Thursday, 31 October 2013

'nids part 106 - Scratchbuilt Tyranid Capillary Towers

Happy Hallowe'en and here's to my mojo! Yeah baby I've turned a little corner on this, although I may stall progress as I've got Hallowe'en tonight and Blog Wars at the weekend which always results in post tournament apathy. Anyway, as you can see I cut me a load of pop bottle ends and even managed a shandy and a Sprite bottle for a bit of clarity.

Here are my 6 chimney spines made from foamboard that the pop bottle plates will be attached to. The largest is the same height as the tallest spine on my Bastion, the other is about 5cm shorter and the remaining four 5cm shorter still.

It actually took me a long time to get here. I'd sourced some Plywood discs for bases, experimented with some cork ones but noticed they were just slightly thicker and I wanted consistency. Beveled all the edges with my Dremel-alike, hence the scorched edges. Before I started the chimneys I'd already spent about 3 hours, cutting the pop bottles foamboard, and discs.

 The tallest chimney has 5 chitin plates made from the pop bottle ends, the second tallest has 4 plates and the smaller ones 3. That will be 21 plates in all compared with the Bastions 20, of which these will probably be all the same thickness as the bigger plates. Considering the smaller plates on the Bastion can be half the thickness I may well be able to start estimating how long this will take to make, should I feel masochistic enough...!

 Each plate is pinned to the foamcard and then I used masking tape to try and hold all the pieces together. It doesn't matter too much what they look like, I'll be filling the insides in a bit with tissue paper or tin foil and then coating the entire chimney with adhesive tile grout, like I did with the Bastion.


The grout makes the entire structure stronger, then the bottle plastic won't flex as much when I apply Milliput or air drying clay. I'll sand it back so it has a consistent surface but still sufficient enough to act as a 'key' to the sculpted surface material.


Lastly I hot glued some foamboard strips either side of the chimney spine just for added support at the base. They may not need it when all the sculpting material and 'crater ruptures' are added but I thought I'd build it up just in case. This was another 1.5 to 2 hours, so I'm on about 5 hours work so far.

So, next up a bit of filling the interior of the chitin plates so they're more substantial and I'm not wasting sculpting materials.