Update - 19 Nov 2021
I've started right away - I modelled using a technical diagram of a baseball bat as a direct reference, but realised when comparing it to Steve's that Steve's seems to be a bit shorter, not at all as long. I'm guessing this could be that its Jonathan's childhood bat, seeing that we didn't see him use it as sports-gear in the series. I shortened it to reflect this, so whilst the technical proportions may be off, it is closer to what we see in the series.
In this first block-out modelling phase, I did a single nail, Uv'd it nicely, and then duplicated and used it as a base for the other nails to save me from work later on. I can make small variations to the other nails after they have been placed without worrying too much about UV's, but we'll see if that ends up working perfectly.
This is a little test render I did in order to show my progress, when I am all done with the modelling stage I will update with my wireframe and topology. Right now I need to focus on imperfections and adding more variety in the nails. Really excited about this little project so far!
Update - 19 Nov 2021
I am about a year and a half into my 3D journey and I have always wanted to be part of Rookies contest. Although I am studying 3D full-time at the moment in school, when I saw this contest I really wanted to take the big step and make a submission. I watched Stranger Things the day it came out, and since then I have been a huge fan.
When it came to to choosing a project for the Render challenge, I decided I wanted to do something simple, to the best of my abilities. I decided on doing a prop - I was initially stuck between Jonathan's camera or Steve's (Jonathan's?) bat, but after re-watching the end of season 1, I knew it had to be the bat. That scene with the Demogorgon is so cool, and confronting monsters head-on is what Stranger Things is all about.
The goal is a modelled, textured bat in a look-dev setup. As my mentors have helped me realise - reference is key! I started by collecting reference images, as many images of the actual bat as I could get, and reference to how baseball bats age, nails and any details that the wood might feature. I used Pure-Ref, which is just the best.