Time's a funny thing

It wasn't that long when I turned eight myself. Right?

Straightening the tags

Hypnotic gestures be damned, now we're working on numbers and other important things. For a good long while during July-June I poked around this blog's tags with the goal of making them more useful. I thought that maybe by using the model kit maker as a tag per project I'd maybe able to track what sort of stuff I've worked on. Those tags I left away from the general queue updates (unless I accidentally mass-added something somewhere) so that e.g. "Hobby Boss" only was set on while working on their models.

For a bit I pondered if I should've added the scale as well, but I decided against it as it wasn't going to limit the findings much. 1:72 would give you just about all the flying things, 1:35 would contain ~90% of all the rest, while the remains would be random, along the lines of "this 'Mech is that scale and that Imperial Walker is that scale". If I followed my own rules as strictly as I ought to.

I had also used pretty general-purpose model and type tags with different variants, like F-22 vs F-16A or my both Warthogs getting tagged as A-10. Then there was a Panther Ausf G, which I wanted to split as Panter and Ausf G, because I could end up building other German things that had a subtype G. Or a Leopard 2A6M that'd only make my repeat most of the tag's name, if I ever made a bigger scale Leopard but a different variant.

Then again, I thought that it'd be quite silly to set up a tag just for one unique project (such as the A-10 N/AW that I was most likely never going to repeat). But had I added too fine-grained tags somewhere I could always remove them, just like I had half-recently done. A few things that ended up being useless (once-used "Duke Nukem" was the first to come to mind) went to /dev/null and hopefully got replaced with some more useful ones.

All in all, it didn't make sense to go too deep with this stuff, as the reader's UI didn't - as far as I knew - allow searching with multiple tags. That was a damn poor implementation, but I guessed anyone interested in something would find something this way. This tagset has lived a bit lately and I assume it was going to do that until I was content for a while.

My modeling situation

Lately my progress and modeling in general has been slow, after the long and slow T-35 I made some supposedly quick and easy MEM sets. But even those didn't get much attention thanks to the real life (the heatwave!), it's been calm so far.

As I had foreseen, during my four months on childcare leave were so full of home stuff and this and that, that I didn't use the younger one's nap times on modeling or anything. Being completely and utterly honest, most of that time I just wanted to sit down in peace for a short moment and didn't feel like doing anything too taxing :) I guess this all's going to change quite a bit as everyone gains more age.

While you're reading this I've been back to work for two weeks, the real life timeline will soon meet the blog's scheduled posts. Or not.

Project assistant 1: status

Somehow my Project Assistant's own models haven't been finished or even progressed in ages. At the time of this posts's writing the following models/projects are stuck in the inspiration limbo: Ka-50 (IV/17), Revell's ISD (VI/17) and an IS-2 (of that I haven't posted anything, if my memory serves, the 1:72 scale tank has been built but that's it).

The potential Project Assistant 2 isn't old enough to even pretend to be interested in anything but throwing everything around. Well, the Aggregat-9 has been fwooshed around with proper sound effects for who knows how many months, so maybe not all hope is lost! If I get a second modeling buddy, we'll see later.


Finished: Project VIII/17

Sienar Fleet Systems

TIE/sa Bomber

To be honest, I cannot recall ever seeing this TIE/sa marking anywhere else but the wpedia, everyone else has always talked about the TIE/B or TIE Bomber. All the same to me, now I've used this marking as well.

I took a bunch of photos from different angles and as usual, applied them below. The next day I brought the model back to the office and proudly presented it around. Confusingly few people recognized it, but as the hit percentage wasn't a flat zero, I couldn't complain much.

With a very little coercing I ended up promising to show the Bomber and a couple of "real" models one Friday afternoon at the Tinkering Club. Their response was somehow staggering in its positivity.


A sickeningly quick proto-paintjob

My first thoughts had been to clean up the model and so on. But then I thought, why bother being fancy with a prototype? Especially, as I didn't have a clue of how this material would behave with the paints or anything.


White Vallejo sufrace primer, what else could I say or describe? Same, same. I just sprayed it on and enjoyed the whiteness.

Airbrushed greyness

Just for simplicity I started by blasting Vallejo's USAF Medium Grey all around (VMA 71120) and then dusted it a bit with the USAF Dark Grey (VMA 71123) for some hopefully subtle variety. Then I  attacked the solar panels with a bit of some of a much darker grey to make them stand out more.

The paintbrush approach

Later I thought that maybe I should do the most visible surfaces again, with a thicker layer of paint. In this case losing even some of the model's surface scruffiness would only be a good thing. To protect the command pod's viewports I applied a bit of masking tape before blasting it with a dark grey, just like what I did with the solar panels. These pics below are from the "just before removing the masks and actually taking the paintbrush in hand" phase.

One final round for the detailings

To wrap this one up I applied some Citadel's black wash (Nuln oil) on the viewport transparisteel bits and the solar panels. The double sticks in the rear parts of the pods I painted red (VMA 71085 Ferrari Red) and then I used some plain black with a piece of a sponge to mostly-drybrush and dab at the port of the missile/rocket launcher and its details that always have made me think of exhaust redirection vents.

As soon as the paints had dried I applied some semiglossy varnish on the black-washed pieces (Vallejo 70522 Satin Varnish) because that one looked more natural than the wet-looking gloss varnish. In this case the result wasn't optimal, as I think that my varnish had gone beyond its best before date already. Some of the photos still showed the effect, which was good enough for a proto model.


In the footsteps of sculptors

Aiming at perfection

"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." That was said by some pen-spinner back in the day. It sounded like it fit this moment perfectly, as I was just ripping off extra crap that had no place in my model.

A closer look. Too close.

I took a couple of photos of the model. Looking up close the printer's resolution on these settings was pretty obvious. I showed a file at a couple of the corners, but then decided that the prototype wouldn't actually need to be slim, sleek and smooth. This'd look decent when observed from at an arm's lenght :p


Project VIII/17

[edit] Yeah, I know this postset is coming out almost a year after I had this one done, I just didn't want to intermix these with the T-35 posts, in case I ran out of stuff to say before I had time to work on something more reliably again. 2018 is, has been and will be a bit of a weird year for the 'Mumblings

Hello from the 'labs

I had heard of (and seen) a couple of months before my first workday, that my new workplace had a few 3d printers. My first idea was obviously Nemesis the Warlock's Blitzspear but I just couldn't find a model of it. Well, someone sold a file for 80 USD but that was a bit too much for a silly test. And I really had no skill nor experience with any 3d modeling software. From a different universe - Farscape - Moya and Talyn did raise lots of interest but then I somehow remembered my often-repeated complaints about how there have never been TIE Bombers as scale model kits...

From plans to action

I consulted a colleague of mine who played more in these circles and on a half-rainy early-autumny Thursday afternoon we went and pressed the "print" button. The slicer thought after a bit of rotating, setting up and setting-adjusting that it'd eat half a day.

This was what a single extruder would take, the moarxtruder that had still been installed a week before would've been noticeably faster (with worse resolution) but what can you do? As the quality settings we opted for the normal ones, not the fast or the best details presets. Because of the funny shapes the Bomber also required a check in the "all supports" checkbox and of those we went for the volcano-like shape of supports, as the model itself had such a tiny footprint.

There was a handy webcam view where we could check if the damn thing even started working. Oh yes, it did, oh yes.

Hurmh.. About three hours later there were still over 12 hours of printing time left.

A four-hour checkpoint

On my way home I popped by the office to check how it was progressing. Slowly. Luckily I (nor anyone else) didn't need to stay to oversee the process.

The Friday morning experience

As usual, I was pretty early at the office. This time I didn't start by making coffee but went to check the webcam feed from my 'puter - for nothing. The device claimed to be done, the temperatures were down and because the room itself was dark, the image feed was pretty much useless. So I ran to the printer, again passing by the coffee machine rapidly and unnaturally.

I may have made a bwahahahaaa-like sound when I found my print. It was both larger than I had expected and also lighter than what it looked like. Cleaning up all that support framework did sound unfun, though.