Baneblade Bonus Post

Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to post until next week but things are going smoothly on the book polish and I was kind of proud of this bit, so...

The back of the Baneblade is flat. No detail at all. I wanted to come up with something simple that would still reflect the idea of a huge engine and keep close to the actual design. Jeff Vaughn’s template is based off the old original ForgeWorld design (the chunkier version), but the Apocalypse book has an excellent rear shot of the new plastic model.

So, I decided to mix a bit. Working left to right...

First, I took four 1/4” discs and doubled them, then added two 1/8” discs on top of that. I attatched these to the left-had side. These serve as the two big lights on the Baneblade which I believe are the gasoline and check engine lights. Or maybe they’re turn signals and Baneblades can only turn to the left.


Then I cut a piece of card 3 1/4” wide by 1 1/2” tall. This is going to be the smokestack array. I marked it on both sides in alternating 1/4” and 1/2” widths. When I was done I had a 1/4” on each end and four 1/2” sections.

Now, this next bit’s a bit tricky to explain. The outside lines on both ends are going to be scored on side A (the brown, industrial side I usually use as the outside of all projects). All of the inside lines are going to be counter-scored on the opposite side. Yep, I just made up a term. Counter-scored. There’ll be a quiz in a few weeks.

Now, I don’t want to do big creases quite yet. First, the end two sections can be cut on the corners. They’re going to be tabs. Next, I went to each of the inside 1/4” sections and made a 45 degree notch, each one angled up and inward. This angle only went across the 1/4” section. Then I connected the tops with a 1 1/4” line. Make sense? This is going to (hopefully) give me that staggered height for the Baneblade engine’s smokestacks.

Next, I took those four wider sections and bent them around my hobby knife. Then I tightened the bend on a round pencil, and finally a paintbrush. So what you’ve got should look something like this diagram, if viewed from the top.

This is Important – make sure you’re scoring and bending eveything in the right direction. This piece flips back and forth a few times. It’s pretty simple, but why make it twice if you don’t have to...

I cut another piece of card 2” x 1 1/2” and assembled the smokestacks on that. Because of all the curves, I didn’t want to be wrestling with placement on the back of the actual model. Plus the backing will just end up as more detail. I added some 1/8” strips and rivets for detail. Then I glued this piece into place right next to the turn signals, so it’s mostly on the left side of the engine block.

Once I had that I cut a piece 1/2” x 1 1/4” and then cut that into ten pieces that were 1/2” by 1/8” each. These got doubled up into five rungs which went right up the right side of the engine. After all, this thing’s huge. How’s a Techpriest supposed to get up top to do maintenance checks?

Helpful Hint—Whenever you want to make a ladder, or even the illusion of a ladder, remember that the space between the rungs should be wider than the rungs themselves. Just picture what a real ladder looks like. These are 1/8” wide, so I put 1/4” between them. Easy way to do it—just mark off 3/8” spaces and put the rung on top of each line.

I also added a large rectangle on top of the engine compartment, a smaller one on top of that. They aren’t supposed to represent anything specific. It’s all just a bit more layers and detail. I may add in two circles as vents on the side.

And, yes, I’m slowly working my way through the five hundred or so rivets this model’s going to get. But they do make it look very, very good.

Next time—details, some more details, and paint.

Oh, and (shameless plug)--new novel added to the sidebar.


The Baneblade, Pt VII

It seems like the Paperhammer site has been hijacked. If I reference any files, I'll link back to the two BWC sites until it's back up.

And has anyone else noticed Blogger seems to have made some really crappy decisions regarding pictures? You can't get full size images anymore. That kind of sucks for a site like this. No more detailed pictures...


Okay, first off, I realized I never explained how I connected the lascannon turrets to the sponsons. It’s so simple it slipped my mind.

I cut a strip of card 5” long and about 1/4” wide. In a perfect world, if you’ve got the skill and the eye and the tools, you’re looking for it to be about 3/16” wide. I settled for measuring 1/4” and then trimming the edge down by the narrowest amount I could. This isn’t going to be seen, so it wasn’t a big worry if it wasn’t perfect. Easiest test—I should be able to run it through the 1/4” hole I punched in the top of the sponson.

I folded this into a W where the outside legs were 1/2” longer than the two inside ones. Then that extra 1/2” was folded perpendicular to the legs. A few spots of glue and some clothespins turned the W into a T with a thick leg.

I glued the top of the T to the underside of the small turret, positioning it to keep it near center. I also cut some small triangles to sit on either side of the top. These would keep the turret from being wobbly. I also clipped the end into more of a point so the turret could go in and out of the hole easily—these may get blown off in battle, after all. And that’s that. Small turrets that turn, entirely made of cardstock.

Next up was the main turret. The turret itself was done, I just needed a post for it to sit on as a pivot-point. I cut a piece of card 3 3/8” wide by 4” high. Then I made a series of scores on it 3/8” apart, parallel to the short side, so when it’s done I had a piece of card with nine sections measuring 3/8” wide by 4” long. Just like I’ve done before, yes? The last one is going to be the gluing-tab, but I held off on cutting the corners.

Now, I drew a line across the card an inch from the top. Then I went through each section and drew a line from corner to corner so I had a row of triangles. Once that was done I flipped the card over and scored that line. This was also when I trimmed the corners on the tab—it’s going to be an inch shorter so it’s beneath the triangles.

This is Important – Make sure you score this line on the opposite side. If it’s on the same side as the others, these triangles will fold in not out. Rather than a flower, you’ll end up with something that looks like a malformed... something. Maybe a crayon. It won’t work, regardless. So make sure you score the other side.

I also added a cross-piece so this pivot/ shaft would have lots to grab with when I glue it to the bottom of the turret. Then I positioned it and glued the whole thing in place. Just like that—a turning turret.

I was kind of stunned at this point to realize there was nothing left to build. I’d made everything on the template, plus I’d custom-built treads and weapons, and also designed ways for most of the weapons to move. But that’s all done. All that’s left to do is to start assembling these different large sections.

So, first thing is sponsons onto track guards. The guards have a nice big square on them for just this, and the sponson should fit on them almost perfectly. Now, in my opinion, the most important place to line up is along the top. The top of the sponson should be flush with the top of the track guard so they form a single plane.

Helpful Hint – The easy way to make these two line up is to flip them over and just press it flat against the tabletop. The track guard’s big enough that I could reach inside and press against the sponson so I got a good solid seal. I pressed it together for about five minutes, and checked a couple times to make sure it hadn’t slid one way or the other.

This is Important – Don’t go crazy with the glue for this bit. You can be liberal on the sides, but be a bit more stingy on the top and bottom. Too much glue will spill out and possibly get on the weapons mount—gluing it to the inside of the sponson the tread guard. Just take your time with this and keep an eye on it through the sponson’s opening.

For the record, I was not as careful and now the left heavy bolter is glued in position. It’s a sad day for the Imperium...

Once this was dry, I needed to attach the treads and the tread guards. This is going to be a little tricky. It you remember back when I scratch-built the treads, I put a spacer along the top. Well, now I need to build that up a bit more that.

I ended up with a spacer six layers thick on the outside of the tread and five layers deep on the inside. This includes the original double-thick one at the top. I just added smaller pieces to keep it level and then moved to the 1 1/2” x 5 1/2” pieces that made up most of it.

Helpful Hint – The moisture of the glue warps cardboard, and lots of glue will warp it even more. I assembled the big spacers three and four layers thick, then stuck them between wax paper and stacked a few books on them. It took a little longer, but it made them straight and solid.

I clamped the spacers in place and let them dry for a bit. Then it was time to put them in the tread guards. It’s pretty easy at this point. I just put glue on the spacers, positioned the guards, and hold tight for about ten minutes each. Remember when you’re placing these that they’re not going to sink all the way in. DWG-BB-210, the illustration I based the treads off, is a good one for getting the depth right on the treads. I found it worked pretty well if the bottom edge of the guard was just at the center hubs of the wheels. I also kept checking to make sure the whole thing was level and even to the treads.

Helpful Hint—Once you’ve got one side done, use it to help position the other side. You want both of these to be even and level so you don’t end up with a lopsided Baneblade.

For both sides, I gave them an hour or so to dry completely. This is the join that’s going to be holding up most of the weight of the tank, so I needed it to be solid. I didn’t want to build this thing and then have to scrap it a month later when a bond broke.

Last bit... attaching the hull to the track guards.

I started on the left side. That platform above the Demolisher cannon should be level with the top of the tread guards, so it gives me a good position to start from. I also know the front edge of the hull shouldn’t extend beyond the tread guards, and that the back sections of the turret base should sit mostly behind the sponsons. So I’ve got all this to help guide my placement.

I also used this chance to put a few tall, consummate Vs inside the hull. They’re 2 1/2” tall, which lets them sit beneath the turret base and right behind the Demolisher. All in all, they should make the model a lot sturdier.

It took a bit of work to get everything in place. Just starting with the one side it was tough to get the top and bottom to line up while also putting pressure down on the turret base so it would bond with the top of the tread guard. In the end, it took a bit of wrestling and a lot of patience.

The right side, though, may be the worst part of the whole project. Since it’s the last real join, it involves a lot of tweaking and wrestling, but it’s also very hard to get at al the tabs now. It did make me wonder if it might be better to the the tread guards to the hull and then put the treads in the guards. I think this might end up with the same issue, though—trying to balance parts that have become too awkward and you can’t reach.

At this point the Baneblade is too large for me to even use my big clamps on it (it’s got a footprint of about 7 1/4” x 10 1/2”). I ended up using various objects of different weights and sizes to hold the whole thing together and in place. Again, lot of patience, a fair bit of wrestling. It took about ten minutes to set up and then I walked away from it for half an hour.

And next up is the mind-numbing part. So mind-numbing and time-consuming I’m only going to start it here. You’ll come back next time and find it all done.

The rivets.

You may have noticed rivets in some of the earlier pictures. Those were a mistake, let me assure you. Don’t put rivets on until the whole thing is assembled because you’ll just end up razoring them off so things can sit flush.

Not that I’d ever be in that position...

I absolutely love the 1/16th hole punch for this. Honestly, if I had to name the best investment I made in this card-crafting hobby, it would be the 1/16th hole punch. You can look at past models and see a huge leap in appearances once I had it. I’ve put a few on the Baneblade, but for something this big and rivety, I plan on spending about an hour making a big pile of rivets and then sitting down with Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Thor. I might even get into The Incredible Hulk (enough to see Tim Roth get punted across a college campus).

Helpful Hint—Rivets add so much to these Paperhammer models, but there’s one thing worth keeping in mind. You’re making a piece that’s not much wider than it is thick, so the cardboard tends to “flake” a bit. It’s not unusual for a rivet to peel apart into two or three sections of paper, only one of which is glued to the model. It happens I’d say it happens to about one out of five. Make extra rivets, use a little extra white glue so it soaks through, and be patient.

So...not bad so far, eh? And keep in mind, this is 100% cardstock, all harvested from cereal boxes and frozen pizzas. At this point, the Baneblade has effectively cost two dollars for white glue. If you added all the time together, I’ve probably spent about thirty to thirty-five hours on it to reach this point. Talking to a few folks who’ve built the resin one and the plastic one, this really isn’t an outlandish amount of time to make one from scratch.

Now, a bit of bad news. Next week is going to be delayed. As some of you may have guessed, I got a bit caught up but now I’m pretty much posting as I finish things. I actually have a book manuscript due at the end of the month, so next week is kind of a time crunch for me. So here’s the deal.

Don’t give up on me. I absolutely promise the last post for the Baneblade will be up during the first week of October. Plus, as a bonus, no matter when that post goes up—Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday—there will be another post on that Friday, the 7th. It might even mean two posts in one day. I just want you all to see I’m back in business here.

So...next time, a bunch of final details and paint.


The Baneblade, Pt VI

Hmmmmm... Paperhammer.com seems to have vanished. I’ll try to link things back to the BWC archives for now, if links are needed.

Let’s start connecting all these different components we’ve built.

First, before we do anything else, the main turret needs to be completed. You may notice a while back I’d left it half-assembled. I freely admit this was about 40% planning and maybe 60% dumb luck.

I traced the end of the Baneblade cannon onto the curved section of the turret and cut out that circle with a sharp knife. I tried to make this tight on the sides so it would be a snug fit for that 3/4” anchor on the of the cannon. I tested this fit once but didn’t glue it yet.

Helpful Hint—You want this hole to be a bit more of an oval than a circle. Extend it up and down a bit into the other panels so it’s capsule-shaped. If you don’t, the cannon’s going to stick straight out—and when the turret’s assembled “straight out” from this piece could mean pointing up at a 45 degree angle. Cool for Basilisks, but not for Baneblades.

Before I sealed up the turret, I added that scanner on the side. I wanted to be able to get a finger inside so I could put some pressure on it when it was glued in place. In all fairness, this element isn’t on the newer model, so I don’t think anyone would fault you if you didn’t put it on.

This Is Important - There’s another simple mistake on the template. The same one as before, really. On page 9 of this template (DWG-BB-209) is the main turret scanner. 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 when 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 (which isn’t hard) you could just mirror the template page when you print it out.

I glued the scanner to the left side of the turret. I held it in place for about ten minutes to make sure it was solid.

Then I cut a strip of card 1” wide and made a few Vs out of it. This made the whole turret a bit more stable. I also positioned them so they wouldn’t interfere with the cannon’s anchor section when it was in place. Once those were inside, I buttoned the turret up tight.

There’s also a gun shield for the turret (check out page DWG-BB-212 on the templates). This one’s a bit more pronounced than it is on the Forge World Baneblade, and it’s almost non-existent on the plastic model. So I’d say this piece is your call. I’ve decided not to use it, but I’ll explain how I’d do it if any of you like the look of it.

Now, this isn’t on the template, but it’s easy to do. Just cut two pieces of card 2 1/4” x 1 1/4” and put a slight curve in them, lengthwise. You can do this by wrapping them around a big marker or a can of spray paint. Trace the end of the cannon in the center of each card, then draw lines straight down. Here’s a simple diagram (not to scale) to explain what I’m talking about. Once you’ve got two of these cut, glue them together and trim off any rough edges once it was dry. You could also add two 1/8” strips on each side to give it more bulk and a more “armored” look.

Helpful Hint - I mentioned this before, but that was quite a while ago so it’s worth bringing up again. If you’re really detail crazy, you probably want some aquillas on these weapons, maybe on the gunshield, or just on the hull of the tank itself. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use some of the many 40K fonts floating around out there. They’ve got three or four versions of the aquilla, even an Inquisitorial one. There are rulers in Word so you can figure out just how big they are and print out ten or twelve of them on heavy paper (actual cardstock will make them look too clunky, unless you’re making really big ones).

With all this done, I finished assembling the main turret. The curved piece where I cut the hole has a bit of play because of the curve. Once it was all together I had to work that hole a little more for the cannon to sit right.

Helpful Hint – So, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that this is all done after-the fact. Well, remember that gunshield I didn’t see the point of? Turns out one thing it’d be great for is hiding the front of the turret if it turns out a bit messy. Since the shield goes on completely independent and without any curves or angles, it looks a lot cleaner. Don’t be too surprised if in the next week or two, during final assembly, my main turret suddenly has a gunshield on it.

This was also a good time to do the small turrets. I made sure to add a few small tabs when I cut them out—these parts will get a lot of use if I’m using the Baneblade correctly. The heavy bolter one is no problem. Glue it together, glue on the bolters, done. The lascannon takes a tiny bit more work.

While the whole thing’s still flat, I cut a small slit in the front face of the turret from top to bottom (it’s an equal hexagon, so whichever face you pick to be the front works). It needs to be narrow, so I just ran the knife two or three times over the same spot until I’d “trimmed” a slit into the cardboard, if that makes sense. I put some glue on it and used my knife to make sure the glue went into the slot. Then I took my lascannons, which you may remember have two long, flat prongs behind them. The prongs slide in, the barrel and ribbing buts up against the turret face, and done.

Next, I took the big assembly I made a while back that combined the bottom hull, front hull, and turret base. I glued the rear hull to that. It’s a bit awkward at first because the rear hull comes up onto the turret base. Once I realized that wasn’t a mistake on my part, this went a lot easier. I got placement and glued the bottom tab first. This gave me one solid join that I could clamp down. Once I had that I moved up and held everything as long as it took. I even used one of my large clamps (very gently) once it was all dry enough to stay in position.

Next I attached the Demolisher cannon. There’s two reasons to do this at this point. One, once the treads are on, I won’t be able to put pressure on the back, so this is my one chance to get it on good and solid.

Two—and almost more important-- is that between the cannon and the two mount pieces, this locks up an angle on the front hull. Up until now the hull has been kind of a floppy collection of angles. With this and the rear hull, I’ve made two sections very solid and started forcing the hull as a whole into the correct shape.

I cut a small strip and worked it into the back of the barrel so there was a bit more for the glue to grab, just like I did with the Defilers. The cannon gets centered in that vertical section. The brackets go on either side.

Helpful Hint—I ended up using one of my clamps, a ruler, my camera, some cardboard, and a few other things to make sure the hull stayed in the right position. Don’t count on white glue holding this thing in place until it dries. Get the Demolisher brackets in the right place at the right angle and then make sure they stay there.

While all that was drying, I decided to do another clever bit. Mr. Vaughn’s given us some very nice templates for the Baneblade’s sponsons (DWG-BB-208) and even a hint at how you can make them turn. I’m going to do more than hint—I’m going to show you how to make cardboard sponsons that pivot.

First, I assembled the sponsons as shown. I added some large tabs on this to make sure they’d glue together solid and also that they had a large surface to grab with when I attatched them to the tread guards. I clamped them with clothespins and set them aside so they’ll be very solid

Helpful Hint – I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but clothespins make great clamps for Paperhammer. The best ones to get are the wooden ones with the metal spring in the middle. You can work the wood out of these and flip them around in the framework of the spring. Now the rounded, rope-grabbing parts are the grip you squeeze and the tapered, flat ends are the clamping bit. I’ve got a half dozen of these and I use them all the time.

While the sponsons were drying, I cut two strips 1 3/8” high by 4” long, then two more about 1 3/8” by about 3 1/2” long. The length on this second set’s a bit more flexible, as you’ll see in a moment. I worked a curve into all four pieces by working them around a vitamin jar and then around my hobby knife. Then I took the 4” lengths and glued them into a tube 1 1/4” across. There’s a circle this size right on top of the sponson templates. I ended up with a bit of a seam, but that’s not going to matter. These got clamped and left to dry for a few minutes while I tightened the curve on the shorter pieces.

Once the tubes were dry, I wrapped the shorter pieces around them going the other way. The seam of each tube was at the center mark of the shorter piece. I used a lot of glue on this, and wiped it all clean as it leaked out. I clamped this double-thick tube at the ends and left it to dry. This now gives me a weapon mount with a smooth front, and the gap will be hidden inside the sponson (in theory, forever). I also made a mark on them 1” up—this’ll be the top edge of the heavy bolters.

Give the two mounts a minute to dry. While you do, draw two corner-to-corner lines on top of the sponsons. They don't cross center (damn Pythagorean geometry!), but if you put a hole just above the cross with the 1/4" punch you'll be pretty close. Make sure you know which sponson goes where so you’re not punching a hole in the bottom.

Helpful Hint – I’ve brought them up a few times before but, seriously, if you plan on doing a lot with Paperhammer go grab a set of hole punches. You can pick up a basic 1/4” for a buck at Target, and you can get a 1/8” and a 1/16” at a craft store for about ten bucks. I use the 1/16” all the time for rivets. I know from a purist point of view that’s not the right scale for rivets, but... seriously, how many things in 40K have a very skewed scale. Since I got the 1/16” punch I’ve yet to build something and think “wow... those rivets just look way too big.”

And that’s my pointless sales pitch.

I lined up the heavy bolters and put them on with a drop of glue. Then I cut two small pieces of card to use on either side. These helped the bolters blend into the weapons mount and also made them a lot more stable. Once this little assembly was mostly dry, I flipped it over and put an extra drop of glue in the gaps from below.

So... how do we make all this rotate?

Okay, I cut a strip of card 1 1/8” wide and about 4” long. Without scoring it, I folded this into a W, then flattened it out into an upside down T. Put a few drops of glue in that upper fold and clamp it, just to keep it flat. With me so far?

I trimmed the upper fold (I’m going to call it the spindle from here on in) down on the edges just a bit so it’s more tapered at the top. Then I fit the spindle inside the sponson so—if the sponson was in place—it’s running front to back. This needs to get trimmed to fit a bit. The idea is to have the spindle halfway through the sponson. Once I got it trimmed and placed, I glued it down to the floor of the sponson. The sweet spot for me seemed to put just on the back edge of the hole I punched in the top of the sponson.

Now, here’s where we get clever... Once the spindle was dry, I was able to fold it down so it was leaning out of the back. I slipped the weapons mount over the lowered spindle and carefully pushed it into the sponson. As per my plan (which was pure genius in its simplicity) the spindle straightened up inside the mount. There was a bit of resistance (you’ll want to keep a hobby knife handy to push and pry in a few tight spots) and then it slid into place, ready to go.

This Is Important—If you’re trying to do this yourself, please do several dry runs. As I’ve mentioned here before—learn from my mistakes. One thing I learned is this assembly is tough to undo without having to repeat a lot of work. Make sure everything fits, sits right, and is right-side-up in the right place before you start gluing.

So.. main chunk of hull together. Sponsons assembled. Turret assembled.

Next week, it all comes together.


The Baneblade, Pt V

Are you people still here? Wow. Glad I spruced up the place...

Again, I want to apologize for the long delay between posts. If I was making a living off this, I’d be here much more often. Plus, the sheer amount of stuff I’m scratch-building in this one makes it a bit tiring—not quite what I want to relax with at the end of the night.

One last bit of shameless plugging, though...

My third novel, Ex-Patriots, is now out from Permuted Press in both paper and ebook formats, available pretty much anywhere fine books are sold. Mysterious Galaxy, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Bord... well, okay, not Borders. But I got to see Ex-Heroes there a few times, at least. Please feel free to pick up a copy so I make money and have more free time to work on toy soldiers and the like.

And one last plug for Atomic Warlords, a fun, more low-key 40K site run by my friend Marc about or gaming group. Check it out and you can see the first test run of the Doomsday Device I built last year. Almost everyone died, so I guess it was a success...

Told you it was shameless.

Anyway, where were we?

Right. Most of the main hull components are done. Time for weapons, yes?

Now, some of you probably have a pile of spare heavy weapons in your personal bitz bins. Imperial Guard heavy weapon sets give you piles of lascannons, autocannons, and heavy bolters. So do most of the tank models. Heck, if you bought one of the new Leman Russ models, there’s a chance you’ve got a Demolisher cannon sitting around. If you want to use some of those for this, please do.

Helpful Hint – Don’t forget, if you want to do plastic to cardboard, you need to use superglue. You also need to use more than you usually would, because some of it’s going to sink into the cardboard.

For this project, however, I’m going to try to keep this as Paperhammer as possible. The next several paragraphs will walk through a few easy steps for making cardstock weapons. Feel free to skip past a lot of these instructions if they don’t apply to you.

First up are the heavy bolters. There are three sets of two (twin-linked, naturally) across the Baneblade. All these are going to be are small boxes, measuring 3/4” long x 1/4” wide x 3/8” high. A bit chunky, but more like the ones mounted on a Leman Russ than the streamlined ones carried by heavy weapons teams or lone Space Marines... I measured out a card strip that was 3 7/8” long—this is four sides, two fronts, a 1/8” space, and a bit left over for two small tabs at either end. So it should be marked off 3/4”-1/4”-3/4”-1/8”-3/4”-1/4”-3/4”.

This is Important -- The 1/8” measurement is a space between the two bolters. It needs to be scored on the back side of the piece so it will fold correctly. This is small, so if you score it the wrong way and try to force it, it’ll really stand out.

Don’t mind the “butterflies” on there. Those are tabs to help assemble them. I also cut out a card rectangle for each heavy bolter that measured 3/8” by 5/8” to serve as a back. This gave me a stable base for the weapon, and also made the whole assembly more solid.

Once these are assembled and dry, I made a bunch of 1/8” disks with my hole punch. These got tripled up and placed on each heavy bolter as the barrel. If they’re just above the center line of that front face, they look pretty good. I also cut a 1/8” strip, doubled it up, and ran it along the top of each bolter. If you’re feeling especially gutsy, you could put a small triangle at the front edge as the “iron sights” of the heavy bolter. I wasn’t feeling up to that quite yet, though. I’m still fresh back in the game, after all.

For the big cannons, I decided to use the same design I used to make the Defiler battle cannon and the engine for the Hellblade a while back. It was quite a while, though, so let me go over that method again.

Cut a piece of card 2 1/4” wide by 7” long. Make a series of scores on it 1/4” apart, parallel to the short side, so when it’s done the piece of card has nine sections measuring 1/4” wide by 7” long.

Now, once I did this, I cut the piece in two, so I had two scored lengths. One will be 5 1/2”, the other will be 1 1/2” long. These will be the Baneblade cannon (former) and the demolisher cannon (latter). Yeah, it seems a little long for a demolisher, and it is a bit squat on the new plastic model. If you look at the older Forge World versions, though, the demolisher’s got some length to it. I feel this measurement splits the difference well, but if you’d rather more one way or the other, just adjust the above measurements accordingly.

Now, the last section on each piece is going to be a tab, so I cut the corners down. I rolled each piece, glued the tab, and clamped it so I had an octagonal cylinder 3/4” across. Take your time with the Baneblade cannon because it’s going to be one of those focus of attention points I keep mentioning

For the demolisher, I cut three strips that were three or four inches long. One was 5/8” wide and the other two were both 1/4” wide. I wrapped them tight around my hobby knife (you could also use a large marker or round pencil or something like that) so they got a good curve to them. Now wrap them around your cylinder and cut where appropriate. Glue one strip around the base of each cannon. For reference, the seam should be on the underside of your barrel, if your cannon looks better from one angle than another.

Cut one strip to fit just inside the muzzle, too. That’ll give the sense of a thick, heavy barrel and help add to the illusion that it’s rounded, not octagonal. If you decide to do this, make sure the seam where the strip comes together is towards the top of the barrel. No one’s going to get a good look at the inside-top of a demolisher cannon.

I’m going to do the same thing on the Baneblade cannon, but on a slightly larger scale. You’re going to need some more strips. One should be 1 1/2” wide, one should be 1” wide, three 1/4” wide, and one that’s 1/2” wide. Like the ones above, put a good curve in them by wrapping them around your hobby knife. Take your time with the wider pieces—you want curves, not creases. It might work better to start curving them on something larger (like a spray can, for example) and then tighten that curve on the hobby knife.

The first strip I set down was the big one. This is going to be one of the “sleeves” on the Baneblade cannon (I’m sure someone here with more military knowledge knows the correct term). As above, if your cannon has a better side, the seam should be on the underside of your barrel.

This is Important – When you put down this first strip, you want it to be 3/4” from the end of the barrel. This should give you 3 1/4” on the other side of the strip. That extra 3/4 is going to be part of the anchor to hold the barrel in place.

The 1” strip goes at the base of the sleeve. When it’s in place, it gave me a layered effect on the barrel. I took my time with this because I now had two seams lining up right over each other. If this gets rushed, the drying glue will just pull the whole thing apart. So I just held it in place for about twenty minutes. After that I used a clothespin to hold both sides for another half hour or so.

The 1/2” strip went at the other end and became the muzzle. Again, seam on the bottom. Again, small curved piece inside (seam up).

I used the 1/4” strips for detail. They went on either end of the 1” piece, and right at the end of the barrel. They’ll all get rivets later on.

Helpful Hint - Okay, so there’s, what, a dozen variants on the Baneblade out there, right? If you want to build one of those, try this out. Download one of the nicer templates for a Warhound Titan that has all the weapons options in it (Vaughn has a gorgeous one that’s also available on Paperhammer.com). It might take a bit of tweaking, but now you’ve got the templates for a plasma annihilator, a Vulcan mega-bolter, or whatever other fun thing your preferred big tank will need.

Last but not least, we need lascannons. One for each of the side sponsons. This took a bit of thought. You can find a few ideas for paper lascannons on different tank models, but I decided to go from scratch.

There are, in my mind, three distinct elements that make a lascannon stand out from, say, an autocannon. One is the strut or “fin” which runs under the barrel. Two is the ribbing along the back side of the barrel. Three is the curved muzzle or flash suppressor. Although, in retrospect, would you bother with a flash suppressor on something that shoots an incandescent beam of amplified light...?

Anyway, I figure if I can achieve those three things, I’ll have a pretty passable lascannon.

We’re going to start with something similar to the big cannons above. Cut a piece card 1 1/2” by 3/4” wide. Make a series of scores on it 1/8” apart, so when it’s done your piece of card has six sections measuring 1/4” wide by 1 1/2” long. The scores need to be deep enough to crease this without a lot of effort. It’s easy to wreck stuff when you’re dealing with thin sections of card like this.

This is Important Unlike when I’ve made cylinders in the past (and just above this), both sides of this piece are going to be tabs. You’ll see why in a minute. For now just be clear, this piece should be four sections and a tab on each end.

This is ALSO Important – The cylinder piece may look a bit long in some of the pictures. It is. Those are photos of my test run, where I made a sloppy design mistake.

We’re going to call this Piece A and set it aside for a moment. Now pay attention. This next bit’s a little tricky to explain. Read through first so it’s clear where I’m going with this.

I cut a second piece of card 2” x 3/4”, and drew the 1/8” lines on it. Along sections two and five, measure in 1/4”, then 1/8”, then 1”, and then 1/8” again. Sections two and five should each be divided into five sections. Then I cut out the three larger sections. I’ve blacked them out in the picture so it’s clear.

Got it? Now I scored it down the center (along the 3/8” line) and folded it in half. Everything should line up. If not, use a sharp knife and trim as needed. Once it’s clean, I glued it so this was a solid, double-thick piece of card with the fold on the bottom.

When this was dry, I cut along the short “leg” at an angle. This gives you the under-hanging fin. Which, you may remember, is my first point of distinctive lascannon features.

Put a thin line of glue along the top edge of B. Take Piece A and wrap it around the top rail Piece B. The ends should so the center fold of A rests on the top edge you just glued. Tuck the two tabs up inside the tube you’re forming so one’s on each side. Because I’m doing this on such a small scale, the fold itself is going to add to the curve of this tube, so it ends up closer to octagonal than diamond-shaped. As you adjust to make the tube as round as possible, the A tube is going to hang a little below the bottom of the top rail (damn you, Pythagoras!!!). Don’t worry, it’ll just make the gap between the barrel and the fin smaller.

Cut three 1/8” strips (or 1/16” if you can do it consistently) and wrap them around the base of the barrel. They worked out to just a hair under 3/4” long on mine, but if you try it yourself do a test piece. There’s probably a bit of play depending on how the barrel goes together. Keep them about 1/16” apart and as even as possible. This is the ribbing—point two for distinctive lascannon features.

Last but not least, I cut a piece of card 3/4” wide x 3/8” high. I marked it along the centerline (3/8” in) and then made a mark on each side just under 2/8” high. Then I freehanded a very slight curve starting at that mark, hitting the top edge of the card at the centerline, and then arcing back down to the almost-2/8” mark on the other side. I trimmed that off, curved it, and there’s the flash suppressor for my lascannon—third point.

Helpful Hint - This lascannon barrel is really thin, even thinner than a round pencil. I ended up curling the strips and the muzzle piece around the handle of one of my files to get a tight enough curve to them. A GW paintbrush would probably work if you don’t have a small file set.

So... Baneblade cannon. Demolisher cannon. Heavy bolters. Lascannons. Next week—and I promise on my dear mother’s life it will be next week—we’re going to start putting this big boy together.