Makery : Scale Modeling :

SSC M-882 Plasma Grenade

This is one of those projects that has spent a long, long time in an incomplete state. Coming home from Wonderfest last year inspired me to finish this and several other models. Of course, here it is, March, and I'm just finishing up the one. Par for the course I guess. I've got another one coming along that sort of goes together with this one, but I'm not sure if it will finish in time for the contest.

Several years ago, a thread was started on the Starship Modeler forums which was focused on the very popular Leif Ericsson model. Very quickly, fans of this model began to flesh out the broader universe this ship implied: The Strategic Space Command. I became interested in the more personal aspects of the SSC: what do their equipment look like?

This piece, along with the M-2088, make up my idea of the weapons technology of the SSC military.

I originally got the idea for this piece from the original source of the grenade halves: The lid of a LEGO Bionicle kit from that time-frame (they've changed the packaging several times since then). From there, everything else fell into place.

It took some experimentation to get the circuit wired up to produce the flickering lights that I wanted, then to rig up the switch to the side of the pin-tube, so that while the pin is inserted, the switch is depressed and the lights are off—but pull out the pin...

This model makes heavy use of a variety of Alclad II paints: "Steel" for the shell, "Duraluminum" for the detonator core. The pin is a real finger-pull ball-detent pin, the o-ring around the equator is real, and all the visible screws are real.

I used a combination of pins and neodymium magnets to lock the two halves together, but to keep them separable so that I can change the batteries when needed. To cheat the seam, a large-diameter rubber o-ring wraps around the equator.

This model won a Gold award at Wonderfest 2012 in the "Original Sculpt/Scratchbuilt" category.