The Doomsday/Ghost Ark is a cool kit, both options being very useful on the board, but at £31 and seriously massive once built (much bigger than a Land Raider), I didn't want to be buying up loads of them as I just can't afford that. So, as soon as I cracked open the box on my first Ark, I had to set about making it inter-changeable.
I'll start with a warning or two, this kit is pretty involved to put together the first time, so you should definitely hang onto the instructions and keep referring back to them (even if they aren't the clearest). As well as that the "ribs" that form the main body of the Ark fit together in a certain way so a lot of dry-fitting is necessary, if you get them the wrong way around it won't hold together at all.
I don't have photos of the whole process of making the vehicle interchangeable, but I'll show you the final results. To do this, I used milliput (a 2 part putty somewhat like green-stuff, but coarser and cheaper, I use it to fill in large areas before doing detail with green-stuff), drill, pins and a knife to scrape away excess putty.
- The first step is to cut out the main, arched body section of the rear of the Ark, one set of the ribs, and the Doomsday cannon. Fill in the voids in the body and cannon that will be sealed once the halves are glued together with milliput, and with a little dry fitting to make sure they would seal properly, glue the sections together.
- The next step is the difficult bit and took quite a bit of trial and error to get right. You need to almost fill the circular sections in the main body of the Ark, where the bits join together, with milliput (there needs to be a little space for the milliput to move when you push them together), and then force the rib section and gun into the milliput. This causes the milliput to form around the pegs in each section that align the parts. What the milliput does is make these pegs fit much more tightly than they would without. You can sort of see the results in the image below, the light green coloured material is the milliput (although it has grey paint on a lot of it), and you can see the square gaps for the pegs to fit into.
- Once this has dried/setup (a few hours), I filed the surface of the milliput flat as pushing the components together had caused it to become raised with respect to the surface of the bodyparts.
- You then need to repeat the process for the "rib" section, and for the Doomsday cannon. This is more difficult as you can see the pegs that protrude from the Ark body are a more complex shape with a square section and angled section at two different depths. The result you can see in the images below.
- Once this had setup as well, file it flat and make sure that it all fits. You may need to 'adjust' things a little with a sharp bladed knife to make sure things fit as snugly as possible. The last step is to add some pins to help strengthen the join. Although each individual piece will hold together just with the milliput, once all together and on the stand, there is too much lateral stress on short pins. I measured to the centre of each section, and an equal distance either side vertically, and inserted pins.
|sorry for the crummy pic, only my phone to take pics at the moment|
And thats about it, you should now have a Doomsday/Ghost Ark for all occasions.
Let me know if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them or get extra photos if things aren't quite clear enough in the descriptions. Cheers - Andy