Saturday, April 18, 2015

Minotaurs Space Marines Part 9: Raining Cows!

Hi, everybody. It's been a while since you saw an update on my Minotaurs. Due to time constraints and other circumstances, I shifted gears from that as a full time project, and it's now a side project that I'm working on in dribs and drabs. Even so, I haven't done anything with it in months. Until this week, that is.

Some time during the summer of 2014' a friend and I did a trade, out of which I received a pretty rough Forgeworld Dreadnought Drop Pod. It was in pretty bad shape having been assembled and disassembled, because of how bad the casting was, and poor fitting parts. But I knew with pinning, bending, and extra plasticard I could get it back up to snuff, so took it off his hands, to his relief.

There were two major issues with it. The first being the fins are too thin, resulting in 2-3 mm clearance in mounting the slots. I fixed this by shimming the fins with plasticard, which gave a nice solid gluing surface, and made the structure much more rigid. I also pinned all the joints to ensure extra strength, which really helped. This worked well, and the only issue that remains as a result is a tell tale gap when the doors are closed.

The second issue was that the floor plate was too thin. This was clearly a result of it going concave when it was casted due to too little resin being used, then the lip being sanded down too much by ForgeWorld to make it flat. This is what frustrated my friend as he complained about the doors not working when it was glued together. This was because there wasn't enough room in the hinge openings, causing the doors to physically bind. It also forced the doors upward by 3mm, leaving an unsightly gap at the bottom.

I fixed this by building up the thickness of the floor plate bottom using some 3mm thick sprue, which I carved and shaped to match the corners of the floor plate. The angle of the sprue sides was also a decent match for the taper of the floor. Finally, as part of the original owner's build attempts (I'm the third owner), the thruster base plate had been roughly carved/gouged in an attempt to make clearance for the hinges, but that didn't work, and made things worse due to poor fit and alignment. I hid that damage by running a band of plasticard around the top of the base, on the door sides. This squared up the edges and gave a better glue surface and alignment.

As as a result of these, and after about four hours of work I now have a pretty solid Dreadnought Drop Pod. The doors sit flush on the floor, and open and close easily.

The only issue now is the gap, which won't matter much when the doors are open.... Though I am considering fixing the gaps by adding plasticard, it really will have a declining rate of return, so probably won't bother. There are still a couple of blemishes that need cleaning and filling, and the main thruster needs to be heated and made round, but otherwise I am happy with the build, as I've always wanted one!

I didn't take any WIP shots ( I was too into it, and find interrupting for progress photos kills my progress), but here are some pics of it assembled.

Here it is with the doors closed. The door seals are visible due to the gap.

Directly below the door, you can see the strip of plasticard I used to hide the carved section, and rebuild the thruster plate. You can also see the grey plastic sprue I used on the bottom of the floor plate to give the door the correct clearance to open/close, and sit flush on the floor.

Top Tip: The empty Coke Zero bottle is a toy for my dog when he bugs me while I'm working on something delicate (especially to distract him from stealing my project - true story). For some reason empty plastic bottles are his favourite toy ever.

The doors all open and close nice and smoothly. You can see the gaps in this picture easily. Those doors are fully shut. Lots of work to fill if I decide to do it, as I'll either need to fill the gaps with plasticard, then add new sliding bolt detail, or use green stuff and sculpt in the detail. I could cheat it, and just put the plasticard on the front of the door to hide the gaps, but if I am going to do it, I want to do it to as high a standard as I can.

Top Tip: Keep shrink wrap from your packages (pictured in background). You can use it to blot up excess super glue, or to clean the tip of your superglue bottle.

Finally, this picture shows all the doors deployed. You can see in this picture, the door gaps are irrelevant with the petals open.

Games Workshop