I’ve already got the bottom hull section cut out, so the next step is the front hull. It’s the one labeled DWG-BB-205. This is a tricky piece because the front of the Baneblade has that “shelf” next to the Demolisher cannon where the heavy bolter turret sits. Some of these lines need to be scored on the opposite side so they bend the other way. The lines in red are the ones that need to fold “backwards.”
Helpful Hint - Be careful when you’re planning out tabs. Because of this multi-directional folding, some of the tabs will have to bend in different directions, too. Don’t just bend them by brute force--take the time to score them properly. If you don’t it’s going to lead to messy edges.
When I started clipping this together, I focused on the shelf area. Make sure you get these edges good and tight. This area is going to be one of the main focus points of the model. If you’ve got gaps or uneven edges, everyone who looks at the model is going to see them. It’s like those dreams of going to school in your underwear where you tell yourself no one will notice if you just act naturally--but you know it’s not really going to work. This is a very visible section. Take your time with this part and make sure it’s nice and clean.
Once this is dry (or earlier if you’ve got enough clothespins), you can attach the front hull to the bottom hull. Hopefully you cut out a nice big tab at the D line (marked as such on the template). Clip it in place and give it lots of time to dry.
The next piece is also a bit complex. It’s the main turret base on page four of this template (DWG-BB-204). There’s a lot of angles here, so you need to be precise. First though...
This Is Important - There is a simple mistake on the template This piece is inside-out. If you build it as-is, you’re going to end up with the mirror of the piece you need. This is one of the times that Vaughn’s simpler style pays off, because it’s very easy to reverse. You can put it up to a window and re-trace it or just flip over the cut-out piece and use the template to connect the points and angles on the opposite side. Heck, if you’re better than I am with Photoshop (not too hard) you could just mirror the template page when you print it out. Make sure you do this before assembling the turret base or you’re just going to get angry.
I made sure this piece had big tabs around the edge to attach to the top. Because of all the angles where the sides slope in, I decided to start on either side and make sure those were solid before sealing the whole thing up. Again, this is that front-top center-of-attention area, so take your time and make it look nice.
Helpful Hint - It was a pain trying to get clothespins into those small angled spaces. Then I realized I didn’t need to. Push the sides into position and then use the clothespins on the tabs you added. They’ll keep the whole thing pulled together, plus you don’t have the headache of having to put them right on a glued spot.
Once you’ve got those sides clipped, hang on before doing anything else. Again, do not finish assembling the turret base. Before we go any further in building the hull, there’s another big decision to make. This one’s going to decide how much work you do this week.
As Mr. Vaughn has designed his template, there’s no mechanism to allow the main turret to rotate. It’s just another construct at the top of the hull. I’m going to toss out a few ideas and show you how to do the one I picked.
First (and easiest) is don’t worry about it. Games Workshop has often said in their rules and FAQs that if it looks like a piece should be able to rotate, it should be treated as such. Unless the people you game with are complete powergamers determined to tweak and nitpick every rule so they can win, having a solid turret shouldn’t be a problem. Just finish assembling the base, glue the turret in place, and call it good.
Second (and just as easy) is not to attach the turret at all. Add a bit of weight into it so it sits well on the assembled base and turn it (or remove it) at your leisure. This could lead to some arguments about measurement, however, since your turret won’t have a fixed “home” position. It’s large enough that a shift of an inch or so might not even be noticeable. And we all know how much one inch can change the game.
Third is magnets. Yep, magnets. All the cool kids are using them. Put one in the turret, one in the base, and now you’ve got the best of both worlds. If you go this route, triple check the polarity of the magnets before you glue them in place.
Last is the basic post-in-the-socket method that most Games Workshop models work off themselves. I’m going to build a simple axis post for the main turret to turn on. In fact, as I get to them, I’ll be doing this for all the turrets. What this means for now is that I need to put a socket in the turret base. To help with placement, I want to jump ahead and assemble the turret. You’ll see why in a moment
The turret (DWG-BB-209) looks a bit intimidating. This is because the exploded view makes it hard to pin down what’s what, and it is slightly counter-intuitive. The center of the template is the rear of the turret section. The slightly-curved front where the Baneblade cannon will mount is marked in red.
I started pulling this piece together at the back and working forward. I glued the four corners of the rear section first and let them sit. Then the two “side flaps” that come down from the top of the template. And then, again, we’re going to pause before going any further.
So, to figure out where to place the socket, I used two methods. First was (heaven forbid) researching the facts. On the older model Baneblade, the socket rested off-center in the turret base (right about where the large red circle sits in the diagram). Also, we can tell from the pictures in the template (DWG-BB-212) that the turret should sit mostly in front of the A edge of the base. So placing the mostly-constructed turret lets me see where its point of rotation should be. With all this in mind, I’m going to cut my socket right about where the X is.
I say “about” because you can be a bit loose here. For now, just cut a hole about an inch across, centered around that X. It can even be a little messy (I got it started using my hole punch). Then I looked through and cut another hole out the bottom of the base. Again, I’m not worried about being too precise. It’ll all make sense in a little while when we mount the turret in two weeks.
Once you’ve got that done, you want to attach the turret base to the hull assembly. This is the best time to do this and make sure the hull as a whole is nice and solid. Line up the A and B edges on each piece and clamp it. Let this dry for a good long while.
While it’s drying, cut some strips of cardstock about 11/16” wide. Fold each of these two or three times to be your consummate V’s inside the turret base. They’ll keep it nice and solid when dreadnaughts, carnifexes, and demon princes try to pound on it. Keep them clear of the socket, too.
I also cut out the armor plates for the turret base. Then I numbered each of them and the corresponding spot on the hull where they go, just so I could keep them straight. Note that there isn’t an armor plate for the backside, where tab C is going to attach. That side is going to get covered by the rear hull section when the tank gets assembled in a little bit.
Now glue edge C in place. This one will be a little tricky because the place you want to put pressure is in the back of the turret base. It’s going to be nigh-impossible to clamp this, so you’re just going to have to hold it until it dries. Just make sure you do this as Fringe or a Deep Space Nine rerun is coming on or something and you’ll be fine.
Once C is dry, seal up the turret base. Start at the back and work your way forward. As I’ve said before, take your time. This is going to be a high-attention area, so you want it to look good. Don’t forget you can reach in through those two socket holes to press tabs down if you need to (as long as your Consummate V’s aren’t in the way).
Helpful Hint - At this point you can use the tread guards if you need to set the hull assembly down. They’re the right height and width to hold everything up (naturally), so use them if you must.
That’s it for this week, but as you can see we’ve got something that is recognizably Baneblade-ish now. Next week, I’m going to tackle the most intimidating part of any tank. The part that grinds you into the muck.
By the way, there’s a new anthology of the month up, too. It’s Timelines from Northern Frights Publishing, a baker’s dozen of time travel stories that all tie back to H.G. Wells The Time Machine. Some are very direct links to that classic, others are much more tenuous. There is one damn fine, creepy story from J.W. Schnarr and John Sunseri (who Brian Keene recently named one of his favorite authors of 2010). And, yeah, I’ve got one in there, too.