Saturday, June 13, 2009
Troop Transport Truck Tutorial - Part One
Finally, I get a chance to post Part One of the Troop Transport Truck Tutorial. Thank you for your patience. Who would've thought that having a baby around the house would take up so much time. Not that I mind, of course. If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend it!
Anyway, onto the show.
I've decided to put this tutorial together in three (possibly four) parts so that you can get as much detail out of it as you can. It's a bit of work, but for fans of the novels nothing is too good for your truck-riding Imperial Guard soldiers. This first part will cover the truck bed, the troop carrying capacity you'll be needing. I'm starting here to point out that most of the vehicular conversions I do are all a matter of assembling boxes of different shapes and sizes.
First off, here is a quick walk around of the truck, just to reacquaint you.
Here's a shot of the starting point for the truck. The humble Ork Trukk, stripped of (or not assembled with) all of the really Orky parts. These other parts can be used in other Orky vehicle conversions, or sold on to others to fund your next Ork Trukk purchase.
I've said before that my friend Thomas and I reverse engineered the first truck I made, and Thomas created the template you see below. It's a bit tough to make it all out, but there are 64 pieces on this sheet, all laser-cut from 1mm thick plasticard (or sheet styrene). We both like working in this thickness. It is easy to score and snap, yet can give great strength to a build, even with a single layer. Also, when you double up panels, it is easier to do any calculations that might be required.
At the end of the tutorial process I'll post a PDF or something that'll allow you to cut out your own pieces and make trucks of your own.
The next step was to punch out all the pieces for the truck bed. You can see them below. On either side of the bed pieces are the bench seat pieces, we'll come back to those soon.
The base and three sides of the bed are all two pieces. These pieces are glued together to ensure some solidity for the finished piece and provide a comforting heft to the model.
Here are those pieces glued together. Hopefully you can make out that some of the pieces are slightly smaller than the others they've been glued to, this is to help with the strength and integrity of the bonds we are soon to create. You'll also see two holes in the base, these will be face down in the final assembly, ready to receive the posts for the rear step.
The plate at the front has a 2mm overlap on the bottom and 1 mm overlaps on the sides. The first gluing step is to bond the front plate with the base. Don't forget to clean off any excess polystyrene glue with a quick wipe with a paper towel.
On the subject of polystyrene glue, I use Testors (not Tamiya, my mistake) Model Masters glue. It comes with a very handy metal "dispensing tube" that helps you get the glue exactly where you want it. Even when gluing one-handed because you're taking a photo for a blog ; )
Here you can see the slight overlaps on the sides that will add strength to the finished piece. You may be asking why the finished piece needs so much strength? It really is for those "just in case" moments. I know quite a few gamers with what we really should call "butter fingers"!
Here's a shot with all three sides attached. Nothing particularly special, but it's starting to look like a box right?
One of the cool things about collaborating on a project is that you get all sorts of cool ideas that you may never have thought of on your own. One of the ideas that Thomas threw in was the two pieces you see added to the bed below. Simple, I know, but very handy indeed. "What are they for?" I hear you ask. Well they're designed to ensure that the rest of the bench seat "box" goes in the right place. Same place every time. Just the thing for mass production (of a sort).
Once Thomas's helpful guides were in place I could add the next step, the end of the bench seat.
And then the side of the bench seat.
And finally, the top of the bench seat. Of course it is very easy to build the seat on the other side at the same time.
The final stage for the truck bed is to attach it to the truck frame. There are four points on the truck frame that stand proud. Trim the rivets from these points and slap on some glue. For this truck the front end of the bed should be aligned with the point where the rising frame meets the horizontal. Hopefully you can spot it in the picture below.
So there you go, Part One of the Troop Transport Truck Tutorial. Next time around we'll cover the hood, fenders, and cab of the truck. Should be fun!