Monday, February 27, 2012

From the Crypts: Assembling an Annihilation Barge

Good morning all, hope you are all having a great Monday.  I am trying something a little different today, and sharing my assembly process for an Annihilation Barge.  I am planning on completing 3 total for my army, so that I can select the full allotment should I decide too.  Following is my assembly of my first Annihilation Barge. 
Step One
Here we are at Step One, the kit comes with the pieces to be either a Command Barge or an Annihilation Barge.  3 sprues contain the parts for both kits, as well as the pieces for a Necron Overlord.  Also included are the standard larger flying base, and a 25mm base for the Overlord.  These kits are great, by going with 5 total I am getting 5 Overlords, which I can use as intended, or bits out.  Also included is a Necron decal transfer sheet.  I use the standard citadel sprue clippers, and Zap-A-Gap for my glue, as well as a standard Exacto Knife blade for removing sprue flash and severe mold lines. 
In taking a look at the sprues there are a ton of great looking pieces here too that could be used in some more freeform conversion.  Pieces were organized well on the sprues, and only a couple of times throughout the whole assembly process did it take me a moment to locate the required parts.
Step Two
The first actual steps of assembly have you building out the gunner/driver.  Assembly here was fairly straight forward.  I have seen some finished barges that do not include these, and they turned out all right, so it is certainly your option to do so.  I decided to stick as close as possible to the instructions.  The way the shoulder pieces are set on the sprue make it difficult to clip without a bunch of flash, so I had to clean them up with the Exacto knife.  DO NOT ADD THE ARMS AT THIS TIME.  If you do so they will not match up to the control boards correctly later in the assembly. 
Step Three

Here we are starting out building the chassis.  Great fun here as we start to see what things will look like.  The chassis is made up of multiple parts that essentially sandwich or layer up.  In this part of the assembly there are a pair of thrusters on a type of ball joint that go on the back.  The instructions indicate to not glue these, but I think that if you wanted to glue them into position I did not see where this would pose a problem later on.  I opted not to glue them, but I will most likely change these to a fixed position later on.  You also will want to take care in the positioning of the driver/gunner, as they are sandwiched between two layers, and you will want them to line up just right to prevent issues.  With the swept forward "wings", if you are not careful you can end up with some gaps, but with careful application of glue and pressure you should have no trouble.  If you do end up with some gaps, they would be fairly easy to fill with your favorite modelling putty.

Step Four

On this step you add the vertical "scorpion tail".  this fits rather easily onto the chassis.  At this point I couldn't help but be reminded of the old metal Dark Eldar Talos, very scorpion looking indeed.  At the top of the "tail", there is a sensor array that gets glued flat down.

Step Five

This part was slightly tricky.  There are 3 pieces on each side that you use too meet up the panels to the "tail".  When taking these off of the sprues be careful to not use too much pressure, as there is a fold or joint that can snap in the middle.  These pieces are in cramped placement on the sprue.  I was able to get them off with out any breaking, but wanted to give a heads up for anyone else.  Also, take some care in how the pieces are placed on the tail and how they meet up to the panel.  If you are careless you will find that they do not meet up as well you would like.

Step Six

Here we are with the finished product.  In this step you do both the under slung gun option, in which I selected the Tesla Cannon, and the Twin Linked Tesla Destructor.  Also in this step is where you would build the rider's "podium" which I left on the sprue as this will be a dedicated Annihilation Barge.  Also I should mention that there is nothing preventing you from using this kit as both.  You could very easily swap out the podium and the gun turret without any issue.  
I had a lot of fun assembling this kit, and it took less than an hour.  If I had any complaints at all, it would be with the flyer bases that come included and how they match up to the model, but this is fairly standard for any GW model that makes use of the flying bases.   I know that there are a ton of good guides out there for options with better base mounting.  

That is all for now, please let me know how you liked this new format in the comments.  Eventually when this is painted I will share pics, thanks all!