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Author Topic: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)  (Read 7466 times)

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Offline Islacrusez

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[BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« on: July 14, 2013, 11:47:46 PM »
Hi guys. Figured I'd poke my head in here too. So with BFG getting dropped by GW, where is one to get all these lovely ships to play with? Well obviously not from GW. eBay's a good bet, but the price has gone up somewhat, and there's always a chance that nobody has what you want.

Scratchbuilding, enter stage left.

Obviously I'm not going to start with a battleship, or even a cruiser. Too big, too much, too soon. My building is poor enough, my scratchbuilding experience is extremely limited. But hey, gotta start somewhere, and transports are kinda lil! So here we are, starting with a transport ship build.

First up I don't want to copy existing ships too much, because one there's no fun in it and two I can get a better one from elsewhere. I started with an Imperial ship, but the curvy prows are too much for me to sculpt; I moved to a more Tau design, but the base design I was working with just wasn't going to make it happen. I figured something more Chaos-y? Old-school Imperium perhaps?

Prow inspired by the Iconoclast destroyer. Segmented design for Prow, Central Segment, Aft; with modular cargo bays between them. Elevated bridge aft, with a secondary bridge on the central segment. Engines on the central segment for when you're hauling a mile of pods.


(Evolved from bottom to top. Then to prow iteration to right, and side elevation iteration down)

Starting with the prow. Sorry about poor pic of the sketches. Will post pics of progress once I have the basic shape of the prow assembled. Currently only have basic triangle. I haven't got plasticard to hand, so I'm using thin plastic from food packaging (I've worked with stranger). It's on the thin and flimsy side, so I cut it out, superglue it back to itself, and cut it out again. Strengthens it sufficiently for my purposes, and the thickness isn't bad either. Using medium CA for a good bond between the pitted surfaces.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 05:57:14 PM by Islacrusez »
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 04:39:36 PM »
I've also found that the two layers are sufficiently easy to sand and cut, even when placed back to back so that they can be shaped together. Thus, the iconoclast-style prow is coming together.

I've used blu-tack to tack the three pieces in place and then doused it in medium CA. My money says that is going to be solid enough, but I will be adding more material to the inside of the prow, to support the underside and give strength while sanding joins and similar.



The "beak" might lend itself nicely for an imperial prow if the entire thing is painted as a head and "winged" wings are added. As it stands though, she's gonna be a transport.
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 08:22:45 PM »
Right-o, with the basic prow shape complete, I added two pins (ordinary metal pins, clothes pins I guess), to add a backbone while I work on the rest of the ship. Whether they get used for anything is another matter as currently I'm just struggling to work around them. Derp. I've sealed up the back of the prow, filling it with thick (well ok, medium) superglue and the various plastic powders created by sanding the materials involved. A bit of sanding and done for now.

Unsure how to proceed with the aft section, and wondering if I should include a mid-section as originally planned, I worked on a cargo pod. I snipped tips and heads off the same metal pins and superglued them to a cocktail stick. This was way too long, and lacking a metal saw I completely destroyed it during efforts to shorten it. Take two, I cut them to size (about 10mm) before gluing. I then applied a plastic strip, wrapped around each end. This was then taken to with some heavy duty sandpaper, and finished off nicely. Other end had the same treatment after being snipped off the cocktail stick.

An in progress shot:


(A chaos cobra and a loyalist iconoclast in the background there)

Currently I've pressed it into some blu-tack and popped it in the freezer. Going to see if I can cast it in wax and strengthen that; as I don't want to make 6+ of these the long way, and resin casting materials (and resin) are pretty expensive. Doing this one on the cheap, as you may have noticed!
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 11:25:46 PM »
After some experimentation in budget casting, and plentiful failure, I've decided to do what I am good at. Turn the original process into batch production, and make as many as I need at a time. One pin is long enough for two lengths of the pod; 11 pins make two pods exactly. Heads and points are snipped and kept, as they may be useful for detailing work later.


Early forays into casting:

Ironically, hot-glue had some of the most promising results. Nonetheless, I have put a hold on these experiments.

Here are three more cargo pods in production:

I'm not too bothered about stray superglue on the exterior, as these should lend themselves nicely to rust and spacedust weathering. It also means that each pod is slightly different from all the others while being essentially the exact same thing. In the background you can see the fully filled prow with two spine pins, as well as another foray into casting.


(Apologies for the orientation being buggered, but I can't fix it for some reason.)
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline Blindhorizon

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 12:10:13 PM »
Ah! And here you are you are going ahead and making a prow, and a whole ship it seems. Keep pluggin away i can't wait to see what this looks like completed. The clear plastic does make it hard to see. Do you plan on making casts of this ship when you are done?

Blind-

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 12:40:08 PM »
I'd very much like to make casts; if not for production then for my own use in creating versions of the same (either for variants or for production in a modular form). However, I lack the materials. That said, I made one last attempt to cast the cargo pod in hot glue, and it hasn't come out too badly! It's a bloody nightmare and a half to do with literally just blutack and got glue, but since the "long" way involves sanding metal on sandpaper, I'm open to the idea.

I'm currently looking at a design of two rows of cargo pods, one down each side. 4 between the mid-module and the prow, 2 between the mid module and aft, with a sort of spine linking the two main modules.

And aye, making a prow indeed, but carefully engineered to be a shape I can work with. No compound curves, four flat sides. Everything was made from flat plastic with no sculpting involved. The extensive use of superglue has clouded the plastic, and it'll now show up nicely on photographs.

Here are two of the new hot-glue castings, the three in-production metal cargo pods, and the prow:


Prow will be getting some more love, obviously, but want the basic shape of the ship done first.
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 01:13:43 AM »
Riiiight, so my new Imperial transport prows (funnily enough, they look suspiciously like space marine shoulder pads  ;)) and the two old-style prows got shelved for the moment as I didn't feel like struggling with the way I had rigged them.

Instead, an Imperial Tanker is being born. I've got a bunch of progress pics I've not emailed to myself because I have to do them individually and it's a pain; I might post them later...

I used one shoulder pad, then backed it with a few matchsticks superglued together, giving me some more thickness to work with and shape the rear face. The underside was closed with more plastic. A metal+plastic spine was glued into place, skew, and was broken off in such a way that it couldn't be reattached. I made a new one from wood, and will attach it once the tank is in place.

A pen was sacrificed to make the tank, sealed at each end with plastic, four plastic strips glued on to make banding, and 6 pins glued to the side to make it look cool.

The bridge area gave me trouble, as I needed to make complex shapes and quite a lot of thickness. The plastic I use is becoming scarce so I tried to use Pringles lids. The stuff is completely impervious to superglue. So instead, a ice-cream stick thing was used, cut carefully with a surgical scalpel (everything but the pins is getting this treatment) and sealed with superglue using my newfound knowledge of non-adhesive Pringles lids. The core of this section was thickened with two rectangles of a different ice-cream stick, and then came the question of engines. What do I use, what do I have? In the end, an old lolly stick and a cotton bud stick were cut up, giving a fairly nice engine effect.

Then more pins were added here there and everywhere:



This is the latest. Again sorry about the orientation, it is broken and the uploading thing I use doesn't let me change it afterwards.

More pins and plastic and all sorts to be added still. I'm debating small winglets, but not sure. The bridge proper still needs to be added, and I'm thinking a radio/radar mast fwd of it but before the spine. Possibly even a second gun turret could go just fore of that.

You can also see the fuel tank behind it.

Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline Blindhorizon

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 11:40:20 AM »
Keep going with your ships, i would love to see more pictures. Also i recommend trying to get some evergreen plastics from www.evergreenscalemodels.com. I would try contacting them i looked through their catalog and noticed they didn't have a $10 bag called odds and ends. Basically this bag has a bunch of different stuff in it, i've purchased two, you get a little of everything in them. Pics inspire me so please don't be shy, thats why i post so many so others can see how stuff comes together.

Blind-

And i just realized i can scroll over to see more of your pictures, i was missing half of your image and didn't even realize it. you got the right shape for imperial ships for sure.

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2013, 03:05:22 PM »
Progress on the current transport. Here's the new Shoulder-prow, the cargo tank, and the main bridge/hull section.



Added small winglets, on one wing will be a pair of aerials, one the other will be a single. They'll be parallel with the cargo tank and go no further than halfway along it. Ends will be marked with red and green lights.

On top of the winglets, I've cut sheets of plastic to create the detail. Not sure if you can see them in pic. Also added strips to the side of the hull, adding on both sides. Also adding bits and pieces to engines as I see fit.

Tank has had the metal pieces sanded down more flat. Once the bridge is done, I'll glue the tank between prow and bridge. The spine goes on top, connecting prow to bridge, gun/s go on top of that.
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline horizon

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2013, 02:13:50 PM »
Good work, the shoulder-prow is as always, a great and easy to construct choice.

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2013, 06:42:48 PM »
I take it I'm not the first to think of it? Good. I'd be worried if I was!

How am I doing for Imperial shape, and general ship-shape? Comments, criticisms and especially suggestions are very much welcome!
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2013, 11:02:57 PM »
Right-o. More done to busy up the bridge area, including the provision of one brand new CIWS turret!

This one's on the winglet, used a pinhead for the main turret body and you can just about make out the gun barrels, mae of thin sheets cut into thin strips.

Another mount going on the opposite side:

This one going under the bridge itself. Merchant vessels were not designed to the same defensive standards as Naval ships, and as a result the turret coverage is not only sparse, but also haphazard.
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline Blindhorizon

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2013, 12:22:33 AM »
Can we get a picture from multiple angels of everything put together, as well as a total length in MM. I know i've said this once about evergreen plastics, but i think you should seriously consider getting some. You have the patience to work on something so small, i don't think it's your idea's and creativity holding back your modeling skills. I believe it's your lack of actual modeling material, steel is hard to work with, and balsa wood is too grainy if you wanted to do casts, it will pick up all that wood grain. I couldn't imagine trying to model at such a small scale with that clear plastic too, it would be hard to get consistent detail on both sides while remaining sane. And lets be honest, you may think you have no plans to make copies of this, but once your done and proud of what you made you'll change your mind. If you need any tips or what i would recommend on buying from evergreen let me know.

Blind-

P.S. http://www.resinaddict.com/forum/index.php
This is where i got my inspiration to start modeling and casting, you have to make an account to view some of the forums, i believe the scratchbuilding forum is account access only. Take a look I'm blindhorizon on their as well.

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2013, 12:54:03 AM »
Heh, consistency... Er. Getting to the point where I'm seriously hoping that the inconsistency will create a consistency in and of itself. It's coming together more or less how I hoped; as long as there's a constant level of noise, I should be able to get away with it.

Hopefully it'll come out nicely when painted. Only way to really see it, as all the clear plastic and even clearer superglue makes for tough perception.

Hopefully not much more to go on. One side of the keel still has a plastic panel to be added, the bridge section itself needs to be done, which will be a sort of T shape, with some support struts. After that, the undersides of both winglets need some love, and of course there's still some bare bits on the main body. Getting hard to get to those though... Humm. Might have to paint that detail in, because I've got nothing small enough to make something to fit.

After that, the prow, tank and bridge section get glued together, and then I work on the spine and main guns, and the small underside details of the prow.
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...

Offline Islacrusez

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Re: [BFG] Scratchbuilt Transports (WIP)
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2013, 05:02:55 PM »
Righty! One new bridge, manufactured and glued on. I cut out a piece of what we're all assuming is balsa, sanded it down, noticed it wasn't even remotely straight in the x/y directions, and said screw it and started sketching on the back. Two attempts later, I know it was never going to be symmetrical. Then I realised - why should it be? I can't do it and it'll look pants if I try and I get it wrong. I designed an asymmetrical bridge, allowing a cut-out to accommodate the raised turret on one side!



You might notice in this pic that the whole thing is a little skew in the z direction... Not even remotely level. Ah well; some trimming and creative use of superglue will fix that!

Here's the top-view, showing the shape of the bridge:


You can clearly see the pinhead turret under the one exposed side. The shape isn't haphazard either, it's still largely the original T-shape I envisioned.

Here's one for you. The discovery of 100% superglue-proof plastic proved to be a hindrance when first encountered, but I've found several uses for it. For one, I put my superglue on it when applying with a pin. Two, it can be used to create a thin but super-smooth layer of superglue on a given flat surface. Simply apply superglue to surface, add plate of plastic, dab away excess if impatient, wait until fully dry, remove plate, trim excess with sharp blade.

Another use is much the same thing but using thick superglue - you can use the plastic as a scaffold, allowing you to build up a small amount of volume. Here's the in progress, to fix that horrible skew.





The length is coming up to about 45mm, not including any expansion from gluing.
Quite crucial to be able to tell minefields and rally points apart...