Wednesday, 30 September 2009

New Dogbreath & Zarjaz

Glad to say the latest issues of these excellent 2000AD fanzines are now available. Really, to call them that is to do them a huge disservice.
To me "fanzine", 2000AD especially, brings back memories of the photocopied, really rather crude affairs of the late 70's/early 80's such as "Friends Of Tharg".
Both them and these share the common passion for the strips and characters that prompts the creation of the titles, but with Dogbreath and Zarjaz, everythings been notched up a huge degree, producing very slick, very polished looking publications.
And, with Art Droids guesting from now and then, they come across as kid sisters to 2000AD rather than fan titles.
Very much recommended (apart from the strips wot i wrote).

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Dropship - half decaled

Right, basecoat of Olive Drab is on and some panels picked out in Slate Grey as per the instructions.
I've also put on half the decals. Only half as the remainer are on the midriff area so decided to put this lot on, seal with varnish, then i can handle the ship while putting the last bunch on and not worry about any falling off.
Pleasently suprised with the decals. When the slid off the backing sheet and awful lot of white, milky muck came with them - guess its the fixitive ageing after so long of non-use.
Thought i'd have a problem once the decals had dried but the milkiness disapered and, in fact, the decals hug the surface really well and didn't dry too glossy.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Ray Harryhausen winner

By quite a clear margin, the award goes to those bony chaps facing off against Jason and co.
Technically of course its brilliant - then and now. But i wonder how much of it is also owed to the little additional touches that add so much, something Ray excelled at and is often overlooked for.
Here we have two classic examples:
The slow steps forward of the skeletons before the attack.
And that hideous screetch when they do - still chilling today.
And, of course, Bernard Hermann's score adds immeasurably to the piece.

Friday, 25 September 2009

American Werewolf In London

My good friend Ian has finaly started a Blog and its a nice entertaining ramble of his about the films he's watched just lately:

He's posted his thoughts on - and lent me - the Blu Ray release of AWIL. Now, i'm a HUGE fan of the film - its one of those rare films (like Carpenters Thing) that just doesn't date. A massive part of that, of course, is that the effects were actual props, working on set in real time, so haven't dated. Part is the knowing, sly humour (again, The Thing), that is still prevelant in the best films today. And, maybe most importantly, the characters are so well fleshed out and acted.
And, for me, it was released only a year after becoming a Projectionist so, with this film, along with so many others released at that time, i thought i'd landed the best job in the world.
To make it relevant to my Blog, here's a coupla shots of my busts i've dusted off to show you.

APC & Dropship - feeling better

Amazing what a bit of primer'll do. Now the crappy dark green plastic has gone, they're starting to look a LOT better. You'll see i've kept the wheels off the APC for ease of painting, ditto the wing armament as i want to paint the missles before attaching.

Cylons on Countdown

Coming to you via Andrews Blog, proof positive that the Cylons are here - and working on daytime TV.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Blade Runner Blaster - finished.

Gone as far as i want with this. Its not accurate in terms of detail or paintjob, but its vastly superior to the one i had in the 1980's so i'm happy.

APC - grit those teeth

Nearly done here too but this one's a real chore. Big gaps are bad enough, but the part fir is abysmal. Even the locating holes are too small and need opening up so bits fit together. The strange thing is, i don't remember it being this bad - and you'd think i would eh?
Can only think i've been spoilt in the intervening years with Fine Molds etc so notice it more now.

Dropship - nearly done

Getting there and, while its not as much of a slog as the APC, its still hard going. There's some pretty poor fits to be sure but the worst culprit is the instructions. In turns confusing, badly laid out and just plain wrong.

Gateway Shuttle - finally progress

REAL long time since i've updated you on this build i know. That's because a key kit i've needed has been very scarce. But, what long enough and anything'll turn up on eBay and i've just nabbed this bike kit for a decent £15.00. Its providing some important parts, namely the front bulkheads and very distinctive radiator up top (HOW many truck and tanks kits did i sewarch through before finding it came from here????), and you can see them put in place here crudely with Blu Tac as i want to be 100% sure of their placement before commiting to glueing anything.

WF Ma.K Walker - walking

Here we go with this big fella. Pleased how he's come out but, boy, he don't 'arf take up space on the shelf

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Poll: Best Ray Harryhausen moment

Hard i know, and its REAL difficult to narrow it down to only eight, but best Ray Harryhausen moment
Medusa stalking her caverns in "Clash Of The Titans"
Talos awakes in "Jason and the Argonauts"
Kali's swordfight in "Golden Voyage Of Sinbad"
Cyclops catching Sinbad's men in "7th Voyage"
Skeleton battle in "Jason and the Argonauts"
The dinosaur battle in "One Million Years BC"
Hydra sequence in "Jason"
Skeleton battle in "7th Voyage of Sinbad" free polls

Der Schnecke - primed and basecoated

A coat of Halfords Grey Plastic Primer pulls things together. Decided i'd go for a dark grey for the basecoat, to try and imply Panzer tanks. But its dried far too dark and far too matt. Something to sort out.

Dropship - starting

Again, its 22 years ago since i last made this kit. Don't recall anything from the build since then, which is odd as i can remember kits from way before that, like the Snowspeeder and Falcon when they first came out.
Odder still as its quite a trial to put together, what with the part fit being very tricky in places and instructions quite hard to make out.
Still, makes for a lovely end result.

APC - what a pig.

Like i say, it's been 22 years since i made this kit and i remember back then thinking there was quite a few gaps in it.and, of course, then, the Internets come along and it always been slated for that reason. But i'm stunned that i don't recall the sheer amount of parts that don't fit well, the errors in part numbering in the instructions, and wrongly numbered parts too.
Here you can see the bad gaps that are there, along with this massive gap at the rear - which is covered by a part that doesn't fit. At all.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Aliens Dropship and APC

Thanks to Phil over on the Eagle Forum, i'm building these kits again for the first time since 1987 (22 YEARS AGO!).
The one's i did back then are long gone, victims of multiple house moves.
Even if they'd survived though i wouldn't be too keen on them now - back then i built straight out of the box, literally, meaning if there were bad part fits or gaps i just left them as, hey!, i'm building it out of the box right?
It was part laziness and part wanting to get onto the next project as, back then, i had a very lucrative deal with my local modelshop of making a kit for their window display and, in return, i'd get that kit free or another kit to the same value.
Neat eh?
Anyway, i'm going into these two projects with their respective faults in mind this time.
Expect an update quite soon as, inside the Dropship box, Phil has packed both kits and it looks like he'd started some of the basic shell assemblies on each.

Der Schnecke - almost ready for primer

Just about done with adding bits to the shell. I've ummed and ahhed about what to do for a gun up top and originally had it in mind to stick on a turret from a 1/72nd tank.
A trawl round Modelzone convinced me that was a crap idea. So, botched one together with an Anime part and some Lego bits.
Dunno if it'll work - waiting to see what it'll look like with some paint on.

Nostromo - done

Here we go then. Apologies for the dimness of the shots but i'm at the mercy of natural daylight to take my pics - and there ain't much around right now.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Hammer Glamour

Not at all to do with the remit of this here Blog but figuring, if you're about my age, you'd have been just as much into Hammer films as the anderon shows etc growing up.
This is a lovely book that's just been released, a look at the women of the Hammer films. Each lady gets a one or two page biography with the emphasis, of course, on their work for Hammer. What's nice is (A) its not a rose tinted fluff piece, if the film stank the author says so, and (B) most of the photos are incredibly rare, either never seen before or hardly ever.
Didn't realise that was Madeline Smith on the cover until i actually got my copy.

Blasts from my past.

Been having a sort out in the attic and came across a box of my early sculpts. Most had degraded too much (at the start i used plasticene coated with a thin layer of plaster of paris then painted) but thought i'd show you a couple i made out of Das Pronto and have therefore survived.
First up, this white spider thing, which was an unused design for a Dagobah resident that i'd seen in The Art Of Empire Strikes Back book. And the other is my take on Audrey II, made after falling in love with the 80's film version of Little Shop Of Horrors.


I'm a big fan of Duncan Jones' Moon, so far best film of the year for me. Admired, of course, that it was low budget with old school effects but also loved the fact that he got across his love for various SF films without one wiff of ripoff.
So, looking forward to his next project Mute, the first preproduction image of which has just been released.
Its a Bladerunner-inspired Berlin and i'll certainlly go along with that - could easily sit amongst Syd Meads paintings from 1981.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


The latest issue of Richards cracking fanzine is out now and heartly recommended. Behind the stunning Hawk cover (guessing they're the Airfix version) is some mighty fine stuff.
Highlight for me is the article on Anderson props, models and sets turning up elsewhere.
Its pretty well known that some of the SHADO HQ computers are in Who's "Green Death" but Sid James wearing a Shado spacesuit????????
Strangest thing of all though is to read the letters page, specifically from someone saying how they'd audio taped Space 1999 episodes and played them back endlessly while building model kits till they were word perfect. Then years later, when watching them on DVD, was appalled by how bad the episode was when actually watching it.
"That's odd", thinks i, "i used to do the same thing, and think the same too" Then i get to the end of the letter.
And i wrote it. But don't remember at all.
Getting old...

Monday, 14 September 2009

Organic Tank

Shouldn't really be starting on another project - but was in Tescos and came across this pack of 4 lady razors with luvverly ribbed detail.
So figured they'd make nice, unusual legs for a walking tank. Mebbe an organic looking one rather than the Ma.K style i've been doing lately?
But what to use for the hull?
A trip round Wilkensons got me this funky childrens drink bottle.
So, gonna combine them together and have it, not as a Giger-style organic design, more a Chris Foss outlandish one.

Hornet - base nearly done

Using a long, slim base to try and get across the speed of the thing. Scatter material is from Games Workshop, and i'm putting dark washes on to simulate fires and other ravages of war

Nostromo - base finished

Okay, eggs are all done and, of course, the challenge here is how to make a solid resin object appear translucent?
The way i try is to put tons of different washes over the basecoat, to try and convey stuff going on that isn't there, and then plenty of Gloss Varnish.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The Attraction Of Princess Leia

Okay, the Slave Girl outfit in Jedi understandably makes Leia rather alluring. But the white neck to boots outfit and the pasties on the side of the head in A New Hope???? No way (except for the "aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" pose of course).
Until i stumbled on this pic that is.
Ding Dong!

Der Schnecke - Alternative Armour challenge

Over on the SFMUK site - - there's the start of an alternative armour group build.
Basically, do anything you like to an armoured subject, as long as its an original design.
So i'm going with this old Zoids toy.
Waaaaay back in about 83 or 84 i'd repainted it as you see here, basically i was trying to make it look like it'd fit into the Star Wars universe as i had a whole bunch of Stormtrooper metal minatures and had it in mind to build a checkpoint and have them stopping this beastie.
Never did it though and its been in a box ever since.
Ressurected it now though and decided it'll be a 1/72nd scale German tank from and alternate WW2 where the German boffins didn't devote time and thought to devoloping jets technology to get the upper hand in the air, but instead to build bigger and more advanced tanks to repell the invasion of France by the allies.
First thing to do is lose the "cockpit" as its far too small - and i want to do something more than before of just painting the darn thing.
So here's the new cockpit - upper body armour off of and old Lex Luthor action figure that i'd kept 'cause the shape was so nice.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Nostromo - painting underway

Not got access to any Zinc Oxide Primer for the basecoat at the moment so, after basing in Matt Black, you can see i'm slowly building up a substitute from it using the metallic cans i already have.

Hornet - bike done

This cool lil' vehicle's been rather unfairly shunted off to one side while i've been focussing on bigger stuff.
But, here we go with it finished and roughly placed on its base.
I've gone with a base this shape, figuring, if i have the bike at one end and travelling down a road, it could maybe convey a bit of speed.
Next up is to make a dusty track and side of the road. And i'm looking for shapes for a bit of wreckage its just scooted past.
Oh, and the riders nearly done.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Falke - finished

Again, rushed ahead with this with no updates here - sorry for that.
Since the last posting i've finished the painting, decaled and rusted it.
Got a bit tired of showing off my finished kits with a backdrop of black paper propped up by the kettel, so thought i'd make a hanger.
Did it in half an hour and its just basically 2 pieces of foamboard, half a portable radio, a couple of kit bits and Kerplunk sticks.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

WF Ma.K Walker

HUGE amount of progress on this - sorry for no updates.
Went together really well, helped by the resin being very easy to cut, sand and drill.
You can see i've added a few kit bits here and there to break up the plain surfaces a tad, but not too much as i figure the camo will do that by itself.
Bit more work i had to do was replace the sensor dish on the front which i lost somewhere in the cleaning stage - but i replaced it with the green disc you can see here (from a Macross kit) and some spare bits for the probes.
I've also added extra detail on the side of the head for more sensor things. The complicated, tiny shape is from a Huey kits and the orange disc a piece of Lego.
At a friends suggestion, i added some vertical aerials.
Colour-wise, i'm going with what i did with my Himmelspion:
Tamiya JA Grey,
pattern in GW Catachan and, still to come, Gretchin Green.