Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Stormbird scratchbuild - progress update

I haven't made too much noticeable progress but have completed a couple tedious tasks that were outstanding.

The engine nozzles we're foremost in the list tedious items to build. Again, taking lessons Blackadder's Thunderhawk scratchbuild, I started with some generic Target brand mouthwash caps. After a little sanding I measured the cap into three segments and made a guide mark every third ridge of the cap. Then about a weeks' work of meticulous cutting and gluing of 1mm by 1mm styrene bar, first in half inch pieces down the length of the cap followed bending and wrapping with the same size styrene around the cap at the base of these half inch pieces. Yeah it was as tedious as it sounds.

I also added a cone to the inside of of the completed nozzle, just in case anyone looks in there. Eventually there will be some LED effects so this may be seen at that stage.

Finally, I was able to get the pivoting arm for the front landing gear built and integrated into the gear housing. There will need to be an arm that runs the length of the vehicle and ties into the rear gear so I can control it with one mechanical operation. Bearing in mind that this finicky piece may have problems down the road I decided to make it removable via screws. I built some recessed screw holes for the outside of the gear housing and wrapped the nuts with styrene so they could be glued in place with plastic glue on the inside of the Stormbird. 

Not a lot to looks at but this stuff sure took a long time to get together. The next tedious task is to build the rear landing gear which will be a lot harder since I need to make the same components twice and keep things as exact as possible. Hopefully I'll have that and the final engines build before the new year.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Stormbird scratchbuild - progress update

I've made a little more progress on disembarkation ramp doors and the interior area that will be exposed once the doors are open.

I've also begun building the landing gear feet and hinged arms. Ultimately the landing gear will be servo controlled so I'm going to begin building the mechanical components that will raise and lower the gear. I want to have a single servo control the front and rear landing gear so I'm going to have to figure out a lever system to get a longer range of motion since the rear gear sits higher on the hull. I won't be adding electronics till most everything cosmetic is done but I've left enough room to run wires for servos and LEDs and I'll be managing the rods and gears to run everything now.

Once the landing gear is built completely I can work on the 4 ball turrets. They'll be the last big piece to build before I can do all the detailing and layering that will make this look like a finished model.

It's not technically Stormbird progress but also bought a cool Tamiya motorized hobby drill. It comes a a model kit that requires assembly but was a fun little side project as a break from plasticard fabricating. It'll probably be really useful when i start adding the fine details.

I hope to have another update in about a week once I have at least the front landing gear mechanics working..

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thunderhawk turns into Stormbird

I started a Thunderhawk scratch build a while back out of a desire to have a fun project and end up with a super heavy for the odd Apocalypse game. I never had a real love affair with the Forgeworld Thunderhawk kit but thought this would be a good opportunity to make some scale and detail improvements along the way. However with the relatively recent release of the Sokar Pattern Stormbird I've decided to pivot and make my flyer into a different pattern of Stormbird. Mine will share all the important details that Forgeworld's has but I'm going give it a shape that I personally will like a little more. So far I've built out the basic hull, some of the engine components, wings that attach via magnetic system, and I've started on the side disembarkation ramps. As with any project like this it's begun to spiral and I'm sure I'll need to take a few months off soon but for now I've been building at a pretty intense pace.

Here's a photo dump of the work I've done so far.

These are the starting points for the secondary intakes on the engines, I'll be building four engines with slightly varying details for two of them.

I've mocked up the new wing shape here.

These are the mounts for the two engines on top of the fuselage. I decided to encase them in a boxy shroud sort of like the Storm Raven.

Here's a mock up of the engine shroud along with other unfinished engine components.

I've cut out a section on either side of the hull for the large ramps.

Here are the open and closed states of the ramps. I'll be doing a small amount of interior detail here as well as magnetizing the doors so they'll stay shut without any mechanism to hold them.

These are the intakes made out of some baby food caps and too much free time.

Here's the secondary intake mocked up on the wing, there will be one on the bottom as well when things are finalized.

And finally here's the rough state of things at the moment. I'll be cranking away on this during my vacation next week so hopefully I'll make a little more progress soon.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Clawed Fiend in one week - part 1

My local GW store has monthly paint competitions and this month's was monsters and mounts. Basically any monster or mounted bike/beast (cavalry?) model, space marine rhino size or smaller. Initially I didn't feel like bothering with it but after going through a few models I found a Finecast Dark Eldar Clawed Friend I had bought a few years back. It doesn't fit into any of my armies but it's such a great model I really wanted to paint it. Unfortunately my current armies always seem to take precedence over fun projects so I forgot about it until I was doing a little cleaning this weekend. In an effort to get more minis painted I figured why not just power through it and get it done for next weekend.

As Finecast goes the model was in pretty good shape, only a handful of small bubbles needed filling and minimal greenstuff work on the arm and leg. I also opted to paint the tail separately, I wanted to use the airbrush as much as possible and I think it would have been in the way a little bit during zenithal highlights.

I built up the base using a single cork and some old GW basing slate then added a layer of Vallejo brown earth to fill gaps and add texture. I finished by sticking a few extra bits of slate into the brown earth to make the base as dynamic as possible. 

I painted the fiend himself using Thunderhawk Blue as a base color, then Incubi Darkness for shadows on the underside and finally Vallejo Light Green Blue for the highlights. The only additional colors were Screamer Pink for the stripes, and Coelia Greenshade over the fur areas of the model.

For his base I painted a foundation of Steel Legion Drab, then a shade of Rhinox Hide on recesses and undersides of rocks, and finally Tau Light Ochre on the top in a mottled pattern, hopefully to keep things looking natural.

Here's the result after day one.

If all goes as planned I'll have a finished model by Friday.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Thunderhawk Gunship Scratchbuild - The Beginning

"A beginning is a very delicate time." - Frank Herbert

After shopping around on the Forge World website I realized I wanted some sort of super heavy to go with my many Imperial Armies. I wanted some big powerful centerpiece and I thought a titan would be awesome but it would have to be at least a Reaver or larger and it's just more than I can rationalize for my hobby budget. I then made the foolish decision to attempt a superheavy scratchbuild project. It was either going to be a titan or a Thunderhawk Gunship, and  after some deep thought and introspection, the latter seemed a lot more of a reasonable prospect for me to actually complete someday.

After digging around in some google searches I stumbled across the infamous Blackadder's Thunderhawk scratchbuild and it really spoke to me. Instead of trying to match Forge World's now somewhat archaic sculpt and dimensions he worked from some very detailed resized digital renderings. These images were much more inline with what I thought the proportions ought to be, and Blackadder is an awe inspiring miniature scale engineer. Having made my decision I dug in and got to work.

I scaled the images down to a size that seemed appropriate to me in terms of overall size. The 3D images I was working from had a much sleeker shape than FW's Thunderhawk with is just too short and stubby for me to be happy with. I think the official model clocks in at 19 inches in length, where mine will measure about 24 inches. The height of the fuselage will probably be a little shorter but it should look less like a shoe box with wings and more of a vaguely plausible flying machine. I had some old foam core floating around the workshop so I used that to build a rough hull matching the dimensions I wanted to go for. In retrospect this created a lot of extra work for me since the foam core I was using was slightly warped. There was a lot of bending and irritating glueing that had to happen to fix this but I've risen above to create a much more fleshed out hull.

My primary source for sheet styrene is from cheap $5 parking signs I purchased from Home Depot, they measure about 20 x 24 inches so you really get a lot for you're money. The only down side being the miscellaneous printing on one side of the sign. I've covered the foam hull with  this budget plasticard and have begun building out some of the structural portions of the hull like the nose, tail, and upper-hull turbolaser mount using only plasticard. It took a little while to collect all the materials I need for this which only cost me about $30 for enough various thickness plasticard to build almost everything but the engines and turbolaser, but now I'm making pretty rapid progress. I'm trying to get the basic hull shape built, then I'll be building the wings and various sub assemblies (engines, landing gear, cockpit, etc) separately and attaching them as I go. I think I'm also going to build the wings to be removable so I'll be able to move this beast around without snapping anything off.

In this last shot you can see how I'm building some of the structural parts of this model. Hopefully I'll have more to post soon.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

From out of the shadows...the Cult emerges

   I received a copy of Deathwatch Overkill for my birthday from an awesome friend (and blog founder) due to tremendous enthusiasm for GW'S newest release. These models are simply amazing and encapsulate everything I have loved about 40k over the years. So I had to assemble them immediately. Here they are on catwalk style mining world bases.

More progress to come soon...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Getting serious about basing gremlins

Did some work on my Wong crew plus Sammy Lacroix for gremlins. Used a metal bayou base for Sammy and hand snapped popsicle sticks for the others. I used Lightning Blast to quickly adhere plastic to wood and metal and it works like a charm.