Wednesday 14 October 2009

Shrike and Shuttle Models

I've not done any painting in a couple of weeks now. Life seems to be driving me in other directions. However, I have also not bought anything, so I guess that means I have broken even overall. However, I did print out a couple of card models that I bought some time back as pdfs from Ebbles Miniatures, and I have now built them. Ebbles Miniatures sells a variety of downloadable pdf buildings, terrain items and vehicles and I have bought a few in the past. The prices suit me nicely and give me the chance to print out as much as I need for my games. The first model I built was this TA160 Shrike Transatmospheric Fighter (click the pictures for larger versions):

I now see from the picture that I forget to edge part of the base so there is an ugly white line showing. This is not actually as visible in real life as it is in the photo. The pdf is scaled to 15mm, but a 28mm version is also available. What you get when you buy the download is a zip file with instructions for building the kit, a pdf for the display stand and eight colour variants of the Shrike. This means that you could have eight different versions of the model without doing any editing for yourself. Woohoo! Of course, you could always drop the file into Photoshop and add your own touches if you are that way inclined.

The model itself consists of three pieces: upper body, lower body and wing structure. The wing is very easy to put together, while the upper and lower body are not difficult but do require a little care to get them to the right shape. Overall I am pleased with this model and I shall produce a couple more to provide air support for my 15mm Bwendi army.

The second model was a 28mm Utility Shuttle (apologies for the poor lighting on this one):

The utility shuttle is a neat little piece that measures approximately 4.5" long by 4" wide (110mm by 100mm). It has more parts to it than the Shrike but is not really any more difficult to build. The parts are: nose cone, central fuselage, rear fuselage, two engine pods, two skids and two landing skid supports. All of these are simple to fold together but I found that the fuselage sections did not want to sit exactly flush with each other. You can see the joins where I have edged them in black. As with the white line on the Shrike, these are not as obviously visible in real life.

The zip file for the shuttle contains three named shuttles and eight coloured shuttles, as well as a landing pad tile and the instructions. In the photo above, I have glued the landing pad tile to a WorldWorksGames concrete tile from their Urban Mayhem sets so that the landing pad will fit my other card terrain sets. I think it needs blast walls on three sides and a few more shuttles so that I can make a small spaceport set for our games.

Although the shuttle is designed for 28mm, it has no features on it that fix it to that scale. For this reason, although I do plan to use the shuttle for our 28mm games, it may well feature in our 15mm games as a dropship. It certainly looks about the right size to deliver an APC and its troops into the battle, so the Bwendi army now has near earth orbit delivery capability. If I wanted a 15mm version of it, it would be simple enough to print it at 60% size and my 15mm troops could have their own utility shuttles. There are no complex folds in the set that would make producing it at 60% scale difficult or impossible.

Overall I am very happy with both of these models, which I built while sitting watching TV with my wife and drinking wine. Admittedly the wine may have resulted in some less than careful building, but the finished products do not look much the worse for that and the brownie points scored for not hiding in my man-cave are worth it.