Friday, January 25, 2013

Big Freakin' Tank, Pt.1

A few months ago, I picked up a Games Workshop Baneblade model with the idea of assembling and re-selling it. It is a wonderful model, and HUGE! I know a lot of people like to bash GW, but one thing you can't fault them on is the number of extra parts they include for different variants and personalization. But which variant would sell better? And I hate to leave unused pieces on the table, so I determined to make the model with as many interchangeable parts as possible. In for a penny, in for a pound I thought , so I ordered the Shadowsword/Stormlord sprue to see how just Swiss Army Knife I could make it.

Part 1 will be the standard Baneblade with a choice of two main guns. Part 2 will add the Shadowsword/Stormlord versions. I will address the sponsons in Part 3.

I began by assembling the basic chassis according to the instructions. It was pretty straight forward, and I filled the few sink holes with Squadron's Green Putty. (The white cross piece and tabs on the inside walls will become pertinent in Part 2.)
 The only egregious faults I found were the prominent seam lines on the ends of the fuel tanks. It was a simple matter to use a circle template to cut some disks out of .010 styrene. What an improvement. (If you want to see how bad the seams look uncorrected, check out GW's website.)
 There are three choices for the main turret's cupola---- closed, with a commander, with a gunner/heavy stubber. I couldn't make up my mind, so I began by drilling out the hinges and inserting a hinge pin. Now the cupola can be open or closed (not pictured). I installed a platform with a magnet inside. You will notice the magnet is not exactly at the rear, but offset to the side. Also you can see the magnets in the bottom of the two figures are not in the same location.
 This was done so the Tank Commander's hand cups the cupola's periscope............
 ..........and the base of the Gunner's Heavy Stubber fits in its notch properly.
Oh yeah, I put a lip on the bottom of the cupola so it will swivel. I also drilled out the end of the barrel and inserted a brass tube (a favorite trick of mine).
 I also drilled out the hinges of the engine covers, so they can also be displayed open  or closed.
Now for the turret armament. The Auto Cannon is light enough to attach with a magnet. (The model only comes with the Auto Cannon, but I plan on making a Flamethrower option.) The main armament barrels are too big and heavy for magnets, so I'm using nesting brass tubes. I drilled out the mantle for the larger diameter tube, and CA'd a two inch piece in place, taking care it was level and true.
I drilled out the barrels for the smaller diameter tubes, leaving about 1½" exposed at the rear. The shorter barrel's front opening exposed a lot of unrealistic open space, so I added a brass tube there, too.
The two barrels in place.
Pretty simple so far. Wait till you see all the Shadowsword/Stormlord variants.  Don

Thursday, January 24, 2013

That Arab OGRE, Pt. 5

The project has been sitting on my table for the last two months, mocking me for the delay. I finally got tired of its smirks, and have (I believe......I hope) finished construction. Here is where we are now.

I've added the steering louvres and protective caps to the jet engines. I may try to paint those caps to resemble turbo-fans. I also began with a three-blade louvre in each engine, but felt the detail was too small to be noticed, so I went with single blades.
 The rear section.
The front. It was now I noticed how badly I mangled the tower. Took a little work to make it presentable.
 I've added the main and secondary guns.
The OGRE primed. This is actually the second priming. After the first, I found several glue blobs and filled panel lines. I fixed as many as possible.

Ready for the final paint job. I am leaning toward a desert sand color for the main body (already base coated it khaki), with dark brown and green highlights. The plenum will be Tamiya's semi-gloss black, while the top sensor will be gold. I am deciding between gold or silver for the 'scimitar' details. Any thoughts on the two?  Anyway, we're getting close.  Don