Lock S-Foils into attack position, deflector shields double front

It ended up looking pretty neat after all. Now I just need to come up with a good idea for the base & support, but that's just a bonus. I've been suggested an asteroid and I thought of something like a Star Destroyer's surface or something where I could build a tiny Taim&Bak XX-9 Turbolaser tower. That could be cool. Let's see what happens in the end.

Aside from the slightly modified Pilot figure, this is a straight OOB build. Nothing else has been changed and as far as I've understood, painting is something that you do always, so it obviously doesn't make this any less OOB, even if the kit was prepainted. Especially the engines show that a perfectionist would've had a ton of puttying and sanding to be done. As everybody can see, I'm not either a perfectionist or suffer from ASM. This looks good enough to me, I'm satisfied with it and that's what matters :)

I will return to this when I've got something to report, that being a completed base, but otherwise this project (1/2011) is now completed. Took a couple of weeks, the second idea and attempt of a paint job was good and I didn't really ruin anything at any point. This is actually working pretty well! Of course these are one of the famous last words of a modeler, part "too many to count"... Next I'll either mumble about Fallout or a SdKfz 251/1 and its crew, depending on how I feel.

Here are a couple of final shots of the Pilot in his tub with his trusty R2-M2 astromech droid. Those pieces are just a bit too small for my hardware - either of the cameras - to get good, clear pictures even in the macro mode. Or maybe I'm just too dumb for these things.


Our history affected the even older history in the legendary GFFA

The aluminium coating with olive green anti-blinding paint and darkgray whateversripes that I started the last time is more or less completed. Of course I did things funnily here and there because I didn't really know how certain things would work out. So I'll explain a bit what I did and how as awhole, even if a part of it is some sort of repetition from the previous post.

First I painted most of the model with Tamiya's flat aluminium and a selected few panels with Vallejo's gunmetal gray. The contrast difference between those panels was too strong in my opinion so I fixed the problem by repainting those panels with aluminium to get a uniform-ish surface. I also found the green anti-reflectory part in front of the cockpit looked a bit too short to me compared to the lenght of the model's nose and a full-lenght thing would've looked silly too. A bit more was painted but so that there was a nice-looking strip of flat aluminium between the sensor cone and the olive green part.

The surfaces of the laser cannons (Taim & Bak KX9) I painted with gunmetal, except the counter-flash pieces that I painted with the aluminium paint. Of course I wanted to get some of those hull panels look a bit darker than the rest so I mixed a bit of the flat aluminium with Vallejo's Oily Steel and painted a random few panels with my mix, whatever looked good. In the end it was a couple of panels in each side of each wing and a couple in the bottom-rear part of the hull.

After all of that had dried nicely I coated everything with this new Citadel (or are the paints under GW's flag nowadays?) black liquied called Badab Black. That stuff also dries matt unlike its glossy predecessor. The whole model was painted with this thing and I saw that it was going to be good. Earlier today I was in the finishing up stage of the build and I fixed some of the minor foulups that I noticed while dry-fitting the pieces together.

The shallow semi-openings in the undersides of the S-foils I repainted black to cover the earlier metallic leaks. While doing that I paid more attention to the surface texture of the engine parts that are visible and decided to add some details to them by painting some of the wires with red and yellow. Just in case someone looks at the model from a good angle and good light. While I was at it I painted the first front panel lines of the wings with the same Vallejo Grey-Black that I had used on the sensor cone. The business ends of the ion engines (Incom 4L4 Fusial Thrust) I painted white and later with my 15+ years old Citadel Blue Glaze, which still works unlike so many newer Citadel paints... That was to get some sort of a running engine effect to the model. And yes, I know that in ANH those parts are red-ish but this is a prototype and blue is always so much more Imperial.

As a pretty finish I painted all the new surfaces with that aforementioned Badab Black and stared at the results:

I wasn't quite sure of how the modified and slightly larger Pilot was going to fit in his tub (and the cockpit window over him), so I took it easy and didn't put the pieces together for real, so I'd avoid any last moment fuckups. I mean, that would've pissed me off at this point because it actually looks nice, even if I say so myself. In addition to the final construction and photos the only missing element is some sort of a stand. Have to make it myself, I guess this model is just to be whooshed around until it breaks. Or something.


New but old paint scheme idea for the X-Wing

My Imperial Pilot is awesome, I don't need to poke around with it anymore. Well, maybe a bit of blackwashing it, because I got some complaints about the chestbox. "Does he have a space mushroom from Tintin and the shooting star or what's the thing growing on his belly?" Well, it doesn't look like that anymore and it's a lot better that way.

So I was painting the hull gray, as I had planned to make a couple of layers of gradually lightening gray to mimic the look of Imperial Star Destroyers. After the first one had dried I noticed my mistake: the panel lines were light gray and that looked repulsive. That's something I did and accepted when I made my first tank (Revell's 1:72 StuG Early w/Schürtzen), but that's not acceptable anymore. I had been stupid again.

So I dug out my half-dried Citadel's black ink, thinned it down a bit and covered all areas with it. There, now the panel lines are as they're supposed to be. Hrmph. Of course the whole thing was splotchy black all around and I stopped to ponder a bit about the next course of action.
Accidentally as I met an online friend yesterday we at some point ended up talking about this build, too. Two heads think better than one and we thought of the american WWII fighter planes and bombers. I mean, that's where the space fight scenes and all came from to Star Wars, as everyone knows. If WWII was good enough for the Flanelled One, it's definitely good enough for me as well!

Ages ago I finished a one quarter-done bomber kit that I got from a flea market (I think it was a B-24), mostly aluminium coated, a green area to prevent the sunshine reflecting from the surface of the plane and making the crew blind and black stripes on the leading edges of the wings. We were thinking of other planes, like the P-51D as an easily googleable example. The thought was interesting and my mental image of my model in that scheme felt good enough so I decided to go that way with this build.

This evening / afternoon I've been doing the new first layers. Now that I set the kit and paintbrushes to rest, I noticed that I have to fix it later. As usual. But all in all it looks fun (for a change the photo isn't the smallest one around):

Now that I decided to upload a bit bigger pic, I gimped a couple of things to comment on. The blue markings show where the anti-reflecting part is, both on the front of the canopy and really small patch behind it (there's a small rear window). Maybe I'll extend that front patch to the nose cone, it might look a bit better.

Green points to the nose cone. It's gray-black to represent a non-metallic material that the sensor suite, radar and all the other electronic devices can see through.

Red things point to the centermost parts of the wings, they'll be completely hidden by the hull so the bad painting and extractor marks are meaningless. Just in case someone ends up commenting on something somehow somewhere, those parts don't need any fixing ;)

The original idea was to make some sort of an imperfect surface, that's why most of the hull is painted aluminium and some panels are painted gunmetal. But as it is, the tone difference is a bit too strong to my liking so I'll repaint all those aluminium and tone them darker later, to make a bit softer transitions. Those "engine wells" or whatever they're supposed to be that are located in the wings, they're going to be darker than the rest of the wing. That is completely intentional.

Oh, and at this point only the visible half of the wings is painted, the rest I'll paint later. Tomorrow or over the weekend, we'll see. And if you look really carefully, the leading edges of both wingsets are painted black like in the B-24 link a while earlier. Or that's what it's supposed to mimic.

Maybe this ends up going somewhere after all. But as usual, it'll take a while. Again.


Fixed bucket

Of course the wrongly made bucket ended up haunting me... So I took my greenstuff out again and rolled a nice piece to make the needed shape. I left it to set and later I covered it with black. Maybe I should've  got some sort of a glossy thing to make the helmet shine a bit? Oh well, maybe some other time.

While I was fooling around I also painted the engine intake vents, the warhead launcher wells and all the blue markings of R2-D2. Now I have to come up with a better designation for it. R2-F6? Dunno, I've still got time.

I doubt I'll ever post this much in such a short time again :p


My attempt at modifying the Pilot

To begin with I dug up my old greenstuff and a roll of legendary trick-wire. Can't translate that one, sorry :P I guess everyone's familiar with greenstuff: it's a two-component thing that you can mould and carve when it's set. In the container it's made of two separate strips of blue and yellowish stuff that you need to mix to get that green stuff done. Surprisingly.

To follow my idea that I presented in the previous post, I randomly made an extra lump around the pilot's head. After that I cut two very small pieces of trick-wire and bent them to fit nicely:

Later in the evening I got my paints out and quickly covered the guy in black to begin with. While he was drying I went and checked a couple of reference pics. Only the bucket, boots, gloves, chestbox and the pipes are to be black, rest are to be a bit lighter. So after the paint was dry I covered the overalls with Vallejo grey black and left the guy drying again.
When that was fine I did a couple of small white rings to the shoulders and to the left and right frontsides of the helmet. And then a small black asterisk-like thingie in the middle to make it resemble the Imperial emblem a bit better. Silver or metal would be more correct in this case but as white shows better I decided to stick with that. Finally I did a couple of white and red dots on the chest box.

As is a recurrent habit of mine, only when I was done and was looking at my reference pics again I noticed that I made a small mistake. That helmet is supposed to have a low mohawk-like shape on it. Sigh. Maybe I'll fix it tomorrow or maybe I'll just don't give a damn and decide it looks good enough through the smallish window. We'll see.


Startup 1/2011

This project is (was) supposed to be a light snack before returning back to the WWII thingamagicks. Maybe I manage to stretch this one over many weeks again, even though the thing itself would be done in less than five minutes...

We're talking about a Revell EasyKit series X-Wing, also known as Incom T-65 space superiority fighter. For most of my life I've been some sort of a Star Wars fan. Nowadays I'm a lot calmer than what I used to be, but I guess that happens to all of us at some point. Despite that everyone who knows or pretends not to know me, knows what I think of the rebellion and all such humbug.

Originally the model depicts Luke Skywalker's Red 5 during the battle of Yavin. These Easykits are some sort of "welcome to the world of scale modeling"-things, that don't require any fooling around with paints or glues. Supposedly. It does look like something as it is, but after removing the pieces from the sprues there are some paintless spots. And it's a bit funny in general. At least in my opinion a blue barberhsop-like twirly thing in the laser cannon is a silly.

Everyone knows the behind-the-scenes story of the X-Wings but I'll summarize it quickly anyway: Incom was developing a new starfighter to the Empire, their model T-65. But those bastards defected to the rebellion with the prototypes, causing some ruckus. I don't support such stuff so I decided that I'll modify the whole thing so it's a prototype for the Imperial Navy.

The first thing I did after my last finished project was to clean and rearrange the working area (the side table of the kitchen) so that I can evacuate my junk whenever the table is needed for kitcheny things. From my awesome lego xmas calendar I got a handy plastic tray where my Vallejo paints fit like a dream. The remaining old Citadel/GW paints - some of them I got to use once before they dried up - don't fit that well but I'm phasing them out anyway so that's not a real issue.

This is a lot handier than my old "these paints are in that box and those are ... there"-themed dynamic random archive. Of course it needs to be adjusted and fine tuned, but I've got the time. And anything's an improvement.

But now to the business. I opened the box and checked what it contains (instructions included) to avoid the problems I had with my previous build. A couple of sprues and an almost pointless instruction sheet:

Naturally the next step was to cut the pieces off the sprues, clean them up and dry-fit them to see fi they work nicely. And to see what I need to fix. In the end I glued the engine pieces to the S-foils because they were grinning a bit too much on their own. I left the wings as they are because you can't change it between the normal flight mode and combat mode. Normally I'd call that cheating but I guess you can't demand all the awesoments from this kind of a kit. In the foreground you can see the pilot that's going to need most of the modifications. But I'll get back to that in a moment.

During the next couple of afternoons I rebasecoated the pieces with my trusty Vallejo gray. No interesting stories or legends about that:

When I get to the third phase I guess I'll paint a couple of lighter layers on select surfaces, aiming for a sort of "Star Destroyer White", as the Imperial Navy has it. As a bonus detail I could try to paint the Imperial insignia somewhere and maybe something that smells like a "prototype". Obviously that's a bit difficult 'case there's no real definite way to mark something as a proto.

Meanwhile I'll attack the dude in those awful orange overalls. In case my greenstuff isn't completely ruined by time, I could go for a new helmet for him and use some metal wire to fix the TIE Pilot tubes. The helmet itself doesn't need to be a normal Pilot bucket for the X-Wing has a life support system, unlike TIE series of fighters.
That idea wasn't my own, I even got a photo hint, though I don't have a clue where that pic is originally so I can't give due credit to the owner.

Maybe I get something like that done, that'd be cool. But we'll see how it goes when I start fooling around with Yet Another Thing I've Never Done Before...


Project 4/2010 is completed

Last night I finished this damn AA-cannon. Naturally I had to fix the right side shield, just like I suspected last time.

I thought that hey, I'll be efficient and drill a small hole with my handy pin-vise to both the shield's connector and the receiving end, glue a short piece of a paperclip to give structural support ("pinning"). WEll, I half-succeeded. The receiving end was easily drilled but the other one... no way. It's diameter was a bit too small to allow any sort of safe drilling even with such a small drill bit. As my second option I used white glue and superglue. That works almost as nicely but isn't nearly as genial and nicely hidden.

When the gluings had set I covered those areas with a bit of paint and attempted to weather the whole structure a bit with different browns. In the end I got carried away and applied the weathering stick I started using with my Sturmpanzer project. I guess it looks like something now.

As a whole this set was a bit weird. Of course I take full blame with the photoecth-failures, I'm just new to them. I'll do better in the future. To add insult to the whole thing, I managed to paint the lower right sector shut! Didn't see it in time, didn't dare to attack it later, because I was afraid of breaking that thing off for the umpteenth time.

But that instruction set... it was problematic. Mostly because I stupidly believed that it was going to mark all the optional things as such, like it claims in the legend, not to mention the good practice and politeness. In hindsight: I should've read the instructions carefully and write a huge "NO!" to the parts I was going to do differently. As a result I would've got the pose I visioned when I started this build.
Now that I followed the guidelines blindly, I noticed some frellups a moment or two too late. In the end the FlaK is in the driving mode as opposed to the shooting mode I wanted (barrels level, aiming at a wave of enemies).

While I was building I was wondering the aiming system. That piece that connects the aiming devices with the elevator system couldn't have been attached properly in any other way than how it is now: aiming high. If the barrels were any lower, it wasn't attachable between those two. That's somewhat weird, I think. Maybe an actuator(!?)-like plastic thing would've been a bit too cumbersome and difficult to produce in this scale. Had I known (and got the skills), it would've been scratch built just to get the gun how I wanted it to be.

Oh my, the time. Took a couple of weeks more than what I initially said, in my delusions of grandeur. For that reason I'll keep myself from making any those claims in the future ;)

Next time we'll go to space! Yay! Space! Awesome!