Thursday, 29 October 2015

Blakes 7 Ore Carrier - getting there now

First part of the Ore Carrier done, and i've painted it up already as i'll be adding it at the very end when the rest of the ship is painted and weathered.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Blakes 7 Ore Carrier - what scale?

As i'm building the Ore Carrier, i'm thinking ahead not only the painting, but the weathering too.
Weathering of course is crucial to convey a sense of scale to a model and to stop it looking pristine and toy-like.
And i'm thinking something like an Ore Carrier would have a fair bit of weathering, dust/dirt etc wouldn't it?
But to guess how much to apply depends on the scale of the model.
So what's the scale of the Ore Carrier?
Watching "Star One", we get a brief glimpse of the ship as it collides with the Nova Queen.
And, eyeballing it, its almost the same length as the passenger ship.
So, how big is the Nova Queen?
A clue is the Captain of the ship stating "there's four thousand passengers on this ship."
To give me an idea of just what they means in terms of size of a vessel to accomodate so many people, i Google'd "largest cruise liners" and found that the Quantum Of The Seas can take 4,180 passengers and is 1,139 feet long.
Taking that as a guideline, and the Ore Carrier being slightly smaller, lets make the Ore Carrier 1,000 foot long.
Quite a size, and much bigger a ship than i'd have thought (unless its the same case as the notorious moment when a Pursuit Ship stops short of colliding with the supposed to be much bigger Liberator but they didn't have a smaller scale model of the ship, so it appears enormous).
My model, which is pretty much studio scale, measures 19 inches long, which makes it then a 1/632 scale model - so that means any weathering i do has got pretty tiny for a ship that huge.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Cursed Earth Plague Doctor

I really like making Plague Doctor masks and i thought i'd make one for a post-apocolyptic setting.
Went the usual way of being made from card covered in Duct Tape, with sink drainer eyeholes and sticky gems for rivet detail.
Going the SF route with the colour scheme i'll be using and a couple of greeblie details like on the side here.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

The USS Austin - almost done

Been quite a while since there's been an update on the USS Austin, so here we go.
The hull is done,
the engine area is pretty much finished,
i'm just adding detail to where the cockpit area will join on,
and i've plumped for a couple of tubes either side to break things up a bit. For them i'm using EMA tubing capped with dished heads rather than hemipshere's as i'm done with Saturn V-looking parts for the time being.
Just got to detail them up, bung them and the "head" on and then its prime-time.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Blakes 7 Ore Carrier - getting there.

Things are coming together nicely now on the Ore Carrier.
A big head-scratcher is the teeny engine it has - it looks to me like one of those old syphon capsules that were around in the 70's to make your drinks fizzy, but the chances of tracking down a vintage one to check was pretty slim.
So i've gone my own way by sticking an EMA hemisphere of the right diameter onto a tube i found in the plumbing section of B&Q, and then the Saturn V engine bell on top.
The tube is just right but, alas, that plastic that no glue can touch.
So i've stuck the hemisphere on with Hot Glue.
There also seems to be a panel or something on the original tube and i've suggested that with a Go-Fasta Stripe.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Blakes 7 Ore Carrier

Slowly pulling things together now on the Ore carrier.
It looks to me that Mat Irvine started with a blank plate of Plasticard to build the front underside detail onto, so i'm going the same way.
Figure it'll be a LONG wait to find out what goes on next to that section, so am going my own way.
It looks like some sort of engine detail etc making up a bit of a grid pattern, and i was going to go with some Baco Bricks.
Far too clunky though, so instead i'll be cutting down this much thinner car chassis for my basis.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Blakes 7 Ore Carrier - pod

At the very front of the Ore Carrier is some sort of pod with a prong on it.
It looks to me like some kind of fuel tank, but its not from any kit i've ever built before, so chances of me finding one were pretty slim.
That left me having to fashion my own.
First thing i did was study the pods dimensions in relation to the cage it sits inside and eyeball the size hemispheres i'd be needing and order some from EMA.
Luckily, i got it right first time, so i then need to find a tube to fit between the two.
Looking around, i realised the external rockets from the Space Shuttle kit were just the right diameter and decided to cut one down for it - after all, the more i use from these donor kits the better.
That's where i was until yesterday, when i was planning a trip to the local model shop to find a substitute for the prong thing. In the reference shots up until now, its clear there's two incarnations of the pod thing:
1. The original has the pod set back from the front of the cage and a two-shape prong,
2. There's also later shots which are obviously post-repair as the pod is now flush with the end of the cage and there's a piece of plain rod for the prong.
Electing to go with the original set-up, i'd planned on trying to find something at the shop to duplicate what i could make out in the photos.
That's when immaculate timing happened and a whole bunch of new, excellent, very clear shots of the ship came to light, including stunning detail shots of the areas that till now have been vague.
Including the pod/prong, which clearly shows the prong is in actual fact a cut-down weapon prong from the X-Wing kit, and stuck backwards into the hemisphere.
The BBC must've bought up a whole bunch of the X-Wing kits, as they're used a heck of a lot in their effects models, and Mat Irvine really has used a lot here on this build.
So, "X-Bit Number One" - Weapon Prong.

Monday, 12 October 2015


Nothing wrong with this shot of the Liberator, with the prison ship London alongside it from Blakes 7, no siree.
Lovely design works, decent photography, a good example of getting it right for the show.
So no need to change it.
But, wow, this CGI image gets the scale across even better.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

The Saturn Ship - all done

That's the Saturn Ship done then.
I added a dew more yellow stripes just before weathering to add a bit of colour, then picked a few bits in a Gunmetal Blue once i'd done that to add another bit of colour interest.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Blakes 7 Ore Carrier - rethink

So i start applying the General Hauler parts to the Ore carrier but then spot something in one of the reference photos - this side on view of the front area clearly shows that the underside is much thicker than what i've got just by having the cage there, most probably i'm seeing the side of the larger scale stairs that Mat Irvine had used on the original.
That's it, mind made up - i'm going to have to junk the adapted ladder that came with the cage and use the real deal.
But, which one?
The EMA catalogue has a whole of different scales, so i took a chance and ordered the two sizes that they could be and, phew, one was right.
The other is far too big, but i've got an upcoming use for that, so all's cool.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Blakes 7 Ore Carrier - unglueing

If you look carefully in the middle near the rear of the Blakes 7 Ore Carrier, you may spot that busy part is comprised of two parts from the Airfix/MPC X-Wing kit.
I had them from the last time i attempted to build one of these but, alas, it was from a part-built kit that i'd bought off the 'Bay.
Pic 2: Trouble is, i only needed one half of the engine and the original owner hadn't exactly been sparing with the glue, meaning things were stuck tight.
Pic 3: So i got my Dremel out and crudely cut off the rear engine parts that had been stuck on, then very carefully cut close to the join between the two halves.
Pic 4: After that, i just sanded down to the join line.
Pic 5: And here it is joined to the other X-Wing part, which is the forward section of the engine assembly, glued horizontally. There was a fair bit of glue residue in the bottom of this piece, so i've covered it up with some corrugated Plasticard.

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Saturn Ship - nearly ready for weathering.

Right, that's the decals and colours on for the Saturn Ship.
I don't want to put on any more colours as i want to retain the industrial look.
Know that makes it a tad bland at the moment, but weathering's next so hopefully things will be broken up and more interesting.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Blakes 7 Unmanned Ore Carrier - tanks

So, i've glued the two Shuttle External Tanks together, minus their middle sections, and then added two pieces of tubing on each side as seen on the original.
I do like the detective nature of studio builds, that also up silly little unimportant nuggets, but they're fun anyway - Mat Irvine definetly was using an Imperial ruler when he made the ship - each tube is exactly 6 inches long.
Anyway, that's them done.
I've not added the hexagonical shapes from the R2D2 kit to the pointed end of the tanks i've only the one in my bits box. I do have some casting resin though, so will be popping out later to get some Playdoh to use as moulding material.
I've finished accurising the cage section and i'm doing things a bit different next to what i did five years ago.
You can see in Pic 2 from where i was at this stage back then that i just stuck the cage between the tanks.
Indeed, that's how it looks to be in most photos of the original.
But... take a close look at it here in Pic 3 - i'd assumed the tanks were stuck to the middle "was vertical but now horizontal" bar of the cage.
Not so.
The tanks don't touch it at all, and must be attached to some structure on the underside, the photo of which is Pic 4. But, no sign of anything there, so it must be something passing through the cage section.
But, what?