Thursday, 30 September 2010

RIP Tony Curtis

Please forgive this interuption from the scheduled themes, but i'm pretty darn cut up about this.
Tony Curtis was THE man when i was growing up and the only person i wanted to be when did finally grow up. First saw him in the Vikings, then Spartacus, then as the Great Leslie (still his finest hour IMO), then as Danny in The Persuaders.
Only as an adult did i see him in The Sweet Smell Of Sucess, The Bostan Strangler, Some Like It Hot and The Defiant One's and realised what an asonishing actor he was and what a great range he had.
The last few years i've been hoping for Tarantino to revitalise his career a la Travlota, but its wasn't meant to be.
Hopefully now, with him gone, folk'll realise what they've overlooked for so, so long. Not fair but it'll be something.
As he goes, i'm left with some terrific pieces of work to remember him by and the following quote (taken from memory, so apologies if its not quite right), that sums him up nicely:
"Aren't you worried a 70 year old marrying a 30 year old might bring upon a heart attack?"
"Hey, if she dies, she dies"

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

B7 Hairdryer Ship - more progress

This here projects had a wee bit of a stall as, before i can attach any more detail, i needed half a fuel tank from an "AMT Cabover" truck. Not willing to pay out a lot of dosh for a kit in the States just for a tiny bit.
So, been getting kinda frustrating waiting for a UK sale. But then it occured to me that Martin Bower, with his vast stash of kitbits, might have just what i needed.
He didn't, but did have something very similar - it was too long, close ended, had extra detail and chrome plated but would do.
Once i got it was a simple matter of just sawing it to the right size and bunging it on. The only difference once all done will be a little bit more detail on it than the original but i can live with that.
Now its on you can see i've started adding more kitbits around it.

Galactica Viper - off we go

So the ships landed and off we go with it.
This is how we were after just 10 mins - the landing gear flaps attached and the cockpit assembled and primed. Actually, the cockpit isn't glued, its just pushed together (which is very easy to do and the parts stay put) as i want to take it apart again after priming to get in there and detail it properly.
A couple of things to note from the instruction sheet. Sure its nice to have colour photos of where you're at in the build, but the text is rather confusing and often contradicts just where each part goes compared to the pics. Would have prefered line drawings meself.

Victorian Blaster - front part done

So i've attached the SR4 parts as blanking plates and attached the barrels to them. You can also see i've added some detail to the underside. That's really just to blend the barrels in and hopefully not make them look like they've just been bunged on there.
REALLY good BitSpotters will see they're the bay doors off the self same Shuttle kit i got the barrels from.

Victorian Lunar Lander - in grey

Have to hurry this along now as there's so many projects on the go and about to start.

Star Wars in 3D

*Sigh* It had to happen didn't it? Any chance to wring some money out of it they'll do:

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Victorian Blaster - underway

Okay, lets get started shall we?
Here i'm filling in the screw holes and i've adapted the Shuttle rockets by cutting one half down so the other side will fit flush to the sides of the gun. Didn't want to just bung them on so you can see here one of two pieces from the Airfix SR4 Hovercraft that i'll be cutting down and adding as a spacer between the tubes and the main body. I've also got here half of a fuel tank from an aircraft kit that i'll be putting up on the top to get rid of the rather crude, blocky shape that's already there.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Galactica Viper group build

Really looking forward to this.
Over on the SFMUK site - - a new group build is just about to start.
Namely, everyone builds the Moebius Models kit of the Viper in the livery of a made up Battlestar.
Its been put to the vote and, for this project, the ship the Viper resides in is "Battlestar Excalibur" and they belong to "Spitfire" Squadron.
Rules are:
Must be in this most probably the one colour scheme of red white and blue.
Ship must be as white as possible as the special custom decals we'll be supplied with are translucent.
And it looks like we've got to have them with landing gear down.
That's because next year they'll all be going to the Crewe model show to be displayed in a hanger setting.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Star Wars Galactic Battles

The house right now is deeply into Star Wars and the Sprogs have been very good, so went off to the toy shop to get them a reward.
Came back with these figures from a new idea, which is you get the figure plus a card, bit like a Top Trump, to which you can battle your opponent.
Totally stunned by the quality of them - the detail and casting is amazing (especially on IG88 here) and the paint job on the eyes is top notch. I couldn't do that well taking ages, let alone on a production line.

Victorian Blaster

Still in the Steampunk frame of mind, this new project was brought about mainly by:
(A) Just finishing the Doctor Grordbort albums - lovely Victorian-set space adnvetures, very tongie in cheek, with some excellent armour designs, care of Weta Workshop (each of which you can buy. Can't help feeling the books are glorified adverts for the range).
The other is my good friend Fluffy who, over on Facebook has created the persona of "Jack Union, Victorian Monster Hunter (!/pages/Jack-Union-Victorian-Monster-Hunter/122950984420156?ref=ts ).
Fired up by both, thougt i'd have a go at making my own weapon, so set out to look for a toy gun that i could use as the basis.
Found it on the first go - Asda have this one on special offer at only 6 quid. I was attracted to it by the neat, swept back grip and the fact there's some detail at the rear that's nice and clunky and that i could retain.
Stripping of its guts, i then thought how i'd adapt it. First idea was to saw the barrel off and bung on an Ovaltine jar. That'd make for a nice, bulky unusual design but (a) its not really in keeping with the elegant swept back look of the grp, (b) figure it'd look to much like Hellboy's gun.
Had a trawl round the shops for some sort of tubing affair that i could add to it, but came up with nothing.
Had a look through my spares box though and came up with this - its one of the external rockets from the Airfix Space Shuttle kit and is the tube shape i want, plus it has nice ribbed detail along it and a flared end, which i'm hoping will be reminiscent of a blunderbuss.
I'm also going to put one on each side to make a double barrel affair.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Star Wars Year By Year

Been umming and ahhing over this for the last few weeks. Its on offer in my local bookshop at £24.99 instead of the RRP £35.00, mighty big, mighty thick, in a nice slipcase.
Been putting it off thinking its a bit of a fluff piece - i mean, if its really year by year then how do they fill the quiet years.
So, been putting it off, figuring i'll save my money for the mighty impressive "Making Of The Empire Strikes Back", which is out next month.
But, i'm alone with the Sprogs tonight, need an early night so a films out, and figure a new book along with a glass of wine might be just the ticket.
So got it.
And very glad i am too.
Not that wordy, it being more a visual guide to the events prior, during and after each film, but the pictures are fantastic.
Like the "Making" Star wars book - and i'm guessing the upcoming Empire one - there's tons of never seen before photos, not only of Lucas' films, but related one's too. And related is quite an open net.
So, for example, in 1973 you not only get to see what George was up to, but a lot of other folk who'll soon join the project - cue a nice still of Dave Prowse from "Frankenstien And The Monster From Hell".
Still flicking through it at the mo' and will have a proper read once i turn this darn thing off, but of not so far is:
brilliant close-up of the Falcon being detailed,
unusual shot of Vader in mid-robing,
nostalgia shots of the very first action figures,
the bizarro covers of some of the Marvel comics between films,
the flashback of "Splinter Of The Mind's Eye".
Looks to be a great read. Will post up some of my favourite images soon.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Victorian Lunar Lander

Wee bit of progress here. Bunged on some of my beloved Go-Fasta Stripes and some bits i think look the part. Decided to have detail hanging down a bit on the lower section. It breaks up the simple design i know, but feel its too elegant looking at the moment and not nearly clunky enough.
The silver vertical piece on the right is a chrome exhaust from a bike kit and will eventually be a chimmney. Totally illogical to have anything like it i know, but i like it.

WOTW Martian - ah, poo

Poo indeed.
There he is, pretty much done all bar the veins and eye membrane needing painted.
Feeling pretty pleased with it, i turn on the LED to see how its looking...
And something that had never occured to me became glaringly obvious.
Those type of LED's are bright to be sure - but most of the light goes staight ahead instead of in all directions as in conventional bulbs.
Meaning its lighting up the rear of the centre of the lenses membrane and hardly any of it is going out the clear parts.
So, have now dug out the lens (which i'd luckily not glued in) and prised apart the body (which i'd unluckily had) to get the LED and its wiring out.
Decided best step is to get two more of them and try and place each right up behind each clear section.
And i've painted the eye socket silver now, figuring it could collect any stray light and bounce it forwards.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

WOTW Martian - starting the painting

(1) Here's the eye for the fella and for the camera. I've painted both on the inside with Tamiya Clear colours and blocked in the dividing areas between each lens on the outside in black.
(2) The curse of studio lighting strikes again. The chappie varies a lot even in the very brief time he's seen on-screen due to all the moody lighting. The clearest shot you goet of him lit properly is when Anne spies him outside the house and he seems to be quite a salmony flesh tone. You can just about see it as highlights in this still.
(3) So, here he is based in Games Workshops "Dwarf Flesh"

Liberator - small update

Apologies for anyone watching for progress on this build. I am still working on it but... the flamin' brass wire for the prongs are REALLY hacking me off. They're so small and delicate and prone to bending that i keep putting them aside to turn to easier fare. But you can see here that the weapon pods are coming together nicely.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

WOTW Martian - assembly

(1) Right, first thing to address was lighting the fella up. A trip to the el cheapo store got me a single LED torch for a quid. Broke it open to get to the bulb, then soldered a long lead to it.
)2) Next was clean up and wash. Clean up was a simple case of removing the pour lugs., no seam lines, no filling needed. LOVE this kit.
Guessing Pegasus knew folk might want to light up the eye judging by the recess here behind the lens. As you can see, i've drilled right through. Also had to drill a hole through the middle of the body.
(3) The part fit is so good that i could assemble everything together without glue ready for priming.
(4) Here's the head with primer on, the eye socket area painted black to prevent light bleeding though (although the things so thick, don't think that'll be a prob) and the LED fitted. Looks like its a tad too bright but that's ok - its powered by three tiny watch batteries and, by removing one, i can reduce the light by a third. We'll see how it looks when the lens is painted and in.

Friday, 10 September 2010

WOTW Martian

Blimey, i only went into Modelzone for some glue and filler...
Been awaiting this kit since it was announced as the George Pal version of War Of The Worlds was my number one film until Blade Runner knocked it off the top spot, and the Martian has always had a lot of charm, even if its nothing like Wells' original.
What was putting me off was the £34 price tag for a 1/8th figure.
So i figured i'd wait a while and see if i could pick it up cheaper. But there i was in the shop yesterday and there sat the fella looking at me.
And it took about 2 seconds before i gave in and bought him.
And was i glad too.
Open the box and you're presented with these here parts.
First thing to note is the hideous orange vinyl, which makes it look like something from the toy section of Poundland. Look beyond that though and there's a ton of luvverly skin detail and veins all over the place.
Next thing that's apparent is the clear base. Why? Still trying to figure it out but for the life of me i can't see why its done that way. It can't be to allow for some sort of uplighting as the base represents the floor of the ruined house, and there's so much junk on it that there's no way you could do it, even if such a thing happened in the film. Which it doesn't.
Then we have four arms. Its a nice choice - you choose to have them as on the box art, or them held together to cover up the eye as in the film when Gene Barry shines his torch at it. I'm going with the first one but will be using the spares to try out different colour schemes.
Next are the detailing parts. You get the shattered spy device, its neck, and a couple of books - one of which is The War Of The Worlds.
Finally, you get the eyes for both Martian and Spy. These are clear IP and, as the Martians eye is lit in the film, i can't really not light this fella up.
Might be a tad difficult though...
The vinyl is very heavy and thick, meaning drilling through the eye orbit into the head cavity will take some doing. Ditto running the cable down through the body.
The vinyl was a suprise - no heating up and triming of parts here. The don't have anything else other than small pouring stubs to remove and all sections fot together without glue as the peg system is so good.
Well done Pegasus.
Final thing to say is the size of the thing. I'd always figured, as it was 1/8th, it'd be pretty small. But, as you can see here, alongside my Iria kit in the same scale, he's a big fella.

Gumship is now a Victorian Lunar Lander

Decided to go the Steampunk route, so have to start making it look like such. Figuring nothing conveys steam-era ships more than portholes (other than a chimmny, but that makes no sense here) i've bunged some on, which are the smallest washers i could find.
And i'm just starting to add anything i can find that might look the part

Douglas Trumball

SO pleased this genius of a man has started posting these mini documentaries. The Blade Runner segments are just jaw-droppingly good:

Monday, 6 September 2010

UFO Lunar Module - pretty much done

Yep, just a few more dark washes to blend everything in, and that's it. Here she is on her really rather nice lunar base. Will at some stage change the metal support rod for a clear one.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


So, back from holiday, all fired up and ready to do some modelling - but have to do tons of long, long shifts at work.
To ease the frustration a bit, decided to take some bits with me to work on there.
The main part being this ball. My wife, bless her, has developed an eye for shapes that she thinks i might be able to use and is always saving me things or bringing stuff home.
She went off to the shops when we were away and came back with this ball, thinking i might like it. Certainly do - but not the contents. They were the most God-awful apple flavoured chewing gums, which i mostly chucked away.
Anyway, took that to work and i also had a quick rummage through the large parts kit bits box and came up with these brown shapes. They're half a body and wings from an Anime kit that i've had for yonks now.
Took quite a bit of glueing and filling as the wings aren't meant to be legs and they're certainly not meant to join there, but in the end i had this.
All the while i'm working on it i'm thinking colour scheme. The unfeasabale design and the elegant detail on the wings/legs are suggesting two possible routes for me:
(1) A brightly coloured Flash Gordon affair.
(2) A Steampunk contraption.
Just got the latest Drone and there's a feature in there on Steampunk, plus there's a category devoted to the subject in next years Dronerama, so am thinking i'll go that way.