Howdy folks, Faultie here. Just wanted to take a minute to drop in and let you all see my most recent mad science project. Fret not, dear readers, for this time the mad science is not used for fell purposes.
As you may know, TempleCon is upon us, and Lost Hemisphere will be there in force…as a force for good! In addition to playing games, partying, drinking, nattering, and sleeping (just a bit), Gdaybloke and Co. will be selling off raffle tickets for their annual charity fundraiser, this year benefiting the Hope Alzheimer’s Center.
Well, if there’s to be a raffle, there need to be prizes! Last year, I donated a gorgeous Ghordson Earthbreaker to the raffle, painted by the fantastically talented Chris Oelhafen. As a lazy person, I have decided to just donate the same thing again. However, to go just a little bit further on the effort-road, I’ve decided to modify it just a bit.
When I first saw the Ghordson Earthbreaker model, I had an idea. Its six legs, squat, elongated profile, and the guns all over gave me the feel of a walking fortress. I pondered and pondered, and started imagining it with crewmen all over, a strange hybrid of a WWII-era B-17 and a grot megatank.
The problem, of course, is that I don’t play rhulfolk. I have no need for a landship. On the other hand, I wanted to make one! LH’s charity raffle gives me just the opportunity to create this monstrosity, and (hopefully) have someone walk away happily with it.
STEP 1: HAVE ALL THE THINGS
The Earthbreaker has a lot of parts. Each of these parts is made up of a bunch of other parts. Those other parts have sub-parts. It’s a lot of bits, I mean. And each bit needs to be cleaned, sanded, mold-lines cleaned up, etc., before even getting to the assembly stage. This took several hours (I don’t recall how many). I thought I took a picture, but I didn’t. Anyway, it took forever.
STEP 2: PUT THE THINGS TOGETHER
After everything was cleaned, I started looking at the model to figure out exactly how to change it. My original idea was to build a fighting platform on top of the model for the torpedo cannons, bore out the inside and have High Shields manning the machineguns in the chest, and have a pilot driving it from the head-spot. I chatted with Gdaybloke for a bit, and we settled on the idea that actually the big guns should be housed in the hull, and their crew could be internally held. The blaster cannons would be turned into manned turrets, maybe on a fighting platform on the back or shoulders?
With this in mind, I started assembling. And my first step in assembling was to start disassembling! If the landship were going to have a crew, they’d need somewhere to sit. So I began cutting. My poor dremel, though, and its cutting blades were not up to the challenge. So it turned into drilling and routing time. Drill, route, drill, route, and so on. Fortunately, my model had an air pocket in the center of the hull, so I was about to route down to it in a vague shape, then pull out a huge chunk of resin. A bit of sanding later, and I was ready to go! A similar process near the front produced the pilot’s compartment.
This is the second colossal I’ve assembled, and I learned my lesson: PIN IT ALL. Is it 2 different parts? Pin them. Is it 1 part that connects to anything else? Pin it. So it look flimsy? Pin it!!! To be fair, as an almost entirely resin model, the Earthbreaker is surprisingly light. Still, I was going to be putting a lot of weight on the legs and shoulders, so various gauges of brass rod were used in all the legs, feet, and shoulders.
STEP 3: PLASTICARD AND GUNS
You’ll notice there there is some plasticard up top, and some guns in the chest. I wanted more than just thin walls holding the upper and lower hull together, as I imagine there are smoke stacks, pipes, tubes, etc. that have to run between the two. Therefore, I wanted the primary connections to be like gigantic pipes, reinforced to each side, and with some actual substance to them. Hollow plasticard tubing and I-beam were used, and then a 1mm brass rod was run down the middle to give the roof something solid to connect with. I also used the doors for the chest-guns to bulk out the rear portion of the wall, which looked quite well. The torpedo cannon blast shields were used to fill in some gaps along the bottom of the hull where the cannons were supposed to sit. Some extraneous 40k ork claws provided added gribblies as well.
The main cannons are simply Horgenhold Artillery Corps mortars turned sideways, with one of the side pieces removed. I wanted them to look like they could traverse, and to reinforce this actually have them pointing slightly different directions. I had intended to give them long barrels, so I sawed off the muzzles…then I decided I didn’t want to do that and glued the muzzles back on. This is why you should plan things a lot better than I did. Some ladder rungs were added in the rear right of the hull, because why not? I also closed the right claw, so there would be some contrast.
For the upper hull, I assembled it pretty normally, but added the Hammerfall UA standard to the upper right for added gribbliness. I also added the extra HAC mortar pieces to the underside so that it looked like it was more connected. Finally, 3 holes were drilled into the upper hull so that the 1mm rod would slot in. I’m still not sure if I will glue it on after painting, or leave it removable for transport.
At this point, the landship started looking like it could actually move around and do stuff.
The finishing touch was to add to add the glass cockpit from a WWII model kit. I went with a model of a P-38 Lightning because it had lots of glass pieces…and because it was on clearance at the hobby store. It took some cutting, greenstuffing, and fitting, but it looks good I think. I did not secure it in place, as I still must paint the model, and painting over a glass windscreen defeats the purpose.
STEP 4: GUN TURRETS
The most fiddly part of the project was creating the gun turrets to represent the blaster cannons. My inspiration came from WWII-era naval AA guns, like this or this. After perusing the PP store, I settled on a pair of Maxwell Finn belt-fed sluggers with drum-magazines, and Ghordson Avalancher shoulder pieces for the gun-shields. I wanted to use Hammerfall High Shields for the gunners, as they have a good look about them, and the Tommy-hat style helmets fit well with my vision.
This is where I had another happy accident.
The Earthbreaker I got had two right shoulder armor pieces. I filed my report, and started waiting. In the meantime, I kept staring at the model and its missing piece, and slowly it dawned on me that the flat-top of the shoulder was actually very useful for my design. In fact, the guns would not be mounted behind the shoulder but on it! So I changed how the guns were mounted, built little platforms for them to stand on, and there we go! I cut out some Relic Knights Black Diamond 40mm bases to create a mounting, bored through that, and set the guns to the shoulders.
The last step was to fit the top of the colossal, which (as shown above) needed to have its shoulder-indentations bored-out so that the gunners would have a place to stand. This took a lot of routing, again, but worked swell! At long last, I was (mostly) done! I had to pull some parts off I had attached previously, thanks to the new gunnery positions, but I think it worked out well.
STEP 5: PAINTING
My next article will cover the painting of this beasty. The influence will obviously be WWII bombers, with their olive drab, squadron markings, and (of course!), a sassy Rhulic pinup girl on the front hull!
This glorious piece was made by my good friend Brian Parker, and it really turned out way better than I could have imagined. I think Gdaybloke likes it too, as you might be able to tell by the new Lost Hemisphere Swag Bag offerings! Proceeds of sales of Steamin’ Sally merchandise contribute to Lost Hemisphere’s charity fundraising efforts.
So…that’s it! What are your thoughts?!