Project Gladius blog 9 armed to the teeth

Next on this long list of tasks was the supporting weapons.


Forward heavy bolters.
These were fairly simple, just clean and assemble. I have decided to attach the mounting kits, but not the weapons or the cowling. The allows for some easier painting. The main ‘spindle’ of the guns was a critical part. You need to cut the core to fit, so be carefull, you make it shorter but not longer!

These guns will be able to pivot and the top scanner in free to move.


Rear heavy bolters
Again these are simple case of clean and assemble. I have not glued them to spindle, so the can be raised or lowered. The assembled units will be attached to wings once painted.


Hellfire missiles
These presented a small challenge. The moulding process leaves the excess resin tag running from the 4 jets. These leaves you with square block on the back of the jets. I have used my multi tool to round up the jets and put a small ‘dimple’ in the centre. This was done on all 6 missiles and I luckily had the right sized bit for process. The end result looks so much better.


The mounting of these is quite clever and they don’t need any magnets or glue to hold them in place. This allows be the chance to remove each missile in game to remind me of how many I have left.

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The weapon systems took me a while to clean and assemble, but it’s fairly simple stuff.



Project gladius build blog 2

It time to get some more work done on my Thunderhawk. The build is a complex one and today’s work was to try to get to first full dry fit. It was all about cleaning the big bits, sorting any warpage and, if time allows look at mounting for wings.

Today’s parts will be the lower fuselage (the HUGE bit) upper fuselage, (front and rear) the nose section and the wings.

One of the big issues with kit is what I call “scaring” on several parts. Mainly the big bits, this seems to be a casting issue. As you can see on the photos, it’s a step on the side of the some of the part, about 1mm deep, running in an uneven line. This is not a casting or mould line, but it’s a real pain.

Scaring on upper front hull front

Scaring on upper front hull front

Scaring on lower fuselage

Scaring on lower fuselage

To clean these scars I have found that I need to scrap with a sharp edge of a modelling knife. Once it’s fairly smooth I then use a medium grade emery board. I then polish it off with a fine emery cloth (sometimes known as Wet and Dry Paper). This smooths the surface for painting.


Dry fit on the front fuselage
The top front of the fuselage is made of the nose section and the upper front fuselage. The 2 parts fit together onto the lower fuselage. I found that they did not meet and I tracked the problem to the upper fuselage. It had a slight warp at the front.

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Now, we all know that the easiest way to bend a warped forge world part right? Soak it in hit water and bend it straight. I. tried it it but it didn’t work. After looking around, I found people using hair dryers to straighten thicker resin parts. I tried it out and it worked out ok. I re shaped the upper fuselage. The fit is much better, and will now only need some small filling. As this is quite a obvious part of the kit, it needs to be perfect.

Once this was done I cleaned up the front end. The front end was a bit of mess, but it cleaned up pretty good. I dry fitted the front ramp and I had to straighten the front hatch aperture. This was easy to do and it worked well.

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Lower fuselage


Next up was the big fuselage part. This is a monster part. It as 3 areas of scaring. These were hard to clean as the rivets got in the way. It cleaned up ok. Next was the bravest think I have ever done.

The thunderhawk kit does not have any mounting for a flight stand. Now I want this in the air and I am planning on making a custom stand. I think a 15mm acrylic rod will hold the weight. It’s hard to know until I can mount the full kit. Taking a power drill with 15mm hole bore to a £400.00 kit gives you shakes. I measured up location, twice to be sure. My plan was simple. I will fit a thick brass rod that passes through the fuselage. Supporting each wing. I will sheath the central brass rod with heat shrink, (normally used in electronics). I will cut a grove into the top of the acrylic rod. This will help protect the top of the rod and hold the model in place.

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Once the hole was drilled I started on the wings. This was an easy task. Both had scaring on the leading edge. It was a simple task to clean them up, but once I tryed to fit them I found the alignment a nightmare. This task is going to be a challenge. So for now I am calling it quits.

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That enough for today and time to clean up. The study now looks like a resin bomb has gone off. Better get the vac out. All in all, the kit is coming along well. The core fuselage lines up. The nose fits and worst of the scaring is behind me.


Here is the wip shot to end the day.

WIP Dry fit 1

Till next time. When me and the Wings will have a fall out.

Project Gladius build post 1-Thunderhawk cockpit and crew

Well, the work has begun and glue has been used.

I have cleaned, prepared and bathed the parts for the cockpit. The main body took the most work and the rim to the access ladder needed straightening. I checked the fit with the fuselage parts. The cockpit fitted well, but the top/front fuselage will need some work. The nose section looks to be a good fit.

I found that one of the Chairs had a slight miscast on as a result the mounting peg was too big to the hole. I cut it off and used some brass rod to fix this. This was the first application of glue to the kit! Easy to sort, but I have a feeling that this kit might hold no end of such challenges.

The 2 crew were assembled and I have added 4 shoulder pads from the bits box. I have thought about the crew a lot. Would they be techmarine pilots or regular crew? I have an issue with ever single crewman on every tank being a techmarine. They are supported be quite rare! So I have decided that any thing smaller than a landraider or raven will be crewed by the correct type of marine. (Heavy support choice will be crewed by devastators, fast attack by assault, everything else by marines.) this means that the 2 crew will be painted red and have the techmarine shoulder pads on the right shoulder. The left will be 2nd company marking. I chose to have the both holding the controls and will position the both to looking at the Centre console screens.

The wall sections fitted well, but the left side needed a bit of straightening. Then some liquid green to fill the gaps. Over all this was quite easy, but took 2 hours work.


Next up will be the main fuselage. This is going to hard. It has some nasty scaring on the lateral lines that is in between the rivets. Cleaning this will be a challenge. The scar has raised parts of it up by around 1mm. That’s a lot to smooth over. I’ll blog about it once it’s done.

Till then, see you all later.

Project gladius parts list

Hi all,

So it’s time to start thinking about the Thunderhawk. The kit is huge, complex and notoriously badly caste. The mould is 12 years old, so you should expect some warpage. The instructions for the kit is merger 5 pages long for a 109 part kit, and in nowhere near what you get in the most basic kit today. I have decided that the first thing to do is to check every part is here and is OK. Sadly the first thing missing is a parts list! They never wrote one! So, using the pages as a guide here is my Thunderhawk parts list.
Full parts TH

Sheet 1-cockpit
● core controls
● Chair x 2
● Crew x 2
● Controls with arms
● Controls alt
● Bulkhead wall rear/left
● Bulkhead wall rear/right
● Monitors x 2

Sheet 1 cockpit

Sheet 2-interior
● Lower fuselage
● Rear bulkhead
● Front bulkhead
● Ladder
● Stairs
● Bolter rack
● Upper celling
● Nose

Sheet 2 fuselage

Sheet 3-undercarriage
● Front landing pad
● Front landing leg
● Front leg piston
● Left landing pad
● Left landing leg
● Left landing leg door
● Main landing leg pistons x 2
● Right landing pad
● Right landing leg
● Right landing leg door

Sheet 3 Landing gear

front heavy bolter assembly x 2
● Left heavy bolter
● Right heavy bolter
● Upper heavy bolter mount
● Lower heavy bolter mount
● Central support
● Heavy bolter shield
● Targeting array

Sheets 3 Front guns

Wing heavy bolter assembly x 2
● Right heavy bolter
● Left heavy bolter
● Wing heavy bolter mount

Sheets 3 wing Guns

Sheet 4-fuselage
● Cockpit canopy
● front ramp
● Front ramp hinges x2
● Side door x2
● Sensor x2
● Upper fuselage
● Attack wing x 2
● Air brake x2
● Air brake support x2
● Attack wing hinges x4
● Front upper fuselage (not named on sheet)
● Upper fuselage rear (not named on sheet)
● Front ramp hinges x2

Sheet 4 front

Sheet 5-exterior
● Front canards x2
● front canard ailerons x2
● Wings x2
● Engine intake x2
● Main weapon ( turbo laser and battle cannon)

Sheet 4 Wings

● Engine exhaust x3
● Rear fuselage
● Tail plane
● Ailerons x4
● Elevators x2
● Tail fin

Sheet 5

(Additional parts)
● Hellstrike missiles x6
● Pylons x6
● Purity seals
● Aquila Eagles x3
● clear plastic card (for windows)
● Certificate

So that’s the parts. Next up is the prep work. I have decided, some what bravely, to break this process down. I will wash, clean and dry fit the core structure, then do each additional section as an individual project. To this end I have bagged the parts up in the sections as listed. I can just wash, clean and prep each section.

Bagged parts

Well, that’s the plan. Let’s see if it all works. Day one (proper) on this project is coming soon! Look out the next instalment of project Gladius.

Project Gladius 2nd company Thunderhawk

So I am starting to plan for my Thunderhawk. Its currently in a box on the shelf while I panic about the build. Its fair to say that this is not a project for the faint hearted.  Its a massive kit with some huge parts but still has some fine detailed parts and crew. The mould is old now and the quality,  while still good, has had the odd  issue.  The instructions are basic and it has no parts list. The “glass” is a peice of flat thin clear plasticard and you don’t have a mounting point for the stand, which you also don’t get.

Now it would easy to turn this blog in to a whinge.  Easy to complain about  a £400.00 for kit the lacks a stand, parts list…..! But I knew all this before I bought it. I wanted a challenge and at the end will be a fantastic peice.

That is what I hope this blog will show you, My trails and tribulations building and then painting this iconic flyer. I want rhe challenge, I want to break our the power power tools and above all I want to really enjoy this project.

So how to approach this epic task? I think I need to break it up. I have found some great blogs on the task and researched the best way to approach this leviathan. I will therfore try to do it in the following order.

-Write a Parts list!
-Check and clean the full kit.
-Prep the core body and super structure.  This will include the flaps and ailerons.  All the work to mag up the frame will be done at this stage. I want to be able to remove the top to expose the crew. I will dry fit the core of the kit at this stage.
-Drill out the major parys for pinning, mainly the wings and main gun
-Assemble and paint the flight deck. (Inc crew)
-Assemble and paint interal main body
-Prep and assamble ancillary items. (Weapons,  landing gear,  air breaks.)
-External weathering
-Make a stand (possibly 2 for display-I need to angle it into the display cabinet)

Well that seems alot! I think it will need to be broken down.

I think I will do it in small stages and paint other bits in between. I will try to blog each stage as we go. Here are the links to the awesome blogs that I have been reading.

Till then, see you access the battle table!