13-Inch Seacoast mortar (1861)


I started this project with a great interest in old cannons, the way they look and the tech used in those days.

I also wanted to make a model from a blueprint and reference images to be as exact as possible to the real thing.

My plan for this is to create a new pristine out of the box mortar and eventually create a scene for it, So far I have completed the modelling and will be texturing the model.

My knowledge of creating specific textures in cycles is not that great, I tried my best to create a Cast Iron texture. From what I can see from my reference images is that most of the mortar is cast iron, I don’t know for sure but it looks like it.


Cool. Why is the metal so thick, are mortars supposed to be like that?

@Robert Banks

Yes this particular mortar has a very thick barrel

Wow, that is very thick! It is almost cartoonish looking. I guess they built them to last!

Wonderful work, Narcotic! Your modeling looks very clean all over. What are your plans to texture it? Are you thinking of going for how it looked in it’s prime, or what they look like in the present day?

Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing it!

@James Candy Thanks :slight_smile: . Yeah going for the look of it in its prime. I just cannot seem to texture it properly to achieve realism, thats what am busy trying to get at the moment.

I’ve found more often than not, when trying achieve realism your lighting setup is the key. Subtle lighting changes can make a huge difference and turn a fake looking material into something very convincing. If you could post your setup that would be really great! Cool model choice btw, I’ve always found mortars to be really interesting in their construction and design.

Yeah 200 pound shells propelled by 20 pounds of powder. Built not to blow up in face. Imagine standing next to that thing going off with muzzle at ear height.

Will need some bump texture for sure. Photos from a distance + monuments been painted and polished through the years but is rough and pitted cast iron from day one. Here’s some good closeups I found:


Great work. I like cannons.


Edit: click click to zoom way in on that wiki photo.

That is very cool!!! I am a huge fan of old cannons and mortars. You are doing a bang up job on this!!! Keep it up.

I love the detail modeling, all the bolts and rivets really add to it.

Definately needs some textures to really pop though. I threw together a quick go at a cast ironish setup on Suzanne, it’s probably not ideal but it’s how I tend to do various metals. It just uses a generic metal stock texture for the bump.

@Extra guy My lighting setup is from the tutorial by Jonathan Williamson the tutorial is entitled ‘Rendering a sports car in blender cycles’ it was used for the purpose of reflections, but I thought it would be great for most studio type setups.

@LarryPhillips Thanks :slight_smile: those pictures helped, good thing you told me about the double click otherwise I would not have got so close. Bump definitely is needed. They def do look banged up from day one.

@tc466 Thanks :slight_smile:

@Enos Shenk Your node setup worked really well thanks a lot. I used that and then added to it so that I could put another alpha texture over that to create the white over the scratches even tho it is subtle.

The bump texture I used I am thinking of editing it to not have sooo many scratches.

Pictures were rendered at 200 samples so there might be noise in some spots.


After the war has ended and the Mortar has done its job. It can now sit and rest.

2000 samples. Did some post production in Paintshop Pro X4, added a Tonal Contrast filter to it.


Some wireframes for whoever is interested in them :slight_smile: