Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 3

I got the hang of this during a couple of episodes of Ashes To Ashes.  Oh, wonderful British police drama in the eighties style with just a LITTLE bit of science fiction thrown in.  Try Life On Mars first, just not the American version. Bleugh. Notice a theme with the titles?

I assembled the main body of the Land Raider and held it together with rubber bands.  I could have used three hands for this exercise. Holding together several parts while wrapping rubber bands around them was like trying to stuff three cats in a sack at once! It afforded me the opportunity to trim the front plate from the Vindicator sprue appropriately, and to dry fit as I go.

After seeing the various photos deposited around the web, and after reading the assembly blog that used to be on the Games Workshop website, I was confident that I would be able to trim and fit this plate quite well.  I placed it on the front of the body and marked where I needed to cut.  I was generous with this so that I could trim with a knife as necessary.  I had an unfortunate accident as I was marking the cut lines with my hobby blade and sent the blade through the top of my knuckle.  Wasn't just an ordinary knick either - this was a talking wound!  Kinda made my job difficult for a couple of days, but there's no good kitbash without a little injury or two.

I made the cuts with a hobby saw and filed flat and smooth, working as needed until the plate fit snugly and straight in place.  The next thing was to work on whittling down what was required to make the plate fit in a way that looked like it was engineered like that.  I didn't want to glue the cannon in place until I was happy with the placement of the plate.  I had to cut down the areas that take the upper door hinges on a regular Land Raider.  I had to cut back the parks of the body that the doors would rest against, just so that things tuck in nicely.


After I got the plate positioned correctly, I measured up where the lower door would have to meet, and I cut it across and filed it straight.  Again, testing for fit - I had great joy - it was working! 

Then I assembled the demolisher cannon, and I used some plasticard to cover gaps in the back.  The part of the front plate that normally on the Rhino chassis would wrap around the cupola worked well around the area for the TL Assault Cannon, but I couldn't insert and remove the weapon - as you would in the case of a Weapon Destroyed result.  I really should have magnetised the main barrel of the Demolisher cannon because you and I both know that the first Weapon Destroyed result will be on the Demolisher. So I trimmed it back in an appropriate manner. Small pieces of plasticard gave that area some support and finish. 


So here we have it.  The body glued together, demolisher cannon in place and rubber bands securing everything until the glue dried. I just placed that piece of track to ensure the gaps were correct. 

 Next up is the attachment of the siege shield to the body.  Or at least working out where the supports go. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 2

I was just too tired last night to continue the diatribe and explain in excruciating detail how I widened the dozer blade (or siege shield, if you want to be picky about it!).

As you might well know, the shield that comes with the vindicator is about 5mm narrower than the body of the Land Raider, so we need to change that. Some people aren't that bothered and I have seen quite nicely done versions of this vehicle across teh interwebz that just use the unmodified siege shield. I want it done properly, dammit!

I though that the best way to widen the shield would be to add pieces on the end of the shield, before the end sections are glued on.  Some suggested cutting two shields and making one wider one, but it would mess with the symmetry of the lower portion of the shield and inaccurate cuts can ruin the whole affair.  I hunted around and found some styrene rod that was roughly the dimensions I needed.  Evergreen Scale Models make plasticard and strip styrene, and they have a variety that is .100" square - or 2.5mm x 2.5mm if you prefer.  This is pretty much the desired size!  I paid $4 for far more than I needed. I'm sure I can use the rest on something Orky.  Or if I decide to build an Ares variant of the Linebreaker Squadron.  Ouch!

I cut a suitable length and held it up against the end of the shield.  I realised that I would need to shape a portion of it with a knife to go around the piece at each end designed to receive the end plate. I made sure that when I cut and shaped it, that it would protrude a small amount top and bottom so that I could shape to suit. Then I glued it inch by inch starting at the bottom, clamping as required.  I used Plastruct solvent cement.  It really softens the plastic enabling the two parts to really bond it's $6.99 for 2fl oz up here in Canada.  A comparable cement would be Tenax 7-R, but Plastruct comes with a brush applicator.  Don't spill it - it will ruin whatever surface it hits. Sorry, I don't have a photo of it in mid gluing, but here's the shaping I had to do. When it was all dry I had to sand and shape the styene to the profile of the shield.  The strip styrene isn't THAT bendable - it's injection moulded plastic that's 2.5mm thick! So there were portions that weren't true with the shield.

When I went to fix the end plate in place, there was a slight gap in the back, so I packed it out with some thin plasticard and glued away.  After attaching both ends I shaped the top corners. If I was able to go back and re-do I would have shaped it like the one in the datasheet, but no matter, I think it still looks good.

You can see that in the bottom corner on each side there is a void.  Normally the end plate would tuck behind the front of the shield.  I decided to use the Privateer Press "grey stuff" that I bought on a whim a while ago.  This stuff sets up a lot faster than Green Stuff in my experience and is easier to carve and sand when setting up and when fully set. It behaves very like injection moulded plastic when fully set up, although a little softer and easier to cut.

After I had applied the grey stuff, I went over all of the white styrene with a liberal coat of Liquid Green Stuff to fill in whatever was needed after all of the work was done.  I decided that I didn't like the winged skull so I cut that off, and glued on a large chapter insignia from the Ravenwing upgrade kit.

I did find this to be a challenge.  More so than making a home for the exhaust fans, but certainly more enjoyable because the shield is one of the defining pieces of the Land Raider Ares.  I think the most challenging part is to come - assembling the Land Raider and attaching the demolisher cannon.  Photos and bloggage when it happens - hopefully in a week or so depending on how much time I get to look at it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 1

Oh look, The Limey's NOT dead!

I've been interrupted by Waaagh! Jamie, which was 4000 point Adepticon Team Tournament effort by three friends and I.  That was good times, and my six year old is beside himself that he now has 4000 points of painted Orks. Yeah!

I've been drooling over this project for a while, and doing a lot of thinking but I think there was not a whole lot of doing.  I finally got the two main Land Raider Crusaders finished, which has been the impetus I need to at least get this bad boy built. Oh yes, here's a picture of a Land Raider Crusader for my army.

As usual, based in the Orkhide Shade foundation (I have managed to hoard ten jars of it, and I'm looking for more).  The panels are painted in, as with the Damocles Rhino, in Deneb Stone - which I am also hoarding or my Deathwing just won't look right, dammit!

The Land Raider Ares is quite the tank.  A 300 point AV 14 Vindicator with twin linked heavy flamer sponsons.  Yeah! Here is one.  You'll obviously see the inspiration for my vehicles colour scheme. Here is the actual datasheet for the unit

I wasn't impressed by the use of the old Baal Predator heavy flamers on the example on the datasheet.  SO - I figured I would use the flamestorm cannons from the Crusader kit and twin link them.  On the Redeemer, it has a flamer cannon on one side of the sponson, and the prometheum tank on the other.  I cut half of the back piece off - the tank portion - from both sides, and glued the cable bits together.  "SO WHERE DOES THE PROMETHEUM COME FROM?!" I hear you ask.  It's magic.  I mean - where are the magazines for the Hurricane Bolters, hm?  I have prometeum tanks made, I think I'll just have to figure out how to mount the tanks, and what to use to get the fuel from the tanks to the cannons.  For now:

As you can see, the linkage for the back is quite simple.  As they're just heavy flamers, and I don't want to be accused of modelling for advantage, I may shorten the heavy flamer barrels by cutting out the portion between the body and the end bit. If anyone has any thoughts on this I'd appreciate them :)
It goes together quite nicely.  Sorry about the picture quality - my phone isn't THAT great and it's too much hassle to drag out the light box and the fancy camera for workbench photos. Click on the photos for larger versions in a new window.

The exhaust fans for the Demolisher cannon have to be present on the model, of course.  I had a dilemma as to where to place them.  GW's article about the construction of the Ares seems to have vanished, so I couldn't get a top-down view of the one on the datasheet.  Here is where I started.  I just whittled away at the corder of that raised portion.

I wanted to have it sitting on the top, seperate from the engine exhaust grille but I couldn't decide on where and how much I wanted to cut away, and I was also worried about messing it up and having to order another lid from a bitz provider.  Just cutting the corner away as you can see allowed me to fit it into a spot that would look "correct".  It doesn't look THAT correct as one of the fans is over the track, but we'll put it down to some inventive duct work on the STC.
I needed to create support for the exhaust fan plate, and block off the annoying gap it would create, so there was some inventive use of plasticard and liquid green stuff.  The liquid green stuff also was used to fill the gap between the exhaust plate and the raised portion on the body. 

Next posting: Widening the dozer blade!