Monday, 29 September 2008

Drop Ship XII

Just a small update from half an hours work last night on the rear door-ramp.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Drop Ship XI


Well after the weekend voting, Engine A clearly won the Poll...
Engine A: 42 votes (84%)
Engine B: 2 votes (4%)
Engine C: 5 Votes (10%)

However a few comments made on a TMP thread and the FOD made sense to me, so I shall be remodelling Engine A to shorten it somewhat and add the style of the thrust nozzles from engine C to it.


I bought a handfull of concentric rings from EMA Model Supplies (an Architects and professional model makers suppliers with a great range of pre-machines basic shapes). These rings are a nice tight interference fit and, with a little sanding, two of them make the ideal mount for locating the command unit to the main hull.

Then by happy accident I happened to notice that the larger of the rings is just a little larger than plastic gear bought for another project from Maplin. Inspiration struck, and with a small piece of plastic semicircular rod inside the ring, the gear locates nicely and is unable to rotate! Just glue the engine mount to the main hull, and the gear to the engine and as the gear has 20 teeth, this gives me 20 posable locations for the engines! So they can be individually posed and also lined up. A little surface detailing of the engine mounts and you have the pictures below.

I shall drill 6mm holes through the centre of the engine mounts and the gear to allow for small magnets to be glued in place, ensuring the engines stay in place.

Note the forward engine mounts are wider than the rear to try and prevent the rear engines from sitting immediately behind the thrusters on the front.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Drop Ship X

Now I have 3 engine variants and I can't decide which one is best. Time for a Poll >>>

EDIT: I'm interested in which of the three basic designs you prefer. None of these engines is finished (especially C which has no surface detail and just pen lines to indicate an air intake!). If you've already voted and want to change your vote, then do so. Thanks.

Comparison shots alongside.

Left to right - engines A,B and C.

Drop Ship IX

I decided to remodel the engine pod as it looked too bulky for me, and here is what I came up with fom the contact lens holder and a couple of short lengths of PVC plumbing overflow pipe.

Then with a few panels, a radial heat sink, and lots and lots of filling and sanding...

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Drop Ship VIII

Well, a package from Old Crow arrived. In the following 2 pictures I've mocked up a potential pair of turrets onto the hull (with blu tac) added a couple of hatches and done some more detailing. The green 'spots' on the hull are Squadron Green putty to fill the remaining visible bubbles from the original resin casting.

There is a comcen turret mounted on the forward hull, and a missile launcher on the rear hull. I've also temporarily installed one of the two fins. (Two fins won by 12 votes to 2 in the recent poll!). I've also used a plastic 'googly-eye' on the port side of the hull as a dome.

I found an old contact lens case which has amazing engine components! I've tacked them in place, but i will cut them down to a circular shape and file off the L and R before completing. The part still attached inside the case will be used as the 'intake' to the engine (but I need another one! Anyone got a spare?). This has convinced me to re-model the engine and make it less fussy and sightly less bulky.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Friday, 12 September 2008

Drop Ship VI

Just a little progress today as I wait for more filler to arrive via Royal Mail. I decided to work on a tail fin (having abandoned the idea of stub wings)

This is one part of the build I forgot to take step by step pictures for. Anyway it's 5 pieces of 1.5mm styrene laminated together with styrene cement and then sanded, and sanded and sanded some more into a kind of aerofoil shape. This piece is now also awaiting filler to remove some joint lines , and it will need to be panel scribed. However I had a suggestion on the Forum of Doom that the ship should have 2 tail fins. So a moment in photoshop, and we have a choice. Two fin or not two fin? That is the question.

I had envisaged mounting a pair of small Old Crow missile turrets either side of the fin. But there's no reason why i couldn't mount a single turret between two fins. A comms array will be placed on the upper forward starboard hull.

I am undecided. What do you guys think? Poll on the right >>>>>

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Drop Ship V

A couple of people have asked me how big this drop ship is so i've included some size comparisons to the Hasslefree Grymn figures that its meant to complement.

You can see in the third picture that i still have some alignment issues with the two halves of the the resin hull cast that needs to be addressed with filler.

Talking about filler, I tried some new lightweight filler from Deluxe Materials. It dried overnight, and I tried sanding it today... As you can see from the following pics it was a bit of a disaster.

In all fairness as a model RC aircraft filler this stuff probably rocks as it is INCREDIBLY light weight - I thought I'd been sold an empty tub! But it doesn't cut the mustard as a modelling filler/putty. So on recommendation I've put in an order for Squadron Green putty and Aves Apoxy Sculpt filler from Antenocitis Workshop - my favourite online modelshop supplier.

It'll be a few days wait now until I am able to complete the command module structure ready for detailing.

So whilst I wait I have decided that I don't like the Engine Pod design, and I'll model it with Convex sides and slightly thinner, so although not much smaller it'll both look lighter, and mimic the sweeping curves over the hull.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Drop Ship IV

Jez, the very nice man who runs Old Crow Models has given me the OK to use his accessories and weapons from the old crow line on this drop ship, even if i cast it for small production!


So I shall be using his hatches, and a variety of weapons on the ship. The 25mm weapons/turrets look great but are too big for the space available; which is a shame as I like the look of the 25mm Missile Turret mounted on the rear hull.

SO instead I have ordered a range of his 15mm and 6mm turrets to see what works. I'll post pics when I get the goods.

Backto the build...

A little more progress on the command module. I decided to add some forward pointing cannon to enable the drop ship to clear soft targets from a landing site before deploying its troops. I also decided to do this because I thought the angled tubes under the nose of the command unit look cool, and it was a bit of a challenge to model.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Drop Ship III

Further updates on the saga of the Grymn Drop Ship. I started on the nose, or what i shall now pretentiously refer to as the command unit (its the bit where the pilots sit!). I decided on something like a cross between the head of an Eagle spaceship from Space 1999, crossed with the front end of an Old Crow Glaive APC.

The 'command unit' is not yet finished, it requires some awkwardly shaped rear and lower panels to be cut and glued and then the seams filling and the whole lot sanding smooth. Then i need to apply the surface detail that turns this from an interesting shaped box into a space ship.

Hear you can see a little proress on surface detailing the main body and engine pod, and all of the progress so far.

Comments, suggestions and critisms welcome here, or on the Forum of Doom

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Drop Ship II

Further progress on the Grymn Drop Ship model. After almost a whole day of sanding and plasticard construction (and more sanding) things are beginning to look a little more like a model and not just a casting of a mouthwash bottle! I've cut the bottle tops off, glued 2 of the halves together to form a hull shape (much deeper than the original bottles) then sanded and filled and sanded and filled to get a smooth join. I haven't filled all the air bubbles that were present, as you can see most of them get covered anyway, so I'll fill the ones that now show.

I have decided to go with a style not dissimilar to the Old Crow 25mm vehicles designs that I have already used for my grymn. The vehicles have a simplicity about them with a distinctive style of "notched plates" over much of the surface. I have tried to copy this approach in the decoration of the drop ship.

You'll also see the first of four engine pods which will attach to the main hull as shown. this was scratch built entirely from plasticard and then filled and sanded smooth, and decorated. Its shown attached to the hull, where it will swivel in place to allow both vertical and horizontal thrust, which also means I can use the whole of the rear surface as a loading ramp/door. For the purists amongst you forward pods will be mounted wider and lower than the rear pods, so the exhaust doesn't blow directly into the rear engines. The engine pod still requires engine nozzles and some further decoration but I'm happy with the basic look - functional, chunky but clean geometric lines.

I was concerned that I'd made the engine pod too big and that the whole ship looks too 'dumpy' but then i decided that this was a good thing as it reminded me a bit of grymn/dwarfs - very functional and practical but extremely well engineered with no need of go faster stripes or twiddly bits.

Still on the list of things to plan and do:

  1. Front cockpit - I imagine something along the lines of an Eagle spaceship from Space 1999, crossed with the front end of an Old Crow Glaive APC.
  2. Rear loading ramp/door - I'm toying with the idea of casting this model hollow; partly to cut down on the volume of resin required, but also so that I can fit models in it. To make that worthwhile, I'll also want to cast a door that opens and closes.
  3. Landing gear - as in 2 above, I'm getting ambitious and wanting the landing gear to retract to allow the model to be used both in-flight and landed.
  4. Further surface decoration including whatever weaponry may be appropriate - I'm thinking a handful of ATA missiles and perhaps a point defence weapon - don't know where i would place these though.
  5. Tail fin? Should I or shouldn't I?
  6. Stub wings? - See 5 above.

Suggestions, and comments on very welcome.