Fall of the Royal Thunder Part 2

By Pat Ohta, intro by Darren Pai


The Royal Thunder was the crowning achievement of the Cygnar air fleet. The first of her kind, she flew high above enemy forces to relay information back to ground units. She met an early end when her first mate grew jealous of his captain's success. Seeking to frame the captain, he diverted intelligence to Khador spies. Cygnar security agents discovered the betrayal and branded the entire crew as traitors.

There is no official record of what brought down the Royal Thunder. Some rumors say an undercover Cygnar assassin executed the crew during a mission. Others say she was shot down by a powerful warcaster. Only one thing is clear, the Royal Thunder flew high and flew fast, but fell from grace in a
ball of fire.

The Royal Thunder is a Cygnar reconnaissance dirigible. A dirigible is an airship with a rigid skeleton and I wanted to make one that would fit into the War Machine universe, and look more “high tech” since it was going to be Cygnar ship. I also wanted to make it look like a boat or sub. Since there are no game rules for flyers, I decided to make this a crashed ship that can be used as an objective.

Materials needed:

modeling saw, modeling knife, foam core, white glue, hot glue, rubble mix, ruler, Evergreen channels, spackle, water bottle, eagle decoration, brass tubes, tube bender, Kneadatite, foam, plasticard, leather punch, hard card, Crazy Glue, wire and misc bits.


19.  I worked the putty onto the eagle and made sure the transition from the eagle to the ship blended well. When this was done I sculpted the feathers on the eagle and made sure they matched the rest of the body.

20.  As the putty dried I started to add details to the rest of the ship. The first thing I did was to add brass tubing to the hull. I used Du Bro’s tube bender to bend the front of each tube, before I glued each piece to the ship.

21.  Next I hot glued Evergreen Scale Models ¼” channels to the sides and bottom of the ship.

22.  To finish off the detailing I added some miscellaneous bits and angle channels to the top.

23.  For the aft portion of the ship, I applied the same techniques stated earlier.

24.  Since Cygnar has the ability to harness electricity, I added an engine, which I found on a old toy. I cut it off using my modeling saw and hot glued it to the side of the ship. At this point I also added the channels and brass tubing.

25.  To finish the stern of the ship I cut a piece of hard card and hot glued it around the entire circumference.

26.  Next, I used a leather punch to make rivets. I set it to the smallest size and punched out chads from plasticard.

27.  To apply the rivets, I placed a drop of Crazy Glue and attached each piece one by one.

28.  The last thing I wanted to do was to make the leftover skeleton that holds the gas bag.  Since this was a wreck, all I needed to do was make sure the shape was right. Constructing the frame was easy. I used plastic I beams and heated them up using a candle. I did this in small increments so I could get it to curve.

29.  Be careful when you heat up plastic because it can catch fire.

30.  I made two big curved pieces and connected them by gluing in horizontal pieces. When this was done I drilled little holes into the I-beams and inserted pieces of wire.

31.  Once the pieces were done I began work on the bases. I cut random shapes out of foam core and beveled the edges using my modeling knife.

32.  Using my hot wire cutter I carved out small hills from foam blocks.  I glued these to the foam core and at the same time glued the ships to the bases. For the hills, I used extruded blue foam, which is used for insulation. If you do not live in a cold weather climate it may be hard to find, in which case you could use EPS foam.

33.  Next I added debris to the base. I began by mixing glue with water, and painting this mixture onto the bases.

34.  Then I went through my bits pile to look for pieces of appropriate scatter material. While the glue was wet I placed them around the ship randomly.

35.  Next I mixed up a batch of rubble. My mix included sand, various Woodland Scenic ballast, and small rocks from a parking lot. I poured this mixture onto the glue, then shook off any excess.

36.  After the glue dried I primed everything black and painted everything with P3 paints.

This will be a fun objective to use in games, and now you know how to make one. Now get going and keep your battlefield from being boring.