got any thoughts or opinions on the matter, I'd love to hear them.  On that note, I'm going to go trim up the printouts that I have and see how well they make a poster when taped up.  More pics on that later.  Thanks and TTFN.

Donavan Lambertus

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quck Decks 3: Bay Weapons released.

Quick Decks 3: Bay Weapons
DSL Ironworks is proud to present the second expansion pack for the popular Quick Decks line of starship deck tiles. Available exclusively from DriveThruRPG.

Starships aren't built in a studio; they're forged in the Ironworks.

In a hurry for a 25 mm deckplan? Don't have time to sit down and draw one up? Then Quick Decks are for you. In this second expansion pack you will find 24 pages of pre-drawn map tiles scaled to 25 mm. Simply print, cut them out, and arrange them to build a starship properly scaled for miniatures. Each tile has it's own grid, the type of tile, and approximate displacement in Traveller tonnage listed on it, making it easy to build ships on the fly. This Expansion features weapon bays to expand the tiles already found in Quick Decks 1: Starter Pack and Quick Decks 2: Expansion Pack, allowing you to build well armed military vessels with meson gun bays, torpedo bays, and more.
  • Greyscale images to speed up printing and save on printing costs.
  • Completely scalable vector graphics - tiles can be printed at virtually any size, with minimal loss of detail (requires Adobe Acrobat X).
  • This expansion pack utilizes layers, allowing you greater control over the tiles you print. If, for instance, you don't want to see a particular feature, simply open the Layers panel and make it invisible.
  • Tiles can be used to lay out all kinds of ships, from small craft to multi-kiloton vessels.
Future expansions to the line will add more options, and expand your ship-building capability to new dimensions. Current plans include tiles for hangars, launch tubes, expanded bridges, engineering spaces, and more. Also in the works are tiles for buildings, terrain, starports, and space stations.

Quick Decks Trio Bundle

If you've been thinking about getting started with Quick Decks, now is the time! Also at , get the first three Quick Decks sets for 30% off with the Quick Decks Trio Bundle.

"Traveller" and the Traveller logo are Trademarks owned by Far Future Enterprises, Inc. and are used with permission. The Traveller Main Rulebook is available from Mongoose Publishing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The long silence, and new beginnings...

Greetings, all, and welcome back to the Ironworks.  First off, let me apologize for the extended silence.  Technical issues, real life, and several other factors have conspired to reduce my work pace to a crawl for the last couple of months.  At long last, these issues have been largely resolved, and I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things.  Though I have been absent, I haven't been completely lazy; I've been working on getting the Quick Decks 2: Expansion Pack finished up and ready to go; that should become available over the weekend.  Work is also slowly resuming on the Technical Manual 2 as well, so expect to see some progress shots over the weekend as well.

If you're a regular reader of the blog (such as it has been lately), I appreciate your tolerance of my comings and goings.  If you're a reader who happens to use Quick Decks, I would love to hear from you and love to see some pictures of them in action.    Email them to  The first 3 people to do so will receive a copy of Quick Decks 2: Expansion Pack free of charge as a gift for your support.  If you have any suggestions for improving Quick Decks, I would love to hear them as well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

TM2 Progress

I finally worked out most of my technical issues and got back to work yesterday.  After the better part of the last two days in a long (and satisfying) grind, I just about have one of the external sets done, the IN Search and Rescue variant, including textures.  I'm including a few shots to show how things are coming along.


Earlier today.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

TM1 goes on sale today!

After a bit more delay than I would have liked, TM1 - Reprieve-class Escape Pod goes on sale today!  My final proof copy arrived today, and everything is good to go.  You can get your copy at

Friday, January 20, 2012

TM1 proofs arrived.

My proof copies of TM1 arrived Thursday night; I'm just now sitting down to get a good look at them, but I see a couple of apparent problems that I hadn't anticipated. For starters, the cover art is a LOT darker than I had anticipated, as are several of the internal pictures. My philosophy has always been "Do it right or don't do it at all." so I'm adjusting all of the problem children this weekend, as well as fixing a few minor typos and grammar problems this weekend. With any luck, I'll get it finished up this weekend and resubmitted to Lightning to start the process over again. As I said, it's a learning process at this point, so the print version will lag a few weeks from the electronic release (which, coincidentally, is already available on Still and all, I have to say it's a pretty amazing feeling to hold an actual book in your hand that has your name on it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

TM2 Progress

Well, another day in frigid South Dakota brings progress on our second Tech Manual, the Moke-class Launch.  I'm well into basic modelling, hoping to get that finished up in the next couple of days so I can delve into starting on the textures.   I'm looking at 3 variants for the book - cargo, passenger, and Search and Rescue.  Here's a progress shot on the S&R version, with bigger drives and an expanded sensor suite.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TM1 clears pre-media, is ready to print!

Just got home to find that TM1 (Reprieve-class Escape Pods) has cleared pre-media and is ready for print.  I ordered my proof copy, so in the next week or two, if everything goes well, it will be ready for full release.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

TM1 is off to print approval!

At long last, TM1 is in the print approval process.  If all goes well, I should have a proof copy in the next week to ten days, with it hopefully going live shortly thereafter, depending on any problems encountered.  Since this is my first shot at print, we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope I've got it all correct.

A shot of the cover for your perusal -