Builds By Baz - Full scale MKII Colonial Viper

Mysterythetiger

New Member
These photos with the roof coming off... Kind of put things in perspective and scale. I, for one, never realised how HUGE this thing is. Get me all worked up just seeing the photos and this little voice in my head keep saying, "Think we could build something that big? It would be really cool you know..."
Will you eventually skin this whole ship in fiber glas?
 

Sandbagger

Sr Member
Welcome to the Taj Ma Baz. Now that the roof is off and the tarp is up, I was able to finish skinning the top of the Viper and put the top engine on. All the top and side surfaces are now skinned and glued, with a little skinning left on the bottom.

I also removed another saw-horse from under the Viper, leaving just one behind the rear undercarriage. I'll need a jack to lift the back end of the Viper to remove it.

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
Turning the twin 30mm cannons. Experimenting with pine, section at a time. I'm turning the details on the outside to diameter, then boring out the inside to slide onto a pipe and save weight. Worth a shot while the materials are free and available. This wood is from the old posts on my patio roof I just pulled down for renovations.

I'd like to think it would work doing the whole thing in pine as it is cheap and readily available. If I can't get the biggest diameter, then the rest of the weapon will likely be a hybrid of materials to get the job done.

It's coming out surprisingly smooth and in good condition considering how old it is and that the ends of the posts are rotten.

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
Engines off, correcting the height and angle of the starboard engine. Noticed a height difference in a front on photo and measured it to confirm. A difference of 10mm at the mounting point translates to 40mm down at the front. I can't live with that so let's roll the sleeves up and get it fixed!

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Did I mention that the Viper is now entirely freestanding? No saw-horses. My friend Alex came over today and helped me jack the engine block up high enough to remove the last one. In taking the engines off to correct the alignment, I also took the opportunity to finish cutting and pre-fitting the last of the skin around the main engine block. Productive day!

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
Another midnight gone.

Unfortunately I don't have a wood lathe, but with a bit of creative thinking, I was able to make a tool rest for woodworking chisels and get things moving. The carriage on my lathe gets right in the way of large diameter stuff, so I pushed the tailstock back as far as it would go and cut my boxed timber in half.

After mitring the corners off the boxed timber with a circular saw, I mounted plywood plates to each end for the centres and turned it from octagon into cylinder and went from there.

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Dirtdives

RXO & Keeper of Con Lists
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Dude....you have the all the best toys!!!! I love it and so jelly of your shop. Puts mine to shame.
 

Sandbagger

Sr Member
Dude....you have the all the best toys!!!! I love it and so jelly of your shop. Puts mine to shame.
Thanks mate. It's a pretty basic workshop. Standard stuff, drill press, vice, grinder and some hand and power tools. The lathe was a lucky pick up for $250 with tooling from a deceased estate. The son wanted someone to have the lathe that would put it to good use.

My workshop is small, cramped and very cluttered, especially when I'm making stuff. Hopefully in the coming years I'll upgrade to a 10mx10m shed. I have room on the property so I'm seriously looking into it, but the cost is holding me back for now.

Baz.
 

Dirtdives

RXO & Keeper of Con Lists
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Thanks mate. It's a pretty basic workshop. Standard stuff, drill press, vice, grinder and some hand and power tools. The lathe was a lucky pick up for $250 with tooling from a deceased estate. The son wanted someone to have the lathe that would put it to good use.

My workshop is small, cramped and very cluttered, especially when I'm making stuff. Hopefully in the coming years I'll upgrade to a 10mx10m shed. I have room on the property so I'm seriously looking into it, but the cost is holding me back for now.

Baz.

I got the room.....I just need some more toys.......
 

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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