30.12.15

Off to destroy the stars

I'll say it as the first thing: I didn't remember to take photos as much as I should've, as I got carried away. Instead I photographed some more or less key points of the process, like "look at the size of these things" and general views. Based on how I felt like and all that, as we tend to take care of business here in the Project Mumblings.

First the bottom hull

This time I followed the instrtuctions carefully (except that one time when I skipped a step accidentally, thanks to a day-long break) and I at least thought I was double-checking each step and piece. All this to avoid misplacing anything.

The bottom hull piece got a single piece to reinforce and decorate itself to begin with. Already while setting this first piece in I smelled potential trouble along the way: the hull of my Star Destroyer would have to be bent into an unmarked angle and if I ended up twisting it back and forth a few times (in this case I think the x would be a low number in this equation), it'd break neatly in two. This'd apply to the much busier top hull with even larger certainty. I was feeling sweaty even before I had started anything for real.


The SFS i-a2b Solar Ionization Reactor

This flower was to be turned into the bottom of the SIR dome that'd hang from the hull. Its weird shape and eight attachment points didn't really promise much fun times in my future...




In the end it wasn't that bad. I got the dome attached into its base on the third time, the first two just left one part somehow misaligned. This subassembly fit easily and perfectly into its own slow like a chainsaw into someone's belly. And it looked good, even though it wasn't as round as it really is.




The main hangar

My ship's main hangar was modeled, but the front hangar was apparently protected by some blast doors. This annoyed me (a tiny bit), but it wasn't that big a deal. The main hangar was installed quickly after a couple of quick twists.



After this was done, three blocks were to be attached to the bottom hull. I tried to google for some excuses for them, but I just didn't find anything. Maybe there's still some space for imagination in the GFFA? Colour me surprised.


Engineering

What worried me the most in this project were the engine exhaust nozzles. Rolling round or round-ish shapes didn't provide with the most aesthetic results the last time, either. Well, I wasn't that scared of the main engines but the supplementary drives scared me quite a lot.

The KDY Destroyer-I ion engines

At this point we got where results overrode the documentation. I rolled the main engine nozzles so that I could close them. Two out of three proved to be acceptable, one ended up looking damn awful, despite (or because of?) my adjustments.

Then I started attaching the cones into the rear hull piece, according to the instructions. I did think for a moment if I should do it the other way: attaching this triplet last so that the tiniest pieces would have the most space. But I quickly decided to follow the suggestions instead of fooling around - just in case.


The main cones fell in their places with only a tiny bit of fighting. Mostly I had to readjust the tiny tongues you can see in the photo, they had to get aligned in a good angle so that they'd both enter their slots at the same time. With these being easy and requiring tinkering, the next step didn't sound any more appealing.

The Cygnus Spaceworks Gemon-4 ion engines

My ISD's auxiliary engines were to be built out of four microscopical fans, folded into cones and attached into tiny base plates - which then were to be attached into the rear bit, between the somewhat larger cones. No panic.


Folding the first Gemon-4 pair didn't actually take much time. The setup of this double nozzle took less than ten minutes, all the fighting and readjustings included. But getting those into the rear hull part took at least that much time and a good amount of retries.

In the end the best approach was following:
  1. Bend the tongues into a bit less than 90 degrees
  2. Attach the two-tongue part first
  3. Bend the tongues just enough to keep the bit locked in
  4. Repeated steps 1-3 with the other piece
  5. Positioned the single tongue just about where it belonged, for both bits
  6. Bent the rear hull piece so that the auxiliary engine units were locked in¨
  7. Locked all the connectors



Ignoring the odd shapes it ended up functional. Now I just needed it to settle it nicely in its own place.

The top hull

The command tower

The command tower was another part that didn't get photographed while in progress. The main body was built out of two big pieces and on top of that a sensor array was installed, which has been mislabeled as the bridge in some places. On both sides of the array a pair of ISD-72x Shield Generator / Sensor domes were to be assembled and installed. Recreating the proper, original shape wouldn't have been reasonably doable in this scale, so this asymmetric 14-side polyhedron was the most useful solution, I guess.




Settling the command bridge module into the tower's superstructure was a surprisingly tight operation. The main thing is that they got together and looked just wonderful.

Some unnamed subassemblies

Next I started folding the constructs that belonged at the base of the command tower. I did try to find any excuses or examples of what they had, but didn't find anything clear and singular explanation, so sod it, they're just constructs now.



I proceeded with the instructions and attached the tower on the top of the hull. I had bent the top hull part in a tolerably shallow angle, in my own opinion, but apparently it was still too steep. After the tower was done I fought the five-subcomponent structure at the base. For some reason this piece was a very difficult one to get to align properly, I just didn't seem to get it set. But after a bit of poking and quite a bit of swearing all the locking bits got where they were to go and I could proceed.



The end was near: just a few extra decorational pieces and slates were added on the top hull. And things were looking good indeed.



Combining the halves

With great eagerness I started attaching the top half onto the bottom half. I begun by connecting the nose bits and then progressed along the port side (left). My brow creased noticeably, when I saw that something wasn't right at all. And yes, somehow, at some point, I had managed to ruin two out of three connector tongues (two rearmost) from the right-hand side of the side armor.

Can you believe that I swore? And I don't even have a clue when this happened. In any case, I added the temporary "this is how it looks right now" photos below.







I may be a tiny bit pissed off right now because of this. But as they say in the Back to the Futures: to be continued...

29.12.15

We are Motörhead - we play rock'n'roll

1945-2015


"Death is an inevitability, isn't it? You become more aware of that when you get to my age. I don't worry about it. I'm ready for it. When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn't complain. It's been good."

Just about everyone's going to be starting with the Ace of Spades (not that there's anything wrong with that) but I'll be slightly but non-surprisingly different: Killed by Death

23.12.15

Project VIII/15

As the last and eighth project of the year I ended up with another snack: an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer by Metal Earth Models. This one even came with its own stand, nice!


A metallic Star Destroyer

The AT-AT by the same maker that I built earlier this year was a nice build and the result pleased me greatly. My expectations for this one were reasonably high, especially as beautiful Star Destroyers would most likely be easier for this kind of work, shape-wise and the final model would undoubtedly be a magnificent sight to behold. Of course all this pre-praise required that I didn't ruin something myself - and badly.


Again the packet contained a sheetful of instructions and two sheets of laser-cut fine-looking parts. To my great enjoyment I noticed the almost complete lack of very thin and long pieces, so overbending those while removing them wasn't a hure risk, unlike with just about all of t the AT-AT's leg parts.



16.12.15

Finished: Project VII/15

Challenger II MBT

The tracked pride of the Brits ended up with a peculiar camo pattern. I'd say that the painting broke its form pretty effectively and it might actually work nicely in an autumny maple-heavy forest. Or in a corner of a city that's a spray-painter favourite. Still, I didn't go out with the model to take some example photos, even though maybe I should have. Well, too late for that now, can't help it anymore.














The most important thing was that my Project Assistant had clearly a lot of fun, that she was happy and even proud of what she had done. Oh, and that she got to do something for real and with a permission.

In any case: she's not going to paint a thing with my airbrush (or try it out alone) in a looooong time still. Maybe.

9.12.15

An explosion of colours

The starting point

To replace the previously failed photos I took a new one where one could see the top sides of the tank, all clearly and neatly primed. Everything looked good and well-covered, so I didn't have to patch anything up, causing new delays or problems.


Paint paint paint

On one early evening the eager painter was released on her model. Very surprisingly she chose blue as her first paint, instead of her favourite, Orange.

As a fascinating detail she was pretty careful while painting, instead of just swishing around with the paintbrush. She also held the model very nicely, instead of the full-hand grab that we had been somehow expecting. Perhaps all the watching over me had given ideas or the explanation is somewhere else. Still, it was plenty of fun to watch :)






After one session a decent amount of untouched grey was still visible. Considering its painted parts the tank looked like either a paintball target, a piece of urban art or something you'd see in a neon-camouflaged fighting unit in Seoul or Tokyo - completely without all the scifi associations, though. Or it just looks like someone's first ever Warhammer 40,000 vehicle :P

Painting, round 2

After a number of evenings my Project Assistant wanted to get back to painting her tank. The table was double-covered quickly and the beast was released on her model.






Her painting process was very careful and it looked like she was paying quite a bit of attention to it, surprisingly much. Especially the carefulness surprised us. When something like twenty minutes of work had elapsed she declared that "This is now ready!". Good, now it was good and done. I asked if she wanted decals on her tank and such, just like daddy's models. Her response was an immediate "yes!" - I was very pleased with that.

Kuvaton viimeistely

I spent a brief moment on two afternoons to first apply a gloss varnish all the places that were going to get a decal on them. On the second one I asked "which of these options would you prefer?" and did as requested. I did try to explain what the point was and why did I do things the way I did with the decals, but it didn't seem to be that interesting at this point. No surprises there.

So I put on a handful of numbers 32 and greater than signs, whose excuse I've never cared about enough to actually google it. These ended up in the sides of the turret and the skirts. On top of the gun's barrel, in the front face of the laser box I put a flame sign, whatever its point was. There were a bunch of other decals on the small sheet, such as stripes and slightly different greater than signs, but as none of them were declared on the instructions, I threw them away.

To finish the model up and protect it a bit from the expected playing around with, I applied a healthy layer of matt varnish all around. At this point I didn't take any photos, but left the model curing in peace over the night.