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Building the Clarion- a question of scale


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#1
ThePenitentOne

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So I finally picked up Blackstone Fortress. I had no idea it incorporated ships- sure, they're only cards, but that's enough to inspire a guy.

 

The Clarion- the ship that carries Taddeus and Pious to Precipice doesn't look hard to scratch build. Interior LED's would make the stained glass fabulous.

 

So my question is one of scale. The books describe the ships as being small; Draik's ship is referred to as a shuttle, and the sizes are comparable. I have a skull shaped vodka bottle that's about 7 cm tall, not including the stem. Scaling the ship based on that skull, the hull of the ship (excluding the skull) would be about 25 cm tall and 60 cm long; probably about 20 cm wide, excluding the wings.

 

Does that sound reasonable?

 

What are the dimensions of a thunderhawk, as a basis for comparison?

 

I could, of course, find a bigger skull and resize accordingly; even as a "small" ship, I'm not sure that 25 x 60 still feels a bit small. The board from Kill Team: Rogue Trader is another guideline, but I haven't managed to buy that box yet.

 

The intent is to design it with a playable interior, so that ship could be a board itself, but it would also be usable as scenery on a 40k table. Right now, my 40k table is only 4 x 4, so it has to be small enough to fit on that, though I don't mind if it takes up most of the table.

 

This project is a long way off- probably a good year out, so there's a lot of design time.

 

Thoughts? 



#2
Apologist

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Cool idea and intriguing question! Here's a picture of the ship, for those interested:

Clarion.jpeg

 

Given we're talking 40k, 'small' is probably a relative term. This link takes you through to an image comparing sizes of various Imperial craft. The Thunderhawk is present, as is a Defense Monitor (one of the smaller ships, near the top).

 

While Battlefleet: Gothic (BF:G) made a point that it's craft weren't to scale, it's useful to eyeball the size as a starting point. The Defense Monitor mentioned above was available – and came with system ships: 

c2004usp0935-01.jpg

 

These system ships are about twice the size of the BF:G Thunderhawks; and that's probably the size I'd suggest the Blackstone Fortress craft are intended to be: small in absolute terms, but still considerably larger than the stripped-back special forces military Thunderhawk.

 

+++

An alternative way to work out sizes might be to look at the stained glass. The windows in real-world gothic Cathedral/church architecture are already enormous – the huge windows at York Minster, for example, is about 23m (25yd) tall. For comparison, an average building storey is about 4.5m (5yd); a person roughly 2m (2yd). That makes those windows about five or six storeys tall. Assuming a crew of a few hundred, that sounds about right to me. 

 

A modern battleship – which is probably the nearest thing we've got to this 'shuttle' is ~50m tall, with the bulk being below 20–25m. That'd fit nicely:

Fuso.png

 

Assuming the windows in the Clarion are a similar size to the York Minster window (given 40k's over-the-top nature, that's not too much of a stretch), they're already the height of ten men – which translates nicely into 40k as 10in high. Again, that gives you a (very rough) size of the whole thing being about 36in long. 

 

 

 

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The main thing to remember is that your model doesn't need to be precise; but rather evocative of the ship. After all, the 40k scale is very loose. With that in mind, I'd suggest you aim to make it a board in and of itself, and look to create a multi-level piece that's about three foot long. It'll sit nicely on your board, but be big enough to hold entire games, rather than essentially be a big terrain piece.


Edited by Apologist, 12 June 2019 - 01:44 PM.

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#3
ThePenitentOne

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Thanks for the feedback and especially the pics. 36 inches is about as long as I was prepares to go, and I kinda figured I'd go up to that. I thing 36 is reasonable, which would make it 18 inches tall, minus the skull, and about 16 wide minus the wings.

 

Bigger than my original plan, but still the same ball park.

 

Stained glass make the multilevel interior awkward. I've learned from my buildings that if you want usable interiors in multilevel structures, it's best to build stackable levels rather than trying to cut it into cross sections. So 18 inches of height gives you four storeys of 4.25 inches each. How the internal flooring bisects the stained glass will be the challenge- the windows have to be translucent to achieve the stained glass effect, but if they're too translucent, the images will be compromized by the interior showing through.

 

The stacking is also harder to achieve with multimedia walls; when you're working with solid cardboard, coroplast, you do your walls double thickness, offsetting by a half inch so that each layer can sink a half inch into the layer below when they stack. The stained glass will probably just be sheets of acetate, so they can't really overlap. Like I said, it's a ways off, so I've got a lot of design time. But thanks again for the input- I think the project will turn out better for the larger size- more play room on the interiors.



#4
Apologist

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[...]Stained glass make the multilevel interior awkward. I've learned from my buildings that if you want usable interiors in multilevel structures, it's best to build stackable levels rather than trying to cut it into cross sections. So 18 inches of height gives you four storeys of 4.25 inches each. How the internal flooring bisects the stained glass will be the challenge- the windows have to be translucent to achieve the stained glass effect, but if they're too translucent, the images will be compromized by the interior showing through.

 
Yes, that's true. I'd suggest you look at real-world church conversions, as they often have quite innovative ways of retaining the impact of tall stained glass windows while making the interior more useable – an 'island' or penisula set back from the windows, for example, would be one way of using the height. This would also have the benefit of making things more playable, too. 
 

The stacking is also harder to achieve with multimedia walls; when you're working with solid cardboard, coroplast, you do your walls double thickness, offsetting by a half inch so that each layer can sink a half inch into the layer below when they stack. The stained glass will probably just be sheets of acetate, so they can't really overlap. Like I said, it's a ways off, so I've got a lot of design time. But thanks again for the input- I think the project will turn out better for the larger size- more play room on the interiors.

 

 

Perhaps you could try building the front wall (with the windows) as a panel that could be removed/hinged forward? A little like a traditional doll's house, it would provide access  to the interior, without compromising the impact of the stained glass.

 

If you do want to stack it, then you could probably camouflage and strengthen the join on the windows with a darker/thicker area to represent leading (or a physical beam – after all, these are spaceship stained glass windows, so likely have some differences in design! :D). Transverse strengthening is seemingly quite common in stained glass.

658px-Stained-glass_windows_ST._Vitus_2.


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