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.
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.
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.