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Monday, 1 September 2014

Space Wolf Dreadnought Herd

Sometimes a delve through the bitz box reveals just how much material I have stored away.

So from the SW dread box set I had resolved I would use the kit to primarily construct Bjorn as he finally had a decent looking resculpt.

The axe and shield combo was interesting as well but looked a bit clunky on such a low, squat model. I had an idea to resolve that.

And of course I had to make Murderfang just as long as I did not use that atrocious head piece from the kit. So in all my dread count went up as follows:

Here they are in all of their overly decorated glory. I cast several icons from the Logan kit (yes that damned hover sleigh) and the dread kit to add to my ever expanding collection of SW bling. Overall I am pleased with the results.

Forge World Venerable

Murderfang. Note that rather than have an exposed pilot's face (which is dumb even by 40K standards), instead I went for the appearance of a wolf-themed death mask serving to almost bind the pilot to the dread. It  also preserves the mystery of who is in the dread.

Relic Contemptor with axe and shield. You know you have accumulated too much stuff when you can say the words, "Oh hey, I have a spare contemptor lying around." Luckily I found a good use for him. The head is the bow piece from Logan's jolly sleigh. I just love the pose-ability possible with the contemptor kit.

After these are done my Space Wolves will have 6 dreads (8 if I count those from my original SW army). No matter what happens in the future I am good for dreadnoughts.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Launch Bay Elevated Walkway: Gantry supports (complete)

As the title says they are pretty much done. I will be adding a relatively simple control panel to the top of each but essentially this part of the work is done. Now for a much needed break from this project. I know I will do more on this before the summer is out.

Below are shots of the pieces as I did the final detailing as well as a shot showing the assembled board elements as it stands now. Next part of this project depends on my time. The central building structure has about 5 floors that need to be bulked and detailed and the elevators and 2nd lighting set need to be set up.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Launch Bay Elevated Walkway: Gantry supports (detailing)

Just a quick update as I complete the final card work and detailing on these pieces. I have come to realize that the central launch rail structure is not quite central, so I will have to redo the walkway on the far side from most of these shots (the side with the Thunderbolt model). Once these are done I will need a break from this project for a few days as the time involved is getting to me. Time to go out and marvel at that unfamiliar ball of fire in the sky.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Launch Bay Elevated Walkway: Piston mechanism mock-up

Just a quick update on the initial designs for the pistons that give the walkway the illusion of being able to adjust it's height. The plastic tubes used for the pistons will not be sufficient to hold the structural integrity that the structure will need so I will be adding more foamcore to the mechanism to look like metal guides for the raising and lowering actions. These should further reinforce the structure and keep it in shape....literally.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Launch Bay Elevated Walkway: Concept sketch and initial work

So I have more or less settled on a design for the gantry supports. I will need to seriously bulk out the shape once the main structure is assembled so as to break up the boxy shape it currently has. This is one of the limitations of working with foamcore. You are generally stuck with flat sided shapes (and I am saying generally as I am not certain that you can not curve foamcore...I have been too busy to look it up).

So the photos show the side shapes for the upper and lower portion of this gantry. The gap is intended to give the idea that the gantry can move higher or lower depending on the ship in the cradle. That section will be filled with plastic tubing to represent the hydraulic pistons that make this movement possible. To be clear this piece will not actually be able to alter its height. It is hopefully just going to look like it can.

I have assembled the top support for the gantry and show them assembled and also show a shot of the walkway on top of its supports. The supports are clearly different widths to accommodate the walkway but their attachment points to the walkway will depend on their distance apart once they are on the edge of the elevator. I want these walkways to at least touch the central structure that I have been working on in parallel with this.

And yes I am aware the perspective in the sketch is shot. It is a mess of concepts smashed together and was used to design the card templates that I traced the pieces with. I will scan and post those later in case anyone is interested.

Friday, 25 July 2014

And level 3 walkways are now done but...

...they are probably going to be used for an arch-gantry thingy that will extend over the tops of the elevators instead. The far end of the launch rails building will now be bulked out in a different way instead (still to be determined. this is why this takes so long). So I am sketching out ideas for the supports for this gantry and the rough idea is to have what looks like exposed pistons in the center of the column to imply that the gantry can be raised or lowered. If I get over my embarrassment at some of the designs I may scan the page of the other ideas I had.

Anyway, the walkways are done...but now they will need handrails and stuff. Sigh....

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Landing Bay: Launch Rail Structure, Lower Levels

So now the process of working out how this structure is going to be bulked out has begun and this is where the process goes a bit more slowly. I find myself constantly going back and forth to the structure to test ideas out and design new elements. Advancement can be slow at times but it does improve the look of the piece considerably.

One main concern of this structure is the weight distribution. Currently it is delicately balanced around the middle but since the highest portion extends out from the center of gravity, the original assembly would easily tip forward. So I have to add more weight to the opposite end to fix this. Note that when this board is complete there will be the elevator structure supporting this part but since all of the structures will be removable to an extent, I would like this structure to stand on its own (also giving more versatility to the building). If necessary I will build and extra "foot" to support the building if used in other settings but I will see where this design process takes me.

Level 2 Walkways

Because of the size of the structure I decided I need to improve line of sight through the levels so that players will be less likely to lose track of models. I decided to do a grating effect using plastic needle point grids. Not my first choice but I had these grids laying around and I am trying to consume the mad assortment of materials that I have gathered as terrain bits, so in they go. These are made of a more vinyl-like plastic so I used white glue and superglue to bind the grid to the card, as well as adding some small cross supports to help support the grid. This was a really time-consuming step to design the first walkway but it served as a template for the opposite side. 

When it was done I still thought that the LOS was still not clear enough so I resolved to make the grating on the next level up even larger.

I also need to better secure the walkway so I added a block and pipe assembly to add support to the walkway. Note that because of all of the white glue used to hold the card that the foam core has warped slightly. Adding a short wall along the edge will help straighten it but this also means that when they are finally glued in place, I will have to ensure that they are pressed onto their supporting surfaces until the glue dries.



Third Level Walkways

This part is here just to show you the process of how I assemble these walkways. I had a rough idea for the main shape of the walkway but needed to design the exposed grating. I left about 1.5 cm between each shape cut out of the walkway. The card pieces over the top will overlap into these shape by about 0.5 cm to hide the edges of the grating pieces and to further secure the grating pieces into the structure.

The card overlay, once designed, was used as a template to help design all of these parts so that by the end I had all of my parts sketched and cut. Now I have to line the inside edges of the cut shape with card to protect the foam and further strengthen the piece.

This has the added benefit of adding a lot of weight to these walkways so that they will ad bulk to this end of the structure as I wanted. These are still a WIP but I have been snapping shots as I go.

More as it happens.