Sunday, June 24, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 6

I went into the paint booth last weekend with my trusty Badger airbrush. It's purely used for base coating at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to hone those skills as I work on some other secret squirrel projects that have yet to start.

Orkhide Shade works okay if its thinned with water, about 60% paint and 40% demineralised water is what I use. It has to be thoroughly shaken and if it's left to sit for a day or so it WILL separate until you're left with dark blue/green ink on the top an a sediment the colour of Camo Green on the bottom. It doesn't reconstitute very well from that point. After making that observation, Camo Green is obviously the natural choice as a drybrush.  I panic bought ten pots of Orkhide Shade as they went out of stock

So I gave the tanks a couple of light coats. Unfortunately an imperfection in the siege shield showed up in painting. I'll have to try and cover it somehow as I don't want to have to redo that area.

I did the drybrushing the other day, then decided last night to fiddle around with the guns while watching Predators. The cured paint and the drybrushing on the siege shield went a long way to hiding that imperfection.

I just heavily drybrushed the assault cannons sponsons, until it was about 70% covered in Boltgun. I like to do the heavy drybrush instead of just painting since it gives a nice texture that the wash clings to. I painted the nozzles of the flamers with TinBitz and the hoses underneath with Hashut Copper, one of the new Layers. I found that paint to be quite lumpy and wondered if I was working with a metallic texture pot. Went on okay though. 

I washed these with Secret Weapon's Soft Body Black, watered down about 40%. The secret weapon wash takes a long time to dry, compared to a thinned GW wash or shade.
After that was dry I went back and lightly drybrushed the boltgun with boltgun metal again. I mixed the TinBitz and Hashut copper about 50/50, heavy on the copper and drybrushed the nozzles, then again very lightly with straight Hashut Copper.

I was asked for a progress picture on a local Facebook page so here's what I did. I just push fitted things together. The sponson fell off about half a second after the picture was taken lol

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 5

I knew what to expect going into the armour as a friend of mine had already had challenges with his.  Use lots of rubber bands, he said. So I did!

After I washed it up, I trimmed the pouring gates and all that good stuff that comes with owning Forgeworld product.  I find that an old toothbrush loaded with dishsoap does the job so that you can get into all of the places and stuff, rinsed well under cold water and air dried.

Then I started on one side, figuring out which of the rivets I needed to remove from the body of the Land Raider and dry fitting the pieces until I was satisfied with the way they would sit. Then I glues the back piece in, making it nice and snug.  Then the front piece which wraps over the tracks.


Then I noticed something that unsettled me quite a bit.  I put the centre panel in on the side to check for fit.  Well, I didn't have to trim anything as you can see here. It doesn't look like this on the "instruction leaflet" that you get from FW.  I can only assume that the piece shrank as it set due to some sort of phenomenon.

The gap is fairly even all the way around! I tried assembling the panels on the other side and moving stuff back and forth to see if I'd messed up during the fitting but no - still gappier than Madonna's smile.
I measured the gaps with my trusty 6" steel rule (every hobbyist should have one) and found the gap to be 1.5mm x 2mm.  The only thing I could think of was to head to the hobby store and once again employ the fantasticness of Evergreen Scale Models strip styrene.  What do you know - they sell strip styrene in that very size.  Marvellous! When I got home I cut some to size and glued it to the body and the fore and aft panels with Plastruct.  When I inserted the centre panel it looked like this

As Ace Ventura would say - LIKE A GLLLLLOVE! Glued it in and went to work.  Actually, before I committed to gluing it in I filled some gaps with liquid green stuff, just to keep things smooth.  Buddy was right - many rubber bands were required to hold it all in while good old Loctite Gel Control set up.  I used plenty to maximise the area of adhesion. 

Once the glue had dried I went into finishing the gap filling on that one side before going to work on the other.  The gap around the centre piece was a little smaller on one side so I had to use a strip of sheet styrene that had which just happened to be the right thickness.  Then I did more filling with LGS.


Again the rubber bands and stuff came into play for the centre panel.  Then I had to work on fitting the door inserts.  The case of the centre panel MUST have shrunk, as the plastic door inserts wouldn't fit into the doors and I had to do some trimming.  If you look at where I painted highlighter on these spare inserts you can get an idea of where I used my hobby knife to cut back the panels. It was a case of trial and error to get this right.  When they did fit I bonded them in place with two part epoxy to stop any shenanigans.  The sponsons will be glued after the model is painted. 


So that's it, pretty much.  The model was ready for priming I test fitted the tracks and the section that goes at the front under the track guard will have to be trimmed so it slides into place under the resin, but other than that - job's a good'n!

I'm basecoating it this weekend as I am using it at an upcoming tournament.  Then in September there's a 3000 point Apocalypse tournament happening so I'll be taking the Ares, my Damocles Rhino and a Linebreaker Squadron! The Vindis are getting basecoated this weekend too.  BOOM! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Land Raider Ares, part 4

Attaching the siege shield.  What a pain in the arse that was!

No, I take that back.  It was just very challenging since I needed to move the rams' positions, their shape and their size AND make them look like they were engineered that way.

I attached them with very small amounts of superglue, just enough to hold them in place.  I like the Loctite Gel Control glue. It's pricey, about $7 Canadian for 4ml but it definitely does the job.   It enabled me to find the placement that I wanted.  What I did after I found their sweet spot was to draw lines around in pinpoint Sharpie. I needed to shorten those rams for the final placement, since they just let the siege shield sit out too far.  All it would take would be one crazy Bomb Squig to run in through the gap and it'd be Game Over, man!

I guesstimated the required length of the rams then hacked them down. I cut the pistons off as I knew I would have to change those later. I did try magnetising the rams, so that I could glue them to the body and attach/remove the shield for storage.  I didn't have any success unfortunately due to early setting of the glue for the magnet inside the left ram - before I could get it to the correct depth. I tried to compensate by countersinking the magnet in the shield but I was awfully close to actually penetrating (heh, heh. Shut up, Beavis) the shield.

After deciding to fix the rams to the shield I realised that making the pistons the right length would be easier.  Evergreen Scale Models to the rescue again with .100" rod styrene.  After attaching the rams, I was able to use their placement to make pistons the correct length, trimming and gluing as required.  Easy peasy.

You'll see that I filled the holes where the rams usually attach on a Vindicator siege shield, and added some filler around the rams new placement. This left a quite suitable gap between shield and hull.  Lovely.  Next time, ARMOUR! :)