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Plastic Thunderhawk Gunship - Nearing Completion!


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#1
Brother Cristopher

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After years of break, I revived the project thanks to which my scratch building begun. In the meantime I started, finished and never-finished many projects, including a custom Stormraven, a Land Raider, a Vindicator or two Rhinos.

 

I feel now that this is the time to return to the roots and finish the biggest and probably most ambitious project. In honesty, I hope that I will not only return to the project, but also finish it in a reasonable time.

 

I had a thread for this project that I started years ago; however, the thread is properly dead now since I used Photobucket to host my pictures. I also post updates on my hobby stuff in my Crusade thread over in the Black Templars subforum. You will probably find more information about the assembly process there. For this thread, I want to use it primarily to share pictures of the work I'm doing with a wider audience and answer questions you may have.

 

I have started assembling the Thunderhawk back in 2012. I basically finished the transport bay back then and went from the pieces in raw condition, through primer-stage to a fully painted interior which rested in a box up till now.

 

y0pTlFL.jpg

 

K41hFkJ.jpg

 

lUWNNpJ.jpg

 

SSK9E5m.jpg

 

More in the gallery: https://imgur.com/a/8NVeicU

 

I also built some of the cockpit interior back then, but that's for another post.

 

After the revival of the project, I managed to adjust the nose to fit the front ramp and get some of the front armour exterior detail done:

 

cV4xbEz.jpg

 

ruhJPvO.jpg

 

Any and all questions and comments are welcome. If you're interested in some more details (admittedly not much) about the assembly process, visit my Crusade thread.


Edited by Brother Cristopher, 27 October 2020 - 08:33 PM.

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#2
Bjorn Firewalker

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Impressive.
Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#3
Honda

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ONWARDS BROTHER!


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#4
Pearson73

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An impressive project, always like seeing some scratch building.



#5
Brother Cristopher

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Thanks for the responses and likes! I'm looking forward to the opportunity to share more of my work with you.

 

I know that the question is premature considering how much work I have to do, but I'd like to ask you what do you think about the engines of the Thunderhawk? Are they an iconic (and thus integral) part of the model or would you be okay with altering their design? I'm thinking about covering the central part of the engines with all the exposed pipes, tubes and other detail (the part showing along the length of the wings) with armour, similar to/inspired by that used in more recent designs, faithful to solutions used in a Xiphon Interceptor or Stormtalon: a solid enclosure, with vents that may expose some hidden detail. Something akin to the internal engines on this.



#6
Brother Cristopher

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I've decided for now to cover the engines with armour. Hopefully, I'll persist in that decision until I get to actually assembling the wings. I've also made some progress on the front of the fuselage; I did most of the exterior armour (minus some details).

 

Firstly, the parts I have recently been working on:

 

Bottom side armour (exterior of the transport bay):

 

zbmuavO.jpg

 

Upper side armour (exterior of the cockpit):

 

jqKIjYM.jpg

 

BuGKSVv.jpg

 

And now some work I did six years ago, with the interior of the cockpit. These parts need to be compatible with my current work; this, however, is challenging since I made some mistakes all those years ago. Still, I find the results pleasing enough to work with these bits (which actually brought me back to the project!)

 

xSH2DMA.jpg

 

EnQRUVq.jpg

 

4OwgkkJ.jpg

 

CkPP9ff.jpg

 

I must say, I am impressed by my persistence back then. This may come off as rather self indulgent... but today I wouldn't bother to cut paper clips with pliers and glue them with super glue (which I hate). I also wouldn't bother to drill holes to place pinheads as buttons/screens. The labour put into these parts is exceptional. Unfortunately, it doesn't really translate into quality since many of the bits are noticeably more asymmetrical or misaligned than I find acceptable today, but I'm not scraping that work.

 

Next, I want to finish the parts above (add missing detail, refine elements of my earlier work), undercoat them and glue on top of the existing transport bay. I think this is the right path to take now to ensure other parts fit together nicely and the entire construction is sturdy enough. After the sides are done, I'll see how the parts are meant to fit together and how my structure fits together (there may be discrepancy between the blueprint and the model due to thickness of plasticard used). Afterwards, I'll be able to work on the top of the front of the fuselage and the canopy.


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#7
Pearson73

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I think the exposed icons are pretty distinctive of the Hawk, but then as a scratchbuild, there's always a bit more leeway, plus, it could be argues that such exposed engines are a great vulnerability when entering hostile environments, especially those filled with debris. Alternatively, there's always the 'alternative pattern' justification which, for a cheap alternative as the Thunderhawk was, is definitely viable.


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#8
Brother Cristopher

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Thank you for the input! To me, scratchuilding is now all about the leeway. Initially, I wanted all my builds to be as faithful to the original as possible. Over the years, however, I discovered that introducing changes is immensely satisfying and allows to expand my warhammer experience. In result, I end up with vehicles which are distinctly 40K, but overall unique.

 

The alternate pattern is my go-to justification. According to my fluff (nerdy musing), my crusade is tied in combat in an run-down industrial sector. Despite resources being sparse, the crusade command and the residing Magos disregard impositions of the Imperium as a whole, and Mechanicus specifically, and produce upgraded versions of regular vehicles (if you're interested, take a look at the links in the first post). While this borders on (tech)heresy, adjustments are necessary since they allow to optimise the use of resources as well as give an edge in warfare.


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#9
Pearson73

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Thank you for the input! To me, scratchuilding is now all about the leeway. Initially, I wanted all my builds to be as faithful to the original as possible. Over the years, however, I discovered that introducing changes is immensely satisfying and allows to expand my warhammer experience. In result, I end up with vehicles which are distinctly 40K, but overall unique.

 

The alternate pattern is my go-to justification. According to my fluff (nerdy musing), my crusade is tied in combat in an run-down industrial sector. Despite resources being sparse, the crusade command and the residing Magos disregard impositions of the Imperium as a whole, and Mechanicus specifically, and produce upgraded versions of regular vehicles (if you're interested, take a look at the links in the first post). While this borders on (tech)heresy, adjustments are necessary since they allow to optimise the use of resources as well as give an edge in warfare.

 

I definitely agree, scratch building is a great way to explore new ideas within the game and it really helps that you don't need to worry about cutting up an expensive model to do so. I'll make sure to check out your other works.



#10
Brother Cristopher

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Plasticard Thunderhawk

 

Update no. 3

 

kHmtlYK.jpg

 

Front panel with small monitors:

 

vwjZtKk.jpg

 

Close-up on the small grilles:

 

1je8nBD.jpg

 

Rear interior panels:

 

W2Q08kk.jpg

 

Interior of the canopy:

LM9Yc3M.jpg

 

And all of the above dry-fitted together:

 

LoCLdfP.jpg

 

MbpGknw.jpg

 

EsnJEe9.jpg

 

Thanks for viewing. I appreciate any and all questions and comments! If you'd like to learn anything about the assembly process, do not hesitate to ask.


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#11
Shovellovin

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Killer work on the cockpit. This is really coming along.



#12
Brother Cristopher

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Thanks man! It really does. I'm quite aware that pictures of individual parts on a cutting mat are not something that can be considered as cool or striking and don't show much in the scope of the entire project. However, to get things even into this state requires much time and effort, hence my updates.



#13
Nostromo

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Damn! That’s a scratchbuild you can be proud of even now!
As for coverage on the engines: Do it!
You are beyond the point where you reproduce existing models (judging from your other scratchbuilds) and leave watchers unable to tell whether it’s an original or a copy. Time to fix the stupid flaws in the GW-designs - make it better!
I am not nearly as good as you... but I do not stick to the standard designs as well.
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Playable Army: Dark Angels - 2.000 Points Deathwing - 1.500 Points Ravenwing - 7.000 Points 3rd Company
Imperial Guard: in progress. See my WIP blog for scratch built cardboard Imperial Guard vehicles with an alternative design.
gallery_30308_9518_2534.png

#14
Brother Cristopher

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@Nostromo

Thanks a lot for checking out this thread and the links to my other builds. Also thank you for the feedback and support - I greatly appreciate that, especially positive feedback on my ideas. By the way, I discovered that in Dawn of War 1, Thunderhawks had the engines covered in a similar way I indeed to cover mine up. The render of the idea I had further reinforces my conviction that his is a good way to go about... if not the right way since the alteration on the original design gives the model a more exotic and fanciful look.

 

It's great that you've taken the time to respond here - this has allowed me to explore your terrific work.

 

By the way, what are your opinions on the design/aesthetics of the new vs. old Forge World Thunderhawk?



#15
Naryn

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Lovely work! Very impressive scratchbuilding. Every time you update I'm excited to see what progress you've made.


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#16
Nostromo

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By the way, what are your opinions on the design/aesthetics of the new vs. old Forge World Thunderhawk?

 

i prefer the newer one - with the exception of the chin weapons housing.


Playable Army: Dark Angels - 2.000 Points Deathwing - 1.500 Points Ravenwing - 7.000 Points 3rd Company
Imperial Guard: in progress. See my WIP blog for scratch built cardboard Imperial Guard vehicles with an alternative design.
gallery_30308_9518_2534.png

#17
Brother Cristopher

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Warm welcome to all who happen upon this revived thread. I am pleased to announce that thanks to the impact of the pandemic on my business I have what seems to be too much time on my hands. Because of this, I felt like it's the right time to restart my Thunderhawk project. It has been a while - I've started building this vehicle in 2012 as an introduction to scratchbuilding, then got distracted by smaller projects (thanks to which I learnt a lot and thanks to which this model, if it is ever finished, will be way better than it could have been back when I started), then had a short episode which resulted in the 2018 progress and... this brings us here. Much time, not so much work.

 

I will be posting photos pretty soon, once I finish the "sub-assemblies" which make up the nose section / cargo bay / front of the Thunderhawk.

 

Over the last week I basically built the roof part, adjusted the cockpit, added details to the sides of the front fuselage, assembled the front wings/stabilisers, figured a way to magnetise the canopy and roof to show the work I did on the interior in 2012. At this very moment, I'm mostly done with the underside of the cargo bay, excluding the landing gear that I'm going to work on in the future (I want to make sure that the front and rear landing gear are properly adjusted and the model is level when it stands).


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#18
hushrong

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This is insanity. and I am loving it! Awesome project and the level of detail you are putting forth is fantastic!


Black Legion: The Fire Rises

Dornian Heresy: Iron Hands Raiders

Alpha Legion: The Heads of the Hydra Strike

Emperor's Children: Cult of Golden Tears

 


#19
Brother Cristopher

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Thanks mate! I see that you get it - I mean the insanity of the project.

 

I have something to share. Most of first part out of three of the model is finished - I still have to add some minor details, rivets and the pieces are ready for priming.

 

This is an overview of all the parts I've been working on for the last couple of days:

 

fcTdS0o.jpg

 

Bottom of the cargo bay / nose:

 

fvCfbQL.jpg

 

5KcO79b.jpg

 

Close-up of sights/cameras presumably used to assist close manoeuvring/landing?

 

0DnupKT.jpg

 

Close-up of my altered manoeuvring thrusters (inspired by thrusters on Stormtalons):

 

pg45gsB.jpg

 

Sides panels (front fuselage):

 

RRWgRG9.jpg

 

Top part of the side panels:

 

NXQsUPF.jpg

 

Close-ups of some detail work; I'm particularly fond of the way the doors turned out:

 

u0SbjvV.jpg

 

Top panel; this bit requires some detailing in the recessed area:

 

acEfF8w.jpg

 

Close-up of some vents:

 

ptuJAIv.jpg

 

Assembled interior (the details here aren't up to my current standard, but I figured I'll leave them as-is due to nostalgia and due to them not being visible; I hope that after they're painted, they'll look better):

 

d5IqQAg.jpg

 

42WL5ht.jpg

 

2nSkaBe.jpg

 

The remainder of parts needed for the interior of the cargo bay - ceiling of the nose "tip", rear hatch and side doors:

 

QeVALZa.jpg

 

wxtptkY.jpg

 

Rear front fuselage and exit ramp:

 

vmlRz6q.jpg

 

Nose armour panel:

 

glPj4Lb.jpg

 

Front wings / stabilisers:

 

nZNhUky.jpg

 

Z1Cl3Vr.jpg

 

New details for the interior of the canopy:

 

qmk4gZB.jpg

 

And details on top of the canopy, including some kind of sights/targeters/cameras:

 

wyvhIxt.jpg

 

ZmdmORl.jpg


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#20
hushrong

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Another awesome update. The level of detail is fantastic and that's why I love these builds. Your work is on par with those intense replica model builders who construct their planes, cars, etc as if they came out of the factory...just in a smaller scale. Now I am honestly half expecting you to build working engines for this beast!


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Black Legion: The Fire Rises

Dornian Heresy: Iron Hands Raiders

Alpha Legion: The Heads of the Hydra Strike

Emperor's Children: Cult of Golden Tears

 


#21
ElDuderino

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Wow, this is pretty Insane. I was perfectly happy with my plasticard skills before I saw this, not so much now. What have you used as reference material? I'm guessing you're not just making this up as you go;)
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#22
MetalMammoth

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This looks amazing. Great work!

Edited by MetalMammoth, 12 May 2020 - 07:23 PM.

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#23
Brother Cristopher

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Another awesome update. The level of detail is fantastic and that's why I love these builds. Your work is on par with those intense replica model builders who construct their planes, cars, etc as if they came out of the factory...just in a smaller scale. Now I am honestly half expecting you to build working engines for this beast!

 

Thanks, I appreciate this a lot! In a way, I'd wish to introduce at least some moving parts (I though about some servos or at the very least LED lighting for the interiors and engine nozzles), but I suppose I'd like to see it finished more and adding any more complexity to an already large and time-consuming endeavour would probably push the finish line even further. On top of that, I have virtually no knowledge about engineering and practical stuff. I just follow instructions - cut plastic, glue it with other pieces of plastic and add detail wherever I can find something is missing from the original.

 

Wow, this is pretty Insane. I was perfectly happy with my plasticard skills before I saw this, not so much now. What have you used as reference material? I'm guessing you're not just making this up as you go;)

 

I'm sure your skills are okay! But I take what you say as a compliment.

 

All those years ago I found a 3-part PDF with templates for a papercraft Thunderhawk. I use these as the base, but add quite a lot of missing details (mostly minor stuff, like the cut-out squares and rectangles on edges of Space Marine vehicles; I also redid parts of the cockpit to better mimic the original layout). The templates, while not perfect, are the only thing that pushed me to start the project; without them, I wouldn't have been able to do this thing in a reasonable time frame - I'm getting a kind of a paralysis when it comes to designing something - I look at the original for way too long before I actually start doing something, that is why my scratch-built Stormraven was a chore to design and execute (if you're interested, you'll find a link to it in the first post).

 

This looks amazing. Great work!

Thanks! I do hope to keep this going as much and as fast as possible now to keep myself occupied.


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#24
malika666

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*mindblown*


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#25
hushrong

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I say just get that bird built and finished so you can show off all its glory. The level of detail you've already poured into the thunderhawk is already jaw dropping.


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Black Legion: The Fire Rises

Dornian Heresy: Iron Hands Raiders

Alpha Legion: The Heads of the Hydra Strike

Emperor's Children: Cult of Golden Tears

 





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