Saturday, October 29, 2011

Project Compendium Chapterhouse Wheeled Chimera

This is a compilation of the WiP posts for the resin wheeled chimera conversion kit sold by Chapterhouse Studios.

Here is a walkthrough and review of the kit.

Parts and needed tools.

It does not fit together, at all.  If you do not have a dremel tool, good razor saw and files this kit is not for you. If you have not worked with resin kits before and do not have patience skip this one.

I spoke to the CAD designer of this kit about these issues on the DakkaDakka forums he frequents.  He told me this.

"The kit was designed with the older chimera sprues in mind, so when GW made the change to the new sprues there were some issues with assembling it. The angles of some of the Chimera hulls pieces are very subtly different. This has to do with the draft angles GW uses... draft angles are the slight angle applied to a model so that its easier to remove the plastic sprue from its stainless steel injection mold. The old chimera kit of the 90s was made with an older technology and so some the angles were more extreme while the newer kit could get away with shallower draft angles. 

This reality compounded with some slight inaccuracies in the 3D printied parts conversion into a master resulted in the 1st generation models not fitting with the new kits. Nick over at CHS, told me that after the first run, he had the masters corrected... so from what I know the second gen castings should work with the modern Chimera."

The areas in black sharpie on the side panels is material that I had to remove for this kit to begin to fit together.

In this photo you can see the saw being held flush to the side while cutting the excess material away.

Here is a photo from the other angle, you can see that you will be leaving a small amount of resin less than 1/8th inch thick.

Now the sides fit the plastic box and we can get to the gaps that need to be filled.

After My first WiP post Nick (the man behind Chapterhouse Studios) commented on my post.

"The reason why you had to make so many cuts is because you modified how the sides fit on the center hull. The kit should have fit fine if you used the existing cuts, but you wanted to move the side hulls lower in relation to the center hull.
It also looks like you moved the center hull forward relative to where it fits normally on our kit.

Do you have any photos of how it fit before you tried to modify the resin pieces? Looks like you did many cuts to modify how you wanted the kit to fit and that was a PITA (as is cutting resin).

Send an email asking how it should fit to save yourself some trouble if you have questions."

To the left is a picture from Chapterhouse's website of one they painted up, you can see the misalignment next to the heavy bolter.  While talking to the designer he indicated that this is incorrect.  If you assemble the kit with out modifications listed above you will end a misaligned kit like the one shown at the left.
My reply to Nick:
"To answer Nick @ Chapterhouse (thanks btw) I aligned the side panels using the angles on the plastic chassis and the rear door as seen in these 2 photos.  Had I used the existing register keys on the resin kit the side panels would have been shifted up about an 1/8 of an inch resulting in a gross mismatch and a bad looking kit."

I added a small strip of plastic to the bottom front of the chassis to bring the bottom of the hull in-line with the side panels and to give me an hard line to bring the filler up to.  Other than the gaps visible in pt1 this is the other major area to work on. this is a result of the original sculpt not having the right angle to line up with the plastic chassis.  A problem but not bad considering its a resin/plastic hybrid made by 2 different companies (also the front bumper piece will cover much of this up).

I was going to fill the front gap with GS but changed my mind and went with a thin band of plastic card. so that I could have a smooth finish.  In the left hand corner of this photo you can see some GS building up the edge of the vehicle.  Once I got the GS sanded level with the plastic chassis it began to peel away b/c it was so thin.  I had to use a different method to fill this area and build it up to a proper flat panel.  I used Baking soda and super glue to fill it.

For those that are unfamiliar with the method, Baking soda is a super glue accelerant and filler. Pack the gap level with baking soda and add a drop or two of thin super glue, it will set nearly instantly and be nearly transparent. It is actually over the GS in the above pic.

I am changing the front end a little bit, the bottom half will be set at a slightly different angle using another band of plastic card and then it is ready for the bumper.

Speaking of the bumper, this is the only piece to have any bubbles or voids (seen in black sharpie) and they are small & easy to fix.    Far better quality control on the casting side than Forgeworld, Finecast, or most other resin companies I have used.

Almost finished, front panels have all been sanded and blended.  Once again this was done with greenstuff for the deep gaps and superglue & baking soda for the very shallow voids. Then wet sanded with 400 grit sandpaper.

I have decided to remove most of the rivets, and at least prime it in a very nice shade of gray.  

Front panel before filling and sanding.
Front panel after sanding.

Primed and Ready to Go

You can see that the panels now line up (I also removed most of the rivets), compared to the CHS picture showing the panel misalignment.


  1. Yeah I like your positioning of the parts & the lack of rivets as well. MUCH better than the original design, excellent job! I'd also not heard of the baking soda trick, but will keep it in mind. All I think it needs now (aside from paint, lol) is one of the old Crow multi-laser turrets like Screech & have. See it here:

  2. Nice job. I like the camo pattern!

  3. Mine is still the beautiful gray primer, the camo one is from the CHS website. It is posted to show the misalignment issue.

  4. Aah, I see what you did there; I think your treatment of the kit - filling the gaps, scrubbing the rivets and so on, gives a much cleaner, modern look to the kit. Nice.