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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all.

If you read my introduction post you would know that I used to be a tau player. During this period of stupidity, a friend of mine cut out the rough shape of a Tau Manta from solid blue Styrofoam and sold it to me for £5. This I have then since sculpted to give the more defined hull of a Tau Manta



This took ten hours to sculpt from 3 inch thick styrofoam. I used a scraper/former (Kind of like a cheese grater with a handle) and emery paper.



The next stage is to sculpt the troop bay which fits below the hull. This will then be glued into position. The next part involves purchasing about £50 of tau weaponary, and making their recesses and attaching to the hull.



After this the hull will coated in filler to fill in all the imperfections of the styrofoam. This will then be sanded down to give a smooth finish. Finally touch ups and additions will be done, like the lines along the hull will be scored into the filler coating.



The picture above shows the size of model as it is resting on my office chair. This Manta will have no interior detail, like the Forgeworld model, and no opening troop bay. But I am hoping that it will be an impressive "representation" that can be used in Apocalypse games. EDIT >>> Also the model is extremely light. I have never felt the weight of the resin model but I would have to say it has to be at least half its weight.

The project is on hold at the moment due to final year exams at Uni.

If anyone has any comments or suggestions, feel free to post.
 

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I have no suggestions since I know nothing of using styrofoam, but this looks like a great start man! Props to you for using the foam and doing something creative!
 

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Well done so far! With a Styrofoam model that scale, however, it will be quite fragile if you don't coat or treat it with 'size' prior to painting it. I would suggest even using muslin with the size to make it extra strong. (Although, that may be over-kill)

Keep up the good work and keep us posted.:victory:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
HorusReborn thanks for the support I need all the motivation I can get to finish this project. I started it last year. My friend gave me the cutout in 6 pieces. I stuck them together to give the rough shape. It was flat on both top and bottom and was about three inches thick. (The side face, the three inch thick face, also need scultping) He then told me that we would be playing Apocalypse. I didn't start scuplting until the day before. Covered my room in plastic to catch all the dust, and started scraping for about 9 hours straight and then cleaned it up with emery paper for another hour. Worst 10 hours of my life!

When we plaed with it the next day, everyone was impressed with the scuplting, but was a little cheesed with the Apocalypse Manta Death Blow Cadre rules. Basically everything with 24 inches of the manta needed to take a morale check, and as long as my commander was alive, everyone was fearless. first or second turn disembarked troops behind his IG. Force them to take morale test, because of the manta, they fail, fall back, caught in crossfire, 6 units dead without firing a shot. After the game we decided I would never play with it again until it was complete. But now that I have sold my Tau that is a bit difficult.

Damned Fist thanks for the suggestions. You are indeed correct, it is fragile. I have not broken it yet, but you know when you hold something and you know that it could break really easily? This is one of those times.

gwmaniac thanks for the pick me up, after what I described above, the model has been moved from house to house (being a student) just in case I want to work on it. Maybe now after my exams finish (29th+(party)), start of June sometime I can start work on it again.

I'll keep you updated if I make any progress.

C&C always welcome
 

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I assume the tool you used to do this was a rasp.



Looks excellent. Where did your mate get the foam from? I am finding in very hard to get this stuff anywhere in the UK.

This is certainly something I will be interested in seeing completed, but you will need some serious dedication to get a fully detailed model done.

Regarding weight, I'd say it going to be much less than half the FW models weight.

Damned fist - Can you explain more about 'size'?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thats the tool! Except mine is in yellow. See what I mean, a cheese grater with a handle! My mate works in a university design technology workshop. He got the material for free (five finger discount). As for finding the material search through google, he is one random result: http://www.yellowcatshop.co.uk/shop/default.asp?clientid=14&gid=4dmod&viewstate=32769&tabcatid=3500106&subcatid=3500111

This is a long term project. When it is complete I dont think I will keep. It will probably be sold for a fraction of the FW price.

As for weight, at the moment it weighs a little less than a space marine codex.
 

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what kind of filler are you gonna use for that?

I don't know if it's compatible with styrofoam, but you might want to try a polyurethane type liquid for the final coats, after you have all the etching and scoring done. It does wonders for protecting things from dents and scratches that you normally get in softer, lighter material.
 

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Wow, Im impressed so far.

Don't worry about the time scale. I have spent about a year doing a Slaanesh Questor Scout Titan and its got a fair way to go still.

My log for it may be of some use to you as many of the problems will be the same.
http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=10755

Couple of suggestions for you.

Get some of those metal wire coat hangers and cut re enforcing rods from it. Slowly push it through and spin it in a drilling motion and the pinched end that you clipped will drill it through.

Trying to cut those neat little lines that are on Tau vehilcles through a coating will be hard work if you coating is too thin (and Brittle) it will snap out chunks rather than a neat line.

I really look forward to seeing how this goes for you.

PS. would you like this thread moved to project logs? It would be more at home there if its a long term project.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have no idea what filler I am gonna use yet. I know that is gonna be required because the surface finish at the moment is very poor.

I have spare pieces of styrofoam so anything I am thinking for trying on the manta will be tested first. I have no intention of lossing ten hours worth of scuplture.:biggrin:
Never thought of supporting it with coat hangers, but come to think of it, it would be a really good idea cos at the moment it is held together with PVA. Again Vash you are sopt on I am expecting difficulties with the lines. I intend to trial a fillers first and see what sort of results I get. But I understand exactly the problem you are refering to. If the filler crumbles when dry it will be very difficult to cut those lines.

Well the next expected time I can start work on it is probably the 1st of June. My last EVER exam is on the 29th so doing anything for the three nights after that is out of the question. I should be able to finish the troop bay, stick it on, and depending on money, order and fit the weapon bits. Then it will actually look like a proper Manta.

Thats a point does anyone know a RELIABLE bits store preferably in the U.K.?

Ok put more pressure on me:shok:. It might be best to move this to project logs.

Thanks for all the support and advice
 

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I went away and thought for a bit and think I have a solution for the lines.

Using plastiacard about the thickness you intend to fill you can do all the lines by running them parallel to mask out the lines.

You could even make up those oval air intake grills or whatever they are.

Then just fill up to them.

:)

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Sorry that wasn't very clearly put.

Cut two strips and glue them out parellel leaving a gap for your lines , then just fill up to the plastic strips. That would leave the lines marke up with no carving to do just a bit of sanding.

The bonus is you can mark out other detail areas out and then just use the same plasticard to make the details.

The main thing is it gives you a regular depth to work to all over the mini so you can keep it regular.

I sometimes use plastic off cuts for this purpose alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That makes it a bit more difficult. I am looking at a plan view taken from the taros campaign book. (Basically how I worked out where everything goes, along with from FW) And that definatley makes it more complicated with more probabilty of error. I am not dismissing the idea, after all I have no idea how difficult it will be to either score straight into the filler, or cut, stick and fill up to plasticard. I will keep it in mind.

On a side note, have we a sticky somewhere with a list of bitz stores? If not would it be a good addition to the modelling section? I know of several, It is just that they either don't have the parts I need in stock or they are on the other side of the globe. Just a thought.
 

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awsome stuff, this should look good when it's completed


On a side note, have we a sticky somewhere with a list of bitz stores? If not would it be a good addition to the modelling section? I know of several, It is just that they either don't have the parts I need in stock or they are on the other side of the globe.
have you tried bitsandkits.co.uk?

cheers

edd
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So I finshed my first degree, :alcoholic:and now I have to move house, live in Cornwall for 2 months and then come back to Cardiff. Depending on work, and the new house, I willl see if I can get some work done over the summer. Would be nice to come back to Cardiff with the hull complete. I might be out of touch for a while probably only able to get to the internet once a week, but the should be some progress over the next few months, or :suicide:

Thank you all for the support and the Rep. The encouragement is forcing me to look into doing some work on it. Got the next blocks of foam that need carving. These will form the lower troop bay. Hopefully I can produce something soon.
 

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Wow, that thing looks cool, add some guns and stuff like that and it will be just like the real thing...

good luck with it...
 

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come back to Cardiff.
Mate, I'm living in Cardiff. Just finished my degree, should be here for the next few years (though not the summer). Where do you game? Also, check out the Cardiff Uni rawsoc. They run an evening every month or so Mechwarrior, 40K, blood bowl, heroclix are played. If not, you could try viet taf (thursday nights).
 
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