Convoy Away! Armed GR-45 & Flight Stands


September 30, 2013 by catomighty

Painted up the first 4 AMT/ERTL transports back in May (earlier blog entry here).  Have since found a 5th one, and converted it to an armed freighter.  Added more engine glow to all of them.  And finally got the CorSec flight stands to get them all flying.

For the flight stands, I opted for the standard 40mm square large ship size.  This seems the practical upper end of sizes to use with the FFG flight templates.  Because the transports are about 3 times as long as this, I went with the telescoping rods so that it will be easy to adjust them out of each others way during gameplay.

I got the telescoping rods with the flat magnet top.  With these in hand, then began experimenting with inserting metal connectors into the freighters.

First, I sunk a spot into the balance point on the bottom of the hull and epoxied in a #6 flat washer.  This held the ship to the rod, but with a moderate bumping, the ship would take a nose dive around the magnet into a 90 degree vertical position.  Further experimentation was required.

Next trip to the hardware store netted some metric M8 flat washers.  These had both an inner-diameter that would fit around the top of the magnet on the rod, and an outer-diameter that would still fit nicely counter-sunk into the hull.  Carved enough space for the M8’s to fit, and epoxied 2 of them stacked on top of the #6 washer.  The top of the rod fits very nicely inside this assembly, and the ship will only do a 90 degree nose-dive after a very vigorous bumping.

For a completely secure mounting, you could use the rods with a screw top, and epoxy a #6 hex nut into the bottom of the hull.  Since I had the magnet-top ones on hand, I’m happy enough with the washers.  Not shown in the photo, all of the final washer assemblies have been painted raw umber along the outer edges.


When I found the pieces for the 5th transport, it was missing the command bridge.  Went poking about the stash of bits and dug out some hovercraft from the old Fortress America boardgame.  Took the turret off one, and glued that to the bottom of another to make the new armoured command bridge.  Also used some plastic bits to re-inforce the stem of the conning tower to make it look beefy enough to hold the new bridge.  Then took the removed turret plus removed another one to add to the top spine of the hull.  Here’s the top view of the armed transport “Carduus” (named after the WWII Thistle-class armed freighters):


Profile of the Carduus, along with an FFG YT-1300 and Firespray to show the clearance of the CorSec telescoping rod in its fully compressed height:


And the Convoy in flight:


Sometime after painting the first four, I came across illustrations showing some of the back fins on the GR frieghters lit up during flight.  The AMT/ERTL model has no detailing on the back surface of the fins, so I used a Micron Art pen to draw outlines just inside the edge of each fin, and then painted them up.

Aweigh all moorings, convoy away!


One thought on “Convoy Away! Armed GR-45 & Flight Stands

  1. Great stuff, also love the scarlet firespray, I fancy painting that myself.

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