I am Happy to Report that…

… Demi-Company A of the Dark Angels 5th Battle Company is now complete. They are built to specs, painted, insignia applied, and based to standard. 
This has literally been in the works for more than a decade, and is a personal milestone achievement. 

Demi-Company B is assembled and mostly primed, but it would take me some time to finish the paintwork. I’ll probably finish up some Scouts first, to enable me to field a Lion’s Blade formation if I ever play.

2016 was a moderately bad year for me, and work and personal reasons made me blog here very little. Still, hobby stuff was done, enough to keep me sane-ish. Hopefully I can balance things in 2017 to work more on the site.

Guns. We need more guns.

Yeah, finally got around to building the guns. Relatively quick build as I already have a mental image of how it should come together.
Still need to actually glue the guns in but that I can do at my leisure now that the bulk is done. Besides, I’m thinking if I want the barrels to be retractable or even swappable… Looks to be good as a rocket pod. Hmmm…

An up close look:
The guns themselves are detachable from the turntable and mount. This means I can swap them into static mounts, which will be useful for other projects.

Still need to add detailing plus cover ups, but the major components are built. Finally!

The Lack of Updates has ended! Well…

I’m still alive. Mostly, I think.

Mechwarrior Online is really sucking my life up. Not a good sign I presume… Still, like a friend would say, pew pew is fun. 🙂

o2 April will have a patch, to remove the sales and 2XP weekend effect, but the lack of patch information thus far is a bit worrisome. Hopefully, the missiles rework is done and the LRMs and SRMs can go back to being a wee bit more useful.

Also looking forward to seeing the April Creative Director’s update. Should be due today or tomorrow.

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I got to admit, this Storm Talon to Dark Talon conversion is a long and bloody painful journey. I’ve learnt many new things and new ways to build old things, but more than anything else it’s a bloody frustrating trip.

The cheek support took ages to finalize, and the gun mounts — not the guns themselves — took forever to crystallize into reality. For example:
This was Mount Mk. I, from another earlier post. Turns out the ammo feed was simply too big and was unsuitable. So I broke the parts down and rebuild for Mk. II.
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Practical Problems

So, I’m now working on the weapon mounts for the Dark Talon. Specifically, the Hurricane bolter mounts, the intent being to mount them on a turntable with at least a 90 degrees elevation.

So that wasn’t too bad…
I’m actually quite pleased with the mounts, due to their simple assembly and clean lines. The ammo feed was put together quite quickly — I wonder how many who read this would remember a similar discussion in… happier… times — and actually wasn’t too much of a hassle.

I did make a mistake and that was to go with 180 degrees elevation. That on its own is trivial to achieve but the problem lay with the ammo feed; if you try to go 180 degrees, the ammo feed will sort of block itself. Try it sometimes, it’s just one of those things that doesn’t make sense to do.

So I’m happy with the ammo feed and the elevation, so I can move on to work on the turntable right? Well, let’s do a parts fit:
It could fit, but the structure needed to hide the ammo feed is now so large that it overwhelms the miniature. The conventional feed system just takes up too much space. So, back to the drawing board,

The best way I can think of to solve the oversized structure problem is to rotate the feed through 90 degrees to lay the feed flat against the axle of the elevating arm. That should compact the amount of space needed down to something much more manageable. But that’s also going to be quite interesting to try to pull off…

Back to Work: Dark Talon

Last few weeks have been hectic with CNY and work. Not much time for hobby, plus MWO is doing unhealthy things to my sleep cycle.

So it is with some relief hat this got so what back on track:
Work on the cheek mounts is progressing, just trying them out to see the effect. A more conventional layout:
So now what’s left is to detail up and work on the Hurricane Bolters. That’s for another post.

Bit of a Rant

A bit of a different post today. And long, you have been warned.

The intricacies of making a futuristic weapon look workable has always intrigued me. The thinking behind the form and function of successful military hardware is usually very sharp and to the point; if it didn’t have a purpose, a design point would quickly become redundant and likely disappear in the next iteration. Good military hardware must function, must function well in difficult environments (including stupid users), and must be built cheaply in both initial cost and ongoing maintenance cost.
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Reengineering a Nephilim

One of the things I definitely did not like about the Nephilim is the way the front cockpit portion connects to the rear fuselage. The connecting points was basically three thin plastic parts out of box, plus a hood over the clear acrylic canopy. It’s just a stupid way to glue a heavy tail to a small head. This is quite unlike the normal Talon kit, which has long wraparound parts that glues well.

So.. I reengineered the connecting part. Took a lot of swearing before I worked out a good scheme that both allows me to take the fuselage apart to continue work on the flying stand connector, etc. and good contact for gluing shut later. Took enough time, the blasted thing…

Mix Bag of Talon, Tank and Death From Above

Well odd bag today…

First, I had been working on my Dark Angels army. Was hoping to ambush my LGS owner with these previously, but the pace had slowed.. So might as well put this up.
Two drop pods, and no, I have no intentions to do the interiors.. Prefer them this way. Fairly quick job but I’m having wear problems and their size means it’s a bit boring to do them. I’ve not done much mods on these, just magnetized the gun and replaced the fans with more proper thrusters:
Kotobukiya thrusters. Took a while to find the right thrusters as there isn’t much clearance to fit big thrusters.

Still need to work on another 4 of these (!). I’m not exactly looking forward to this…

Moving on… Work on the Talon progressed. Both hurricane bolters are up but not fully assembled:
Hmm. Looks a bit over the top. Still, side view:
Still need to add the stasis cannon and bomb.. Detailing, structure mounts.. Hmm tight package.

Finally, a recent addition to my Dust stuff:
I quite like the look and feel of this; might pick up another. Working out an army that utilizes this, hopefully can see it in action!