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1:18 scale APC playset

skiffy

Alphans
I've been neglecting Gorman's console for too long so I thought it should get some love today. Here's where I'm at.



I printed the screen bezels months ago so I put those on and assembled the sides and the desk. The rail for the swivel chair had me stumped for a while but I came up with probably the simplest way to achieve a sliding, swivelling base.



My crappy phone camera refused to focus but you can see that at the base of the chair there's a small circular piece of styrene with a larger one under it. I made 2 rails from wire core plastic rod and the chair base sits within them. I left one end of one rail free for now so I can take the chair out when needed.



Eventually there'll be lighting behind the screens and I'm working on possible wire solutions for the grab-handles that go at each side of each screen. The whole console is a separate module that slots in place so I can work on it outside the APC shell.

I had thought of trying to get a 35mm slide transparency of the screens (in scale) that I could cut apart and glue in, and that might still be possible. Alternatively, I'll use inks to paint them in.
 

skiffy

Alphans
Just a small update today - amongst a few other small tasks I've added the rail end-stops for the top turret so it doesn't drop off the back.



I also added the rack behind Ripley and Burke's seats that houses the smart sentry gun packs.





I'm going to pop out a couple of 3d prints of them in resin. Because they've got removable lids and they'll have more detail in resin I've added a roughly modelled interior based on what reference I could find.



Just for this thread I took a pic of the front assembly too.



Well, that's it for now. I'll be back with more soon.
 

skiffy

Alphans
I've been doing lots of smaller jobs - tidying up the look of the rear exterior including adding the fender-ey bits on the wheel arches and smoothing some of the joins between the styrene panels.



There;'s still gaps to close and some bits are taped together for now but it's looking better and my to-do list is gradually getting ticked.



Now then, best way to accurately check the thickness of a scrap of styrene? Why, Mr. Vernier to the rescue. :) I love my clockwork Vernier - no batteries to replace.
 

skiffy

Alphans
I've knocked up some 3d models of what I call the 'exterior furniture', specifically the bits and bobs that are on the back of the APC. These have been printing tonight and have just finished. A little bit of clean-up and they'll be fine. I would use my resin printer but that's in the shed, and it's minus 3 degrees here today.



..and here they are just started.





..and here they are done and ready for a quick fill/sand/paint.

 

skiffy

Alphans
Another small update. Greeblies for the back of the APC have a coat of primer to show up the layers for filling/sanding and have been attached temporarily to the structure. Because my APC isn't exactly the same shape as the model or the full size prop, I've used my judgment on placement (the filmed versions had differences anyway).





I had a heart stopping moment when I wondered if the turret would clear these new elements but it's fine.. Phew. :)



I'll probably print resin versions in future but these look ok!
 

skiffy

Alphans
I was thinking about how to solve a tricky problem with my APC wheels and inspiration struck!

I 3d printed my APC wheels with an axle in the middle. I thought I'd worry about how to connect them to the chassis later. I don't want there to be a bolt or anything inside the shell connecting through to the wheel.



So, I just worked out that I can 3d print a 2 part bearing that is glued to the outside of the shell. There's an inner sleeve (coloured red here) that is glued to the wheel.



..and there's an outer sleeve (the blue bit) that goes around that, that's glued to the chassis.



The outer goes on the wheel first (not glued) then the inner traps it in place and is glued to the wheel axle. Then the blue outer is glued onto the chassis to allow the wheel to spin.



It makes sense in my head, so we'll see how it works when I print all this stuff out. :)
 

skiffy

Alphans
These took an hour to print with low infill - I'm just testing fit at the moment.



..and there we are with a wheel for reference.



The 2 bearings fit together OK but the tolerance is low.



The inner bearing - the one that glues to the wheel, is a little snug. Some of that is the 'Elephant's foot' effect you get with the first layer overprint (better adhesion) but it could do with a little more slack.



So I've adjusted the print file and I'm printing another. Hopefully that'll be better. :)
 

skiffy

Alphans
Well, I’m happy to report that we have a rolling chassis. I do like to add everything back in from time to time - makes me feel that I’m making progress. The only thing missing is the driver’s dashboard. That’s having it’s LED lighting finalised.

The wheels are pushed on temporarily at this point and I’m testing that they’re all reaching the ground properly. :)





I decided to mount the spinning assembly to the chassis so I can continue to work on the wheels and wheel-wells. I can put the wheels on whenever I like, which is nice.



I realised that I’d missed a bit in the pics - the front turret! So here’s a shot of that in place too. I’ve some cleaning up and finishing to do on a lot of the plate-joins which is very evident here (and the windscreen and headlights of course) but I’ll get to that.



For this re-vitalised thread - here's a pic of how the dashboard was looking when I light-tested it a while ago.

 

skiffy

Alphans
I'm working on whatever these things are that are decorating the ceiling of Gorman's console. We get a good look at them when they're re-used in the Medical lab in Hadley's Hope.



I've modelled up an estimation of one (they'll be pretty small) and I'll resin print them later.

 

skiffy

Alphans
I brought the resin printer in from the workshop to the studio (which has heating). After it had acclimatised I ran off some of the Gyro gun sight pieces. Here they are getting a UV bath.



They're a little under-scaled (about 8mm wide) and far too flimsy to print properly so I'll up the thickness of the support bars, I reckon that'll do it. Sorry for the fuzzy image, I don't have a macro lens.

 

skiffy

Alphans
I had better results with the second batch of prints. Still some issues though. I forgot to add support to some of the pieces so those prints failed. Printing perpendicular to the bed will often fail because from one layer to another there's a sudden shift in mass which breaks off from the supports instead of lifting clean.



So, I'm printing those pieces again on a slant to alleviate the strain and build up the mass incrementally. This is all fundemental resin printing 101 - stuff that I have learned but got out of the habit.



Because there was no support, the top tanks drooped underneath - you can see that in the lighter piece alongside the darker filament printed/primed ones. It's a little smaller too so I've scaled the resin one to 105%. Also the exhaust piece snapped when I was prising it off the plate - another good reason to add support. The gyro sight pieces printed great though. :)



Here's a tub of exterior greeblies in both resin and filament - some useable, some not.



..and here's the current print in progress on the printing bench.



On these small prints you can tell if they're printing properly if you hear a little pop when the plate lifts the print for the next layer. So far, all pops. :)
 

skiffy

Alphans
I've got new parts cooking in UV. I left them on their support for now so I don't damage them in handling before they're cured properly.



I took advantage of another round of resin printing and made a couple of copies of the Sentry Gun cases I previously printed in filament. These ones have a suggestion of contents and the lids snap on/off perfectly.



I'll be back to gluing styrene for a while now that I've got most bits printed.
 

skiffy

Alphans
So, I'm sat in our local coffee shop with the missus. She's working on her short story and I'm tinkering with ideas for the APC.

Call me crazy but I'm seriously thinking of making the DSGR missile system a functional feature - at least as far as opening up. I'm having to deal with some interesting planar geometry for the ceiling inners/outers at this point anyway so I figured 'how can I make this even more tricky to achieve' lol.



 

skiffy

Alphans
I've done some fiddling with card and I reckon it'll work. I knew all those Chupa Chup sticks would come in useful for something. :)



It's just sat on top at the moment but hopefully it'll work well.



I'll make some rounded warheads for the ends of the missiles and detail out the bays.



Next up is cutting out styrene copies of my card shapes and sorting out how to keep the rest of the roof detachable.
 

skiffy

Alphans
Next up is prepping for lighting the screens in Gorman's console - the TOC station.





Just about to connect and test - always a nervous time (especially given my sloppy soldering).



Yay! Not easy to see against the white background but it works!



I got time to do a little more on the DSGR arrays too - building out the bays and sinking them into the roof.





 

skiffy

Alphans
It's time to start working on the rear ladder. This is going to be soldered up from 1.5mm brass rod.

I've never worked with brass like this before - so I was prepared for it to be a learning curve. Just as well!



I filed fish-mouths in either end of each rung and tried working it with the soldering iron first. No joy there so I went with my mini butane torch and plumber's flux. That did the job and will produce decent results I'm sure - but I need a little more practice first - this first joint looks like a right dog's dinner. lol





Onward and upward, exelsior!
 

skiffy

Alphans
Here's a quick catch up of some of the little jobs I've been fitting in between work.



Despite my cack-handed attempt at soldering/brazing I pushed on ahead with the ladder. First up, breaking out the Dremel pillar drill.



I needed that to drill 4 holes into some scrap timber to build an alignment jig for the ladder rungs.



All set up and ready to go! That's my fireproof soldering mat.



..and there we are, filed, sanded and given a first coat of primer. I'll refine the joints a little more later.



I printed out two missile racks (one didn't print properly, so I'll re-do that one) and stuck the Chupa Chup sticks in there. They just need rounded warheads made now. I printed them in clear resin simply because that's what I had loaded up.



I shaved down 2 red LEDs (they had domed tops) to fit into the rear lights.



These 3d files will be printed up in clear resin, like the missile racks and will have the LED fixed inside.
 

skiffy

Alphans
Another small update today. I made the vented grille section next to the ladder.



You can see it here inbetween the ladder and the base of the (missing) turret.



The louvres were marked out and cut from styrene.



I couldn't resist chucking some olive drab on there to see how the whole assembly is looking. Not too shabby. :)
 

skiffy

Alphans
I did some more work on the rear exterior and threw some rattle can olive drab over it all to see how it was shaping up.





It's starting to look a lot better. I'm looking forward to getting the rear light assemblies done - I'm just waiting for a delivery (a new FEP film tray for the resin printer).
 
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