The ATHENA project is up to today my biggest project and it took me longer than any other ;)
I started in 2009 but I interrupted many, many times. In the end I worked a total of 12 months on this project.
Since the posts are pretty scattered within the blog, I decided to try and get them merged here.
Let's see if it works.

22. May 2009
Well, durning my latest journey through the vastness of the electronic universe I ran into a music group called Abney Park ( a so-called Steampunk band :)
Just my topic!
One of their songs is "Airship Pirates" - I mean just the title allready sparks sooooo many ideas, doesn't it?
Well you know what happened, right?
Right :)

Dencara needs a Steampunk airship!

Here are the first scetches I made for it.
It will have two "Jump Decks" from where airborne troops (aka Paratrooper) can be launched, as well as a large variety of weapons. Maybe even a launch pad for an Interceptor plane....we'll see.

I started off with the Jump Decks to get the scale. It will have to have room for 8 troopers, so i placed 8 bases and calculated size from there.

This is the first piece of plasticard, with the bases and a small turret (from the ZEUS) that I will use.

Then I produced the interior walls and doors for the sections.

And mounted them.

Here you can see the "roof" on it.

A Stormtrooper and the turret for scale.

Luckily I still had some casted seats form then ZEUS left over, so I started on the seats for the Jump Deck.

With some bars that will holde the troopers.

And then it was time to give the side walls a first try.

I will try to maintain the 40 gothic look together with the steampunk theme.

The two sides, with the holes that will mount the turrets.

then some ornamenting and first rivets.

Since there are some areas that I won't be able to access again once the sides are mounted, I began to build these.
So these are the interior walls for the central turret section - they will be hardly visible, but through the one open door, one may get a glimpse at them.

Then I painted them quickly in the same pattern as the ZEUS interior.

And mounted them.

All pieces of this lower deck together.

So, this is the first part of ATHENA, another insane Dei Greci project :)

22. May 2009
As just mentioned in my reply to Itkovians comment, I'm not sure what kind of skin to use for the ATHENA.
I could use a more ship-like metal skin like in these two samples:

Or a more blimp like fabric skin like in the two samples below.

For the all-metal skin, I would use .5mm thin plasticard, while for the fabric skin I'd use PVAed paper (or tissue) over thin ribs.
What would you think is looking better?

24. May 2009
First I enforced the bottom of the gondola with some additional (riveted) beams.

And then I started the nose.

You realize I didn't implement the two forward turrets. I changed my plan to a larger chin turret, that will be easier to mount :)

Next was another enforcing rim on top of the gondola, which is to serve as a connector between the gondola and the main ships body.

Since I want to access the deck later on to paint and mount details, I figured to use some pins and holes to keep everything in place.

Unfortunately I realized then, that mounting the pieces with pins and temporary rubber cement only leaves way to much room ofr error.
Pieces are moving around, don't match exactly and I loose the measurements.
So I had to change plans, and do the deatiling and painting now, so I could glue the sides now :(

Then a quick basecoat with the airbrush.

After that, standard procedure, drybrush with Boltgun Metal and another layer with Tin Bizz.
Then the cables and pipes with Enchanted Blue.

These images don't really show it, but that base with Bolgun and Tin Bizz really comes out nicely.

After that detailing some red, yellow, and green, as well as Dwarf bronze for the scales and Shining Gold for the keys.

Highlighting the cables and Skull White for the inner pieces of the keys.

Then rust with Terracotta.

Boltgun Metal and Chinmail for the actual scratches and then mount it.

I had to do some filling and sanding at the nose joint, but that was minor.

So that's the gondola, pretty much finished.

Now I'm trying to plan the next steps.
How will I shape the body?
More ship like (like the dotted line), or more Blimp like (solid line)? Also, will I have the upper deck more ship like (solid line) or more Blimp like (grey line)?
I'm not quite sure how I will continue....

C&C as usual wecome and quite appreciated :)

27. May 2009
Besides some sculpting experiments I spent the last few days fideling with the outline of the airship.
I finally setteled on the blimp-ish outline and prepared the ribs of the airframe on the computer for printout.
This I glued with (temporary) rubber cement to the cardboard.

Then I started to cut the first two ribs.

And then I blue-tacked them to the gondola.....


I'm afraid I have to go back to the drawing board.
I don't really like the outline. The bottom part needs to be slimmer and rounder, but the top is OK I think.
What do you think?

28. May 2009
Hi guys here's another sketch of how I envision the ATHENA.

So, with the gondola being about 30x10 cm, I think the main body will be in the area of 60 or 80 cm long.... :)
Size matters after all.
Mikael, I fully agree with you on the football/blimp form. But I have to do a cut on the top, so I can place my main deck on it, and I have to cut the rear end, so i have room for the 3 engines/propellers.
If you look at the sketch above, the rip I built yesterday pretty much follows "A" - too wide, too squatty. I will have to go more into the format of "B".... in the end, I want it to look like the "C" outline.
Hi Xi, nice to have you here :)
Aramament? Well, I was thinking about using it more C&C like. So the Russian blimps as heavy bombers. As I'm intorducing the Witch Hunters into my army, this can then be used to represent the bombardment rule :-P
With this in mind, I will have a bomb bay in the rear part of the gondola. But it will also have a chin turret, and maybe I'll mount a vanquisher there...
Most other weapons will be AA weapons to fight off any fighters and interceptors - so I think gatlings will be the order. Maybe an additional missile pot.
But I'm open to suggestions :)

30. May 2009
Finally I had some time to tinker some more with the shape of the Athena main body.
I really had a lot to do at work, and some real-live commitments left me less time than normal to work on this project.
But now I think I found a shape I can work with.
So I built the first three rips and mounted them.

With a supporting beam in the middle (as the whole "flat top" will rest on these).

So this now resembles pretty much the shape "C" I had drawn in the previous post.

Also, this shape has enough overhang that allows for some bombing apreatus'. I really like the way the bombs are visible on the C&C Kirov, but for this it is allready loo late.
Nvertheless, since many things will be inside the float body (including an oberservation deck and the engines) I will make it look that the bombs are inside and two bomb bays are then visible.

So, I continued last night and made 4 more rips (7 out of 9 on the gondola).

For size comparison I placed an Kaskin stormtrooper and a St. Celestine here. From here there will be about 5 more rips forward, but each one being smaller, thus creating a pointy nose. In the rear there will be probably be another 3 or 4.

The holes I have in the rips are planned to take some rods or pipes to give support. Basically the body will be empty, except for the Observation deck (like a sharks mouth) that will be visible from the outside, and whatever I need to mount the 3 wing sets and the bomb bays.

So, I think this will keep the Athena looking blimpy enough, while it will give me the room for a flat top.
For game purposes, I can't see the Athena moving on the board, I rahter think it is placed once, in the middle, over the map area, and there it remains during the match.
My basic idea is to mount it from the ceeling for display (since I only have a modders or display army, but not a play army - I have hardly ever played a match *blush*), but I could also see a flying stand - maybe over a diorama, similar to the ZEUS one.....
Oh well, on we go :-)

31. May 2009
Now that all of the full-size rips are mounted I placed some plasticard sheets on top, to simulate the main deck.

These are 3 A4 sheets (slight overlapping) placed in landscape format. This will give the main deck a total width of 295mm and a full length (including nose) of 630mm :-)

In this shot, the overall shape is visible pretty good.
Itkovian - I created some templates on my PC in Corel Draw. They include the center of the holes to ease drilling too. Then I printed them on normal paper and this I glued with rubber cement (called "Fixo gum" by Marabu). After cutting the paper peels of nicely, and any remains of the cement can easily be rubbed away.
Next I mounted some stabilizing stips. The strips between each rip are cut accoring to the measurements on the bottm, to ensure there is no width variation.

Then some additional stips accross the width.

And here you can see the rear end which will have a slightly different shape, due to the 3 main rotors/engines.

It is coming along nicely, but this project eats plasticard like I eat chips :-P

2. June 2009
As mentioned in the comments, I spent quite some time with a water level to get all pieces perpendicular.
But it was well worth the effort, and now I can be sure, all peices are aligned properly. Also you can see here the rear area that will host the 3 main rotors.
Now I can finally see how huge this bugger is going to be :-P
I have to admit, it is bigger than I thought *chuckle*
On the other hand, this leaves me now with some room to experiment. Looking at the size of the upper deck, I can see to convert it into a deck, similar to an modern aircraft carrier - bridge and stuff on one side, to leave room for a full length deck - while my plan orignally envisioned the bridge being full width at the end...
I will send some more time tinkering about this, but I could really see, the bridge taking one half of the deck, and the rest being available as flight deck ... any suggestions or ideas from your side?
Well, while thinking about the bridge, I continued with the main rudder - despite the wings will have more side-rudders.

And I built the central wing mounting. The central wing will host the secondary engine, that can be rotated for vertical and horizontal drive.

Then I started cutting the main pieces for the wing.

But I have to spend some more effort on the engine, as the plan that I originally had is not really practical, so I have to look for a better, easier, and replicatable solution - I think I found it in the cap of a spray can, but I will have to check this out at home.
I toyed some ideas in CorelDraw.
With this layout I would have a launch deck on one side (grey area) that would have a forward ramp like some of the Russian and British carriers.
The lift would be in the center (where the blimp body is widest and deepest). Will 20x13cm be big enough? interceptors would have fold wings....
Beneath the Launch deck would be room for another small AA turret, wile besides it would be a large main AA gun as well as a set of vertical missile launchers (like on modern Submarines?)

If I can get all these mounted it would give the following theoretical Fields of Fire for the deck AA.
What do you think?

3. June 2009
Thanks for your feedback and participation guys!
Looking at this image, I would in theory have enough space to land a THANTALOS on the ATHENE.

But I supposed the lift would have to be bigger *grin*

Anyhow, I need to make sure I'm not getting carried away here. The initial concept was to have an airship from which I could launch some stormtroopers, as well as do some Air-to-Ground fire and maybe something like the "planetary bombardment".
In addition I was thinking about having one or two interceptors on the ATHENE for Air-Defense.

Looking at the blimp form of the body, I could realistically host some planes (with folded wings), but not as much as on a real carrier...
I will look some more into this this afternoon...especially considering that in 40K most planes are VTOL anyway.

OK, in the meantime, I started work on the first wing engine.
I started with the cap of a spray can, but since it was a bit to short, I had to extend it. For this I cut it first.

Then inserted a strip of plasticard to extend it.

Now it is 1.5 cm longer.

Then I worked on the forward end of the engine (where the propeller is mounted).

Of course, no real imperial engine can work without rivets :)

Then the mounts of the engine so it can be rotated.

Some detailing.

More rivets.

And more rivets.

And finally mounting the "face".

Since the plastic of the cap if a very funny plastic, with a very glossy surface (from which I don't know if any paint will stick to it), I will make a mold tonight, and then cast two engines from it.

8. June 2006
I gave the resin another try on Friday....and now it is official:
It sucks and is no longer curing properly :(
I should've read the instructions, as they state it should be used withion 12 months of opening.
Oh well, another lesson learned for Klaus.

But, since I don't want the engines to hold me up, I continued with the contruction of the central wing (the one holding the engine).
Here you can see the disc, where the rotatable engine will be mounted.

And this is the view on the inside with some controls for the engine.

Here I started with the actual wing construction.

Which I covered with .5mm plasticard and some rivets.
Then I spent some more time tinkering over the main deck layout.

So the lift has approximately the size of a Chimera - that should be OK for an interceptor with folded wings.

Even the THANTALOS could land and take off.

Speaking of Interceptors:
Do you remember the first pieces I had built for the Steampunk motorcycle?
Well, I think this could be a nice start for an Interceptors nose, couldn't it?
I will try to post a sketch later on *** see UPDATE at bottom.

Once the wing had completely bonded I added the fin.

While this cured and bonded, I continued with the forward bulkhead - I will have a drop between the main deck and the nose, and this bulkhead will cover the front.

I really dig the portholes and their covers :)

After that I mounted the nose deck.

While the nose deck cured, I worked on the two remaining wings. Again covering them with .5mm plasticard.

The fin is made of two laminated sheets of 1mm plasticard.

While the flaps are just 1mm.

The forward wing mounted...

...and fin attached.

Then I repeated this for the rear wing.

Finally I started with the side of this deck.
...adding some ornaments like on the ZEUS to emphasize the steampunk (or actually more dieselpunk) theme.

I'm pretty satisfied with this weekends work :)

ATHENA is slowly taking shape.

I hope you enyojed todays update.
Here is a first sketch of the interceptor. Currently I favor version "B" as this seems to be a bit more manouverable. On both models the wingtips will be foldable.
The forward fins give it a kind of shark-like apearance from the front.
Armament would be 6 guns (3 on each side) and 2 Aircraft hunter-killer missiles :)
I was thinking about a Gatling (aka Aircraft Punisher Cannons), but decided that this would be better in a ground-attack version - A10 like :)

12. June 2009
I think I setteled with layout "B" - which as SSG_Snuffy so precicely said "looks like a top-fuel dragster" - of course when it comes to actual execution, it will most likely end up quite different ;)

Well, for the ATHENA itself it is a quite short update as it is, more or less, just a repetition of the other side.

On this side, the rear area has no portholes, as the main engineering area will be in this area - so here the huge steam/diesel engine will be, going down all the way across most the decks.

Then I added pins and holes again, so I can affix the upper deck, without gluing it permanently.

To be honest, I'm not sue how I will continue from here....
I don't really want to cover up the rips yet, as I want to keep the freedom to change some things around (like adding exterior bomb bays). So I will most likely continue with the main upper deck and control center.

15. June 2009
I spent some more time on the layouts of the ATHENEs aircraft and concetrated this time on the Ground Attack plane.
I'm kind of torn between a A-10 like appearance (A and D) and a THANTALOS like layout (C and E). Currently "E" is my favourite, as it looks very clunky and mean enough *grin*
But we'll see what happens till I get to them anyway.

In the meantime, I continued with the ATHENAs upper deck. First I cut the lift platform, and then lowered it, so it looks as if it is just coming up.

I plan to have the ground attack and its pilot, plus servicing crew around it, so it looks as if it's readied, while in the circeled area, there will be an Interceptor lifting off.

Then I worked on the bridge, or island.

These are the two lower floors.
View across the main deck.

View from the outside.

Front view.

Next will be the balcony for the 3rd floor, including a weapons platform, and then the two upper floors and the chimneys.

17. June 2009
Due to the almost insane amount of rivets and detailing I'm slow on updating.
So here is now the upper half of the island.
As you can see, I added a shrine to the Machine God on the outside.

Above this shrine will be the exhausts :)

Here is the other side - viewed across the flight deck.

The balcony will receive some armor plates too (more rivets *sigh*)

The entire island on the airship.

I must admit the blimp body looks a bit delicate compared to the island right now.

But I'm sure this will change as soon as the rips are covered (more rivets *sigh, sigh*).

Also if I add some external bomb bays (probably between the wings) this would add some "beef" to the body.

The rear view is still rather plain, so besides the 3 rotors there's a lot of detail to be added too (more rivets *sigh, sigh, double-sigh*)

And another top view across the flight deck.

18. June 2009
I continued with the command section and worked on the roof.
It has two chimneys, a radar dish (the winged skull), and two satelite dishes, plus some cables and consoles.

Mounted on the island.

Actually I think it looks pretty cool.

Also from the outside.

But Urgh!
Mounted on the body...
as I and ConcernedLurker allready suspected, I went a bit over the top with the island....

From this point of view it isn't looking soo bad.

And I really like the details.

So lets see, how the ATHENA would potentially look.
For this I did some photoshopping and planked the rips.
Version A (as is, just virtually planked)

Version B (elongated and 4th wing added)

Version C (slightly elongated and heightened body, no extra wing)
So, which version would you vote for?
Version "B" would be rather easy to accomplish, as I only have to extend the upper deck by a sheet, and add some rips. That could be done within a nights work. Version "C" would require a lot of work, and new rips and everything.
So, use the poll and vote :)

19. June 2009
Well, the votes are pretty clear in favor of Option "B", the elongated body. So I started the operation last night.
Since I had planned to access the jump deck at a later stage anyway, it was rather easy to seperate the main body from the gondola.

Then I seperated the nose section form the main body.

Measuring I added a 20cm sheet of plasticard.

With this I have enough space to place the command island further up front

So I added the 4cm high strip of the first deck to connect the nose and the main body again.

Once the glue is cured and everything is bonded I will add the new rips to bridge the area.

With these additional 20 cm, the ATHENA will look like this

22. June 2009
Not much of an update today.
Due to a severe case of Migrane, I couldn't get much done. I did cut the new rips, plus one solid wall, to geive the now elongated blimp body some stability.
So far I have only mounted the wall.

On a side note:
In a previous post (here or on WIP) I recommended the Polystyrene sheets from Rai-Ro ( ), as these were cheaper than my previous source. And despite that I did a fist test-purchase and was satisfied, I am no longer. I don't know what and why, but these new sheets have a very impractical behavior, especially anoying when cutting round forms.
The initial cuts are smooth and easy, but when cutting deeper, the blades begin to stick and I have to use a lot of pressure and power to cut, often leading to unlovely cuts. It feels as if there is more tension withing the sheet...really I have no clue what it is and why.
But I will now go back to my initial source and order my sheets from here ( ) again.
Eventhough this is more than 1 Euro difference (3,95 vs 2,40), I think this is worth it - I almost cut my chest yesterday, as I had to use so much power to do a cut, and the blade finally slipped, barely missing :)
So, despite a small update, I hope this is usefull to you.

24. June 2009
I did only very little on the ATHENA. I used some of my left-over plasticard pieces to cut the two additional enigne wings.

The fins inside.

and the fins outside.

Tonight I will mount the wings and fins, and then do some more detailing on this level.

25. June 2009
I spent last night mounting the stubby engine wings and then cutting some ornaments to cover up the scars of the "operation".

After that, the usual placement of rivets.

and the same on the other side.

Then I mounted the fins,.

Well, I'm really satisfied with the shape now.
It has the actual elegance of the real Zeppelins, yet it transports the carrier layout quite realistic.

So in photoshop it looks like this now:

On this image it still lacks the gondola for the jump deck.
I'm not really sure how I will base the ATHENA. The initial idea was to hang it from the ceiling, but with the increased size, I'm not sure if that will be possible.
I still fance the ceiling mount, with one interceptor in the air, one lifting off, the ground attack readied on the lift, and maybe at the same time some stormtroopers jumping off the jump deck....and all this over the ZEUS diorama *lol*
Ah, the nurses with the straitjaket are here...gotta go :-P

25. August 2009
Aaaaaah :)
Finally she's back on my table.
Eventhough she's allready subject to a major operation, and I cut the jump deck apart, it feels good to work on the ATHENA again.

As you can see, I cut the lower jump deck apart, so I can extend it across the complete length.
Why you ask?
Well, I was thinking about armaments while I worked on my secret side project.
So far I had mainly worked on the upper deck, where the aircrafts will take off, and where the main focus is on Air-Defense.
But besides the aircraft carrier role, it is also a base for jump/drop troops (the jum deck obviously), as well as a weapons platform for ground attacks and bombardments.
So I was looking at the available weapons that would/could make sense.
So we have:
  1. Hellstrike ATG Missile - unlimited range
  2. Gryphonne IV Mk3 bomb (500 lbs) - 48"
  3. Gryphonne IV Mk17 Incinary bomb - 48"
  4. Marauder heavy bomb - 12"-48"
  5. Multiple Rocket Pods - 24"
  6. Demolisher Cannon - 24"
  7. Stormsword Siege Cannon - 36"
  8. Manticore Missile - 36"-300"
Yummy :)
Plus I think the ATHENA could be used to simulate planetary bombardments... Hmm, the Inquisition has some nice options for torpedoes....

Well, as you can see, there are quite some options. So I think I will mount the Siege Cannon in the nose of the Jump Deck - so it can be depressed quite far down. I'll surely have several bomb shafts, and maybe some launchers for two torpedoes plus a Manticore array...

Ideas, suggestions, criticism?

26. August 2009
Well, I guess you all know I love building guns....biiiiiig guns :)

As I'm still fancying the idea of mounting a Siege Cannon, I started to build one.
First I did a rifled barrel

Thanks to Ultramar for his tutorial (

And then I added details

cooling ribs

and rivets

And then I mounted it in the nose of the former jump deck.

When I turn the image upside down, you can see it at maximum depression, firing to the ground.
Cool, isn't it?

It's nice to be working on the ATHENA again :)

Since this is going to be an Imperial vessel acquired by the Inquisition, I'm going to look into using Melta-Torpedoes (Str 8, Ap 3, Ord/Blast/2D6 Armor Pen) from a side mounted launcher tube :-P
Speaking of Inquisition, I think I mentioned that I'm incorporating some Witch Hunters into my guard to help eradicate the Orks on Dencara. I will try to base them on a kind of Dragonslayer theme - just instead of Dragons they kill Orks. Heraldry will possibly be some medevil Knight fighting an Ork.
Anyhow, my Latin is a bit rusty, and I'm not sure how I should name them...the original is the "Officium Draconis" (Office of the Dragonslayers) and I'm not if they should be called:
a) Officium Orkis
b) Officium Orkanum
c) Officium Orkanis
One of you has an idea?

28. August 2009
After almost 20 years I finally got a proper haircut :-P
Ponytail is gone.
Feels good, and looks good too :)

Well, besides getting a haircut I also worked on the Siege Cannon some more, adding more rivets as well as shielding.

This is the upper shield, before mounted inside the nose

mounted :)

Here you can see the extended jump deck, covering now the full length of the blimps bottom.

Details for one of the new decks walls - this will be the wall for the observer room.

And here is the plotting table in the observer room

Here you can see the plain wall of the observer deck, this will have a huge tilted window, allowing observation of the ground too.

I base coated the observer room black last night (but no photo), so I can do the painting before I continue.

31. August 2009
Anyhow, I did continue with the ATHENA.
I painted the plotting table

As you can see, I tried to use standard military markers (as I don't have an epic model, or a planetary empire hex handy)

added some highlights

And then I begun construction of the windows - these are the sides

here are the main window panes

and cut

then I base coated them and cut some clear plastic for the actual windows.

The mounting of the windows went pretty well, so there's no visible frosting on it.

And then I mounted them on the side panels

and mounted these on the lower deck.

The lower deck in position :)

Then I added some more ornaments
Since Matt asked, here's how I cut my plasticard.
I use a metal ruler - important is the corc base, that prevents accidential sliding

Then I do a first light cut

which I follow with about another 3-4 cuts (depending on the thickness of the plasticard), then I can bend it

and it snapps apart neatly

When drilling holes, I do them before I cut, and I start each hole with the fine GW drill, then with the next thicker (from left to right) and so on - I only use hand-drills, as power drills tend to get out of (my) control to fast... :-P

And the final ornament, nice industrial, steampunky

Since I did a major goof-up on the nose that I couldn't cover up easily, I decided to add a battle damage that was field repaired.

So this simulates some crude metal patching and riveting that will also be just in a base paint to show it is not original

Well, that's pretty much my update from this weekend :)

Oh, the rest of the evening I spent creating more rivets.... *yawn*


2. September 2009
Seems like my plotting table really is a kicker and most of you think it's a brilliant idea *big fat grin*
It kind of came naturally when I started working with the observer room - glad it worked out.

Well I continued working on the ATHENA with some more decorations. The logo I'm using on it is a mix of a Templar-cross (or forked cross?) and an Fleur-de-lil as you can see in the sketch.

After I had the first cross cut (out of .5mm plasticard) I continued with the Fleur

Of course I had to re-create it for the other side too.

Somehow I forgot to take a photo after I mounted it....

Then I conducted the first test for the ATHENA skin. As most of you voted for a metal skin, I'm using .25mm plasticard - that's almost as thin as paper, but really nice to work with.

First two alternating sections and then on top the middle section, this worked out pretty well.

Then the rivets to indicate metal - and an Imperial requirement anyway

I am VERY satisfied with the outcome

now I have to order more sheets of the .25mm plasticard, as my current stock will only last for one side....

Then I built the first bomb ramp.

I decided to make a drop ramp rather than just a simple shaft.
It has an armor plate at the top, to protect it from enemy fire

While the sides are relatively open, so the bombs will be visible

From my calculations, 3 bombs will be visible (replaced here by some plastic piping)

And at the bottom a hydraulicly operated flap

And the whole ramp mounted on the side, in the rear third of the ATHENA

Since the actual body of the blimp would rather plain, I decided to add some kind of bouancy tank to the sides.
For this I cut an old plasticbottle apart

And mounted it in the lower central section

Some railing that hold it at the top and bottom

And then details and skin...

...and rivets *sigh*
But I think it is worth the effort

And in perspective with the whole ship - note the little stormtrooper at the bottom in front of the ATHENA
For the forward section of the blimp body (not the nose) I plan to create some kind of torpedo launcher, while the I'm still not sure how I will do the nose...

The artwork on looks really nice and shows the bow realtively armored and bulky.....Actually an idea I really fancy with - eventhough I'm not sure how to realize it yet.
Well, we'll see.

3. September 2009
Hi guys,
again thanks for your feedback :)

Well, I started yesterday with the torpedo-launchers.
It will be a triple launcher mounted in the forward section.

And this is what I'll use for the one visible warhead.

the launch barrell or pipe?

And mounted in the launcher

Then the obligatory decorations

Plus the cover hatches

Some detailing and ...of course...rivets *sigh*

Then I mounted it on the body

Front view

So here we go:
The Mk XV Imperial Torpedo Launcher with the Mk VIII Draconis Melta Torpedo


4. September 2009
As discussed yesterday, I thought a lot about the prow.
So I started with a mock-up from cardboard to get a feeling for the lines.
As you can see, I moved away from the typical blimp nose.

Here I allready did the first pieces in plasticard. The bottom of the nose is made of sturdy 1.5mm plasticard, as well as the two support beams.

The actual skin is again .25mm plasticard. The only one that can smoothly follow these curves. ATHENA now has some almost sexy curves (well it's the nose, but still *grin* )

From front it looks tilted, but that is just the light and shadow.
After some comments on Warseer and WIP I decided to check the weight of the whole ship.
So, what would you guess how much she weights?
Surprise, surprise....

It's only 1.2 Kg (2 1/2 punds) - much lighter than I thought - heavier than a Russ, but also much bigger :)

And just the blimp body is a mere 570 gramms.
@Silar - well I haven't really thought about rules yet. I keep the rules in mind when I think about the weaponry, but for all other aspects I haven't spend much time on rules.
It's to be a platform for fighters and Ground Attack aircraft, a jump deck for drop troops, a weapons platform for aerial bombardment and torpedoes, as well as direct ground fire (Siege Cannon), plus many Air-Defense functions.
So if she would be on a game table, she'd be the queen of the skies, guaranteeing air superiority by her "CAP" (Carrier Air Patrol) as well as her AA weaponry. And in addition she'd be a damage dealer to the ground.
Maybe a scenario that would be centered around her?
ATHENA as central piece for the defender, with Drop Troops to engage attackers on the ground, while the Air-to-Ground weaponry fires, as well as a close support aircraft ... while the attacker must attempt to get her out of the sky ....

07. September 2009
Wow, the 20th post for the ATHENA allready :)

I continued with the nose of the airship. As you can see I had to use a lot of putty

as even with the .25mm plasticard it is hard the get the curves I wanted.

While the putty cured, I created the first bomb.

It is a 500 lbs bomb with a multi-purpose warhead

I've created it from two large Chimera roadwheels, the fins of a standard hunter-killer missile, and the nozzle of a plastic bottle

I'm pretty satisfied with the result, and will now see to reproducing it (I think I'll need about 8 of them)

Once the putty was cured I continued with the next strips of plasticard for the nose.
Since some more putty was applied and that needed curing, I began to build a gun turret.
The idea was to have a Hydra turret mounted downwards on the nose.

Here you can see the sketch, as well as the first pieces.

These are the "roots" for the barrels

The turret body

Turret front

The basic gun mount fully depressed

and fully elevated

Then I closed the front and mounted it on the ATHENA

This looks so....not good....:(

I quickly removed it and set it aside.
Maybe I can use it for something else later, but for right now I don't like it at all.

So, a change of plans was required.
I decided to use two twin-linked (synchronized) Las-Cannons for the turret :)

So there will be quite some firepower coming down to the ground.
The first two LC basically done

and mounted

details added

a first test mount

yeah, that looks more like what I wanted

So I built the other two guns

detailed and mounted them

Then I did the detials to the turret itself

And mounted it on the ATHENA

That's some nice Anti-Armor capability

With a great field of fire

Then I continued with the nose and spent about 3 hours sanding the putty down (forgot to take images).
And created some ornaments for the nose

An Imperial eagle is definately needed for such a nice ship

And with the new turret, it looks even better.
As you can see here I added some extra plates, simulating previous damage patched-up. I will also leave some of the putty dents and scratches and use them as battle damage.

So this is how she looks as of today:

I'm quite pleased with this weekends work.

8. September 2009
While I was working on the ATHENA's torpedo system I ran across this Russian beauty:

It's called the RBU-6000
and is an Anti-Submarine rocket launcher system.
"It fires RGB-60 unguided depth charges. The rockets are normally fired in salvos of 1, 2, 4, 8 or 12 rounds. Reloading is automatic, with individual rounds being fed into the launcher by the 60UP loading system from a below deck magazine. Typical magazine capacity is either 72 or 96 rounds per launcher. It can also be used as a shore bombardment system."

Well, you know me when it comes to such beautiful toys: I want one too!
So I started to build one, using Plastruct rods and the grenades of the IG mortar sprue.

Then some additional stuff

and I quickly created 12 tubes (9 with grenades, 3 empty ones)

Then I created some turret for it - again, a bit steampunked

And mounted the tubes

Fearsome, isn't it?

Of course elevation mechanism ect was needed, but no real mount for it yet (I will have to do that tonight).

Then some sights

and other details for the rear

and a scale shot

Next will be a folding crane besides it, that will be used for loading, maybe a hatch for the ammo magazine...
For the rules, I looked at the Exorcist rules, where you first roll a D6 to see how many rockets are fired, and then resolve each rocket to hit individually. But maybe instead of the Strenght and AP of the Exorcist, use some lower numbers, but give it a small blast template for it. Range of 48" should be OK.
What do you think?

14. September 2009

Nevertheless, I did work on the ATHENA. I started with the folding (Ammo) crane for the rocket launcher ... hmm still need a name for that one....

Here are the basic parts

folded once

and folded down completely

Then I added the hydraulic cylinders

and it works pretty well

nfortunately I glued one of the pieces wrongly, so I have to take it apart again, and re-assemble the hydraulics again.Also I will change the 3 bars in the rear, and replace them with a steampunk-style plate.
Thanks to Lucius von Kalteisen and Fireball at WIP I have some new IG crew torsos and legs I can work with to create a good crew for the ATHENA.
For this purpose I createda first Naval Fleet paintscheme test



16. September 2009
As previously mentioned, I had to rework most pieces.

But now it works like a charm - elevated fully

fully lowered

The new rear plates

I decided to move the postition behind the launcher, rather than besides it.

Now I just have to decide where I will place the ammo hatch.

Reloading operations

and folded down, in storage postion.


18. September 2009
Here's your weekend reading :)
I decided my forward deck (on the nose) definately needs some light AA weapons, and so I started building these AC's.
I started with the barrels and several rings in two different diameters

Here you can see the muzzle breaks (without the cuts) and the first set of rings

Since these central rings need a larger diameter, I slipped a second, larger ring over them

Then the rear barrel "root"

More rings on top of the root, and done were the barrels

Then I built the actual gun housing - rather straight forward

Some decoration and rivets, case ejectors, ect

rear view

Then I started a gun shield for it

and mounted it to the AC

This will be the position for the AC, right over the lasguns

The actual mount is rather simple, just another piece of tube

And as my boss used to say:
"Once you know how it's done, it's just a matter of practice"
So I build a second AC right afterwards

This AC is mounted in a more A-A position

And here they are in their final positions

Now I will look into some more ornaments, maybe some aromor protection ect.

21. September 2009
As mentioned the Imperial Guard is all about ornaments and Imperial iconography. And since the ATHENA is one of the Empires finest pieces of warmachinery, there need to be many icons and ornaments.
So what would be better to protect the forward prow of this fine ship than a large Imperial Eagle?
But not a standard eagle, no it needs to be something big and really impressive.

So the idea was to build a layered eagle, and I cut 3 layers of 1mm plasticard for this. The first large layer gives the complete outline. The second layer shows the legs, chest, and inner part of the wings. the final third layer shows only the chest and top part of the wing.

And glued together, they make a mighty fine eagle

But what's an eagle without the heads

Cut in a slight angle, so they are pointing outwards

I am very satisfied with the result.
It truely commands the forward view of the ATHENA and nicely fits the IG and steampunk theme.

23. September 2009
Time to protect the crew, isn't it?
As discussed in the comments, the forward section definately needs some armoured plates.
For this I looked at various existing models (like the FW Gorgon) and decided to use an slightly angeled model.

So I built some supporting beams, to which the plates will be attached.

Leaving room for the Light-AA's

Then I started on the central section with the new Imperial Eagle

More plates on the sides - again I used the 0.25mm plasticard, as this can be formed and bent rather easily.

Then I added curved plates on the gun positions

and added the usual rivets

And finally I added another ornament - again the pawed cross with the Fleur-de-Lis in it, and a flowing banner behind it.

Somehow I forgot to make a final frontal picture so you can see the whole baby...

24.September 2009
Now that the forward deck has some armoured protection (yes, 0.25mm plasticard is thin, I agree :) I started with some detailing of the that section.
So I started with some ammo drums for the Light-AA's

very simple. Just pieces of tube and some pc discs

Then I built some frames that will hold them in place

And mounted them on the inside of the plates

Then I started to build some additional boxes for (whatever) storage

Also very simple constructions, but with some detaling

and mounted these on the inside too

In addition I built a very simple ammo hatch for the crane. And a banister so noone would fall into there when the hatch is open ;-)
(Not that it opens in the model)

Last not least I build a ventilation hatch. Several strips of thin pc glued on top of each other, so that they are at a slight angle, and a simple frame around it

Then some pieces for the frames top (corners cut in a neat 45° angle)

And glued it all together and added rivets

This together with some cables on the ground (note the two thick grey ones leading to the Lasguns under the nose as power supply) give a nice impression I think :)

Tonight I will start working on some of the crew members - I will try to resemble the figures I had drawn for the uniform color test.
2. October 2009
Eventhough I'm not yet ready to start a poll and vote, here are some ideas for the paint scheme:
1.) ZEUS
Please bear in mind the image is very simple, and if I do a ZEUS scheme, this will include all the skulls and slogans as on the ZEUS

But that may not be appropriate for a sky ship, is it?
2.) ZEUS with orange skysections

3.) SKY TIGER Standard Dencara pattern

4.) SKY GHOST aerial disruptive pattern

5.) NAVY all grey, with some golden highlights

6.) BARE METAL - kind of a Chrome effect, but I'm not sure if and how to do that :)

As usual I look forward to your ideas and comments.

Just to let you know, I will be on vacation at the Baltic Sea again from Sunday to Sunday, so there may be a delay in responding - but I will try.


19. October 2009
Sorry, but I've got side-tracked again :)
Over the last few days I've been working on some "secret stuff" again - "Gee, Klaus is participating in another contest!?!" some of you may say, but I won't comment this time.

Anyhow, part of the work was also building a little light box.
It is relatively crude, quickly build out of cardboard - one could also say "tank tape and chicken wire" - but it serves the purpose. It's not big enough for a ZEUS, Kazuchaaah, or the ATHENA, but for infantry and normal armour it's just right.

I still have to work on the lights a bit
as the result is still a bit too dark, and I think I need to position the model further to the rear - not enough light in the foreground...

Well, I will now continue with the ATHENA, as there is still PLENTY to do. So here are some more status shots (some I have already shown)

As you see there is still a lot of skin to complete on the one side, while the other still needs all the stuff. The torpedo launcher, the buojancy tank, and the bombing shaft.
After that I will see what else the main deck needs - also where I will postition a "Repelling Patry" - some more AA weapons, the actual side engines and rotors, another crane, and, and, and....
But even the current uncomplete status gives a nice impression of how this baby could look in the end.

Loaded with a Thantalos
Or enemies view :)

So this brings me to the final part of todays post: Painting.

Thanks for all of your feedback and tips. Admiral Drax, your posts were very helpfull ( and and actually gave me the final push NOT to use a camouflage pattern at all.

In the end, it is like with the ZEUS: this baby is way too big to hide behind any camouflage.
Nevertheless, I'm not gonna paint her in bright pink either *lol*
Form the various comments, images, and links provided here, on WIP, and on Warseer, I decided to use a basic "cloud" pattern as background:
Onto which I will try to paint a "Heaven & Hell" topic. So there will be a lot of illustrations out of the 40K mythology and the spaces between them covered with skulls again - basically "Hell" will be a dark grey backround with lighter grey skulls, and "Heaven" will be a light background with darker least that's the current theory.
And now I ask for your help :)
I'm not very familiar with 40K mythology *shame on me*, so please point me to any mythology images, posts, links, ect.
Anything you think I could use to cover the ATHENA's skin.
Thanks and I really look forward to your input.

22. October 2009
Last night the main deck of the ATHENA underwent another major overhaul.
I wanted to reposition the aircraft lift to the rear, where it makes more sense and aircraft can then take off to the forward end of the ATHENA - against the wind.

So I cut the lift section (some say it looks like a pool - but in the final display it will carry an aircraft, so everyone will see what it is) out of the forward deck section and opened the space in the rear.

This is how it looks in place, together with the command island.

Here's a shot into the "guts" of the ATHENA - this is the left side, that still has to be done completely.

Lift and forward deck together with the Island in place.

Just for fun with the THANTALOS

Frontal view.

And a shot from the "good" side :)

In the meantime I conducted a very successfull image search on the net (most results came via "Inquisition") and collected a lot of images that I intend to use on the ATHENA - not all, but at least some...
Here's what I have for the HEAVEN section (mostly heroes and Inquisitors):
And this is for the HELL section:

I think this will give me plenty of options, but if you come across any good ones, don't hesitate to point me to them :)

24. October 2009
Well, another update from andrea1969:
great, isn't it?

He also posted a link to a animation of the forward quadruple Lasguns:
Take a look
Well, but I haven't been lazy either :)
I started with the Torpedo launcher for the left side

and mounted it

Here's another look into the "guts" - from the rear towards the nose

Then I added the second tank and started detailing

Looking like twins

From the rear you can see that I also added the second bomb shaft

And then it was time to finally close the rear end

Nice curves, huh?

Really, this .25mm plasticard is heaven-sent!

Here I added the drop deck for completeness

Just one more stip of pc

And then I can start looking into the rear rotors

28. October 2009
Eventhough I'm on a business trip (and even in a workshop right now *yawn*), I promised to post my updates from the weekend.
Now that the lower rear section was pretty much completed, I began to work on the propulsion system. First I built the support for the propshafts.

As usual, I tried to create the "victorian" brass and iron industrial look for it.

Here are the supports and shafts in place

Next I started on the rotors or airscrews. For this I cut two rather large discs.

Then I drew the 8 blades and began cutting

Done :)

Then I mounted it on the shaft

both in place

Another side/rear shot

Current side view - and as you can see I already opened the side wall of the command island

Deck view

rear view with the rotors

close up - BTW, those two "noses" are actually caps from a superglue tube, and some skulls from the fantasy Vampires added.

and then it was time to start on the "Shrine" on the island.

As you can see, I played (for the very first time) with some LED's for this.

Next I did cut the gothic style walls for the shrine, as you can see, it will have two shutter doors.

The center part will be filled with the painted glas, for which I'm using transparent paper

The motive is like a Sister with angel wings and the slogan "Ultima Ratio Imperatus" (hopefully last resort of the Emperor). So strong Imperial mythology with a Cathedral look and feel to it.
I did a freehand with pencil first.

And then traced it with a black pen onto the transparent paper

Painting started with the highlights and shadows first, as it is painted on the back of the paper

But it really looks good form the front

red and blue next, again painting highlights and shdows first

more colors and details

and done!

In the window - just mounted by tape so far

Also the main front mounted

Then I worked on the door itself, decorated a bit

and fully operational :)

Both tape mounted on the island
Looking nice, isn't it?

I hope this updagte was worth the waiting.

3. November 2009
Hello, hello.

Agreeing with your feedback on the airscrews, I took them apart again.

and cut the individual blades apart

Then I glued them onto the axle in a 45° angle

Looks much better now

And on the ATHENA it looks quite right

But the rear still looks rather "blank"

So it is time to build a nice structure for the rear, isn't it?

The plan is to have another nice painted window - the guys working in the hangar need some light and some morale inspiration :)
I want to have a folding door for the window, so I started to build some folding panels

Lots of pieces

But looking good

Unfortunately I couldn't get them to align properly (I use the cold as an excuse)

So I scratched the plan and revised it with two (non-functional) sliding doors

actually that doesn't look bad either :)

And it fits very well on the ATHENA

Doesn't it?

So much for today.
Tomorrow (or whenever I do the next post) I will do a step-by-step for the painted window.

6. November 2009
Now that I have the stained glass window in place, and the window frame painted, I can continue with the build.

As you can see, the structure wasn't only for shows, but also serves as an extension to the landing deck.

And it will hold another small platform in the rear.

On this platform will be another two AA-weapons as close rear defense.

But it will also have an observer periscope...

in steampunk design...

The platform will also have another one of my plotting tables.

As you can see, it is smaller than the original table, but also contains a 3-D Landscape - I will try to make it look like a hologram in the end (hopefully).

There will be some ammo containers

and storage boxes.

And to emphasize the steampunk topic some more, I built some speaking tubes, or voice pipes for communication with the bridge, engineering, and the observation deck :)

Plus a kind of comms console

I think this will look rather cool in the end.

Feedback and comments as usualy quite welcome :)

9. November 2009
Now that I have the stained glass window in place, and the window frame painted, I can continue with the build.

As you can see, the structure wasn't only for shows, but also serves as an extension to the landing deck.

And it will hold another small platform in the rear.

On this platform will be another two AA-weapons as close rear defense.

But it will also have an observer periscope...

in steampunk design...

The platform will also have another one of my plotting tables.

As you can see, it is smaller than the original table, but also contains a 3-D Landscape - I will try to make it look like a hologram in the end (hopefully).

There will be some ammo containers

and storage boxes.

And to emphasize the steampunk topic some more, I built some speaking tubes, or voice pipes for communication with the bridge, engineering, and the observation deck :)

Plus a kind of comms console

I think this will look rather cool in the end.

Feedback and comments as usualy quite welcome :)

9. November 2009
Hello, hello,
now that the rear structure is pretty much in place (though far from completed) I decided it was time to implement the first part of the main rudder.

As you can see it is functional too.

Mounted right under the rear deck

It covers the rear rotors pretty nicely

eventhough the whole thing is still flat at the bottom - there will be another piece to it, but as long as I still have so much to build, I will keep it flat, to the main body can rest better on the desk.

In addition I worked on the armour plating for the rear deck, again starting with the support beams,

and then added the plates - similar to the ones on the front deck.

So, why a rear periscope, what's all this for?
Well this rear station serves as an observation post for the bombings - so there will be a down looking sight, at the top of the rudder mechanism. But it also serves as a rear air defense platform, that's why it needs a periscope - so it can operate under fire - in addition to the two AA-guns.
Hopefully it will make some sense in the end.
Additionally I made a list of open items....and it is longer than I expected....there's work for plenty of long, cold winter evenings I suppose. So here it is:
  • Plotting table in the observer room - I will add the 3D landscape here too
  • Crew for observer room - 2 observer with binoculars, 1 operator at table
  • Rear turret for Jump Deck - this will be a ground attack gun, maybe a Vanquisher
  • 2 Side turrets for Jump Deck - these are the small turrets I also use on the ZEUS
  • Hatch for Torpedo Launcher - the second one still needs a hatch for the open tube
  • Rear exit ramp - there's an opening behind the Jump Deck, that was planned as a exit ramp...I have to decide what to do with it
  • 2 rear AA-Guns - that's the two guns for the rear deck with the periscope. A copy of the 2 guns on the front deck
  • Rear Hydra turret - I will build a Hydra to sit behind the command island
  • 4 side engines and finns - the two central wings will receive an casted engine each, and completed with another fin. The master engine is built, so now I need to cast the other 3.
  • Rear balcony on island - this will have a small gatling turret, some signal station, speaking pipes and a crew for it
  • forward and side balcony on island - Observer station with periscopes, signal station, speaking pipes and two machine guns for the right side
  • Forward Hydra turret - another Hydra to sit in front of the island, just before the forward deck starts
  • Ammo lift and crane on main deck - between island and forward Hydra
  • Quick launch ramp at forward end of launch deck - there is an image in one of the IA books
  • Interceptor on quick launch ramp
  • Ammo wagon and crew at the ammo lift
  • Ground Attack aircraft and pilot raised on the main lift
  • lower rudder fin
  • Crew for rear deck - 2 Gunner, 1 Observer, 1 Plotter, 1 Comms, and maybe a Loader
  • Crew for forward deck - 2 Gunner, 1 Crane operator, 1 Officer, 1 Loader
  • Crew for main balcony - 2 MG Gunner, 2 Observer, 1 Signals NCO, some of the allready created officers, Inquisition liaison officer
That's just from the top of my head...knowing me, this list will most likely increase :)

10. November 2009
With the rear deck mostly completed and armour plates in place, I realised that I wouldn't have the chance to access this area once it is mounted, so I had to paint it before.
Eventhough I'm still not sure about the final paint scheme, I decided to use Astonomican Grey as base color - this area is more or less interior, so it won't interfere too much with the final outer paint scheme.

To emphasize the steampunk topic even more, I decided to give some of the pieces a wooden surface.

Together with the brass, I think this looks pretty steampunk, doesn't it?

For the other pieces I kept the paint pattern of black base coat, drybrushed with Boltgun and some items painted in Tin Biz and Dwarf Bronze.

The plotting table painted.

I hope the greenish outline will give it a kind of holographic effect, while the wooden surface of the rim will maintain the steampunk feeling.

All pieces painted and in place.

And then I did some serious weathering.

"B", "E", and "O" stand for "Bridge", "Engineering", "Observer Deck" :)

So now it is time for another "fly-around" with all pieces in place:

And the pieces seperated :)
One last image:
Added the rivets for the rear structure

11. November 2009
Happy 45th! :)
Wow, 45 posts just for the ATHENA.
In comparison, the ZEUS had "only" 33 for build and painting.

Well, I realized that I still had to add some rivets to the rear deck, so I did these last night.

And then I built the two AA-Autocannons for the rear deck.

Since I had most peices already prepared over the last view days, it was almost like building a kit :)

and I was done rather quick. (In the background you can see the first sample barrel for the Hydra)

Well, one item off the check list :)
Here's a sketch of the main items that need to be done:

As said, I will begin with the two Hydra turrets (I already prepped most pieces for the barrels) and then I will most likely see to the casting of the engines and the fins for them.
Following that will most likely be the balcony stuff - details and fun again.

12. November 2009
As mentioned in my last post, the 2 Hydra turrets are next on the agenda.
This is the sample barrel I built as first step.

Once I was satisfied with it, I cut the pieces for the remaining 7 barrels

Within a matter of about 30 minutes I had the barrels completed to the baseic shape.

Then another 2 hours for the detailing.

Additionally I began cutting the gun mounts itself. As you can see I altered the shape a bit, so that I got the curved backend, matchng the other steampunked items on the ATHENA.

The front plates of the gun mounts consist of 2 pieces.

Then the "walls"

And put together

This is how they will look once the barrels are mounted. But then I realized I need a "left" and a "right" shape....

So I had to give two of the mounts a cut on the rear plate, so it looked identical to the other side.

Well there's going to be a lot of sanding and puttying tonight, in addition to the remaining curved backplate and then I can hopefully begin to detail them.
In the meantime I try to workout some palns for the actual turret, so I can pre-cut most pieces too.

13. November 2009
The Hydra build continues.
So I cleaned up the barrel mounts with rasp and sand paper.

Then I cut a 1cm wide strip of .5mm plasticard, pre-bent it over a pen, and began to create the curved back of the barrel mounts.

Looks pretty good, but needs some sanding too.

While the curved plastic cured, I started with the turret itself. For this I drew some plans in CorelDraw and printed them, then using a rubber cement (temporary glue) to glue them to the plasticard and cut them.

And very quickly I got this basic turret.

Due to a mis-calculating in the plan there was a small gap in the front that I had to fill with a small stip of plasticard.

Then I did the storage bin for the turret rear (that will also mount my radar antenna - the winged item in the left front)

Again some sanding later, everything looks smooth now and is ready for mounting and detailing.

There's quite some ornamenting and detailing to do, but I think this baby will look nice - and once done, the second one will be even easier.

16. November 2009
Since the basic build for the Hydra turret was completed I started detailing.
Here's the skull ornament for the radar dish that I'm using instead of the small radar dome of the standard issue Hydra. As you can see on the cm scale, it is very small and delicate.

But it really looks good on the model.

Another ornament for the face plate...

consisting of 3 layers. Top is a winged skull, beneath is a circle and three flashes, and the third layer is an Inquisitional "I" - I really hope this will look good once painted.

I added lots of details, rivets, sights, ect and then I began to mount the guns,

which have also been detailed.

Here are the two guns with all the details on them.

And here are some shots of the turret in its final position:

Well, and then it was time to build the second turret. Since I had most pieces allready pre-cut, it went rather fast.

Here you can see some WIP shots of the turret mount.

The two together - not really twins, but close.

And both in position.

Next will be the forward gallery of the command island - many small detail items, like Signals station, MG position ect.

17. November 2009
As anounced yesterday the current area of work on the ATHENA is the forward gallery on the command island.
For this I started with building the signal lights (used for Morse Codes) - no clue what they are really called.
I started off with two Tamiya M4 Sherman wheels and some plasticard.
The extra plasticard with the "shutters" in place

And then some detailing for the handles and mount (as you can see, these extra items are all from the standard Imperial tank searchlight mount)

Then I began to build the machine guns for the 3 MG positions. This is the first sample barrel.

Then all 6 barrels, as these will be twin MG.

The actual MG completed, sans mount.

And with the mounts.

And the pieces in their approximate postitions.

The next item I started was a Flight Deck Observer (FDO) position. Actually it is slightly more than a pimped set of binoculars and a computer screen.

The binocular is mounted on exact eye height.

However, looking at the initially planned position (red circle - the green circles indicate the signal and MG positions), you can see that this was PPP....
For one, the FDO has a door in his back, for the other the Shrine door (which I completely forgot) will be in his way once opened.

So, any suggestions where else I could position the FDO? He needs to be able to observe approaching aircraft ready to land (from the rear), as well as monitoring flight deck operations and status.
I'm really not quite sure where to put him.....

Ideas, suggestions?

Well, while pondering this issue, I started with another crew member, a Enginseer or Techpriest.
He will also be postioned on the forward gallery, standing in the center, overwatching everything.
As you can see, he has a las pistol and an energy weapon (here a sword), and he will receive two servo arms on his backpack.

As usual, C&C and suggestions welcome.

18. November 2009
Todays update is rather short, as the first thing I did last night was cuting into my thumb....yeah, good job.
It's not really a deep cut, but it was bleeding pretty good, and the bandage I put around it was quite clumpsy (a tissue and some tape around it :)
So not much done.

I pondered some more on the FDO position, as well as the position of the shrine. But with the size of the window, I don't really see any other spot where I could put it. And that gallery corner seems to be the only sensible spot for the FDO postition too.
So the only item that I could potentially change would be the door....
Any ideas form you?
Nevertheless, I did work on the ATHENA, at least a little. I googeled several images of Techpriests and most had an old book straped to them. So I began cutting some pages and a book cover (the cover is .5mm and the pages .25mm plasticard)

Glued together and a latch added.

and then I mounted on the techpriest.
Speaking of Techpriest, I checked both 4th and 5th Ed Codicies and both state that a Engineseer/Techpriest is armed with a Laspistol and an Energy Weapon (plus the Servo Arm). 4th Ed states "usually an Axe", so to me the sword is just as good :)

Then I began filling some gaps with ProCreate, as well as I started on the mask.

Most of this will be covered by the hood and there's still some cleanup to do, but I'm satisfied with the progress.

Since I had some mixed PC left, I continued working on my Medic for the Inquisitor Retinue. She's a real piece-meal progress, as she only receives left-overs :)
So last night I sculpted the first snake head for her Aesculapian staff.
Hopefully I'll have more progress to report tomorrow.

19. November 2009
Last night I continued with the Techpriest and he received his hood out of ProCreate.

It was the first try, and I think it worked out quite well (sorry, this image is a bit blurry). With the remaining PC I also built the mount for the backpack.

While the PC cured, I looked into the issue with the shrine door and the FDO again.

As you can see, the opened door blocks exactly his position.

So I removed the right wing of the door (left on the image) from its hinges.

and I will add a central hinge, so the door becomes a folding-door.

Maybe you remember the disaster I had with the folding door for the rear structure.
Luckily I kept all the pre-cut pieces.

So I could rather quickly assemble the central hinge.
This is the inside.

The outside, closed.

The door opened and the right wing partially folded.

And the whole door in the final open position.

A first fitting shot on the command island,

with functuality test.

But since the central hinge adds some depth to the door, I had to remove the LED's to make the stained glass window fit - not a great loss, as the LED's didn't work out all that well anyway.
So here is the door now with rivets,

and window mounted.

Now the FDO position is working :)

Then I started to assemble some more speaking tubes for the gallery (6 each) and one for the FDO position.

That's as far as I got lost night.

20. November 2009
The build for the forward gallery of the command island continues.
Last night I completed the central array of speaking tubes (6ea)

as well as the tube and screen for the FDO station,

which will be positioned like this....most likely.

Then my techpriest received the first pieces of his servo arms.

It's a slow build, and the first time in a while, where I wish I could work with 3-ups, instead of this very small size.

But I'm getting there.
Those very small hydraulics are a pain in the butt, I can tell you :)

Actually I'm quite satisfied...

...once all items are cured and properly bonded I will add rivets and cables.

Then I also build two servo skulls. The first one is equipped with a light.

While the second is more a camera thingy :P


23. November 2009
With the Techpriest completed (sorry, forgot to take an image - I will deliver that tomorrow), I tried to wrap up the forward gallery.
Here you can see the posts for the armour plates. These are lower than the ones at front and rear, only hip height.

For the central section I decided to add another control panel.

Some steampunked scales and levers, keyboard and a screen.

This will postitioned centrally, with the speaking tubes to the left and right.

Since this will cover most of the operator, the Techpriest will no longer be postitioned up there, but will most likely end up on deck.

Now that I have most items for the forward gallery, I have to think about how I will complete the armoured plates without glueing everything in place. The reason is again painting. I will paint all the individual items before I mount them. Still I need to pre-cut and paint the plates before I can mount I have to think a bit about this.

In the meantime I started to look into the small rear gallery, where I want to have a Gatling Close Defense system. Just for the sake of looks and size I set one of the ZAPHIROS walkers on the gallery.

Just one of the Gatlings,

or two Gatlings?

Two look rather cool and efficient.

So I began cutting the pieces for two guns.

The barrels arranged and mounted.

For the actual gun body I cut some disks and then pre-formed a strip of plasticard to wrap around.

Once everything was cured,

I mounted the barrels to the bodies,

and connected the two guns.

Then I began to build the mount and position it for a first look.
Too big, too small, just right?
What do you think?

I completed the small side pieces of the mount

without doing any details yet.

But I think it will work, won't it?

So next will be the ammo drums, sights and detailing.
And then I will see if I add anything else back there, of if I leave the gun by itself.

25. November 2009
So with yesterdays discussion in mind, I took the gatling back apart.
Fortunately I was able to do so without breaking anything and now the twin mount is still available for a potential future project :)

With the Mauser BK-27 in mind I drew a breakout sketch of the pieces and started measurements from the existing barrel.

From this I built the gun body that will hold the gatling barrels

Based on this I calculated the size of the side walls,

as well as the central section.

Then I mounted the outer walls - with 3mm spacers to give the walls a total width of 5mm.

Then I used .25mm plasticard to cover the gap.

And a quick assembly (without glue),

to see how it looks :)
With the finished Techpriest for scale.

Eventhough the mount is bigger than initially planned or yesterdays build, I think it fits pretty well.
So tonight I will build the ammo drum and feed, as well as the sights and sensors.

26. November 2009
To complete the gatling CIWS I continued with building the sight housing (right) and the ammo drum.

Here's a quick mock-up for looks and scale with the sight and drum.

Also note the new off-centered postition - this is neccesary to give it a better field of fire, more room for the ammo re-load hatch, and ejected cases can easily be dumped off the side (eventhough I have to look if this could potentially interfere with the side navigation engines and rotors).

The ammo drum still needs the skin.

So I wrapped some .25mm plasticard around it, and while it cured, I worked on the ammo feed.

The ammo drum mounted.

And a quick blue-Tac shot with the ammo feed.

Here you can see the proposed layout of the platform.
In the background a large two-door hatch for the ammo and a standard sized hatch for access.

In re-load position.

And finally a size comparison to the Hydra.
Not so small after all.

I'm fine with the looks, but it will all depend on the details and ornaments, if the gun really fits the ATHENA or not.
*fingers crossed*

27. November 2009
Now that the basic build for the CIWS is completed, I started the detailing.
Here you can see the rear exhaust for the gun.

On this side you see the ejector port for the used cartridges.

and here the port for the ammo feed.

From front, with the service hatch. There's still some cleanup to do though.

Next was the sights.

And then I did some ornamenting for the ammo drum, using a Fleur-de-lil again.

And all pieces together - but not yet glued as there's still some detailing and cleanup necessary.

So I hope you like my CIWS "NEMESIS Mk MCMLXIX - Trieste pattern".

30. November 2009
Well it's been a busy weekend, and I've been working on a secret santa for my wife (more at the end of this post), but I did get quite some work done on the ATHENA too.

@DevL: Why 1969 for the NEMESIS gun?
Well, it isn't my birth year, I'm a bit older (born 1965), but it is a tribute to Andrea1969 the 3D artist at Warseer, that is doing some nice 3D CGI work, including some stuff on the ATHENA. He's also from Trieste, Italy, and that's why the NEMESIS is also a Trieste pattern :)
And here is his current shot of the ATHENA:

@Nash: Thanks for pointing out the Fleur-de-lys, I keep forgetting it *sigh*
Also, why so many people on the outside of the ATHENA?
Well, I want this to be a dynamic and busy display piece :) And, If you look at modern Aircraft Carriers, there's quite a lot of crew on the outside too....

Well, lets wrap up on the NEMESIS gun, shall we?
So here is the shot of the Mount, as well as some cabeling and the ammo hatch as well as the service hatch,


and with the NEMESIS in place.

On the ATHENA together with the Hydra turret.

To determine what else I must/can do on the ATHENA I taped off the individual sectors available for "action"

The rear area will have the Ground Attack plane togther with service crew and pilot on the lift.
In the forward area I will have another Ground Attack plane being readied by the crew.
In the central section I will most likely have a 6 men squad stand attention to their officer - these will be the "Repelling Party" (speak the ones fighting off any enemy boarding party).
Most likely I will also have the Techpriest overseeing something...maybe a robot mopping the floor? *chuckle*
Then directly behind the forward Hydra will be another lift, with a small ammo vehicle/cart on it and some crew members ready to arm the second GA plane (the one in the rear).
Between the forward Hydra and command Island will be a part of the command crew

I think they really look great, now that their're painted.

So this is where they will be positioned.

That will pretty much fill the whole mighty 70cm of flight deck :)

Well, next item on my still very long list of things to do ( ) was the
"Rear turret for Jump Deck - this will be a ground attack gun, maybe a Vanquisher"
Well, due to a nice gift from Jade Lancer at WIP, I have some Executioner barrels :)
So I decided to build a turret with a triple Executioner gun.

It will be positioned under the Jump Deck, at the rear end. Thus giving AA capability also in the lower rear area of the ATHENA (no sneaking aircraft from below).

To give it more punch, it will also be armed with 6 Anti-Air Hunter missiles, mounted left and right of the main gun.

And while I was waiting for some pieces to cure, I created some Purity Seals:
Pretty simple. Small circles cut from some of my plastic rods, glued onto some of the large rivet disks, and then some small strips of plasticard.

Here you can see the missile launchers in position.

And the aproximate position
The opening you see here will be covered with some hatches, that can be used the reload the missile launcher.

Here the cover and hatches are in place, as well as the rotateble mount is completed.

And in the final postition.

Beneath the ATENA Jump Deck. I don't have a name for it yet, but I will ask Jade Lancer first, since he "sponsored" it.


1. December 2009
Yesterday I got the itch.
The itch to start painting.
And since the completion of the ATHENA forward gallery depends on painted floor and wall, I decided that this would be the target of my scratch :)

Looking through the images I collected, I decided to use the Honorguard image as starting point. After priming with black, I drew the outlines with a pencil.

Then I traced them with a brush and a deluted white, to prevent any smearing or erasing of the pencil lines.

Next I did the base colors and background, so I'd get a feeling for the colors.

Then I did the highlights and shades for the blue.

followed by the red highlights and shadows.

Then I did the gold colors.

And finally the parchment.

Then it was time for some detailing.

and slowly but surely it came to completion.

Finally the slogan:
"Imperatus Vincit Omnia" - the Emperor is always victorious :)

Then I decided to get a final decission on the paint scheme. So I did a base color of Astronomican Grey

And then I looked at the cloud pattern suggested by Tommygun


So I did some detailing

No weathering or battle damage, no wash yet.

What do you think, is it worth it, or should I try something else?
I look forward to your comments and feedback.

2. December 2009
I wasn't quite convinced with yesterdays camouflage result, so I decided to give it another try. This time with the airbrush.
So first I masked of the image I drew yesterday.

And then I applied the 3-color cloud pattern.

Looks nice so far.

But to be sure, I had to do the basic details (sans weathering, washes, or damage),

and since I liked it, I decided to do the whole command island in the cloud pattern camo.
Maybe you can see on the right edge of the upper rear deck, a big splotch of blue gray - well a severe airbrush accident....I'll have to add some battle damage and scorched paint there...

As you can see, I spared the door to the shrine.

But everything else is done.

Once I get to all the details and weathering, I'm convinced it will look rather decent :)

Since I left the door without camo you can guess I have something special planed, can't you?
Yep, the door will be golden.

But not just plain gold, but with some ornamenting and scribes.

Sorry for the blurry image, but with the different reds, the outlines do look 3-dimensional.

So I continued the slogan on the golden part.

Plus some ornaments

And here's the complete slogan:
"Nullus Mundus Ultra Meum Ius Est; Nullus Adversarius Ultra Meam Iram Est"
"No world is beyond my authority; no enemy is beyond my wraith"
Unfortunately the world lengths are unevenly distributed (due to the long "Adversarius"), so I had to do the fonts in different sizes.

But I think it is OK, isn't it?

Well, that's it for today.
I hope you like it.
3. December 2009
Now that my short vacation is over, and my wife back from her trip, everything comes back to a normal pace.
So todays update is rather short compared to the last.

As I said, I wanted to cover the blotch of color with some battle damage and scorched paint. So first I chipped some pieces out of the plasticard and then I applied some black paint with the airbrush.
Then I added a plate of plasticard and rivets to simulate quick patching.

The plate will be painted in plain Astromican Grey, and the scratches and chips will be Boltgun and then some weathering.

I spent some hours adding details, and I can tell you by now I dread those good looking portholes. It is quite some work to cleanly paint the brass rims....

Right before finishing for teh night I added another sign.
"HQ MCMXIX - 1919 Atmospheric Strike Fleet". As you can see there is some room left on the rigth side. Maybe you have an idea for a short nickname? Or a logo?
Let me know

And the command island as of last night.


4. December 2009

I continued my work on the ATHENA and added quite some details. Like the section numbers on the doors, warning stripes beneath the doors, and, and, and

plus some more battle damage 8to cover up some more paint spots).

And then I decided to nickname the Fleet (not the ATHENA itself) the "Griffin" and added a small logo to the sign.

To put it all a bit more into persepctive, here's Admiral Azoth in front of the command island.

In front of the sign,

and in front of the shrine doors.


7. December 2009
Weathering started!
To get a better feeling to the final look I decided to give the girl an aged and slightly battered feeling. I started off with some washes along the segment lines.
Then I used the airbrush to shade these lines off, using Badab Black. After that I used Gryphone Sepia to add rust stains as well as a small spot around each rivet.

BTW, you may now officially call me insane. Since I wasn't sure how to do it best, I used a small brush and painted Devlan Mud around each :)

Here you can see the rivets on the right side done, while the ones on the left side aren't done yet. I think it is worth the effort - despite quite time consuming.

Rusty, rusty :)

Then I did the same on the other side. Again you can see the difference between the ones on top (not yet done) and the rivets on the bottom.

And here the rivets are completed.

Then I painted the shrine for the Machine God in the ATHENA.

So now it makes sense I used "Griffin" for the fleet nickname, as I have a Griffin here :)

And finally I did the first outlines for the next slogan image.
This is located beneath the shrine above, and depicts a priest with a power claw and the slogan "Vade Retro Xenos! - "Begone Xenos!"

He will wear black and red robes and have a grey beard.

8. December 2009
I started painting the slogan image with the base colors.

Then I added first shades and highs.

Added more details

The pose looks quite energetic on the side of the command island

More details

Almost done

Looks great

I'm pretty proud of the face :)

and the final shot


9. December 2009
Pretty satisfied with the slogan image, I decided to do the final wear and tear to the command island.
Starting with the starboard side, from this:

to this:

So you can see there's quite some wear damage and paint chipped,

even at the new mural.

Then, most importantly, the gallery received its wear and tear (remember that I started painting this section so I can continue the build here with the armour plates ect.)

Then the forward section received some battering.

And finally the portside

The roof received a thick coat of dirt and smut, but still need paint chipping.


10. December 2009
D3V!L,Dec 9 2009, 08:59 PM - The weathering is done very well, but I think its too much.
I mean the Athena is a real beauty. The crew is proud to serve on her, so they will care about her more. So I think with half that weathering it would look even better.

well, it's been a long and hard campaign, and the Orks on Dencara 5 proved to be a worthy enemy. There was hardly any time for maintenance or cleanup.

Now that "Operation Redeemer", the battle campaign against the Orks on the southern hemisphere, is over and the ATHENA on its way back north, to Xanthium, there is time.

And with free time comes boredom - to keep up discipline the first work details are assigned by the officers. Some of the not-so-fortunate (or not-so-brave) sailors are grabing their paint buckets and paint rollers and start their dreaded imposition...

This is just a quick conversion and need cleanup and some greenstuffing

But I think this will work out nice

His companion with the red anticorrosion paint smoking a cigarette

"Man, I'm glad when we're done here"
"Oh shut up and paint! Be glad we're on the roof and not the poor slobs that must do the body. Hanging off the side...shudder!"


14. December 2009
Due to the nearing holiday season and some family obligations I had rather little time for the ATHENA.
Nevertheless, I finally painted the main console of the forward gallery.

As you see I tried to pick up the theme of the rear console with wood and brass.

And eventhough this rear plate won't be visible in the end, I still painted it properly :)

Guys, thanks for your comments on the painters. I have to admit "Red Dwarf" didn't really ring a bell, as it was never broadcasted in Germany.
So I did some internet research and education, and am now proud you made the connection.
Cheers :)
Well, Rimmer and Lister did receive some more details by greenstuf.
As you can see they are now wearing harnesses (but as every good soldier/sailor) they didn't close or use them :)

thanks to bigwill the dialogue received a new line, running now:
A: "Man, I'm glad when we're done here"
B: "Be glad we're on the roof and not the poor slobs that must do the body. Hanging off the side...shudder!"
C: "Oh shut up and paint! Get back to work or I use this power-stripper on your skin!"

So I added a third character, using a power-paint-stripper (he still needs some GS work)

and added some bear metal spots, where he already worked.

From top view the metal is better visible. I didn't add any footprints as I can't really find a plausable position (from the position of the characters).


21. December 2009
Hmm, don't know how, but somehow the holiday season is stealing my time...
not much I got done, but progress nevertheless.
I built the railing for the forward gallery.

with holes to mount all the items

Then I painted it like wood

with some highlighting.

Looks pretty neat with all pieces in place.

Then I cut and pre-painted the first armour plates

and mounted them.

Then the next batch of long plates, again pre-painted on the inside

and mounted.

Sory for the blurry images, but I couldn't get the focus proper

And of course no Imperial ship without rivets :)


28. December 2009
Happy Holidays to all of you!
I hope you had some nice realxing days with the family and can enjoy some hobby time.
Here's a scale shot for you:

This is my nephew Florian holding the ATHENA in all her might :)

**After a long break with many different projects I finally came back to the ATHENA**
3. November 2010

Well, the re-design of the ATHENA!
She's back on my desk :)
I hope to hear some happy cries and see some dances through the internet :D

As discussed I am no longer satisfied with the "Aircraft Carrier" idea. The reason is simply scale.
If I was to make her a "plausable" carrier, she'd have to be a lot bigger - even with VTOL aircraft.
So lets take another walk around her hull and upper deck - I have already put the "island" aside.

Hull side view with all weapons mounted.

Here you can see the Gatling/missile launcher combo beneath the jump deck.

Front view with the quad-Las canons, the twin auto-cannon, and the huge Siege cannon.

The torpedo launchers.

The rear propellers and twin AC's.

And here are the two Hydras as well as the Nemesis Close-In Weapons System.
And the STRIX on its elevator.

Looking back at my original plans you can see the ATHENA was not designed as a real carrier - but I got carried away while building *grin*

So what purpose should she serve then?
Her main task will be to support ground attacks by delivering massive firepower and at the same time either establish air-superiority or at least defend herself against any aerial attacks.
For the ground attack role she currently has:
  • Siege Cannon
  • 2x Mk XV Imperial Torpedo Launcher with Mk VIII Draconis Melta Torpedoes
  • 2x Quad Las-Cannons
  • Missile/punisher combo
  • multiple rocket launcher
  • 2x 500lbs Bomb racks
For Air Defense she currently has:
  • 2 Hydra turrets
  • Nemesis CIWS
  • 4 twin Autocannons
  • 4 twin Machine Guns (they were mounted on the island, and I will re-use them)
  • STIX Interceptor VTOL
From a pure space point of view, the weapons arrangement could look like this.
So I decided to "open her up" again, and removed the entire deck.

One of the reasion for this is that I no longer need the elevator, but I may be able to use it as a display piece for the STRIX...

A new sheet of plasticard on the rear.

This layout gives me a good 30 cm for the actual bridge area (on which I want to mount the two Hydras and TWO Nemesis turrets), as well as it gives me room for another big turret - symbolized by the wooden box.

So what do you think?

What kind of weapon should I use for this large forward turret? Any more weapons that would be plausable or neccessary?
Well, let me know :)
Thanks for reading

4. November 2010
Thanks guys,
from your feedback it seems that it was the right decission to change the ATHENA all together.
With this settled I immediately started to work on the new bridge and deck layout.
As previously mentioned, I'm looking along the lines of the US Arleigh and the Russian Udaloy Class destroyers.
They do have some nice deck lines.

So I experimented with the turret positions and the layout of the first level.

I think it will look rather good, and it has enough space for the Hydras, the Nemesis', and the landing pad for the Strix.
So, even though I did remove the elevator, I will not go without. I just had to remove the partially sunken elevator - with an elevator that I can later simply outline, I am more flexible than I was with the sunken one.

Since I want to keep it along the original design lines of the ATHENA and the Steampunk theme, I drew some ornaments on .5mm plasticard.

Drilled the holes into them...

...and then cut and glued them to the side walls.

After that I created the portholes, cut from a plasticard-rod.

Not to forget the rivets :)

The first side walls mounted.

Yeah, I think this will look rather good.
Then I created some more ornaments for the forward plate.

and mounted it.

It's gonna have some nice angles towards the front, and will be without portholes or doors.

I'm very pleased with the side view. I think these will be some elegant lines.

The necessary scale shot :)

Eventhough the lines and angles are a bit modern-ish, I still think they fit the ATHENA well, don't you think?

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments and suggestions.
BTW, in regards to the weapons discussion, I am considering to have two banks of AA-Missiles, maybe two vertical launchers for Manticore-style missiles, and a main turret with a tripple Earthshaker(?) - this could give her some long-range direct and indirect firepower :)


5. November 2010
Wow! The 70th ATHENA post!
Certainly more posts than I needed for any other project - the ZEUS only required about 30 posts :)

Well, last night I continued with the forward plates of the bridge's first floor.

It takes some time to cut all the ornaments and fit everything into the angles.

But I'm very pleased with the lines.

I will leave the rear walls open for the time being, till I'm 100% sure how the rest of the bridge will look and maybe I'll use this area for another Mural Window or such...

With the two Hydras in place.

And to solve the mystery of the missing doors in the front plates.
The actual nose area with the 2 Twin Auto-Cannons and the rocket launcher, can be accessed via the two doors marked in red.

And for the area between the nose and the bridge, I plan to do some hatches, like in the image below. But before I do that, I have to look into the final position of the big turret, as well as all other weapons I may place there (potentially the vertical lunchers for the Manticore and some AA missiles).

We'll see.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions.

8. November 2010
Thanks for your feedback guys.
It's been quite a while since the first post on the ATHENA (22. May 09 - ) and she went through several changes in between.
@fuzzbucket: so you deserted me for a whole month!?! *just kidding*
Well, I hope todays update will prove, that the new bridge won't be as flat as it looks right now and get your approval.

Some of you may remember this group of characters that I did for one of the contests at WIP. The group was called "Morning Briefing"and show two officers being briefed by two NCO's on the current combat situation.
I want to include these guys on the new bridge of the ATHENA.

So I sketched out how the upper deck of the bridge should look like.

Scribbled some measurements down.

And started to cut the roof of the upper level.

Set onto legs to give it the proper height,

so I can evaluate how it will integrate into the outline of the ship.

Then I realized I miscalculated the side walls, so I had to do some more cutting.

Better :)

Then I started with the side wall, which contains a window for the briefing room.

I always have some clear plastic at thand that i can use for windows.

Here you can see the mounted window and the ornamented frame.

But such large windows are not the best to have on a combat ship, are they? That's why I added the rails seen in the previous images. In order to protect the conference room during combat operations, I build some armored shutters that will be on these rails.

This is how they look in position.

Rivets and details added.

Doors for the bridge.

Now the bridge has two doors in the rear wall - protected from wind and rain.

The frontal view.

And the beginning of the frontal plate.

And its look from the side.

Then I sketched out the windows and ornaments.

The ornament is cut from .5mm plasticard,

and mounted to the frontal plate.

I think this looks quite nice,

and in harmony to the lower level of the bridge.

Next I started the side walls to the bridge.

With windows and ornaments.

And together with the two Hydras, it begins to look impressive :)

To the other side wall I added some patched-up damage.

More patches for that side.

I'm quite satisfied how the new bridge comes along.

On Sunday then I began to work on the glass roof for the conference room.

Again adding rails for a shutter.

The shutter in the closed position,

and open :)

Such a large piece of armour needs some ornamentation, doesn' it?
How about an Imperial Eagle?

Looks cool.

Next was the actual glass as well as the frame ornament.

Everything in place.

As last piece last night, I built a small access ladder to the upper roof.

I hope you like it, and I look forward to your comments, feedback, and suggestions.

10. November 2010
Thanks guys :)

Yes there will be plenty of room for personell - especially for the liaison officer with the Lord Gordons Praetorians. I think he will have his pith helmet under his arm and will be acompanied by an English Pit-bull :)

Well, first I had to also complete the right side of the 2nd level - including the ornaments and access ladder.

Next I began to experiment with a sensor and radar array.

Looks a bit like a carry-away handle :)

I tried multiple version, but I think with the straight rear and angled front it will look the best.

Here is a rear view of the current bridge.
As you can see, there's plenty of room inside.

To complete the sensor bridge required a lot of experimenting, calculating, and even more putty and sanding.

Next I experiemented with the actual radar dome (using a table tennis ball).

But this version with the pylon isn't really convinving, is it?

So I tried to mount it directly on the "bridge".
This looks a lot better in my opinion.

So I added a bunch of antennae and sensors.

Plus an access ladder.

It still needs ornaments and rivets, as well as cables,

but I'm quite pleased.

And I think it neatly integrates into the ships lines, doesn't it?

Well, that's it for today.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your feedback, comments, and suggestions.
11. November 2010
Hello, hello!
The 265th post in this blog - thanks for your patience!

@darthrex354 - well it is a kind of a zeppelin, but it will also have 4 engines for altitude (those are on the 4 shorter, stubby wings in the center) plus it uses Anti-Grave technology to stay afloat...or as Eltnot says: "it levitates just because it is awesome" :)

Well, it seems the new radar and sensor array really evoke differnet opinions. I do agree that the new bridge has a more modern look and feel to it, especially the new radar bridge. But on the other side, the angles are almost identical to those I used on the ZEUS. But I really think the paintjob will make the difference in the end...
We'll see.
Anyhow, I did continue and added the cables to the sensors and radar.

To the front I mainy added rivets and a parchment for a scroll.

BTW, I was asked about templates an plans...

...really not much of a plan or even template. Sorry.
Hte last major item for the bridge is actually the stack area with the chimney.
Here is a first mock-up test.

and with the two chimneys.

I received some ornaments too.

Here is another rear view.
She will NOT receive an hangar. It will only be a landing platform and some hooks.
This will give me a large rear wall area, that I can use for a big painting of Athena :)
But at the first level you can see the two angled sides, these will receive doors - kind of a small hangar, but not for the large VTOLS, rather for small drones (shamelessly stolen from Tinners at WIP -

Finally some shots with the Hydras in place...

I hope you like it.

29. November 2010
Sorry for the lack of updates, but the last weeks were horrible.
First I got an "angina" which developed into a suspected pneumonia, and now calmed down to some very heavy coughing. And on Friday we had to put our 16 year old cat JoJo to sleep.
It was very hard for me to let our litte princess go, even though I did know it was time - almost too late for a pieceful and dignified end.
I hope she's now at a better place, beyond pain and cancer.

As you can imagine, this completely "took the wind out of my sails"... but since I don't know when and how I will continue, I wanted at least to wrap up what I've done since the last update.

Here you can see the space available as landing platform.
Big enough for the CHARON,


and the STRIX.

And then I started to work on the main turret. As discussed I'm aiming at a triple Earthshaker.
The gun tubes with details.

A first positioning test.

Size matters :-P

The base plate of the turret.

So I continued with the actual gun mount.

And then started with the first armour plates.

Side walls.

And the final turret.

It still needs a lot of details and ornaments, but the basic turret is done.
As said, I don't know when and how I will continue, as with JoJo most of my motivation is gone.
Maybe I will do something completely different, maybe I will submerge into the wold of some computer game again...I really don't know.

**After the death of my cat I took another long break from the ATHENA**
19. May 2012
Happy Anniversary :)
The 75th ATHENA post!
Wow, quite a journey, and we're not at the destination yet. It started on May 22nd 2009 (!) with this post.
Then it came to a hard stop with the death of my JoJo cat in November 2010.
Since then a lot of time has passed, several projects were started, and I even finished one or two of them :)
After the video I've done this week, I decided it was time to continue with the ATHENA.
Wow, can I really hear some cheers out there in the Aether?!? :)
As discussed in the video I want to first complete the cabin underneath the main hull. First is the actual observer deck, and for this I was preparing three naval soldiers. Unfortunately the flash card of my camera went nutso, so all the WIP images are lost - but not the soldiers :)
While the PC cured I decided to work on the two small AA-turrets. So I dug out the old plans I had from the ZEUS and cut the pieces...
Either my plans are pretty crappy, or I'm way out of exercise - quite ill fitting.
So lots of putty was required.
Compared to the ZEUS AA-turret.
After sanding it looks better :)

Next were the ornaments - for this I prepared a strip 0.5mm plasticard in the right height and then drew the form I wanted.
Still a bit edgy, but I'm getting there.

All the ornaments in place.
Then I prepared the pieces for the small las-guns

and assembled them :)
Mounted on the gun blocks

And the final turrets with rivets and sights.

Here is now an image of the plotting table for the observation deck.
And the 3 naval observers

In position

And the turrets in position

from the rear
I hope you enjoyed this little post.
Most likely I will continue with painting the 3 observers, so I can glue them into their final postition and maybe even permanently attach the cabin to the hull (not sure if I really want to do that).
C&C welcome :)

22. May 2012
Thanks for your comments!

@Roncarlin2002 - that's an excellent idea! I will see if I can incorporate one with the plotting table in the conference room - next piece coming up ;)

@Kiski - welcome to the blog :) Well the ATHENA is actually a bit more than an Imperial Ship, it will be an AIRSHIP (hopefully, one of these days)

@Admiral Drax - yes, I was thinking about it, but unfortunately I already have two bulkheads (doors) that utilize the space on the rear wall of the bridge. But maybe I just add two portholes to these two doors?
I will have to think about it.

Well, after the last update I changed my desk configuration to "painting mode" (and before you ask: no, I have no clue how many colors I have, but you're welcome to count :)

And after some painting this is how the Plotting Table now looks.

I'm very pleased with it

What do you think?

In the observation room

And here are the 3 observers in the middle of the painting session
and done.

And the whole scene complete and mounted.

Unfortunately it will later be hardly visible at all...

Especially once the ATHENA hull is on top of the deck

But it was worth the fun :)
So now on we go with the bridge and the command conference room :)
I hope you liked todays update.
C&C welcome

22. May 2012
Thanks guys.
So based on your feedback I will have to look into lighting the ATHENA up.
Any hints, tip, tutorials are greatly appreciated, as I'm really a "short" when it comes to electricity :)

Well, as promised I began to work on the command deck of the ATHENA. Actually the interior of it.
This is how it looked so far on the inside.

First I built a base plate that would fit inside the bridge.

and then started to build up the walls.

For the rear wall I had the idea for some ornaments - keeping up with the steampunk motto.

And also picking up the older unit crest of the MCMXIX (1919th) Atmospheric Strike Fleet - the Griffins.

Quite some delicate cutting,

but it looks great on the wall. And you can also see the "holographic projector" in front of the wall.

Some more instruments for the other wall (you can also see the "teeth" of the sliding door).

Some more details

And the finished scene with the command crew.

@Lord Gordon - Andreas, as you can see this area is too small (and will later be too dark) to add your liaison officer here. So my idea is to have him with the recon crew on the rear deck (in full sight) with the mechs readying the recon drones - is that OK with you?
With the compartment on top it is still mostly visible.
And actually I like the looks very much :)

Once I was satisfied with the conference room, I started with the actual bridge

and its instrument banks.

Plus a central intrument desk for the officer in charge.

The idea is to have the bridge operated by servitors.
And this is OTTO the commanding Servitor.

Two more servitors in the first build. As you can see they are all levitating above ground (as I didn't want to build any tracks or wheels).

Here you can see all 4 in position.

First arms and hands

And with all detials in place.

All four together.

For the actual instruments I wanted to replicate something similar to what I had built a long time ago for the deck of the Aircraft Carrier version.

This is the central instrument panel with two large screens.
The left panel with many gauges.

and the right panel.

The CO console.

And all pieces together.

Not quite the Enterprise, but I think this is looking very sexy :)
A shame most of it will be completely lost when the ATHENA is finished....

Next is now to paint everything.

As I type this all pieces are base painted and the spray paint is drying :)
So, what do you think?
I hope you enjoyed this little update.
C&C welcome.

29. May 2012
Thanks guys :)
@2501 - yes I thought about using magnets, but some of the pieces are too big (and are over time a bit warped) so that magnets won't be able to hold the things together good enough.
But depending on how successfull I'll be with the LED lights, things may remain visible enough...we'll see :)
@Jeremy Webb - thanks for the link! Some of those kits look very promising.
@Shadowvast - I think you talk about the same kits, so thanks to you also :)
I will definately look into the LED sets.
Over the last view days I began to paint the interior of the bridge and the conference room.
Here I applied the first base colors. As you can see I try to use the standard greenish grey used in most military interiors.

The rear wall of the conference room is Scab Red and the griffin is golden, while the ornaments are all kind of brazzen.

Here I applied the Dwarf Bronze around most instruments, hopefully giving everything the proposed steampunky look.

Then some more details on the instruments and screens.

And finally the wear and tear.
As with the original island, I go for a quite worn look.
The ATHENA is just coming towards the end of a long and tyring campaign against the Orks. She's not spitshiny :)

The conference room looks slightly better, less worn.

Then I began to work on the holographic projector.

Here you can see the glow around the edges.

And then I painted the actual display. Starting with Snot Green.

Next some deluted Goblin Green around the lines to give it a washen or glowing appearance.
And finally some fine lines in Scorpion Green for the real bright areas.
Together with the briefing crew.

Lastly I painted and added the central console.
This is now pretty much it.
Next will be to paint the actual Servitors and the (newly built. not photographed) Tech Priest to complete this section, so I can go on the new adventures on the outside of the ATHENA :)
I hope you enjoyed this little update.
C&C welcome.

3. June 2012
Thanks guys :)

Well I spent the last few days painting the Servitors and the supervising Tech Priest.

The Tech Priest at an early stage.

After the base colors were applied I gave them a thorough wash with Badab Black.
In addition I applied some specific washes with Baal Red (for the skin), Grisiphone Sepia (for the Bones and Leather) and Devlan Mud (can't recall which pieces that were).

After the washes dried I did the highlights.

Since they are all on the bridge in a relatively dark room I didn't do any strong or bright highlights.
The Tech Priest.

Otto, the Servitor in charge

And some group shots with all members in their positions.

Closer up from the front

And with the superstructure in place

Peeping through the window.
I will not glue everything in place yet, as I'm still tinkering with the idea of installing LED lights.
But next image will be with everything in place and then I will finish up the superstructure (the rear is still completely open) and apply lots of rivets and ornaments.
Then it will be most likely the completion of the main turret with the tripple Earthshakers (final position and ornaments), and then....
...who knows :)
I hope you liked this little update.
Thank you for your time.
C&C welcome.
8. June 2012
Thank you guys.
I'm glad you all like the progress on the ATHENA and am very grateful for your feedback.

As promised here are the first shots with the command deck in place.

As you can see, the interior is not very visible, that's why I plan to add some LED lights inside.

The LED's are ordered and shipped on Thursday, but since it's slow surface mail from the US, I guess it will be a while before they get here.

Looking at the current layout, with the tripple Earthshakers and then the two Hydras,

I realized that the two Hydras are blocking the side windows completely.

They rotate OK and would be fully functional, but they really make those side windows obsolete, don't they?

However, looking at the deck layout I have no real clue where else to put them.

In the rear, at the landing deck they don't really look good, and the take away quite a lot of the limited space back there...

Also, what else should I put on those platforms instead?

I will have to tinker about this for a while.

Most likely I will keep everything as it is (with the two Hydras on the platforms), but maybe you guys have some brilliant ideas?

BTW, here is a rare shot of the interior of the ATHENA.

As you can see there's plenty of space to accomondate any LED power source and cabeling. And some of those cut and bent plasticard strips show how often the layout of the ATHENA has changed :)

So, while tinkering about the deck layout, I built the rear wall of the superstructure.

As you can see it has the neccessary ornaments and also some blast doors that can be opened...

... I will most likely have a little scene back here, where some technicans and officers ready two drones. One will be a pure recon drone (just lifting off), while the other one will be an attack drone with armament being readied...

And a very specific liaison officer will be there too :)

But this rear wall has a lot of empty, plain space - and you know that I can't have that, right?
So I decided to add a new mural to it.

ATHENA herself watching over the landing deck :)

BTW, the image is based on this wonderfull 3D rendering of a Draenei by Denisa Mrackova.

So, what do you think?
I hope you like todays update and thank you for your time and feedback.

11. June 2012
Hey guys,

thanks for your feedback.
Gathering the various suggestions I looked into mounting the Hydras sideways.

It actually looks better than I thought, however, the space is just too limited, and once the engines are mounted on those two stubby wings, these would interfere dramatically.
Scratch idea 1...

Mounting them directly on the side, is also too limited, as the field of fire isn't very good, and actually the deck is too narrow to really rotate the turret.
Scratch idea 2...

Mounting the Hydras behind the superstructure would work, but since I already have the Nemesis CIWS planned to be positioned here, this won't work either.
Scratch idea 3...

And mounting the Hydras below the current deck line, on new "islands" would be another major overhaul. However, by now (after 2 years) the plasitcard is too brittle to sustain another one of these operations, and I'm afraid it would really mess up the current outline and silouhette of the ATHENA.
Scratch idea 4...

So it looks as if I will keep the Hydras where they are (at least for now).

But I wasn't lazy :)
I painted the ATHENA mural.
I started off by spraypainting the background.

Then I applied the basic skin color, using Elf Flesh.

The base color for the gold is Boubonic Brown.

For some of the metalic parts I used Shadow Grey,

while I used Fortress Grey for the lighter metallic items.

For the "brush" on the helmet, the purity seal, and the "I" bracelet I used Scab Red.

For the leather straps I used Bestial Brown,

and Bleached Bone for the skulls and Kommando Khaki for the parchment.

Terracotta for the hair,

and finally Skull White completed the base colors.

After that I worked out the details, starting with the skin and the face.

Then I worked on the details for the golden items.

Details on the metal.

And then all the rest :)

Some shadows and first dirt stains and she was completed.

So here she is :)

So what do you think?
Thank you for your time and feedback.

12. June 2012
Hey guys,
thanks for your feedback.
First some housekeeping from my side. I have been very slow on replying to comments and I appologize.
Your feedback on the Hydra positions was valuable and important, and I really, really appreciate it - keep it coming. Even if I may not be able to implement them immediately, they usually spark some other trains of thought :)

@Stephen Smith - welcome! I'm glad you found the DG blog and I hope you will become a frequent visitor. Currently the ATHENA is about 1meter long (well 98cm to be precise).
Right now I have no plans, other than to complete her, get some LED lights inside and then paint her :)

@Fuzzbuket - I hear ya! My first plasticard adventures were pure desasters. The learning curve is really extreme. My first "conversion" was a kit-bash of an old WWII panzer 38 into a Basilisk....Holy Moe! I still shudder when I see it - it's buried deeeeeeeep in a box :)
But don't give up :)

@Jeremy Webb - well, those two stubby wings will eventually hold rotatable engines with rotors. These can be used for forward propulsion but also for altitude changes :)

@Roncarlin2002 - Thanks for the image. I think todays update will be to your taste :)

Now that the mural is in place, but the upper part of the superstructure not glued on, I decided to build some guides to better hold the pieces together.

Now the upper superstructure slides in place,

without being permanently attached (giving me the option to add LED lights later on). I also closed the sides of the rear superstructure and added ornaments and portholes.

Next I started to build two new autocannons for the upper deck.

Above you can see an old autocannon I built for the ZEUS diorama, and the two new builds WIP.

Almost completed

and the final AC's.

They even fit on a regular IG tripod.

I will position them up here.

For this I built two railings onto which I can mount the AC's.

Currently I have them at the corner,

but I think I will re-position them a bit more forward, so than can be rotated better.

I also added 4 hatches.

And the current status.

Here you can see the Nemesis CIWS in position.

The only thing nagging me now, is the size and look of the Nemesis.
I think she's a real beauty, but somehow she feels too clumsy with the new outline of the superstructure...she was looking a lot better with the old carrier island.
What do you think?

13. June 2012
Just a very short update today :)
Since the question was asked several times lately (here and in the forums) I'll make known today.
Currently the ATHENA is almost 1 meter long (98 cm) and the hull alone weights 1,25 kg (2.5 pounds),

While the ATHENA with all turrets, weapons, deck, and accessories weights 2,05kg (4 pounds).

This is a lot lighter than most of you thought, isn't it?
And as you can see with all the stuff carelessly dumped onto her, she is very sturdy and can handle moving around :)

14. June 2012
Another short update today :)

Yesterday I recieved my LED "Starter Kit" from TSDS (!/pages/TSDS/116943975056112 - )
This LED Lighting Strips Complete Basic Kit consists of a 9v battery connector, two solder-less connectors and two 6" strips of LED lights for 10.99$

Instructions are really simple.
You can cut these stips into smaller sections of 4 LED and either use the solder-less connectors or solder the connections yourself.

So I decided to do a first test with two small sections of 4 LED each.

The first section is to light the Mural of the rear hangar. For this I cut a stip open into the rear wall and mounted the LED section.

And connected with the battery, it looks like this.

I mounted the other section of 4 LED in the roof of the rear Jump Deck.


Really not bad.
I think this can work, but I will need to change some things:

  • Light the rear hangar mural across its entire length

  • Add a second light strip at the bottom of the mural, so lighting is more evenly

  • For the 2 Jump Decks I will continue with 4 LED sections

  • For the Observation Deck I will most likely 2 sections - 1 at each end.

  • Make a seperate light circuit for the Command Deck (one long strip for the bridge" and 2 small strips for the conference room

For this I odered some more parts.
So this was a first test, successfull in my opinion, and until all other parts are here, I will continue with the actual build of the ATHENA.

Not sure what will be next though. Either finishing up the Earthshaker turret, or re-visiting the NEMESIS CIWS, or some railing, or, or, or... :)
Thank you for your time and I hope you liked todays update.
C&C welcome

28, June 2012
Hello all,

Well, as mentioned before, I plan on adding some Manticore Missiles. But I don't want to add any turrets or the like.

I rather want to have plain and simple, soviet style, launcher missile tubes. They will be located in the forward are, left and right of the Earthshaker turret:

Here you can see the angeled tubes I cut for this.

I'll have a total of 6 tubes.

And I will mount them in two sets of 3. Most likely 2 will be closed while 1 on each side will be open, with the missile visible inside. I'm not quite sure if I will point them straight forward, or a bit angeled to the side. What do you think?

Speaking of the missile - or rather the warhead:

I looked through my stash of bombs and ammunition, but the only pieces remotely big enough are these 3.


Even the biggest doesn't really look convincing, does it?


So here I am again, scuplting :)

I used a battery as base, since the diameter would fit nicely into the tube.

But in the end I will only use the sculpted tip, cut it in the right angle and mount it in the tube.

Once it is cured, I will mount it on an electric drill and sand it down, smoothen it, and maybe add some details.
Since I had some PC left, I sculpted another warhead...

...nothing specific in mind yet, but I'm sure some of you will have a brilliant idea on how to use that one, right?

I will create a mold for both and then simply make another of each to fit the launchers.

Well, I hope you liked todays update.
Thanks for your time and feedback.

5. July 2012
Sorry for the lack of updates, but work got the better part of me for the last few days :(

I continued with the warhead of the Manticore. Last time it was still curing on the top of a battery.

Once it was fully cured, I removed it, mounted it on my drill, and then carefully sanded it down.

I usually let it run across a rasp first and then across a sheet of sandpaper.

In addition I worked on the head of Sir Horace's dog.

It looks huge now, but remember the body of the dog will also receive another layer of muscles and skin.

For Else I added details.

She received sleeve buckles, a kind of belt at the rear.

Some shoulder pads.

Plus a bit of cleanup.

Some of you inquired about a casted copy of the two girls.

I really like the idea, and since they are 100% sculpted it would be legal too. I will start some experiments on mold and cast for the two. I will also try to make an additional head, probably with a kind of fedora :)

If it's not too frustrating for me, I will try to update you on the experiments :)


**After another long break she's back in 2013**
3. July 2013
Wow! The 87th post for the ATHENA - really a marathon :)

As mentioned yesterday, she's back on my desk.
The first pieces I worked on were the two Manticore launchers. 
The actual launch tubes were pretty much done, so all I had to do was to create a mount.
After the mount was completed I added details, such as rivets, lids for the launch tubes and some minor stuff.
Another open piece was the actual mount of the Earthshaker turret.
Quick and simple...
Of course rivets were needed too...
One item I am not sure about yet is another CIWS.
Do I need one?
What do you think? Is another turret needed for the right side, or will it make the deck too crowded?
Let me know what you think.

With the CIWS question undecided I wanted to improve the rear mural in preparation to adding lights.
For this I opened the rear wall and removed the mural (
Then I cut some clear plastic from an old keyboard packing and glued it into the mural frame.
Once this glue was cured I mounted the mural to the clear plastic.
Now it is protected and looks like a real mural on glass :)

And now the ATHENA is on its back, ready to receive the first light apparatuses...
not bad for the first hobby evening back :)
I hope you like this little update and I look forward to your feedback and suggestions.

4. July 2013
Good morning :)
Thank you for your feedback and comments!
I think the common feedback is that I'll have to build another CIWS - Gatlings for the win :)
@Agis - thank you! This sounds great - please make sure to send me a link when you start. I want to see it.

Well, yesterday evening I had arts class again, so hobby time was limited.
Here you can see the LED stuff layed out. It's pretty simple and I really like how this stuff works out.
They are from TSDS Inc.!/TSDSMODELING
Very easy to use.

I started with the lights for the two jump decks and the observation deck.

Sorry for the blurry images, but this was the best I could do last night.

Currently the individual LED still reflect in the windows.

So now I'm thinking about adding some framework around the LED's and also about adding some red clear plastic to the ones on the jump deck.

I think that would look cool, to have red lights in the jump deck. Don't you think?
Well, I hope you like today's little update and look forward to your comments, suggestions, and feedback


8. July 2013
Hi all,
even though my shoulder still hurts and hinders me from building as much as I'd like, I was able to make some progress.

First I build some casings for the LED strips
and since I don't want the individual LEDs being visible, I decided to add some matte covers.
For this I took some clear plastic

and sanded it for a while, creating a nice matte finish

On the casings this looks rather nice.

For the jump deck I want red lights, so I painted them with red ink.


During daylight this isn't very visible.

Next I added a light switch on the landing pad, so I can keep the battery (9V block) mounted on the inside.

Another LED strip was added to the rear mural.

In the evening the lighting becomes a lot more prominent

and now the red is a lot better visible.

The next section to light was the bridge and conference room



I built casings for the LED strips, added matte clear plastic, painted the casings in Tiny Tin and mounted them (looks crooked here as the cable was too inflexible, but I got that worked out in the end)

After the bridge (red lights again) and conference room, I built another light set for the ATHENA mural on the rear wall.

A nice effect I think :)

Before closing everything up, I quickly added a coat of Astronomican Grey to the ceiling and walls

At this stage the wiring still looks very cluttered :)

Before I mounted the bridge section and glued it in place I added a coat of liquid mask to the windows.

I will have to freshen it up before I do the actual paint job, but its a good base.

And then it was time for a lights test :D

If you look closely you may see I added another light switch to the lower side wall.

Aaaah :)
I think this will be great :)

Tonight I will bring order to the wiring and clean it up, then another set of lights on the left and right side of the landing pad (shining up in an angle at the STRIX aircraft), and then I can look into the remaining CIWS.
I'm very exited that this project is finally nearing completion.

11. July 2013
Thank you for your feedback!
Today is the last post about lighting the ATHENA ;)
These are the last two lights, for the landing pad.

I tried to give the lights housing a kind of steampunky touch, to make it fit with the rest of the ship.

The lights are slightly angled, so the should shine up to the STRIX aircraft.

From top you can also see that I used one of the housings to cover the light switch :)

Lights out!
Spot on!



As you may have seen, there is a slight lights "spillage" around the bridge.
The reason is that the plastic warped a bit over the months in storage, so the bridge superstructure is not 100% flush against the lower section.
So I've build a little border that seals everything, without looking too much out of place.

Now the bridge section is "lights tight" :)

I've also glued the HYDRA gun mounts in position

This face means business :)

Obviously this wouldn't be complete without rivets...
Vik at DakkaDakka asked me if I always measure my rivet positions. And I have to admit yes I do. Especially for such a huge model like the ATHENA I don't want to come back later and discover some uneven spacing of the rivets that may spoil the whole show.
But I also have a little helper.
It is made of thin (.25mm) plastic cards, very flexible and I have drawn a 5mm and 10mm scale on the two sides. Since it is so flexible it is very easy to mark the spacing.


Here are some more light show images:



And a fly around






And finally I was looking at a way to cover-up the other lights switch.
So I removed two of the portholes,

and positioned an old console that I've built for the aircraft version a few years (gasp!) ago.

Next will be either the remaining CIWS or the engines and rotors...
and then a million of rivets...sigh... :)
12. July 2013
As mentioned yesterday the next piece for the ATHENA is a second CIWS "NEMESIS Mk MCMLXIX CWIS Trieste Pattern".
I initially thought I could use one of the gatling barrels I had lying around from some previous project, but realized its too flimsy.
So I started to create another gatling barrel.
First cutting two disks and drilling the appropriate holes
Then cutting the 6 barrels and 1 central rod to the proper length
and push them through the first disk, aligning them in length
Then through the second disk and straightening everything and gluing it together.
Satisfied with the barrel I started the main gun housing.
Next were the two sides connecting the main turret body with the gun. For the proper curve I used a disk of plastic card that I used as a scale, with two markings for the upper and lower corner and then simply traced the outline.

a set of 5mm spacers to keep the sides apart.

To cover the gap and give it a nice smooth surface, I cut a 8mm wide strip of .25mm plastic card, which I glued to the sides,
and as each side cured I wrapped it around the next side, following the curve nicely.
Most of the base parts already completed!
Since I had a few minutes left last night I also started the main turret body, but only got a part of it.
That went pretty well.
Now I have to complete the main body, then the sights box and the ammo drum. And after that:
details, details, details :)
I hope you like todays update and look forward to your feedback :)

15. July 2013
I had a pretty busy weekend with lots of good weather, family and friends.
So hobby time was relatively limited.
But I got to work on the CIWS a bit more.

First I completed the main turret body - I had to do some gap filling and sanding.

Next I drilled the holes for the main gun axle.

and then I was able to glue the two sides in place.

The gun body fits nicely and elevation and depression is like on the original NEMESIS.

Once this was verified I mounted the barrels to the gun body and started with the sights box.

 I'm not sure if the weather was too hot for me, but when building the sights housing I created some rather big gaps, so I had to fill and sand a lot...

While the putty cured I started with the ammo drum.
Using the marked disk as scale again, I drew the 3 sections onto the plastic card.

When cutting such rather "delicate" shapes I tend to keep the main section still attached to the plastic card (cutting the curves first).

The three sections look rather good, but they are not really identical.

For this purpose I tape them together (ensuring they are aligned perfectly) and then sand them together to the same exact shape.

Once I was satisfied with the shape, I glued them together, separated by 1cm strips of plastic card.

While the basic shape for the ammo drum now cured, I sanded down the sights box.
This NEMESIS will be a mirrored model, so the sides for the sights and ammo drum will be swapped.

That's as far as I got.
Yes, it looks a bit warped right now, but as soon as I glued the spacers in position, the sights will align properly.


17. July 2013
The weather outside is beautiful and time is fleeting... :)
But I still got some hobby time.
First I used my Secret Weapon, the .25mm Plastic Card to do the ammo drum

While the first section cured, I started detailing the sights box.

As these little pieces set, I started to wrap the plastic card around the ammo drum housing.

I also used the .25mm card for this little sight.

glued in place it looks rather cool.

With rivets and details the sights box looks nice, but it is quite considerably slimmer than the original.

The next item on my agenda was the ventilation grill on the rear of the gun mount.
For this I cut some strips of (you guessed it!) .25mm card...

And carefully glued them on top of each other, slightly overlapping.

Its quite a task to keep them aligned and spaced properly.

But with the little frame around it, it looks great :)

Some more details on the gun top,

and I was able to glue the gun to the central axle.

Nice :)
Due to my unique, unrivaled and superior calculation skills, I was able to....

...create a rather thin and flimsy ammo drum! :(
Crap on toast.
I don't know what I calculated, but the drum is a good 1cm to small.
So I ripped the plastic card back off.

The mistake was that I used 1cm wide spacers instead of 1.5cm wide one. Somehow I calculated with the sections I'd need 3 spacers...
Haha, I only have 2 spacers.

So you see - I AM NOT SANTA :)

Well, I hope I can wrap this NEMESIS CIWS up by the end of the week.
18. July 2013
After the last little disaster I rebuild the ammo drum, now in the proper width :)

And while the PC around the drum cured I added rivets and ornaments to the rest of the gun.

Next up was the ammo feed. For this I cut a 1cm wide strip of 0.5mm PC and wrapped it around a pencil (to give it a round shape)

For the "ammo" I cut 3mm wide stips of 1.5mm thic PC

I glued these onto the strip with slight gaps between them.



Once the ammo drum was cured, I added two small stips of .25 PC for the ornaments.

When the ornament strips cured I finally mounted the drum to the main axle.

One thing I realized is that the axle I used this time was rather thin (compared to the rod in the original gun) and it has a tendency to bend....

While the drum cured on the axle I prepared the connection to the ammo feed.

In between these steps is always time for some rivets :)

Another needed ornament is the Fleur-de-lys for the front of the ammo drum.


Finally I mounted the ammo feed to the gun body and the ammo drum.

And with this the NEMESIS twins are completed :)



But I'm not 100% happy with the position on the deck....

I will have to wait until I have the 4 manouver engines and rotors on the central stubby wings before I can decide where I will position those two babies.
I hope you enjoyed this little build :)

22. July 2013
As written in the last post, I'm not so sure about the final position of the two CIWS', so I decided to finally go for the 4 engines and rotors on the short stubby central wings.
A while back, I had build 1 engine that I tried to duplicate via casting.
Unfortunately I had quite some issues with it, and I finally gave up casting the 4 engines. Pondering what else to do, I remembered the CHARON's rotors and decided to give it a try.
For this I cut 8 disks out of an A4 sheet of PC and then out of these another disk.
Out of the cut disks I cut the actual rotor blades. For this I drew the lines on a sheet of paper and then it was relatively easy to draw these lines on the PC disk.

Next step was to cut the actual blades and round them off nicely.
Then they were mounted onto a central axle.
The rotor was then glued onto one of the outer rings.
Then some spacers (about 2cm high) glued to the lower of the two rings.
Please also note the larger spacer on the left, that already has the axle to mount the engine glued in place.
Then I glued the upper ring in position, and wrapped it with .5mm plastic card.
Then I had to drill a hole into the stubby wing and rudder.

Into which I can now mount the engine-rotor combo
The combo is rotatable, so it can be used for lift as well as propulsion.
I think it looks rather good on the ATHENA, don't you think?


24. July 2013
Thanks guys!
While I do like the general apearance of the duct fans, I realized I need some more decorations or steampunk elements to make them work with the overall style of the ATHENA.
So I reworked the initial duct fan, built a slightly larger rotor, added a driveshaft, and a rear ornament.
The front also got an ornament - in hindsight I realize it looks a bit Batman stylish....
Pleased with the apearance of the test rotor I build the remaining 3 rotors (they are now larger than the actual opening) and positioned the spacers.
While these cured I used my famous rivet scale and marked the rivet positions for the first fan.
I really like the look on the ATHENA.
While only the lower left one is complete, the other 3 ducted fans got their ornaments in place and now "only" need the outside cover and rivets.
Another item off my list.

26. July 2013
While the list of to-do's IS shrinking, there are still many items to do :)
The first thing was to complete the covers around the duct fans.
And even though they were not 100% finished I couldn't resist to take some nice shoots with the 4 duct fans in position...
But the rear is not yet completed...
Also it was time to do another weight check.
I'm really proud of my little Queen, she hardly gained weight. Despite all the nice curves and add-ons she's only 2,42 Kg ( 4.8 pounds) - including two block batteries!

Well, the rear....
This is the "balcony" I had originally build and painted for this rear area, with an observation periscope and another plotting table.
But since I now need a good position for the two NEMESIS CIWS, I decided to rather build a new structure.
Rounded and "steampunked"
it will give the two CIWS a nice field of fire.
But to really fit the ATHENA it needs some ornaments.
I can tell you it was some tough cutting !
But I think it was worth the effort :)
What do you guys think?

Oh and here are two photoshopped goodies for you :)


30. July 2013
Hi all you patient followers and readers,
I think today is one of the last build posts for the ATHENA!

I'm sure that she's now 95% complete and all that is left are some gaps and then millions of rivets :)

But I still owe you some work in progress updates.
Last I asked what some of you would think if I added wooden planks to the rear deck, and if the carved plastic card I had made was good enough for this purpose.
Well, the response was in unison in favour of the idea :)
So I cut some .7mm wide PC strips as framework on the deck
It also serves to keep the bridge section in position (remember it is removable)
Some gap filling with green putty,
and then I started with the wood PC.
Here the first sections are glued in position.
Detail shot of the "wood"
I can tell you, carving the wood pattern is kind of meditation :)
I did it while watching the Formula One race in Hungary.
The wood sections on deck.
and also for the actual landing platform/elevator piece.
With the deck sections it looks just great :)
As Eyescream on WIP suggested I definitely need some railings to keep my drunken sailors on board :D
This build was a bit fiddly, as I couldn't glue it in place (it has to be removable for painting)
But once the top railing was glued onto the wooden posts it got very sturdy.
The upper railing with the corner was a challenge - I cursed a LOT
But now that it's complete I am absolutely proud of it!
As said, the sections are removable :)
Then I had to add "a few" rivets :P
Top view
Side shot
The next to last item on the to-do-list was this access ramp on the underside of the body
And the final item was the support frame for the lower gondola
It now keeps everything aligned and in position.

Well, that's it!

Oh, well, I have a "little" video of her again:
(Upload should be completed in the next hour)

And now its
and a bit of gap filling and
and then some
I hope you like it.
I'm all with Atreides that its a funny moment, realizing that this project is coming to an end.
Its with one crying eye that I look at her.
But hey, I'll have plenty of hours painting her ahead of me :)


12. August 2013
Hi guys,
I'm a bit behind on posting updates, so today you'll get two :)

My shoulder troubles are back, so progress was slower than normal, but the last things to do on the ATHENA was rivets. So this is easy work and I did about 100 per evening :P
Here you can see my stock of 2mm rivets.
Since riveting is a rather boring work, I slipped a bit of character creation in between. In the early stages of the aircraft carrier build someone suggested to have two crewmen playing golf on the deck. I never forgot that suggestion :)
While the GS cured I added more rivets.
And here it is:
The last rivet position
and the last rivet!
The ATHENA is now officially finished :)
But the model needs some live on it.
So here a the little sub-dioramas:
The golf players
The STRIX/Nighthawk with crew
Sir Horace and his entourage
One of the AA gunners
Reloading the KERES rocket launcher
Paint detail 1
Communications officer at the signal light
Ground crew for the STRIX
Paint detail 2

And then it was time to mask all the windows and other openings

After this I prepared for painting (next update).

12. August 2013
Wooohooo! 100th ATHENA post!!

With the build and masking complete, I moved all the pieces into the garden for priming and initial painting.
The first can of black got me through the gondola and bridge, as well as half the body :)
After the initial black priming I added streaks and dots of light grey to create a kind of cloud pattern.
Some blue, a bit of white,
and some more black completed the basic camo pattern.
Then all the small pieces and items received a black base coat.
Some of the turrets, the rotors and radar bridge also got the camo pattern.
After 3 hours with spray cans in the garden she was ready to go back onto my desk.
First I added burn marks on the damaged sections.
Then base colored the port holes.
With the airbrush I added shadows and basic light areas to the port holes.
And then I painted the brass-colored rims of the port holes.
The armor patches were painted with Astonomican Grey.
And I started to paint the steampunk ornaments with Tinny Tin (from Vallejo).
And then disaster struck!!!
I took a short break, setting the ATHENA to the side and leaving my little man-cave.

About an hour later I came back, and when returning to my desk I knocked the ATHENA over and she fell off my desk to the ground!
I was so shocked I didn't even take pictures, but believe me, it wasn't a sight I'd ever want to see again.
Broken pieces on the floor and the ATHENA on her side...

After some initial cleanup and first repairs I remembered to take photos.
Here the rear section.
As you can see the body was cracked open, some of the plastic card ripped - I already glued some armor patches onto the major damage. The rear balcony broke off the support, but was generally undamaged.
The very tip of the nose chipped and some of the glue lines broke open.
The right forward wing broke completely off (actually it broke out of the body, leaving a huge hole). I glued everything back in position.
Some of the supports for the railing broke off (really minor damage)
And in the bridge section several items rattled around. With the windows masked I couldn't see what exactly was broken.
So I decided to cut her open and see to it.
In the end one of the ceiling lights and the admiral broke loose.
This was an easy fix, and I decided to take the entire top section back off. This will now give me the opportunity to get at the windows in case the masking didn't work out properly.
With the initial shock overcome, I continued with painting the ornaments.
First details for the bridge section.
And the radar bridge.
With the slogan "Semper Paratus, Semper Vigilans" - Always ready, always watchful"
The lower section of the bridge completed
Well, of course without any real details and without any weathering yet.
The next section I will paint is the forward section with the KERES launcher.
Gee! I forgot how many details I added here - and they are sooo hard to get to....
Well, I hope you like this update.

14. August 2013
Thanks guys!
Thank you for your well wishes :)

Well, I continued painting the ATHENA, and since she now has some real damage, I decided to see how I can paint her to incorporate the real and "fake" damage together.

As stated in the last post, I worked on the forward section.

The deeper damages are hand painted, while the minor damage is done with a sponge.
I also painted and remounted the wooden chests. I think they fit nicely :)
The actual detailing and damage is complete for this section, but in the end everything will get another coat of dirt (usually a wash of Devlan Mud and some Badab Black) and then lots of stains and grime.
The forward banner received its slogan:
"Sans Preur, Invictus Maneo" - "Without Fear, I remain unconquered"
I was asked how I draw the deeper damage (since I don't use the "Salt technique").
So I start off with the damage in a dark grey-brown.
Then I paint the shadows of the damage in Terracotta (simulating the rust resilient paint)
and the highlights with Shadow Grey
Some of the really deep grooves also receive a bit of Boltgun Metal
and to even things out, I add some minor damage with a sponge (using the first dark brown-grey again)
Its a bit more work than using the salt, but I feel more comfortable this way :)
It also works for bigger damage, like this patched up blast damage.
Well, it's been a long and hard campaign, and the Orks on Dencara 5 proved to be a worthy enemy. There was hardly any time for maintenance or cleanup.

Now that "Operation Redeemer", the battle campaign against the Orks on the southern hemisphere, is over and the ATHENA on its way back north, to Xanthium, there is time.

And with free time comes boredom - to keep up discipline the first work details are assigned by the officers. Some of the not-so-fortunate (or not-so-brave) sailors are grabbing their paint buckets and paint rollers and start their dreaded imposition...
That's as far as I got over the last two days.
I hope you like today's little update.

16. August 2013
Thanks guys!

with the first section more or less complete I thought about if, where and what kind of freehand to add to the ship.
There is already the large "Vade Retro Xenos" window mural in the back and Athena herself on the back of the superstructure wall.
Also I was thinking what kind of freehand to add. On the ZEUS I had several different freehand with mixed topic and styles. 
But I think for the ATHENA I will try to limit the topics to Athene herself.

One obvious spot for a large freehand is the top of the MOROS triple Earthshaker turret.
Most images of Athena one can find on the Internet show her standing gracefully, with her Owl and a spear in her hand. Since I already have a similar image for the rear wall mural, I was looking for a more combat-style image.
I found an image on by Paul Renaud ( ) in which her pose seemed just right.
So I drew a quick pencil sketch onto the MOROS roof.
Then I started with Bubonic Brown as base color for the gold
A kind of fiery background
Grey as base for her hair.
And then I started with the face. Since its framed by the helmet it is hard to get a really good look.
But I think I managed a decent result...
After that I did some cleanup and added another layer of Bubonic for the gold areas
Then I added shadows and highlights to the gold.
And since I needed a slogan as well as I wasn't really happy with the chest area, I added a parchment with the slogan "Imperator misit me!" - The Emperor sent me.
Since it was still very brightly colored and comic-styled I added a thorough layer of Devlan Mud and some Badab Black
And this is how it looks on the ATHENA

So, what do you think?
Also, if you have some idle moments, help me identify spots that can do with a freehand :)


19. August 2013
Hi guys,
time for the ATHENA to continue.
@Steward - Hmm, using the Queen from the 2P is an intriguing idea :)
Nice profile. I think it could fit on the bomb chutes...
Thanks for the idea, and if I ever get to Oxforshire, I will shout out.

Once I was satisfied with the ATHENA image on the MOROS turret, I added the obligatory scratches and chipped paint - to the image and the rest of the turret and barrels.
And then it was finally time to paint the wood on the rear deck.
I gave it a good paint coat with Vallejo Earth, but making sure to leave many of the deep groves dark.
After that I gave it two washes of thinned Vallejo Smoked Ink.
To give it a worn look i added some black soot and scratch marks - like leaked oils and hydraulic fluid as well as tire marks.
Then a final wash of the thinned Smoked Ink and complete it was :)
I'm really pleased with the result. It almost looks like real wood.
And even in daylight, without artificial lighting it looks great.
With the wooden deck out of the way I started painting the steampunk ornaments and the portholes on the port side of the body.
and after that it was time to start the damage.
Its a lot of work, but the result is worth it :)
That#s it for today's update.
I hope you like it and I look forward to your comments, feedback, criticism, suggestions.

23. August 2013
Hi all,

the current work is very repetitive - add damage and scratches.
It is slow and a bit boring. Thus not much to update.

But one of the little scenes is at the rear balcony, in front of the stained glass window and between the two NEMESIS CIWS'
Two of the crewmen use the spare time after the campaign and hit some golf balls :)
On Wednesday I took a little break from painting and cleaned some of my hobby stuff away.
I then realized with the 3 painters on the ATHENA deck I will no longer need/use the old ATHENA bridge.
So I took it apart and tried to see what I can salvage from it.
These items here will definitely be used in an upcoming project. The rest will most likely end up part of some scenery....
I was actually hoping that I could use the little shrine and the "Vade Retro" image on the ATHENA, but both pieces are too big to be of any sensible use ....
oh well...

 Thanks to DavidXD and etiennerondeau for pointing out that my front banner slogan makes absolutely no sense.
I went back through my notes and realized I goofed up big time :P
I mixed some notes from an older project, references I had, AND made a spelling error!
lol, how bad can it get?

So I updated the slogan to "Sine Timore - Invictus Maneo!"
It should now make sense :)
The starboard side's upper level is now prepared and ready to get the damage paint.
And I prepped the scene for the paint duty scene...
I think this will look nice once completed.
I hope you like today's update.

3. September 2013
Hi all,
sorry for the lack of updates, but I was plagued by a series of strong migraine attacks over the last two weeks. Seems the re-organization at work is stressing me more than I imagined.
Oh well.
But I was working on another small freehand for the ATHENA. This time on the top of the bomb chute.
As mentioned before, I will try to keep the imagery limited to Athena herself. So this time it is a kind of portrait.
I started off with some raw pencil lines.
Then the first basic colors with very limited shading.
Skin color
Then detailing it out a bit more. More shades for the face, shades for the metal of the helmet and a bit of highlighting for the golden parts.
The finished portrait.
I wanted her a bit "cold" maybe even frowning, and I think it worked.
I know she's a bit lopsided, but that's from being left-handed and the wing on the left limiting my workspace.
You can also see that I messed up the helmet on the left, smearing some of the yellow color.
But hey! That's what we have damage and scratches for, right :)
I like the way she now looks on the bobm chute cover.
There will be a coat of Devlan Mud and later with the rest of the ship there will be more soot and grime.
I hope you like todays update.

**After my shoulder operation I took a very long break from the hobby, switching completely to clay sculpting. With some larger polymer-clay sculpts I finally got back to the hobby, and started to build new dioramas. But it took until May 2016 to get the ATHENA back on the desk.**
10. May 2016
The last time she was seen, was September 2013 (ATHENASteampunk Airship - 105)
But honestly I'm not sure how far I will get this time.
By now the plastic is very brittle, and many pieces started to warp.
She's still a beauty though.
Got some real spider webs :)
So now I'm taking stock
Some pieces are broken
and she needs a good cleaning.

Sheesh, probably a whole spider colony.
So I started to repair some of the broken pieces - a wheel on the STRIX VTOL aircraft and a blade on the propeller.
As said, no promises.
I'm trying to enter her at the SMA Big Spring Contest as "Shelf Queen" for which she definately qualifies :)
But I will be out for two weeks - visiting Scottland - and then I'll see.

11. May 2016
Hi all,
Well, so you like the idea of me finishing the ATHENA at last, huh?
Some seem not so confident - me neither :)
But well.


13. May 2016
Hi all,
thank you for the positive feedback :)


7. June 2016
Hi all,

I'm back :)
The trip to Scotland was great!
And against fears, the ATHENA was still on my desk when I got back, and she continued to draw me to her.
I think this time I'll finish her.

The first thing I did was to extend the "clean-and-paint" scene.
So I added some platforms
and extended the areas already re-painted.
The entire front of the ATHENA is now freshly painted,
while the rest is being worked on.
The Tech-Priest has already added his instructions and paint guide.
And here on the right, I will add a welding scene.
Similar to what I did for the "Prototype" dio.
Here you can get a rare glimpse of the underside.
As you can see most of the paint is already "stripped" and some rust resilient paint applied.
While completing most of the body paint, I was thinking about adding another piece to the nose area.
This is the first sketch.
But first I had to complete the rest of the paint job.
Top deck and radar completed.
I added the paint with the closed armored shutters over the windows.
But mounted them open.
Top deck and railing completed.
I also completed the railings for the main deck.
And the rotors.
One of the rotors is already painted in rust-resilient paint
With the body completed I started with the weapon systems - like the
KERES Forward Rocket Launcher System  
Then I painted the Hydras.
And the NEMESIS Mk MCMLXIX CWIS Trieste Pattern
Wow, this really felt like the final spurt.
Only some more weapons!
The PHRIKE Quad Lasguns and POLEMOS Mk XV Fuzz Pattern AA-System
The last piece!
So I decided to add another Athena image to the nose area.
Pretty stylized
and golden.
Yesterday I had some daytime hobby time and was able to build the stand for the ATHENA.
I used some 4mm Plexiglas.
Wit this I can add the belly-mounted AA system and it generally looks like flying :)
I'm pretty pleased with the result - first time working with Plexiglas.
And I decided I need a proper backdrop for her. I still had some mounted canvases around and splashed some paint on it :)
Sorry for the blurry pic.
And last not least I finished the nose image.
I still have to add the slogans to the two flags on the observation deck to finish the ATHENA itself.
After that I will paint the various crew members and painters.
MAYBE (but that's a large maybe) I'll add a shuttle scene to the landing deck, where a high ranking representative is landing and being welcomed...
We'll see.

Wow guys!
It's been quite a trip from here

And I thank you all for being part!
I can't count all the comments, suggestions and encouragement you provided.

13. June 2016
Hi all,
thank you all for your feedback on the ATHENA :)
Unbelievable, but she's done - everything left is now Eye Candy. Whatever is not finished now won't hurt the ATHENA at all.

But I still have many ideas for the ATHENA.
The painters and welders on the ATHENA will be important to tell the story and make the paint-job better understandable. 
There are also the two golf players on the rear deck ;)
And as mentioned before I'm looking at a shuttle/reception scene for the landing deck.
I already have some characters sculpted for this:

So the idea now is to have s shuttle on the landing deck.
The shuttle transported an important passenger - I'm thinking of a female Consul or Ambassador or a High General - and a reception party is waiting for her to exit the shuttle...
maybe with a piper?

So I drew out some plans.
Maybe you can see the first images on the right, were leaning towards my old THANTALOS Airborne Carrier (Dec 2007)
But I'm also trying to incorporate the newer PONOS family looks into the design.
Still bulky, brutal and retro.
Lets see if it works.

The job of the HERMES is similar to the old Sikorsky Sky Crane

Which could also carry a personnel pod/container.

So I started with the passenger pod.
With doors at the side
As usual a lot of Green Putty is needed :)
And here's the basic body of the HERMES already on top of the pod.
Needs putty.
Initially I had planned to do a visible cockpit like I had on the THANTALOS,
but the windows will be way too small and narrow. So it will be painted windows instead.
Next I worked on some of the thrusters.
Which are mounted on the underside.
After an extended sanding session the basic body of the HERMES looks very much like I intended.
Then some more thruster works for the "wings".
And a first layout plan for the passenger pod.
Maybe you can see that the VIP pod will have a large throne like seat at the left -centered to the rear wall - with two consultants seat next to the door, and then 4-6 bodyguard seats along the right center line.
Well, that's the plan ;)

So, what do you think?

15. June 2016
Hi all,
thank you for the comments and feedback :)
As promised to

Which looks rather nice to me :)
On the ATHENA it would look like this.
Enough room to accommodate the reception scene, don't you think?
The visiting party with the HERMES.
Lastly I built the frame for the pilot's windows.
Looks just like I had envisioned it.
I hope you like it as much.

I look forward to your feedback - especially on the head choice for the Governor and the role of the two female troopers.

21. June 2016
Hi all,
as usual thank you for the feedback, comments and emails :)
I hope you had a great weekend with lots of family- and hobby-time.

Some of you have asked me for a scale-/comparison-shot of the Eisenkerns and TGG compared to teh 40K Guards.
 Here's a 40K trooper between an Eisenkern and a Tough Girl.
Here I mounted two standard IG arms on an Eisenkern Panzerjäger female.
And this Panzerjäger has two Forgeworld Krieg arms, with a standard IG trooper on the right.
All-in-all I think they fit together well and since the Empire of mankind spans many different worlds with very different gravities, the differences in physique can be explained easy.

Well, in the meantime I built another, greater turbine fan.
And I mounted it in the forward section of the HERMES.
With this last major piece of the built in place I started to add armor plates and a front grill.
With the help of the great tool by Camkierhi it was quite quick. These PVC Cutters make the cutting/snapping of thicker (1.5 or 2mm) plasticard really easy.
Thank you Camkierhi!

Before I could add more plates and panels I wanted to try and add light effects again :)
Those LED strips are really easy and once you know how it's done you can lights quite quickly.
I decided to add light effects for the thrusters first.
Powered by a 9V block battery.
I mounted the cables, so they would add to the Imperial look and feel of the HERMES shuttle.
While digging through some of my old build stashes I found this old seat section I had build for some obscure project :)
With these it was quite easy to build the interior of the VIP pod.
And of course the Pod needs lights too, right?
I also tinted the thruster LED's blue and the interior lights red, using Airbrush transparent ink.
The VIP pod also needed a throne like seat for the governess.
Then the pod doors.
Which are mounted in the open state for the scene.
Together with the ramps.
Light test :)
After the successful lighting of the model I completed the additional panels and plates.
 The final HERMES.
So I started to finalize the reception scene. For this I decided I'll need a piper :)
After some GreenStuff sessions I got this.
The two female Eisenkerns received assistant's accessories.
And I decided I needed a saluting officer on the deck.
Two guards for this side.
The complete reception scene.

A welder working on the bomb shaft completes the crew.
The 23(!) crew memebers assembled for priming.
The VIP pod received the first lick of paint.
Since the HERMES with the black primer looked quite menacing to me, I decided not to go for any of the Dencara campuflage patterns, but to keep it (almost) black instead.
So I painted it in a very dark violett.
And I will try to add dark red highlights and maybe skull ornaments, similar to what I did with the ZEUS.

So, what do you think?

27. June 2016
Hi all,

thank you for the feedback and comments.

but also the VIP style.
Since this is the personal shuttle of Governess Felicitas zu Hammerstein it needs her coat of arms.
Her house is also symbolized by the golden Griffin.
Which is needed on both sides.
For the VIP I decided on a more Inquisitorial symbol.
The whole shuttle.
For the other side too... 
And this is now the finished HERMES shuttle - VIP version.
On the ATHENA deck
With the Dencara background.
And her current residence in my office.
With this now completed I began painting the crew.
First is of course the piper.
Here's the start of the tartan pattern.
And the finished pattern.
I hope you like the look so far.
While I still have a lot to do - painting the 23 crew characters that is - I'm already thinking forward to the next projects.
Plenty lot of ideas :)

Aurelius 12 Reborn on Warseer suggested:
Dare I open up the floodgates by asking if you're considering modular cargo as your next project.
Which re-kindled an old idea I already had.
An Airborne Assault!
And with the HERMES I think I have a nice delivery vehicle.
Probably based on something like this here:
Even though I think of an "almost touch down" of a militarized version of the HERMES maybe on a hilltop and the troopers leaving the assault pod - more seats, bigger doors.
I hope I can restraint myself from starting until I have the 23 painted :D


1. July 2016
Hi all,
thank you for the feedback and comments :)

Progress is slow right now and this is just a little update.
I was able to finish Felicitas zu Hammerstein last night. 
She's the visiting VIP on the ATHENA deck.
I think the colors work pretty good.
Yes, it's a bit of black-red-gold ;-)
I also finished the Piper last night.
Amazing to see how plump those WH40K models are when you compare them to the TGG and Eisenkern models.
After the washes the tartan pattern is tones down, but still visible.
I hope he'll look good on the ATHENA.
Well, last not least I worked a bit on her entourage.
These guys still need some love and I'm considering adding the golden griffin to the shoulder pads.
But other than that, I think I won't add any other details, or should I?
I hope you like today's update.

5. July 2016
Hi all,
thank you for the comments and feedback!
I hope you had a great weekend with lots of hobby and family time - and for my US friends I hope you had a great 4th of July!

I spent the weekend in Munich with my wife and friends and we had a blast despite the ever changing weather - what happened to summer again???

Nevertheless, I did get some work done :)
I still had to work on the Eisenkern bodyguards. And one thing I wanted was a good crest for the shoulder pad.
Since they belong to Felicitas zu Hammerstein I wanted to have a griffin.
Here you can see the development of the crest from left to right.

Once pleased with the design I tried it on the first trooper, using Bubonic Brown as base color.

With some minor adjustments I applied it to all the bodyguards.

For the other shoulder I wasn't sure at all. I tried to do something with the Inquisitorial colors - white, red, black, gold - Red, white, black was out of the question, as it resembles the German Kriegsflagge. Red, white, red is the Austrian flag, which I didn't want to use either.
So I experimented with red, white, gold a bit.

But that didn't work out either.
So in the end I used the red, white, red with a black Inquisitorial "I" superimposed.

Still a touch too much WWII Germans for my liking, but without historical legacy, it looks great.
So here are the finished bodyguards.

I'm quite pleased with the result.

I wasn't quite happy with Felicitas zu Hammerstein and some of the color transitions.
So I reworked some areas - especially the face.
She acquired an eye-patch and I think it looks better now.

So here's the visiting party on the ATHENA deck.

I can't suppress a grin.

The piper.

And last not least I started with the ATHENA reception party.
They're all in Dencara Navy Blues.

Still a long way to go, but I'm actually pleased with the progress.
What do you think?

8. July 2016
Hi all,

wow, almost there :)
Amazing feeling to see this project on it's final stretch.

So here's the ATHENA reception party.
Unfortunately the Praetorian from Lord Gordon's 20th Praetorians has to wear Dencara Blues, as I have lost the color scheme.
Also I rearranged my hobby room to give the ATHENA a new home.
She now sits on a separate shelf about 150cm long and 60cm wide, with the landscape canvas as background and it is at standard desk height (90cm I think) so you can look at it from top without problems.
It is also furthest away from the windows, so it won't be bombarded by UV any more - the plastic card is already old and pretty brittle.

I pinned the characters in their final position.
And this is the final batch of figures to paint.
I did some minor changes last night.
The "painters" received paint tanks and connecting hoses, and received orange coveralls - they are on disciplinary detail after all.
I hope I can wrap it all up over the weekend :)
13. July 2016
So this is it!

I'm done - the ATHENA is complete :)

The final leg was somehow exhausting and I had the feeling those 5 troopers were reluctant to be finished.
All kind of things were more important than those 9 dudes on my desk :)

But here they are shortly before the finish.
And the welder at work
Better visible with the flash.
And the disciplinary detail painting, over watched by a Tech Priest.
So, this is it :)
Over the next few days I'll try to make some good images and wrap it all up.

Thank you for being part of the journey!
We started out in 2009

I know I lost quite a lot of you between the individual legs and I disappointed many when I abandoned the project time and again.
But in the end we made it :)
All in all 12 months work time:
22. May 2009 – 21. Dec 2009 (7 months)
4. Nov 2010 – 29. Nov 2010 (1 month)
19. May 2012 – 28. June 2012 (1 month)
5. July 2013 – 3. Sept 2013 (2 month)
10. May 2016 – 10 June 2016 (1 month)
Thank you !!!

14. July 2016
Hi all,
thank you!
You're feedback is making me all mush inside :P
As promised some good images of the final ATHENA.
I still owed you another scale shot of the Eisenkerns with the WH40K troopers and the TTGG officer.
Finally done with painting, I cleaned the desk.
And set up everything for the images - the ATHENA is really huge :)
The Welder,
Flight deck
ATHENA's lights
the rear mural
flight deck and conference room
conference room
and another of the flight deck.
And some daylight images of the ATHENA.
And a final scale shot :)
Thank you!


  1. Just stumbled across this Saturday, and had to read the whole thing from the beginning. Very impressive work! A little sorry to see the aircraft bridge set aside after you painted it. Glad you were able to fix the model after the crash (what a nightmare!). Also, nice to you finish it and mount it with a nice display.

    P.S. I think the lower rear could use a guard rail so the "golf" team does not fall off. The old rear balcony had armored plates.

  2. I never got around to seeing this finished.

    Just fantastic. Bloody well done!

  3. Oh this is great! Astonishing amount of work that went into it, but was well worth it.