Monday, 30 September 2013

Harrier Jump Jet - jumping around with ideas.

So, what do you do when you're given a kit but told to "follow the instructions?"
Hmmm... then i'd have a Harrier Jump Jet sitting amongst all my space craft.
"I know" thinks i, "I'll follow them partially, but go my own way mainly."
But where to diverge from the given?
As you can see, the plane breaks down into a number of sub-assemblies (much different from the Airfix kits i remember and, boy, hasn't their tooling improved?) and i thought might be the way to go - put some of the sub-assemblies together in a different way.
First attempt was to put the wings on backwards a la Thunderbird 2 - nope, the part fit didn't work at all and would've made for a ton of filling.
Next idea was turn the body and wings upside down then stick the cockpit on - nope, that looked daft.
So what i think i'm going to do is put the wings on as normal, but leave the cockpit section off completely.
That leaves the engine intake as some sort of open maw, and i'll be sticking some sort of bubble cockpit up on top of the wings.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Slave 1 - advancement

Right, top half i'm not too happy with - persevered with the green/grey combo for it, hoping that it'd pull together once i put more colours on. It didn't:

I've actually gone further down the road with it since this pic, putting on other colours and weathering with pastels, hoping it would turn things around. It didn't. So i've no choice but to go back to Primer stage and start again.
More happy with the skirt affair. After ruling out the Maskol/salt method for the paint chipping as i don't have an airbrush, i went about it thus:
Did the whole skirt with that now to be replaced grey/green,
using the excellent colour guide that came with the kit, i got a small knackered brush, cut it down to just a stub, dipped it in Red, and stipppled it on, following the pattern in the pics,
then blocked in all the red areas with a normal brush,
when dry i used the cut-down brush again, this time with the grey/green and refined the stippling.
Pretty happy with how its come out. Its not 100% accurate to the patterns, but close enough and i can live with that.
Its left me though with a bit of a mess sheen-wise - the gloss of the red, the matt of the grey/green and satin of the dark grey. So next up is a coat of Matt Varnish to bring them all together:

And here's the wings or whatever the heck the are almost done:

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Ma.K Tank - turret on

Looking big and chunky now I've glued the turret on and have the maintenance crew alongside.
Next up, make the bottom areas nice and sandy and finish the uniforms of the crew - I've just blocked in a yellowy shade on their trousers to see what it look like and its ok, so will be going with that.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Slave 1 - colours

The kit comes with a VERY comprehensive, large, full colour piece of paper of photos of the ship from all sides. While they're photos of the kit, comparing them to shots of the studio model shows that they're pretty darn accurate.
From the off, mainly from my friend Mark's warning, I decided to paint the craft in sub-assemblies - upper hull, lower hull and the two "wings".
Next was to decide on colours.
Colours are named on the sheet, but I struggled to find an equivilant on the bottles over here (just what shade is "Earth Green"?) so decided to just eyeball it and go my own way.
First up is the upper hull, which I coated in a very light green made up from a mix of Vallejo's "Green Sky", Ivory and a mid Grey.
I then had to put on the darker colour, which is neat "Green Sky", which I thought when applying would be just right. Nope - it looks rubbish here, far too green.
So that will need to be redone.
I also had to decide just what to do about the paint chipping.
First thought was to use Maskol but the chips are SO darn tiny and numerous and detailed, that I thought i'd have a problem.
So have decided to just eyeball that too - adding them to the edges of an area of colour with a cut down, knackered brush, stippling them on.
You can see the start of it here with the wrong-green.
Also here is the underside of the skirt section, which I've picked out in the suggested shades of grey, along with a brown for the thruster thingies.

Monday, 16 September 2013

T.I.E Bomber - underside

Kind of neglected this big boy of late, but I had done a wee bit of progress - covering up the Hasbro logo etc on the underside with a few kitbits and a piece of corrugated Plasticard.
And I've covered the screw holes with sticky jewels as some of the holes would be a right bastich to fill and sand.

Fine Molds Slave 1

Getting that Snow Speeder a while back, got me itching to have another 1/72nd scale Star Wars craft.
Ideally i'd like the Falcon - but not at the prices they go for now.
A compromise then is Slave 1, a ship I've always really liked.
Opening the box, Fine Molds have done their usual excellent job of stuffing the box with sprue upon sprue. The sprue out of the box is full of parts for the first section and I've primed these for ease of access shortly:

Couldn't resist taping the hull sections together to show you what a hopper this thing is. Its huge compared to my others:

Anyway, off I go and first thing to tackle is the two-tier cockpit area. Pretty involved stuff for something that'll barely be seen once the canopies in place - maybe they were catering for anyone who wanted to light it?
I'm not so cracked on. Didn't follow the colour chart for this part, just washing the primer in black and picking out Boba and passenger seats in neat black. And some grey brushing on the solid black areas:

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Ma.K Tank - crew

With cabling made from elasticated cord put in and painted, metallic done, and the rust started, its time to turn to the crew.
I say crew but, looking at it nearly done, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of a room for a compartment for them.
So i'm thinking its not crewed at all, more a remote sentry tank that sits there waiting for the enemy to approach, then hovers up and lets rip.
Which would make the people I put near it more of a maintenance crew.
Which works for me as I've always had it in mind to have folk lounging around it rather than in some sort of action poses.
Who to use for them then? The build challenge being in 1/35th scale opens up a huge range of military figures from all times and all countries.
And I've gone for these fellas as their outfits, if painted a different way to how they should be, aren't glaringly obvious, lacking any armour or helmets.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Snow Speeder - done

Okay, well, that was a real quick build.
I opted out of the supplied decals to make it a member of Red Squadron and opted instead to paint the identifying bands myself.
As I've said before, I was a bit surprised by just how big the craft is in 1/72nd scale, and here it is with my collected so far Star Wars ships in that scale:

Saturday, 7 September 2013

M.a.K Tank - nearly there now

Second pass on the weathering has my putting some pastel weathering on, varnish, then put decals on.
They came pretty much from leftover Ma.K kits (which is appropriate I guess), all of them in fact except for the yellow strips, which are from the Fine Molds x-Wing.

Snow Speeder - trimmed & nearly done.

So I've cut down one of the weapon rods to match the other so they match. Still doesn't help the bulkhead that's slightly out, but there you go.
Painting's nearly done and I've put in the crew.
Haven't gone to town on them as, really, they'll be barely visible through the tiny windows. So I've just put in suggestion of the colours.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Ma.K Tank - getting sandy

After a coat of Humbrol Sand, it was time to dirty this bad boy down.
First pass on the weathering and the one I like best - plop a heap of Mars Black and Burnt Umber out onto a pallet, dip the brush in one, then the other, then dip in water, then splosh onto the surface, mix it around, adding more water or paint, keeping it random and nice and natural, leave to dry.

Snow Speeder

I'd seen Retrokit's range of kits at various shows but never bought one as (A) They never had one out of the box, (B) the boxes were pretty small, (C) the pricing in Euros only kind of put me off.
But I saw my friend Alun's built-up last and I was very impressed - its a lot bigger than I thought it'd be and the detail was really fine.
But still didn't get one.
Until I started thinking of them again when I started to fancy adding to my 1/72nd Star Wars craft collection. I'd already ordered a Slave 1 from Japan and, while its on its way, thought i'd order one as the guys pretty local to me and I knew it'd be here in a couple of days. So I did.
And a few days later, here it is:

The detail is very, er, detailed - up there with the Fine Molds Star Wars craft i'd say. But Fine Molds have the edge in that their parts are IP plastic, whereas here its resin, with all the flashing and trimming that goes along with it.
And there's tons of parts, making for an awful lot of prep work. Some of the parts I haven't a clue where they go, so i'll be leaving them off. Anyway, here's most of what I knew i'd be using:

And this it in Grey Primer. Superglue sticks instantly to this resin. Which is a good thing in one way, but a bit of a bind in another - sticking instantly means no margin of error for placing, which I found to my cost with one of the forward structures that house the engine/weapon rod, putting it further forward than the other.
Which meant one of the weapon rods is longer than the other:

I tried and tried to remove it but it just wasn't budging, as you can see here in this shot as I've started blotching Vallejo Blue Grey over the primer:

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Rebel Transport - going through the stages

What's nice about this ship is that its not the customary "Star Wars Grey" that a lot of them are - looks that way onscreen and in certain shots, but its actually more a cream affair, with banding of other colours.
So, first step was to block the hull in with a sandy colour and then randomly pick some bands out - not too many though as I didn't want it to look like a patchwork:

Next was to give it a very sloppy wash of Mars Black/Burnt Umber. I've found adding and Umber shade helps warm things up and stops this stage being too stark. So I slopped it on very runny, letting it pool down at the mid line to give hopefully a dirty, stained look to the recessed middle bit:

Apart from a bit of pastelling at the engine area, I left the weathering at that as I felt, at this scale, drybrushing wouldn't look right.
Next to address was the cutaway panels and internal detail. On the original there's a whole bunch of plating missing on the upper hull, revealing the internal structure. I could've tried to emulate that but the kit was already built, meaning i'd have to prise it apart, and the plastic of the hull would be far too thick at that scale so would have to ground down to almost paper thinness, something I didn't fancy doing. Looking at the model, they do seem to have recognised they were there and have gone a little way to duplicate them by having panel with a speckly texture here and there.
Not much, but at least its there. So I've merely picked them out in metallic:

Final thing to do was to pick out some of the storage crates slung underneath and I've kept them in quite subdued colours to stop them standing out too much:

And that's this build done. Thanks again to Mark and Alun for enabling me to have another go at this lovely kit.