Roughneck Joe© Tereshkova "Hover Tank"

This is my Roughneck Joe: Tereshkova Hover Tank for the Mobile Infantry in Starship Troopers.
This is a custom in progress.

Recipe for a 1/6-scale Hover Tank

Welcome to my 1/6-scale world.  Working in this larger scale allows me to use a variety of found objects in my work.  Rather than fabricate everything from scratch, I look for parts I can use.  When I find an interesting object, I turn it upside-down, inside out, take it apart, of envision what can be combined to make a new shape.  To do this with putty, or Bondo, would be a sculpting and sanding nightmare... and get heavy very quickly!  I have turned travel sewing kits (*-*) into PADDs and laptop computers.  Water filters (*-*), peanut jugs and a hubcap become a power generator.  Listerine bottles (*-*) become beam-cannons, an Ikea clock (*-*) becomes a copula, and ice-cream cups (*-*) become engine bells for a Hover Tank.  No piece of plastic is safe!

- Workspace -

Project start, preparing to unleash the creative juices...
...and a month later, the project in full swing.

- Production -

Stripping all of the M-2 details, measuring out the anti-grav assembly.  Unique plastic cups and spindle cores make for some convincing tech, given a little paint... Snapping off and grinding down all brackets in preparation for the surface finish.
Engine compartment: rear bulkhead filled with knickknacks, engine/reactor test-fit.  More surface details and the Zimerit-2 coating test.  Harkening back to W.W.II, this protective "paste" will cover most of the hover tank.  Yes, a lot of surface area in 1/6-scale...
Side inductor assembly with internal details.  Forward thrusters mounted, with the lower two kicked outwards for stability.  Rear exhaust assembly (...some piece of cast aluminum I picked up at a technology convention fifteen years ago, when I worked summers in Baltimore's Inner Harbor during college.  To think I held onto it for that long... and it looks cool right there... on the @$$ of my Hover Tank!).  This is the first turret design I will attempt.  Cut the bottom inch off the edge of a $2 wall clock from IKEA, and presto!  A copula that fits the space exactly.
The copula ring raises the assembly up about 3/4", with the center pod mounted offset to the rear.  The pod is fixed, with the whole ring moving to rotate, giving it a backwards "lean".  The main cannons take shape...  A 1/4" threaded rod through the whole thing w/ nylon lock-nuts allows independent elevation without drift.  Several views of the main guns in place.
The right side now has a supply cage, to hold a variety of equipment and eye-candy.

- Final Bits -

A three-piece skid plate is mounted to the front, to guard the hover jet bells.  The Zimerit-2 now covers what it needs to... textured paint will do the rest.  Final bits have been placed in logical locations, lending to future "cool sounding" explanations.
A view of the engine/reactor compartment.  Four bands of Cool Neon pulse downward (al-la ST:NG), with the fifth "beat" on the red coil. ...just a little soem'n-some'n for those who look inside.
Several views of the main guns in place.  Final shots of the turret, with close-ups of the copula ring and turret core.

- Primer Coat -

Final primer coat on the completed Hover Tank.  Three nice views show off some raw details.
Steering and braking thrusters mounted at the front corners to provide maximum angles of attack against momentum (...don't ask me what that really means yet 'cause I just made it up the other day.).  A good shot of the front skid-guard-bumper plating.
Engine area and rear of the tank and turret.
Trying to find that one really cool pose.... that "says it all" in one shot.
Side inductor assembly, turret core and engine/reactor compartment.

- Fleck Spray -

Faux granite textured spray paint will add a new dimension to the surface.
It can simulate cast metal, or an old weathered surface, depending on how you finish it.

- First Color -

Using "textured" paints, first the black was laid down.  All of the side facing surfaces are black, with
the top surfaces painted second with a deep cool gray.  Lastly, the transition line is retouched with black,
because I wanted the black to over-spray and drift up.

- First Dirt on Side -

My distressing technique uses earth-tone chalk pastels and 70% rubbing alcohol.  The alcohol "clings" to the surface, and flows much like water to scale.  The pastel powders stay suspended and lay naturally as the alcohol evaporates.  If you're not satisfied, you can either rub it off when it's dry, or reactivate it with more alcohol and have it flow somewhere else!  As seen above, it collects naturally into all the nooks and crannies of webbing and the buckles.
Layers on top of layers... even muddy footprints!  The zimerit collects dirt in all the crags and crevasses.

- Dirt on Engine -

The rear hatch, engine/reactor compartment, is where all the dirt goes (...just look at the back of your car or that 18-wheeler).  Layer upon layer of grime is applied.  After a wash of pastel has dried, I hit it with spritz of dull-coat, giving it a transparent feel.
The "belly" of the beast... the reactor and all of it's bits.

- Dirt on Front -

Some "settled" dirt along panel lines and in the front louvers.  The three-piece skid plate, being on the underside leading edge, gets especially through abuse with the rust and grime.  No debris... yet.
...and what is revealed with the camera's flash, unseen with the overhead lighting.  This is a way to see what I "really" have.

- Final Dust and Footprints -

After everything has been given one final shot of dull-coat, a lighter pastel is used in select areas to simulate the "newest", most recent dirt and dust.  The ultimate example of this are dirty footprints.  Not only do they help with the realism of this utilitarian vehicle, but help establish this in a scale different than that of the original objects used.

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