Thursday, August 16, 2012

Project: Thunderhawk Part 7

So the work on the body continues. The way the template is laid out you start with a rather complicated long box:
and then other sections are added to the box to create the main body of the thunderhawk:
illustration of the assembled thunderhawk body.

where each side of the box is largely supported by a series of triangular braces.  Now considering that this template was intended to be used with paper, and not cardboard, it's a good design move to help keep the body rigid. I'm honestly not sure how well that would work with paper, I haven't tried it. But using the same planes with Cardboard, doesn't yield a particularly sturdy body. This is mainly due to cardboard's tendency to warp and bow when it's saturated with a liquid. I don't know if this will be needed when I make the transition to styrene, but as a planning point I would consider building a reinforced frame for the interior body. A series of 2-3mm thick 'ribs' that form the inner structure of the box and then affix each panel to that structure. Like this:
in order to add a rigid structure to the body, I'm considering the possibility of incorporating a skeleton sort of internal structure.
The next problem this approach leads to has to do with what I call "seam mating". The idea of seam mating is where the edges of two, or more, sub-structures are intended to met up and align properly. if you look at the image of the main body with the extra components, you can see you have the main box, a pyramidal structure attached to the back, and then a raised rhombus atop of the box. The edges of the box, rhombus and the pyramid are intended to meet and mesh together. But once again the tendency of cardboard to warp becomes a problem. So I needed to install base decking to make sure the respective sub-structures kept their shape.
A series of 1/2" wide strips scored appropriately and glued into place did the trick well enough. Though when I make the move to styrene, such a simple fix won't do the job. So I may look at building an internal structure for all the sub-structures making their seam mating one of planning rather then necessity.


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