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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Battle for Valhalla Build Part 2 - Terran Alliance

After having my brother in law and family over yesterday, today was a pretty laid-back affair, dropping off my son at his friends for a sleepover, taking the dog out for a walk and having our first non-Christmas related food (pasta, which tasted great after all the richness!) and an evening of relaxing with rubbish TV. I then turned my attention to the Terran Alliance ships in the BfV set.

Following the Dindrenzi build, the Tyrant was the first ship to deal with. This has pretty obvious construction, with the engine sections being labelled L & R and only fitting on the main hull one way, so difficult to get wrong.

It was only after starting to glue the left engine block on that I noticed the casting spurs at the rear of the main ship hull, as they actually interfered with the fit - my own fault for not test-fitting - grrr!

Still, easily corrected, and no detrimental effects on the assembly. Onto the right side and the injector marks and mould lines are more evident, but all in hidden places so no issues here either.

After this it was just a matter of attaching the two upright sections (stabilisers?). These go in the nice L & R labelled sections, though these are for the engine sides themselves, the uprights are identical.

So they go in with no problem, just leaving the lower flight stand insert. This goes in with no problem at all

So the Tyrant is actually very easy to assemble, the biggest challenge being to remember to clean up the rear resin poring joints before trying to glue on the engines, and aligning the vertical stabilisers, neither of which is particularly onerous. Once built, she's a solid and robust-looking ship.

The Teuton's were the next ships on the list, and as I've already a host of Templars, I permanently assembled these as Teutons. First thing to note was that at some points the casts were not as clean as the others - only small areas but they caught me out at first pass. They all have pouring spurs on the upper hulls, which is fine...

...but they also had a couple of other moulding defects;

Mostly these were just a matter of trimming away, but in one case this was also obscuring ship detail (fortunately just a bland "lip"), though not too bad to restore;

As for the parts, once cleaned up these are very straightforward and unambiguous as to how to assemble, and as others have mentioned they have recesses in that would seem ideal to hold 1x3mm magnets if you want flexibility in your future fleet. As I've already mentioned, I wasn't bothered about this, so intended just to glue them.

So after cleaning these parts up, I could get on with construction - firstly putting the flight stand in the recess (the corners are clipped at one end to aid correct placement)...

So no issues there. Next is joining the two hull halves, which again was rather painless, leaving me with three very nice looking cruisers.

Now we come onto the Armsman, which just needs the casting spur cleaning up at the front of the ship;

After this was done, the ships are pretty much finished.

Of course, you also get the Valhalla research station with the set, which is also Terran. This is very simple in terms of cleaning up the resin, just needing the two "horns" cleaning up, which is easily done as you've a template at the other end of the station for exactly how it should look afterwards.

Then we come to the acrylic....hmmmm. Well, first off, the sheet for my station was all complete, which was a good thing, and although some of the tiny inserts were still present...

They came out easily. Now in terms of getting the actual "arms" out of the acrylic sheet from which they are cut, they all have pretty big attachment points not cut through - a couple of mm wide (arrowed here).

I was very way of these given my recent battle station acrylic experiences and the fact these attachment points were so big, especially considering how fragile-looking the legs were. My first attempt to remove a leg was successful, but those big uncut-through sections do result in a big clean-up on the brittle plastic.

As for actually attaching these to the station, the points of attachment look pretty solid - though I'll probably double-glue them - first with cyanoacrylate, then an additional bead of epoxy resin at the sides. I'm not actually going to do this until the parts are painted, so I don't end up braking something whilst getting it table ready.

Last of all we have the Terran SRS tokens.

Now I know I should like these more than I actually do - there's nothing wrong with the designs, they just feel a bit "flat" for my tastes - perhaps they'll improve with painting (they often do).

Overall the Terran Alliance ships are easier to put together than the Dindrenzi, though with more moulding faults which, although minor, are unexpected with the fact these are brand new moulds. The Tyrant, Teuton and Armsman are all great looking ships, although the SRS tokens are a bit "meh" in the resin buff. The station looks good on first examination, though I don't like the acrylic pieces, and wonder what's going to happen to it when I try to store/move it for any length of time or distance.

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