Friday, 30 April 2010

Destination: Moonbase Alpha

Never heard of this book until Martin Bower mentioned it in passing.
Not 'arf is it unauthorised - it sure don't pull punches or is shy of dishing the dirt.
Quite shocking how some very well known folk behaved back then - prima donnas, backstabbers and downright thieves.
A right treacherous bunch, not that you'd know it from the DVD extras.
Hilarious stuff. Well worth a read.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Lunadiver - pastelled

Not very good pics - there far more shading than evident here - but here she is weathered and yet another coat of Matt Varnish applied, taking the gloss away even further.
Metallics next.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Iron Man 2 end credits

Made up our prints at work last night.
As with the first, there's one more scene after the credits so hang around (they're lonnngggg btw) - as the very last image is a corker.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Top 5 TV Openings - 2

Yeah, the show hasn't held up well at all (although i've still an affection for it), its inexperienced cast coping badly with the hammy dialogue and the effects doomed by its budget (Martin Bower famously working on at the same time as Alien and being asked for "Star Wars standard models" and being given 50 quid).
But the credits still pack punch - the VERY disturbing stills, the fast zooms in on them and the eerie music going along with it all.
Such a shame none of the actual episodes could compete.

Vulcan Shuttle - putting on the decals

Was kinad dubious about the idea of using decals for panelling - but they're great.
I was put off by them being shades of blue, pink, brown and grey but they work by being mostly transparent, allowing the basecoat to still be seen and very much just shading the area.
Here we have the bottom of the Warp Sled all done and half the Command Module done to show how much it makes a difference.
Only drawback is that if the light catches it right the decals shine and resemble clingfilm on the kit.
And don't think Matt Varnish is gonna disguise it...

Lunadiver - decaled

Here we are decaled and brought back to a semi gloss finish by putting Matt Varnish over the gloss.
I didn't use a lot of the supplied decals as they are mainly black and would go on areas that are dark grey.
I also used some left over from the Falke kit and a few from a 1/24th helicopter kit that i still have lying around.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Vulcan Shuttle - pretty in pink

Went to that art shop and Canterbury and found an exact match for the sprue colour.
Trouble is, on the kit its more pink than mauve.
Hopefully that'll darken down with the weathering.
More bothered by the paint not being too smoooth - and i need that for the decals. So, when dry, its getting a coat of Gloss Varnish to try and even it out.

Dragonfly Ship - engine extra

Had a good rummage and came up with these wheel bits from a 1/35th Tamiya tank, which fit nicely onto the end of the test tubes.
The original plan was to have the tubes surrounding an whacking great engine bell, but i found this clear green piece - part of the Ker-Plunk game (bought for its plastic straws, a recommendation from Martin Bower for girder work).
Its the same diameter as the body and i figure it could finish off the dragonfly look for the craft, being a sting-like affair.
That raises the question of what to do for an engine bell but figure whatever is chucked out by the engine now will be coming out the nozzles of the tubes.
You can see i've made a couple of Plasticard pipes to slid over the body to enable the tubes to be glued on all the way round.

Lunadiver - shiny

Gloss varnish applied, ready for the decals.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Music To Model by - 2

So, this is what's on the CD right now and its Gary Numan's masterwork. Are "Friends" Electric?" is, of course, his best ever, but right now Replicas is perfectly suiting the mood of the things i'm making.
By the way, if you've not heard the album i highly recommend it. Go for the Redux version, a 2-disc affair, disc two being full of early versions.

Dragonfly Ship - engine area

So here you can see what i've going to be doing for the rear of the ship.
Pic 2 shows the problem i have - the body isn't round. Going to look for a tube that'll slide over it, or a couple of ring spacers, and glue the tubes to that.
Also need to find some sort of detail thingy to cap the end of the tubes. Will be needing a lot i feel.

Lunadiver - Ch, ch, changes

Pic 1: So, get him in a shade of grey i like.
Pic 2: And had pretty much decided i wouldn't be putting any camo on.
But the more i looked at that big expanse of upper hull, and the more a search for suitable decals to fill it came up zilch, the more i thought i'd put some on after all. Figuring the "Stingray" designation could suggest a marinelife type of colouring, i went with a very blue-grey to try and suggest, maybe, a shark.
Pic 3: That looked crap - far too blue and far too toy-like. So, here i am at the moment, putting on a regular dark grey over it.

Monday, 19 April 2010

The New Daleks

Well, they do seem to have stirred up a lot of debates don't they?
Must say, i don't really mind them. Yeah, the middle bit makes them look like bumper cars and the 'orrible plastic finish is very Henry Hoover, but i like them much bigger now, having an eye in the stalk, the Cushing/Planet Of The Daleks/TV21 colour schemes and the odd, hump on the head.
And is that an escape hatch at the back for the Kaled?
So, can live with it.
And keeping fingers crossed that getting them back to purestrain Daleks, the new exterior of the Tardis, Amy's non recollection of the pepper pots, are signs that we're back in the "real" Who universe and the RTD era is being whitewashed out.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Lunadiver - colours

While having a ponder on what to do with the camo, thought i'd lay down the basecoat - Vallejo "PaleGreyBlue", a colour i'd been happy with on my female Predator a few years back.
Trouble is, because it was a few years ago i'd forgotten how thin and how patchy it went on. Resulting in a murky, dull colour over the grey here.
Thinking it would be better over a white primer, so am stopping here for the mo,.

Dragonfly Ship - tubes

Decided on an Atlas rocket sort of affair for the engine area - a bunch of fuel tanks (?) around an engine bell.
Trouble is, where do you get cheap tube shapes for the tanks?
Luckily, Ethan on the Ma.K Forum came to my aid, posting me this box full of test tubes of different sizes.
Cheers Ethan - you're a top bloke.

Vulcan Shuttle - stuck.

So, decided on the bland grey for the Federation version after all, off i trot to Halfords.
Each and every light grey they do is metallic.
No good, no good at all.
So, a trip to Canterbury is needed after all to the art shop that sells the off the wall spray paints.
They must do something suitable - hopefully the mauve, if not the grey.

Lunadiver - built

Okay, back from the hols and straight back to a 14 hour shift at work yesterday all by meself.
To make it go faster i took the Luna Diver with me to assemble - and this is what i did:
Well, scrap the idea of using the pilot - if i have the canopy opening you just get to see the very top of his helmet.
Think that's a bit of waste of such a lovely figure so he's going into a box still in his chair until i can find a suitable 1/35th craft to bung him in to.
Moving on with the craft, i had it built in no time. There's lots of sub-assemblies that have to be assembled first then put togther in a strict order.
That's not a prob though as the part fit on a lot of them is so good that its almost a snap-fit - put a bit of Liquid Poly on the back and you're done.
Top pic is her all together. Held off on the two tube things that stick forward from the mid-riff as i felt they distracted too much from the lines of the ship.
The only real problem i had was with these areas in the second pic, which needed a bit of puttying.
A small niggle is that when you cut a part from the sprue, the sprue extends under the piece onto the joining surface, looking all the world like a locating lug. Pretty much every part had to be double checked first to make sure i wasn't removing something i shouldn't. As i say, a small niggle.
Third pic has it primed up in Halfords Grey primer. I'm keeping it in these seperate parts for ease of painting. Not a prob as the long thing - a Rail Gun - fits into a rubber grommit and the part fit for the two side panels is so good they don't need glue. Ditto the radar dish that sits under the Rail Gun.
Now i'm at this stage, thought turns to colour.
Figure its got to be a shade of grey as its Lunar based and that's the camoflage most suitable.
Seen a lot of versions where there's a dark top-side to convey the "Stingray" designation, but a lot of the time i think it detracts from the shape of the thing (after all, the purpose of camo is to break up the lines of an object).
What to do then? One tone grey and see everything - or a marine-like camo affair?

Friday, 9 April 2010

We're off

Right, off now for a week in Norfolk. Will update upon return. Byeeeee

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Dragonfly Ship - neck

Think i've gone as far as i want with this. I'm trying to evoke the Ultra Probe in Space 1999's "Dragon's Domain" episode, which had a Command Module which could detach via a series of clamps.

Vulcan Shuttle - getting started

As i say, the builds pretty minimal and very fast. Primed up in Halfords Grey Plastic i had to decide what to do colour-wise.
Vulcan is the right way to go - but can i find a mauve can of spray paint anywhere? Yeah, right. Who'd want that? Apart from Vulcan bodywork guys that is.
Federation? Easy enough to do. But the thought of a resprayed, secondhand shuttle in the Enterprise's Shuttle Bay just doesn't seem right.
There's a goods store near my work that does a selection of Plasticoat spray paints that includes a deep pink that i thought would maybe give me the mauve i need if i dusted it over the grey primer.
So, bought a can and tried it. As you can see, its not far off. But... As its dusted on, if you look close up you can see its just a matter of pink blotches over grey.
Not the effect i was looking for.
So, have put another coat of primer on since this pic and i'm back to square one.
Resigned to going the Federation route, went down to Halfords for a can of light grey. Nope, that ain't happening - all their greys are mettalic.
Thinking now the best bet is to go to Canterbury, which has an excellent art shop that stocks and extensive range of really off the wall colours in can form. They dry really matt and leave a horrible dust, but i can live with that.
Will try for the mauve, if not the grey.

Lunadiver has landed

Got this a few days ago and it sure don't dissapoint - whacking great box containing loads of sprues of nicely crisply cast parts of the ship plus two spacesuited figures.
Started on it straight away and here's where i am right now. Like the Falke, you have to stop everything and build and paint the cockpit/pilot before moving on. From looking at the instructions, it doesn't look like you're gonna see much of the interior when he's in there but i've done it all the same.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Vulcan Shuttle

Did a mammoth 15 shift at work all by myself yesterday so, to pass the time, popped into Modelzone and bought on of these fellas to build.
I'd gotten one way back when it was first released but that one's long gone. So its nice to see it back again on the shelves.
Get to work, open the box and - WHAT?
Sprues and sprues of the most hideous mauve plastic are staring up at me. They're 'orrible.
Read the instructions and it becomes clear:
They're that colour because the original studio model was mauve with contrasting panels.
Now, i'd always had it down as tan or brown and had painted my first one that way. The box art here does show a mauve tint to a grey. The back of the box has it all in standard greys.
What's going on?
According to the instructions, you go mauve for authentic.
Overspray it with "Golden Copper" to replicate how it looked on screen.
Or go greys for a Federation version.
Not too happy with having such a quandry but the excellent 2 sheets of decals make up for that.
They're VERY comprehensive, including panelling as well as decals and there's a number of Vulcan and Federation versions to go for.
Anyway, the build is just as i remember it - very simple, taking about half an hour. A nifty new addition is to include magnets to hold the two hulls together - and they're VERY strong.
The base is neat too, having a gimble built in to allow posing.
Here's the sub-assemblies at work. They have to stay like this now right through painting, decaling and pastelling.