As promised, I'm gonna show off my assembly of the gunship. I had to scrimp and save every penny I could to get his craft, but I gotta admit, it was well worth it.
Now, as with all these hobby blogs, I gotta tell you what you would need if you were going to build this kit: A set of side cutters, a flat file, a hobby knife, and plastic glue. Really, that's it!
The first thing I had to do, and of course the first step in any model-assembly, was read the instructions. Below, you can see me doing just that. What that picture doesn't show you is that this is the THIRD time I've read these instructions. The first two times were on the toilet. I'm all about efficiency! :-)
After familiarizing myself with the directions (which is important since GW makes 100-piece models and gives you 12 steps to build them...), I assembled the fuselage. I love the fact that it has the same profile as a Rhino. Continuity is always good. It's also important to note here that you should pay close attention to the 'Don't Glue' parts of the directions. The VTOL/Maneuvering nozzles move up and down...
Adding the landing pads and stabilizers, it finally begins to look like a vehicle!
Then the engines. I don't really like the way they look, but then I think I'm spoiled by the Valkryie's engines. Regardless, the engines are always my favorite part of any aircraft kit. I think that hearkens back to the days when I was going to be an Aerospace Engineer. Sadly, it was too much work (not to mention that I had no idea what it really meant to be an engineer- there's no drawing!!!), but I dig me some engines!
The wings were next, and they were okay. Building everything so far has been very easy, but again, I don't like the way GW made the wings. Besides being square (i.e. not aerodynamic), they're just ugly. Luckily, the ease-of-assembly overrides my dislike. Once I attached the wings and engines to the vehicle, I started getting really pumped...
Then I started building the 'fun bitz'. That's the cockpit, the weapons turret, and the sponsons. The cockpit and turret were difficult because you have to glue the rods into the canopy. (If I could offer you any advise for yours: Test fit the glass canopy and then glue the rods.) As far as these steps- DO NOT GLUE THESE!!! When it comes time to prime and paint the model, you'll thank me. In addition, now is when a good converter can make everything interchangeable.
I tried doing the conversions. I was gonna use tiny magnets and make all the weapons and sponsons intechangeble (or removeable). After two hours of staring and sketching my ideas, I finally gave up. I did, however, come up with a very elegant solution- I used a dot of super glue for each of the pieces (each sponson and the typhoon launcher) to attach to the vehicle. In addition to not gluing the canopy on the cockpit or weapon turret, this leaves me with the ability to easily 'snap' the parts off later and change them if I want. Sorry if you were expecting something more profound, but my conversion skills aren't what they used to be...
One of the ideas I considered for the weapons turret was using a Razorback turret instead. It took some shaving, as the mounting-hole was a tad too small, but I got it to fit. I figured this would tie the Stormraven more into the rest of the army as no other Space Marine anything has a manned weapons turret on it (at least not these days. Check out the old Whirlwinds and Razorbacks to see manned turrets). Unfortunately, after fitting it on, I realized that the turret was too tall and didn't quite fit the profile of the vehicle. It's still possible that I may go this way in the future, but not right now. I just didn't like the result.
And now, the Stormraven was built. What do you do with an aircraft model after you finishing assembling it? Well, fly it around the house, obviously!!!
Vroom! It made me think of the two Thunderhawks my staff had to paint many moons ago. I walked into the shop to find my red-shirts flying around with massive, $700 models. I was not happy, until I took one and 'vroomed' around the shop myself. Well played, staff. Well played. And this Stormraven, yeah, it's not too far off a Thunderhawk- which makes me wonder if I can get four kits and build one myself. Nope, because I'm too poor to get four kits, so there goes that idea. I guess I'll just have to keep flying my Stormraven around the house... :-)