Finished up the base and started on the detailing and weathering phase.
Almost done. Did a few good rounds of weathering: MiG dark wash, Tamiya soot pigments and then a whole swath of AK’s products from the prize package!! Just need to seal the canopy and re-add the antenna wire. Turns out that neato elastic cord does not like clear coat!
90%!!!!!!!!! Now I just need to clean up the tail pieces, rescale, repair and we’re good to print!
Decals! Tonight I’ll seal them and apply a wash. :D
While I was painting the 109 I figured I’d apply a similar scheme to the Falke! A little bit more of a challenge since it’s so much smaller, but I like where it’s headed. There’s still some detail work to pick out and decals to apply, but I think she’ll turn out nice, too.
Revamped my painting area this weekend and had a first go using my new Iwata airbrush!! It was a little tricky finding the right position for the needle but after some practice I found a good balance of line and flow. Only the topsides, tail and blue separation under the exhausts were masked. The spinner was hand painted and the “chipping” (yes I know it’s a little sloppy) was applied before the under-decal coat of future was applied. Next up will be decals! I’ll use the kit decals and cut apart the “8″ to make a “3″.
Almost done working on the seams between the engines and body halves!!
Started working on the McQuarrie conversion. The recessed section on the nose and belly had to be filled. Since the McQ version is a little more flat, I’ll have some major sanding/filing to do to get the seams flush.
More progress on Sputnik XII. All the electronics were wired up, including the stand. Turns out the mass of the build is a little on the heavy side for the stand joint, so I reinforced it with a slight angle. The side bulges had a square hole filed to fit the nav markers so they peek out just a bit. I also routed the orange LEDs to the engines, which are Stephan’s handiwork. 3 for the big one, 1 for each little one. The 6 “fins” were also finished out with a fiber optic strand running the length so the tips will flash. I’ll probably also add a beacon on the top and bottom of the main sphere, too. Still plenty of building to do!
Totally forgot to share this one, too!
Totally forgot to post the final pics and link to the full gallery!!
and here are some shots:
Action VI clocking in at 12.5cm!!!
AAAAAAAAAAND Corellian Gunship DP-20c!!!
Digging through parts bins can be somewhat of an inspiration. I came up with a bunch of stuff for a scratch build that could end up as a Sputnik (let’s say XII) or a MaK satellite. Thinking recon, autonomous, signal interceptor….light gray/white with chrome accents and access stencils. Maybe some red stars. Oh, and LED engines and navigation strobes. I have a lot of this thought out already. The main hangup is the engine block section. I’m also still unsure about the side bulges and whether or not they should have the “sensor” fins or whatever.
FINALLY took the drill and router to the frame to add the switch and jack. Easy as pie.
Another master to revisit and clear off the bench! Utar is getting this one to produce as part of his 1/4222 line! It’ll be a single hunk of resin packed with tons of detailing! Still have a bit of trench and lip detailing, super structure detailing and some random surface paneling. Maybe more, we’ll see. Here’s where she stands now.
My third Gozanti build and another quick one! She’ll also be a test bed for my new airbrush. :D This is the later edition with the styrene dishes. I put some photo etch on the belly cage instead of the kit part, too.
My first MaK! Robb Merrill hooked me up with this little guy a few years back and after seeing the cool Falke’s at Wonderfest I thought this would be fun. I added some extra detailing, like the antennas, bombs, some plumbing and some tubes. The base will eventually have a nice little grass/field kind of thing. Not sure what scheme to go with but I’m thinking something similar to what will go on the Emil.
These Tamiya kits sure do build up quickly. The most time consuming parts were painting the pilot and masking the canopy! My plan is to use this more as a test bed for my new Iwata HP-BH airbrush. The hose adaptor is still in the mail so it might be a couple weeks until I’m able to finish it. But here it is right now!
Got a bit more sanding and detailing done over the weekend.
Another commission has begun! It’s lucky I had a couple of these A-Wings from RB26 in my stash still. They’re amazingly detailed kit for the scale. This particular build will be 2 fighters flying in formation. One of them will be the classic Return of the Jedi on screen scheme and the second will the the Ralph McQuarrie concept sketch scheme.
The base will house all the electronics with options for a wall plug or on-board 9v. I dug up some cool rocker switches, too, so that will be integrated into the side of the base. WHICH will be the Death Star tiles fit into a slim tall black picture frame. Each fighter will be supported by 2 brass rods, each with a shielded wire running through it terminating at the pins. Each fighter will have a socket on the belly that will allow for them to be removed or positions swapped.
The kits themselves are pretty chopped up from when I first got them. There was a day where I thought to just prep every resin kit I had for lighting. Maybe 6 or 7 kits were drilled out before I thought I had inhaled enough resin dust….j/k I ALWAYS were a mask and goggles!!! But still, I really gutted these and wasn’t as careful as I should’ve been. There will be some fix up areas but nothing too severe. Parts were carefully selected for each version, with the cleanest and most intact pieces going to the standard scheme and the slice-n-dice pieces heading to the McQ. Looking at the McQ version, there are a lot of things to work out to make the conversion. Some of them include filling out the bottom “vent”, rebuilding the engines (tubes and fins!), squaring off the nose and filling, new cannons, tapering off the sides more, routing out some details along the spine AND repaneling. The level of modification will be determined by the client but I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to achieve a nice blend of the 2 designs.
These are part of the MC-80 and Dreadnaught commission pool.
3D done and off to the printers! @ 1/2256 she’ll be 7″ long, 8″ tall and 7″ wide…ish. But she’ll also be a multi-media kit with piping for the antennas and mass driver cannons. Oh yeah. And hollow for lighting.
Working our way down the scales lines, here’s the 1/72. You can get a sense of the parts breakdown…it’s kind of like a jigsaw puzzle and I need to work on the parts so they fit together seamlessly. There must have been some shrinking with the material since I had the parts printed. No prob. Workable.
And the 1/144, which is ready for casting.
And the 1/270 and 1/350′s. These need a little more cleanup before they are ready.
Wow. I haven’t worked on this guy since DECEMBER!!! Well, it feels good to make a little bit of progress.
Now that WF is over I’ve been able to refocus on this guy!!! I need to be more careful here to keep the weathering subtle and in scale…. I did a round of paint touch up and then detail painting. After that it was the flat coat and future. THEN decals!
OH, and there was some weird stuff happening with the red on the belly so I went back in and added some variations by hand.
Another trick I read somewhere was that the HGW rivets respond really well to a light sanding. So I carefully went about that…I think the result looks pretty darn good on the wings. Didn’t work so well on the belly or the sides mainly because the paint was a little thicker, but that’s ok. Just another reason I should stick with the rivet tool…
I do kind of like the weathered effect the light sanding brought about…
And in between those steps I had to make a new whip antenna from stretched sprue. The photo etch one just kept bending and wasn’t thick enough. The stand also got a nice coat of med/dark green with a gloss coat. It also features the name plaque from the PE set and the profile decal from the sheet on it.
All wrapped up and all!!!!
Check out the full gallery HERE>
Weathering + decals (oof I mean dry transfers!). Weathering was nice and easy. I used some MiG and AK washes very carefully in some of the mechanical areas, Tamiya’s oil stain pigment smears here and there and then some silver dry brushing to top it off. The DRY TRANSFERS (have I mentioned how much I love them??) were from a mixed bag of Verlinden and Jolly Rogers F/A-18 stencils, hence the skull and crossbones. The matte coat turned the whole thing a shade darker than I’d like, but hey, I’ve already deviated from the “studio” version enough so it doesn’t bother me. Final shots will go up later today.
Canopy work! I did go through all 3 levels of polishing on the clear plastic. Still didn’t get it perfect but it came pretty close. To cut the proper shapes I “traced” the opening in the frame onto vinyl, applied those cutouts to the plastic and trimmed away! They fit almost perfectly into the openings. There were only a couple of edges that needed further trimming but man, glazing looks good on the pit.
Books for sale. $65 shipped for all 12 or $7 a piece shipped.
PAAAAAAAAAINT!!!!!!!! Well, before that happened I had to clean up the engine cap and add the canopy cowling. Then mask the cockpit and engine LEDs. THEN prime. THEN preshade. The painting process was a bit of fun. It’s the first time I’ve ever decanted a rattle can, thinned down and used through my airbrush (I used Tamiya’s Haze Gray of course). I now see the appeal of spraying enamels with an airbrush. It goes down thin and like butter. So clean and even….But hark! While the Haze Gray has the cool blue tone we all love on the Bomber, it was too dark for my taste. I went over and highlighted each panel with a light spraying of Tamiya’s Sky Gray (XF-19). It was thin to not cover up too much of the Haze Gray. The overall effect I think is a perfect blend because that blue undertone is still there AND it shows off the pre- and post-shading nicely. This one will barely need any weathering!! ((sorry if the coloration isn’t clear enough in this pics, I was rushed this morning and didn’t want to setup the photo booth))
Some of the last touches before priming: wing panels painted and masked and the dome stand installed. The model-side socket is glued in place and makes a decent extra detail. The dome base is painted with Light Gunmetal and got a heavy clear coat. She looks pretty good so far!!
Now comes the time for some extra detailing. Something about the spirit of studio scale building hit me and I added some bits and pieces to the exterior (including some leftover Fine Molds X-Wing parts!!). The interior cockpit panel was also a combination of scratch parts and a modified AMT TIE Interceptor panel. Looks about right. :D
Electronics!!! So I ran an overnight test of battery life and found that with 8 red LEDs the batteries drained in about 8 hours. I also realized that I didn’t need FOUR in the cockpit so I just used one as a floodlight on the ceiling. The power should stay brighter longer now. The holes for the engine LED leads also had the potential to create a short so I put some plastic splints in there to make sure there’s no accidental contact. The AAA battery box will also be accessible via the pilot pod engine cap, held in place via magnets. The drill went a little overboard so a touch of putty was needed on the back end.
More assembly progress. You can see I added some extra detailing around the center block using extra parts from the kit. I LOVE THIS KIT!!!!
Assembly progress! Cockpit done, all the major pieces and the wing details! I made ONE not so major mistake and mounted the center block the tall way instead of the long way so a little bit of extra scratch building was needed to fill out the space. The main support beam was routed along the backside to make a path for the wiring and a small block was cut out to accommodate the cockpit. The engine caps were also drilled out for the LEDs. There was one spot on the bottom edge of one wing that was a little thin and needed some culling…but I think if I keep it on the bottom it’ll be fine.
Here are some teaser pics of the ship on the mirrored base. Right now the only power option is a 9v battery but after Wonderfest I’ll put a wall plug socket in there, too.
I wrapped up a few things for Wonderfest early and had some extra time and building energy. This project has been on my mind for a while now so it was time to dig in. Not only will I have it done for WF, I’ll be entering it in 2 other online contests as well!!
In this first stage all the parts were scrubbed and then carefully trimmed and sanded to remove and little bits and pieces of stuff. Thankfully there was a minimum of cleanup (but there are just sooo many parts!) This is a beautifully mastered and produced kit…really makes me feel like a studio modeler!! Some extra additions to my build include a cockpit sourced from the AMT TIE Fighter kit, a scratch built “behind the glass” panel thing, a Polar Lights dome stand and “full” compliment of lights.
All lit up! Sorry to tease so much on the final images, but I want to get the base finished before then. :D
Major painting steps complete!!
A wee bit more progress. Did the tone down with a thin warm gray then went back in with some thinned black for the carbon scoring. THEN I sloshed on a bunch of Future for a clear coat while I trimmed the fibers. The clear coat acts as a sealant for any gaps left around the fibers. Once the clear coat was dry a ton of extra paneling decals from my stash were added, some of them more line-based art, some small squares and rectangles of various shades of warm gray. The overall effect is subtle but mimics the studio model pretty decently. I’ll still go back in and add paneling with a pencil though. Next up will be some detail painting and controlled washes followed by a flat coat, penciling and extra weathering, then a final flat coat.
Wow! I can’t believe it’s been since September!! Anyway, with all those other things out of the way I can finally get back to focusing on this guy. I figured I’d push for a Wonderfest deadline and bring it on down. It still needs the mirror base, but that can come later. My time this weekend is being spent tediously masking all the little squares and rectangles, trying to match the studio model as closely as possible (with a couple minor artistic interpretations). First layer will be the rust/red, then some more masking and then the medium/dark grays. It’ll be damn fine when it gets there.
For the display at Wonderfest I added a small escort wing of Republic Y-Wings. Not the Clone Wars versions unfortunately, but you could say these are LATE Republic/Clone Wars Y-Wings w/o their covering. Maybe this could be called the Radiant XI or something. Anyway, these little Y-Wings are tremendously detailed but a pain to paint. The 3D printed steering vanes at the ends of the nacelles are a really nice touch.
New stand! I like the look of the spokes much more than the other. The rod shapes were refined a bit more to make their grip more stable. You can tell by the video that it did the trick.
Just about done! She’s all weathered up and ready to go. Lights work beautifully. The only thing I want to do yet is swap out the bases. I’m not too happy with the Republic Fleet insignia, both in terms of colors and the sloppy paint job….AND the rods are a little awkward so it wobblies a bit. Instead I’ll use the Republic spoke insignia in black and white (or silver) then shorten the rods and curve them to fit the ship better.
Another finished build for the year!
This looks like it’s not going to make it to the deadline. With 2 weeks left there’s waaaay too much work to finish it up for the SMA contest and Wonderfest. On the bright side, I finally have all the parts I need to develop a new upgrade set! Here are the primed 3D prints for the head and face. There’s a little bit of cleanup and since I opted for the ‘print it anyway’ method, some detail was lost and will need to be reconstructed.
The main body has been prepped for a full lighting and interior workup. As you can see by the pics all areas have been carefully routed to accommodate LEDs and fiber optics. Most of the original parts are included with the exception of what was cast in clear. Includes some spare box parts for interior work. $60 shipped.