Builds By Baz - Full scale MKII Colonial Viper

Sandbagger

Sr Member
MASSIVE DAY! I decided that, while the canons I have turned on the lathe look OK, they are not great. So, my friend Myles, who runs a furniture designing business and workshop, offered me a professional solution.

I spent most of today with him, watching and helping with my jaw on the ground as to the processes involved in high-end woodworking. The cuts are so sharp! The surfaces so flat! The angles so precise! Wow!

For the coopering, we started with rough timber, planed, then kerfed and thicknessed. Myles knows his stuff about tensions in the grains releasing as you cut it, causing bends and twists, so we did everything in increments as we cut, adjusting where needed when something bowed.

We calculated two different diameters and thicknesses, one for the rear of the cannons and one for the front. We got as far as biscuit joining them all together, to be glued later for turning.

I shot a heap of video, but as I am currently studying video editing, I will hold off posting the clips until I can present them all nicely in a canon-build video. I think it deserves it.

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
Another big day in a pro woodworking studio, building 30mm mass accelerator cannons for the Viper. Glue-up day. We placed spacer blocks inside first, to centre our support pipe.

We also made driver blocks to attach to the lathe on the faceplate and the live centre on the tail stock.

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
Making the Mk II 30mm mass accelerator cannons has been challenging. Keeping it light, but accurate and tough, as well as not too expensive. My friend Myles and I, finished coopering the pine sections together to form hollow tubes of the correct internal and external diameters to keep it light but give us enough material to lathe in the details.

Today I started turning the front half of the first cannon.

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GMer56

Well-Known Member
For a second or two I thought those ridges towards the top were massive screw threads! Very nice. Makes me wanna figure out how to setup my shopsmith as a lathe.
 

Sandbagger

Sr Member
Thanks for the pep Sean! :D

I've been working on concurrent activities all over the ship, but while some things are on hold, waiting for the right moment/planets to align,. my workbench at home has the engine exhausts on the go.

I toyed with roll-forming steel rings to make a cage, but the hollow section profiles proved problematic at best, so I have gone back to wood.

Here's the top engine exhaust under construction.

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
Today was a good mix of the engine work and a little trip out to Myles' place to finish turning the cannons. I brought the barrel ends home tonight with a couple of borers, to drill them out to 30mm as per the ammunition calibre.

Back in the shed tonight and continued on the engine turkey feathers, than a bit of sheetmetal cutting to make the turbine fans.


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Sandbagger

Sr Member
After work this afternoon, I returned to Myles’s workshop to finish gluing up the cannons. Myles had a few nice little tips and tricks that made things go smoother, plus because of his earlier precision, I was able to use the octagonal arbours we made to fill the end of the guns and centre and seat the barrel. Not shown, I dowelled the octagons and removed the screw. Myles suggested that I might want to bore the barrel end out later and the screw would get in the way. I agreed.

I spent all my earnings from a recent knife sale and bought paint and glue for the next few stages. Last night I stayed up until well after midnight to paint an engine exhaust and one of the guns.

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Full story on all builds on Builds by Baz
 

Sandbagger

Sr Member
Scratch-designing my turbines at the rear. I know I am taking a lot of licence inside these engines, especially after being so careful to stay faithful everywhere else... but something the X-Wing fighter on display last year, at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome showed me - is that some static displays suck.

Sure it LOOKED similar to the fighter from the movies, but close inspection revealed it to be flat, static, flimsy, rough molded and BORING. My engines will be multi layered, have depth and moving parts. Light, sound and motion.

Bear with me...

I have used a combination of lightweight and easy to source materials, sacrificing a little bit of weight for weldablility, as I can't weld aluminium to save my life, so I've used steel.

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This last one has everything just sitting on top at the moment. Once assembled, it will be lower profile.

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
My one day per fortnight to get shit done.

I spend most of the day re-configuring the shed and moving benches, building shelves and getting rid of rapidly accumulating scrap materials. Enough is enough.

I also solidified a big work bench and put it in the centre of the shed, comfortable work height, some space for projects and tooling and able to walk all around it, while still having access to the lathe and other parts of the shed. The beauty is, with a new flat surface on the top, (removable and replaceable), I can draw and measure stuff on it to get things flat, level, and correct. A nice touch was routing an extension cord over the rafters, to hang down directly over the work bench, so my power tools don't trail cords all over the workshop any more.

Finally, about 2 this afternoon, I got back to the Viper. I finished securing the internal workings of the top engine exhaust turbine and gave it a test spin.


After that, I started assembling one of the two side engine exhausts, but ran out of turkey feathers, so it was back to tracing templates. I'll take them to the bandsaw soon.

Finally, I started plotting the dimensions for the side engine rear turbines, ready to cut the spider vanes. Hopefully I can source another old aluminium sign to make the fans from, like the last one.

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Dirtdives

RXO & Keeper of Con Lists
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Man...this thing is really going to fly.........So Baz......after the prototype, when can we expect this to hit consumer shelves? I want to start scouting for a location for a dealership from now. Gona corner the market and rule the world!!!!!! You won't mind....right?
 

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
Holy smokes, he's doing it! He's really doing it!

Haha everytime I see an update in this thread it makes me just a little bit happier! Looking fantastic. That's a LOT of works chiseling out all that detail!
 
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