Monday, 30 August 2010

Am Back

Okay, here i am again, all refreshed after 2 weeks out of England, up a mountain, eating drinking and sleeping when the sun sets.
Feel a lot better for it and hopefully it'll have topped up me Modelling Mojo a tad.
Anyway, too early to have gotten back into the building stuff, so here you are with the work in progress trailer of "Judge Minty" - a fan film i've been eagerly watching the development of. Minty was a kind of mentor of Dredd's and here we're gonna see his story. Oddly, it'll before ol' Chinface makes his next apperance.
But, can't wait.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Bye Bye

Right, off now for 2 weeks in a tent, up a mountain in the South of France. No elecricity, no technology, no modern world.
So, nowt from me my modelling chums till end of August ok?

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Heads up for Bowerhouse Vol 4

Well, after massive logistical delays, the next Issue is almost ready to go. Its a nice strong edition, favourite of mine being Martin's recreation of the "Leviathan" - one of Ron Cobb's pre-production designs for what eventually became the Nostromo. The photos of him building up layers and layers makes me (and me wallet weep).
Should be ready to ship in the next couple of weeks. Details can be found here:

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Dragonfly Ship - finished

Here she is then. Been debating whether to put the wings on or not but figure if its called a Dragonfly Ship i've got to put them on, yes?

Friday, 6 August 2010

German Satellite - finished

All done. Very pleased how she's come out. And makes a nice, impressive display on the shelf.

My other Redship

While painting my Lunar Module, thought i'd show you something else i'd sprayed "Mars Red", which i don't think i've put on here before?
Its mainly the Airfix 1/24th Harrier wings, a Saturn V neck, an opening clear ball for the cockpit, Mir space station for cockpit detail, Star Wars Virago for the underside, 1/35th AFV body shell for the topside and some EMA elliptical domes.
All made and painted to be reminiscent of Peter Elson's work.

B7 Hairdryer Ship - putting parts on

Its a bit frustrating in that a lot of the parts i've collected so far i can't put on as i need to put on some of the bigger pieces first to gauge just where they go.
And i haven't got those bits yet.
But some i can put on and you can see i've:
put on the Space Shuttle cowls down on the handles. These needed filing flat before i could do so byt that was no prob. Out of them i've put lengths of plastic rod. Was happy with that - until one of Exterminators photos showed that there was a small dome under each shroud that the rod connected to. But you can barely see them so i'm not going back.
The ribbed shape top left had me stumped - till someone pointed out it was half an engine bell from the Airfix Saturn V cut-down. Luckily, i have some of them. But it was a real pain to cut it netaly in half like this and i don't understand why Mat went to all the fiddly trouble of disguising the part like this when, surely, he had other parts in his bits box he could use?
The detailed part in the centre is from the R2D2 kit, being a bit of his leg. It doesn't quite fit on the blanking plate properly as i'd made the plate a bit too tall. But, seeing as i'd eyeballed its dimensions from the crappy screen shot, which is all i had when i made it, i'm quite chuffed that its very nearly right.
Sort of ditto with the green Lee/Grant tank part. Its meant to butt up against the ribbed section and not sit slightly over it but, again, i'd eyeballed how wide the ribbed bit should be and i'm not THAT far off. so i'm happy.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Liberator - sub-assemblies

Phew, that's that done. Don't remember how fiddly and mind-numbigly dull it was before to make the three pods, but finally got there.
Am REALLY not looking forward now to putting the ultra-fine brass wire in their noses...

UFO Lunar Module - nearly there

Apologies for the crappiness of the pic, only i'm using natural light and a crappy camera - which is making things look more glossy than they actually are and flaring things out something chronic.
Anyway, you should be able to see i'm starting to build up the weathering on the other side and have blocked in the windows with Chaos Black to see how things are pulling together

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Sherlock/Doctor Who/UFO/Captain Kronos

Scuttlebutt will have it that Benedict Cumberbatch is being groomed to replace Matt Smith in Doctor Who. Okay, his take on Holmes in the new Beeb series "Sherlock" sure has echos of the current Doc but, c'mon, give the guy a chance - he's only done one series.
Okay, some of the episodes were a bit duff but, through them all, Mr Smith has been a unique, powerful, mesmersising presence.
Bit early to be writing him off, yes?
For me, the only thing of note about this new chap is his mother.
Wanda Ventham.
The best thing in UFO after the special effects.
And a character in my favourite Hammer vampire film - Captain Kronos.
Two good reasons for putting up this non- modelling ramble.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

B7 Hairdryer Ship - deviating a tad

Now, this part of the build is retro-active. I didn't want to start to chronicle it then stall if i found i'd come up against a brick wall and couldn't go any further *cough* Gateway Shuttle.
But got enough parts now to think that's not a prob, so here i am remembering and typing what i did next.
If you're with my so far you'll recall all i had to go on at this stage were the very blurry screen shots and the Starburst photo.
I had to use them to decide what to do about covering up the two holes where the on-off switches had been. Studying what i had, it looked like Mat had used a plain piece of Plasticard. I could've done that easy but thought, to add a bit of interest, to use the ribbed version to add a bit of detail to a very blank area. It wasn't till Exterminator put his pics up that i saw what was actually used - some sort of baseplate by the look of it. But i like mine, so they're staying.
Next thing i did was address how to cover up the join on the underside between the main hull and the tube.
All i had to go on was this very crude shot of the rear and part of the underside, taken from the episode.
That offered up no clues as to what was going on under there.
Figured though that Mat would've used the same sort of blanking plate to cover up the lettering as he did up top. It'd also make a nice level surface for attaching the Airfix Stand. So i bunged one on.
Also figured he'd do the same as up top by detailing the area where the tube met the body. Not having a darn clue what he used - i eventually chose these two parts from the Airfix SRN4 kit. Of course, they're totally inaccurate - but feel the curvy, unusual look of them could fit in with the ethos of the craft.
So they're staying.
At least for the time being.

Monday, 2 August 2010

B7 Hairdryer Ship - off we go

So i've two hairdryers stuck together and no real idea what to do next.
Thought i'd start by trying to work out just how big some of the detail was, figuring if i knew that then it might help me figure out what they were.
First pic shows the start of that - just roughly pencilling in where the flat plate goes and roughly where some of the stand alone parts go.
That plate by the way was a good example of why i like doing projects like these - you get to understand why things were made a certain way. In this case, the plate was that size and in that place to hide the raised "Morphy Richards" lettering.
Next up was the long horizontal tubular shape at the top (which is actually the rear by the way). Mat said it was EMA tubing at either 1", 1.25" or 1.5". Drawing tubular shapes on card and offering it up to the hairdryers, i worked out that it was actually 1.25". Now, didn't want to order a pricey, far too long length of tube from EMA when a trip to B&Q can get me a 2 metre long length for less than 2 quid. Did that then, cut it to size and attached it. That proves difficult as the drainage pipe doesn't accept glue. Got round that by pinning it to the hairdryers, with P38 between the two shapes and more of the stuff smeared along the edge.
So i had a start but, although some of the parts looked real familiar, the only one's i could indentify were the Space Shuttle cowl things that sit half way down on the hairdryer handles.
With any sort of problem with kit part identification i always turn first to the excellent Eagle Transporter Forum:

The folk there sure know their stuff and really friendly too. Fast as well - it wasn't long before answers to kit parts started coming in. And VERY unexpected too was a whole bunch of large, clear photos of the original, kindly put up by "Exterminator" - a very talented, very knowledgable bloke and the person who actually got me back into B7 modelling after seeing his awesome Liberator scratchbuild.
Cheers Mr Ex, i owe you many pints should we meet.
Here's one of his pics, which goes to show: (A) How crappy my screen shots are, (B) How involved some of the detail actually is. Those two rounded shapes either side of the plate i had down as being basic domes, but its clear they're more than that. It also shows that there's a lot of detail that had gone missing by the time Mat was filmed for the DVD, especially at the front. And the rear isn't a plain tube at all. It actually has some ribbing detail to it. There was some discussion as to whether the tube was in fact a kit part from some rocket, but general opinion was that its plain tube with some ribbed Plasticard wrapped round it. You can also see on the rear that there's a lot more detail here than i thought there'd be.
Oh well, just makes it more of a challenge right?

Sunday, 1 August 2010

B7 Hairdryer Ship - research

So there i am with two hairdryers glued together and a very small photo of the uncompleted model for reference.
And some very odd looking shapes involved.
I started by freeze-framing the DVD and doing sketches of what i could see but then hit on the idea of taking photos of those still images - which produced these. Which, apart from being a great help, showed just how much the ship had changed between the Starburst pic and when Mat's holding it - the detail on the end of each of the hairdryers has gone and the colour has faded an awful lot.
Still didn't help me though so thought i'd go to the Man and contact Mat Irvine to see if he could remember just what he used.
What a nice guy. He was very pleasent and chatty and getting his emails was a real thrill as he was a modelling hero of mine during the 70's and 80's.
But, part-wise, i only learnt that a lot of the detailing (especially the "prong" thing between the hairdryers) were EMA and that there were three Airfix aircraft stands on the underside. The tubular section at the rear was EMA tube that housed the batteries for the lights inside. Am amazed that Mat went to so much trouble for something that'd be bilnk and you'll miss it moment.
Incidently, its curious that Mat called the ship the "Alien Scout Ship aka The Flying Hairdryers" and at shows it was labelled as and "Andromidian Scout Craft" - when in the episode Jenna tells Avon that a ship was landing on Star One but she didn't recognise the design. Now, that was Travis' ship. If he was indeed piloting an Alien craft, where the heck has he just flown in from?

Liberator - bit of a slog

Well, putting the INCREDIBLY thin brass etch nose probe went a lot better than i thought it would. Ditto bunging on the very thin, very fiddly vanes that go round it.
Less fun is putting together the "weapons pods" - a right old slog and no mistake. Don't remember it being this dull and tedious first time round (maybe its attempting after the hassle free joy of the Lunar Module?) but it sure is. And i've got to this three times????

Blake's 7 Alien Scout Ship - aka the Flying Hairdryers

So, there i am all fired up with all things B7 as i've got the Comet Liberator, Series 3 box set for me birthday, and a hankering to build something a bit different.
And it don't get much more different than this craft.
Mat Irvine's says on the extras DVD for Series 2 that he made the mistake of showing on Saturday Superstore how he made the ship out of two hairdryers - and has always regretted it.
No need for that, reckon its a lovely, unique design, highly reminiscent of the 70's SF paperback covers of the likes of Foss/Elson etc.
Anyway, i'm watching "Star One", see its brief 1.5 second appearance, and suddenly go "with eBay now i reckon i could have a go at making one".
Really like the idea of building studio scale recreations but usually am put off by the rarity or sheer number of kits used, or not having access to speciality materials or tools.
But figure recreating something made for the infamously low budget Beeb must mean it wouldn't cost TOO much. Right? Er... Keep watching...
First up was to find just what type of hairdryer was used. I'd recently joined up again with "Horizon", the Blake's 7 fan club (which was novel - joined it sometime during the Second Series's first airing and left during the horror of the Fourth) and asked on their very friendly Forum if anyone knew what they were.
First answer back was a company called "Pifco". Searches for them turned up some right old 60's and 70's designs - but nothing like what i was after.
So i typed in "70's retro hairdryer" and pretty quickly found what i was after, as these Morphy Richards are very distinctive with their holey pattern and curvy shape.
It took a while for two to turn up that were the same model number but in the end i got there - one was pretty beat up and cheap, the other was mint in box - and wasn't...
But, i had them.
Stumbling block at this time was that all i had in reference pics was this shot from a contempery interview with Mat in "Starburst" of the unfinished craft minus its domes.
But i cracked on - by cracking open the hairdryers, gutting them and sticking them together. Superglue seemed to work fine but i didn't trust it so filled the gap with P38 for added strength.