Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thunderhawk build: pt2

I've not forgotten this project... I have been working on it a couple hours here couple hours there.If you are thinking about getting one and have never done a big resin model before ....DON'T do it .

Get a kit that is made from a much newer mold. The Thawk cast is very warn out.

I had to spend 2 months sanding /heating/sanding/filling/sanding BEFORE I could put it in the cleaning bath. After the bath you could tell the resin used was not really good because it was semi tacky and if gripped to hard your finger print would etch in to the parts. It was not the wash either. The Wash I used was also greatly diluted compared to many of the of the other FW projects I have done. The Reaver and BFG stuff I have built in the last year I put in full strength and had no ill effect other than skin peeing off... no really Wear heavy duty rubber gloves and eye protection when cleaning every thing up in water after the wash.

So I had to heat things up again and smooth out the prints while wearing gloves, and then prime it fast.Not all the parts had this issue, just a few big ones... there was also some major shrinkage and warping too... worst I've seen on a FW kit to date (the Land Raider MK2b was easy with it's notoriously bad 8/10th size resin cast parts, if you need tip on it too let me know I built one of those like 3 years ago... looks fairly good too!).

I would highly recommend test fitting every thing before washing it. You no doubt will have some sanding/cutting/grinding to do and you don't want any of the resin dust screwing up the paint job.

Step 1
Sanding/flash removal

Basically you need to go threw and get the flash and flash gates off. This is where the dermil and Multi max can save some major time! Just be careful. You can't add back resin, but you can sand it down it there is too much.

Tip :Use the Sharpy to mark off where you are cutting. I color in the area that I want to keep, I've seen others do it the other way around where they color in all the area that the need to cut off. This also works with sanding large areas, user the straight edge and color in the area that needs to be leveled out, leaving the un colored area where you need to stop.

Step 2
Test fit

The major sub Assembly's "should" fit reasonably well together.... this was not the case with this model. You can use Blue Tac or silly putty to help hold things tight but I generally don't use them.You can see if the hulls fit , or sub Assembly's fit correctly. In my case the main hull was bent and twisted on the "X" and "Y" axis and the side wills were also bent in a bit. So I had major work to do before I could get the hull and crew areas to test fit together.

Tip: This is the point where many people will get the pot of hot water out and dunk the parts and bend them to shape. I could not do this due to the parts being way to long even for a large "chilli" pot that holds several gallons of water. I got a "heat" gun from Jason by way of a model shop closing down. I've use a high end high volume salon style hair dryer for the same thing till the wife found out...Eeek! The heat gun will let you direct the heat to the areas you need to "loosen" up while leaving others untouched. Also keeps every thing from getting wet. I had to put major high heat on some parts so I needed tongs to hold it since many of the parts were 1/3-1/2" thick that needed to be bent. I also use a can of "Canned Air" to blow resin dust off and rapidly cool the parts down once I had them in the correct position, nothing like burning your self on white hot resin when you have to hold it in position slowly waiting for it to cool down.... It sucks trust me ;)

Step 3
You should now be able to "Reasonably" test fit every thing together. In my case This was a good opportunity to start work on the crazy detailed interior/ crew area... heat bend and sand/file every thing to the point where you are comfortable with the tolerances ( can be fixed with green stuff or gap filler glue).

BTW/WTFWTT/RANT Moment: I want to know what the hell the designer was thinking when they put as much detail in to the inside as the did. I don't joke, you can see 85% of the interior unless you make the hull come apart , which really does not condone the game play factor of it. The Reaver comes apart in sections that really don't effect the game play or models stability , where if you want to see the rear tech sections/radar station and upper cargo area, the model would be seriously structurally compromised since you will be holding it a lot more than a Reaver which basically stands there. You have to FLY this thing over the battle field and such... which will bring me to another thing a flight stand.... which I will deal with in a different build segment. I know it is to be a "showcase" model ... but you can't play with it like that. I did not drop $600+ for it to sit there and look pretty ( Ironically looking back at my bank statements I paid Less for the Reaver then the Thunderhawk ... that is how bad the Dollar had got last fall, Now is a good time to buy with the Euro and GBP hovering at 10-12 month lows) End Rant...sorry!

Step 4
Chemical degreaser/Wash
Purple power or castrol super clean are my favorites from about 8 years of building stuff.
Get some dedicated big sealable Glaad/Hefty wear plastic containers. Only use them for washing , no food will ever go in these from now on. You can cut the cleaner with tap water 2:1 water to cleaner, this is strong btw .... 3:1 will get the job done... I 'm crazy and go 0:1 all degreaser....LOL
Nothing has melted yet , and if you have to strip paint off plastics or metals it will also work with the 0:1 and no damage to the plastics...
Let sit for 2-3days sealed. Get some paper towels or rags near a sink and a cheap o mechanical tooth brush ( can get 2 packs at Wally world for like $7, Costco has 4 packs for $12).

Tip: Put in a drain plug or the filter plug to keep parts from going down the drain...
run some medium hot water and pull the parts out and go over them with the tooth brush...
Then let dry...

Step 5
If you don't know how to do this ... well I don't know what to say. I typically use Rustolium or Krylon Auto body primer in either Grey or Black. Both brands will adhere to plastic and resin if all the mold release agent is off ( did you wash every thing?) The primer is cheap ( $4 a can at WalMart). The GW stuff is very inconsistent in the spray quality and crazy expensive ($15 a can). The Army Painter stuff is said to be very good and comes in many different colors but yet again is crazy expensive and you have to normally order it unless a local shop has some. I may try it on a up coming "Fish".

Shopping lists!
This helps me when I start a project to see if I have every thing up front and don't have to go out half they way threw it to get some thing quick

Things need to Test Fit major sub assembly's:

Heat gun /Heavy duty hair dryer or pot of hot water and some big heavy books (Pharmacy catalogs tend to work great since the pages are very thin and the book weighs like 30lbs ;) )
Assorted grit sand paper
Assorted files and modeling "rat tail" files
Dremil rotary tool with detail extension
Jewelers saw
Exacto/hobby knife
Hobby cutters/Nippers
Black Sharpy
A straight level
Non flexible ruler/yard stick
Air /breather filters ** (Resin Dust is very bad if you breath it in (can cause cancer), especially if your are Asthmatic!)

Not needed but nice to have
My new favorite the Dremel multi max saw... this thing rocks!
3M Blue Tac or Photo Matt
Silly puddy /green stuff
"Canned Air"/canned computer duster....
Eye protection

Cleaner (Purple power or Castrol Super cleaner, at least a Gallon, 2 is good for some thing this big)
Glad/Hefty/Rubbermaid large sealable lid container/s
Mechanical tooth brush
Towels or Paper towels

Primer Items
Primer (2 cans of Black Krylon Autobody primer from Wally world for some thing this big)
Well ventilated area
I have a Large Box I use ( old Reaver FW box....ironically) with one side cut out
Smaller boxes ( keep sub sections together and to move stuf out of the paint box) I use old GW models (Baneblades, Land Raiders, Fortress of Redemption) or shoe boxes ( I wear size 13)

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