Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gasbags for everyone!

Back in the saddle again. Tonight's installment will be showing you guys how I have been going about my zeppelin air bags to help keep my guys in the air.
The frames for my bags were made of foam core. (illustration board sheets with a thin layer of foam in between. My test frame was made with three side ribs. Although it let me figure out how I would make the side supports, It was in no way going to be enough to handle any "ham handed idiots" that thought my airships can be handled by anyone. A big pet peeve of mine is people that just pick up stuff that is clearly not theirs, thinking it's perfectly acceptable, because "i was only going to look at it" That's crap and you should have asked then understand that the owner could say no and you need to be ok with that.
OK, back to the ribs. The green and white outlines are the ones I went with. they each have more ribs to give the bag better support for tips and falls and people who want to pick up the zep by the bag. I then put pieces of sheet metal along the top and bottom seams. This would allow me to put magnets on the hull of my gondola and help keep my bags in place but would allow for ease of storage. I also put metal in the top seam so I can make observation decks. (the thought of stuffing a ratling in the upper deck with only a telescope is too good to pass up!)
After I got the rigging built I began the process of paper mache' around the ribs. I put on two layers of brown paper to give a good firm skin around my bags. I took my time and made sure I put the paper on with a few wrinkles as possible and to make sure each application was completely dry before moving on to the next layer.
When all of the paper was dry I went to our local Big Lots variety store and bought two pairs of microfiber tights. they were $1 a set and they were exactly what I was looking for to give the exterior of my air bags a canvas appearance. All that would need to happen next was for me to tighten them up and coat the surface with thinned down glue. to tighten everything up and to affix it to the paper hull. I got two clean coats of thinned down white glue and I set them out to dry. Now if i am lucky I will come up with the right color for the bags so they look good and realistic. I have run into a problem though. The metal I attached to the frame is now under three layers of paper and nylon. The magnets are not holding as well as I would like so I have to impregnate magnets into the bag to help it hold better. Or I may have to place another metal plate on the bottom of the bag to give it a better grip. I will have to try a few options and see what falls out... well, until next time. - Bossman

Friday, April 9, 2010

Onward! ever onward...

I have been a little remiss in getting new picts up here. It's my fault, totally. With the store newsletter I have been spending all of my night time on getting it up to speed. Now that I have it more under control I can show you some of what I have been working on when I have a little down time during my "day work" hours. I included a shot of the completed Multiple Launch Rocket Pods for my Valkyries. I will have every weapon system developed for my "zeps" that would be available to a Valkyrie or Vendetta gunship. Once again, it means doing everything in threes, but I think it is coming together nicely so the additional time to make so many multiples is worth it. (I hope you do as well!)
Ok, on to the more interesting part of the recent work. The Sky Captains and their First Gunners. With my zeppelins, I almost want to have the equivalent of a pulp 20's style of aerial combat. This means dashing commanders and stout men at arms to stand by their sides. (sorry no nosy reporters or spunky kids, they were spaced). So the Sky Captains are well dressed and well groomed in the fashion of a naval officer. They have the ultimate say of their vessel and take that quite to heart. Therefore, they were created with their dress uniforms. The Cadian torso with medals was the perfect choice to help with this. I have considered adding epaulets to the uniforms as well, but I haven't decided that issue to its completion yet. I am a big fan of W.I.P. anything is possible to change and I have scrapped stuff entirely if I didn't think it would work even 95% of the way done.
Each of the officers is showing their different styles of leadership and although they each have a smart cap and their medals on their chest, they each turned out great with their individual style and I even took to adding facial hair to each of them to show the mark of a true Vostroyan is a well groomed mustache or beard.
The First Gunners have a style of uniform that will be similar to my Veteran squads when I finally get to them. (I have begun collecting pieces for them, but not ready to make them yet!) The gunners are styled like a martial military academy look. highly polished breastplate, helm, and a well groomed look would make them excellent examples of potentially making it to the rank of Sky Captain themselves.
Each pair of crew were modeled to be in the act of fighting the good fight. each Captain and First Gunner are working together to spot targets, engage the enemy, or make sure the men get back to base.
All 'n all I am very happy with the way my crew have come out, but due to the nature of building multiples I can't seal the deal on any of them (ie. paint them) until I have all of the parts for all of them done. Talk about motivation to get them done! The look and feel of my Zeppelins has been coming along great and I can not wait to put up more for you all to see! Thank you for viewing. - Rich

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back to the Zeppelin finally...

Well I am finally back to the zeppelins. After much searching online for bits and pieces for my upcoming kits I had managed to score a mess of parts I will need for momre of my future conversions. Will all of the hubbub at the store over the last two weeks, surfing the web and dreaming at night over a coldly lit computer screen was all I have been able to do. The store newsletter has taken off well and we are up to 250 subscribers and we may be redoing the website for the store in the very near future. Ah, projects to keep my up at night...
Ok, back to the project at hand, recently I finally managed to get the 6 weapons pylons and all of the multiple launch rocket pods (6 as well) assembled and magnetized. Now I have been working on the prototype for the engines and getting ready to make the three sets of them. This project would probably be a lot easier if it was not for the fact I was making three of them at the same time!
Well now that I am done with the prototypes for the engines, I am on to making the air captains and the first gunners for my air ships now. I will be getting pictures of them when they are more than torsos and legs...
On a quick note I managed to secure 6 ork truck chassis. These things are great and Dave Taylor's site has a great kit he set up for making trucks for his IG. I like the truck idea, but I feel his vehicles are a little sturdier than I want mine to look... I am not sure though I may default to them later. but boy are those chassis nice. They don't look orky at all and can be used for a mess of options. well, until later! - Bossman