Wee bit o’ Modellin’ #2

Ruby Pistol

The intuitive to operate and simply designed French Ruby Pistol, or the Pistolet Automatique de 7 millim.65 genre “Ruby”.
1st Render.jpg
First Render of the Model
Composition Render

Lebel 1886 Bayonet

Since I’ve modelled the Lebel rifle I thought I’d better model a bayonet for the weapon as well.


There are two variations of the Lebel bayonet. The first features a nickel-silver handle and a hooked quillion. In 1916 however the need for metals forced the French to redesign the bayonet without the qullion (which seemed to keep getting caught on equipment anyway) and a brass handle.

First render in Maya
Textured Iray render within Substance Painter 2





Week 3 – 2nd Notebook, November 4th – December 14th, 1914

As soon as Louis Barthas arrives at the front lines it seems as though he as entered a whole new world – one where death and danger lurked around every corner. On the way to the front line trenches Barthas describes crossing “three or four hundred meters of open ground, crisscrossed by enemy bullets. You’d have thought we were crossing a firing range on the day of a target shoot. They didn’t need any more goads to spur on the laggards.”

Barthas even describes the French front-line trenches as something that “would have made the Romans of Julius Caesar smile with pity” and that they were “the kind of trench we dug before the Germans showed us just how to make them”.

It is also here we see Barthas first penning his attitude towards the feelings of those back home: –

“This bit of trench could have been our grave, “our glorious tomb,” as the newspapers of that time would have called it”

Barthas witnesses his first bloodshed not long after arriving at the front – a Private Cau from Mont-Louis.

“He was the first man to be killed in front of us; it was the first blood we saw flow, and it-affected us painfully.”

2nd Notebook Page 27
2nd Notebook Page 30


Wee bit o’ modellin’ #1

This week I focused on some of the simpler objects that I would need to model in order to recreate the items which a French Poilu carried.

I’m always a bit apprehensive before I start modelling for a project, so I decided to warm up by modelling the French Adrian Helmet.

stuart-vivers-asset (1).jpg

I then went on to model the French Lebel 1886 rifle while I talk about in my first blog post.


1st Notebook – August 2-November 1, 1914

For this week I made it my task to read the Preface of the book, the Foreward, as well as the translators notes.  Interestingly, I found the authors of all three texts continuously expressing their admiration and feelings of affection towards Barthas. He came across as somewhat of a hidden gem – someone who’s stories I absolutely had to read.

From the very get go Louis Barthas seems to have a somewhat rough time of it. When called up to fight in 1914, Barthas had a serious infection of the skin on his face, and could hardly walk. The army would have none of this though and it was only from the help of one of the areas politicians that he was able to postpone his departure by a few days. After arriving in the town of Narbonne, still in poor health, unable to digest anything but milk, he was denied medical treatment along with many of the other French soldiers who desperately needed it.

He also accounts the town of Narbonne’s reaction when the first trainload of French wounded soldiers arrived in the station. A massive crowd had gathered to see the soliders – “something like twenty thousand people massed round the station”. The crowd wept and cheered as the soldiers left the train.

Within a week however, the hospitals were overflowing and trains were unloading the wounded and billeting them right there at the station. No crowds continued to gather and the population started to become indifferent to the wounder men flooding into the town. “They were becoming bothersome”.

The excitement and encouraged mood of the troops changes to one of depression and a lingering anxiety of what is to come.

Before heading to the front, many of the men rushed to request a 24-hour pass to see their families, but were denied such privileges. Barthas compares the men’s situation to worse than that of a condemned man.

“A condemned man is granted the opportunity to see his loved ones, one last time. But we didn’t get that. We weren’t supposed to get all soft in the heart, right before were were heading out.”

This didn’t stop Louis Barthas however…

“But nothing could stop me. With a couple of comrades, scorning the warnings of Manival, we headed out of Narbonne on foot and caught the outbound train at the next station, Macorignan, and so I had the pleasure of spending the next day in the midst of my family.”

1st Notebook Page 6
1st Notebook Page 18



Week 2 – Getting back into modelling

This week I was starting to map things out in my head – what did I need? What am I going to need? and what new skills am I going to need to develop?

Since I’m still reading through the notebooks of Louis Barthas, I’ve decided not to decide upon a setting right from the get go. Instead, I’ll be creating assets that I know I will need for the final project (weapons, props) while reading through the notebooks at the same time in order to establish a suitable setting for the game.

Last year I developed my weapon modelling skills slightly by modelling a few props for my project Thiepval. I created a Lee Enfield Rifle and a Webly Mk VI Revolver. Since Louis Barthas was a  French soldier during WW1, I am going to have to model quite a few items which the army and it’s Poilus (Soldiers) used.

Some items which the French Poilu would have used – The Chauchat Machine rifle, Steel Adrian Helmet, F1 Grenade, Ruby Pistol.

I’m going to start off by modelling the Lebel Model 1886 rifle (Fusil Modèle 1886 dit “Fusil Lebel”). The Lebel was the basic weapon of the French infantry during World War 1 along with the Berthier rifle which was issued to colonial troops as well as those in the French Foreign Legion.


Initial Honours Proposal and Pre-Production Slide

This past week has been great getting back into University, and most importantly that unique Abertay atmosphere.

I’d been having thoughts about what way to project my honours but this week has been good because it’s allowed me to finally settle upon all of those fizzing ideas in my head.

In Dayna’s Pre-Production tutorial he got us to pair up and verbally communicate our ideas for our honours proposals. This proved extremely helpful as I’d not really discussed the idea with anyone, and finding a way to project the idea verbally allowed me to visualise the projects foundations a little bit more.

We also got some ‘homework’ too – the creation of a JPEG which communicated our research direction and an attempted honours proposal title. I’ll show my JPEG before I discuss the idea, since the JPEG is meant to give the viewer an idea of what the project is about right from the first glimpse of it. Hopefully by looking at the graphic you will be able to tell what the project will undertake.


There are thousands of stories of bravery and heroism and brutality among soldiers and civilians alike during times of war. Many of them remain confined to diaries and books. Games may be one of the most effective ways to re-visualise those experiences and engage emotionally and meaningfully with the players.

Louis Barthas

Louis Barthas was a French Corporal during World War 1 who served in some of the fiercest battles of the War, miraculously surviving after fighting in the most horrific conflict zones like Notre-Dame-DeLorette, Verdun, the Somme, and Chemin Des Dames.

His accounts are extremely detailed and are among the lengthiest of war diaries written during the conflict. He constantly questioned the point of the war and the orders of their officers, bluntly describing the brutality and conditions.

For the next couple of days I’ll be reading through Louis Barthas’ collection of 19 notebooks which have been published as a book, entitled Poilu. Along the way I’ll be noting down passages and entries of interest – looking at areas which could be gamified as well as expressed in a narrative/exploitative gameplay.

What drew me to his notebooks was the fact that his accounts are said to be some of the lengthiest, detailed and truthful account of the daily life of the Poilu on the Western-Front all the way from mobilisation in 1914 to training troops in 1919.