|image © GW|
I like the look of the kit, I really do. There's those who (me included) who have dubbed it The Disco Speeder, since it looks like a flying DJ booth (and those Necrons on the Command Barge DON'T look like they're taking requests at a wedding reception?). I actually thought for a few minutes of putting Lego motorcycle helmets on the two in front and having them represent Daft Punk in Tron Legacy, and put a Mickey Mouse head on the turret gunner to represent Deadmau5. But I didn't do that, because that wouldn't match the clean look of the rest of my army and WOULD be a waste of an $80 kit. I've finished one, and I'll be doing the other one over the course of this week.
I started with one of the flying bases that I bought from S6 Engineering. A shame that they decided to close their doors because I really do like these bases. Alas, no more. I'll have to find another magnetic flying stand vendor. I gather that Back To Base-ix are okay.
This is the assembled flying stand. Yes, I scratched it. Bugger. I can probably fix that with some Future, I think. Some filing had to be done as the upright didn't fit exactly in the slot in the base - that's when I scratched it. The oval on the top glues to the bottom of the model. There's a magnet in the oval and a magnet in the upright. A cross shape mates them in such a way as to prevent the model rotating on the stand.
Oval goes here. It's not a level surface so I had to cut a small piece of plasticard to level it out. The magnet has to be recessed so I had to drill into the body of the speeder to accept the 1/4" magnet. That's a big drill bit to turn by hand, once you've worked your way up to that diameter. There is some epoxy clay to reinforce the magnet on the inside of the model.
Ta-da. There is a widget that's supposed to glue to the piece coming down from the bottom of the model, that's just behind the stand. The stand interferes with it so I left it off. Well, that's one less skull that I have to paint anyway...
Since the body of the speeder is pretty much what it will be, I won't go over the building of that - you can read about it in the instructions you'll get with the kit! I will go over the important bits, and some stuff that I did just to make life easier for me when I paint the thing. The main turret first!
Assemble the weapons from the Plasma Storm Battery and carefully drill 1/16" holes in the mounting pegs. You can get 1/16" x 1/16" cylindrical magnets from your magnet supplier. I like KJ Magnetics, myself. Do this for each of the two weapons.
Glue the donut in place, and carefully drill a 1/8" hole, centred there. The hole in the donut is 1/8" so use the correct bit. Be careful you don't make the donut hole bigger or the gun WILL flop around. Underneath the turret, you'll see that it's hollow, and you can watch the drill bit break through. You should put some green stuff or grey stuff or whatever stuff in that hollow to support the magnet. Push it in part way (apply a bit of glue to the back of the magnet, it will adhere to the epoxy clay in the hollow as it contacts), then use the gun peg to push it in the rest of the way. That way it will find its depth. If you push it in too far, you won't get the magnetic attraction you need. Use the peg on the gun and it'll work perfectly. Do this for the other side and you're golden.
This is the piece that goes across the front of the turret for the "optional sensor array", as it is described in the instructions. I installed it upside down purposefully, so that it would not stop me putting the Icon Of Old Caliban in place (hereafter known as The Icon). Trim it a little - you can see where I scored it.
Dry fit it with the icon in place before you commit to glue. Do that later. You can see the moulded line in the front of the turret - that's where it should line up. So far, so good!
And there you have it! Optional Sensor Array and everything. The guns will sit a TAD askew since they're not glued in place but on the tabletop who'll really give a Jokaero's arse? The donut is a good friction fit, and the magnets are strong enough to hold them in place. Yes, I know the gunner isn't there. More on that later!
This is the clip that you would glue to the turret were you building the Darkshroud only. In the instruction book they're numbered 41 and 42, step 17. Where the 1/16" magnet has gone in, the piece will start with a slight depression in it - just open it up with a drill bit and you can push the magnet in place, it should stay put. Do this for both sides of the turret. You'll see in the right hand picture that it just snaps into place in the turret.
Assemble the rest of The Icon - as much as is required for a test fit. The bracing for the back of the Icon, parts 45 and 46, should glue to the icon and not the turret of course. When installing and removing The Icon, care should be taken so that you don't snap it. You need to slightly bend the cross piece so that the dimples on those clips go into the holes. Just be careful, you'll figure it out :)
|I am Caliban (And So Can You!)|
As an aside - a word of caution. When glueing those tiny pieces into the side of the pulpit, DON'T DROP THEM! One of the rows of skulls slipped from my fingers, hit the garbage can under my desk and I never saw it again. Minutes of searching with a light under my desk bore no fruit. I made another set using Insta-Mold and some Grey Stuff. The replication isn't exact - you can see that the copies are smaller. Doesn't matter to me, at least I have them.
I decided to magnetise the Pulpit Gunner too! You can see I installed a magnet in the top of his bottom(?!) and installed its mate in the bottom of his top!
Clipping the gunner in place helped me to glue the arms in at the correct level so that the assault cannon and heavy bolter rode the support rail correctly. Once the arms had dried in I removed the torso and glued on the pauldrons. Then glued the gun to the cross-piece being held in the hands.
I had spare bodies lying around from the Rhino kits and so I used the back and arms from one of those sprues. I set the arms at the right level for the Heavy Bolter, then removed him and glued the Pauldrons and bolter in place, setting him back down in situ while the glue dried.
I did the same for the pulpit gunner. It was a tight fit to get him in and out while setting the arms in the correct position - I ended up being very careful with a pair of needle-nose pliers. The same for the pilot. I would advise extra care when glueing the pilot's arms on as they are separate and need some support while drying. Do one at a time and have patience while the glue sets. I use Plastruct Plastic Weld for all of my plastic assembly. I've found it works okay with small pieces of Finecast too. I just magnetised the pilot and turret gunner so that I can pop them out and in while painting. I will probably glue them in place after painting is complete.
And so there you have it - another photo with a cluttered background showing you the finished build of this model. I have one more of these kits which I will no doubt complete more quickly, then it will be on to the Talon and the Nephilim. I will be building one of each. Hopefully my Ravenwing Command Squad arrive soon so that I can also build those. I will have a lot of black models to prime and basecoat with the airbrush. All part of the Independent Characters 2013 Hobby Progress Challenge! My progress as you know is being mirrored in this blog. This entry is an extra, but I will mirror it in there when it is time. You can see my progress thread at this link - it's the same content as this page for the most part but you can see the discussion of my progress from my peers on the forum.