Tuesday, February 26, 2008

AT-43 Terrain Project: how to make your own Hyperlink Antenna!

Edit: Just a quick note. When I first posted this I put it as an "On the Cheap" feature. Why? Was there mysterious motive behind my actions? Or was it simply gross negilgence on my part? I claim the former but suspect the later. In any case, it is now a "Terrain Project" as it should have been all along. And now back to your regularly scheduled blog...

In Cry Havoc #14 Rackham introduces the Therian Hyperlink Antenna, a special device that can be added to any Therian army and produces an extra 3 Leadership points when it is turned on. Included in the issue is a card to represent the antenna, both when it is turned on and off. This is all fine and dandy except that I don't have that issue of Cry Havoc and more importantly (at least to me anyway...) this is a terrain feature. It should be something real, something three dimensional! With this thought burning in my mind, I set out to to build my own version of the hyperlink antenna.

The first step was to start collecting the items that I would use for the antenna, the most important which you can see below.

Starting from the top left is a lid from a container of Floam. "Floam?", you say? Yes, Floam. You can find this in most major large department style stores in the kids arts and craft section, or even at Michael's. Next to this is a transparent orange ice cream cup that I picked up at our local Walgreens. By a total fluke, they only charged me 8 cents for it instead of the 33 cents it should have cost. Needless to say, I rushed back to get some more... : ) Below this the lid to a pink lemonade mix from the grocery store, easy to find and the whole container has a sci-fi kind of look to it. Lastly is the to go lid from a Ritter's Custard sundae. It is a little hard to see right now (it is transparent after all) but the shape is perfect.

The first step in constructing the antenna was to trim down the edge of the orange dish. It had one of those wavy edges on it and it was about 1/2" too tall, so out came the Dremel and off came the edge. A word of warning though; cutting thick plastic with a Dremel creates quite the stink and can gum up the bit in melted plastic. Still, once I recovered from the fumes it looked quite nice.

Below is a picture showing all of these pieces assembled in a "dry run" so that you can get an idea of what the antenna will look like when it is completed.

The only thing that was lacking at this point was some way to show whether it was on or off. Another quick trip to Walgreens turned up the solution; Stick N Click lights! As seen on TV being sold be that really annoying guy, but the perfect solution for my problem.

The only way to get the light to fit was to actually mount it in the bottom section of the antenna, meaning that I had to cut a hole in the lemonade lid for the light to shine through. Some quick work with an hobby knife and I was well on my way.

Next I needed something to fill in the space on the lid from the Floam container, which was easily done by tracing it onto a piece of foamcore and cutting it to fit. Once this was in place, I traced the orange dish onto the foamcore in the lid and cut the openning for it.

This gave me a good start toward making my antenna, though I obviously still was not yet finished. More on that soon. : )

Be sure to come back for the next installment: A-Tis Phone Home!

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