The gears are really starting to turn on this project...
I went through my Skaven and 40K parts boxes to pull out all the tech-y bits that I could find.
One thing I couldn't find, however, was the Skaven endless spell set. All of the local shops are out, and even the GW site has them listed as temporarily out of stock. Man, that electricity would have been un to play around with, but I'm not waiting around for these to appear, and I don't want to cannibalize my finished set.
To detail the dome, I drew some Skaven runes and etched them into the plastic with sharp sculpting tool.
I added more raised symbols from the old Clanrat shield icons and some that were cut from the barrel shroud of the Warp Lightning Cannon. The protruding bit is a searchlight from the Astra Militarum tank accessory sprue. I still need to replace the spikes along the top edge, and add more cables and greeblies and cables here and there.
But before finishing the dome, I wanted to work out the engine mount and machinery that would turn the device atop the tower. I had to scratch-build some angled gears. To do this, I layered some styrene tube around a thick rod to get a large enough cylinder. Then, I used thin square rod to make the teeth. The thin strips were glued on at a 45 degree angle, and when completed, the gears fit together at a 90 degree angle.
Along with the various gears and wheels, I used a Chaos Defiler as the basis for the engine.
I filled in the front opening, and trimmed down the fittings for the ball-and-socket leg attachments.
A used a large wagon wheel and some shields stacked together for the belt wheels.
I used a heat gun to bend some styrene tubes, and fit them over the Defiler's exhaust pipes to create dilapidated smoke stacks. I also trimmed and distressed the armor plating, and added rivets cut from thin styrene rod.
The belt was made from a strip of styrene card, and super glued around the wheels. In this shot, you can also see the feet bolted to the deck. Those feet are the fittings for the ball-and-socket legs. They've been trimmed, and sanded flat on the bottom. The angled gears were attached using a brass rod with a small styrene tube over it to add some thickness.
The angled gear fits the smaller angle gears and the metal sprockets fit over top connect with the large central gear.
I mounted the gear on the torso attachment for the Defiler. The pins were trimmed down and I added cuts in them to resemble screw heads. The bottom part is another searchlight, with some thick styrene rod below it. Getting everything to line up properly was a major hassle!
When it came time to fit everything together, the angled gears couldn't fit where I had originally planned, so I needed to add another layer of connecting gears. The only thing I had that was large enough to cover the gap was a pair of cannon wheels. They already had metal fittings all the way around, and I turned them into gear sprockets by gluing segments of thick square rod on top of them. I filed the surfaces smooth to make it look like the white and grey plastic look like a single piece.
Hear's a look at the final gear configuration. That white, angled gear is floating, and I still need to add a mounting attachment for it. I might also add something in the middle of that long pole that the right wheel-gear is on.
The engine still has a lot of work left. I need to clean up a few bits and add more pipes and a larger smokestack, but that's enough for now. It's much easier to visualize how everything will fit together.