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Plastic Thunderhawk Gunship - Nearing Completion!


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#101
Nostromo

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Oh damn... why, oh why did I have to look in this thread?
This is just amazing.

I know so well how hard it it to stay on such long term projects. And I need to say: your results are worth the time.
I am jealous :-)
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#102
Brother Cristopher

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Excellent work, as always!

 

I've had an idea;

 

Do you have experience with recasting? Because if you'd get some casting silicone and liquid resin, you could multiply the parts while the gunship is still in large pieces, and get a potentially unlimited number of Thunderhawks in a matter of days, whole squadrons of them - a collection theoretically more expensive than a house, counting by FW's 585 EUR / model price tag, and mind you, that only gets you the new, not quite as good-looking version. - At the cost of a round of grocery shopping.

 

Oh man, I have absolutely no experience in doing this. And if I were to try, I think this might be the thing that'd push me over the edge into proper insanity ;) I mean, the thought crossed my mind on a couple of occasions - to have a source of relatively cheap custom Thunderhawks is a very appealing idea. However, in the end I'd really be worried about my mental state if I were to do it. I think I want to finish the build, paint the model and "forget about it" - i.e. focus on other things. Also, there's the hypothetical problem with storing them.

 

On a more down-to-earth level, there's the problem with making the casts itself. The process doesn't appear to be easy. My friend, who at the time had had access to professional-grade equipment and materials, managed to produce casts of very hit-and-miss quality; the casts often suffered from bubbles and warpage. His experience pretty much discouraged me from doing this myself, especially with parts this big.

 

Also, thanks a lot for one of the most important things to me - that you're one of those (apparently) few people who prefer the old look of the Thunderhawk, to the new re-invisioned kit!

 

 

Lovely to see this tracking along; and losing none of the keen attention to detail that's made the project such a treat to watch.

 

Thanks! I want to keep on track and not take the easy route so close to the finish. Even though I'm tempted to cut some corners, I'm determined not to! For the glory of Omnissiah.

 

Crazy good work

 

Thanks mate!

 

Oh damn... why, oh why did I have to look in this thread?
This is just amazing.

I know so well how hard it it to stay on such long term projects. And I need to say: your results are worth the time.
I am jealous :-)

 

Thank you for browsing through my entire thread! I'm also a fan of your halo-inspired IG stuff and am so happy that you recommenced your efforts! And this goes from one scratch-builder to another!

 

***

 

Over the weekend, I worked on the tail. I figured that I really should delay my progress as much as possible and magnetise bits and pieces of the flyer for easier storage and transport. Since I still haven't learnt to design parts proficiently, I sank a lot of time to make the magnets work. The final result was immensely satisfying - the way the horizontal stabiliser slides into place and attaches to the vertical part of the tail is as good as it could be - you've gotta believe me.

 

Since the tail was almost assembled already, after I managed to prepare the mount for the magnet (i.e. the part which connects the vertical part of the vertical stabiliser with the horizontal parts of the vertical stabiliser to form the "T" shape), I basically only added some minor details here and there.

 

sGyEcDq.jpg

 

IhodjJs.jpg

 

QsGmjiQ.jpg

 

6xVM9UN.jpg

 

Y9vhVP7.jpg

 

8e9Oro0.jpg

 

r4CxZ9s.jpg

 

3S7aS2B.jpg

 

The next thing on the to-do list is a big one - I need to deal with the magnets which connect the main wings with the fuselage. I've been dreading and postponing this for a long time. I'm worried that the wings and fuselage will form a strange angle or the powerful magnets I reserved for this joint won't be strong enough to bear the weight of the wings or that the magnets will be too strong and will break or warp the plastic they're attached to. Long story short, there's a lot that can go wrong with this.

 

However, the Emperor protects!


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#103
Nostromo

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Looks like you do the surface structure the same way I do - just with plasticard where i use paper. Works fine!

Your problem with the wing angle is something I saw coming as well and wondered how you would solve that.
What do you think about a groove and tonge approach? with a tongue on the cylinder on the wing and one or more grooves (depending on how many positions you want the wings to take) on the inner side of the housing.
Downside: the wings won‘t be able to swing freely any more and will need pulling out a few mm for repositioning.
Do you see what i mean?
Additional magnets might work as well, but groove&tongues sound like a more stable solution to me.
Or... a combination of both, but that might be complicated to build and might do too much damage.

A mechanical locking mechanism surely is way over the top.

If you have sufficient space, you can still stack your magnets if two are not strong enough
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#104
Brother Cristopher

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Yup, I've fixed the attack wings using magnets, but will probably be redoing it the way you suggested. It seemed to be like quite a hassle, considering my ability to design and execute my ideas, but, to be frank, it's the right way of doing it.

 

In the meanwhile, I managed to 1. finish the sides of the rear fuselage, 2. build the landing gear housing and 3. attach the magnets used to fix the main wings to the fuselage. The last bit was very time-consuming; there was something wrong with some of the parts and the wings were at an odd angle. I spent too much time trying to figure out what that was, but in the end I suppose I found the culprit(s) and managed to come up with and implement a workaround. To my eye, the wings are pretty even.

 

na1loD6.jpg

 

wrjtvI5.jpg

 

DgjuneF.jpg

 

F35yRw8.jpg

 

KH9SbEr.jpg

 

This was unplanned, but it's great that it turned out this way - as you can see, the magnets are aligned in a way which allows me to stick both sides of the rear fuselage together - this was very useful when it came to adjusting the wings.

 

w5amyCn.jpg

 

chKKUR4.jpg


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#105
Brother Carpenter

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Looking increadible!

I can remember the trouble I had when I stil built WW2 airplanes, getting the wings alligned properly. That were models from the factory and not scratch built.

You've made them al by yourself.

 

The emperor has truly blessed your hands and mind!

 

Can't wait to see it painted!


Edited by Brother Carpenter, 19 November 2020 - 03:13 PM.

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#106
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I am happy to report that I made progress over the weekend. The work I did focused on the main wings (detail work), the way they attach to the main fuselage (adjustments plus detail work) and on the last tiny details on the sides of the main fuselage, that I forgot about earlier. When it comes to milestones, I achieved everything I planned to do over the weekend. But the work itself was a chore - I felt a bit frustrated with the project for the first time in over a month. It seems that my frustration stems from not meeting short-term deadlines or underestimating the time involved in completing parts of the model. This time, doing stuff with the wings really got to me when I realised that in around 3 hours I achieved so little - I were mostly going back and forth a dry-fitting parts and fiddling with the magnets which lock the wings in the right position without doing any tangible work.

 

I also messed up some detailing on the wings; it's not a big difference, but the parts on the top side of the wing, on the strip between the fuselage and the engine housing, are not symmetrical - they're misaligned by a small margin, between 1 and 1.5 mm - not much, but felt quite annoyed with myself when I discovered it. For some reason didn't bother to compare the two as I assembled them. Still, I'm not redoing that and hope to forget about the mishap. It is only visible when you look at the model from the top and I'm sure that there are many other similar asymmetries here and there.

 

I'm not complaining, though. I'm sharing my not-so-great experience with you, so take it as a cautionary tale msn-wink.gif Don't scratch build things so large - it can get into your head!

 

Photos will soon follow - I don't have my camera with me now.

 

The to-do list is also significantly shorter now! The only things left to build from scratch are 1. the landing gear hydraulics (I will be cutting corners here! I intend to do the bare minimum and go for a landing gear that is functional in the sense that it's enough to support the model and look half-decently; I do not intend to recreate the layout of the original model's hydraulics, nor care if what I'll build makes 'sense' from a technical point of view - i.e. whether it would work/retract in the real world, considering the layout of pistons and what-not) and 2. weapon systems (botlers and rockets). Minor details still to do include retro thrusters, front ramp opening mechanism, air brakes, "lining" for compartments into which the retractable landing gear goes and a "front" panel in the cockpit with some monitors and the control columns for the pilots.

 

The plan for this week is to have all the sub-assemblies, with the exclusion of the landing gear hydraulics and weapons, ready for the final photo shoot. Call me sentimental, but I suppose that in the future, I'd love to have an opportunity and review the effort I went through; I also think that it will be cool and satisfying to see all the major parts prepped for assembly, before they make up the whole thing. Later, I will want to assemble the rear fuselage and start to work on the landing gear.


Edited by Brother Cristopher, 22 November 2020 - 11:41 PM.

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#107
Brother Cristopher

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Sorry for double posting. Here are the promised photos of the wings::

 

Rear:

v9ewvAF.jpg

 

Front:

0vHc0yi.jpg

 

Top:

xfoSGtD.jpg

 

Both magnetised to the sides of the fuselage:

HPx8xCt.jpg

 

Rear:

hXdBgXF.jpg

 

Details on the engine covers:

QZSulFE.jpg

 

Wing tips:

GUAqcI0.jpg

 

Test photo showing how (roughly) parallel the wings are in vertical position:

HyDfNHS.jpg

 

Test photo showing how (roughly) parallel the wings are in horizontal position:

Q3fS4FU.jpg

 

Hidden in the spoiler code, you will find the same photos with marked updates. Since 90% of the parts are ready, I suppose it'll be helpful to show you what changed from the last time I posted the photos:

 

Spoiler

 

And the mistakes I made marked with green arrows:

 

Spoiler


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#108
NightHunters

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Chap, this is coming along soooo well, can't wait to see the final product!


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#109
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Lovely to see that everything is coming together.

When you described the mistakes, I had imagined a different kind of misalignment where the wings stuck out at slightly different angles which would have been a pain to correct. The panel misalignment must be very annoying to you, the maker, but rest assured they will be impossible to see on the fully assembled model (as you pointed out yourself).

Speaking of which, I look forward to seeing the ‘group shot’ of the subassemblies.
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#110
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Absolutely jaw-dropping work on the wings. Somehow seeing the almost-finished project together like that is mind-blowing!


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#111
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When completed you will have achieved martyrdom, fantastic work and effort.
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#112
Brother Cristopher

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Sorry guys for the late reply! I'm away from anything fun-related due to an extremely heavy workload; this week is being extremely good, but at the same time quite rough in terms of available leisure time.

 

@NightHunters and @Naryn - Thank you! I hope not to disappoint any of you and post regularly! Also, I feel that the end-of-the-year deadline is feasible.

 

Lovely to see that everything is coming together.

When you described the mistakes, I had imagined a different kind of misalignment where the wings stuck out at slightly different angles which would have been a pain to correct. The panel misalignment must be very annoying to you, the maker, but rest assured they will be impossible to see on the fully assembled model (as you pointed out yourself).

Speaking of which, I look forward to seeing the ‘group shot’ of the subassemblies.

 

I can imagine that you were thinking about a different mistake and a different part of the vehicle. I actually think that I'm rambling incomprehensibly about the various parts of the vehicle that I'm working on. I think it's not so much about the language barrier, but it's got more to do with me having no clue what these parts I'm thinking of and referring to actually are (and therefore what they are called, in any language). That's why I'm even more impressed and grateful that there are people willing to go through what I'm typing! I mean, I know what the basic major parts of a vehicle are called, but a sub-section of a sub-part of a part... that's too much to handle and process.

 

Regarding the misalignment, I'm not bothered by it. At all. Well, maybe a bit ;) But I'm doing my best not to obsess about it.

 

When completed you will have achieved martyrdom, fantastic work and effort.

Yes - indeed. I already feel like a martyr, to be frank, considering the pains and struggles. The project is great and very satisfying but, at times, it becomes a bit overwhelming.

 

And thank you for using Future Perfect ;) I'll allow myself to go a bit off-topic, but a friend of mine claims that no native uses that tense - I can finally prove him wrong, haha!


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#113
Brother Cristopher

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Last week was a real battle, proffesional-wise. I didn't manage to do much work on the Thunderhawk, but my goals were met.

 

I did the slanting bit at the end of the central engine housing:

 

BHwuvBj.jpg

 

And I did some work on the details on the bottom of the rear fuselage.

 

Work included, the outer layer with 'details', i.e. rectangular cut-outs and - in the future - rivets around the compartments where retracted landing gear would be stored, if it actually moved ;)

 

YADfoWw.jpg

 

And here's my take on the small vent-like-oval-thingies on the bottom of the original, which I decided to transform into small, retarded-looking retro thrusters (if you can call them this - the idea is that they are able to move about and provide thrust in zero-gravity to allow for more manoeuvrability). The design idea was taken from the thrusters on the Stormtalon, only they're 4-5 times smaller and... worse ;) I'm pretty much on the fence with these - I am not entirely convinced that I like them, but they surely take the details on the bottom of the fuselage to the next level; they're also uniform with the choices I made earlier. So... it seems that since I went along with the idea, I must subconsciously like it.

 

n8N9l8o.jpg

 

oAGAV5e.jpg

 

g6d45Ay.jpg

 

I also added a vertical beam/stripe/divider to the grilles on the back of the fuselage:

 

pmma6c3.jpg

 

TSlNxhh.jpg

 

The next step in the project delivery is... a photo shoot and assembly of the entire rear fuselage.

 

FINALLY. I hereby declare that all planned prefabricated parts are ready. They're stored in a box:

 

8TeUu87.jpg

 

Once I make sure that all the prefabricated parts fit together relatively nicely, make adjustments to mishaps and go through the final-finishing-touches (round vents, sensors in the recesses, rivets), I'll assemble the landing gear. What's next, I've no idea - I probably should paint and assemble the interior of the cockpit and work on the secondary weapon systems (rockets, bolters).


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#114
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that is just so great...


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#115
Reinhard

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such dedication to detail, to even the tiniest knob. The whole is greater than the sum of its part, but that's still a very large sum


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#116
Brother Carpenter

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 "What's next, I've no idea"

 

Oh yes, I suggest you start on a scratch build of a sokar stormbird.

 

  FA.gif  teehee.gif FA.gif  Fast attack galore!

 

Good luck




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#117
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Thank you, brothers! Your words are an amazing source of inspiration and motivation!

 

 

 "What's next, I've no idea"

 

Oh yes, I suggest you start on a scratch build of a sokar stormbird.

 

  FA.gif  teehee.gif FA.gif  Fast attack galore!

 

Good luck

 

I have no idea what to do next with this project; with everything almost ready, I suddenly feel a bit lost. However, it seems that I'll be doing the landing gear hydraulics next.

 

I'm also wondering what to do with it - the original kit has the rear landing gear hydraulics at an angle, with the feet extending slightly to the side.

 

33877_sm-.jpg

 

However, the papercraft model that I'm using has the pistons positioned perpendicularly to the feet/ground. On the one hand, I'd like to pursue the original look, but it involves more design work on my part. On the other, the perpendicular setup appear not to look that much different - the feet appear to be roughly in the same spot, with their external edges extending to the wing engine's housing, similarly to what I found in the render below:

 

thunderhawk_3d_model_c4d_max_obj_fbx_ma_

 

thunderhawk_3d_model_c4d_max_obj_fbx_ma_
 

Looks and fidelity aside, I feel that making the pistons perpendicular to the "floor" might just be the more reasonable option since this should ensure that the model is more stable; i.e. the model will rest on two supports and it's weight will push directly down.

 

I'm worried that the setup like in the original, with the pistons at an angle, seems to be potentially more problematic and flimsy since the weight of the model might make the landing gear go apart or even break, if I won't design the housing for the pistons correctly.

 

Do you think that cutting corners going for a more sturdy and reliable solution when it comes to looks of the landing gear will have a negative impact on the model as a whole?


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#118
NightHunters

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Why not Both?

Have a big vertical piston, with an implied pivot at the top, 

and then a couple, one each side, angled pistons hinged from the front of the bay for stability.

I imagine they would be there so it doesn’t snap if there is still some forward momentum on touch down.

thats how I would go!


Edited by NightHunters, 03 December 2020 - 02:41 PM.

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#119
NightHunters

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And now I see what you actually mean,

So angled out from the side of the fuselage or directly underneath righ?

Reckon if you mount them wide enough you should be fine, and from there a little angle with a wee brace at the top should be achievable without compromising the load bearing capacity too much.


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#120
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I couldn't fault you for taking either approaches.

 

I'd try to make it look like the original. I've had a number of model planes and helicopters when I was a kid, and while they were significantly lighter than your plastic monster of the skies, they stood on such spindly running gear pistons, some of them were hardly a milimeter thick. If anything ever broke on them it was the rotor blades. They've got so old, the paint got chipped away. Survived moving to a new house thrice. Landing gear never broke.

Plus, FW makes theirs out of resin, which tends to be more fragile and doesn't glue as well as plastic.

I guess you could always put a metal pin in the joints for extra safety.

 

However, the project having ran as long as it did, it's fine to simplify it and finish up as quick as you can, if that's what you decide - even if it looks a little bit awkward with the straight landing gear. In case of the papercraft one, it might not have been feasible to follow the original, and on that render, the artist just missed a detail. More actually, like the nose doesn't seem to taper :)


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#121
Brother Cristopher

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And now I see what you actually mean,

So angled out from the side of the fuselage or directly underneath righ?

Reckon if you mount them wide enough you should be fine, and from there a little angle with a wee brace at the top should be achievable without compromising the load bearing capacity too much.

 

That's what I meant. The feet should be wide enough to support the Thunderhawk either way.

 

I couldn't fault you for taking either approaches.

 

I'd try to make it look like the original. I've had a number of model planes and helicopters when I was a kid, and while they were significantly lighter than your plastic monster of the skies, they stood on such spindly running gear pistons, some of them were hardly a milimeter thick. If anything ever broke on them it was the rotor blades. They've got so old, the paint got chipped away. Survived moving to a new house thrice. Landing gear never broke.

Plus, FW makes theirs out of resin, which tends to be more fragile and doesn't glue as well as plastic.

I guess you could always put a metal pin in the joints for extra safety.

 

However, the project having ran as long as it did, it's fine to simplify it and finish up as quick as you can, if that's what you decide - even if it looks a little bit awkward with the straight landing gear. In case of the papercraft one, it might not have been feasible to follow the original, and on that render, the artist just missed a detail. More actually, like the nose doesn't seem to taper smile.png

 

You're probably right about the sturdiness of those; considering the weight of the resin model, I've nothing to worry about.

 

Thanks for pushing me towards the right and diligent way ;) I think I'll leave some of the decision to chance. Firstly, I'll work on the undercarriage's - add some detail imitating hydraulics on the load-bearing pistons and once I get them up to the right looks (and diameter), I'll try to fix them at an angle. I suppose that my options can also be limited by the way I built the model, following the template for the papercraft model.

 

The original feels really, really right and cool, especially when you look directly at the front or back.

 

I hope to have some work done this weekend. The last two or three weeks were very professionally productive, causing a major setback with for project. That's why I'll probably fail to meet the deadline, but being a freelancer I have to set my priorities straight - when there's work, you've gotta do it, for the honour of the Emperor!


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#122
Brother Cristopher

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After a thoroughly absorbing two weeks of hardcore real-life work (I imagine that the Emperor approves of this decision; through prioritisation and toil, we honour him greatly!), I am happy to report that I have recommenced my effort with the model. With the two weeks that fell out of schedule, I am afraid that I won't be able to meet the end-of-the-year deadline, though.

 

I will post a photo update once there is something significant to show. I started working on the pistons which support the rear landing gear (set an angle, towards the wings, similarly to the original!) but needed to use putty to finish them (proof that I am not good at designing stuff and working on cylindrical bits; I figured that I'll try to wing it and I must say, that I quite successfully managed to do that!) so, while the putty cured, I also started to mass produce heavy bolters for the front and wings.

 

While I feel that I made progress, there isn't much to show for now - just some half-baked pistons and a set of 8 cuboids which serve as a base for the heavy bolters.


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#123
Nostromo

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Keep it up!

Long phases with no results that appear worth sharing, but much work wear down motivation, but usually worth it.

 

I look forward to the next photos


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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.
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#124
Imren

Imren

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Forgeworld: "We need to find a very skilled/competent prototype sculptor for our future vehicle projects, but it's impossible to find anybody out there!"

 

Brother Christopher: "Hold my thunderhawk..."


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#125
Brother Cristopher

Brother Cristopher

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Welcome, Brethren, in 2021. My plastic Thunderhawk Gunship project is not finished, despite my reasonable efforts. December was tough professionally and, towards its end, during the holiday break, I just couldn't bear myself to jump start my modelling efforts. Today is the first day I managed to get round to doing something in two weeks and I see this as a success.

 

Currently I'm considering two scenarios for my hobby time: focus on the Thunderhawk and get it done ASAP or roll with the failure to complete it in 2020 and proceed with my resolution to start painting stuff again. The plan for the next week is to see whether I can find time to do something hobby related regularly and work on the Gunship; should I split time between model-making and painting, it will happen not sooner than next week.

 

In retrospect, I'm pretty happy to report that I don't regret resurrecting the Thunderhawk project. Sure, I spent hours upon hours working on it which, obviously, prevented me painting and delays the completion of my Crusade, but most of that time was pretty fun and satisfying (minus the mishap here and there). The break was also somewhat reinvigorating; at first I struggled to overcome this strong feeling of wanting to build the model, but not wanting to actually sit down and assembling it*, but once this is out of the way, I feel that I'm back on track... just a couple of months later than I hoped and anticipated.

 

As for some changes to the project, I figured that 1. I will build all heavy bolters laid out as in the original, i.e. 2 wing-mounted HBs and 2 sponson-mounted HB at the nose and 2. I will not add rockets to the wings as per the original. The latter is dictated mostly by the design of the wings I constructed - the detailing differs from the original kit and I'd struggle to fit 2 (not to mention 3!) underslung rockets. However, I might add some storm-raven-styled rockets later. The priority now is to finish the model, though.

 

*Most of this was probably due to fearing to work on things I have to design myself, i.e. the undercarriage.


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