Friday, 27 April 2012

Red Ship

Aaaaand, even more waffling:

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Imperial Probe Droid - nearly there

Right, the only real change i had to make to this really quite accurate toy was the top of the head which, for some reason, had a totally inaccurate centre to it: I snipped that off and put on a quite low profile button, which seemed to do the trick. Only other change was to drill a couple of holes for the antenne and, for them, i've used fuse wire. Once that was done, it was on with a coat of Grey Primer, followed by a grey from the GW Foundation range (sorry, used it all up now and chucked the pot away), followed by a drybrush of that with White. That's been a real surprise researching that bit - from the film, i always had it that the Droid was a glossy metallic, but the minature is actually a rather matt-like grey affair. Alright with that, as it'll make the gloss black "eyes" stand out even more.

Batman Chess Set - Two-Face & Batgirl, started

So here we are then, Babs has got her gold pieces covered with White, ready for the Yellow.
And Two-Face has a sloppy coat of a yellowy green applied over his scar tissue. I've never been keen on his disfigurement being purple as: (A) It was green right up to... (2) Batman Forever. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Batman chess set - Two-Face & Batgirl

Oh dear, of dear. Hideous amount of 'orrible metallics to change this time. Two-Face: I'm keeping the face and shirt but changing everything else. Batgirl: The rubbish gold bits have to be changed to yellow, the lilac inside of the cape to something better, and the copper hair to red.

Sandtrooper - backpack nearly done

Top pic is the the top seed tray cover. I've got a small glich here in that, while Pete's supplied wipe bottles are just right diameter-wise, they're not quite tall enough for this one - the bowl that goes on top sits on the radio top rather than standing slightly away from it. So i just need to find a spacer to go on top of the bottle, then the bowl goes on top of that. You can see on the box on the left that there's electrical tape in a cross pattern. They're on the original and i'm guessing were there to just hold the box lid on but, having to as accurate as possible in the 501st, they have to be duplicated Next pic the lower tray and I've got another small glitch in that none of the rivets supplied with the riveter are long enough to go through the tray, across the gap between it and the cistern, and into the cistern. So i've got find longer or try another way. Again more of that tape on the seed tray. Finally, its a great relief to finish the slog of cutting out the ABS and sadning the edges smooth of these parts.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Sandtrooper - armours here

Right, off i go then with my biggest project ever.
Apologies if this isn't your thing, but it'll be taking centre stage now as Expo is only a month away and i really want it ready for that.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Waffling again.

Taken a break for Easter, when there's the distractions of the Sprogs under foot, but they're back at school now so here i am off on a waffle again.
And this time another blast from the past, with my Orange Ship from yonks back:

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Sandtrooper - moving on well now

Right, here's the rear of the two pairs of seed trays attached to the frame.
Things didn't go quite to plan with first attaching the aluminium bars though...
I thought, as there looks to be a LOT of weight with the gubbins that attach to the seed trays, that it'd be best to attach the bars to the frame with nuts and bolts rather than the rivets used in the tutorial i'm following.
All well and good and i was happy with the result - except, there's zero clearance between the trays and the frame, which meant i had no choice but have the bolt head on that side. Which means the nut and rest of the bolt would be on the frame side, and stick out quite a bit. Which i'm thinking would be a problem over time, digging into the armour and maybe damaging it.
So, change of tack then and i've used rivets a la the tutorial. That was an experience as i've never held one before, let alone use one.
But everything worked out fine. Thinking though i might just reinforce the joins by smearing some E6000 at the joins just for luck.
Anyway, as i say, there's the two rear seed trays attached. The top one has the grey primer/satin black coat that i'm doing for most of the backpack.
The bottom trays were a bit of a head scratcher as, back in '76, its was Humbrol enamel Light Blue #47 that was used, a paint still readily available in model shops - but only in those teeny tiny pots and not in spray form.
Again i'm indebted to Nathan, who pointed me in the direction of Bermuda Blue, which i found no probs in Halfords - "Ford Bermuda/Light Blue"
PS - note authentic Tatooine beastie guarding the rack from any Sprogs approaching

Imperial Probe Droid - legs

I've decided not to go with any reposing of the legs as some of them are at angles as if in the process of movement and, if i stick those as the three front one's, hopefully it'll stop it lookng too static.

Demoncon III Iguanodon - dino done

Okay, with the dinosaur finished, its time to turn to the debris in the shop, and here's an aerial shot to show you what i'm up to.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Imperial Probe Droid

I had one of these back in the late 80's early 90's and its a toy of course and i think from some playset.
Anyway, i had one and i'd (arther clumsily) painted it to look more accurate.
And i sold it years ago on eBay years ago when i was having a clear out.
I love the ESB Probe Droid and i'd love a proper kit of the fella but, when they do turn up, they go for big bucks.
But i stumbled on this on the 'Bay, still sealed in packet and going for only a coupla quid, so i thought i'd have another go.
Looking at it, its pretty darn accurate for a toy.
I'm gonna be adding aerials this time and may well open up some of the claws.
We'll see.

Sandtrooper - Backpack well underway

From "The Making Of Star Wars" by J W Rinzler:
John Mollo:
"On top of all this, George announced that he was going to take some Stormtroopers on location and he wanted them to be in "combat order". I said "Oh yes George, what's combat order for Stormtroopers?" and he said "Lots of stuff on the back." So i went to this Boy Scout shop in London and bought one of those metal backpack racks; then we took plastic seed boxes, stuck two of those together, and put four of those on the rack. Then iwe put a plastic drainpipe on the top, with a laboratory pipe on the side and everything was sprayed black."
And that's just the reason i'm doing a Sandtrooper over a regular Stormtrooper, as that sort of cobble thinbgs together, scratchbuilt affair is far more appealing than building stuff straight from the box.
Anyway, this is where i am today.
Though most of the backpack parts are cast in black plastic, i'm priming them in grey then spraying Satin Black.
Sounds odd i know, but the cast black is VERY shiny, looking far too pristine and clean for a Sandtrooper. And i want all the black parts to match. And a satin finish will take the upcoming weathering far better than a gloss surface.
So here you have the "burger stacker" attached to a bowl:

And them joined to the cistern:

Radio back is on and the resin casts of the jacks and aerial painted silver and glued on:

And here's the aluminium bars that go onto the rack and which the seed trays join to. Loving this project - i'm using materials and tools i've never tried before.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Sandtrooper - more bits

Very productive Postie visit today - a whole bunch of Backpack parts and my luvverly Chelsea boots

Monday, 9 April 2012

Demoncon III Iguanodon - green

So, that's the rest of the spine thingies put on, primed and the Big Fellas skin all done:

Next up is to put on the contrasting red and pick out the claws, beak, eyes and spine things and that's him done.
Regarding the base, the comic shop has some wall art down the side alleyway:

And i'd have to try and replicate that. But, being a busted up and totalled shop, figure i can get away with just kinda suggesting it:

Morbius - head

Well, that didn't quite go as planned. After severing the head, it became apparent that i couldn't get his brain out through the neck - and the only way i was going to open up the two clear hemispheres was to snap it.
And i didn't want to do that.
Looking at it, the brain itself seems an ok, quite accurate dark purple, so i'm leaving everything as is.
All i've done is repaint the wires at the rear and the eye stalks then given them all a dirty wash to darken them down and make them less toy-like.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Demoncon III Iguanodon

Maidstone's comic shop "The Grinning Demon" is having its third Demoncon convention at the end of this month.
"Stone", a comic of Maidstone's own superheroine will be launched at the event, the brainchild of Graham (shop owner) Dan Abnett (prof comic book writer and local boy) and numerous artists (all local boys) and looks to be really good.
I wanted to do something to support the event and i asked Graham if there was any monster, craft or gadget in the comic that maybe i could have a go at making?
Yup, there's a monster alright.
One of the very few positive things Maidstone is known for is the discovery of the very first Iguanodon ever found just outside the town. So, the strip has the beastie coming to life and bursting out the musuem.
So, that's what i thought i'd have a go at and initially i was going to go for a full-size head sculpt and have it mounted on a plinth, much like a stuffed trophy.
But then Graham sent me the design sketches:

and told me the scale of the fella...
Okay that's that idea nixed - far, far too big and far, far too smooth surfaced for me to be able to replicate.
Changing tack, i then thought why not buy an Iguanodon figure, adapt it, then put it into a scene to give it scale? If so, why not the comic shop? That's it then, that's what i'd do.
Trouble was, looking around for a suitable figure, the best are in the US and the clock is REALLY ticking on this one and i couldn't risk it not arriving in time.
Instead, i went for the best i could find over here, which is this one:

Not a very good pose but at least its accurate. I'd have to change that accuracy though - the comic version has a much shorter snout and a very pronounced, almost parrot-like beak.
First step was to snip off most of the snout:

Then it was to make a new beak from Green Stuff and to start to add spine fins from the same.
Here i am halfway though that and here he is in his lil' scene of distruction.
Picture frame for a base and i've used the Tamiya Wall Set to give me the remains of the shop. The shop has an alley way at the side of it and i wanted to incorperate that, so have a bit of the next building too:

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Sandtrooper - underway

I'm totally indebted to two Sites, without whose info and very knowledgable Forum members i'd not be undertaking this project.
First up is the Mos Eisley Police Department:

to my mind, THE US-based place for all things Sandie.
And then there's the UK Garrison, the English version:

As i say, both are terrific and very supportive to anyone undertaking the quite daunting task of joining them.
It wasn't till i started researching that i realised there's quite a few types of the Sandtrooper seen in the sparse time they're seen on-screen in "A New Hope", with many variations of equipment and weapons.
Many folk choose to recreate exactly the likes of the "Stop That Ship!" or the "These Aren't The Driods We're Looking For" etc troopers, or they go their own way.
That's what i'm going to do and the MEPD has these excellent reference shots for EVERY trooper seen in the film.
Studying them, this one from the MEPD (thanks MEPD) is the closest to what i'll be doing - already have the E11 Blaster, the backpack is exactly the one i'm doing, i'm going for the orange pauldron for a bit of contrast and i really like the MP40 pouches.
But where am i right now?
Well, the frame that everything else on the backpack attaches to is done. Back in '76, when George Lucas decided at the last minute that the Sandtroopers should have some sort of survival units on their backs, a hurried rush to a Boy Scout suppliers turned up a metal frame that rucksacks could then be attached to. These are long gone but, by using overflow piping and connecting thingies, a good aprroximation can be achieved. Here it is - i've used Screwfix products as they come moulded in black, so no spraying needed, and bent the piping to a 30 degree haflway up as needed:

The toilet cistern had been cut down, primed and sprayed Satin Black:

And the radio unit now has the knobs attached, two toggle switches of the right type sourced from Maplins, and the radio dial printed out, glued in with a bit of PVA and a disc of clear plastic cut from a mylar comic sleeve glued on top of that:

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Under The Influence - 7

Being an occasional series while the paint is drying, the glue is hardening or waiting for enthusiasm to come back, where i have a waffle on the things, films, books and whatnot that had a direct influence on me, getting me into this hobby or the whole SF/fantasy malarky.
Back when Star Wars had been out and Blakes 7/Battlestar Galactica/Buck Rogers was on the telly and the likes of Starlog and Starburst were putting out details on the modelwork in the above that i was so enthralled by, one publication became my bible more than any other - Fantasy Modeling.
I used to pour over and re-read each isue endlessly but i've chosen this one as THE influence for me.
I was just starting to get into fantasy metal figure painting and this guide, which showed how to make dioramas from household crap like polystyrene packing and the like, was new to me and a real eye-opener:

But, if my eyes were opened by that, they were peeled right back and pegged in place by the interview with Rick Overton.
Now known as an actor and writer, back here he was labelled "young writer/comedian/sf model maker" and was doing just the sort of thing that i knew Martin Bower was doing - creating craft from household items, kit bashing and converting model kits.
But where Martin was doing it for a living and using things and equipment i didn't have a clue about, Rick was, just like me, doing it for his own entertainment and buying everything from his local stores.
The fact that (A) he had a brilliant, imaginative eye, (B) actually had his models on show somewhere, was a massive influence on me.
And i studied these photos for hours and hours.
This ship, clearly inspired by 70's SF covers, i adored:

This Nautilus made from the old Romulan ship looks brilliant and also looked like something i could do:

But it was this Victorian ship that i found just stunning. Its an excellent piece of work and one i may do a riff on at some time:

As i say, hugely influential stuff. If you've never read Fantasy Modeling before, i urge you to track some down.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Six Million Dollar Ship - cockpit

So, i've been looking around for a "head" to put on the front of the ship and i had it in mind to have the "rounded, on its side shape" of the Tantive IV from "A New Hope".
Thinking best way to go about that was to find two round containers glued together, i've gone with these here one's that were only 70p each from Wilkensons.
I've chosen them as
(A) They're a nice strong plastic
(B) They have a nice ribbed detail

Monday, 2 April 2012