WIP: Helian Frigate

Posted on 17 Sep 2014 by in Battlegroup Helios, Work in Progress

It will be pretty obvious to my followers that I’m a big fan of small scale, highly detailed space ship models. My good hobby friend and mega talented artist Aaron Dickey (known online as Vaaish) is also an aficionado of all things small scale (his Epic 40k models are arguably some of the best painted in existed). We were both bummed at the demise of the Battlefleet Gothic range over a year ago and set in motion plans to create our own line of highly detailed space ship models in the aesthetic that we love. Thus Battlegroup Helios was born.

Aaron has come up with a beautiful style for the first fleet (known as Helians) and created a stunning 3D model for the cruiser sized vessels (you can read about it here). Now that the 3D printing is under way (we had a couple of false starts) I have begun work on the Helian frigate design. I’m doing this as a traditional scratchbuild (although maybe I should call it a hybrid scratchbuild, considering the processes I’m using), since I prefer to work like that rather than 3D modelling.

Fortunately Aaron flexed his creative muscles again and drew me some awesome sketches to work from:

I then used Inkscape to draw vector artwork over the top of the sketches, working out all of the shapes required for the main forms of the design. Note how close Aaron’s freehand symmetry is!

From there I used my CNC router and a 1mm diameter cutter to cut out the shapes from various thickness styrene sheets. I forgot to take a photo by the result looks very similar to CNC cut terrain as it is supplied. It’s then a matter of trying to work out how all of these tiny bits are supposed to go together. And I do mean tiny: the parts look much larger on screen, but the overall length is approximately 55mm.

The base shape is starting to take form. Things are very rough at the moment and not many details are actually glued on (they’ve just been sat in place for this photo), but it gives a pretty good feel for the design. It’s now just a matter of slowly filling in details. My next step is to fill in the prow area with Milliput.

I’m trying to get a little bit done each night, so hopefully it shouldn’t take too long to complete. Once I have some resin copies I’ll then be cutting them up to make other weapon fitout variants.

Thanks for looking!

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