So after our last three mods turned into huge undertakings with large packs ranging from 30-80 individual entities, we found ourselves wanting to tackle something fun, simple, and preferably a single block mod. We tossed around a few gimmicky ideas and identified a remaining unfulfilled need (the mod community is really good at filling these rather quickly).
The Decoy Block in Space Engineers draws fire from enemy ships, allowing you to maneuver fighters or torpedoes, or whatever through their defenses. A common complaint stems from the durability of the decoy, which typically can only take a singe hit. Not terribly useful when up against heavy fire, especially when they also require complicated systems to deploy reliably, and cost materials that can be otherwise spent on armor or weapons.
Not to mention the original model, while a fun shape, still leaves a little something to be desired.
So we came up with an Armored Decoy. While maintaining the exact same functionality, we significantly upgraded the durability by adding a hefty stack of steel plates and other materials to the component list.
The added material cost, weight, and extended build time should add some balance for the trade up.
This one utilities the full range of standard materials available in Space Engineers (no Transparent or Emissive materials today).
By going back and taking a closer look at how some of the vanilla blocks were textured, I got a better understanding on how the in-game color-mask functions, and learned a few tricks on making more convincing color-able textures. (Before I was trying to make make paint chips with the mask, but removing the color information from the diffuse is the way to go apparently)
The art side, from start to finish took me roughly 4 hours.