These last couple of weeks have been intense, both at work and hobby with hobbystuff, so progress has been made in spurts of creativity in between travel. The first thing that i finished were the shields along the sides of the Opus as well as attaching the vents that I 3D printed some time ago. In the lore of this vehicle these side pontons are the antigravity arrays, that help take most of the weight of the Opus so that it does not get stuck in the ground. The track units are only there to provide traction and stability. The second part I worked on was the bow. I had previously made a quite intricate structure that I was not really happy with. I think I tried to not interfere with the bastion parts to much which lead to some convoluted designs. Now I just added two large calibre las cannons instead. I also boxed in the mounts for the two demolisher cannons that sits in the center line of the prow. Both these parts need to have some GS filling done but that will have to wait until the next disassembly of the Opus. As it is now I am just blocking things in to get all the major parts done. Then I can return to each to finish the details.
I have also started to assemble a lot of the supplementary weapons systems that will go on the Opus. This will mostly be AA and ground clearance weapons mounted in pods around the flight deck.
The next thing I have worked on is the flight wing. Many years ago I made a "marine" storm talon as a test model. But since I have been a bit lax about the building of the Opus itself I never got around to order the rest of the models for the flight wing. But recently some of the models when temporarily out of stock, and considering that they are "old" marine air crafts I do not know how long they will be around, so I bit the bullet and ordered about 2/3s of the flight wing before the models go out of production. The last third I will hold of on until everything else is done, and who knows, there might be some new nice fliers for that.
As it is I am (of course) not entirely satisfied with the models as they are and plan to make some modifications. I will base these around the Stormtalon, Stormhawk interceptor and the Nephilim jet fighter. there will also be a Valkyrie variant. The idea is to have a number of air superiority fighters, some fighter bombers and some close air support. I will make the fighters from the Nephilim fighter, but modifying it so that it more resembles a Thunderbolt. To do that I need to shorten the tail and extend the nose. I had previously noticed that the hulls of the Strom airframe and the Nephilim airframe is actually quite similar so I got the idea that I might do a tail swap.
After comparing the actual pieces I realized that they are similar but not identical so a swap will need a bit more fitting than I first thought. This procedure will then leave me with a Strom frame with a loner tail, which it turns out might actually be good for the interceptor as I will remove the engine pods from the wings (as the air frame needs to fit on the lifts of the Opus) and need somewhere else to mount them. I am thinking about a mount similar to an A10, or I will just leave them of completely and rely on the engines that are mounted in the hull similar to a A6. I am not sure how I will do this so first I will just finish the tail swaps and make sure that I have a nice and smooth hull before thinking to much about it. The Nephlims will also need some serious restructuring. My first thought was to move the cockpit further aft to get it behind the main wings, similar to a spitfire, but that would require to much cutting. So instead I will extend the nose forwards as well as att some cowlings to the front of the engine pods and mount the wings further forward instead. We will se how that turns out. It is the same here, that I will start with finishing the tail section before moving on. The close air support units will be more similar to the first test model I made with minor modifications. The main decision here will be if I should skip the wings and just go for a hovering type of aircraft, similar to an attach helicopter like the Apache or Cobra. The Valkyrie will get a back mounted radar disc similar to the E-2 hawkeye.
Those are the plans, lets see how long they will take to execute.