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Plastic Thunderhawk Gunship - Nearing Completion!


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#26
Brother Cristopher

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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.

If it were so simple, I'd love to! However, it takes me ages to put these things together. It's actually great that I'm now on this forced holiday.

 

While I don't want to even think about the time I've already sunk into this, I made great progress over the last week. I have around 80% of the "superstructure" for the "main fuselage": I put together the panels which make up the sides, top and underside of the main fuselage, as well as the rear slanted part to which the tail is attached. These panels will soon be attached to a rough skeleton (that's why I referred o them as the superstructure); however, first I want to assemble the wings to make sure that I magnetise them properly - I want to have the wings detachable.

 

wuhUfvO.jpg

Here are some close-ups of details:


G7cBA2W.jpg

G8PrkfJ.jpg


And here's the whole thing roughly and (very) temporarily dry-fitted together:

WX4yyYM.jpg

KOWiNbA.jpg

 

I'm also thinking about magnetising the entire front section of the craft to make storage and transport easier. While having the nose and cargo bay detachable would allow me to keep the Thunderhawk in a small(ish) box, say a shoe box, I'm pretty anxious about the integrity of the model. The front is relatively flimsy, with no internal reinforcements in place (there's nowhere to put them!) and the magnets I'd have to use to keep the entire front section in place and aligned with the rest of the fuselage would have to be pretty strong; as such, I'm worried that the magnets might damage the joints between the individual plastic panels. Would you advise me to go with convenience of storage and the slight chance of damaging the model in the future, or should I go with the safer option and fix the front and back permanently? Alternatively, I could easily magnetise the top and slanting back part (with the central engine exhaust nozzle) - that way the model would be just under 40 cm in length (as opposed to around 50 cm). I figure that I should be able to find a box that long somewhere...

 

 

Also, as I'm nearing the stage of the project in which I'll have to build the engines, the question I put in post #14 above is still open. In short, I'm wondering whether to recreate the original engines with the exposed machinery or encase them in armour, taking cues from later designs such as a Stormraven, Stormtalon or Xiphon. However, with feedback from other Frater here in this forum and my gut, I'm almost decided to go with the armoured option - it makes a bit more sense thematically and working on angular shapes is always less frustrating than on cylindrical shapes. Unless you think otherwise - after all, the "exposed" engines have been there in all variants of the model.


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#27
hushrong

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Always nice to see more of the thunderhawk coming together! Magnetizing the wings sounds like a good idea! Probably makes it a heck of a lot easier to store and transport.

As for the fuselage if the cockpit/front portion is a bit finicky would it be wiser to make it one whole piece? I’d go with keeping the structural integrity over being able to break it down. Maybe have to find a lightly longer storage box but at least you don’t have to worry about a portion of all your work coming apart.

And for the engines I say encase them in armor. Exposed is cool as you can show off a ton of detail but I like the idea of it being covered up. Protection from going through the atmosphere of a planet and incoming enemy fire gives that good reason.
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#28
NKirkham24

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This thread is insane (in a good way). What a brilliant project! Loving the progress brother, keep it up!


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#29
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Armour them, at least a little, Stormravens have the fist half or so covered, reckon could look fantastic!

 

Oh and great work!


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#30
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#31
Brother Cristopher

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I've been offline and out of the hobby for basically a week, but I'm back now and slowly working towards the goal.

Thanks to all the posters for the feedback, I really appreciate it! Following your advice, I'm building the engines covered-up. At the moment, I have the "base" for the wings and engine covers. I'll be posting photos once I cover the wings with the external details/armour plating.

 

And @Triszin, no - I'm not a wizard ;) Why would you say so? Keep it quiet - the Black Templar's are particularly fond of of people with magical or warp-induced abilities. They find it unnatural or abhorrent. I wouldn't want my Brethren to see such allegations :P I'm just a devoted individual. (But deep down I'd like to be a wizard, actually... Regardless of my chapter affiliation. But shhh.).


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#32
Brother Cristopher

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Progress is slower than planned; however, I promised photos and I intend to keep my word. I mentioned that I want to share pictures of finished wings but that unfortunately has to wait since I won't be able to work on the model over the weekend.

 

Still, I feel I managed to accomplish something so here it goes:

 

h6wGfmw.jpg

 

JbOlrOj.jpg

 

fwlqISs.jpg

 

DesRKyB.jpg

 

2lAxvZP.jpg

 

As you can see, the shape of the wings and engine covers is already there. I messed up parts of the wings; the geometry was surprisingly complex in some places. When I cut the parts that would later make up the wings, everything seemed fine, but once I assembled them there was some very small variety ranging from 0.1 mm to 1 mm; that's why I had to trim and thicken some areas. Hopefully, these mishaps won't show once I'll attach the outer layer with all the details.

 

The recesses with the skewers and picks tubing inside are located towards the rear of the engine covers and will be mostly obscured by barred armour plating. However, I wanted some metallic "mechanical" parts visible to break the black paintwork.


Edited by Brother Cristopher, 30 May 2020 - 09:04 AM.

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#33
NightHunters

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Yeah nice work, just one thing, how wide are those wings, as in from fuselage to wingtip?



#34
Brother Cristopher

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Around 17 cm, give or take a few mm.


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#35
NightHunters

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Yup, fair enough, they looked a bit short but that seems like a good length!

 

Look forward to seeing more!

 

R


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#36
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Here's a small update. I am working on the engine bits, mostly cylindrical parts (air intakes, nozzles) which is a chore. Because of the slow pace of work and lack of "visible progress", my morale is pretty low. The fact that I make all the cylinders from flat plasticard sheets doesn't help, too - the bits are not as perfect as I'd like; however, I stand by my decision to do them by hand - despite that they are slightly warped, I enjoy the control I have over their shape and size - something I wouldn't be able to achieve with substitutes. I also tried to work with other materials, but I had problem with gluing anything to them - they were made out of an unknown type of plastic which appeared to be super-glue-proof. Needles to say that the polystyrene cement I enjoy using so much doesn't work with them, either.

 

That is why my motivation is dwindling and is at it's lowest since I've restarted the project last month. I'm also getting distracted by other, more reasonable, hobby-related ideas like painting or assembling GW-made models. You know, something that gives "immediate" gratification and satisfaction from achieving something - after all, painting a miniatures takes 1-3 hours... and not weeks. However, I'm using all my zeal and willpower not to take a break from this project - I am afraid that if I leave it for the time being, I won't get back to it in the foreseeable future. I'm hoping that once I get it over with the engines and get back to the regular, blocky and boxy parts, I'll be able to see better results after a day's work - that should keep me motivated.


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#37
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Come on brother, you've got a community waiting on your progress updates, keep it up. 

 

Like you say, once the pesky cylinders are out of the way you'll feel much better. Is it worth taking a break from cylinders halfway through to complete a different section and then come back to them? Or would you prefer to battle through? 


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#38
Brother Cristopher

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Thanks mate! That's very comforting and motivating! I will persevere as long as my professional life allows (things are starting to move with the economy restart and commissions are slowly starting to appear on the horizon).

 

I'm also almost done with the air intakes and I have to say that all those hours of labour are starting to pay off - it's fairly satisfying to see bits and pieces which are initially quite random and unshapely come together and form the final product.

 

I'm planning to post some photos within the next 24 hours.


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#39
Brother Cristopher

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Apologies for the double post, but I've a question before posting updates. Going further down the conversion/modification route, I decided to change the design of the exhaust nozzles. The decision is partly dictated by aesthetics - I wanted to update the looks of the engines to those on more recent SM flyers (Stormravens, Storm Eagles, Xiphons etc.) and partly by practical reasons.

 

Just today, I realised that the papercraft templates I use diverge from the original design in a place I haven't noticed. In the paperaft model, the rear part of the wing, where the wing attaches to the fuselage is reinforced, whereas in the original there's a clear gap between the rear part of the engines and the fuselage. Because of this difference and the oversight on my part, it is now impossible for me to fit the rear part of the engine with the nozzles which follow the design choices on the original - there is simply not enough room. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it forces my hand: I need to modify the craft even further.

 

I would like to ask for you feedback on the design of the nozzles: 1. should I go with three identical ones, or 2. should I do 2 identical nozzles for the wing-mounted engines and a different central one, following the design on the Xiphon interceptor (consult this image for reference).

 

EDIT: Photo update!

 

This is what I have now:

 

HbtJk0k.jpg

 

And this is how I got there; this was a process... an unpleasant one, but the final 'product' exceeded my expectations and surprised me. These air inlets turned out pretty dope!

 

- For the engines, I started with cutting out some shapes which resembled circles; these were cut out of 0.5 mm plasticard.

 

uOG1NhA.jpg

 

- Then I glued a 0.25 mm rectangle around the previously cut 0.5 circle to form a rough cylinder; inside, I put some milk carton caps to add strength; these were basically melted in place with PVA glue. Interestingly, the circumference of the caps fitted that of the cylinders pretty well. Their height was also basically perfect so that two caps were snugly in place of the Thunderhawk engine part.

 

yEvYxZH.jpg

 

766GV6L.jpg

 

- Then I glued another plasticard circle-like shape on top and ended up with a warped cylinder-like shape.

 

Z3heEAw.jpg

 

Rinse and repeat four more times to have it over with:

 

PPLYMNy.jpg

 

- For the turbines, I opted for the most time-consuming option - do it yourself! On top of circle-like shapes, I glued pizza-slice-like shapes out of 0.25 mm plasticard. I had several other ideas, all of which were a waste of time. Regrettably, I've forgotten how to build turbines for model planes... After I finished with the tedium of building the fan, I glued tips from super glue caps for the hub.

 

W2dca9A.jpg

 

- For the crown-like claws 'holding' the air inlet in place, I started with getting the base shape out of 0.25 mm plasticard.

 

Y1axcvv.jpg

 

- Later, I added more layers of 0.25 mm plasticard on the outside and inside, followed by another layer of 0.5 mm plasticard 'blades' to match the blade-like parts. Followed by some other minor detail work, like strips of 1 mm plasticard or additional 'rings' around the main cylider out of 0.25 mm plasticard glued around the base. The end result was this:

 

Imreiz7.jpg

 

xSurNBV.jpg

 

And the air inlets 'sockets' / 'bands' are pretty symmetrical, too:

b56WWOU.jpg

 

The only thing to do is to glue together the two parts:

 

3r20S7R.jpg

 

For now, they are dry fitted (in case I still need to make some adjustments) and look like this:

 

SRJsH7n.jpg

 

1P4ZLu8.jpg

 

The shape is mostly there. I though these parts would turn out way worse, especially after the fist day or two of work. Luckily, my skills connected with rolling and gluing together 0.25 mm plasticard must have improved greatly since I tried doing those things last time, while working on my Stormraven. That's good for this project.

 

I also started cutting the external armour panels for the engine covers.

 

6yA17a4.jpg


Edited by Brother Cristopher, 08 June 2020 - 09:06 PM.

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#40
Lord Raven 19

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Looks good


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#41
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Impressive


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#42
Barn

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Loving watching this build. Top stuff!
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#43
Brother Cristopher

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Thanks a lot for the comments! They're a great encouragement and morale booster, for sure. It's pretty hard to keep oneself motivated in such a hobby-marathon, where the finish line is so far away. It's a great feeling to know that there are people out there devoting their time and attention to my work. Especially since I'm working on this large project in the confinement of my  room.



#44
Brother Carpenter

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I know.

I'm having the same issues in RL, writing my thesis on health and safety control.

 

Your updates are a nice distraction and helps me get focussed on finishing my work.

I salute your modelling skills.

 

I personally think you should keep the exhaust nozzles the same (uniformity and ease of replacement of battle damage) and do keep the engines coverd up.

That will save you time and keep the project rolling.

 

Good luck,

 

Rinke


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#45
hushrong

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Exhaust nozzles are looking sweet! Love seeing updates for this thunderhawk.
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#46
Brother Cristopher

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I must admit that I have thoroughly failed to appreciate the size of this project. Over the last week, I've spent all of my hobby time working on what was supposed to be the easy part - adding armour/details to the wings I've assembled. Oh boy, were I wrong to presume that within one week the wings will be ready. Admittedly, I wasted a lot of time (really, a lot) getting the parts "designed" by myself to a usable standard. The final result is underwhelming in that I'll need to resolve to using green stuff to fix some parts of the model. The waste of time was probably mostly due to me putting actually very little effort into properly designing the parts. I did everything by hand, instead of resolving to digital means; long story short, there wasn't enough precision in the designed parts and even more precision got lost in the cutting process which required me to sing literally two hours into fixing the errors.

 

To be frank, I wanted to share photos of the finished wings, but at the same time I'd like to keep this thread updated as often as possible in order not to keep those of you following and enjoying my modelling endeavours waiting. That's why tomorrow I'll be posting photos of what I managed to assemble so far. As recent experience shows, I'm not very good when it comes to estimating stuff; but I reckon the wings are 70% done (minus the weapons).

 

Also, I have this strange feeling that a single Thunderhawk wing is actually a more complex, demanding and detailed design and build than an entire Rhino. I'm sure I've managed to put together two scratch-built Rhinos in 2 weeks' time, while I cannot seem to do the same with 2 components of the super-heavy flyer... The size of  the project is killing me :D


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#47
Brother Cristopher

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Now, for the update with photos... once again, I must "apologize" for not posting the finished wings as I intended. Still, they are pretty shapely now and there's no shame in showcasing them (please ignore the scribbles and such!).

 

In a week I managed to get from this (notice that the wings are "bare"):


IKFLBta.jpg

to this (most of the plating is in place):


b6r3jV2.jpg

Now a bunch of photos which show the parts from different angles and focus on different bits and details:

 

dKCj0Fk.jpg


rxapWcy.jpg

 

mJYQTPR.jpg


Kqvx6UY.jpg


IBWqKMS.jpg


Nf3crHk.jpg


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#48
Thousand Eyes

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Wonderful stuff.


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#49
war009

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Sexy


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#50
NightHunters

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Yes mate, that is what we are talking about, those are looking great!

How are you looking at mounting the wing heavy boaters?


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