Thanks for the feedback Jay.
All the smoothed parts are just poly smooth preview key 3. The upper back tank needed more geometry unsmoothed to hold the edges in those slots without making the can go all lumpy near the rounded ends I am sure you know what I mean.
I did that darn outer can a bunch of times! I started with a 16-sided poly cylinder, then a 20, and finally ended up at 40-sided before the slots were clean. I also tried other methods like booleaning it and starting from a flat surface and bending it and I even built a nurbs version. The nurbs version actually worked well but I wanted to keep the model in polys. The final method was to make diagonal cuts and delete faces and allow natural rounding at the tips when smoothed.
Here it is before smoothing...
Negative spaces in poly models are a bugger and a half! It's easy to pile things up and out but pushing things in can be problematic. My solution is always to add more geometry while unsmoothed to reduce the area of effect when you push faces inward (if that makes sense to you).
The poly smooth preview key 3 is equivalent to a poly smooth with 2 divisions. My tendency is to model with enough geometry where that level is sufficient. I think it is because I keep toggling it as a model and so that level of smooth is where I am always focusing my attention.
For machined looking parts I tend to use bevel rather then smooth. But I must agree that I also have been thinking the stock frame bevel is a bit extreme and have been considering redoing it. From the minimum distance needed to see the entire gun the bevel is not to big a problem but as you get in tight on things it it starts scream "I am CG!!!!".
I have three ways to go, bevel the bevels, reduce the bevel, or smooth, and so I keep focusing on the easy bits trying to avoid the issue. I was waiting for someone else to notice it before I turned my attention back to it. I'll address it today and see what you think.
There may be some other single bevel parts that need a bit of refining.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Sir Isaac Newton, 1675