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> Heavy Assault Walker scratchbuild, 99.9% Completed!
Mangozac
post Jan 19 2008, 02:18 PM
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Hi guys,

OK this is my first project blog, implemented mainly so that I can ask questions as to the best way to go about things during the process. This is my first major scratchbuilding project so it's sure to have a lot of questions!

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So after my first game of Apocalypse on Monday night I'm really excited to play more. The problem is that my Tau army isn't exactly "Apocalyptic" - even if I field every model I can only ring up just under 2000 pts (Monday's game had both Jas' and my own armies combined). I wanted to add something suitably legendary, not just more battlesuits or hammerheads (I am painting my last battlesuit right now and am really sick of them!).

At first I thought that the solution would be a Tigershark AX-10. It's a whole 750 points of super cool looking Tau heavy flyer. But then I got to see the rules for it and was quite disappointed. I don't want this thread to turn into a "talk Zac into buying a Tigershark" thread so lets just say that I'm off the whole idea.

Whilst the Apocalypse game was great fun, there was one distinct thing that I thought was missing. Titans. Sure, we had a couple of baneplades and plenty of tanks on the table, but there was no single awe-inspiring unit to attract all that rediculous amount of firepower wink.gif

Now, being a member of ATT, I've read through my fair share of titan debates and came up with the following solution: this won't be a Tau titan. It will be a Superheavy Assault Walker. Basically taking the broadside and scaling it up 100 times.

So can I ask that the fluff Nazis please refrain from making Tau titan legitimacy comments?

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OK first things first. The main idea was to make something that would counts-as a Warhound. So a large walker with 3 structure points, 2 void shields and a set of super carnage weapons. I was inspired by some concept art found here: http://www.penemenn.com/bbs/view.php?id=co...=desc&no=35 and then set about sketching some ideas. I'll skip all of the initial crappy sketches (I'm not that great of an illustrator) and jump straight to this:

IPB Image

At this stage I had begun thinking about weapons and have pretty much decided on the following fitout:
- Dual rail cannon (counts as double-barrelled turbo laser destructor) armata_PDT_36.gif
- Plasma missile launcher (counts as plasma blastbun rapid fire only)

I know that arming with two double barrel turbo lasers is best but I didn't want to be too cheesy. Plus I thought that the sketches with 2 sets of railguns looks a bit excessive. I think a single turret will look better than the two I had originally planned.

Oh and on the topic of void shields: Although the Tau do have a decent understanding of energy shielding (shield drones for example), they also know enough about the Warp for their starships to at least initiate a Warp dive. Based on this I would expect that they could replicate the Imperial void shield technology for their own use (they use a similar concept as a forward deflector shield on their starships). I suppose they would just name them differently. Any suggestions? Ether deflectors?

I'm very happy with my leg design and think it fits in with the aesthetic well enough. The chassis will need a lot more refinement though... armata_PDT_07.gif

I started drawing up the template for the legs in the CAD program I use for drawing PCBs at work. The idea is to do a plasticard framework in a similar style to this guy http://www.advancedtautactica.com/viewtopi...asc&start=0

Here is a picture of a cardboard prototype. Just for sizing. Dammit I forgot to photograph with a model! Oh well it's actually about 130mm long and 60mm diamter. I think the size is good and the ping pong balls will work well for joints. Just have to find out what glue to use on them.

IPB Image

Once the plasticard frame is done I'll fill all the gaps with auto filler or something and then smooth it all up. The idea is to just make the one leg and then cast the rest. Jim (DMG) has agrees to give me a hand when it comes to the resin casting. If the casts will allow I might even make enough for a second walker to *ahem* exchange for something of value. wink.gif

Progress will probably be pretty slow as I have a very full time job during the week.

So here is round one of my questions:
1. What kind of filler can I use? I was gonna get some auto body filler but refrained. They are some big volumes areas I will have to fill so it needs to be pretty economic. I was thinking maybe plaster (like used on plasterboard, I can't remember the name) but am worried it wont stick to the plasticard or might crack easily. Really it wants to be something I can machine to make holes and stuff in it.

2. Would anyone in my gaming circle have a problem with me fielding this (probably should have asked this question first!). armata_PDT_04.gif

I need to get a new knife and a circle cutter before I can do too much work on the actual leg. Will order one on Monday. A bunch of materials like plasticard too....

Wow this has to be my longest post ever. Comments and suggestions welcome!

Zac

This post has been edited by Blind Pig: Dec 30 2010, 03:41 PM


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Gonzoangel
post Jan 19 2008, 04:17 PM
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Why not fill the bigger volume area's with blue high density foam, sand it back and finish off with body filler.
Interesting project, looks great.


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tenabrae
post Jan 19 2008, 04:48 PM
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Have you thought about running it as a "counts as" brass scorpion ?



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Fingolfin
post Jan 19 2008, 04:49 PM
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Bring it on!! Id love to see it Zac so no problems from me, and I'm sure Jas would say the same thing.

Get to it mate!


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Mangozac
post Jan 19 2008, 04:58 PM
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QUOTE(Gonzoangel @ Jan 19 2008, 04:17 PM) *

Why not fill the bigger volume area's with blue high density foam, sand it back and finish off with body filler.
Interesting project, looks great.

Good idea, but I don't have any of that either sad.gif
After some further research I think polyfilla seems to be the go. It doesn't really matter how heavy it ends up cause it will only be a master model for resin casting.

QUOTE(tenabrae @ Jan 19 2008, 04:48 PM) *

Have you thought about running it as a "counts as" brass scorpion ?

No but a brass scorpion is way too close combat oriented for a Tau unit. Plus I wanted something BIGGER!

QUOTE(Fingolfin @ Jan 19 2008, 04:49 PM) *

Bring it on!! Id love to see it Zac so no problems from me, and I'm sure Jas would say the same thing.

Get to it mate!

Yeah I figured so wink.gif
Will get all of the leg templates made this week and hopefully put something together by next weekend. In the meantime I might start work on some super massive railguns to get me inspired armata_PDT_12.gif

Or I could finish painting my last Hammerhead.....


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mark_logue
post Jan 19 2008, 08:14 PM
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Nice idea! I love it really fits in with the sort of robotec, manga type imagery that the Tau seem to have been derived from.


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Pippin
post Jan 19 2008, 08:57 PM
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Fantastic! I certainly have no problems with you fielding it. It'd look great blasting us all hiding in Jim's fortress.

Can't wait to see how this turns out.
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Uber_Kroot
post Jan 20 2008, 09:16 AM
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Sounds like an awesome project! I don't think it's anti-fluff, after all the tau are always trying out something new...

You didn't think about a massive burst cannon (vulcan mega-bolter) instead of the plasma?


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PullsyJr
post Jan 20 2008, 09:24 AM
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QUOTE(mark_logue @ Jan 19 2008, 08:14 PM) *

Nice idea! I love it really fits in with the sort of robotec, manga type imagery that the Tau seem to have been derived from.


WRONG! GW copies none of their concepts from anything... It's all original ideas. armata_PDT_05.gif


Back on topic:
Looks like a good idea, and it should be an impressive model when it's done. Perhaps to stay closer to the Tau theme, you could use it more as a low level hoverer, where the legs act more as anti-grav generators (whatever) than anything else?

Also, Vulcan Mega-Bolter. Oooooohhhh yeah!
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Mangozac
post Jan 21 2008, 07:26 AM
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Thanks for the support everyone. I did a bit more concept sketching over the weekend trying to come up with a chassis design that I liked. It's getting there slowly but I'm still not 100% happy. It's getting a bit Ghost in the Shell think tank looking now - don't know if that is good or bad.

I did find some cool concept art here: http://www.classic-space.com/plugins/autog...php?show=Robots

QUOTE(Uber_Kroot @ Jan 20 2008, 09:16 AM) *

You didn't think about a massive burst cannon (vulcan mega-bolter) instead of the plasma?

I've also been rethinking the second weapon system and am leaning that way - dual jumbo burst cannons on the front a la fuchikoma style with same stats as the Vulcan mega bolter.


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DentedHead
post Jan 21 2008, 08:16 AM
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How about "Plasti-Bond" for the filler (otherwise known as "Builders Bog")? It's like auto filler, but cheaper, nice and hard, can be drilled, sanded, carved, etc. I used it to skim coat an R/C boat to get a fibreglass finish. Worked a treat.

Sweet idea though.


Dent.


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YAUJTA
post Jan 21 2008, 12:32 PM
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That's an awesome looking concept good luck with it. Kind of looks like the scarab from halo 2


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Zippy Wonderdog
post Jan 21 2008, 01:27 PM
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I think the direction you are going is fine, you want a quad walker but don't stray too far from the basic Tau design ethic and you should do fine.
I'd suggest salvaging a Hammerhead, take the basic body, leave most of the front intact but behind that bulk up the body to accomodate the front legs and extend the rear to include a largish turret.
Give it a big gun because that is the reason why it isn't a skimmer, a titan killer discharging would smash a normal Hammerhead chassy into the ground.
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Mangozac
post Jan 21 2008, 04:20 PM
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QUOTE(DentedHead @ Jan 21 2008, 08:16 AM) *

How about "Plasti-Bond" for the filler (otherwise known as "Builders Bog")?

Thanks for the tip Dent. I did a quick bit of research and it seems a little on the noxious side so I've ordered some stuff called Magic Sculpt. I'll simply fill all of the big gaps with expanding foam and then use the magic sculpt over the top.

QUOTE(YAUJTA @ Jan 21 2008, 12:32 PM) *

That's an awesome looking concept good luck with it. Kind of looks like the scarab from halo 2

Somebody on ATT mentioned the scarab. I googled it and don't like it at all so I'm trying to keep away from that! wink.gif

QUOTE(Zippy Wonderdog @ Jan 21 2008, 01:27 PM) *

I think the direction you are going is fine, you want a quad walker but don't stray too far from the basic Tau
Give it a big gun because that is the reason why it isn't a skimmer, a titan killer discharging would smash a normal Hammerhead chassy into the ground.

Thanks man yeah I am taking extra care to keep with the design aesthetic of a walker, but not too much like Tau. And don't worry, the railguns on top are gonna be enormous - the weedy ones in my sketches are way off wink.gif
I contemplated hacking a HH but don't think that would be good either. It would looked too much like a hacked HH armata_PDT_07.gif

I found some really good inspiration art today so will have another go at drawing tonite.

This post has been edited by Blind Pig: Dec 30 2010, 03:44 PM


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DentedHead
post Jan 22 2008, 09:06 PM
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QUOTE(Mangozac @ Jan 21 2008, 05:20 PM) *

Thanks for the tip Dent. I did a quick bit of research and it seems a little on the noxious side so I've ordered some stuff called Magic Sculpt.
<<Snip Snip>>



Well, yeah, if you spread it on your toast! armata_PDT_05.gif
Doesn't surprise me actually, I think most two part epoxy type putties are toxic. Glad you found a soloution though, cant wait to see how this pans out biggrin.gif


Dent.


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Centy
post Jan 22 2008, 10:57 PM
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you could do the bulk fill with casting plaster or plaster of paris as both of these are cheap and dry fast then just skim it on ther surface with auto body spot filler and when dry sand to your hearts content.
the plaster is a bit brittle but that is why it is underneath the spot filler is made to fill tiny holes in body so the paint is mirror smooth but takes a while to dry.


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Mangozac
post Jan 23 2008, 06:27 AM
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QUOTE(DentedHead @ Jan 22 2008, 09:06 PM) *

Doesn't surprise me actually, I think most two part epoxy type putties are toxic. Glad you found a soloution though, cant wait to see how this pans out biggrin.gif

True. Although putties designed for modelling/sculpting seem to be much less so, thus why I'm going with the Magic Sculpt.

Thanks for the suggestion Centy but as you've said plaster tends to crack. Plus I want the option of being able to machine it a little.

I got some great concept sketches done last night and will post them up later today.

Edit: here's the concept sketches
Yeah I know the scan is pretty crappy. I just used the work scanner and didn't have time to work out how to set it up properly. The darker lines represent shapes and liens that I'm happy with, lighter lines are just rough extensions of the good bits to see their intereactions without having to redraw heaps of stuff. You get the gist anyways wink.gif

IPB Image

As you can see, the legs have had a radical redesign after studying some Roberto Cirillo concept art. The body is reaching a point where I am starting to be happy with it. The reactor/heatsinks on the rear and head/heavy burst cannons on the front still need a lot of work.

I'm in fact so happy with the leg design that I shall start on the CAD work drawing up the frame tonight. If anybody else has any drawing talent please feel free to expand on my chassis design and post it so that I can steal your ideas biggrin.gif

Zac

This post has been edited by Blind Pig: Dec 30 2010, 03:46 PM


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Mangozac
post Jan 25 2008, 07:24 AM
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Update time:

My circle cutter and epoxy putty arrived yesterday so I got straight to work last night cutting out some plasticard. I ended up drawing the leg templates in Adobe Illustrator (boy was that a steep learning curve!) and printing them out. I then traced the printouts onto some 1mm plasticard using a pin and lead pencil.

Cutting out was the standard score and snap deal. The circle cutter ended up sucking really bad but after a few runs and broken blades I got enough of a score to snap off (teach me for buying a $5 circle cutter intended for cutting paper). Lucky I will be able to clean up all of the edges of the finished leg and fill them with the epoxy putty wink.gif

IPB Image

Not a real lot to show. The rings I am making up with space the circular areas apart. Those three pieces go together to make one leg. Hoping to get that all done tomorrow. Then do the puttying on Sunday. The putty will be used to make all of the curved shapes.

Just for the hell of it I took a pic of my current workspace too:
IPB Image

Note the inspirational concept art on the wall and iPod headphones - both a must when modelling wink.gif


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jas
post Jan 25 2008, 12:02 PM
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Hey Zac, love the idea. Looking forward to seeing this done. Small suggestion, wouldn't it be easier to order a scale model of a tachikoma from say hobbyliink japan? Bastardize some bits off the model?
I love scratch builds but it might help your sanity a bit?


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Mangozac
post Jan 26 2008, 03:58 PM
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QUOTE(jas @ Jan 25 2008, 12:02 PM) *
Small suggestion, wouldn't it be easier to order a scale model of a tachikoma from say hobbyliink japan?

Not a bad idea man. I just don't think that a Tachikoma is gonna suit. I mean, if I could find a kit for the think tank from the end of the original GitS movie I would probably definitely go with it. The Tachikoma (and fuchikoma for that matter) chassis' are a bit too bulbous.
And as for my sanity, I find that the more projects I have on the go the more sane I am as once one gets a bit too hard (or too boring) I can just move onto the next for a little while wink.gif


Okay well continuing with the leg construction. I made up the main frame last night and the two cylindrical bits this morning. They were then glued together to complete the frame:
IPB Image

IPB Image

Once that was all together I decided to have a go with the Magic Sculpt. It's actually pretty nice to use - a lot softer than and no where near as sticky as greenstuff. I did the area shown in the pic and then realised that this is a really uneconomical way to do things. The magic sculpt is $30 for half a kiloso it's a waste to be using it to fill in such large areas. So I'm going to go and buy some expanding foam and squirt it into all the the areas. Then I can just use the magic sculpt over the top to finish off.
IPB Image

Whilst typing this I just realised a big uh-oh. I've totally forgotten about building the middle leg joint. It'll be another disc that sits inside this assembly and rotates on the same axis as the circular pieces. The upper leg will extend from this piece. Bugger!

I'll have to pull one side off this and remove the inner circular supports (and part of the centre frame). I'd better draw the upper leg components as well so that I don't forget anything.



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