If you followed the Thunderhawk assembly blog entries last October, then you’ll know I love using power tools. Today I got to play with some power tools and start construction of my Thunderhawk’s base. Read on for a step by step account.
In the first picture above you can see I’ve chosen a plywood base. I used wood glue to stick two pieces of 5mm thick ply together. Make sure you stick them together so the grains run in different directions. I left this to dry for a week. I measured up the base, drew on some guidelines to find the centre and drew a circle. Using my trusty old jigsaw I carefully cut the circle out. I angled the blade so I would get a tapered base edge.
With the base cut out, I drilled a pilot hole in the centre. I don’t have a work bench, so I used my garden bench. Close enough! I just made sure I drilled between the slats.
I recently purchased a 20mm forstner bit. It is fantastic! Using the pilot hole as a guide I bore out a 20mm wide hole. You can get larger bits, so they’re perfect for display bases for your round slotta bases.
I made sure I didn’t drill all the way through, so when I glued the acrylic rod to the base it would have a large contact area to adhere to. It’s not a snug fit so I pushed modelling putty into the hole first with some superglue. This creates a strong snug join which gives me a degree of flexibility allowing me to make sure the rod is perfectly straight and upright.
I’ve mentioned previously about a desert base with a toy dinosaur skeleton sticking out of the sand, but I’ve had a change of heart and instead have decided on secret underground chaos base. Chequer plate steel, entry hatch, ventilation and sewage pipes.
I landscaped the base with Fimo clay which air dries. I used this stuff on my hierophant bases and discovered that when it cures, it shrinks. My bases suffered and started to curl upwards or the clay would lift off of the wood. As mentioned earlier, I’ve glued 2 sheets of plywood together with the grains running in different directions, I’m confident this base will remain perfectly flat. However, I won’t add sand to this base until it has cured properly in over a weeks time. If the clay lifts off the wood I’ll patch up with putty before sanding and painting. You’ll notice I masking taped the flying stand before covering the base in Fimo clay. Once painted I’ll peel this off.
I bought my acrylic rod from here. I had a brainwave on how to mount my hawk to the flying stand and it involved hacksawing the top of the pole at roughly 45º.
Using my 20mm forstner bit I bore a hole into base of the thunder hawk. Then I drilled 2 holes either side of the hull to glue a metal rod. I used a coat hanger for the rod. With the top of the flying stand being angled I can alter the ships position just by rotating the base. It can be perfectly level, or banking slightly left or right or it can can nose diving! I’m really pleased with my idea. Because it’s not fixed I can take the ship off the stand and place it on the battlefield.
Here’s a quick snap of the bluebird flying nice and level. It’s really sturdy and rigid and doesn’t wobble at all. I may shorten the height of this flying stand. It’s pretty high. It’s twice the height of my Storm Raven.
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