Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting Grounded

Time to show the start of the structural functioning base for the Eldar Vampire Raider. 
Particle board cut to the size of a large blast marker (5" across) and 9/16" copper tube 5 minute apovied to it and reenforced with Apoxie sculpt.  I will be sculpting a "narrative" item to the base - leaning toward Dead greater demon to cover the entirity of the copper tube.

Well my computer is having fun with trying to upload pics again so maybe tomorrow I will get more posted.


Eldar Vampire Raider, the New Year

Well moving on I will continue to get you caught up on the progress.  I have cut a few of the panels for the "skin" of the fuselage and aplied them over the plastic "ribs." 

I also Found some 1/2" clear acrylic rod at a local plastics fabricator to use as a stem of my flying base.  I also located 9/16" copper tube to act as an "anchor" location in the center of the raider and the base.  The trick here was to "dry fit" (no glue) the assemblies together and place other components atop the model to try and establish the "Center of gravity." I gingerly tried to balance the model on one finger and found the "rough" center of gravity.  This is where I placed the copper tube.

After hours of consideration I also decided to abandon the traditional "box" style forward sections of the under wing portions of the engines.  I will be installing a more "organic" looking portion as you can see in the rough outlins of the skeleton framework I have added.

Eldar = organic, flowing, elegant
Tau = Techno, Manga, Mecha etc.
Empire = WWII meets Early Industrial era 

Without having dedicated sculptors early eldar vehicles by Jes Goodwyn present the Eldar lines in great effect but the kit bashing/scratch building to construct the masters for the Vampire family does not really stay in that family when you look under the models.

I think of all the eldar models the Phoenix bomber gives me the most "Eldar vibe" I liken to true Mech-Organic, thus the decision to stremline the engines.

Until later, go see Tron, cool techno eye candy and great sound and musical score too.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back From the Void

Well I'm back and ready to fill you in on how much I haven't accomplished over the holidays.  Don't lose heart though here is what is going on. 

I have been using cardboard backing from comic book shipments at my local comic ship to use as templates to get the shapes I need to cut plastic and eliminate waste as it the plastic sheet is not cheap.

You can see the rare earth magnet added to hold the nose on and the recessed area on the "spine" of the fuselage I am going to have to solve.  I will over size the peices of plasticard I cut to allow for error rather than cut to small and waste plastic.

Vampire Raider Scratchbuild / Kitbash continued...
There is the rough sub assemblies joined,  Now for more structural ribbing to be added to give a firm footing for all those plastic pannels that will make up the skin of the Vampire.

I have actually progressed further and will share photos tomorrow. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

No Skin off my Nose

Well, back to the build.  I have used the Dremel to rout out a "notch" to place the rear cockpit in behind the Pilot.  This was a point of much consternation for me as I debated to place it in the same manner as the original on the Forgeworld version of find some way to have the second crew member face forward.

I came to the conclusion I would have to create a huge "bump" on the back of the Vampire to accomplish a forward facing second canopy.  I "cleaned up" the canopy section of a Eldar Vyper fast weapons platform (no longer a jetbike the last few codices, Grrrr) and nestled it into position through numerous test fits and gentle trimming.

The next stage is the "skin" for the fuselage.  I fell back to old methods of scratch building by using "comic backing board" (thick single layer cardboard - ask your comic retailer if they throw it out when their shipments come in.  It is invaluable for saving the amount of sheet plastic you waste with mistakes.)  You can get exact shapes with the cardboard and then trace them onto plastic sheet for minimal "fixing" of problems later on.

I also finished placing plastic strip along the fuselage fore to aft to have an anchor point for the plastic sheet "skin when I apply it.

With the cardboard sections cut, I will be making sheet skin and applying it.  Next post you will see the fitting of the flying base hole on the bottom of the fuselage.  I will be using 1/2" clear plastic acrylic rod for the "flying stem" of the base.  this only ran about $2.50 a foot from my local plastic/acrylic fabrication store downtown (found in the phone book under "Plastics" - who woulda thunk it)

Having problems uploading pictures today, so I will try and get caught up next time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Around the Workshop

Well as promised I have snapped some shots of the Chaos that is my workshop.  I am currently painting and assembling a Forgeworld Chaos Warhound Titan for a friend, working on the Eldar Vampire Raider, sculpting alternate heads for my Armorcast Phantom Titan which I am doing a "Mid-level" modification from the classic and not as modern as the upcoming forgeworld project, painting about 150 guardsmen and contemplating a "Dragonship" (Avatar Movie) variant from Valkyrie bitz.  I am also stalled on my "Arch-Angels" (flex army that can use either the Blood or Dark Angels Codexes.

Too much in vasrious stages of completion.  My completed armie are in in travel cases in my Office and blocks of those are in various stages of completion (or incompletion in some cases) needeing attention too.
My current drivers are Eldar and IG.

here are a few pics and I hopefully will have more to show you on the Eldar Vampire project soon.

Over 100 1/72 and 1/48 scale planes (WWII - Present) over 40 Sci-fi (Starwars / Star Trek) models and about 20 boxes of Warhammer 40k (various) that need to be built and painted.

There is not enough time in the day to get at everything, but I am making headway!

'till next time!  Cheers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting Pushy

Well here is the next step in the engine housings.  I cut Exhaust nozzles from the Falcon kit's lower and center pieces.  I removed them at the forward most point they connect to the falcon hull.

I then removed the exhaust nozzles from some land speeder I had saved from nearly 10 years ago (Pic #1, Row 2, piece 1) when I built speeder for my Rock Badgers Space Marines without them.  I built the speeders as 4-wheeler Jeep-style speeders instead (but that's another story all together)  By themselves they are way too wide to fit inside the Eldar engines so I cut off the outer edges making them only the size of the inner ring (Started in Pic #1, row 2, on the left side of the 3rd piece.  When cleaned up, it fits nicely into the Eldar engine halves in row 3.  They end up looking like the finished pieces in Pic #1 row 1.

I have blu-taced the finished nozzles onto the wooden dowels to show a rough assembly before I add plastic card details.

Next time I will snap some pics of the Workshop and you can get a idea where I am operating from. 
I have at least 3-4 projects in the works at any given time and when the mood strikes I bury myself down there and like to keep working while inspired, so as on thing dries I move onto the next. 

My real limitation is motivation at times and how much charge my Dremel can hold.  I would be lost without it on scratch builds and conversions!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Plastic cartiledge for a wooden Skeleton

Well this installment finds me having to get new batteries for my digital camera so I can continue to update my construction of the Eldar Vampire Hunter.  That is why I haven't posted in a few.

I spent about 4 hours making sure the "Ribs" of the fuselage we able to match up evenly when a sheet of plastic will be glued onto the body.  This consisted of using a dremel to take thin layers off of the plywood ribs so that when I looked down the length of the body from fore to aft, it was uniform and no rib was out any further than the rest.

I am going to refer to areas of construction from here on out, in reference to a bird's anatomy as it is, in effect, a bird emulating structure.  The body will be the central construction and require the second most attention following of coarse the head/neck assembly.

As circled in red in Pic #1, I have dremeled out notches to fit a piece of plastic beam that, when married to the ribs, will form a uniform surface to glue the sheet plastic forming the skin of the "body." You will also see the plastic beam has corresponding notches to interlock with the rib notches.  Also notice to the right the Dowels glued together to form the basis of the "Tri-nozzle" exhaust system  Each is 5/8th" diameter (the diameter of a Falcon/Wave serpent exhaust nozzle which is used in the forge world kit and will be used in my variant.

In Pic #2 is the plastic beam is in place.  I added blue lines at the joins to show that the surface of the plastic beam should be even with the flat surface of the ribs where the "skin" of plastic sheet will be glued.  Also a third piece of dowel is added to the exhaust to show the general configuration.

My next post will be pics of all the plastic beams in place and address the adding of the "skin" to the body.