Lambda-class shuttle Ondiv

Because I've been so very productive this summer I thought it was time to take a couple of weeks off. To compensate, I'm sharing more treasures from my archives! Sadly these old photos are awful, thanks to my bad equipment and even worse mindset that I suffered from back in the day. I just didn't care enough of the proof. I'm awfully sorry and ashamed.

It's always the same

There's actually a short and typical (to me) story behind this model. Back in the elementary school I visited the Fantasiapelit shop with my friend every once in a while, just in case they had something interesting. At this time I had already bought and built my first MPC-manufactured Imperial Star Destroyer model. Once I noticed a box containing another MPC model, the Tydirium from the Return of the Jedi. I was really interested in buying it because I had always like the ship itself but I didn't happen to carry those 100 FIM in my pocket at that point. Of course I could've walked those 20+ meters to the ATM to get that (I didn't even have a debit card at that point in my life, just a simple ATM card, mind you), but I was stupidly lazy and thought that "I'll buy it the next time."
Of course the next time happened to be the very next weekend. Guess, if that kit was available anymore? No, it wasn't, that one box was all they had ever had in that shop, as far as I know. I swore like a pirate.

Attempts to rectify my situation

A good bunch of years later I started - to torture myself I guess - browsing eBay and of course there were unopened boxes of this model. But how could I have bought one at that time when I didn't have a credit card and neither did anyone I knew, for some reason or another. I couldn't and that's how it was.
Many more years after that, when I had finally joined the broadband world (yes, the story and I are both that old) I got to know and even became friends with some people on the other side of the Atlantic.

Somehow I agreed with one of them that she'd bid for one of those kits on my behalf, send it to me and then I'd pay her back for all her trouble - obviously. There was one question: "how high are you ready to go?" and my reply was simply "I need that :P". The following day I was the happy owner of an old model kit and all in all one hundred euros poorer. Yes, instead of paying 100FIM I paid 100Eur (about six times more) but I guess that's how it goes when you waste ten years...

That packet took quite a while to get here, a few weeks even. When I finally got my large box in my hands I noticed curious markings on its sides. As everyone knows I live in Finland but for some obscure reason my box was first sent to Thailand instead, where they rerouted it somewhere else (IIRC it went back to States according to the logs) with a friendly "out of gors" scribbled on top. Dear USPS people, what's the difference between Finland and Thailand, hm? :)
Didn't matter, I was happy to get this model at last and I showed it by bouncing around the office, to the amusement of my coworkers.

Assembling after a 10 year wait

There's not horribly much I can tell about the assembly, other than some faded memories, so I'll skip most of them. One major issue was the joining of the right side wing and the hull. It was either badly done or I had ruined something while building (the left wing went in and worked just fine), because switching from the landing mode to the flight mode and back wasn't smooth at all. So I had to cut and file a bit to get the pieces together.

The world of choices

While building I noticed that one has to make a permanent choice at some point: which mode it's in, flying or standing. If it was going to be standing on its landing gear, it couldn't be set up in the flying mode at all because the landing bay doors would block the wings. And if it's flying it would stand on its belly because the doors would be glued shut. Somehow I had thought you could alternate between these modes freely but that was not the case. Of course if the landing gear was built as retractable, it would've been way too flimsy to support the weight of the model.

The ramp opens!

I decided to build it more or less complete in the [landed] mode, take a couple of photos and then finish the model in the [flying] mode. This is because I definitely wanted to have it flying around instead of sitting on its armored butt. It's just a huge, huge shame that the few pics I took are so awful :|

There's not much to say about the paint job itself. It was done with a paintbrush + some drybrushing, with Revell's enamel paints - two shades of gray. Some gun parts were painted with Citadel's Gunmetal (for some reason I thought at that point that guns needed to have metallic parts) and the engine ports were painted with Revell's glossy white. Somehow I didn't take any publishable pictures from the rear side of the model and I didn't remember to take new ones for this post, sorry.

SHU Ondiv

Because this project wouldn't have even been started without my friend Ondiv, I named the vehicle after her. Oh and besides, there's been enough of Lambda-class shuttle models named Tydirium, don't you think?
Mode: landed

Mode: landed

Mode: flying



We'll see how those tracks end up after all... I've been somewhat busy lately, again, to say the least. Still, I should pay attention to what I do and do things properly or else keep my fingers off this beast.


The winter approacheth

While fooling around with many other things I had the time to make a mess of my tank the other evening. I was pretty curious to see how that camo I painted so many weeks a go would react to a bit of whitewashing. Immediately after the application the resultset looked a bit odd, but after a bit of waiting things got brighter.

Living in the moment

My idea was, again, to achieve a "field applied" kind of  winter camouflage. Maybe the guys got a surprise snowstorm while cruising around the French countryside and had to hastily apply a layer of thin white paint? This is how it ended at this point:


Back on track again

After these weeks of not building anything I've used a few good moments thinking of what and how to continue with this project. Earlier I left certain parts (tools and such) unglued with the idea of getting better access on the hull itself when I apply the winter camo. Of course it causes some head scratching: how do I glue them on and then apply the camo on them without ruining the hull's camo in the process? I decided that "it'll sort itself out" and went to do something else.


That something else goes by the name of tracks. I don't recall fooling around with these Magic Tracks of Dragon before and they're quite a different beast from the Tamiya individual link tracks. This time I started by preparing two columns of track pieces long enough to provide the footprint for the tank. When these are deemed worthy I guess I'll work on the hanging track portion and finishing with the forward- and rearward sections.

These kitty paws are barely started

My old weird approach

It'll be the first time I try to assemble the tracks this way, so I guess a bit of swearing will be heard. My main point is that I'm not going to repeat my old method where I first guess (educatedly) the required amount of pieces, set them up and apply the glue. After a while of curing I'd just wrap the half-cured and barely connected strips of tracks around and hope for the best... Maybe preparing the tracks in a couple of different sections (painting included) will work better.
Then again, I do have a couple of completed tanks where this weird and slightly difficult approach has actually worked just fine, so it can't be completely useless. Just difficult and maybe somewhat unreliable, even.


The hammer of war

A spark

During my years in this hobby I've poked my nose, among other places, in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Actually the whole scale modeling and "let's paint small things" thing bit my when I was in high school, when my friend Joose showed the Hero's Quest pieces he had painted. With my other friend Mika we thought that we could do the same with our Space Crusade games. These two didn't keep painting stuff for long but I seem to be still on the same road.

I still have that game somewhere in the closet and I think that the pieces are just plain awful, but maybe I could take a photo or a few to show where and how I more or less started all this. Some of them were so ugly that I had to repaint them later - but still ages ago so they may be only marginally better but pretty bad despite any "improvement" attempts of mine :P

Sinking deeper

Even though Space Crusade has a nice amount of varied pieces, they didn't last me forever. So I ended up going by Fantasiapelit every once in a while to get more crap to work on. If I remember correctly I had some imperial stormtroopers, space marines and because I liked the attitude, a Basilisk SPA unit (it was also a neat target marker on the board as opposed to an empty or a few-blip-infested room).

Then at some point, maybe it was because I liked the first Dawn of War RTS I invested in a metallic Dreadnought thingamagick. They've got flamethrowers and they can pick up their enemies and swipe the hordes with them - how can you not like that? Because I didn't have a deeper understanding of the Warhammer universe, I decided to take a safe route by doing a Blood Angels unit. Besides, one of the marine teams in the game was Blood Angels to begin with.

A red warmachine

My recollection of how I built this thing is hazy at best, but I do remember very clearly that the right arm was a project of its own. The connectors didn't fit together at all so I had to trim down the rod and carve up the hole so they'd fit at some point. Because of this the right arm is in an unusual-ish pose, to hide the small remaining gap. If I remember correctly, you could put an enemy figure in the raised arm to be thrown around and that it looked amusing.

The whole was basecoated black and then a bunch of layers of Citadel's Blood Red was applied. Those grappling fingers were painted with a Revell's metallic copper, metallic parts and worn off areas were drybrushed with either Chainmail or Mithril Silver - whichever of those I happened to own at that point. Tin Bitz was used on the exhaust pipes, that was a new, experimental paint for me at that point. Green lenses in the Left and Right Torso are just a dab of Green Ink each and all those bone/skull/wing decorations are first drybrushed with that metal paint and then redrybrushed more lightly with Skull White. That was the gist of it, at least.

My baseplate was again basecoated black and then simply drybrushed with whichever of the Citadel's greys I happened to have and that's all. The skull(s) and spent casings were done just like similarly coloured ones on the Dreadnought itself.

Oh, and those decals? I applied enough of them so that it wouldn't look "nude" by accident. As a whole I think it's a very neat thing even though I didn't have a clue about the item itself - not that I know more now. One thing that jumps out of the photos to me is that smoke grenade launcher, and I can't recall if I did something to this thingie after I had taken these photos... I'll take a look at my storage to see if that red beast is still somewhere or have I forgotten it to my parents or something. I also decided not to glue the torso to the hips because I wanted to torsotwist for the pics. And I'm not going to go and play with this piece so it didn't need to be sturdy for gaming purposes.

A superstylish finished piece

I'm the first one to admit: these photos are beyond awful. There's just nothing I can do to them anymore, really. Maybe my original idea was to take better photos at some point. Or maybe I just didn't care in the least. Do try to survive, ok?

That's this week's weirdness. For the next one I'm really going to try to get at least something done to my Jagdpanther. I've kept telling myself that for a couple of weeks already, but I'll prove myself one of these days ;)