Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The return of the Ore Carrier

We've been introducing our son to Blakes 7 and, just like recently with Battlestar Galactica, when i get back into a show, the modeller in me starts to think what can be built from it.
So i'm having a think when we get to the episode "Killer" which features a 600 year-old Wanderer Class spaceship (Pic 1).
"Hmmm..." thinks i, "that looks pretty easy - the bulk of it looks to be mainly Airfix Space Shuttle external tanks".
After doing a bit of research, that proved to be correct - four external tanks, some EMA shapes and parts from the Saturn V and Lunar Module also in evidence.
Already having the last two. and it looking to be a nice simple build, i thought i'd go for it and started buying up cheap Shuttle kits.
But, when i'd gotten two, i laid the halves out, one above the other the correct distance apart to gauge the diameter of EMA tube i'd be needing for the main hull.
And that's when it hit me - not only was the original model long, it was tall and bulky too. Too big and bulky to share space on my ever decreasing shelves.
So, talking of shelves, i shelved that idea.
But, that left me with two Shuttle kits that i'd bought for no reason.
Then the lightbulb went on - i'd started another studio scale Blakes 7 model five years ago, that used the two external tanks i now had sat there doing nothing.
I'd given up on that one about halfway through, but i still had parts needed for it, as well as these new parts, so why not try again?
Pic 2 is the ship i'm on about, it uses Shuttle parts, EMA shapes, X-Wing parts, R2D2 parts, plus bits of some, maybe all of these kits here in Pic 3.
I say maybe as there's still a huge amount of conjecture as to what was used in a lot of places, especially around the ball things and the underside, but that's what i like about this type of project - the detective work that goes into indentifying, or finding substitutes for, various parts.
So this will see me retracing what i've done before and i've already noticed a difference - looking back on what i posted here five years ago, my approach is quite different, i don't know whether i'm more keen now or if i'm just more of a river counter, but i feel the need to make things more accurate thatn last time.
Case in point, the girder affair in the middle as seen in Pic 2.
It is definetly the cage you get from EMA that encloses a ladder - but the ladder is wrong, its far too skinny.
Pic 4 is how last time i just went ahead and used it.
Its niggling me this time now that its not right, it needs a louvre effect to it and i think Mat Irvine didn't use a ladder but a set of stairs.
Pics 5 and 6 is what i've done to correct it. Put in PLasticard strips angled down to replicate it.
And that's where i am today.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Saturn Ship - basecoated

After priming, i had to decide what colour to go for with this ship.
Didn't want a bright 70's colour as i didn't think it'd look too good.
Didn't want white, as that might reinforce the ships Saturn V origins.
So instead i've gone for an industrial grey, "Ford Polar Grey".
Next up, decaling and weathering.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Saturn build - assembly done.

Think that's as far as i'm going to go with my Saturn build - i want lots of empty space for markings etc.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Revell Battlestar Galactica

I mentioned to my good friend Mark that i was on a bit of a Galactica kick at the moment and, top bloke that he is, kindly gave me a Revell kit of the craft.
Ta Mark!
He mentioned the build wouldn't take long and is sure right - just a case of simple halves stuck together and added to the rest.
Its much smaller than the old Monogram version that i'm used to but the detail and casting is far superior to that ancient kit.
Something a bit different to usual - the bare areas here are to take a whole slew of detailing decals, so i can't put the side things on until i've done that.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Euromilitaire 2015

Popped along to Euromilitaire 2015 this morning.
Its only a 15 min drive away and, in years gone by, was as the name suggests, a military modelling show and i used to go mainly to stock up on tools, paints etc as there wasn't much in the way of SF/fantasy products or subjects there.
Colour me stunned then to find its becoming pretty much 50/50 military to fantasy.
Alas, the fantasy half is mainly busts and figures, which i'm not into at the moment, with no hardware at all, which i am.
Also, no donor kits from Tamiya and Airfix that i'm after.
Bit of a let down - but at least i could ogle the stunning work in the show - awe-inspiring stuff!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Saturn Ship - rear done

I've not added the secondary hull of the Saturn Ship just yet, as its been easier to handle things while working on the engine area without it.
But that's the rear section done, so its on with that next.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Blast from the modelling past.

Just stumbled across the photos.
They're from a modelling convention years and years back, where a build challenge was for folk to sit down for something like 3 hours and produce either a superhero or super villain from the massive pile of figure kits, action figures and a whole variety of bits and pieces.
All we had to do was bring along our modelling tools, materials and paints.
Pic 1 is attempt quite well underway. Its long time since i've seen these photos or thought of this event, so its a bit hazy on how i went about it, but i do know the main body parts are from a Toybiz Rhino kit. The black parts i think are from the Toybiz Venom figure, and i've used a bunch of resin skulls to add a bit more going on.
Pic 2: There was a small, almost Audrey II-like head in the Venom kit, and you can see i've added it as a sort of cod piece. And i've also added Green Stuff tentacles here and there.
Pic 3: That's me priming it.
Pic 4: Starting on the painting
Pics 5, 6 & 7: The finished fella. You can see i went with him standing in a pool of gore and offal, using more of those resin skulls, and i also rolled up tiny balls of Green Stuff and painted them up as eyes, to plop onto the surface of the icky mess to add a bit more detail.

Monday, 14 September 2015

The Saturn build - progress

So here i am adding detail to the Saturn build.
Quite a way to go yet, but i'm following in the footsteps of my hero Martin Bower, in having very busy bits alongside quite bare bits.
Incidently, the dark grey pieces are from the Tamiya 88mm gun kit and, if you're into scratch building spacecraft and not come across it before, i heartily recommend the kit - a veritible treasure trove of decent donor parts for your project.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Artmor Project 3 - finished

So, that's my piece for this years Artmor Project done.
I call it "Acid Digestion" and the idea behind it is that at some point after "Return Of The Jedi" the Sarlacc sicks up these pieces of Boba Fett's armour.
What i've done is make it a mix of Sarlacc stomach acid, human fat, and the odd bit of blood here and there.
Whether or not Boba was spat out at the same time, and if he survived, i'll leave to folks to decide.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Saturn Build - first steps

Okay, first thing i've got to addresses on the Saturn build is to cover up the holes made by sticking the two lower sections of the First Stage together.
The one up top i don't recall what its from, but think a bulkhead from a plane kit.
The one on the side is pretty recognisble (if you're into that sort of thing) as a plate from the Tamiya 88mm gun kit and its where i intend to attach the second section on to.
I've used a bike pump for my tubular part coming out of it for the engine section as its just the right diameter and styrene, meaning kit parts will glue to it no probs.
On to that i've added on the very top another part from the 88mm kit and, straddling that, two bits from the Airfix SRN44 Hovercraft kit for a nice bit of detail.
The next two photos are from the secondary section - a complete stage from the Saturn V, capped with a dome from the same kit, and at the other end the clear blue parts from the old MPC R2D2 kit capped with a roundel from the Tamiya Bulldog.
And a wing from the SRN44 for a bit of jutting out detail.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Artmor Project 3 - breakthrough

Been a while since i've done anything on this years Artmor Project piece.
That's because i've been trying to find a way of recreating bile/snot/phlegm/whateveryouwanttocallit in such a way that (A) i can make large quantities of it, (B) its not sticky, (C) its solid.
Think i've found a way - will explain what i've done and why on my next update, which should be tomorrow.

Friday, 4 September 2015

The Saturn build

If you build scratch-built SF craft, or just like reading about them, i do urge you to pick up this book if you've not already got it:

Authored totally by Gary R Welsh, it features some fantastic recreations of the Rebel Fleet in Star Wars, in very detailed articles, along with some of Gary's own designs and Servalan's command ship from Blakes 7.
HIGHLY recommended.
Leafing through it again just recently, one design really leapt out at me:

I really like the look of it and, though Gary calls it a Star Wars tanker, it screams rag-tag fleet from Battlestar Galactica to me.
Reading the piece on it, it became more desirable - i already had some of the kit parts and the rest i figured i could substitutes for.
Not to copy the ship per se, more to use it as a springboard and insperation and go my own way.

First step would be to address the main hull. For his, Gary used the lower part of the first stage from the Airfix Saturn V kit times two. I already had one, so had to buy another kit. The cheapest i could find was by Revell rather than Airfix, but it was still 1/144th scale, so ordered one and prayed the parts would be similar:

The kit came today, and straight away i can see differences, even though i've not seen an Airfix version for a good 35 years - some of the parts are in metallic grey rather than white, there's also a launch pad and figures that sure weren't on the one i grew up with.
Anyway, the first stage skirt happily is and exact match so i stuck them together right way - the white one is the brand new Revell, the cream one my 35 year-old Airfix.
Gary goes into quite a bit of length on parts used in his articles, but not all nor why - but i can see why he's added blocky details in the middle sections. Its to cover up those whacking great holes isn't it? Oh, and like Gary, i've added the dome at front - grey here rather than white on his.