Monday, February 28, 2011

How To: Mk II "Drax" Pattern Hydra

This tutorial is based off of the wonderful Hydra conversion created by Admiral Drax. I loved the look of the conversion as well as the price at which it could be acquired, but I wanted a bit more adaptability to my design. So, drawing on the pictures at his blog as well as my work with the "SandWyrm" pattern Chimeras I came up with the following conversion.

What you'll need:
1 Chimera kit
1 Aegis Defense Kit
At least 8" of 1/8" diameter wooden rod (obtainable at most hardware stores)
Possibly some modeling putty if you are as poor at crafts as I am.

Step 1: Form the basis of the turret
This part is pretty much straight out of the Aegis Defense kit instructions. Take the four sides of the turret base and put them together, then put the top of the turret (with the circular opening) on top. See the picture below for an example.

Step 2: Prepare the autocannons

The autocannons are not long enough, so we'll need to saw these apart after gluing the ammo barrels to the turrets. Make the incision just in front of the small targeting vane on the bottom of the autocanon barrels, then file down the newly formed edges. See the picture above for reference

Next we need to saw the wooden rod apart into 2" segments. File down the ends of the rods.

Now using a small dremel tool drill into the center of both ends of each wooden rod and into the interior surfaces of the autocannon barrels. Put small pieces of paper clips, gauge wire, etc. to act as pins, then super glue the three segments together as below.

Step 3: Attach the autocannons to the turret

Look on the sides of the paired autocannons for a circular knob. One of them has an additional cube jutting out from it, which you should saw off and file smooth.

Then, attach the autocannons to the sides of the turret like below. Make sure that the slanted side of the turret (the one with the tiny little window) is towards the front. I like to make mine slanted upwards a bit, but orient to your own taste

Step 4: Turret base and top

We're going to close off the top and bottom of the turret and make it so that it can rotate on top of our Chimera. Cut off a rectangular piece of plasticard that is [NUMBER] by [NUMBER] inches, then cut a circular hole in it that is [NUMBER] inches in diameter. It should fit snugly around the circular piece from the Aegis Defense kit pictured below. Make sure to save the circular piece that you cut out.

Superglue the piece of plasticard around the disc:

Next, attach that completed piece to the bottom of the turret.

Now take the circular piece of plasticard that you cut out from before and glue it on to the top of the turret.

Step 4: Start building the Chimera

Begin by building the base of the Chimera just as you would normally do so, but stop before gluing on the top of the Chimera.

Next, take the top part of the Chimera and saw it in three like below. The front part is along the line of rivets just behind the turret and the back part should be cut right where the bottom angles off of the straight line. This is a bit farther back than in the "SandWyrm" Chimeras but I think the extra bit of movement towards the rear of the vehicle makes the Hydra turret look more believable.

You can discard the middle section. Attach the front and rear sections to your Chimera hull, making sure to sand the edges of the rear and front edges to match cleanly with one another. I failed at this task, so be careful :)

You will need to cut out a few pieces of plasticard to cover up the rear hatch, forward hold and the tiny hole in the front, as seen below:

The small yellow piece is a small piece of metal ruler tape; I'll use it to swap in and out magnetized hull weapons.

Step 5: Done!

The Hydra turrets can be placed on top of the Chimera chassis and will fit snugly around where the normal Chimera turret would go. This way they can rotate freely and be easily swapped out with a normal Chimera turret if you so desire.

I've added a few bits from the Aegis defense kit onto the turrets to spruce them up, specifically the vox caster on the rear and the targeting sight on the front.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial, and many thanks of course go out to Drax and SandWyrm for giving me the basis of this conversion.


Granesh said...

Excellent job Max! Though, might I recommend plastic tubing? I'd imagine that it would stick to the plastic better, as well as hold paint better. Great stuff, I'll definitely have to make a couple for my guard!

Max said...

Thank you sir! Plastic tubing (or, like Drax used, pent tubes) might be the better way to do this project. I just happened to have some wooden dowels around of the correct length so I decided to go for them. I also wasn't sure how to attach the tubes to the other parts of the barrel without filling them with something, as I certainly don't trust superglue anymore.