Category: Centurion Mecha

Centurion Update 32

Posted by Mangozac on August 5, 2014

I apologise that there haven’t been any updates for a while. I had an epic trip around Europe in June (which I actually extended longer than originally planed) and most of July was spent catching up following that. I’ve been focusing on updating the Centurion’s thigh parts: adding extra detail to the armour and the hip “hub”. I’ve got one of them done, as per the following pics and I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turned out.




Centurion Mecha 31

Posted by Mangozac on May 29, 2014

We’re getting oh so close!

Consider these pictures to be of the “pre-release” kit design. As of this week I have moulds to produce them in this format and I have begun casting a few copies for a select few mates before I head off on an European vacation this coming weekend. I was showing this to my mate Jas a week ago and he suggested that in order to match the chest armour I really need to add some extra detailing to the thigh armour plates. I do agree and in fact would like to do another detailing pass over the entire upper legs, however that won’t be until the current leg moulds have worn out.

Excuse the poor pics: I really should get some daylight bulbs as even colour correcting for the standard horrible CFL desk lamps I’m using for lighting makes the resin look far more yellow than it is!

I forgot to take a photo of the completed Gatling cannon and the extra details I added to it. I am however really pleased with how it and the countermeasures launcher turned out.

This will be my last post for a few weeks. I’ve got some more big projects planned for when I return from holiday (in addition to volume production of the Centurion) – keep an eye out!

Centurion Update 30

Posted by Mangozac on May 11, 2014

This time it’s an update on the close defence systems!

As discussed on the RA Forum I decided that I wanted to bulk out the torso silhouette a bit by adding some close in defence weapons. The weapon of choice was a gatling cannon so I put a design together. The intention was to have one on each side, limiting the design as I had to make it easily mirror-able (so that I didn’t have to scratchbuild two complete separate guns).

This is what I ended up with:

The problem was that I wasn’t 100% happy with it. The gatling cannon design was OK and could do with some durther detailing/refinement. My main concern was that everything was just looking far too symmetrical: the mirrored main cannons and now the close in defence weapons. I felt that it made for quite a boring design, so the decision was made to ditch one of them in favour of something else. This was particularly annoying since I’d already made design compromises to make the gatling cannon easily mirror-able and I’d already made gatling cannon moulds for both sides!

I threw around several ideas for the “something else” before settling on something I liked. Initially my mate Seb suggested smoke launchers, but I didn’t like the aesthetic of the standard tank mounted smoke launcher. I toyed with the idea of a sensor pod and then just a plain armour plate (of which I even made a mock-up in styrene) but ultimately decided to return to some kind of smoke/chaff launching system. I was inspired by some photos I took aboard the US Amphibious Assault Vessel “Bonhomme Richard” as the guest of Battlefleet Gothic “royalty” Nate Montes last year and the countermeasures launcher pods mounted on the side of naval aircraft.

Here’s what I came up with: the galting cannon and smoke launcher. I realise the smoke launcher looks similar to a missile pod – they have very similar functions so it’s not surprising. Hell somebody can claim it is a missile pod on their model if they want!


And here’s how they look on the model:

There is another problem though: the gatling cannon sits out too far. This was a limitation of the mirror-able design and another thing I was never happy with. To prove the point I grabbed a tertiary cast of the cannon, hacked back the mounting socket and drilled a new one into the side of the cannon body. This brings the cannon in much closer to the torso and I think it looks far better:

Subtle, sure, but it’s just one of those things I need to do to be happy with it. OF coure, that was only a demonstration and I now have to do it for real. After some deliberation I decided to hack up the original gatling cannon master parts. They have no other use and I can always cast more from the now redundant moulds if need be. Plus I’ll take the opportunity to update the gatling cannon a bit more: it really needs another detailing pass!

I have a deadline of 3 weeks to get this finished and some samples cast – let’s see if I can manage it! Nothing spurs productivity like a deadline 😉

Centurion Update 29

Posted by Mangozac on May 2, 2014

While other projects have diverted some of my attention over the past couple of weeks, I have not neglected the Centurion! I’ve recently been discussing detailing of the chest armour with one of my close design mentors, Xeones, and we came up with a cool design based around laurel branches.

The problem was that it required laying out some quite fine and intricate details like the leaves. I did a test one night with some leftover Procreate on some scrap styrene but the result was really poor. That was several weeks back and I decided it was easier to ignore it for the time being (and focus on other parts of the model). With those other parts completed I had to get the chest armour completed.

After some more brainstorming I came up with an idea:

  • Draw the design in vector art (at scale)
  • Use the CNC router to machine the shapes at a depth of 0.5mm into some 1.5mm styrene sheet. Areas surrounding the shapes would need to be milled down 0.5mm also. This effectively leaves a 1mm thick sheet with 0.5mm details protruding.
  • Use a sharp blade to slice the details off the sheet
  • Glue the details onto the armour

It seemed feasible so I gave it a go. Here are the results half way through and I have to say I’m really pleased! The process of slicing the parts from the styrene sheet tends to curl them up a bit, but straightening them isn’t a big deal. The edges are all a little bit crisp but some running around with sandpaper will sort that out.

This is what the milled parts look like. I used a 1mm cutter and you can see the marks where larger areas of styrene removed:

And here’s the result. WAY quicker and easier than sculpting by hand!

Once I’ve completed the other side I’ll hit it with some primer and smooth things out a bit where necessary. Stay tuned!

Centurion Update 28

Posted by Mangozac on April 1, 2014

On the weekend I was Skyping with my mate Dan (Arkangel) and gave him a look at the Centurion. I pointed out that I was feeling unsure about how far out from the shoulder the cannons sit – when viewed front on it didn’t look quite right. Dan agreed with me and I thus decided something needed to be done about it.

I was going to hack up a resin copy of the cannon mount, however the existing mould was really poor and producing kind of warped parts. So last night I decided to take the plunge and just hack up the original master part.

The ball part was cut down smaller, the shaft shortened and the power cables shifted closer to the cannon end. Here’s the original version (in resin on the right) next to the new version (on the left):


Here’s what the cannon looks like mounted with the new version:

I don’t have a great shot of the old version to compare with but this is the closest I can find:

I’m much happier with the result. All up I’ve shaved about 4mm in length and I think it looks much better. Yes, it has sacrificed some of the ability to yaw the cannons independently, but in this case we’ll just go for form over function 😉

Centurion Update 27

Posted by Mangozac on March 20, 2014

I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post! There’s been a lot of non-hobby stuff going around here of late which has had me a bit preoccupied.

First off the big news is that Games Workshop have released their Imperial Knight kit, causing a lot of chatter in the wargaming community. Now let’s be honest, the Centurion is a similar size and type/role so one can’t help but compare. I know I’m biased, but I’m really not a fan of the Imperial Knight design. It continues with GW’s parodic style of the last couple of years and I just don’t like the proportions. I’m obviously in the minority though, as overall the kit has been well received.

Anyway back to the Centurion!

In the small bits of hobby time I have been able to scrape together lately I’ve been focusing on finalising the cannon and making up more moulds. Oh and the undesirable task of some fine detailing. I pulled the first casts from the new cannon moulds last night (only the right hand side – I’ve still got to mould the left side cannon body) and am very excited about how great it looks in resin!


I’ve also abandoned the head with the extra sensor cluster, instead opting for a cleaner design with banding around the edge of the armour. The extra targeting optics were added to the exterior of the cannon bodies instead (as seen above).


I think this looks a lot better in-situ also:

One thing I have noticed looking at the silhouette of the assembled mech is that the areas to the sides of the chest armour plate feel a little bare. So I’m thinking of taking a design cue from many other sources and add in a pair of machine guns to provide close-in defence against infantry. The position means they could even swing around to be rear facing (or one front, one rear). The downside is that this is yet another part for me to fabricate…

Centurion Update 26

Posted by Mangozac on February 21, 2014

Ermagherd! It’s alive!


The rest of the torso parts got moulded up this week and I finally got some copies done in resin. This has finally allowed be to fully assemble the entire model. Properly. With glue rather than blue-tack. To say it’s exciting is an understatement. As is often the case I apologise for the poor photos – I just snapped them quickly before I headed to work this morning.

You can also see the cannon design – in particular the muzzle. This is the third iteration of muzzle design and I’m really happy with it. The cannon is pretty much finished now, although seeing it all assembled I can’t help but feel that the barrel is a little too long. I might shorten it a bit.

The armour plates are still the master parts so they’ll be going into silicone next. I have some sculpted surface detail planned for the chest armour – I just need to find a moment where I’m feeling particularly sculpting-able. Which will probably be never so I should just bite the bullet and do it.


I’ve also been doing some work on a resin head copy. I decided that this ranged weapon variant of the Centurion would require more targeting systems and that would be a perfect solution to add some head details. I’m still not sold on the choice of sensor elements – I may swap out the trio of tiny antenna parts for another disc shape.


The last thing I need to do is finalise the pilot’s arms and where they attach to the control “sticks”. Again for when I’m in a sculpting mood 😉

Centurion Update 25

Posted by Mangozac on February 16, 2014

Progress continues and I’m really excited with how the cannon is looking! You can see the detailing is coming along nicely (yes, those are more lifting points on top of the body). I machined up the muzzle today but I’m not 100% sold on it. I machined in three equally spaced muzzle brake slots, but in retrospect a muzzle brake on an energy/plasma weapon probably isn’t the brightest idea 😛


This shot also débuts my new scale reference: a great little figure from my mate Steve at Mad Robot Miniatures. I’m sure he was quite chuffed with assembling this combination of parts for an Aussie like myself 😉
The figure is standard 28mm heroic scale, so should give you an idea of just how much of a “big freaking gun” this is!

Centurion Update 24

Posted by Mangozac on February 7, 2014

Detailing of the cannon continues. I’ve actually been finding it a difficult process as the cannon body is quite large and has a lot of plain, flat surfaces which are just creaming to have some interest added. Of course, vents are always a staple detailing fallback (especially on something that would generate lots of heat like a plasma cannon), but there’s only so many of them you can add before it’s a bit overboard. I will of course add some lifting/tie down points and I have some more ideas for what to do with the outboard side.

The stumpy arm that connects the cannon to the shoulder has turned out really nicely. It looks quite solid and also passes a few power cables and the like. The entire cannon design is symmetrical and many parts, including the arm, are designed to be able to attach from both sides. While this may limit design choices slightly (everything has to be mirror-able), it’s a lot less work than having to build two of these things (even with the CNC cut parts).

I’m still deciding exactly how I’m going to split it up for casting, but I have a feeling it will be four parts: arm, cannon body, barrel assembly and front armour plate. I could mould it with the armour plate already connected to the barrels, but the mould lines would run through the centre of the plate, making them a pain to clean up…


Oh, one other thing I wanted to talk about was the piping. I needed something about 3mm in diameter to use as pipes between the shoulder and cannon body and as details on the top of the cannon body. While I could use styrene tube wrapped in 0.7mm diameter solder for straight sections of ribbed tube, this looked really poor if tight curves are introduced.

I’m a massive fan of the Dragon Forge Pewter Power Cables, as they are so easy to work with and will facilitate bends as sharp as 90 degrees while retaining that nice, ribbed profile. Unfortunately, the largest size he does is 2.15mm diameter – a little bit too small for what I needed.

I tried heat bending some styrene rod but could not get a consistent, clean bend without any warping. Similarly using tube reinforced with some solder wire inside.

The solution is very similar to the pewter power cables. Metal rod facilitates sharp bends while retaining the circular profile so I decided that some thicker diameter solder wire would be the way to go. 3mm is 1/8″ and that sounded like it would be a common size. I knew I didn’t have any but I checked with another engineer friend of mine and he was kind enough to donate a 150mm length to me. It saved me having to buy an entire reel!

The solder behaves absolutely perfectly for this kind of application. To bend it I drilled a 3mm hole in a block of timer, inserted the wire and then just bent it over with my thumb. Because the solder is so soft it can be cut fairly easily using just a sharp hobby knife! It is easy to accidentally mark the solder though, so you have to be careful handling it. I inadvertently made a couple of marks with my fingernail, but not deep enough for me to worry about too much 😉

Centurion Update 23

Posted by Mangozac on January 29, 2014

Quick update before I go to work to show you all the progress on the cannon design. It’s coming along very nicely! As I’ve said before I’m much happier with the larger cannon size. Obviously there’s still a lot more detailing to do (the muzzle is yet to be built too), which I’ll hopefully get completed in the next week or so.