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Project Capstone: Thunderhawk Build Log 1

Herein lies the first part of my ongoing project to build (and paint I guess) a Thunderhawk.  I have previously posted about the motivations for taking on such a crazy project, so this is just the ongoing project diary.

Day 1

Thunderhawk arrived!  I went through the box and got a bit intimidated by the sheer volume of stuff, but I’ll just have to grind through.  

Day 2

Started clipping out and cleaning bits whilst listening to podcasts.

Day 3

Got the laser done and lay it out on my desk.  This thing is big.  Starting to worry a little that the Thunderhawk is maybe a bit bigger than I anticipated.  

Days 4-7

Periodically clipped and cleaned the smaller parts in fits and bursts whilst listening to podcasts, but spent way too much time distracted playing Factorio instead.  The factory must grow.

Day 8

Finally got the Dremel out for the big bits.  I got everything set up but realised that even though the sun was still up and the weather was fine it was probably getting a bit late for making power tool noises in the garden, especially as my neighbours have a young kid.  Legal, but not neighbourly. Shoved everything in the garage and went back inside to do the last of the small parts.

Day 9

With everything ready to go, I spent my lunch break in the back garden cutting the large gates off with the Dremel.  I will emphasise that I used a breathing mask and eye protection because that’s a lot of resin dust being kicked out.  Finally I can roughly dry fit the main hull, although I still have loads of cleaning up to do before I’m ready to build anything.  Also at the very least the front top hull piece needs to be reshaped as the cockpit doesn’t fit into it like it needs to, so that’s going to take some time as that’s a monster sized piece to warm up.

Also, as it happens, my flying stand turned up today.  I ordered it from the Magnet Baron as recommended by one of the kit reviews I’d watched prior to beginning this project.  The idea is that the stand itself has a magnet on each end and can be detached for transport, and the shaft is sunk into the bottom hull of the model and the provided rock, so the magnets are really just there to hold everything together whilst moving it around.  

Unfortunately when the rock arrived, the hole was quite a bit too large, so the stand would be free to wobble about with only the strength of the magnet holding this heavy £600 lump of fragile resin aloft.  The magnets are strong, but I think not that strong.  I’ll contact the seller and see what they say, but given how short the rock is anyway I’m tempted to make something myself that is a little bit taller.

I don’t have a base for it yet, I wanted to see how big it was in person before I committed to buying a base, but there are lots of wooden oval plaques and so forth online so that should be reasonably easy.

Finally, I started looking at storage and transport options.  It seems KR has a dedicated foam tray specifically designed to fit it, but it’s somewhat unclear as to what case it fits in and their website says to email them about it, so I pinged off an email to get things rolling.  So today has been a combo day of power tools and customer service.

Day 10

The first blood is shed in service to the omnissiah.  I have been too nervous with the Dremel and left too much gate behind on some parts, and I got caught up enthusiastically trying to cut off lumps of resin with a craft knife that I really shouldn’t have tried.  The end result being the surety of steel meeting the weakness of my flesh.  Aka I stuck a knife in my thumb.  I should have listened to Mark.  

Considering the health and safety standards of the Imperium, illustrated by these incredibly narrow stairs with no handrail over a deadly drop, I'm not doing too badly.

I think I need a second pass but will have to secure either the parts or the tool to the table so I have the stability to get a bit closer.  I don’t have a proper workstation for this kind of work, so I was simply sitting in the garden on a folding table, with a resin piece in one hand and a Dremel in the other, but it’s not quite cutting it (boom boom).  I could 100% just use a hand saw to do this, it’s what I’ve used on previous resin projects, but this kit has a lot of really thick gates so I’d really rather not.  

Meanwhile, out came the superglue for a quick spot of battlefield surgery (not recommended kids) and a few more hours were poured into cleaning up what I could of the Dremelled parts whilst watching videos.  Cleared everything I could of the large hull pieces and started on the medium sized bits.

Day 11

KR got back to me, apparently they do have a case the Thunderhawk tray fits in but it’s currently out of stock.  I guess I’m going to have to be patient on that one, but it gives me hope that I will be able to get something decent even if for a while I have to rely on a big box and a lot of bubble wrap.  

In better news, I acquired a mount for my Dremel.  Now I can fix it to the bench and very carefully manoeuvre parts into it for a safe neat cut.  Sadly the rain has rolled in, curtailing garden-based power tool work.

Day 12

More rain.

"I'm not going out there, it's pouring with rain!"

Day 13


I’ve been pondering the flying stand.  They haven’t responded yet, so I should probably chase, but I’m thinking I would be more comfortable gluing the rod firmly to the base, rather than relying on magnets.  The top can still be magnetised as it will be sunk far into the hull and gravity will be doing most of the work anyway, the magnet would just be there to hold the stand on when lifting and moving the model.  It will mean making two bases for the different rods, but making bases is relatively easy compared to the safety and comfort it will bring.   

Day 14

Would you believe more rain?  Good weather for emo Raven Guard to sit and brood, but not ideal for using power tools in the garden.  Thanks British Summer.  


  1. Wow. It's really not like the rest of the hobby, is it? Not even like building Airfix kits, from what I can tell. Those tend to be plastic on really big sprues. A ship like this would be at least double the number of smaller pieces. I'm sure you'll feel on more familiar ground once it's built and you can start painting.

    1. There's about 6 huge pieces that make up about 95% of the volume, and then about 120ish (I did count but I forgot) pieces that make up the rest. There's probably a whitty comment in there somewhere about late stage capitalism but I can't think of it right now.


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