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Project: Destroyer Tank Hunter

OK. So I have been kind of hobbying—not as much as I would like, but things are moving along. I did get an opportunity to do some paid writing, so I jumped on it, and it has taken up a fair amount of time as of late, but I’m ready to get back to some gluing.

One project that I don’t think I’ve ever posted here is, ironically enough, the first one I started for 40K. Scratch building a Destroyer Tank Hunter. I just really liked how it looked and its fluff. I really dig Soviet casement style assault guns, so this was right up my alley

Destroyer_Tank_Hunter_0

Is that a big ol’ laser cannon on your glacis, or are you just happy to see me?

Anyways, I started this thing like eighteen months ago, and work on it (like everything) in fits and spurts.

Before buying anything, I downloaded scores of pictures and searched for anything I could on the ‘net. I discovered that the model used a Chimera top plate for the hull top, but, for the life of me, I couldn’t find anything that worked for the gun mount. So I decided to build my own out of styrene (it has only recently come to my attention that one of the various Baneblade options has something that would work pretty well). I went with something evoking that of an SU-122, and what my limited abilities are capable of.

Ok, not really like that at all...

Ok, not really like that at all…

Well, it works, anyways...

Well, it works, anyways…

I also deceided at this point that I want the tank to be able to also act as a Thunderer, which is a Destroyer that’s had its complicated laser cannon replaced with a Demolisher cannon. So I went with the obvious route and did a short length of thick tubing in which the longer, narrower laser cannon barrel would slip into. While the short tubing lacks the…we’ll call it presence, of the actual demolisher cannon, the inner diameter of the tube is almost exactly the same as the Demolisher, so it’s good enough for me.
However, This is wehre I discovered that my casement was slightly crooked. Not really noticable on its own, But it became very noticeable with the long laser cannon barrel.
Not willing to tear apart the casement, I sanded the gun mount and got it fairly close to plum.

The Thunder from Down Under.

The Thunder from Down Under.

 

No, I'm not over compensating.

No, I’m not over compensating.

I also tried magnetizing the barrel so it would stick in better. Instead, I screwed up the polarity and made a nifty shooting gun barrel. Check your polarity kids!

Succulently phrased Insane clown posse.

Succulently phrased Insane clown posse.

So now I just have to add the outer track housing, the treads and figure out what I’m going to do for exhaust. Oh, and paint. So, really it’s practically finished…

Shaking that Bass-ilisk

Although you couldn’t tell by my blog updates, I have been getting in bench time. Its just been my usual model ADD: doing a bunch of stuff on a bunch of models.

However, I’ve gotten to a point with Project Bass-ilisk that I kind of want to show it off. Where we last left off (uh, 3 months ago…) I had designed the parts for a structure in FreeCAD, printed the parts out and cut them out of plastic. It actually came out pretty well, and I’m pretty stoked. It’s not quite designing a 3-D model and printing it out, but it has its uses.

I decided that the structure needed a little beefing up, so I designed some plates and cut them out. I did want the armor to be pretty thick (cuz, you know, 40K) so I glued some 1/4″ square tubing in between the plates to make them suitably thick. I also added some of the Tichy .050 rivets to give it that “Imperial Guard” look.

MOAR ARMOR

MOAR ARMOR

I also fabbed up a front hatch for the driver, sadly I decided on no rivets for that, due to its small size and the PITA factor.

Basic, but works.

Basic, but works.

Let me hear that Bass-ilisk.

(I promise the Bass jokes will go away soon.)

So I’ve been tinkering with project Bass-alisk and got the repaired platform done and sliding into the chassis.

But before I start gluing, I still need to figure out a gun shield. Both of my Basilisks will have the same gun shield (to tie them together) but I only have one of the ‘correct’ ones. Bit’s sellers also seem to be out of unique basilisk parts as well, as none have the shields in stock. So I decided I’d measure the one I have and make my own!

I downloaded and fired up FreeCad to help me layout the design. I figure I’ll print out the design, glue it to some plastic and cut the shield out from there.

Rough, but I know what I'm looking at.

Rough, but I know what I’m looking at.

But, before cutting everything out, I decided to make a mock-up out of cardboard to see how it all fit. Good thing I did, because it didn’t. The bottom cut-outs didn’t clear the track guards. So I’ve redesigned the shield, and we’ll see how everything fits tonight.

I also fixed the gun barrel to match it’s original length, though the new tube isn’t exactly plum, it’ll do.

I then filled the seam from the old barrel to the new with some “Perfect Plastic Putty” (seriously, get yourselves some!) and used a wet cottonswab to blend everything together. I also filled the rest of the seems and fitted a muzzle brake (something else I’ll add to my other Basilisk) I wish I made the muzzle brake longer, but it’s on there now and not going anywhere.

UPDATE:

Well, after this post sat in my ‘DRAFTS’ folder for 18 days…

I managed to work on the armor for the front and sides. After designing in CAD and playing around I settled on a pretty basic box (or ‘BAWKS’) as that seems pretty Imperial. I tried to echo the rear slope in the design and think I did pretty good. The enclosure isn’t perfect but version 2.0 should be much better.

From the side.

From the side.

Top. You can see the platform I made and my attempt at recreating the rail around the platform.

Top. You can see the platform I made and my attempt at recreating the rail around the platform.

The gun isn't center. I tried, but that was the best I could do with this second hand model.

The gun isn’t center. I tried, but that was the best I could do with this second hand model.

I’ll be adding some more plates to the enclosure and rivets (not looking forward to that!) to help give it more of the Imperial Guard look.

Anyways, this was my first attempt at design a part and then building it (simple as it may be) and I’m really happy with how it came out!

Till next time!

All about that Bass..ilisk

Yea, yea I know.

My guard needs artillery.  And I really the looks of the Basilisk. So I once again turned to ebay and found one that I thought was a pretty good deal.

bass-ilisk

Don’t judge me….

HA!

I really need to start looking at pictures better. The missing platform I saw. What I didn’t see and didn’t know was how that platform was attached to the floor plate/gun mount.  I thought that it would be a simple matter to just glue some styrene there and be done.

HA!

It couldn’t even be a clean break…

So yea, that’s going to take some work…

The next thing I noticed was the gun assembly was all wobbly. So I had to get that all apart without wrecking stuff too badly (above picture after stripping and disassembly)…

The last thing that I didn’t realize until I managed to snag a new-on-sprue old style Basilisk—is that the end of the gun barrel  has been cut down by a good couple of inches.

Yea, it was a greeeat bargain for $25… (The new-on-sprue was $26)

So into the stripper bath she went. And, indicative of how troublesome this kit had become the paint wouldn’t come off. Tried all my usual stuff (Simple Green, Castro Purple stuff, LA’s Degreaser and Oven Cleaner) all for nothing.  Finally following a tip from my buddy Austin I bought some non-acetone nail polish remover and BAM! Paint removed. Though the stuff stinks to high heaven and I was nervous the entire time that it would melt the plastic anyways.

I was then ably to gently pry/break apart the gun assembly (and some track parts). Luckily the builder put the thing together with superglue and most everything came apart pretty easily.

I was also able to pry out the gun mount/floor plate and get a better look at it.

I decided after some trial and error to cut down the plate where the old firing platform broke off to make it look  (and mount) cleaner.

I then took the ‘new’ floor plate traced it onto some styrene. I then cut the shape out and glued it to the bottom of the broken floor plate.

New and old.

The assembly is currently drying. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to sand down everything flush and square and begin reinforcing the firing platform (the styrene is only .20, kind of flimsy).

I’m thinking that due to how different this will look from my other Basilisk, I might ‘grubbins’ this one up to look like a command version or something. I did pick up some old Rhino consoles from the bits guy…

Making Plastic Rust

So, as I’m building an Imperial Guard Army for 40K I was bound to get a couple Leman Russ tanks (being a treadhead had NOTHING to do with it, I swear…). While not very realistic looking, they do look a bit like a French Char 1 tank, which I’m a fan of, so I was immediately smitten with the thing.

Leman Russ
40K’s ubiquitous battletank

char 1
The French Char 1
(Ok, it’s a very passing resemblance.)

Anyways, like most of my 40K stuff, I got my Russes used. While the kits were ok, one thing was realllllly bugging me: the exhaust pipes. Not only am I not a fan of the design itself—looks like a chromed stack for a midget semi—but it’s a two-piece part that has a seam running up and down the middle.
stacks

Annoying.

And with the molded in bracket, kind of a pain to fill and sand. So My Lemans have sat for awhile while I tried to come up with a solution. Making and casting my own? Maybe, but what kind of exhaust do I go with? Panzer IV style horizontal canister style? Perhaps the more car-like design of the M26 Pershing? That was a lot of work for a relatively minor problem, so I never really went anywhere with it.

Then the solution came to me while I was talking to a friend about his Lemans. Make the exhaust really rusty. I had just watched this video about making textures with GW’s Liquid Green stuff and thought maybe that I could texture the putty on the hide the seem and not have to worry about sanding, etc.

So that got me thinking about an old article in Finescale Modeler about using plastic cement to stipple a tank turret (Sherman, maybe?) to give it that rough cast look.

I wondered which technique would make give the exhausts that really grainy texture that cast iron or steel gets when it’s exposed to high temperatures.

So I decided to do some experimenting.
In the end I tried three products: GW’s Liquid Greenstuff, Testors Plastic Cement and Gunze’s Mr. Surfacer 1000.

I used the same brush (a cheap child’s nylon job with all but 4 or so mm cut off so the remaining bristles were nice and stiff) for all three experiments, cleaned in thinner and then water and dried to the best of my ability to make sure there wasn’t any solvents lefts.

I did two applications of each product, holding the brush at a 90 degree angle to the surface and trying to make sure push down as hard as I could without causing the exhaust piece to go flying (I was not completely successful). I waited about 10 minutes between each application.

Liquid Green stuff: The first layer didn’t really do much for me, I’m not sure if the plastic below it was too smooth or if the the Green stuff was too thin. However, the second layer(which I got out of the cap and was much thicker) went on phenomenally. It was exactly what I was looking for!
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I think one more coat and it’ll look perfect.

Testors Plastic Cement: Perhaps it’s because I was using the liquid stuff in the glass bottle as opposed to the old-school tube, but the results weren’t anywhere what I was looking for. After the second coat I did get some texture, but not the rough grainy rusty one I was going for.

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Gunze Mr. Surface: Nope. Didn’t even get a texture, except maybe for ‘gloopy’… I even waited till after the second coat sat for 10 or so minutes, got my brush wet with some paint thinner and tried to stipple. Nothing.
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The clear winner here was the Liquid Green stuff. Not only did it do exactly what I was looking for, it didn’t have the horrible smells that both the Liquid Cement and the Mr. Surfacer did. I’ll make sure I get a blob on my (dry!) palette to thicken up a bit before I apply it, but I’m really chuffed at how it came out! Some dark red paint, some pastels and with a little bit of luck, I’ll have some convincing looking rusty exhaust.
(Granted, it’s a rather exaggerated effect, but it’s exactly what I was looking for.)

Some more pictures of everything:

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Pastel Powders

I have yet to try using pastel powders but stumbled upon an tip yesterday:

After paint, but before pastel/weathering powder application, you spray the model down with unscented hairspray. You then add your powder and finish off by spraying your dull coat. I know AK makes a product for sticking the powder on, but I’m going to venture a guess and say that a can of unscented hairspray is way cheaper. If it works, of course.