1/8 Sabre Raven


Following on fast from GamesCom was CitizenCon 2947, which lined up a second very tight time scaled project for us to deliver. This time around we were tasked by both CIG and Intel to build a large scale model of the new Aegis Sabre Raven to celebrate the launch of the new Optane SSD which Intel unveiled at the event.

Stage one as always was taking the renders and models and transforming them from a game asset into something that can be constructed and safely transported and hung at a venue. In this case it revealed just how much of the build was going to be 3D carved, which was only going to make the machining process an even longer task.

The 3d carving process

For each 3D carved part a rough stock is made up to save on material wastage. As with most of our building this was all Birch Ply so saving waste is very important.

With dozens of parts to mill, hundreds of machine hours went into making this 235kg beast.

Milling timber does result in a huge amount of finishing to get the parts even to construction phase. With a longer time frame we may have spent longer on the machines but needs must. . .

It was a huge pyschological boost to finally see parts coming together to look like a ship. To be able to see the curves and feel the weight allowed us to finalise our hanging rig design too.

Where there are parts there is filling . . . . lots and lots of filling to get the finish required.

It may seem crazy to build models of this scale from wood rather than foam, but everything we build is built to last touring the world or real life day to day use. Wood is what we know best and we feel its advantages outweigh its issues.

Is it a bird, is it a plane…

With a week to go we were relieved to see what looked very much like a Sabre Raven. Then once the main shell of the ship was put together its seams could be carefully broken to start sending parts for paint.

LEDs complete and masked it was time to get the body painted up. The joy of seeing paint on a project is amazing, by this stage you are sick of seeing the wood lol

The decals that were big enough to be painted were, leaving the rest to vinyls. Some pre applied and others left to on-site as they crossed part joints.

Back to Germany

Fast forward two days driving across Europe and we on the floor at CitizenCon putting the Raven back together for the first time since before paint.

After a careful install she was in place and ready for the crowds to enjoy, It really was a complex build for the time we had, but so so glad we took it on.

The look on people's faces when they saw it made all the long days worth it, and we look forward when she comes back out to play somewhere else soon!