And so, with that long absence awkwardly glossed over...
I’ve been thinking about a Baneblade for a while now. And let’s face it--why not? It’s big, it’s heavily armored, it has tons of guns, and there’s about half a dozen armies that can justifiably use it (or some variation of it).
I’ve seen one or two different templates floating around, but I found myself drawn to the one by Jeff Vaughn (sometimes working under the name jsvironfurnace or Magos JSV) that’s available over at Paperhammer.com. Mr. Vaughn’s the same guy who designed the Malcador that I built a year ago. While there are a few small issues that come up with his stuff (we’ll get to them eventually) I think the overall simplicity of his designs make them a lot easier to work with (as we’ll also get to).
To be very clear, this is not a Paperhammer version of the current plastic Baneblade (based in turn off the latest Forge World resin model). This is the older, squatter tank from a few years back. Check out the Chapter Approved book that has the vehicle design rules, and you’ll see a picture of the chunkier, slightly taller Baneblade. It’s got two big fuel barrels on the back instead of four smaller ones. If you’re not going to be happy with anything but the current version, I’m afraid you’re out of luck.
On the plus side, all you need is 2000 deposit bottles to pay for one of those.
So, first up, you probably want to print two copies of this template. There’s a few multiple items and some detail stuff that will be much easier to do if you have extra copies available.
I began with the rear hull. It’s a big piece that goes together easy. Don’t forget to add a few tabs to aid with the construction so edges can join solidly. Keep in mind you’ll also need tabs so this can eventually be joined to the main hull.
Helpful Hint - whenever you’re adding tabs to a template, always join smaller to larger. If you’ve got a small section attaching to a big one, put the tab on the small one. That way the tab can be as big as you need to fit “inside” the larger section. Bigger tab = more secure tab. If you go large to small, you’ll have to use tiny tabs which just won’t be able to hold as well.
I used clothespins to fasten each joint and gave it plenty of time to dry. This thing’s so big, each joint is going to hold a lot of weight (relatively speaking). So I used large tabs, didn’t skimp on the glue, and clamped every join for at least twenty minutes.
Next I moved on to the two track guards. These go together very nice, but there’s a few details and decisions you need to take care of before assembly. You could probably do some of them once the guards are assembled, but it’ll be a pain.
Helpful Hint - You’ll notice on the track guard templates instructions to score the plasticard. This is to give a bit of detail and the illusion of armored plates. The best way to do this is with an old ball-point pen. Just bear down hard and trace the lines--the metal pen tip will leave a faint groove in the cardstock, and that’s all you want. I’d even take it a bit further and extend some of those score lines, perhaps even add one (like I did here with the red lines). Once these grooves get rivets on either side of them, it’ll really add to the illusion of a constructed vehicle.
This Is Important - Because I’m using card, not plastic, it’s very important to note the difference between actual score lines (for folding) and lines where you just want to leave a groove. Make sure you’ve got them clear. If not, you could end up with either ugly folds or a weakened panel. All the red lines I added are just for grooves.
It’s also important at this point to decide if you’re going for the full-armored option, or if you’re going to go for double sponsons on each side. You could also model one of those side hatches open, if you wanted. There’s a couple possibilites here, but you want to make the choice before you start assembling things.
Put a few tabs on the front and back top and use some clothespins to clamp them together. Make an effort to get these angles as square as possible. When we start building treads in a week or two, it’ll make things much easier.
Now, use your second set of templates to cut out some of the detail pieces. The armor plates, the mounting for the sponson, and the double-layered hatch--or whatever combination of them you’re going to be using (you may need a extra set of the templates depending on what you’re doing). If you did decide to model the hatch open, you’ve got a chance here to do some clever stuff with the pieces. For the record, I’m not sure the two angled front pieces are symmetrical/ interchangeable, so make sure you actually cut them out individually.
Also, the template makes a distinction here between different thicknesses of card for different details. If you care, I cut all my details out of the same material (frozen pizza boxes, to be exact) and I think it all came out fine.
The real challenge is lining things up. In order to glue down the details, you have to peel off the paper template that marks where all the detail goes. In the past I used two sides to mirror each other, then using one for the guide of the other. This time around I was very careful when I peeled off the templates and was able to put down some marks for myself to work off.
Once those were done I cut out the bottom hull section with tabs on it. You’ll want to add tabs to the front and back, to connect to the front and upper hull, respectively. You also want tabs on the sides so the assembled hull can eventually connect to the track guards. Don’t be scared to go big on these tabs. They’ll be carrying a lot of weight once this behemoth’s all together. I also marked them clearly (Vaughn has them down as C and D in his diagrams).
So, not a bad start for the first day back. Doesn’t look like much, but that’s almost Next time I’m going to work on the hull and maybe get to the turret. Hopefully I can get this whole thing built in just a few weeks.
Many thanks for your patience and ongoing support.