I started posting some generic BZII model making Gamespace and Truespace based 3D modeling tutorials on another forum. There are some 3D models that I uploaded too. The tutorials should be generic enough for use with other 3d modelers like Blender.
Some of them cover stuff like making HP parts naming, and making several different BZII units, I'll post more tutorials as time allows.
Apparently, Caligari pulled the plug on GSL as a free 3d modeler, but the good news is that they released the free full version of a much better modeler called, Caligari Truespace 7.61 Beta 8. It has no limitations on file size like GSL did, and supports importing and exporting many popular model formats like 3DS, X, LWO, OBJ, and of course it's own native COB and SCN format. TS 7.61 comes with 2 modeling options. The first is support for newer features like a brand new user interface with XNA support and the second for older TS 6.6 users that support older BZII supported modeling formats which makes it an ideal choice for both new and old TS users.
Update: I uploaded the GSL installer on my modeling forum the link is> Gamespace Lite demo installer.
Please note the installation insructions in the forum post on how to download and install GSL.
The application initially opens in the newer TS 7.61 interface that has updated options like an improved UV map editor, and support for newer file formats and advanced rendering options. For those that prefer to work with the older TS 6 interface can click an icon in the menu bar to access a full working copy of Truespace 6.6 (a nice little bonus which appears the most useful for BZII and BZII modders. It imports GEO files, but can't save them; you can export and convert back to GEO via 3d Exploration. Also, neither interface directly supports XSI, but does support 3DS, and an older X format for both saving and loading into the editor work space as well reading and writing 3DS model files.
Nooby, modelers will love Truespace's simple to use icon driven menus as it uses image icons to navigate it's fairly easy advanced model editing tools. Animation, is also supported and fairly easy to use as the program auto records the first key frame. There are also tools for easily adding bones to model geometry to attach them together with the single click of an icon essentially making them one single piece where the skin of the model deforms with the bones to do animation key framing. Doing a simple animation is as easy as setting the number of frames, posing the model, and recording a key frame for each different pose change that the modeler makes to the posable character/model.
Overall, it's an awesome advanced modeling tool for peeps without a very good knowledge of how 3d modelers work. I've tried other free products like GMAX, and Bender. Unfortunately, they're both much to complicated for most beginning modelers, and quite hard to master by the average 3D model maker. Download TS 7.61 at Caligari.com PS: There is also a PDF manual available, and video tutorials as well.
Update: 2-7-2010. I've been using TS for a little over a year and am pleased to report that it seems ideally suited for making most of the models for BZII. The basic tools for converting TS X based models is through the use of 3DEX version 1.5.5. and it's XSI exporter to prepare X models for conversion to XSI animated models. Models saved as X models are preped for conversion by renaming parts like hp_gun_1__ in TS to disable the -number on the object part name back to hp_gun_1; all other parts are renamed the same way too. Once this is done the model can be converted to XSI via 3DEX by clicking on the File menu>save as>Softimage XSI>filename. XSI models prepared this way become BZII ready models without further preperation.
Models from the XSI model pack can also be edited in TS by converting them to X models with 3DEX. This can be done by going into the X exporter options and unchecking Save Materials and then going to File menu>save as>DirectX. Once this is done the converted model can be loaded into TS complete with animation and edited.