Friday, 21 January 2011

Vendetta Conversion/Scratchbuild (3)

Hey everyone.  This is part three of a step by step guide detailing how I constructed my Vendetta Gunships.  The completed model can be seen here, and the first part of the guide is here.  Today, I'll be talking about the construction of the cockpit exterior.

 This is arguably the most complex part of the construction and this post will be pretty long, so be warned :)

(again, for some reason some of the photos uploaded the wrong way round, i don't know why it does this and no matter how many times i upload, it doesn't change it.  sorry about that!)

I began my making the base of the cockpit with thick plasticard.

Using thinner plasticard I laid out the pieces for the front windows and lower front panel.  On the first Vendetta the frames were wider, but for this one I realised they could be considerably thinner and still retain enough strength.

The start of the bottom half of the cockpit. Note the 'tabs' of 0.25mm plasticard holding it in place.

Two shots of how the first window panels fit on roof.  once gain, ignore the bits on the roof, I'll get to that next time. 

this picture shows how the two bits fit together.
 the next stage of the lower half.

sometimes its impossible or impractical to measure the size a piece needs to be.  Usually this happens when odd angles are involved, like here.  If this happens I usually just mark it by hand.  I know its bad practice, but it works fine for something like this.
As you can see, taking a shortcut often has consequences.  These gaps will need to be filled with putty later on. Although this looks very messy, the entire area will be covered up later so that the tabs do not show.  
 this shot shows how the angled pieces still leave a horizontal plane on which to place the next pieces. 
Here are the lower window pieces.  the tabs for these bits have to tiny, and some of mine required trimming when the whole thing was dry. 
I used some more bits of a Valkyrie kit to bulk out the cockpit interior.  they fit remarkably well, though i can assure you this is a fluke!

these two photos show the next stages of the top half of the cockpit.  it is vital to maintain the angles produced earlier so that the two halves fit together.  during the process I was constantly dry fitting pieces and checking the two half met correctly. 

Finally, here are the two halves together.  they fit pretty well.  the gaps will be dealt with later by placing more very thin 0.25mm plasticard strips along the joins to form a better overlap.

clearly, this is a pretty complex 3D shape.  a lot of people have asked me if i designed it first and the answer is no.  I just built it very slowly and hoped it would fit.  I discarded a huge number of shapes that didn't fit.  All I can say is that its all about trial, error, and meticulous measuring.

Next time I'll deal with the rest of the details all over the hull and roof.

Editor's Note: Don't worry Atreides I will capitalise your 'i's for you mate... *rolls eyes* the problem with plasticard geniuses is they just don't care for the little things... lol. A fantastic read as always mate.


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  2. Nice stuff Andy - I am thinking of doing some stuff to the stormraven now I got to look at the sprue today - I want to cover up the pilot - so thinking of applying some of your tips to get rid of that pilot bay!

  3. Not to side track - but this is a discussion about plasticard and flyers after all ...

    I got a chance to play around w/ the stormraven sprue today (and the Furioso - well actually I made half of it lol) - having "assembled" half the stormraven - it looks damn good w/ out the silly bit on the top:

    So I aim to use some of Andy's advice from his posts to remove that top gunner / vent and rather have just a covered Assualt Cannon on the top - much like how Andy you've made your undercarrige Lascannons.

    Its pretty easy to envision how it will look - simply place your thumb over the image where that stupid bit on the top is - it becomes a bit more "sleak" and not as chunky looking.