February 28, 2013

Biker garage door: TUTORIAL ALERT

OK, it is Thursday morning and I am back on schedule, mostly.  The aquarium stand has not come together as I would have likes and I am now back to square one on the supporting frame.  But that is not what this morning's report is about.  Today I want to show you a garage door, nearly complete.

The garage door is assembled and working properly.  I am thinking I need to add a hinge in the middle since the door sags when it is open, but can not make up my mind yet.  If you are following along just to see what I am doing and have no cares for how to do it you may want to skip through to the bottom, but stop along the way to look at the pictures.

Here is what you will need to make your own Vertical Bi-fold hangar door.
  • Card stock: this is my material of choice for most of my metal like pieces.  You can find it for free or purchase it rather cheaply and it has a multitude of uses.  I grind it with my dremel, sand it with paper, burn it on the edges, and even wet it down to get a rusted ripping effect.
  • Toothpicks: I keep both round and square toothpicks on hand at all times.  The are nice and small, easy to work with and can always be cut in half and used as stakes or spears.
  • Floral wire: I find this to be a must for any Ork builder.  It comes in a variety of strengths and thicknesses, as well as being non-coated, plastic coated, thread coated, or even paper coated.
  • Tubing: Tubing is one of the few things I really have trouble getting ahold of.  I tend to buy it from Plastruct and don't keep enough on hand lately.  A cheaper way to get it is to buy electrical wire and pull the copper out, this would also give you material similar to non-coated floral wire.  I used 2 sizes of tubing here, one that the floral wire fits through and a second that the round toothpicks fit through.
  • Magnets: I fell in love with magnets for building, they are becoming more versatile for me every day.  In this case I found some strong cylinder magnets and semi weak flat magnet strip.
  • Beams: I used I beams pushed into the foam to make the guide rails on this project.  My tubing fits into it without any sticking so it worked perfectly. 
  • Tools and glues: scissor or tin snips preferably, it cuts the thick card stock better, knives, a small saw blade, files, and of course PVA and CA or super glue.

Hinges first, they took a while to get right and a lot longer to dry properly.  Cut 4 small even strips of the smaller tubing, and glue one to the squared section of a toothpick.  This will give you a little extra surface to glue to as well as help glue the piece to the garage door without gluing your hands.  I did this in pairs and there is a little trick that lines everything up if you leave a lot of the toothpick available.  Allow all 4 strips to dry to the toothpick, adding more glue to fill the gap between toothpick and tube, sand smooth again after dry.

While the hinges are drying, measure out the doorway you have to work with and then take off 1/16" from the width and 1/8" for the height, mark and cut out your card stock.  By cutting your door this tight you will have very little room for error, but it looks great if done right.  You will need to cut this door nearly in half, I went a little large on the bottom for no reason other than not having it perfect.  The split here needs to be straight across the door or it will fold wrong and fall out of the guides.

Right about now your tubing/toothpick should be usable.  make a tiny bend in one end of the floral wire and feed it through 2 of the tubes from the unbent end all the way down.  If you push the wire through like the picture above, the toothpicks become guides to make sure everything lines up.  Carefully glue the toothpick and tube to the card stock over the split between garage door halves.  Do this again for the second hinge and any other hinges you feel you need.  In the picture above, the garage door for the bikers is getting a mid door hinge.

That is all it took to make the door itself with a working hinge.  To finish the door you will need a pivot, I chose a tube large enough to fit a toothpick into it, shown on the right of the picture.  I placed a magnet behind it as a stop point for the toothpick and to help hold my door in the open position.  On the bottom, left in the picture, is my guide roller with another magnet, set to grab the top one.The roller doesn't roll but it still keeps the door in the groove and moving properly.

Play around with the amount of space on the pivot and roller.  The pivot has to be placed high enough that minis won't hit the finished door, but low enough that it won't buckle when opening.  This has a lot to do with the thickness of the materials used, here a tube of the same diameter as the pivot catch was used to space the catch.

For those interested I hope you find this helpful in making your own doors or similar projects.


Here are some pictures of the almost and now completely finished garage door.  As I took the first couple of pictures I realized there is no window to see who is outside, and promptly fixed that.  First is the door closed followed by it open with the magnets holding it in place, there is enough weight on the door now that it slams shut rather roughly.

 Here is a close up of the door on the garage before adding the window and  after having added the window while the mesh dries in place.  I didn't need anything more than a peek hole for them
And finally the back of the door.  I will eventually make the back look a little better but getting the door working so I could carry on was the priority here.

One final picture and a thank you to Bugbait_nz on Terragenesis for showing off this innovative technique, The Orks have been welding repairs onto the kannon, and added a few patches.  The welds are just PVA glue put down thick and allowed to dry without touching them and the patches are card with liquid beads.  I need to get better at the liquid beads, which BTW are all over the garage door in case you were wondering.

Thats it for today everybody, time to get some sleep and prepare for work this evening.

February 26, 2013

Sunday on Tuesday???

I apologize for being 2 days late with my Sunday update, but caught up on Walking Dead Sunday and had a Birthday Party on Monday so this is the first chance I have really had to be back in front of the computer.  I will not say it won't happen again because I am sure it will.  But the good news is I have a few things to update you on.

First of course is terrain.  The biker shop is getting a garage door shortly, the glue is drying right now but it shouldn't be too long.  The door is the vertical bi-fold I promised you, and actually ended up a little nicer than I first thought it would.  The door itself is going to be smooth so everything works decently, but then will be covered with Orkiness.

I have also assembled a structure to house the big boom kannon.  This one is not quite square at 5 by 5 3/4 inches and the roof of this one is non removable.  It however is going to get a large garage door as well making it easy to use the interior of.  Had I been thinking I could have tried using magnets to hold the ceiling on, but I was in a hurry to get something accomplished at the time.  This is due to the weight and off balance of the gun itself, every time I moved it the ceiling fell off.

The crane has a post to attach to and will swing and slide but will not actually lift unfortunately.  It is set up in the far corner, and I am hoping that I can actually make several more kannons and use a single crane to provide them all with ammo, maybe even returning to this project later and making it into a complete artillery complex.

In other news, I now have the lumber I need to assemble my aquarium stand.  It is going to be huge, massive, and maybe Orky since I think it is being doomed to the garage, but that also means I get to look at my fish more, so it's not all bad.  I wonder if I could build a clay Idol of Gork in one of them.  I think making several Ork scuba divers with harpoons is now in order.  Great now I have to get a box of Fantasy Orcs.

The aquariums I will be adding to this stand will be a 55 gallon that measures roughly 48 by 12 by 21 with all the plumbing pushing it out and up 3 inches.  Second will be the new 75 measuring 48 by 18 by 21 again with 3 inches to the top and back for additions.  Finally on one of the bottom shelves will be a little 10 gallon which I don't want to run measure at the moment.

That will leave room for a shelf or two on the bottom for food, cleaning supplies and any extra equipment I can add.  Maybe even room to store my fish books.  Due to a camera malfunction there are no new pictures today, I hope to have it fixed... pronounced charged for the Thursday report.  Thats it for today folks.

February 21, 2013

Born to be Wild

Not sure what I want to mount the Kannon on I decided to switch gears and build the Bike Shak.  The Bike shak consists of a small building for the boys and a shop big enough to hold their bikes.  I am going to try a vertical bi-fold door for the garage, like the ones you see in some airplane hangars.  I got this idea from Caleb over at Terragenesis.  I was originally going to do a regular horizontal bi-fold like you find in a lot of closets, but this became another little challenge.

Overall dimensions of it are 9" by 8" with half of the dimensions going to the garage itself.  The staircase is in the middle of this building, separating the noise of the garage from the small sleeping area.  I made the stairs 1 1/2" to accommodate the usually wider than the base arms of Orks in the confined space.  The garage side will also be taller than the living quarters.

The garage door will take up the entire 7" opening of the garage side wall and will open upwards, providing a little extra shade when it is open.  To help it operate smoothly, I set smooth rails up each side of the garage door, where I will install a slide and pivot at the top, and hinges halfway up the card stock door.  Since I work in less than an hour there won't be time to get more don, so you will have to wait until the next post to see the door itself.  But here is where I am at so far.

 Other news is I finally got Freebooter's Fate through The War Store.  You command a band of cutthroat pirates or imperial arms-men or even amazons and assassins in a quest for booty and glory.  I have not had a chance to play yet, probably not until next week at the earliest, but I am intrigued by the game mechanics.  There is a set of cards that are purchased separately that cover events, damage locations, and take the place of dice rolls to see what happens that turn.  Best part is that since I chose not to make my Orktopia terrain too Ork specific it has a slight Central American look to it.  Now all I need is 5000 palm trees.

Lastly, I purchased another aquarium, this one a 75 gallon.  My next paychech will go to making a proper stand to hold the 75 and 55 on top of it, then I will have to purchase filtration and lights, and finally salt then fish.  I don't expect to have this tank running in less than 2 months, but we will see what happens.

Thats it for today, time to change shirts and head in to work.  Until next time.

February 17, 2013

Ugly setback

While I was out on a little mini date with my wife, dinner and shopping, I left the oldest in charge of the youngest, and in true male teenager fashion he proceeded to let the little one play with dynamite while he sat on the Xbox.  The results to my game room were devastating.

I have repaired 17 Orks, 3 of the buildings, and am still looking for pieces that were violently removed from the satellite dish.  This has caused me to sit back and redesign my gaming area, splitting the room in half with the game table and purchasing a locking gate to attempt to keep him out of the storage area of my gaming environment since I seem to be unable to keep him out of the room at large.

It also means that all my attempts at cleaning are ruined as I had to tear apart my heavily shelved areas in order to divide up what he can and can not get into.  There will not be a lot of miniature or building progress this week but I am hoping by this weekend I can start making up for that

The good news to this is that after going through and deciding what has to go where I have also been able to remodel my area of the garage a bit more, no longer having to try and worry about the needs of the rest of the family as I set up the back.  The bad news is I think I am going to repeatedly run into the eye hook that makes up the latch for the gate.  Right now the place is too messy to want to take any pictures, but I will get something up as soon as I get it cleaner.

February 14, 2013

We need protection

Started a little side project in the form of a weapons platform.  I decided to make a big mean cannon with the time I was awake today.  I started with a dried out marker, and a roller from cash register paper.  I made a hydraulic piston out of a hollow tube and a lollipop stick then mounted them together using thick card stock.

The cannon itself was a pretty easy build, but then I chose to add a loading crane.  The crane is made up of bits including 2 Ork chain weapons and some angle iron from Plastruct.  I am not finished with this part yet, wanting to add a work platform with controls and of course some sort of hook.

This is all going to go on a large tower at some point so I tried to make sure I could resize it once I have decided what my defensive towers are going to look like.

As I said the cannon itself is an easy build, but it is also huge compared to an Earth Shaker  from Games Workshop the piston underneath is hard to see but it works, I even have a hole in the back where air could be tubed in somehow.
 The crane motor is invisible on the other side, the chainsword here is used to power the pulley system for lifting.
 here we see the completed upper arm with the lower base swivel in place underneath.  I intend to make a platform with controls for the crane.

 The other side with the Nob chainaxe visible.  The chainaxe operates the directional motor on the crane winch itself.

That is it for this edition.  See you soon.

February 13, 2013

The first Bridge

Using the floral while from my previous post I decided the first thing I wanted to do was build a rope bridge.  I thought this would be an easy half hour project, and originally it felt like it would be.

I made 2 lower rails to hold the boards on, then cut out the boards and used the Dremel to make them look like they were torched off of other structures.  The guide lines had to be added next, 1/2 inch long each and glued between the boards.  After that it was just a matter of gluing the upper rail to the guide lines.

The bridge itself is level and easily leveled between two buildings.  This is the reason that I chose to make each level of my buildings, except for special buildings like the Palace and large shops, the same height.  The material used for the roof doesn't matter to the bridge, it is self set and will look like it was bolted down to where ever I place it.

Obviously Regrak had to be the first one to play on the new bridge, since the cabling and plates used came out of the Stompa Factory.

February 11, 2013

Treasure Trove

Yesterday I ventured out to the fabric store with my wife.  I had been in this place several times before but never really walked it aisle to aisle.  Why would I?  Maybe because it contains treasure, and lots of it.

First off I located granny grating.  Nothing new right, find it at Wal-Mart whenever I need another sheet of it.  Well there were 4 different sizes of grid, and one of those has round holes and looks like plating.  I picked up 5 sheets of it, the plating coming in a 2 pack.  I have no idea what I am going to do with any of this yet, but I am sure the uses are endless.

Next was the floral section.  I have rolls of floral wire, wrap, and pins.  Here I found double thick wire already colored other than green, as well as a very thick wire that is wrapped with paper and it immediately made me think of a rope bridge or ladders.

In the candy section I found foot long lollie pop sticks.  normally I use kebob sticks for posts and poles, but they don't bend properly, normally cracking and showing the wood grain.  An aisle over at the end of the beads was a package of beads in a bottle.  This product is designed for dazzling up shirts and one of the packages was all metallic colors, it hit the cart so fast I think it broke the sound barrier.

Lastly into the jewelry tools.  Here I grabbed a new sprue cutter, this one with a 22 degree angle, and a small punch set.  All in all I think I did well and my Orks are going to appreciate the suffering I had to endure at a girlie store.

February 07, 2013


So having last night off and getting a good deal of sleep, I found myself with a few hours of free time before work.  I have not yet decided flooring materials for any of Orktopia's buildings so I chose to grab a paintbrush and begin making blue Orks green.  The first thing I did was open the wrong bottle of green.

Due to drying paints I threw out my entire collection and started fresh.  I am using Army Painter paint bottles and sprays now, with a few Vallejo thrown in as I need them.  I am not one who likes to mix my own shades finding it impossible to remake the color later.  I like AP paints, I am not sold on the bottles.  They seem a little milky instead of clear and the color isn't properly viewed through them then.

Anyway since I opened and poured the wrong green I grabbed a unit of goblins and started on them first.  After the 10 grots were ready I took out the proper green and went to work on 32 Orks I have on the table.  Why 32, well shouldn't it be obvious? No? Ok then.

32 Orks is the number I picked since I have 5 buildings assembled.  The first building belongs to my warboss Gramooch and so he must be painted in time to move in.  The next 30 are 3 minimum 10 model units of Ork Slugga Boys, complete with big shoota boy and Nob boss.  The final Ork model is the Runtherder for the grots that already have paint on them.  Allowing them to go around painted and unsupervised could mean trouble for me later, I mean I have seen Night at the Museum.

Now as I get ready for work I have 42 Orks and goblins with their pants or loincloths painted on, and 39 with their flesh showing.  10 of them have their shirts on now and even a few extras here and there but I needed a unit to start from to ensure my color patterns looked good to me.

That is all I have for you today, tune in tomorrow as the remainin Orks finally finish getting dressed.

February 06, 2013

A small settlement

Home sick tonight with breathing problems, left side has been burning slightly all night.  Since I am a little afraid to sleep I thought I would work on the Palace.  I decided to make the floors between levels out of stone.  To do this I am going to use peeled back foamcore and mark cracks along it.

The second level is just over half the size of the first, allowing a plaza for the warboss to look out over his city.  The door is standard size and placed roughly in the center of the structure.  I intend this floor to be the war room.  The warboss would make his toughest decisions from here, such as whether to WAAAAAGH! today or save it for tomorrow.  Other issues such as who to WAAAAAGH! against and where to eat before the big WAAAAAGH!  This level would also house weapons placements if I decide to add them.

The final level takes up most of the floor and has a stairwell to the rooftop, where I still may add a throne for Gramooch to look out over his kingdom from.  This floor is the Warboss's private sleeping room, and with the small size of it that is about all it is used for.

Other than the Palace I have built a third Slugga Boys hut as well as the Looted Hut.  The looted hut is the original home to Regrak Umiebutcha, who helped create the first large weapons the klan used before the other meks surged around him.  The Looted Hut is 8 inches long, just an inch longer than the Slugga huts, and only 4 inches across.
That is all I intend to post for now, next time I should have damage on everything I have built so far.

February 04, 2013

Preparing the battlefield

Great strides were made in cleaning up my game space this evening.  I actually have enough table space to  paint, assemble, AND game all at the same time.  It still needs organization but for the moment I am thoroughly satisfied with the results.

As for building and miniature progress there hasn't been any in the last week.  I am hopefully ready to change that now.  On the table is a 10 Ork unit of boys complete with the Nob and 1 of the big shoota boys.  This unit is already partially painted and is the unit I used for the Orktopia cover photo.  I have Wednesday night off so with any luck there should be a lot of progress then.

So here is my gaming area in all it's congested glory.  Left to right, Gaming table in the center is on wheels and pushed against the garage door.  Shelving rack for miniatures and extra bits in the blue containers beside them.  The work table complete with swords in case I am attacked while coloring my armies or assembling their homes.  Finally a couple of book racks for wargaming, role playing and storing anything else I want handy.
My game table is a full sheet of 4 by 8 plywood ontop of a salvaged store pallet sized display rack.  The foam insulation on the garage door adds a good layer of protection from the cold as well as a nice place to hang my map plates as I start a campaign and slowly expand the planetary empire.  The shelving in the corner holds most of my 40K miniatures, minus the Orks who have their own display on the opposite wall not pictured here.
 The workstation is well defended with weapons and a Halloween wreath my daughter and I built last year.  Yes I did spend a couple minutes staging this area but it normally looks pretty similar when you could actually use it.
That is all I have for you today, hopefully I will be able to post a painted town and miniatures soon.