Monday, 31 October 2011

Gremlin bust

Did this about ten years ago, just doing the head, as where the heck would i put a full-size one?
So, did just the head and thought it'd be neat to have it mounted and put up on the wall as a sort of hunters trophy.
Trouble was, one of the ears during assembly dropped right back:

Meaning i couldn't attach it to a plinth.
So its sat tucked away all these years.
But i've decided to take him apart now and do it properly. Minds made up by the fact that i've never been too happy with the paint-job.
I like what i did with the eyes, but i'm not happy with the skin, as it really shows that all i had to hand at that time were Games Workshop paints, resulting in a cartoonish, unconvincing end result.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Under The Influence - 3

Zipping forward now to the late 70's.
I'm in college, and borderline obssesed with Blakes 7, as here we have a weekly TV show with adult, serious SF drama.
With great looking craft to go with it...
Only not.
Didn't realise until the series finally came out on video that my memory was cheating me - what looked good on a B/W portable at the time sure didn't look as good when seeing it in colour on a regualr screen.
And memory massively cheated in this case as, at the same time series 1 and 2 were airing, i was also semi-obsssesed by the "Terran Trade Authority" books of the likes seen here.
Inside you had glorious A4 reproductions of stunning 70's Sf art of the likes of Chris Foss and Peter Elson.
All accompanied by an awful lot of text, which was pretty good and pretty fun when the author couldn't think of a suitable backstory for a painting, so time and time again was labelled "unknown space wreck".
Didn't matter though - i had Blakes 7 on the telly, Empire Strikes Back at the pictures and these books at home to give me insperation for my scratchbuilds.
Didn't matter that they were crap, i was inspired.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Cylon Raider

Ploughing through the DVD set of the original Galactica series and, boy, its hard work.
Everything that was naff with it back then is still there and its horribly, horribly dated.
Reason for keeping with it is the occasional glimpse of the modelwork of course.
Reckon the models themselves have been rather unfairly overlooked, mainly because of the shoddy camera and processwork making them blurry and indistinct and the conastant re-using of the same shots over and over again.
Look beyond that at the models themselves though, and there's some terrific stuff going on there and you can tell it was Dykstra and co moving straight on to the show off the back of Star Wars, the stamp is all over the designs.
And most of the ships could easily be seen docked at Mos Eisley, yes?
Have said already how the Mining Ship is my favourite of the colony ships, but for me my fave of the whole show are the Raiders - a brilliant, simple effective design, really exuding menace.
Mind turned to making one again as my original one has long been gone. So i've one on the way that i picked up off the 'Bay for just a tenner.
I remember it being a nice, big model - and it also having a hideous empty whole around the engines, meaning you can see right inside.
So i'll have to fix that somehow and i'm also thinking maybe i'll light it as there's sure enough space inside for the battery pack.
What i'd REALLY like is the old conversion kit of a deatiled interior and crew plus clear vac-form canopy - but that's long gone now.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Under The Influence - 2

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.
Every model i've ever made is totally down to Aurora monster kits. Guess i was real fortunate to be just the right age of about 11ish when they first hit the UK shops and i can remember an almost fervent craze to amass as many of them as possible among my school friends.
Whereas, with bubblegum cards, you could easily bring them in to show them off in the playground, that wasn't exactly practical with these fellas.
Instead, you brought your alternate parts you chose not to use as proof you had that particular beastie - usually the head, and usually the standard plastic version painted up, as most used the glow in the dark parts on their builds.
These are the one's i know for sure i had.
The Hunchback i never, ever owned but longed for like you wouldn't believe.
And how i cherished Nigel Morgan's spare head of Quasi that he gave me.
Keep considering getting a full kit some time, now its readily available again.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

DIANOGA! - change of mind

There i was, basing the rest of the fella in Bleached Bone, when what's been niggling me REALLY started to niggle - that brown i'd done the eyelids in was far too dark to allow the icky detail to be seen if i did it over the whole thing.
So changed tack, basecoated them again and, as you can see, i've started putting on washes in far more suitable shades.
Next up, get some variation in there, picking out ickiness.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Under The Influence - 1

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.
First up, guess i'll have to go with the very earliest thing i can remember obsessing over. Dunno just when i saw the Batman TV series - know the film spin-off was the very first film i ever saw at the cinema, and i was certainly aware of the show from the ads in the American comics back in 66/67, but the actual show itself? Stumped by that.
All i DO know is that these bubblegum cards were my world. For a fraction of my pocket money i could get hugely entertaining and evocative snapshot images from the Dark Knights adventures although, at the time, i had no idea that the thrills they were delevering far out-stretched anything the TV show could offer.
It didn't matter - for a couple of years they were my world and i can still smell the rock solid bubblegum even now.

Totally in awe

Man, oh man. This guy says his studio scale Tantive IV doesn't use the accurate kit parts - but who cares when it looks as good as this?

Friday, 21 October 2011

From the back of the cabinet - Galactica Mining Ship

Yet another item dusted off to show you.
I built this years back and its a terrificly detailed piece of work. Quite expensive as i recall for such a small ship but it was the smallness that attracted it to me.
I would've got one in a bigger scale as i've always loved the design and, me being a Projectionist and its basis being three film cans, there was another connection.
But, anyway, its small.
And its smallness is due to it being totally in scale with the old Galactica model, which i thought was a neat idea.
So, got one - but then bemoaned that i'd have to track down a Galactica to display it with, my old one long since scrapped.
Step in my friend Alun, who very generously gave me his built one.
So here they are:

Special mention here to the excellent work Alun had done to the model, installing fibre opric windows throughout, landing bay lights and having the engines illuminated.
Top, top work there Alun and i'm still very grateful for the donation.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Wells' Martian - tentacles

Here we go with half the tentacles done.
The book has them being "sixteen slender, almost whip-like tentacles, arranged in two bunches of eight".
I've painted them a grey/red just to distinguish them from the body and, ebing elastic cord, they have the advantage of being posable when i'm done.

DIANOGA! - stages of skin

Okay, quite a bit done here.
Up top, you have him done - i've attached hairs snipped from a washing-up brush and added veins using a tube i've had for years, which is a paste used when glass painting to recreate the stained glass window leading between the different pieces. On this, it gives a nice, rounded, vein-like effect.
Over that, grey primer.
And over that, a whole tub of Bleached Bone.
Figure i'll be investing in a lot more...

AB36 Wrecker Droid - colour decided on

Been umming and ahhing over this and i've decided not to go with any yellows, oranges or reds, figuring it'd be too reminiscent of the Transformers films.
And i don't want that.
Guess that leaves blue or green and i've still got a can of this "Pistachio Mild", which is from a range from the local art shop.
Chosen that over anything from Halfords as its a nice, solid clour, with no hint of car colour about it.

Sebulba's Podracer - finished!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Sebulba's Podracer - nearly there

Almost done now - got all the metallics washed, highlighted and rusted. Figure there wouldn't be too much rust on a dustbowl like Tatooine, but what the hey

Monday, 17 October 2011

DIANOGA! - massive leap

Really didn't think i'd be doing an update so soon.
I've been pondering just what to use for the top skin detail and had it in mind to use liquid latex.
But, that's pretty expensive and i'd need a lot of it. And i was a bit worried that i could only afford to put on a thin coat and there'd be a risk of all the edges of the duct tape visible through it.
So thought i'd coat everything with something first.
But what?
Cheapest option was to use paper mache - but i'm always rubbish at getting the mix right.
I'd noticed in my Art Shop that they stocked plaster bandage for modelling projects.
It was expensive at 7 quid a roll but i thought i'd give it a try as all you had to do was cut it into strips, dip in water for a few seconds then apply.
What BRILLIANT stuff!
Stuck no probs, could be smoothed if i wanted, could be left rough if i wanted, could be balled up to make extra lumps and dried extra fast.
Best of all, i could cut it into strips, wet it, twirl it roughly, and they made excellent tendriles - so i rapidly removed the existing bubblewrap dangly parts and bunged loads on.
Next up, veins made from Hot Glue and hairs all over made from a donor bristle brush

Sunday, 16 October 2011

DIANOGA! - eyelids

That's better - putting on parts now that actually make it look more like how it should be, rather than some Blue Peter affair.
I'd been having a think on how, really, i should attach the eyelids now as they'd be a bugger to paint once on.
What to use though? In the end, decided on bog standard carrier bag plastic, folded over enough times to give the right thickness.
First up, scrunch some up to give a nice wrinkle effect, tape it down on a piece of card and prime grey:

Then basecoat in Bleached Bone:

Then wash with Burnt Umber and some black in places:

Once dry it was a simple matter of Hot Glueing in place.
I've gone for a darker shade than seen on-screen, but figure he's basically a turd monster and the colours should reflect that:

Friday, 14 October 2011

DIANOGA! - getting the hump.

That was a bit of luck. Went to the Pound Shop today to get some cheap grey duct tape, figuring it might be easier to see how things are going with the build if its a solid colour.
Before i started though, i did some ironing.
Distraction of choice right now are the audio commentaries on the Star Wars Blu Rays and today i just so happened to reach the Trash Compactor scene.
Of course, i looked up when this fella popped up, and caught sight of something i'd not seen while researching this build - a decent profile shot as he looks around.
Which revealed he's actually got a distinctive double hump to the top of his head, looking an awful lot like a peanut still in its shell (apols for the quality of the pic as its me taking direct from the telly).
So, had to feature that and did so by taking my scalpel to what i'd already made.
That was downright odd - the mulitple layers of Bubblewrap on him, along with the parcel tape making for a slight increase in resistance to the blade in places, sure made it feel like i was cutting through skin and meat and performing an autopsy.
Once done though, he was covered up with more of the duct tape and i've left some bubblewrap hanging down for the basis of the tendril things.
Looking odd now - but at least it can only look better now, right?

AB36 Wrecker Droid - one arm done

Thought i'd have a go at one area then prime it to see if its worth carrying on or i should change tack.
So here's the right arm with detail on and then primed up.
I've deliberatly kept extra detail to just the joint areas to keep the spindliness to it, figuring it'll be a nice contrast to the only bulky part of him, his head.
And i really like it - so this is the way i'm going.

Wells' Martian - more work

Very fuzzy this, but you should be able to see i'm sticking with the fungus dark brown look, and i'm busy picking out crevacies and details with icky colours, no more so than inside the mouth.
Other pic is what i'll be using for the tentacles and something i like to use for them - elasticated cord. It has a nice, detailed surface to the stuff that works well.
Here you can see i've taped all 16 lengths onto a piece of card ready for priming.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Sebulba's Podracer - progress

Here we are then with all the detail added and the metallics painted over in, er, metallics.
And here's Seb just as he was when i left this project. Still quite happy with what i did, so am leaving as is.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

AB36 Wrecker Droid

That's what i'm calling this new, tall robot project. I've called it that after the initials of the friend who supplied it and his house number.
Anyway, as you see, i've made his "face". And you may spot the main part being a Tamiya 1/35th Panzer turret minus its barrel and upended.
To that i've used three green bits from an old Macross kit, two for the "eyes" and one for the "mouth".
With him now looking like that, he's def from Mega City 1 or strolled off the cover of a 70's SF paperback cover.
Here you can see i've used a Saturn V engine bell for the "neck". Not going to do too much in this area as it'll hardly be seen:

And real fuzzy this, but you should be able to make out that i've started to add detail to one of the arms:

Laura Ingels

... Or the bride to be - the Dianoga with Bubblewrap padding added and a great wodge of the stuff up top, ready to be pulled down into the strands that surround it.

Monday, 10 October 2011

DIANOGA! - framework

Next up, plop the eye down on a piece of A2 paper and, refering to the pic i've already used, and this pic of the original as it looks like now in Phil Tippets collection,

i've drawn out roughly just the size and shape of the fella.

When i'd got that done i could make a basic skeleton out of plumbing parts, again things to hand so cost is kept way down:

Then it was a matter of attaching the eye to the neck and the neck to the base, something i knew would be a prob as nothing sticks to the stuff.
Got round that by using Green Stuff up the eye attaching material and Milliput for the neck/base bit: