Thursday, 4 November 2010

Stormraven Part 1

So there's a good chance that the official Stormraven will be out in the first quarter on 2011. Guess I'd better get on building mine before it becomes obsolete!

I've been meaning to build a Stormraven since the codex came out but, as usual, I've been side tracked by a dozen other things to fiddle with. Last week I decided it was high time to get on with it and get the beast built so I want and bought a Valkyrie.

There's been two main types of Stormraven doing the rounds; the Land Raider/ Valk combo (above) or the Valkyrie/Plasti-card upgrade (below). None of them look like they'd ever fly but that doesn't mean they aren't cool!


I wanted something between the two - not having to buy a Land Raider but keeping the over-the-top styling of the front heavy design. I ended up, after lots of doodles, with the design you see at the start of this post. It was time to start chopping things up!

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First step was the (very) simple process of reversing the Valk hull - simple turn it back to front so the ramp faces forward. I also added Rhino doors which fit perfectly apart from the angled corners. I braced them against the interior with some 'L' shaped plasti-card:

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The next job was to shorten the wing struts...

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...then the engines...

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...then cut the back panel off the hull to leave a flat, square(ish) end.

Then the tricky bits started. Cutting out the new hull sides would, potentially, be problematic as I needed two identical panels from relatively thick 2mm plasti-card. The original drawing was done at actual size so, thankfully, I was able to trace it straight off my sketch book. I then marked all the angles and corner points on the plasti-card from the template and simply joined the dots:

Click to enlarge
Cutting plasti-card was something I looked up before starting this. Previously I've only really done it for Ork vehicles and have always had a problem getting my lines totally straight so, or Space Marines I needed to make sure I sorted that out. I can't remember where but I read that the best technique was basically to 'score and snap'. I've always sliced away until I've cut clean through so this was news to me. I gave it a try and it worked very well!

Basically you score the plasti-card with your modelling knife down the edge of your steel ruler (go and buy one if you've not got one and want to cut a straight line!) a few times then bend and it snaps along the score line giving you a straight edge.
Also, make sure you have a cutting mat. Not a chopping board. Cutting mats are the flexible, 'self healing' green things you see on a lot of peoples work in progress. Wood/plastic kitchen style chopping boards can set you knife off in a random direction if it, say, follows the wood grain instead of your ruler.
The other tip with cutting plasti-card, or anything for that matter, is be conservative with your cuts. It's better to mark/cut with an extra millimetre in each direction and trim down than to slip up and end up with something too small. Sure, you have an extra few minutes trimming getting it down to size, but at last it's getting it to the right size rather than having to start again. "You can always take more off, you can't put any of it back on though". My Dad told me that and it stuck.

Well, that's the end of day one of Stormraven-ing. Here's a quick mock up and the drawing again for you to compare the two:

Not a bad start I think. I'll have to see how enthusiastic I am about that rear ramp in the drawing (for a transported Dreadnought) it might just have to look like a ramp - it just won't open. We'll see. I also need to decide on the front/cockpit layout. I need to represent the weapons and the Machine Spirit too. For the latter I'm tempted to have a Land Raider style front, i.e no view slits for crew but a series of lenses etc. Again, we'll see.

Have a good weekend boys and girls!
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