Chimera Extra Armour


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This is a small sub-project I have been waiting to do, I didn’t have the neccessary components in my Bitz Box for once, so I had to purchase the components. I had ordered the Forge World extra armour panels for the “Chimera” type vehicles. I thought the look quite appropriate for my Steel Legion Chimera variant vehicles, specifically as the Germans in world war two had used such “Skirts” on a number of their vehicles. Here as a reminder is a picture of the Forge World extra Armour: -

As you can see one of the Forge world panels is broken in the middle, and they are both warped / curved. However both of those issues are easy to solve in the big scheme of things. What concerns me more is the fact that if I use them every single one of my Chimera Variant vehicles will have identical weathering / damage patterns. Now if there might be one or two, that would be ok, however with a Steel Legion force I plan to field a number of Chimera and having them all the same damage patterns would annoy me. So I think its time to make my own version, which I can them reproduce, and add unique weathering / damage too as required.

First thing I need is some patterned plasticard with the appropriate sized squares on, a quick measurement later with my Digital calipers and I discover the size of each small square on the panelling is 3mm approximately. This was a little confusing, as I knew that Evergreen who make the squared plasticard that the original would almost certainly be done with, only make squares in 2.1mm or 3.2mm. So a few other measurements later and I found the winged skull, which was obviously from the vehicle add on sprue, had also shrunk about 1.5-2mm in width compared to a fresh original. This change in scale implied that the original piece when made had been larger, and had been reproduced in resin numerous times (2-4 times) before being finalised. Moulds often slightly reduce the original in size, this is normally not even noticeable or anything worth worrying about, unless producing machine parts with a tight tolerance. The shrinkage will become more important later on!

Anyway I ordered the 3.2mm Sq plasticard and the smaller size in case, from in their modelling materials section. I used Netmerchants as they have next day delivery and so far have not let me down on any of numerous orders. They delivered as expected, and I had to leave it all on my desk waiting for a chance to get on with it. Well suffice to say I had that chance last night, and I jumped into it with both feet first. As I had a “template” to work from, it was simply a matter of counting squares to work out the sizes for each panel. As you can see from the picture below, the squared panels and the back panel were easy to make. I think I will be able to get around 5 sets of extra armour out of a single sheet, which at £5 is reasonable, however there is also the cost of the backing plate sheet, at another £5. You can see the panels cut in the picture below: -

The image above also shows the holes being cut into the corners, used to fix the front and back plates together supposedly in real life. The holes will have hex bolts placed at the bottom and in slight variant from the Forgeworld original I will be trimming the 45 degree corners slightly more than they did. For the hole drilling I stuck to my normal pattern of increasing the hole size gradually, in case the plasticard tears or deforms. I started with a 0.5mm, then 1mm, 1.3mm, and finally a 1.5mm drill. You can see some of my Pin Vice drills in the picture, I must admit I generally purchase new ones whenever I see one in a shop.

Once the plates were stuck together, I placed some of the Brass etch hex head bolts into the holes, using the normal dab of superglue technique used I had mentioned earlier in the log. I continued building plates and did the one with the winged skull on, and finally the end plate: -

This image shows the finished work, it has not been weather or damage detailed in any way, as that process will occur after I have reproduced it in resin, therefore ensuring each vehicle will have uniquely damaged / weathered extra armour.  The frame on the back lines up with the top and bottom of the Side panels (the ones I was working on last week), and it is the side panels which will be magnetised for removal, therefore letting me add or remove the armour at will. The reason for that choice is because I will already have resin reproductions of my own side panels and the extra armour will be permanently attached to these and magnets placed to hold it all securely and tightly. You can also see at the bottom of the image is the top view, where I have more brass etch rivets to add detail, otherwise known as something to paint that isn’t flat.

Finally we can compare the two, they should look alike, but you can see on at the back how much the Forgeworld one has shrunk from the original size. I am pleased with the reproduction and now I can get on with the other side. The weathering / battle damage on the original helps to give it a lot of detail and interest, however with our prisitine version we can add that level of interest uniquely to each vehicle now.

On a small note, I am almost finished preparing a website for this log, and Tutorials about some of my work for the site, hopefully next week early sometime it will be ready.

2 Responses to “Chimera Extra Armour”

  1. Klaus Fischer says:

    Hey guys,
    are you OK?
    Long time no hear, we start to worry baout you.

  2. Daniel Olaguibel says:

    I agree with Klaus. There has been alot of inactivity, I know life gets in the way, but please make anouncments everyone once in a while keeping us updtaed. Thanks and God bless!