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.