I've modeled my gun now and I have to say I'm relatively happy with it. I've had to change a few things from my original concepts which just seemed to work much better when I tinkered with them. It was also a struggle to keep it within the tris budget due to the round shapes I used, especially the thimble...SO ANNOYING TO MODEL FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON. But all in all I can't complain too much, it's worked out okay for the most part. I've noticed I've got so much better with keeping my geometry neater now, and I'm pleased that's become almost instinctual when I had so many problems with it last year.
Anyway, enough with the rambles, here's a few screenshots of my progress as I went along so you get an idea of how I went about it.
I feel like I'm relatively happy with the outcome so far, but I feel like I need to see it textured to some extent to get the full effect of the haberdashery style I'm going for. Plain grey doesn't really do the vintage look much justice.
It was really difficult to model all the different components I wanted whilst keeping within the tris limit due to there being so many rounded parts. Hence why some of the parts I had planned to include aren't actually there. I weighed up the most important pieces against the least important and cut out what I felt wasn't necessary. I also flipped certain parts to allow them to slot together better and make sure there weren't any huge gaps in the overall gun, otherwise it may have look a little odd and unstable. Once I had finished modelling and then priortising components, the total amount of tris came to 4,836 which I was surprised with since I had struggled previously to keep it under the 5,000 limit.
Next step is to get unwrapping as quick as possible, and then on to texturing because I want to make that look as good as possible since it's usually the part I rush. I'm only giving myself one day to unwrap since I think that's reasonable and not pushing myself too much.