Blackadder's WIP scratchbuilt Thunderhawk
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Thread: Blackadder's WIP scratchbuilt Thunderhawk

  1. #1

    Default Blackadder's WIP scratchbuilt Thunderhawk

    I'm surprised I never posted my WIP T'hawk on this forum.

    First a little history:

    Long ago back when I was still building Lucie my son started building a Thunderhawk out of foam postrboard.

    T'hawks aren't my fav's by a long shot but I agreed to help him and he got a good start on it but boys being boys he lost his enthusiasm and the model kicked around the basement for few years until he graduated from high school.

    It didn't seem likely that he would be doing any modeling while he was away at college so I thought I'd surpise him by finishing it up for him.

    Bad Idea Blackadder!

    Most of the work that was done was a tad out of proportion so I searched around for better images on the 'net......................

    I came across these 3D images.

    I don't know who this artist is but I want to have his baby (Well build his baby anyway.) He has actually made a Thunderhawk look not only attractive but downright viable.

    Below are 3D renderings from this artist which while not 100% FW exact are a tremendous improvement on the original and will be my guide from now on.

    Note that the last image is of the heretofore not seen belly of the beast.

    This project will attempt to replicate the 3D version, not the FW version................

  2. #2


    I really want to replicate the 3D Thunderhawk posted above. It may be outsized but it looks more airworthy than any Thunderhawk rendering I've yet seen. I can't wait to get to the fine detail. The layered armour and the beveled edge on the fuselage really makes this thing come alive. I'm also opening up the cargo bay so it will have an interior as well.

    First I chopped off most of the origin posterboard. That was a bad idea because posterboard isn't that compatible with styrene construction and what may have been a savings in material ended up frustrating me trying to get the styrene to adhere.

    "One step forward two steps back," that's my motto.

  3. #3


    Since this beastie will have a full interior of the cargo bay including the side hatches I have to be careful all is right dimension wise. I am taking meticulous care building the nose hatch/ramp.

  4. #4


    I started on the cargo bay interior. Getting smarter in my old age I'm building the interior first so I don't have to work inside out.

  5. #5


    A while back possibly not on this forum I asked if a T'hawk could transport a Rhino in it's cargo bay and was told no a special transport T'hawk slings them under the belly. Well I didn't mention it before I had conformation and I guestimated the size required to fit a Rhino and as my son is home from college for the Summer I borrowed one of his. Guess what! room to spare and I mightn't need to make the front doors clamshell as in the C5A. I stand before you ready to suffer your slings and arrows for this, The Blackadder's 'Super Thunderhawk'

  6. #6


    There is insufficient ground clearance without making the struts ridiculously long. My main concern was the side clearance on the forward loading ramp as the nose tapers in two ways. I thought I'd have to modify the side panels to swing out on hinges which would look awesome but slightly change the exterior side view. It appears I don't have to do that.

    Forgot the all important side view

    As far as upsetting the fan? boys, it is my contention that the prototype or concept Thunderhawk was meant to carry a Rhino or similar sized vehicle but the FW production bean counters realized the size and cost of the model vehicle would be prohibitive to produce and much too expensive for a healthy retail market. I base that on the scaled down Landraider side doors which are >10% smaller than that which are on the Landraider.

    Ergo we have the diminutive T'hawk that is primarily a troop transport and far too over engineered for that mission of delivering 30 or so troops to the ground and which in fact would be packed into the cargo hold like sardines at that density.

  7. #7


    As you can see my vision of the Thunderhawk is slightly larger than the FW offering. My first impression of the Thunderhawk concept was that it be capable of carrying a Rhino. After all for what else would be the purpose of such a huge loading door? Imagine my disappointment when I found the FW Thunderhawk too diminutive to disgorge even so small a tank as a Rhino. I am still mulling over the necessity of hinging the forward side panels to allow more clearance; hell I probably shall in the end not being satisfied with compromising measures. Image the dramatic effect when your Thunderhawk glides to a touchdown, the ramp drops, the side doors open, and it vomits forth an APC.


  8. #8


    Starting on the ramp because I need to install the hinge tube before I can apply the nose armour. Below is a practical demonstration of how to make ribbed flooring.

  9. #9


    Part of the fun of scratchbuilding (If you have a penchant for masochism that is.) is inventing ways to replicate in stock styrene the intricacies of injection mould plastic kits etc. There were two ways to approach the manufacture of the object below. One was to attempt to cut the slots in a single piece of sheet plastic and glue it onto a backing. I rejected that straight out because the finished product regardless of the care exercised would be crude and amateurish. The second, the option I chose was to build the corrugations one slat at a time as demonstrated in the previous reply, score the perpendicular channels with a sharp utility knife, widen and deepen the score with a razor saw, and shave out the residue with a chisel bladed Exacto knife. This worked well for the wide center longitudinal reinforcement but how to make the narrow side reinforcements? Start as before with the score and the razor saw to accomplish the primary cut. Then taking your razor saw at a 45° angle carefully widen the score to the required width. If you have jewelers files you can dress the sides of the channels but in this case it was not necessary.

    Now I'll see if I can repeat the process on the other side without screwing the damned thing up.

    Then taking your razor saw at a 45° angle carefully widen the score to the required width. If you have jewelers files you can dress the sides of the channels but in this case it was not necessary.

    Pictured below are the only tools necessary to accomplish this exercise . Had I to do this over again I would have angled the side channels slightly out at the bottom to dispel the illusion that they converge.

  10. #10


    Considering it took the better part of a week just to make the loading ramp fruition will be a long time coming. In my defense my workload this week was extremely heavy and I could only devote a half hour in the morning to working on the ramp. Each slats had to be secure before the next could be applied or they would move when the spacer was run between them. I also managed to apply the outer skin (1 MM sheet styrene) to the forward hull. I finished up the ramp this morning and taped it into place. Everything is square and true so tomorrow I will start applying the forward armour. This will be the fun part when the model starts to look like something other than a long white shoebox. Right now I am sitting back sipping a well deserved Martini and reflecting on a satisfactory accomplishment.

    My patience is holding strong and the worst of the build is behind me now it's just a matter of detail, the part I relish.

  11. #11


    Uhm, the t-hawk is a troop transporter. It was never meant to transport vehicles, as it was never designed to be anything but a stop gap solution untill Horus was defeated and the mechanicums resources where adequate to design a replacement for the ancient stormbird.

    But alas the emperor died and all went sideways and it is still here 10000 years later.

    For transporting tanks they have the thawk transporter that can carry 1 landraider hull or 2 rhino hulls.

    All 40k vehicles are undersized ill give you that, but is it to make the kits not cost much more. Imagine how huge and expensive an acuratelt sized Land Raider would be!

    But i like your work. You should put the measurements onto a pdf file for the rest of us non-scratchbuilding geniouses to rip off from :-)
    The odds of succesfully finishing this miniature is 3720:1

  12. #12


    Well thanks for the info and the Emperor DIED! Hell! I didn't even know he was sick. My vehicle represents an 'other' world vehicle carrying version. My son apprised me of the discrepancy as well but I rationalize mine is a stretch version much like the 747 transport.

    Name:  800px-Boeing_747-400LCF_Dreamlifter.jpg
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    Name:  800px-Boeing_747-400LCF_Dreamlifter.jpg
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Size:  62.7 KB
    Last edited by Blackadder; 02-19-2013 at 04:39 PM.

  13. #13


    Thunderhawk and a warlord? Truely the Blackadder is a veritable colossus with vision beyond that of ordinary men. Oh and the Blackadder presumably does not sleep either!

    On a less sycophantic note, I'd say sod the fan boys. I like the scale of this beastie. And with the loss to the ATC templates who is to say that one of these wasn't built? Its a fantasy universe peeps!

  14. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackadder View Post
    Well thanks for the info and the Emperor DIED! Hell! I didn't even know he was sick. My vehicle represents an 'other' world vehicle carrying version. My son apprised me of the discrepancy as well but I rationalize mine is a stretch version much like the 747 transport.

    Name:  800px-Boeing_747-400LCF_Dreamlifter.jpg
Views: 6011
Size:  62.7 KB
    Name:  800px-Boeing_747-400LCF_Dreamlifter.jpg
Views: 6011
Size:  62.7 KB
    Lol! So its a mkII-H Thunderhawk :-)
    The odds of succesfully finishing this miniature is 3720:1

  15. #15


    The following is within the context of responding to my syntax error, "Thunderhawk Transporter."

    Well something has to transport Thunderhawks but I fear I must get a local zoning construction permit to build it. I have a feeling that someone that plays Battlefleet Gothic might provide the answer.

    Right now I'm gluing on the second layer of sheathing to strengthen the hull and provide a good base for the armour.

    Not really much to see for all the work involved but as a matter of interest the hull is square and true to the width of a sharpened pencil line in cross section and in length. Speaking of length I may have gone overboard in extending the aft hull I'll have to see after the forward armour is installed. I'm trying to avoid the blocky look of the FW model but right now I feel it may be a decimeter too long.

    No matter I can always slice the excess out of the midsection.

  16. #16


    The following was posted in Sept.'11 after I spent 3 weeks in a hospital........... I remind readers that this is a recap of work done years ago so no one thinks this is current documentation. The current project is the Warlord.
    Whew, after a month of convalescing I'm back and finally feel like building models again. I don't recommend spending three weeks in a hospital.

    Anyhow here is my first days labor on my long neglected project. I've decided to install the armour as I proceed back to the unfinished stern section. This is probably a mistake but I believe the hull is too long so once the armour in the front is done I'll be better able to trust my eye than actual measurements. As per usual I shall be doing this the hard way. No wonder I have ulcers.

    I've laid out the coordinating lines on the hull and am fashioning the armour to fit. This is why it would be prohibitive to duplicate and sell copies of this model aside from copyright infringements

    Front view more of the same. The hull walls are approaching the proper thickness now.

    Side view of the nose armour which I calculate to be 1.5 MM thick.

  17. #17


    Strangely I had forgotten I made this enlarged image on my photo editor to plot coordinating intersections. The actual model superimposes rather well on the 3D image with the exception of the most recent work which will be rectified. It appears that 6.0 mm is the proper thickness for the front cargo door and the aligning recesses in the side armour. The image has a two pixel margin of error due to the fuzziness of the enlargement. I can live with that.

    Rather poor in my estimation.

    This is the goal.

    With coordination lines superimposed on model

    With pencil lines adjusted on model; by god that is close enough for government work.

    E. Blackadder

  18. #18


    Page 5

    Corrected a few mistakes and then added some armour. This ugly beast is starting to grow on me. I can't wait to start on the wings and engines.

    The lateral line belt armour and the nose section seam in place. and a start on the second layer of upper hull armour.

    E. Blackadder

  19. #19


    I was wondering how to do the intricate double layered top of the hull armour without a seam in the finished skin. Part of the beauty of the 3D rendering is that seamless broad expanse of armour with all the cutouts in the edge and compound angles and vent fan cutout, set. Cutting this piece out of 2.5 mm styrene would be very difficult to get perfectly straight cuts and 90° vertical edges.

    My solution (if it works) is to make the substrate of 1.5 mm sheeting with 6.3 X 1.5 mm edging strips using all together 5 pieces and then after all is cut out in the substrate tracing the pattern onto the 1.0 mm single piece top armour plate. Then cutting out the square vent fan hatch in the 1.0 mm sheet and the edge cutouts will be easy. Then gluing the top and 1.5 mm substrate together and gluing the whole assembly to the top of the hull should give me the complex piece I want without the seams and knife nicked edges. (I hope)

    You can see that this is a very involved section.

    The pieces of required substrate to the right and one of the edge pieces tacked onto the underside of top layer.

    Another view of the penciled in lines.

    And a front view for no particular reason.

    E. Blackadder

  20. #20


    The moment of truth, does it fit?

    Seems like a good fit but too much flash.

    Less flash more detail.

    The front edge needs trimming.

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