Friday, 29 June 2012

Dice Ibegon finished

Here she is then. I've tried to replicate something that was tried when shooting but abandonded as it was far too messy and could make the rating of the film go up - she spews red muck up.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

X-Wing - getting there

Build on this was breeze, and i'm still amazed how some things so tiny can be so detailed:
Once the sub-assemblies were done, it was time to join everything together. Its built so that the wings can be opened up any time and the landing gear can be removed, but i've chosen to glue the wings together and the undercarriage permantely lowered:
Once done:
It was given a coat of Halfords Grey Primer:

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Carnifex - inked

Had a great fun the last couple of days putting the ink washes on the beastie: I'm trying to keep a sense of continuity with all my Tyranids, with them all having the same colour scheme as my very first one of them, the Malanthrope: Trouble is each time to remember just how i did that one. But i've stumbled on it - mixes of Tamiya Clear Green and Red, with some Games Workshop inks thrown in too. Trouble with all that is that you're left with a VERY glossy model - sort of approaching Danbury Mint in shininess. So a coat of Matt Varnish is needed. After that, you can see i've finished the tongue, blocked in the armour areas with "Catacan Green", based the teeth, and done the eyes in the same way for all of my figures of this race - "Hawk Turquoise":

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Dice Ibegon - flesh

Quite a bit of progress since last time with this lady. Once i was happy with her shape, i covered her with a couple of layers of plaster bandage. Once that was done, i sculpted a maw area out of Das Pronto and, when dry, peeled it off, bunged a load of E6000 glue on the reverse, and glued it back in place. Then the already sculpted teeth were hot glued in. With that done, i had to figure what to do with the patches of the plaster bandage that still had the gauze of it showing. That wasn't a prob with the Dianoga, as it just added to the detail of the beast, but this girl is kinda smooth - if you ignore the veins and warts and bumps that is. I did first consider putting on a coat of exterior textured paint, but that'd be expensive for something that i didn't know would work or not. I next considered wallpaper paste, which is certainly cheap. So tried it and it was a disaster - it just clumped up in balls on the surfarce. In the end, i went with one of my original ideas - covering her with latex. Figured it'd not only cover things up and blend everything together, it'd also give a rubbery, fleshy feel to her. So that's what i did, using the latex used for making moulds of stuff. Once that was on, i had to put the veins on. First of all i tried sticking on elasticated cord and some wire, then cover them with latex. That looked rubbish, just like a bunch of cord and wire covered with latex. So in the end went with simply creating them by dragging the hot glue gun around while pressing on the trigger. Once all was set, she got a coat of primer: And then i had to start to think about skin tones. In the film she looks quite a realistic flesh tone, but the actual prop was far more of an orange: So i decided to compromise. Off i went to The Range and got a large tub of "Flesh" paint, which is far, far too pink to be realistic. But, mixed with "Yellow Ochre", i sort of got to a halfway mark. By the way, this painting is on a far bigger scale than i'm used to - here's the two paints i'm using on my palette, the lid of a Jacobs Cracker box: And i'm also mixing in a different way - dip my 1/2 inch brush in one colour, then the other, mix on the palette and apply. If the shades a bit too much of one colour, dip into the other and blend it onto the skin. This is her drying at the moment:

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Okay, if i'm going to be part of the SFMUK's Star Wars Hanger Build... ... Guess i'd better pull me finger out and get a ship for the Hanger. I've decided to go with a Fine Molds X-Wing, as i had a great time making their Y-Wing: Same thing again with this kit - loads of incredibly fine detailed parts, a very comprehensive decal sheet, plus deailed instructions, both for the kit and application of the decals: In no time at all, i had the cockpit done, and i've chosen to go with a green/grey to the interior for a bit of a chane and i've deliberately not picked out various sections in black as i want the detail to be really apparent: The consol part is a work of art, VERY small, VERY detailed, with like-wise decal for it. There actually should be extra decals on the diagonal surfaces next to the display, but this one is so big, its enough:

Monday, 18 June 2012


Boy, i've got a great family. In the bunch of Fathers Day pressies yesterday was this kit: . You may remember me going on about the Screamer Killer that Games Workshop put out in the 80's as a white metal figure? This is the modern, IP version of the critter, a sort of living tank for the Tyranid army. Very pleased to have got it it and i struck straight on, being confronted by all these sprues in the box: There's so many as you're given a number of options: To choose from six heads - i went with this six eyed, dual horn option, a choice of carapace - went with this spike launching version, and a whole bunch of arms. I was going to go with the four scythe-like arms to match the original Screamer Killer but, as i've one of those, decided to go with scythes for the rear arms, and small weapons for the front one's. With those options chosen, it was no time before i had him assembled: Once primed in Grey, i've given him a sloppy coat of Bleached Bone: This is 'cause i plan on having all my 'nids the same colour scheme

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Hutt Pod Racer - more engine work.

So, i've a huge area of Plasticard to detail and cover up. But, lets use some logic here. As you can from this in-scale figure, the engine is chuffin' massive: Logically, it would make no sense to have controls/devices on the upper area as the support team would need scaffolding to get to them. So i've decided to have all the real busy stuff below the middle wing, at eye level and below for humans. What to do up top then? I've decided to try and envoke Jabba's Sail Barge and emulate the panelling on the sides of that, so have cut and stuck on Plasticard shapes that are kinda similar: To them, you can see i've added my trusty sticky gems at their fronts and, in places at the back, chairs from the old Airfix Hovercraft kit. I will be adding details up here for sensors etc, but will be clumping them together and you can see i've made a start at the rear of the top wing, which are parts froma 1/44th helicopter kit.

Dice Ibegon - bulked out

Here she is, with layers of Bubble-Warp to give her her basic shape. I've started to cover all that with Duct Tape and then will be trimming her to shape.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Monday, 11 June 2012

Hutt Pod Racer - getting started

Okay, about time i launched this project. First up, the canopy and i figured before i do anything else was to make room for the pilot. I want him squeezed into a tiny cockpit, so i had to find a suitable round shape from the BitsBox. And i plumped for this shape, which i think is part of a turret assembly from a Tamiya tank. I put it in place, drew the circle on the inside, removed it then cut out the circle. You can see its pretty crude, but thats ok as the Hutt will be filling that space. You can also see i've added a circular detail in front of it, and that's from the Airfix Space Shuttle kit: At the rear i've added a bit of detail, this time from a Gundam kit: On to the the engine next. Engine. Singular. I thought i'd be a bit different and go with just the one whacking great big engine to lift the fella up. First thing i've done is add this luvverly shape to the rear, which is actually a lid to the box for a toy robot. It had a bit of raised lettering in the middle and i've covered that up with a nice shape from, i think, the Tamiya 8mm gun: Having just the engine presents a problem - if the air is sucked in at the front and swooshed out the back, surely it'll fry the driver? I've got round that by adding these two nozzles pointing outwards and away from the pilot: Finally today, i've added some 1/72nd wings as fins, putting them on backwards in true Thunderbird 2 fashion:

B-Wing - pastelled

Bit dark here, but hoepfully you can make it out. I've gone with straight black pastel, with a bit of drak brown here and there to warm things up a tad. Think they work well with this shade of grey and blue.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Under The Influence - 8

From what i can see, this show aired in the South East in 1975 and i can vaguely remember tuning in each week just for the fact that it was the same bloke that brought me Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and UFO. This was better than them though: it was in space! every week! which meant spacecraft! and aliens! So i was a happy bunny for a quite a few weeks. Until "Dragon's Domain" came on. There i was, the 13 year-old me, lapping up the Ultra Probe: and the Spaceship Graveyard craft: a good two years before Star Wars, i was seeing the sort of SF vehicles i'd only ever read about in paperbacks till then. So, as i say, a very happy bunny. Then the alien arrived on the scene... To say i was freaked out, or traumatised, is putting it real lighly - up till then i'd NO idea that a TV show could actually be scary. And its still scary now. That design, that scream it produces, what it does it does to its victims - i still find it unsettling now, and i'm approaching fifty. And its the one episode of the show i won't show the Sprogs. A true unsettling, unforgettable piece of modern fiction.

Dice Ibegon

Since finishing my Dianoga, i've had a hankering to make another full-size Star Wars recreation. But what? I toyed with the idea of "A New Hope"'s Interrogation Droid that tortures Leia on the Death Star or the Jedi Training Remote Luke practices with on the Falcon - but i know from experience how costly and time-consuming tracking down 70's kits and bits for studio scale projects can be. But, looking at the Cantina scene, it struck me that Dice, being esentially a hand puppet, might be the way to go. So i have done. First up, work out the scale. Eyeballing the scene, her (yes, its a she) "face" seemed to be about the height of my open hand logical if a hand fitted in there. Drawing round my arm and hand, then roughly her form gave me the dimensions i needed: I did consider making her basic skeleton from a series of foamboard circles mounted to a central pole bent to the right angle, then card over the top. But figured that would be a lot of work for something that might not be too strong. So instead i went with a metre length of flexible hosing from B&Q, glued to a base and a bit of tubing left over from my Sandtrooper Backpack stuck inside it: Then all i had to do was pull the hosing up and over the end of the tube: Once i did that, i started wrapping Duct Tape over the top to bind everything together, much like i did with my Dianoga:

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Hutt Pod Racer

Folk have started to put up progress shots of their Pod Racers on the SFMUK site, and its really got me all inspired to really crack on with mine. I think i've said before that i decided to go the large route for a pilot as, in TPM, the Pod Racers were either human size or smaller. So, a big fella then - but who? My son said Wampa, but they hardly seem technically adept. Rancor is about the biggest you could go i guess but, unless you put him in it and launch it like a rocket, he's out. That left a Hutt then. Straight away, i had the idea of a piddly-squat cockpit to take his bulk, which would accentuate the whacking great engine i'd be using to get him up in the air. Right away i knew that i'd be having just the one engine, which is this big rounded shape, given to me by my friend Ian and i'd wrapped in Plasticard around the middle ready for a project yonks ago that i never got round to. Into the hole at the front i plan on putting a huge great propeller thingy. That was the engine, but what about the cockpit? First of all, i thought i'd take the design of it from Jabba's palace, and have it all curves and rounded bits, maybe with a concrete-like surface. But the bits box turned up zilch and a trawl round the shops for a suitable container proved fruitless. So fell back on plan 2, have something harking to Jabba's sail barge. Again, the bits box turned up nowt so, this morning all fired up, off we went to Asda. On the way i was thinking how the hull of the sail barge looked like an upturned boat. I want to crack on with this, so i didn't want to waste time looking out for kits of suitable ships - besides, i want a featureless surface to work on. And at Asda i found what i wanted - a toy boat for a quid. Figure, turned upside down like this, the now lower detail removed, gives me a short, squat shape i'm after. All i have to do is make a hole up top for the cockpit, detail it, and add some sail fins to tie it in visually with the sail barge.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Star Wars Dark Lens

Aplologies if this is old news, but stumbled across this in one of Paris' excellent Forbidden Planet-style shops. Very surprised to see it as i'd certainly never heard of it and i had to get it straight away. Cedric Delsaux has taken craft and characters from the Star Wars universe and has brilliantly put them in to urban enviroments - mainly Paris, Lille and Dubai. They look fabulous, as does the large format hardback book. Highly recommened - here's my faves: