Thursday, 31 July 2008

Psydon Ship - thoughts on how to go about it

Still amassing the parts for the build, but i've got to address how i'm going to to get all the main bits together.

Am taking Martin's cue on this. He always built a support pole into his 1999 models to attach them for filming. Thought i'd do the same thing as then i can make myself some sort of support arm that can slide into the pole and hold it there while i paint it.

It occured to me that the neck that you see in photo 1 (which was Saturn 1B parts on the original) can be in actual fact the pole itself, inserted into the command module then running back though the Herald light assembly, through the Caddy Matic and stopping just short of the yougurt pot on at the rear.

The next challenge will be how to deal with the Herald light top as seen in photo 2. Compare that to photo 1 and you'll see i've somehow got to fill that open "v" shape somehow.

The other challenge to address, aside form carving the CM basic shape, is the area between the Herlad and Caddy Matic you see in photo 3.

I hate compound curves...

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Martin Bower's magazine is on the launch pad

Bit of self pimpage here.
Pleased as punch that its finally happening, proud that it was my idea, and chuffed to bits with how its all panned out:

Guessing most of you know of Martin Bower?
The model making genius that's built some brilliant, beautiful, not to say downright iconic craft over the years, be it Space 1999, Alien, Blakes 7, Doctor Who, Outland, Flash Gordon, the list goes on and on.
As you'll see from the link below, this long in gestation project is almost here. Written totally by Martin - except for the Q&A questions you're invited to send in - this run of magazines will build into a collection of incredibly indepth articles, becoming the DEFINITVE works on the subjects, in many cases using never seen before photos.
A good example is the Battlecruiser used in Space 1999's "The Last Enemy" - most of the photos were uncovered by Martin during research by Martin, photos he himself hadn't seen for 30-odd years, photos taken from the negatives that he's had cleaned up from the negatives.
If you've ever felt cheated before that previous articles on Martin's work never went into enough details, then this is what youve been waiting for.
Issue 1 is on pre-order and ships soon, with issue 2 (Thunderbirds Sidewinder, 1999's Hawk and original design Moonbus) on the horizon:

"SFM:uk is proud to announce that the first issue of the Martin Bower penned Bowerhouse is now available through the SFM:uk website, featuring three indepth article written by model making hero Martin Bower.
Included are: -Battlecruiser, as eventually seen in the Space 1999 episode Alpha Child and The Last Enemy, -The Meteor from StarGuard, -Mars ATV.
Also included are the answers to the "Ask Martin" requests run on the SFM:uk website. The publication is priced at £7.50 plus postage (UK: £0.70, Europe: £1.34, USA/Australia: £2.17) We are now taking orders and copies will be dispatched on 11th August. Order yours at:

Best wishes SFM:uk"

Friday, 25 July 2008

Psydon Ship - getting bits together

Here we are.

Alongside the blueprint i've blown up to actual size (which'll be brilliant for identifing parts) is the Caddy Mattic Tea Dispenser for the engine area and two Triumph Herald rear light assemblies for the body and the two Hawk vac forms for the "eyes"

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Psydon Ship

Been thinking for a while now that'd be nice to try and recreate a studio scale model.

And a natural choice is one based on the works of Martin Bower, especially as he used so many identifiable kit parts, especially as his designs on Space 1999 are so nice.

Originally i was going to go for Dione's Escape Craft from "The Last Enemy" as i'd come across the two vac forms for the hull (which were castings from the underside beak of a Hawk).

As i say, that was the original intention.

But the vagueness of just what the original landing legs were made from, ditto some of the engine area, had me looking further afield.

Realised i MUCH prefered this design anyway, which is the alien ship from "Voyager's Return", and has the happy coincedence of using the self same Hawk pressings for the "eyes".

With the wonder of eBay, two of the three major parts are readily available:

The main body is two Triumph Herald rear light assemblies glued together (pictured here),

the tail area is a 60/70's Caddy Mattic Tea Dispenser (on its way from Australia as i type) with a yogurt pot on the end.

The Command Module that the eyes sit on will be a problem. Contrary to popular belief, Martin didn't use a cut-down 44" Eagle beak with the recesses filled in - rather a purpoise carved wooden shape. Dunno how i'm going to do that yet. Need to work out the scale of it before deciding which way to go.

After i've the three sections assembled, the rest is a matter of identifing and obtaining the needed kit parts.

Martin has been incredibly helpful in educating me and i'm pretty confident i can do it.

This will be the most ambitious project to date and i'm going to be posting regularly to ensure i don't wimp out and put it on the back burner.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Alien Derelict - finished

"Aaaand, i'm spent".

Think this is as far as i'll go with the beastie. I've been dusting on a few very light coats of mettalics, picked out the panel lines in biro and filled a few areas in with Gunmetal.

I'm going to leave it at that - will be a nice change not to get the pastels out.

Sub - the rota

Been umming and ahhing over this. Its a sub so needs a rota.

Was thinking of scratchbuilding one from 1/48th helicopter blades, but this is a cheap and cheerful build and don't want to go to too much of an effort on something that'll most probably end up a silly whimsy.

I first thought i'd do away with the original rotor and fins, thinking they're too cartoony. So i've bunged some primer on to see what happens. Hmmmm... might use it.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Sub - stripped down

So here it is shorn down to the basic shell.

I was originally going to go with it being the front half of a 1/24th fighter or the CM of a 1/72 probe ship.

But the more i look at it the more i think its quite cute as a little self-contained submarine. That'd mean putting the rotor back and maybe the top fin.

Got to fill up the holes left by me removing the chunky details.

And get rid of that really naff scuba mask front.

And make the canopy opaque somehow - don't fancy building an interior.

Boot Sale Find

Went to the boot sale this morning looking for things to use on my Freight. No go there, but did pic this up for a quid.

Got it as its a nice shape with some possibilties once the gimmicky bits are off.


That's what it is now.

What i like about this whole converting/scratchbuilding lark is how it makes you consider things you don't really usually do.

Sitting looking at this rather pathetic attempt of mine, i had to decide which way to go. The bulkiness of it suggested some sort of freight carrier, so that was fine.

But, looking at it, it occurred to me to be careful. Its so bulky, with big chunky detail, that i haven't detracted away from with the equally chunky add ons.

So, decided everything i put on from now on must be FAR finer detail to take it back a bit.

You can see here that i've removed a lot of the detail i put on back in the 80's and am starting to apply panel lines, tubing and small kit parts.

Where i'm keeping clunky is the underside, which i see as being the business area of things.

The last pic is what will be the Command Module - its actually an electronic dice.

I'm not just sticking it on though, want to have a connecting tube affair so the CM can detach like the 1999 Eagle's and Ultra Probe.

Monday, 14 July 2008


Been back up in my mum's loft again this morning and came down with this - which i've no recollection of at all.

What was i thinking???????????????

I can see its the old Six Million Dollar Repair Station toy i had when i was younger. And i understand the logic of filling the gap where the window was with Plasticard. And some of the X Wing parts i bunged on look ok, ditto the Plasticard strips on the side.

But why start hand painting in grey and blue and yellow???????????

And why use kit bits that were patently ripped off of other kits, them being already painted????Dear oh dear...

Still, i do like the basic shape, and some of the details nice, so am thinking of stripping it down and doing something with it.

But what?

There's no other half to it in the attic so will have to do with this semi circle shape.

Was thinking of loads of piping on the underside which'd go up to the engine bell i'd stick on the end.

Big question is:What to do for the front? Obviously needs some sort of command module/bridge affair, but what shape?

A ball?

Would that work?

Any of you artistic folk have an idea?

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Alien Derelict - final paint choice

Ok, bit of progress now the rains stopped. I'd decided to ditch the Foss-style paintjob and go with something more in keeping with the original.

Since last posting i've found out one of the mettalics is "Caribic Blue", which has a nice greeny tinge to it, so went out and got one.Before spraying though, i put a few go-fasta stripes on the ship (they're the black and white lines you see here).

Figuring when i'd sprayed the ship i'd remove them to show the basic blue.

Thing is, the mettalic spray has tinted those strips and made a nice subtle effect, so i may keep them in place.

Incidently, these two pics illustrate some of the comments above, in how differrent lighting can have such a effect on how a model looks.

So, its been a bit of a waste getting that matt blue. But, thinking now i'm going to be on the lookout for and unusual shape to turn it into an outlandish Foss/Ellson type craft sporting that blue with yellow stripes.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Alien Derelict - final priming and basecoated

I'm using the Montana brand of blue that i thought was a nice match.

Since found out i should've been using "Carib Blue". Oh well.

Dunno what to do now - keep with this blue and just shade it and have it as an Elson/Foss type ship, or mist it with "Zircon Blue" and other metallics to make it more like the ship its based on.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Alien Derelict - primed and repairs

Bit dark the first pic, but i've primed the front section and rear of the main bit seperately then glued the two together.

Second pic is to show the right mess i've made of cutting the end of the microphone off. You can see here i'm covering up the lash-up by adding cable ties.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Alien Derelict - front and full length

Here you can see the "maw". I've stuck a few bits inside but not much as i don't want it busy, and its going to be almost all black in there to emphasise the fact its some sort of scoop.

Also, here's the front section slid over the mainpart. Its such a tight fit, i'm barely going to need glue.