While Daniel L. may not be a dedicated Warhammer 40k player, he still admires the dedication that the players have in finishing their models for simulated combat. He apparently admired this dedication so much, that after a friend asked him if he could build a working rocked launcher for one of his models he actually did it — 15 years later. While the idea was shelved for sometime, when Daniel found some tiny black powder rocket motors in a box of junk years later, he decided to actually bring the idea to life.
He designed his launcher based on the Hyperios Whirlwind anti-aircraft tank, but he had to make it somewhat bigger than the normal 1:60 version used in the tabletop game due to the size of the rockets. Most of the model is 3D-printed, however the launch tubes are made out of aluminum. Pitch and yaw of the rocket pods are actuated by R/C servo motors, and remote control is accomplished via an iPhone app over Bluetooth. A STM32F407 microcontroller provides the brains of the operation.
As described, it was “intended to be a small interlude between other projects,” but ended up taking an entire year to complete!
Perhaps the lessons here are that: one, you never know when inspiration will strike, and two, nearly universally, projects take longer than you planned! It seems though that the results were worth the wait as seen in the fantastic demo videos below.