Thursday, 15 July 2010

Starstreak Hydra prep'd

Sometimes, I wonder whether it's really worth picking up prebuilt models and then converting and repainting them. The chimera chassis for this hydra project was a nightmare, why do people spend good money on these kits and then put so little effort into putting them together. This one in particular had a whole host of problems. First off, whoever put it together decided to have the tracks running in different directions, so I had to remove one of the tracks which involved sweat and a lot of swearing. I also filed the top of the chassis flat as I wanted a look similar to my ambulance rather than the standard chimera.

This involved filling a few of the gun slits with greenstuff and then filing them flat after a few of them turned into gaping holes after the lasguns were cut off.

I also had to file the backdoor flat after it was put on the wrong way round. C'mon, how do you put the door on the wrong way round? Whatever the original creator was smoking when he did this, I want some!

I also put the missile assembly together, it's tilting a bit high at the moment but that because it was the only way I could get it to sit flat. The right mount is slightly warped but I planned to fix that when it got mounted on the chassis.

I did a quick mockup of what it was going to be like when it's mounted, overall I was pretty pleased at this point although the missiles definitely need pointing further down.

Once I finished filing down the chassis, I was time to start building it back up again. This meant adding a new track, a filed down cupola, vent, searchlight and some basic stowage. I also used my dremmel to cut out a hole mount for the missile assembly.

After that, it was time to add all the rivets I'd filed off whilst prep'ing the chassis. This was done with a scalpel, some plastic rod and some more profanity.

Once the rivets were in place, all that was left was to rebuild the back door. I found it quite a fiddly process but very rewarding when I saw the finished article. Must admit, I feel like I'm slowly getting better with working with plasticard. I'm a long way off the likes of Dei Greci, but I'm taking it one step at a time.

And here we have the finished article, the first of the Corbanian Starstreak Hydras. All I need to do is break out the paints and see if I can remember the colours and techniques I used on my other vehicles.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the finished vehicle, although I'm starting to wonder whether buying prebuilt models is really worth it. Yes, you can pickup a bargain but when they're plagued with problems like this one, the extra effort and bits needed sort of negate the cost savings.

Luckily, my next prebuilt chimera chassis has the tracks going the right way and the backdoor on the right way round, I'm now wondering way I didn't use that one in the first place - lol.


Ginge said...

re - remembering your paint scheme.

I keep a little project book on my paint desk. I don't worry about it when I'm doing test colours, but once I've settled onto a scheme I like, I write it down step by step. That way if I get some more models for the army 6 months later I can just crack on, I don't have to waste a couple of test models figuring out how I did it the last time. (And yes, I did learn to buy a project book through bitter experience! :oP)

Ginge said...

Oh, and the model looks cool btw ;op

Gotthammer said...

Nice conversion, distinctive and looks like it'll fit in nicely.

I've found myself checking back my own blog looking for how I painted something from time to time.

WQRobb said...

Oh, you complain but we know you're all talk and bluster. Making silk purses out of sow's ears like this one is the fun of the hobby, and it has clearly kept your hands and mind occupied at a opportune time. So bluster and complain all you want about all the work it will take it get this guy up and running, we know the truth.

Karitas said...

Say what you like, having to go through this hets you a much more individual vehicle.

real life armour is often re-tasked multiple times, tanks the french used at the opening of ww2 were taken on by the germans, re-deployed with different armaments and so on.

you should celebrate the changing history of your armour :)

Blitzspear said...

I find the most rewarding models have had a lot of profanity involded in there constrution. Looking great btw.


Da Masta Cheef said...

Having reworked so many 2nd hand tanks over the years, I've often referred to my hobby area as the 'chop shop'. However 2nd hand tanks, especially on ebay means buyer beware (even though i myself have sold many on ebay).

The worst ever was a 'pro-painted OOP collectible' chimera off of ebay (collectible as that accessory sprue is no longer produced I guess). Bad photo in the auction means I got it for about $10. It had terrible paint, and I've no idea how it stayed assembled as when the parts were cut from the sprue, the clipped portioned of the sprues weren't trimmed/filed off!

Sooo, when I took it out of the box to inspect my purchase, it simply fell apart in my hands. However it was a crummy day, and taking about to 2 hours to refurbish it put my mind at ease. Tank therapy essentially.

So i called it a wash & left no feedback. It still needs a little work & paint, but works well enough as a renegade IG transport.

John Lambshead said...

I have bought quite a lot of second hand gear on eBay. About one third is OK, one third is salvageable and one third are parts for projects.

Many of these thngs are made by young kids, and their deluded dads are convinced little Willy is a genius.

But hey, you want priostine, you buy new. I rather like the challenge.


The GunGrave said...

Nice, I really like the alternative interpretation of the Hydra! Very cool!

On the subject of second hand vehicles: being an avid collector of Forgeworld, i really like to grab a bargain even if they are second hand. You've already proved that with a little work, a butched vehicle can be turned into an awsome Hydra conversion!

Besides, with VAT going up in January, things are only going to get more expensive, so we might all have to have a few custom conversions like yours on the go!!

John Lambshead said...

Ah, pressed button too soon.

I meant to say that I suspect you also like a challenge, as you have done a damn good job on that hull. :)


Mordian7th said...

That's a great looking alt-Hydra, Corbane! I really like the grill-work and detail you re-added to the top of the tank, and the missile launcher looks fantastic. I hear ya about pre-built models, I've bought a few off eBay in the past, and with one exception they were so poorly assembled that I ended up taking a hammer to them and using them as wrecked vehicle markers.

...Whaling on a Chimera with a hammer was actually pretty therapeutic as well. I despised putting the old kit together! :)

Can't wait to see it painted up!

Hal'jin said...

Looks good, a nice and original idea, hope not too many people will confuse it with a Manticore though. ;)

the other Kevin said...

I really enjoy the conversions you come up with, and the stories that often accompany. No exception here.

Unless it's a really great deal, I seldom buy second hand vehicles. When I do, they usually go right in the Simple Green vat for stripping. I find if they fall apart, I am better off. From the magic I saw here, your method sure has mine beat!

Frag_Dad said...

This looks great - you've done a great job!

I've often wondered about buying 2nd hand vehicles to do conversions like this, but after hearing from people here, I think I'll spend the little bit extra so I can put it together properly!

Granesh said...

Great work Colonel, always love your work! Good to see you're getting back to hobby as well, I can't wait to see Harker's vet squad all finished up!

Col. Corbane said...

@Ginge - Thanks mate, I did write it in a project book but lost the book - lol. I think I'll start documenting it on my blog instead, that way, I won't lose it

@Gotthammer - Thanks matey, I'm really surprised I never documented my painting process on my blog before. I really must start doing that.

@WQRobb - It's very much like been on exercise mate, when you're doing it, it's a bitch, when it's done and you're looking back, you realise how much fun you had. Anyway, I'm a Brit, half the fun is in the complaining.

@Karitas - Yeah mate, I like how Drax leaves a nod to a vehicles old colour scheme when he repaints them. Not sure I can do that with these as you saw the original paint scheme, one quick grey drybrush. At least it'll help with the base coat - lol.

@Blitzspear - That's so true mate, it's a sign of the passion and effort you put into them I think.

@Da Masta Cheef - The irony is that I didn't get them off ebay, they were a trade with a guy from the club. I mustn't have looked at the properly. That's the problem with having a club in a pub!

@John Lambshead - Thanks mate, I must admit, I do like the challenge although I wouldn't want to have to go through this with every vehicle.

@Mordian7th - Thanks mate, glad you like it. I've never smashed any models up but I've done a fair few computer monitors, very therapeutic - especially when you blow them up!

@Cheers mate. Luckily, I only really play with friends, so there shouldn't be too much confusion.

@the other Kevin - Cheers mate, I do like to put a bit of background to my conversions, I find it helps with getting my head around what I want to achieve.

@Frag Dad - Thanks matey, there's a lot to be said for getting new. I think it comes down to making sure you know what you're getting. With these chimera's, I really should have had a closer look at them when I bought them, damn beer foils hobby again! - lol

@Granesh - Cheers mate, glad to be back. I'll be a while before I get Harkers squad finished as there's quite a bit of work to do on them. I'm getting there slowly, pics coming soon.

Murl said...

Nice conversion!!!

I have a forgeworld whirlwind launcher upstairs...hrmm....

Col. Hessler said...

Looking good, matey.