Monday, May 9, 2011

Hydra Tutorial Part 1: Turret Base

I have wanted a couple of the Hydra flak tanks since the new imperial guard codex came out. Instead of shelling out the money for a couple from Forge world, I decided to raid my styrene pile and bits boxes to scratch build a couple turrets. I had a basic plan of what I wanted but kind of worked through it and then went back to repeat the process and build another one. My original plan was to have a gunner in a basket between two Gatling cannons. I couldn't find a suitable basket and didn't want to have to build several cockpits so I decided to go with a pedestal mount, with a single gun and the gunner in a cradle on the other side. I have accepted that some people may have a problem with the conversion not being WYSIWYG with two separate gun mounts. In play, I mark a weapon destroyed result on the model with a dice and them remove the turret on the second weapon destroyed. Since I built the first two I am also thinking about making up a Apocalypse data sheet to use when I play in the Apoc-Eclipse games.

A parts list for the Base

Regular Bits I used
The bottom bit of the old style Chimera Turret
One door from the side of a leman russ
One box from the Mk1 Rhino sprue

Styrene Sizes
2.4mm tube
6.4mm square tube
4mm tube
4.8mm tube
2.5mm quarter round
1mm plain sheet
7.9mm angle

other recommended items
dremel tool with drill bit
20 gauge brass wire
styrene tube cutter
mitre box and razor saw
sanding films
razor knife
plastic cement
super glue
Pin vise
green stuff

Now to the tutorial

Start with the turret base and drill a hole in the center of the stud

glue a one inch piece of brass wire into the hole with super glue

Cut a one inch piece of 2.4mm tube

Insert the wire into the styrene tube and glue with super glue

Cut a one and a half inch piece of 6.4mm square tube

Drill a 4mm hole about a half inch from one end of the tube.

cut a three inch piece of 4mm tube.

Insert the 4mm tube into the drilled hole. Do not glue. This will the the main support bar for the gun and gunner's cradle.

Leaving the 4mm tube in the square tube take a piece of 4.8mm tube and insert it in the long end of the square tube. Mark the 4.8 mm and cut it flush with the bottom of the square tube.

Take the trimmed piece of 4.8mm tube and glue it into the bottom the square tube. Be careful that no glue gets onto the 4mm rod.

Test fit the pylon over the 2.4 mm rod on the chimera turret base. Depending on where the hole was drilled you may have to trim the 2.4 mm rod so it is clear of the 4mm support arm. Once everything is clear glue the 2.4mm rod into the 4.8mm tube inside the pylon. There will be a gap and you need to use either a piece of styrene or a bit of green stuff to make sure that the two pieces meld. Before everything sets up make sure that the front of the pylon is parallel with the front of the chimera turret base. This will form the center piece of the whole assembly and being parallel will keep everything square later on.

Then you will need to take the 6.4 mm square tube and measure from the front of the pylon to the front of the chimera base. Cut this piece and glue it to the pylon and the chimera base. Wait for this to set up. When the glue has set break out the mitre box. I don't have a measurement for the two angle cuts. I guess at the cut on the back so that it is about level with the rear of the chimera base. The longer angle piece, I cut so it was even with the front of the bottom piece of 6.4mm styrene tube. Glue them in place and let set up.

I dug a Leman Russ small door from the bits box. The door comes from the side of the tank where the sponsons are.

Turn the door over and trim off the back. Sand it so it will lay flat.

glue it onto the chimera base. I centered the rear hinge with the gap between the main pylon and the back support piece. The main reason for the door is to give the illusion that the turret actually is deeper into the hull, instead of just setting on top of it.

Measure the door and cut three pieces to go around it.

Glue the three pieces around the door and trim the front one level with the the two side pieces. I plan to come back and fill the gaps with a bit of green stuff.

I used some 1mm plain sheet styrene to make the floor of the turret base.

I cut a piece of 1mm sheet a half an inch wide and about five inches long.

Measure from the front and back of the quarter round and cut two strips of the 1mm sheet. glue them down and let them set up.

Measure from the front of the 1mm strip to rear most 1mm strip on the door side. Them cut a piece of the 1mm sheet for the opposite side. Glue it to the chimera base and let it set up.

Take the 7.9mm angle piece and cut a section about 10mm in length.

Dig through the bits box and get a box from the Mk1 Rhino sprue.

Glue the 7.9mm angle to the base 6.4mm square tube to act as a step for the gunner. Then glue the box behind the step to represent some of the electronics controlling the turret.

This finishes the basis of the Hydra flak turret. It still needs to be detailed some more and several other things done to it but that covers the basics of construction. Next in the series will the the construction of the gun and the pilots cradle. Then maybe a finishing touches post.

You might ask how much money did I save over Forge world after having to buy all the different sizes of styrene for the project. I actually only purchased a couple packs to use in the gun construction. The rest of the styrene was either remainders from other projects or part of a bunch I bought when a local model shop went out of business. They had lots of styrene left at the end of their going out of business sale so I picked up a supply for future use and have been digging into it for years. If I did have to go and buy the styrene I used in the build It would cost me the price of a forge world Hydra turret but I will have enough extras to build at least four turrets and maybe more.

Next, The Gun and Gunner's Cradle


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