Saturday, 31 December 2011

Zombie Dragon - making changes

Okay, as i say, i much prefer the bat head over the dragon skull option. Again, a lovely bit of casting and its made up of a central tongue/neck piece, with the two halves of the head attached each side, and the top of the head plopped on:

Looking at the instructions, it became apparent that i'd need to make a couple of changes to get the fella the way i'd want him.
Change 1.
The bat head option has the beastie's body quite low to the ground with him looking up, maybe about to roar. Nice, and kinda reminiscent of what the T Rex did when you first see him in "Jurrasic Park", but with the body that low you'd not see much in the way of rib detail. So i decided to follow the instructions for the much more upright Dragon option, and i'd put the bat head on to that.
Change 2.
Both options have the wings folded up against the body, which again obscures the rib detail, along with all the luvverly detail on the legs as well. I found that, by swapping the wings over and turning them upside-down, i could put them into a much better pose, which allows all the detail to be seen.
It also hides the shocking bad alignment of the spine pieces that were part of the hideous rib cage stage.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Zombie Dragon

Well now, hope you're all well and enjoying the festivities.
We are, though its incredibly hectic here.
Still finding time though to start on one of my presents.
Its a beastie from GW's Vampire army and i'd seen this top pic of it but dismissed it straight away.
But then i was walking past one of their shops a while back and there was one of the fellas in the window, built and just in primer.
It was jaw-droppingly awesome and, after popping in to check that they're not really selling Forge World now are they, that i realised that, oh dear once again, the company are doing themselves no favours at all with their box illustrations.
Look at any pic on the box and you see a cutesy monster with bright white bones peeking through all too clearly defined wounds.
Take a look at the sprues though and you've got a nightmare creature, easily able to fit into a Resident Evil world or whatnot.
Had to have one, so he went straight on to Santa's list.
As i say, i was well impressed by the amount of detail and the casting for an IP kit and was even more so when i reached this stage:

after sticking just three pieces together. The multi-layered, fine detail is amazing and, incredibly, most of this will be covered up by the next stage of putting the rib cage on.
I've just done that and it was truely a nightmare monster as it was chuffin' nightmare to get the two halves to line up and stick where they're meant to...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Merry Christmas to y'all

Okay folks, up at an unearthly hour in the morning to travel to France to see family, then back again Christmas Eve eve.
So, very best wishes to you all and i'll see you back here soon.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Blade Runner Spinner - interior finished

Had a bit of luck when i was having a rummage though the paint draw looking for something suitable for Boba Fett's boots on my Bounty Hunter project, and stumbled across a tube of "Neutral Gray" that i'd totally forgotten i had.
That worked fine for the boots but it really wouldn't have worked for the cockpit here as its far, far too light.
But thought i'd use it to highlight the details with it using drybrushing. Which i did:

Here we have the dashboard just prior to putting in. You can see there's a real nice decal for the display, but what i'm surprised about and bit let down by is that the "paddle" controls so clearly seen in the film are nothing but a flat plate here. I've painted where the recesses for the hands should go black to try and hide it, but its still a rather lazy oversight:

And here's the side of the dashboard. The instructions would have it that you paint the two raised lines yellow, which i did, as its clear from the film that they're actually yellow neon. Why a police car would have that in there isn't clear, but it looks great in the film so what the hey:

What is another surprise is that the instructions correctly tell you to replicate the yellow neon there - but fail to mention that you have to pick out a similar raised line for the blue neon in the very centre raised section.
So i did that, which you can see here in the finished cockpit, with lights picked out - including the rather bizarre but great looking blue lights imbedded in the rear wall:

Star Wars Bounty Hunters - Fett ready for the metal

Looking a tad cartoony, but hopefully beating him up and putting in all the paint chips will stop all that.
Really looking forward to that bit.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Zuckuss - all done

He we are with him/her all done.
This was the biggest challenge and the biggest surprise, what with the Giger-esque piping and tubing that i'd never noticed before this project.
Still a mystery as to just what it is in that cannister thingy, all i've found out is that the actress (so that makes Zuckess a her?) had a pipe to blow bubbles into the liquid that was in it.
I've decided to stay with the paler skin tone, which isn't strictly accurate, but i feel is a nice contrast to the rest of the browns.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Star Wars Bounty Hunters - Bossk finished

Well he was a lot of fun, what with all the different colour schemes and details to do.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Blade Runner Spinner - on to the cockpit

The cockpit is lovely and detailed, despite having only a few pieces to put in there.
Here it is in White Primer:

It was a bit of a head scratcher for the colour of the interior as the instructions would have it that its "Neutral Gray", which i took to be a mid to light grey. But looking at the Blu Ray, and this shot here:

it appears to be a dark gray or even gun metal.
Once the primer was dry, i prised out the dashboard, which i'd just plopped in there, as i want to paint it seperatly:

Again, there's a conflict in that the sheet says same colour as the rest of it, but some studio model shots have it the same blue as the outside. Hmmm...
While talking about the dashboard, you can see from this shot that a pilot is out of the question - there's barely any space between the bottom of the dashboard and the seat and, even if there was more, the footwell is pretty much non-existant. Which means, if i do have one in there, i'd have to cut his legs off and just have a torso sat there...
Or i could put in a passenger i suppose - but who does a car with a passenger and no pilot?

Anyway, i prised out the dashboard and seats for seperate painting and put on a coat of GW "Adeptus Battle Grey" from their excellent "Foundation" range, which i thought was a nice match. You can see i've left an odd shape still in the White Primer, which i'll be painting White. Gawd knows what it is or why its painted like that, but that's how it is on the models used:

Lastly, thought you might like to take a look at this clip, which shows off a lot of the interior, at the same time as giving you out-takes not very often seen/heard:

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Star Wars Bounty Hunters - nearly there now

Yeah, bit of progress:

Bossk: Eyes and mouth are all done. Just got to tidy up spots on the flesh. Clothes are nearly done. Gun still to do. His eyes were a bit of a challenge, being very cat-like pupils, but done horizontally rather than vertical.

Fett: Still dunno whether that green for the armour is right. And i don't want to chance it till after i've beat it up. Starting to block in the cape.

Zuckuss: Picked out details, including the eyes and whatever the hell that mouth thing is being based in Gunmetal. That "bib" affair appears in turns both metallic and slimy, so i've gone with a compromise.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Slaine & the 2000AD Advent Calender

Thought you might like to see my contribution to the annual Advent Calender event over on the 2000AD site, where folk choose a day to put up a festive image or text or something as we tick down towards the Big Day.
And today's my turn.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Under The Influence - 6

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.
Anyone here who's British and grew up during the 70's must surely fondly recall school holidays always being a chance to get a fix of things that, usually, would just not be possible to see.
Case in point here, a movie serial from waaaay before we were born.
Didn't matter that it was black and white - that just added to the allure of the thing.
Didn't matter that it was serious - and you can't get more earnest than Buster Crabbe here.
Didn't matter that the wires showed.
Or the sparks from the ships fell straight down.
Here we had pure science fiction, with no pretentions, long before the first Star Wars arrived.
And we loved it for it.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Blade Runner Spinner - starting

Right, i've decided to go as far as i can with the build before stopping at the point where i could possibly add lighting to it.
We start with the underside and you can see i've only done the left side here before taking the pic to show you how involved the build is.
There's a bunch of small boxes that had to be glued on top and bottom and, next to each, another shape that will hold the underside lights.
That's made my mind up there: no lights for below - they're tiny lenses and it'd be a right pain to get the wiring down there and not have them visible in the cockpit.
You can also see i've put in the floor window, which was a surprise as i didn't know they had them.
And i've just pushed the wheel on for now. Will remove it for filling and seperate painting. What's a surprise there is that they've no tread detail at all.

AB36 Wrecker Droid - change of identity

With the Spinner landing, its driven homw again how low spare funds are. Looking round for a way to raise more, its occured to me that this fella, with its outlandish limbs and chunky claws, could be an Ork-type device for Warhammer 40K.
So, decided to change him to just that, finishing him in just White Primer as there's so many distinctive colour schemes for Orky stuff that'll i'll leave it to the buyer.
All i'm doing extra is to add river detail that you can start to see here and i'm off to the shops to get some cord that holds up net curtains to add lots of cabling.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Blade Runner Spinner has landed

Lovely big box has just arrived from Japan and here we hace one of my favourite craft from my all-time favourite film.
Its lovely and big, being 1/24th scale and that scale should mean making a diorama for it be kinda easy.
But... I'm torn.
I want to crack on and build it. But it'd look great with the light bars all lit up. Maybe flashing even. And somone sitting in it would be great.
I don't want to build it and then, a coupla months down the line, find there's pilot and light accessories to buy for it.
As i say, am torn.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Star Wars Bounty Hunters - even more colour

Quite a bit of progress here.
From left to right:
Bossk has his flight suit dirtied down with a brown wash, his bib affair and straps are blocked in with Vallejo "Ivory" and i've basecoated his eyes with GW "Skull White".
Fett has had his green armour pieces dirtied down a tad, his forearm thingy based in Vallejo "Flat Red" and his shoulder pad and what will be his red bit of the helmet based in the "Skull White".
Zuckuss has had dark washes of brown applied to his/her coat, some of the whatever the hell they are tendril things picked out in a different brown and washed, her/his belly plate based in GW "Bleached Bone", i've rebuilt his/her damaged left hand in Milliput and i've picked out the glass sections of the vial thingy in white with a wee bit of brown ink in the bottom half. Reason being, i'll come to in due course.

AB36 Wrecker Droid - progress

Been rather neglecting this poor chap of late, but here he is with head on and i've just started to add some cabling up from his legs to the torso.
I'm umming and ahhing as whether to add tanks etc to the legs but i'm thinking i won't - reckon by having the arms and legs spindly will contrast with the bulky, solid head/torso affair.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Under The Influence - 5

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.
With the demise of the actual Bowerhouse magazine, thought it fitting to mention Martin.
He is, without any doubt at all, THE singular influence on me as both a modeller and a fan of SF hardware.
And what's odd about that is that i was a fan of his work for a long time without even knowing his name.
Not being able to remember whether i actually saw his appearance on "Blue Peter", i guess the first time i saw his work was on "Space 1999" and, boy, what an introduction - here i was seeing all those lovely detailed ships of the likes of the paperback books i was reading, given a spin and there on the telly. Couldn't give a stuff about the plot or the characters, just let me see the next effect please. I could illustrate the point with any (large) number of his designs, but i've gone with this here gun, which is an excellent example of Martin's ability to take a recognisible object (in this case the Flying Sub kit from "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea") and change it into something totally unique:

Around the same time, i was also seeing his work on "The Tomorrow People" but, of course, with that shows cheaper production values, things weren't as effective:

It was with the Starlord comic that i first came across Martin's name, as he did the classic run of back page illustrations:

Guess it was with "Alien" and the slew of publications on it that it finally registered though just who Martin was. Again, tons of obvious examples i could go for, but i've chosen the Airlock from Kane's burial as its a textbook example of brilliant modelling on a small scale, weathered just right:

And, at the same time, he was making iconic craft for tellys "Blakes 7":

SO hard to try and illustrate my point with just five photos, but i've tried. Martin, you're a genius and my hero.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

My model collection circa 1978

Hmmmm... what to make of this?
Well, that's my bedroom around about 1978 and, covering up that hideous wallpaper, quite a valuable now collection of Star Wars publications have been butchered to form a photo wall (i can pin it down to '78 as the other long wall was covered in similarly hacked about Galactica products).
And in front, a lovely unit housing my then collection of SF hardware.
Lets take a look shalll we?

Top shelf, left to right we have:
(1) One of the wings of Vaders fighter, with a cockpit put where the body would've joined it and an engine on the back. Always liked this and may do one again.
(2) The squat, almost Thunderbird 2 thing started as an Action Man jetpack
(3) An oddly not orange Hawk
(4) An Angel
(5) A Viper
Bottom shelf:
(1) An Orion which, for some reason, i'd beat right up. Weathering in those days was just to slop some Humbrol Black around
(2) That's the rear of an Eagle and i've used a couple of the naturally occuring squares on the foreward facing side to be windows, just painting them black. Really like what i did there - almost has a Silent Running Drone look to it.
(3) There's something behind that but can't make out what it is.
(4) That's the ship i stumbled across again a few years back. Will have to dig it out again as a couple of lines won't describe it.
(5) Really liked this one. Its the hull of a 1/35th tank turned upside down to start off and it had X Wing weapons prongs as, er, prongs at the front.
(6) That's the other half of the Eagle, including the beak. I'd painted each panel red for some reason.
(7) Behind that is the stand for the Viper, whcih i'd turned into a ship. Again, something i'll recreate one day
(8) Lastly, the other Vader wing, this time turned up the other way, with a bubble cockpit up top.
And that was what i was building in '78.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Star Wars Bounty Hunters - more colour

Right, here i've put a wash of the base colours on Bossk and Fessk mixed with black to darken all the recesses.
And on Zuckuss i've put on a sloppy wash of dark brown, making sure it pools in places to try and break up all those smooth surfaces.
I may or may not leave it like that as, in some pics he/she has quite light skin. Will wait and see what i think once the coat is done.

And here i've added more colours and, them being just solid colours, everything now looks quite toy-like.
Fett's armour is GW "Goblin Green" and Bossk's flight suit is Vallejo "Flat Yellow". I'm surprised its that colour. Its obviously the same UK flight suit that the Rebel pilots wear but yellow instead of orange. I've seen the orange one loads of times in flight musuems but never a yellow one. Hand coloured for the film then?

I'm also in the middle here of drybrushing Bossk's skin and, again, i've got to decide just how light it should go, as it varies from shot to shot.
Something else i've got to decide on is what to do with Zuckuss' legs. They're not on show in the film, the coat hanging down to the ground, so are they bare legs or trousers?

Monday, 21 November 2011

Wells' Martian - the eyes have it.

With his eyes, done that's him finished. As anyone who's read the book will know, Wells is at his vaguest when describing the eyes.
First up, we have:
"... two luminous discs - like eyes". From that we get they have a couple of discs. Not eyes, but discs that could be called eyes. And they glow or are internally lit. Or something.
Then we have:
"Two large dark-coloured eyes". Oh, so now they ARE eyes. And are dark. No luminsosity at all.
Okay, how to do that then?
I've ummed and ahhed all over this build on that very point and, in the end, decided to go with this compromise here - have them large with a very dark brown and black iris centre, but ring it with a bright yellow to try and convey the luminous, disc description.
And i've deliberately made the eyes wonky - not only to make the fella look more odd, but i feared having them correct would make him cute.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Star Wars Bounty Hunters - blocking in colours

After a good wash and a prime in White (the statue that is), i can start to block things in.
Like all the figure kits i do, i go in the order of getting dressed: flesh first, then the layers from there outwards.
Bossk has what appears to be a real olive drab sort of colouring, so i've started here with Games Workshops "Gretchin Green."
Fett of course doesn't have an inch of flesh on show, so next layer up is his fetching boilersuit. Researching that, be it film stills or folks recreations, the colour of it can vary wildly, anything from Egg Blue up through seemingly every shade of Light Grey. As a compromise i've gone with Vallejo's "Light Green Blue", which is a nice light grey with a nod to the blue in it.
Zuckess is a bit more of a problem, as film stills can have his/her skin as being anything from a tan to normal flesh to almost as brown as his/her coat thingy. So i've decided to start with Games Workshops "Bleached Bone" and go from there.

Gateway 20 - starting

Okay, here we go then. As i say, i want to keep to the Overlander look of having quite a flat, low slung body so i've decided not to go any higher than the existing cabin roof.
Well, a little bit anyway - i've stuck this piece to fill the huge gap that was sitting at the back of the cabin and i'm guessing most of you will recognise it as one of the side bits from the MPC Millenium Falcon.
The cabin tips up and i'm keeping this feature as i'll be doing that once everythings done and painted so i can put in the windows from the inside - a lot easier than trying to mask up the outside.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Star Wars Bounty Hunters

Having finished my Dianoga, i had a hankering to have a go at another not very obvious Star Wars character and, after a good ponder, decided maybe to do a Bossk as he's always been one of my favourite Bounty Hunters in "Empire", coming across as a Star Trek Gorn in Luke's X Wing fatigues with a vocal style just like mine when i've had a few bevvies:

Trouble is, kits of the fella are VERY far and few between so that'd be a problem. But then i remembered this nifty statue made by Applause in the 90's that featured him, Fett and Zuckuss:

I've always liked it for the nice posing and especially that Boba seems to be the Cam Kennedy comic book version with the nice long neck making the helmet even more distinctive.
And that you get Zuckuss, an unfairly over-looked by Fett/IG88/Bossk, chappie:

The statue has always been way out of my price range, but i've been keeping an eye out on the 'Bay and just got this one for only a tenner. Surprised to see its a Limited Edition and mine's 4627/5000.
At the price i paid for it, figure i can do what i like with it so i'm going to repaint the whole thing, making each character hopefully screen accurate.
It should work ok. I thought the detail might be a bit soft, being a one-piece casting, but its not too bad:

Way i see it, there's two challenges: painting three figures together that are stuck on the base, and to repair Zuckess' left hand, which has a large section missing:

Should be fun though.

Cylon Raider - a coupla stages along.

Okay, i picked out some panels and stuff in a Dark Grey. Again, there seems to be quite a variation in just what is picked out like this from model to model, so i went with the most common one's.
Then it was on with a coat of Gloss Varnish and then decal time:

This went a lot easier than i thought it would as its a pretty old model now and decals tend to become incredibly brittle with age, and i wasn't looking forward to putting these whacking great big upper stripes on such a long, detailed surface. But, they went on fine with no probs.
Next it was a coat of Matt Varnish and here you can see i've started with the pastelling:

You never see a Raider close up in the original show, so i've no idea how beat up they'd be, but figure a robot race wouldn't spend a vast amount of cleaning would they? Although that doesn't explain who keeps buffing up their chrome...