Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Eldar Dreadnought (Wraithlord)

I finally got a little fed up with the fragility of my old metal dreadnoughts and decided it was time to replace them with plastic kits.  This is the first one (another to follow when the new box is released).  It's a very nice and easy to work with kit, though some scaffolding is necessary to assemble the mini on its legs.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hobby Tips: Building the Rhino-Russ, Part One

As discussed in earlier blog posts, I am not a fan of the current Space Marine Rhino.  Just think it's kinda clunky/boring.  While I like the nostalgia of the old model it's tiny and hard to get a hold of.  Several months ago I decided to scratch-build or kit-bash my own version of what I think a Rhino could look like.

I had looked online for images of Rhinos which were made using Leman Russ tracks.  I bought some bits and bashed some together.  Since then I've had some people asking how I did it, so here ya go - I've just built a third.

This time I took pictures!

Step One: For this build you'll need a Rhino chassis and Leman Russ tracks --- both are available on eBay sporadically as bit packages.  This should run you roughly $25.00

Step Two: Clean and prep your Leman Russ track bits - you'll use the entire set.

Step 3: Clean and prep your Rhino chassis components.

Step 4: Unless you plan to try to build an interior, these pieces are extraneous and can be set aside.

Step 5: Take your Rhino top're going to trim off the sides of the chassis.

Step 6: Using an xacto blade, score the inside of the side panels...with some precise cuts they should separate easily enough - clip and sand any remaining bits.

Step 7: This is what you want left --- the central portion of the chassis.

Step 8: Take your Rhino bottom...and simply clean the four tabs off the edges.

Step 9: Ta...frikkin'...da!

Step 10: Depending on what you're building (Rhino, Predator, etc.) you'll want some bits on standby.  You'll need hatches, maybe a lamp or two, and some exhaust pipes (we'll get to those later)

Step 11: If you wish to make your vehicle modular and you want to magnetize some sponsons...NOW'S THE TIME SUCKA.  There's a pretty simple trick to this...

Step 12: The Leman Russ sponsons line up with the spots indicated in the picture above - it will slot into place, but will not stay put unless you glue it or magnetize it.

Step 13: For magnetizing these sponsons I used some pretty heavy/large magnets I had laying around.  I placed one on the inside of the sponson itself.  While being at an odd angle, the strength of the magnet is more than enough.

Step 14: Eat a sensinble meal consisting of a chicken sammitch, pineapple chunks and a light salad.  Then take another magnet, and simply let it clip itself to the inside of the outer track panel.  With the sponson lined up and in place this will test how strong your hold is - and will naturally pull the magnet to where it needs to be.

Step 15: Leaving the sponson in place, sand down your magnet slightly and then apply superglue as needed --- let the magnet attract itself to the right spot.  Let it dry.  Do this for both sides.  Now, when assembled your magnets are invisible inside the track sections.

Step 16:When complete your sponson should hold nicely to the tank without any glue, etc.  At this point, apply white and black facepaint, turn to the nearest friend or neighbor and proclaim "Magnets!  How does that shit work!?"

Step 17: Now the real surgery begins. Up till now, it's just been recess.  Get some clippers and an xacto -- a scalpel version is recommended (you'll use it constantly in hobbying, so get one anyway!)

Step 18: We're going to be using the "inside" of the track section as shown.  The goal is to clear away all of the raised plastic lip between the shown points --- and trim down the back "wheel" area slightly.

Step 19: The other portions of your tank will be resting against this portion of your tracks so you want certain areas cleared of the plastic lip (and sanded/minimized).  This includes three bolts at the front edge of the tracks:

Step 20: Slightly better picture of what you'll want trimmed down:

Step 21: The front edge cleaned up.  Your Rhino bottom and top will be laying on these lips and fitting flush against the sides of the track housing, so make sure to sand them or clean them well.

Step 22: With the track assemblies glued together (leave off the actual track - that is easier to paint separate and can be added later) you're going to stand the track sections upright, and lay the Rhino chassis bottom in between them - resting on the bottom lip.

Step 22B: The best way to measure this --- is to leave the Rhino chassis butting up against this one bolt at the 12 o'clock position on the rear drive wheel.  By lining this up you can ensure both track portions are aligned correctly.  Once satisfied with the fitmen...glue it!

Step 23: Once the bottom of the Rhino chassis is in place - add the front panel.  This will rest perfectly on the front.  It may require minor trimming if you haven't sanded it down to match the bottom - shouldn't be too hard.  The front panel will rest on the front lips and will rest on the bottom rhino chassis.  It should slot right into place.

Step 24: Another view of the front plate installed.  There will be a minor gap at the bottom of the front panel.  It is not visible during play.
Step 25: Now the top panel should slot right in - resting on the top lips.  Note that the panel is longer than the rest of the body - you'll fit that in later.

Step 26: At this point, go ahead and assemble the top doors.  I clip off the inside handles so they lay flat - glue them shut.  I leave the door panel separate so you can swap in and out the turreted options.

Step 27: Check the panel fitment before everything dries.  You should have pretty crisp/lined up panels if you've done everything correctly.

Step 28: Now that it's dried more or less, it's time to build the back end of the tank.  This is pretty simple and you'll need three pieces of material.  I use some leftover Renedra plastic bases because they're stout and easy to work with.  You'll be building two side walls and a rear gate.


Step 29: Here's an example from a built kit showing what you'll be doing - and why we shaved the rear lips of the tank earlier.  The inside of the track section will be what lines up your outer walls.  Cut them to slot in, and glue them.

Step 30: Cut a piece of plastic/MDF/whatever you choose to use so it slots and makes a box under the top Rhino panel.  Do this on both sides.  At this point, you're nearing completion --- so if you want to add fancy bits, go for it.

Step 31: Glue both panels in place.

Step 32: Once complete - cut or build a simple square to close up the back of the Rhino.

Step 33: At this point I place a single "convoy light" on one side of the Rhino at the back.  One thing to keep in mind when detailing the back sides of this vehicle --- you have to install the track elements later, so don't place anything too close to the tracks.

Step 34: At this point, add a tailgate or ramp.  You can make this as elaborate as you want.  I just cut out the Rhino bit and glue it into place.

Step 35: Another view of the ramp.

Step 36: Now add some details - this is where I place exhaust pipes - again careful to not place them too close to the tracks.  I place one on each side.

Step 37: Complete!

 This is the vehicle finished for painting (I may swap in a bolter turret)
 The tracks are easiest to paint separately and glue in later.

Here are some pictures of my other two in various guises (yes, one has a magnetized dozer blade, etc.)
 One under build with magnetized sponsons and the turret plate in place.
One model with a resin aftermarket "Deimos" pattern turret, etc.

 The Predator model finished.
 The same Predator...swapped into a simple Rhino.
The other Rhino can be swapped into this Vindicator.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

War Walkers...version 3...

So, I'm still not happy with war-walkers.  Mainly because I can't paint the old ones well enough, and they're a pain in the ass to transport.  The new ones look terrible.  So what did I do?  I kit-bashed some Robotech scout pods and old War Walker legs into war walker?

I'm not 100% sold on the concept, but I like them better than anything else I've tried.  I have two more I may do in pirate scheme, not sure.