Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Flight Stands and Compulsive Disorders

I spotted some Startship Troopers Rippler Bugs (A mega swarm box of 9 highly detailed plastic miniatures) on ebay and bid for it. That was whilst I was over at a friends. And I won. And having gotten home and checked my careful excel spread sheet, knowing I already had a couple of boxes and thought a 3rd would do nicely. Discovered… I now have four! Oops.

Well you can never have enough rippler bugs ;)

Whilst I wait for this latest unplanned purchase to arrive, I was contemplating the basing of flying models and flight stands. I recently made two stands for 28mm scale aircraft for my moderns games. Getting the balance of height and stability is the tricky part.

I was fortunate that the end look, using 6mm acrylic dowel came out nicely.
A10 Warthog on home made flight stand.
Diecast Apache Gunship on home made flight stand.
Both models being 28mm in scale roughly, are quite heavy. The Apachie is a diecast metal model and so fairly heavy. Both are detachable for transport.
Now I know from previous experience, that the small plastic flight stands that come with the likes of GW and the old SST figures are not that strong. The plastic is quite brittle and the mounting pin or lug, that slots into the figure are weak.  Given my Rippler and other flying bugs and WASP equipped MI Troopers, all have these supplied with them. I can see me having a few breakages and then the frustration of repairing them. Infact one of the wasp troopers I bought already painted a while back as snapped already.
Using 6mm, acrlic, is just not suitable for smaller models (though the rippler bugs are not that small).
So I was intruiged when a few years ago now I cam across the excellent site "Tanks and Trolls" at the time I was discussing airbrushing with the author. If you have a moment, take a look around some of his galleries. The painting is inspiring. Anyhow, he mounted his Rippler Bugs at varying hights on what appears  to be stiff wire.

Photo from Tanks and Trolls Website - SST Rippler Bugs
I liked the fact the stands were unobtrusive and had a variety of hights. Wire should also not snap, though may bend of course.  The rippler bugs are plastic models and so weight is not a major issue, though they are quite large as far as plastic models go and so getting the centre of gravity right, will be key.
I was fortunate with both the Apache and the A10, there was a conveient holes in the bottom of both models, meaning I just had to taper the acrylic rods to fit. On the Apache, the whole was forward fo the CoG, so I had to drill a hole across the rod, at an angle and mount a piece of stiff piano wire into it, to push the tail of the apache up, to give it that classic nose down "in flight/attack" stance.
Now I just need to find some suitable wire, that will be stiff enough to be durable, but not too stiff or brittle that i cannot bend/shape the base to attach it to bases. I can some a few experiments ahead.

No comments: