Friday, February 25, 2011

Project Thunderbolt Part 2: Building A Base (Pic Heavy)

I wanted to make a cool display base for my Thunderbolt, but needed to come up with a solution to offset the flyer.  After lots of thinking and mind changing I decided to make the base with Epic scale models and do a "strafing run" scene.  This required a heavy base to accommodate my idea.  Luckily, I work at a steel fab shop and know how to work the CNC plasma table.  So, I sketched up a quick oval sized what I thought would work on the computer program and burned the base from 1/4" steel hoping this would be heavy enough without going overboard with thickness.

Above is what I came up with.  I also took a small strip of flatbar and hand-formed it using a piece of pipe to get some radius.  Above is what I came up with after welding it together.  I got pretty lucky and this was perfectly weighted.

I finally decided I wanted to do a desert canyon scene with models trying to flank, kinda like in some Black Library book I read.  Above is what I sketched up on some old cork tiles.

After roughly breaking the tiles on my marks it started to come together like a canyon.

A shot of all pieces broken out, with some small bits for the top to break up the flat surface.

The completed canyon before adding the sand.  I glued this with a hot glue gun initially.  Not a very good idea as the small one I have couldn't lay down enough glue fast enough before it started to cool.  I had to add some white glue around edges where it was pulling apart and weight down with books to complete process.

Another shot of the canyon before adding the sand.

A view of the canyon depth.  Came out around an inch deep and was perfect for the epic scale models I was using.

A shot with the sand added.  I used the GW basing material for this.  I have several kinds of basing material, but decided this was the best option with the very small sand and larger "boulders".  I say boulders because the models on the base are 6mm scale.

Another shot showing the pegs that are used to hold the Eldar Falcons I was able to find on Ebay.  I really wanted to use some Forgeworld Epic Tau Hammerheads, but found these were almost impossible to find.

Above show the slot I milled into the bottom of the Thunderbolt using a Dremel tool.  It's a little rough, but the fit is tight and lets me position the flyer at different angles of entry.

The only other shot I have showing the Falcons in place before painting.  

I think the first picture of this post shows exactly what I was aiming for when the idea popped into my head for a "strafing run" shot.  The nose of the flyer can be repositioned up to hide the stand, and this will be shown in later pics.  When I envisioned this, I wanted to be able to look over the tail of the Thunderbolt and have the image of small targets rapidly approaching firing range.  From the side view, it is a little odd and out of scale, but the "over the top" view makes this look much as I wanted.

I also built a smaller gaming base about the size of the Valkyrie base from steel to.  This will be shown in later posts.  It is very strong and heavy and will keep accidents from happening during gaming.

Well, that's all i got going with the base until I show the painting of it.  Next post will show the initial primer and weathering stages using the salt weathering technique I showed a while back on some Tau test models.  I also used the airbrush for the first time on this model doing some camouflage, so that will be shown as well.