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Getting There—Project: Valkdetta

Well, after more than a year, Project: Valkdetta is mostly complete. All the major sub-assemblies are done and it looks like what it’s supposed to be. I’m missing the lower vertical stabilizers (I’ll have to look if I ever got them or not) and the front sensor array. If I don’t have the parts I’ll have to see if I can buy them reasonably or if I’ll have to plastic-card them.

Getting the booms and wings on was a bit of pain, what with the original alignment pegs having been broken in the tear-down process. It’s not perfect but I did the best I could. With the wings at least, the old mounting holes were still present, so I used the center of them to drill out holes for pinning.

Hard to see, but pins for the wings to mount to.

Hard to see, but pins for the wings to mount to.

For gluing all the major assemblies, I used JB Quick 5-miniute epoxy. I wont say it’s indestructible, but if something breaks, things have gone horribly wrong.

While I was test fitting the left wing on, I noticed the wing had gotten horribly warped. I can only imagine that it happened after I broke the model down and must have set something down on it.

You can see Valkdett's wing compared to a plastic Valkyrie wing. Just a *bit* off...

You can see Valkdetta’s wing compared to a plastic Valkyrie wing. Just a *bit* off…

Not to be discouraged (I totally was…) I decided to try boiling it and bending it back to the correct angle. Once again, it’s not perfect, but the angle is correct now (even if the wing has some ripples in it) and I decided to go ahead and glue it on.

You can see the left wing isn't perfectly straight, but...

You can see the left wing isn’t perfectly straight, but…

I still need to fill in some gaps on the wing to fuselage joint and clean up some of the JB Quick that got where it shouldn’t be, but Valkdetta is now clearly a Valkyrie. I’ll fluff her rough appearance to being an old bird with a lot of battles behind her.

A *bit* of an improvement. If I say so myself.

A *bit* of an improvement. If I say so myself.

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Some Updates

So as I’m dealing with a bum ankle, I might as well post some pictures and what not of what I’ve been up too.

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Project: Valkdetta

Valkdetta is getting along. Engines and center hump-thingy are on, as well at the one boom. The other boom was a bit trickier—I had to clearance the engine to make sure it fit. That’s all settled now, so this weekend should see her getting close to completion. Just in time for the new Death From the Skies book to hit, even though it apparently doesn’t have anything about the Vendetta—or any of the FW fliers.

 

Here is my Vindicare assassin. I’m trying to follow the tutorial in “White Dwarf” as closely as I can. It’s my fist time painting anything in that style, so… I don’t hate it yet, but those edge highlights are a bit thick in my opinion.

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REPENT!

This is my ‘bits’ priest. I picked up a bag of WFB Empire bits at Adepticon for $4 and made this guy. I added boots to him, and cut the spikes of his mace. He still looked more Chaos then not though, so I added an Aquila emblem from the Imperial Tank Sprue. I like him much better now. The autogun was made from a spare lasrifle, plastic tubing and some greenstuff.

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For the Somewhat Better Good!

I’ve been working on my Tau infantry at work during my lunches (cleaning them up and such) and decided I might as well throw paint on them. These are all second hand, and let’s face it, the old sculpts weren’t so great to begin with. These will be fluffed as a backwater garrison that suddenly got reinforced with some front line units. That’ll explain the old metal stealth suits I have as well as the old Crisis suits.

Project Valk-Detta Progress

While it’s been nearly a year since I’ve documented any progress on my old, second-hand Forge World Valkyrie, I have occasionally tooled around with it here and there.

Since the last update, I’ve attached the cockpit assembly to the fuselage. Now it’s still not perfectly straight, but it’s now barely perceptible.

 

valky

As purchased. A *bit* off…

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Much better.

However, there has been a crap load of filling and sanding and filling and sanding and… Well, you get the point. The transition between the fuselage and the cockpit on the bottom has been a huge pain, but it’s getting there. Right now I have the top…hump? epoxied to a sheet of plastic to make sure it’s flat and give it a bit of a height boost, as I think the cockpit module sits a bit higher than it did before—here’s hoping that doesn’t mess everything else up. I also need to figure out if the engines go on before the tail boom, or if it’s the other way around.

Here’s some more pics of the old girl, which I’m thinking I’ll name Phoenix.

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!

Valk-detta Update

Well, I got the long fuselage half cut and sanded (though not as square as I would have liked…) and epoxied back together.

 

After everything is sanded and ready to be glued.

After everything is sanded and ready to be glued. (Sorry it’s kinda blurry)

After making sure everything was about as good as I could get it, I washed all the parts and let them dry. I then scored all the surfaces that would see glue, gathered my clamps and rubber bands and beseeched the Omnimessiah to bless my endeavor.

I used a razor saw to score the pieces considering the weight.

I used a razor saw to score the pieces considering the weight.

I then mixed up my ‘JB Kwik’ 5-miniute epoxy and went to work. I decided to go with epoxy due to the fact that the parts were all quite large, and the 5 minute working time let me make sure I had everything aligned as best I could.

You're going to need a couple of decent sized clamps for this.

You’re going to need a couple of decent sized clamps for this.

Don’t worry about any epoxy coming up through the seem, it’ll cut off and sand just fine, in fact it makes a great bulk filler that way.

I did the assembly in two parts, the large piece of the fuselage attached to the unmolested fuselage side and after that was all dry and set, I epoxied the cut down piece to the other two.

That rear edge was a pain.

That rear edge was a pain.

After everything was epoxied together I let it cure for an additional two-days just to make sure (and I was reading Taylor Anderson’s newest Destroyermen novel: “Straits of Hell”) everything was set.

Now came the fun part: Mixing and applying greenstuff (kneadatite). Not only was I trying to fix the seams from the fuselage shortening, but I was also trying to fix the area on the front of the fuselage where I had tried to pry the nose off.

I didn't take any photos pre-sanding but trust me, there was a LOT of greenstuff on this thing.

I didn’t take any photos pre-sanding but trust me, there was a LOT of greenstuff on this thing.

After sanding the first layer of filler, I’m ready to apply a finishing layer of filler, but honestly at this point I’m wishing I had just purchased the plastic bits…

On the front of the fuselage I decided to apply a thin piece of plasticard for a mating surface for the nose, it seemed much easier the trying to fill in all the gouges and rents in the resin.

Plastic bulkhead to glue the nose on.

Plastic bulkhead to glue the nose on.

The one tool I couldn’t live with out here was my sanding card. I cut out a rectangular piece of plastic, spray on a coat of spray adhesive and stuck on some wet/dry sandpaper. I put a couple of bricks on the plastic to make sure everything is flat, and viola! a tool that sands straight and allows you to keep hard edges.

Project: Valk-detta

Ah, the Valkyrie. Primary flier for the Imperial Guard (and Scions) and a sturdy transport to boot.

Uh, the OTHER Valkyrie...

Uh, the OTHER Valkyrie…

There you go!

There you go!

Late night at last Adepticon there was a gentleman selling a Griffon, Salamander and a Valkyrie with the Vendetta conversion for $60. I’m not sure if it was the late hour, the lack of food in my stomach or the allure of a great deal, but I couldn’t pass it up.

The Salamander was what I was really after, as it had the correct Forgeworld Autocannon (my other doesn’t), and I wanted the Griffon for my Death Korp Assault list. The fact that I was getting a Valkyrie with the Vendetta conversion for less then the Vendetta conversion itself was just icing on the cake.

After I had gotten some sleep and really looked at the thing, I noticed that it was one of the original Forgeworld Valkyries made out of resin and not the plastic GW kit.

Then, I noticed something else…

It's totally natural if it curves a little to the left, right?

It’s totally natural if it curves a little, right?

Well, after cursing who ever screwed up the construction of the thing, I decided to try to get it apart.

After peeling out a ton of greenstuff from the cockpit/body joint I tried prying the pieces apart. Nothing.
Then I tried to gently remove the gun/sensor pods on flanking the cockpit. Also nothing. Then came the jewelers saw to make sure there was nothing holding the parts together. The problem with that was the weird angle and the fact that I could only get the saw to go so far.

So, in my desperation I took my ‘prying knife’ (an X-Acto Chisel blade) and pushed it in the joint as far as I could, and gently tapped on the knife handle with a pair of diagonal cutters.

This should end well...

This should end well…

After doing that a couple of times, I heard a “POP!” and the cockpit assembly came off. There was also like an 1/8 of an inch worth of dried superglue glopped on there (I would have tried the freezer method to break the superglue, but the Valkyrie was too big for mine).

Sweet, sweet victory! (and no blood!)

Sweet, sweet victory! (and no blood!)

It was then that I noticed that the curved cockpit wasn’t from a construction screw up, but rather the body sizes were two different lengths!

Definitely not natural...

Definitely not natural…

There’s not a lot of ways to fix this that aren’t major surgery. Luckily the outside of the fuselage is pretty devoid of detail and the interior (which has loads of it) can’t be seen once it’s all put together. I had one of three options: 1) buy the fuselage body ‘bits’ for the plastic Valkyrie and hope that I can get everything else to ‘bolt-on’, as it were; 2) Cut the shorter side and lengthen with some sheet styrene, or: 3) just cut down the longer side and sand to it’s the proper length. Clearly, option 1 is still a viable fail-safe, but I figured it could be…fun, I guess to do the surgery and try to get everything to work. I decided to shorten the long side since there should be less filling and sanding that route.
Though I should have checked the engine pods and wings to make sure they fit and look right on the shorter fuselage side. It’s only a few millimeters, so I think it’ll be ok.

Send help

Send help!

Of course I couldn’t find my hobby hacksaw so I pulled out the old X-acto plastic saw and proceeded to cut the fuselage (and hopefully not destroy it).

It actually cut fairly well for being such a thick chunk of resin. I made sure to wear my mask and kept a small spray bottle of water around to keep the dust to a minimum.

Next step is to sand down the parts (hopefully keeping them square) and gluing the fuselage back together and filling any seems.
I’m also debating getting the heavy bolter parts and installing them, but they are pretty worthless on a Vendetta…