Dragonfly – Papercraft VTOL

I finished up the Dragonfly paper VTOL this weekend. I’m fairly happy with how it turned out in the end and it should make for a good addition to my terraforce army. Ironically I have built two but neither is in the colour scheme I selected for my army, but thats test builds for you.

I had mostly finished the texturing before Annette’s back gave out for 2 months, although there was still a solid 3 days worth of work to finish the model off. Basically I started of by re-familiarizing myself with the GIMP layout and checking what was missing. First up I had to complete some minor changes to the overall textures and adjust some of the glue tabs, plus design some landing struts. Once that was done I temporarily exported the files and created the craftrobo GSD cutting file.  Then I completed my first coloured test build, while constructing the below test build I took all the construction pictures I would need for the instructions:

The Dragonfly looks a little odd on it’s landing struts, but I don’t expect if anyone else does make one that they’ll be using them.  After the above test build was done I extracted each of the unique layers from GIMP that I wanted to use in the layered PDF. This step is quiet time consuming as you have to be careful to include the correct GIMP layers on your exported layers. I ended up with 24 layers exported ready to be turned into a layered PDF, which is just an import and then save as layered PDF job. Before generating the layered PDF I used the pictures from the initial assembly to create the instructions on how to put a Dragonfly together. This is the bit I like the least as it’s horribly time consuming and it seems when you get to the end you haven’t really achieved anything. I put the instructions together using Openoffice and then exporting it as a PDF document. After the layered PDF had been assembled I carried out one last test build to confirm everything was okay one last time, as it turned out I had missed a couple of scoring lines on the GSD cut files. We end up with the stock military Dragonfly paper VTOL, I mounted it to a 40mm square base:

The clear stand is just a folded up piece of transparency cut a glued with superglue (see below).  I’m not 100% happy with the dragonfly there are three spots that I feel are to fiddly and in future I’ll be more careful during the design stage. watch out for the windscreen, body and the rocket pod holders. The last thing I did for fun was create a bit of a fluff or background  for the Dragonfly in the theme of a military file. You’ll need to click the image to read it 🙂 :

As the Dragonfly PDF is a layered PDF you will need to use Acrobat 6+  to correctly view it and set layers on and off. The files are quiet big 12mb for the actual build file and 2mb for the instructions so it’ll take a little time to download:

Dragonfly (30mm) – PDF

Dragonfly Instructions – PDF Instructions

Dragonfly GSD Page1 – GSD, save as and rename extension from .odt to .gsd

Dragonfly GSD Page2 – GSD, save as and rename extension from .odt to .gsd

Stand Final – Templates for the Posts , no GSD as it blunts blades very quickly

A few notes on the stand posts I have done two heights and a flying level, bank right and bank left version. When you glue them up Superglue gel is easiest to use as it doesn’t run everywhere and cause the transparency to frost up. If you don’t have printing transparency simply print the template out on plain card spray some re-positionable spray glue (no spray glue, cheap glue stick should also work) onto the front side of the card and lay a piece of normal transparency on top. Simply cut out following the card lines and peel the card of the back when your done, you may need to rinse the transparency of before assembling to get rid of sticky residue.

I’m pretty tired as pulling the above together in the past 4 days has been pretty full on :). If anyone does build one I’d love to see it, feel free to post a link in the comments or post a pic in onemonks gallery.

May all your enemies tanks turn into smoldering slag piles, onto the next project for me.

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