This is one of the commission projects I’ve slowly been working over the past few months. This also makes my 3rd MC-80 so I’ve got the process down. At this point, I have a number of tiles cast for the base, a threaded mount for the support rod (and secured with resin), opened up big windows, and about 120 windows drilled through and another 300+ marked for drilling. The assembly was pretty easy and I figured I’d get that done sooner than later but before that I had to route out some areas where electronics and fiber optics are going to be run. I have yet to drill out the engines and mount them, as well. The big step right now is drilling. Oh man, drilling. I’ve been able to do a little bit here and there but it’s a process that is more physically straining than you may think. Once all the windows are drilled, I’ll file and fill the larger windows and build up the hangar. And once the engines are in place I can being placing electronics (adding power jack + LEDs) and run all the fiber. Fun stuff.
Another quick commission project! Easy build. Ready for paint!
While I’ve been drilling windows for a commission and waiting to get back into the paint booth, I was buggered into digging into a couple more quick kits: Trumpeter’s new 1/144 Su-30MKK and Pit Road’s 1/144 PAK FA T-50.
The Su-30MKKs are going to be split up, 2 will be each of the Chinese scheme variants while one will be a “what if” Ukranian bird. One of the Chinese birds will be in flight and the other landed along with the Ukrainian scheme. There will also be small bases with tarmacs to round out a little display.
The T-50 will be done in the newer ‘Bort 55′ scheme, which suffered a catastrophic fire on the tarmac a year or so ago. It’s an easier scheme to paint free hand and I’m excited to give it a shot. It will also be in the flight position. She built up so quickly she’s already in primer!
All the kits go together really well. The T-50 is practically a snap fit. Trumpeter has maintained it’s ease of build with these new 144 offerings as well. However, there are a couple of outstanding issues that were fixed: a new pitot for all four jets; the Flankers’ pitots were made with a syringe tube and sewing needle (seam filled with super glue and sanded) and the T-50’s was made with a drill bit.
The radomes for each of the Flankers also needed some adjusting. Since they are meant to fit the previous toolings, some trimming on the inner lip is needed. The join with the main fuselage leaves a bit to be desired so some putty and sanding was required there as well. Also, I had to add the little fins that go on the lower outside of the intakes. Easy enough with a little plastic stock. The in-flight bird also needed some putty for the closed gear doors.
I gotta say, Trumpeter stepped it up a notch with the decals for these Flankers. Not only is there now a WHOLE sheet of stencils, they included COCKPIT decals. I know, only some of it is visible in this scale, but it makes a big difference. T-50 has no such luxury.
The trade off is that the T-50 includes 2 pilot figures. Alas, that’s not enough to fill the offices of the Flankers so I picked up some of OzMods modern pilots. Very basic but with a little paint they add some life.
THE biggest pain with Flanker kits is fixing the canopies. These are no exception. There’s a nasty seam that runs down the middle that will need a lot of TLC…but there is also a factory tooling issue where the windscreen isn’t polished all the way to the front edge of the frame. Not sure what to do there…I’ve tried to contact Trumpeter through several channels, including the US distributor and nothing yet.
All wrapped up! First carry-over from 2014 complete.
RESOLUTIONS! Well, really things in general I should consider more carefully this year.
Buy less. Build more. This also means sticking to $0 balance buy vs. sell as much as possible (outside of Cosmos Models sales). Last year I also started a spreadsheet of sold kits vs. built kits vs. bought kits but it only kept a tally and wasn’t a financial spreadsheet. This years will include that info to help stay on track. If I do have to buy something, stick to only NEW kits! There are plenty coming up this year in every theme I build in so I can regulate a little better. Still, being able to say NO is a good urge-control skill that I should be exercising more this year than last. Sometimes shopping online and putting it in a cart is a good method for figuring out a new project cost, but then closing the browser window before starting the checkout process feels really good!
As a follow-up: Build kits I have all aftermarket for before buying more aftermarket. I keep a spreadsheet of my inventory which includes all manner of aftermarket parts. From resin wheels to photo etch parts and even whether or not the kit would benefit from lighting. A fair number of line items are actually in the green, meaning they are ready to go with all the aftermarket items! This is called a “Full Meal Deal” for those unfamiliar. This by no means indicates a priority of projects; I could very well build something out of box (OOB) without any of that stuff (in fact I’d like to build a 1/48 MiG-29 from the Swifts aerobatic team using only aftermarket decals). Point is, there are plenty of projects to choose from before ever purchasing that one piece of photo etch for the landing gear.
Tertiary follow-up: Sell what I really won’t ever get to. Seriously. Every modeler probably has a number of kits in the stash that are just taking up space and will probably never be built. I’ve got a lot of kits. Even if I slow my building pace down (from 113 this year!) to 20 per year, there’s at least 25 years of modeling ahead of me. That being said I have a number of kits, mostly airplanes, that are ziplocked and stored away. Someday I’ll have to photograph and post them for sale. Some I’ve taken to swap meets, etc and passed along but there really needs to be a mass exodus of sorts. I’ll bet I could cut my stash in half this year. It’ll be painful but if I stick to kits I know are readily available on the market it’ll be fine in the long run.
Maintain Rule of Three. Attention span isn’t only a problem with the youths. It’s a frequent ailment of the scale modeler and I am no exception. As of today, I have in progress four commissions, two near completions, five shelf queens, one scratch build and eight master patterns. That is way too many projects to focus on and sometimes I get an urge to start something thinking it will be a quick project and it ends up on the shelf for months at a time. Also, I’ll occasionally get stuck and because other projects are in process, it gets shelved. (Case in point, the Mi-24 Hind build that I intend to motorize.) So, for the New Year, I’m going to do my best to work on ONLY THREE at a given time in earnest. For starters, I should be working on one commission, one shelf queen and one master pattern. Once the shelf queens are taken care of I can swap that category out for personal builds. But if I’m honest with myself, there will be an occasional moment where I’ll scratch an itch and build a TIE Fighter or something similarly easy in the hopes it won’t sidetrack The Three.
Document builds better in photographs and take time with technical notes. In the past I’ve felt pretty good about documenting work. It could always be better though. Sometimes there’s a specific paint mix that will take a few tries to remix, or there is a specific technique to applying photo etch that I’ll forget about. Documenting build steps both photographically and technically not only keeps a record but also doubles as potential article material. As I build more commission work and propagate projects across the internet more, people start to become more interested and ask questions. I by no means aim to create step by step guides, but careful and clear documentation will go a long way for a lot of reasons.
Slow down in the finish! What’s the finishing stage? Well, to me it could start anywhere from applying primer to the final photographs. Painting is the point at which I’ve rushed in the past because it can be the most cause of frustration. Often times I’ll get a project to the point of adding primer and set it aside for weeks or months. If it’s an airplane with complex camouflage, there’s layers of masking and it could take upwards of a day to get it all done. Ah! But see? I catch myself even now! I use acrylics and they tend to dry very quickly. But sometimes more time is needed for things to dry properly and I forget that. My painting also needs to be pushed further. This past year I started experimenting with panel highlighting and black-basing and they’ve proved to be good methods. I can push them even further to get consistent. There will never be a perfect paint application but there is always practice. Secondly, weathering comes out of this. For Sci-fi builds, lots of scoring and thick washes are nice, but it’s a different beast for airplanes. Subtlety is key so I need to pay attention to each step and it’s intensity.
So, with all that being said, what are some specific project targets? For starters, I’d like to build a really nice diorama. Not just make an airfield base or asteroid stand, but really add the details that make it believable. There’s one project I’ve already been gathering materials for: a 1/72 Su-33 on the flight deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov. Just about everything is in hand or on the way so once other projects are complete this will get started.
Otherwise, I can get more creative with the displays. Acrylic rod for vessels in flight, support vessels for capital ships, nice mirrored bases with studio-style mounting, wall mounting mechanisms…Of course the options depend on the build, but there’s definitely room for improvement over the standard black base and rod.
To narrow the specific projects down a bit more, I definitely want to build a 1/48 Flanker and a 1/48 Fulcrum. The Flanker I have in mind is Eduard Limited Su-27UB kit in Ukranian colors (with all manner of aftermarket!). The Fulcrum? Great Wall Hobby’s kit is a perfect out of box choice for a Swifts build. I even have the decals ready! Aside from those two, I have an idea for a kitbash for the Keeper of the Force forum group build and of course there will be a couple SMA BSC builds, which the Flanker or Fulcrum could be a part of. Lastly, I definitely want to build a large scale kit this year. There are a few to choose from in the stash but Tamiya’s Spitfire MkVII has been staring me down for a couple years…
That’s about all I can think of for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to hit all these markers! Wish me luck and happy modeling to everyone this year!
Over the past couple of years I’ve been steadily growing this business called Cosmos Models. While it started out with small items, like 1/2256 fighters and smaller ships, the list of products has been expanding into larger products as well as decals! Since I really can’t do the majority of my own casting I rely greatly on the skills of master casters Jimi Glancy (JPG Productions) and Tom Saltysiak (Utar Ships). Not only do they cast products for me, we work closely together to bring new kits to the market under all three of our brands. Each year I make 2-3 new master patterns for both of them and we work out pretty good trade deals. This next year, however, I hope to be able to learn some basic pressure casting and mold making skills for the smaller projects coming across the bench.
In order to maintain the theme of “last year’s carry-overs”, the following is a list of projects that I hope to get off the ground and into the hands of eager modelers this year, in order of priority:
1/1000 Action VI This was project that fulfilled a few different scale projects. Initially designed as a 1/1000 ship, I scaled the CAD file down to 1/2256 and 1/4222 for Utar Ships (and it’s available now). The larger scale kit just needs a bit of cleaning up before I send it to JPG, who will release it under his own label.
Also for JPG, I am working on the YT-2400 Outrider for starters in 1/144 scale. It will be a many piece kit with a good chance of some multi-media elements (brass cannons, etc). Most of the work will be done in CAD and then hand finished. Hopefully it’ll be easy to generate a 1/350 version of the ship, too, to match a number of other ships in that scale. The target is Wonderfest 2015 but who knows what will happen before then… :)
The long worked on and saught after 1/144 Gozanti Cruiser will also hopefully happen this year. Since doing this kit in 1/350 a couple of years ago there’s been some moderate demand for a larger kit. It may seem like it’s only a matter of upscaling the files, but the parts breakdown and detailing are completely different so the whole file almost needs to be re-made from scratch. There are also the complications that the new variant introduced in the Rebels series poses: the size is larger and the shaping is slightly different. Fun. This might be a Wonderfest 2016 release.
Since Tom has been so great at casting a number of my projects, I’ve offered to build him a 1/4222 Victory-class Star Destroyer for his line. It will definitely be a great kit since it’s in scale with so many other offerings. The parts are all laid out and assembly and detailing can commence as soon as other projects are cleared.
3D printed projects have become a good working method for a lot of what I want to do. As of right now, there are several kits already printed but need some cleaning up before they get sent out for casting:
Later on, pending the availability of TIME: 1/144 and 1/350 (maybe 1/270) Ebon Hawk (CAD), 1/2256 Victory II-class Frigate and 1/2256 Interdictor Cruiser. The initial CAD work has been done on the Ebon Hawk and the parts for the Imperial ships have been cut and are ready to be assembled.
Looks like it’ll be another busy year!!
This past year has been really good in terms of commission work. It’s pretty much kept the hobby alive for me! Out of all the projects that come across my bench, these are the most challenging because they deserve the most discerning eye I can muster. If any one of these were a personal build, there would be a number of things that I would probably sell myself short on (or cut corners). But no. These are projects for paying customers so I want to do as good of a job as I can. Sometimes that means taking extra time. It definitely means more planning.
There are a few carry-overs from last that I’d like to finish up as soon as possible:
My second 1/2256 Mon Calamari MC-80 This was a bit of an ambitious project and it’s taken a while to get it this close to complete. The last few steps are drilling a mirror to mount the support rods and soldering up the wiring in the base. That’s it. Sounds simple enough but it turns out drilling into a mirror is way more time consuming than one might think. I spent almost an hour slowly grinding out pilot holes. Now they have to be expanded to 3/8″ to accommodate the rods. This is meant to be a companion piece to the 1/2256 Dreadnaught finished this past spring. Once this is complete I will be shipping these two builds to Germany! As a follow-up build (and as a thank you for the client’s patience) I will be building him a 1/2256 Victory-class Star Destroyer.
Right after that I have another 1/2256 Mon Calamari MC-80! This one will be built in the same manner but the base will not be a mirror; it will be Death Star tiles. I’m looking forward to that. And now since it’s the third MC-80, I think I have a pretty good system down to be able to move it along fairly quickly. As a follow-up, the client has stated that he’d like me to build a 1/2256 Imperial-class Star Destroyer. It will be a huge project but it’s one I’ve wanted to tackle for a while!
Continuing on with the Star Destroyer theme, I am scratch building a 1/7200 Allegiance-class Star Destroyer for a client. It’s fun to scratch build and Imperial ships are some of the easiest designs. You can check out the link to see the work that’s been put into it so far. However, planning ahead I will have some CAD work to do for the turrets and the bridge. Some of that is already done (see the 2015 pt3 post) so once the major assemblies are complete it will be all detail work. Once nice thing about this is that is will not be lit. Phew! But it will still be cool.
Lastly, there’s this deceptively little project: 1/72 A-Wing duo. The plan is to rework one of the kits to more closely resemble Ralph McQuarrie’s design and keep the other close to the studio model. Always up for challenging myself, the support rods will also have small plugs attached. So that means there will LEDs installed in each of these. Not as easy as it sounds…they are (were) solid resin ships so a lot of prep work has been done in terms of drilling and routing. I’m pretty excited about this project, too, so I’d better get to it!
Since there are so many commission projects in various stages of completion sitting in my workspace, I’m going to have to hold off on accepting new large commissions until they are clear. However, a fairly large percentage of the builds done for myself end up being sold. Since they aren’t officially commissioned, the pricing is a bit lower…and I know there are certain things about the builds that I wouldn’t let slide for a client-initiated project. Regardless, I still try to do quality work and if I stick to my goals (see upcoming 2015 pt4) then everything should work out just fine.
As the New Year begins it’s time again to re-evaluate this hobby-turned-side-business!
First off, I’d like to start by establishing some project goals and guidelines. There are always going to be outstanding projects to work on, forever circling my work area so I’d like to get those out of the way. However, they aren’t necessarily a priority so the order of them isn’t important, save for the first two that are on this list and closest to complete:
Eduard 1/48 MiG-21MF — It’s in the painting phase right now…I spent about 30 minutes masking last night in preparation for the topside camo. At this point it’s so close to done that I just need to finish it.
Bad-Azz 1/48 Advanced Cylon Raider — All that’s left is sanding and painting the base/stand. Instead of my original plan of using a bent acrylic rod for support, I installed a steel rod. In the end, it makes more sense and is far less obtrusive.
Multi-verse Models 1/144 Jawa Sandcrawler — A lot of scratch work has gone into this project so far and it may only be half-way through. This particular project will have to be worked on as time allows. There’s no real deadline for it…just a lot of work!
Scratchbuilt 1/48 Sputnik XII — This project began on a whim and conceptually I think it’s all there. Plenty of detail work still needs to be done as well as finishing up how this thing will be finished. AK Interactive’s True Metals wax rub-n-buff line seems like a good choice for consistency with the craft family.
MPC/Revell 1/48 Mi-24 Hind — As complex as some of my builds get, this one tops them for sure. This has definitely been a shelf queen for some time since the engine placement and gear design really threw me for a loop. Before I even dig back into the building and wiring process, I need to sit back and assess where it is and what’s reasonable. Like the Sandcrawler, this will be another ‘as time dictates’ project.
AMT/MPC 1/4222 Dominator-class Star Destroyer — Eyes bigger than the bench…so to speak. Scale Model Addict’s BiG Spring Contest has always been a lot of fun but every year I start things I cannot finish in time. This project is a low priority but rest assured it will sure be cool when it’s done.
AMT/MPC 1/4222 Imperial-class Star Destroyer Super Build — I got pretty far on this, at least in terms of the direction the project is supposed to go. Instead of purchasing the available upgrade kits, etc, I decided to work on releasing my own upgrade kits for this old pile of plastic. Namely, the bridge, antenna and neck/spine areas are the ones that needed the most work. And the turret areas…I had already picked up Odyssey Slipways nozzles and hangar and they are perfect. The former parts I designed in CAD and had 3D printed. There are some issues with the bridge face that I have to revisit, but more on that later during the Cosmos Models section….
Cosmos Models 1/10k Outbound Flight — Another small project that got waysided. All I need to do is finish the central pod and the rings…deceptively simple…
Stay tuned for the next three parts! Part 2: Commission Projects and Goals, Part 3: The Future of Cosmos Models and Part 4: Personal Goals and Guidelines
Another great year for modeling! My total finished build tally comes out to 115!! However, this is a *bit* misleading. Here’s the breakdown:
11 master patterns, 4 of which had significant work done where the other 7 were small, 1-piece vessels
About 6 builds were carry-overs from 2013.
About 50 of them were really small scale (1/1000 to 1/10k) and thus were just paint jobs.
I did complete more aircraft than ever before. There might have even been a pattern rotation of SW, ST, Jet, Prop…
I released new resin detail sets and decal sheets under the Cosmos Models line.
I had a bang up year with sales from my Cosmos Models line in general and am hoping for another in 2015.
There were a number of commissions that came across my desk this year, too! That definitely made for a positive impact on the year’s budget. :D
And as of today, I have 3 builds that are nearing completion and 4 commissions to complete soon!
Stay tuned for my ‘2015 Ahoy!’
Testors light ghost gray on the belly! Thinned down 3:1. I’m still not sure what to use on the top side yet. I’m doing the Egyptian colors and only have approximations figured out so far. As for the belly, I have to go back in with the same color (mentioned above) with a few drops of white for panel highlights.
Now into all the details!!!
Master’s pitot! I’ve long been anxious about adding the fins on these types of pitots, but this one was actually a breeze and the fins are still holding strong.
The canopies got an interior paint job and some placard decals. I also masked the office and loosely taped the canopy in place for the forthcoming paint work.
Before heading into deep waters with all the external photo etch, I decided to finish up the wheels and struts. They still need a little bit of weathering but I like how they came out. I also realize the the oleos might be on the wrong side, too…but based on the actual parts and the placement of the gear doors, I think it’s right. The instructions weren’t so clear…
Before the primer was applied, I placed all the surface panels. It took a couple hours of focused time because a number of them needed to be bent to match the curves of the fuselage. I also had some concern that they stick out too far from the actual surfaces…on the actual aircraft they would be more flush. The trade off is that there is nice detail on those parts and the application of primer and paint will level them off somewhat.
Lastly, primer! Black basing method using Mr. Surfacer’s 1500.
Finished up the metal look. Last steps are bending the acrylic rods and assembling/painting the base.
Hey ho. I’ve had Calamari on the noggin…the MC-30 was fun and I know as much as we’d like to see an MC-80 in 1/4222, I’ve started working on a design of my own. Parts of it are informed by the MC-80 but some of it also comes from the Cruiser in the Battlefront games, which doesn’t have a designation.
This is basically the rough sketch done up over a couple hours off and on. There are a bunch more little bumps and knobs to add, maybe a couple large bulges here and there. Definitely will add large turrets on either side of the hangars. I’ll probably add a couple small hangars on the belly.
I’m mainly posting this to get some feedback from you guys while I’m still working on the shaping of it. Think of this as kind of a democratic process because I imagine Dac’s shipyards have an organic way of designing. :D
I’m into the more slowly paced detailing section now…
Added the air scoops, gun pod and detailed the wheel bays a bit more.
Lastly, primed and washed the gear doors and painted the airbrakes. I’m also going to paint the interior of the canopy parts so I polished them with Tamiya’s Finishing polishing compound (they’re really clear and crisp now!) and masked the inside and outside.
Landing gear is next!
It turns out that not sealing the True Metals shortly after application causes it to loose it’s luster. This time around I dabbed some dark aluminum over the entire body of the Raider and polished it up. Once it was dry I sealed it with Tamiya clear coat, which causes it to loose some of the reflectivity as well. It also blended the tone variations a little more so I started going back with the brighter aluminum on the lighter panels. Just as a test, I only applied it to the wing tips, polished (waited 10 minutes or so) then sealed with Future. As it turns out, the Future retains the glossy effect and DOES NOT interact with the wax as the Tamiya clear does so it retains it’s luster.
Wallpaper decals! This splinter scheme is based on the Czech MiG-21’s but is meant to be used with 1/72 and 1/48 scale X-Wings!! Well, not specifically designed for them, but my intention is to use them on an upcoming 1/48 Stealth X build using the parts designed and sold by Lonnie Sweet. They’re more or less based on the pattern seen on the X-Wing images featured in the Star Wars: Essential Guide to Warfare.
One page should be enough to cover the whole X-Wing in both 1/48 and 1/72 (with extra). I might work up a non-decal tracing template sometime soon but for now it’s up to the builder to cut. Since they have no specified location placement shouldn’t be an issue.
Pricing is across the board $20 for each sheet. US shipping is included, international add $3.
This build is really starting to look like a Fishbed now! A little bit of detail work was done before joining the lower wing piece to the fuselage. The wheel bays received a few pieces of photo etch and some canisters, etc were added to the wings. I decided to try something with the landing lights since there was no kit detail to place behind them. I placed some jewels behind and secured them with Micro Gloss and once that dried I dropped some white glue…then when that dried I painted some silver on it. The end result is a light with a reflecting dish behind it.
One problem with the wing attachment is the seams…not so great. Some filling and sanding should take care of it. I also took some time to spray some parts with primer.
It turns out that a little bit of MiG neutral wash inside the wheel bays gives it the perfect color I’m going for! I still need to pick out the cable color details and add some photo etch pieces, but the wheel bays are essentially done!
And last but not least, with the wing tops attached. Next up, scoops, fins, nose work and more!
So it’s been a few days since I applied the finish…and word of caution to anyone who uses it, SEAL IT SOONER rather than later. Some of the luster was lost to the air. I’m going to have to reapply small amounts and re-buff….
IN THE MEANTIME: I got my laser cut parts from Matt @ LaserFire! I also lucked out and found the perfect sized circular base to mount the mirror to! I still have to trim the dried glue but it looks the part.
Slow but steady! The next step was getting all the cockpit pieces together before closing up the fuselage. I used Tamiya X-14 and X-15 in a ratio of 3:1 (I think) to match the color of the photo etch. It looks really close in these pics but in person there is a slightly more green tint. I also picked out some of the control details with black, silver and red on a toothpick. To finish it up some dry brushing and a light wash were applied.
This MF’s really starting to shape up now that the innards are done for the most part. The seam clean up will be minimal; the spine and dorsal fin fit like a glove. The ventral fin and chin seam will need a little cleanup.
Well the first round of True Metal wax is going really well! I started with aluminum and it really shines. Dark aluminum really isn’t that different in tone…and then gun metal is only slightly darker. In order to get that wider variety of tones, I added some AK pigments (smoke) to darken it. A little bit of spirits helps to smooth out the wax and make it easier to apply with a brush. I still have to do the bottom, and I think I’ll add some details with Tamiya’s gunmetal. Anyway, coming along nicely…
My airplane itch flared up an I boiled a few choices down to this bird. I’ve been wanted to build a Fishbed for some time now and this particular boxing (Egyptian AF markings) seemed as good place to start as any. This is a Full Meal Deal build, meaning all manner of aftermarket parts will be used during construction. One thing that’s nice about this build so far is that right now there are a lot of little steps here and there I can complete. That way it doesn’t really intrude on my other temporal considerations! Little things like spraying the photo etch with a primer, trimming the pour stubs off the resin parts and completing the most minor assemblies are all easy enough in small doses. A process like this not only forces me to take time with my decisions, but also allows for a bit of therapeutic time since each step feels like I got something done.
Onto the build! I mentioned aftermarket parts…so here they are:
Eduard Brassin Wheel Bays
Eduard Brassin Wheels
Eduard Surface Panel PE
Eduard Exterior PE
Dreammodel Pilot (though I probably won’t use him)
Quickboost air scoops
Quickboost gun pod
Step 1: In order to make sense of all the material going into this, I compared all the various bits of instruction sheets and cross-references the steps. Taking notes on where PE and resin parts replace kit parts saves a bit of time and helps the planning process.
Step 2: Riveting! I love riveting. The kit has a small amount of subtle rivets but I love em. So I added more based on some orthos I’ve had in my files.
Step 3: Since the airbrakes are going to be displayed in the open position the recessed areas had to be cut out and added. I guess I didn’t too quite as clean of a job as I should have because there were some gaps. It’s not too much of a concern since they’ll be in shadow on the belly. Just in case, I did add some putty to fill in the gaps and secure the parts a little better.
Step 4: Minor assemblies. The missiles and the drop tanks are going to be prepared separately so I built them up first, along with the ventral fin. They’ll be easy enough to add on right at the end (save for the fin). All the parts that get sealed up inside the fuselage have to be prepped first so I also added some weights to the nose cone (in the form of some small screws and a nut) and also trimmed up the resin parts (wheel bay prep not shown).
Step 5: Prepping the fuselage. The instructions call for some parts of the interior to be painted aluminum, so I used my Krylon Silver Leafing pen. It’s a bit on the bright side but since those areas are mostly illegible when it’s buttoned up it doesn’t really matter. Looks cool now though. I also placed the forward wheel bay (just glued to one half).
Step 6: The Burner! Similar situation here with the painting and details. Yes, I added all the photo etch parts to the deep since it’s just barely visible if you peek down the tube. Beyond that, I figured I’d use my new AK True Metals rub-n-buff wax! It really is a great product and I can’t wait to use it more. I dipped a cotton swap into a little bit of the wax and spread it liberally on the nozzle feathers, wiping off the excess with a clean swap. After about 15 minutes it had dried to the point where I could buff it with another swab and boy, it sure shines up nice!!
That’s about all for now. The next steps will be assembling the cockpit and sealing up the fuselage! Stay tuned!
Finally got this bad boy in the mail after waiting a little over 2 months!! (shipped from Poland). It was totally worth the wait. This is a really well detailed and engineered kit. The parts fit pretty much perfectly and ALL the detail was nice and crisp. A few under surface bubbles appeared on the trailing edges of the ‘wings’ and ‘head’ but otherwise good casting.
A couple of construction notes, though:
1.The BIG task was rescribing all the panel lines. A few of them were OK but many were way too shallow and eligible.
2. The joint for the wings wasn’t completely square so I added a couple of steel bar supports
3. The left wing was a little warped, or flattened rather, so heat from a desk lamp was applied and the wing was bent upwards to shape
4. My kit came with 2 left engines (they are engineered to fit at an outward canted angle) so some trimming was needed to get the odd one in line
5. I replaced the main barrels with brass rod and carefully drilled out the rest of the length of the cannons so brass runs down the entire assembly
Before the black primer went down, I did scrub the parts really well. However, it must not have been enough because the primer still mottled slightly. Turns out that’s OK because the actual appearance of the Raider has a mottled look!
Moving on to the next steps, I have a 5.25″ circular mirror base that I will be placing laser cut green pentagrams onto, courtest of Matt from LaserFire Creations. I won’t be drilling into the mirror OR the kit for mounting. Instead I’ll place the mirror on a wooden base (maybe pentagram shaped?) and a clear acrylic support rod, bent to fit the underside.
PAINTING wise, I won’t really be using much paint, save for some detail work. The bulk of the metallic look will come from AK Interactive’s new True Metal rub-n-buff/wax material. I picked up four shades and this Raider is the perfect test bed for all of them. Stay tuned for more!
Flat white on the Corvettes, Camo gray, custom rust tone mix
and gunmetal on the Frigates.
More airbrush time results. It’s amazing how much of a difference 10 minutes of painting can show. Other details are from patient brushwork. Some of the red feathers got 2 coats to create variance.
Same base coat of light ghost gray pretty much sprayed on everything. The TIE’s wings and Gozanti’s windows were added with a ball point pen. Also sat quietly and brushed some of the metal areas.
Was pretty sick past couple of days but managed to fire up the airbrush for short period of time. Base coat down and asteroid base finished. Slowly but surely.
I was approached to do a small diorama featuring the SA-43 Hammerhead Fighter from Space: Above and Beyond. Since the client asked for it in 1/200, I figured it’d be easy enough to just use a 3D print and now worry about doing a production of Hammerheads in this scale. There was a small issue printing from Shapeways but it was easy enough to correct with some styrene and some putty. (However, I now have plans for 1/350, 1/144 and possibly a new 1/72 kit in the future…) This commission will have the fighter flying over an asteroid styled base.
Started this one WAY back in June and figured I’d add some more ships to make it a little dio. Now there is a small escort flight of TIE Fighters.
This is my second build of this ship in this scale. ST:III, ST:IV and ST:VI have all been on television in the past few weeks and I forgot how much I appreciated this ship when I was a kid. It’s a good design and a good platform for experimenting with panel filters, washes and other weathering techniques.
The buildup was SUPER straight forward. The only two things that I did differently with this build were 1) adding some magnets to the inside of the belly piece for a support rod, thus eliminating the need for a drill-hole for support and 2) replacing the resin cannon barrels with brass tubes and hypodermic needle tips. Very careful drilling was needed for the latter but I think they came out just right.
One other thing that this kit needed was a set of decals to replicate the line pattern that is featured on the front of the hinges. So I sourced up some images from the studio model and made my own decal for the hinge front. :D
She’s all primed up in black and waiting for the first base layer of green zinc chromate and then we’ll work up from there!
Quick a clean build process. As I’ve stated before, the itch strikes hard and I just need to get to something. No so much build time with these but just getting something into the paint prep stage feels like a triumph. In this small batch there are 2x MC-30 Frigates in 1/4222, and a CR-70 (EpIII Tantive IV) and a CR-90 (EpIV Tantive IV) in 1/2256.
I was itching to get some real progress done on some of the commission work on my bench so I started with this one. It’s the Allegiance-class Heavy Star Destroyer first seen in the background in the Dark Empire comic series. (See here and here). My client asked for it in 12″ scale, but since this build will utilize parts I pre-fabricated for a different project, it will end up being closer to 13″ or 14″. The math works out to be somewhere around 1/7200. I’ll also be designing a blueprint-style laser cut plaque for the base. Detail wise, the majority of the plans are derived from FractalSponge’s rendering (see here). Some details, such as the domes, conning tower, turbo-laser turrets and ion cannons will be 3D printed.
Onto the parts! I printed off the orthographic images in scale with the parts and began trimming and assembling. Many of the super-structure and raised surface panels are similar to standard ISDs so minimal re-cutting/shaping was necessary to fit the build. I started numbering them in order to keep track of where they will be placed when the time comes.
Drawing the outlines of the main shapes on the hull pieces helps keep the final form in mind. And for anyone reading this who hasn’t seen any of my previous Imperial cruiser work, the pieces I use are laser-etched and cut and have a very high level of panel line detail.
One of the more fundamental parts of an Imperial style build is making sure that the hull lines are nice, sharp and straight. This is accomplished by utilizing steel and brass rods. In this case, I used four per hull plane in order to maintain rigidity. During this stage of the process I also added rare-earth magnets which will serve as mounting points for the eventual support rods. Also, in preparation for the next stage (and equally fundamental step for maintaining a clean form) was constructing a jig to make sure the triangular angles of the hull are consistent.
Here are the hulls joined at the proper angles. Now she’s starting to look like a Star Destroyer! In the past I’ve added additional supports as crossbeams, or bulkheads. This time I decided to put strengthening strips across the center line to create a horizontal ribbing. So far it feels more secure than the older method, mostly because there’s more surface area connecting the two hull halves. Last little step in this update was cutting out the insets on the side trench lips. They are arranged differently than the pattern that was laser-etched, but weren’t difficult to cut out. Much of the bare-detail areas where the original cut outs are will be covered up by edge detailing soon.
Decals done, base assembly has begun finally. There’s still a bit more paint work I’d like to do on the K’tinga but the Federation ships are pretty much done. I’m not super pumped about how they are turning out, what with the thick + brittle decals and inaccurate shaping in some cases. If I went slower maybe but I’m remembering why I haven’t worked in this scale for a while….
That’s right it’s done!! She’s all detailed up, sealed and ready for casting. This ship, seen in the Star Wars: Battlefront games is close to 6″ long and in scale with TONS of other 1/4222 ships!! This will be produced by Tom of Utar Models so keep an eye out!
Now available from Cosmos Models!! Prices include domestic shipping.
1/350 Viper Mk II $12
1/350 Viper Mk II $12
1/350 Viper Mk II $12
AND the very last few sets of these:
1/1000 Fury-class Starfighter $12
Matte white then Pearl white. Brass engine details, silver bridge details and some medium blue details. Decals are thick and brittle. :( Will be slow going. Also a few shots of the putty process.
Last one for the day!
Simple ship. Still needs detailing though.
THIS one is a beast! It’s also the toughest one to clean up because of all the inset areas of details. Good thing I finally picked up some dental picks!
Simple kit! Needs more detailing but very clean prints!
I’m going to keep pouring these out today! This is the Action VI made popular by the Heir to the Empire comic series. Again, a bit more work with sanding and rescribing the lines, but overall the prints came out nice.
Another great set of prints from PCS! A bit more work to do on these parts to get them all to line up, but pretty much all the details are there. This will end up being a multi-media kit because it will need different gauges of wires and rods for all the antennas and mass driver barrels. It’s a beast!
Prints came in and they turned out great! After some fair amount of sanding I added a coat of primer. There’s still a small amount of detailing to add, a little bit more sanding and then it’s ready!
Picked up a little set of ships to work on over vacation. Easy to build but a lot of seam filling and sanding. Like, A LOT. Turning out pretty well, though. Each one will have it’s own little dome base. :D
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!