Greetings one and all, I'm trying a new approach for this next project. As it'll be a fairly long one I'm breaking up the reporting of it and spreading it over a series of articles as a kind of build log. "What project?" I hear you ask. Well, it's a cool one, a brace of my very favourite 40k aircraft. The Imperial Navy Thunderbolt:
These two have come ready assembled (thank the gods as my tempestuous relationship with Forgeworld's instructions is well documented) but they still need a little work. Mostly cleaning casting plug remnants, mould lines and the main thing the client wants. Bombs. Lots of bombs. Missiles too:
We're using a box of Academy's 1:48 WWII ordnance for the job. 1:48 is perfect for 40k's slightly exaggerated scales - indeed, I think it is the right scale for any "chunky" 28mm figure as the Bolt Action stuff I'm doing indicates. These need to be interchangeable, so the only practical way to go is magnets. However, magnets over such a variety of sizes of hard points and ordnance will lead to problems with fiddly making-sure-everything-is-exactly-the-same-size-and-polarity-itis. I eventually realised that it would be a bit too fiddly. Never mind the inevitable mistake when a magnet gets put in upside down. No. A better way needed to be found and one presented itself in the form of movement trays. You see, lots of people (Maisey of the Beard Bunker included) use magnets in their bases to stick their models down to movement trays to prevent that "we're in a pile at the bottom of the hill boss" formation so popular when gravity gets involved. What do the magnets stick to? Sheets of very thin, self adhesive flexible steel. Essentially plastic impregnated with fine steel filings which leaves it both magnetic and very, very soft. You can cut it with scissors. Or...
If like me you've got one, a guillotine (really useful bit of kit) which will give you perfectly straight cuts no muss, no fuss. I cut 5mm wide strips of the flex-steel - measured to fit the rectangular mounting points on the underneath of the wings. These were then cut to one inch lengths and moved on to the sticking.
The self-adhesion will stick 'em in place just fine but I feared for it's longevity. So after they were all in place (note the extra centre-line mounting for really large bombs) I ran some superglue around the edges. Capillary action will draw it in and seal the edges up nicely. Ought to be bomb proof now (badum-tish). These 0.5mm thick flex-steel pieces will vanish nicely beneath the primer coat and will just look like extra sculpted panels. The idea is that if the client just wants to use them as interceptors the wings will simply look painted. No obvious points of attachment. The magnetised hard points for the bombs and missiles will just snap into place and - hopefully - not leave a mark.
Speaking of paint, the scheme we're going for is an "Imperial-esque" variant of a neat WWII luftwaffe scheme the client found. Looking forward to playing with it. Handily, the transfer sheet came with a colour guide complete with RLM colour values. Five minutes on Vallejo's website found me their equivalences pdf and the correct colours for the greys are found. But that will wait for next time gadget. Next time!
p.s. like the idea of seeing more workbench articles? Seeing the process instead of the finished result? Let me know in the comments.