Showing posts with label Models. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Models. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Camera Test for Spring Model Series

I'm doing a camera test for my spring model series. This is just a quick and dirty edit. The images were downsized to 11 inches across, then the canvas was resized to 7" by 5" with the image centered. On the webside, I downscaled the images to 65%. We'll see how that works. 

As I work on this project, I will probably rework the math and editing techinque so I have model images taking up the entire posting space. 

Both you and I know this will force me to go back and redo some of my other model photos. I don't mind as long as they look nice. 

1 / 7
Box front
2 / 7
Instructions
3 / 7
Side sprue 
4 / 7
Wing sprue
5 / 7
Snow speeder front
6 / 7
Snow speeder side
7 / 7
Loth cat attack

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Review - X-Wing Miniature Game

Title: X-Wing Miniature Game
Credits: A Game by Jay Little
Rule Set: Unique to set
Year: 2014? 
Pages: 24, 16 and 4 page booklets
Number of players: 2*
Rating: ★★★★★

I picked this game up for my son a few years back and we played it a lot. My son has his X-Wing and TIE models on a shelf in his room. I started this post at 4:45 am, which is why you won't see images of those parts in this review. I'll see what I can do when my son and our sun gets up. 

As I understand it, this system is full of power creep which really doesn't effect the gameplay of this set. This is also the first edition rules, which is different than what is currently on the market. So on to the game review. 

This version of X-Wing was produced for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had to guess at the date because there isn't one on the box. The box is solid, it will hold up well on the shelf. Inside are 3 booklets, totalling 44 pages of information for game play. The graphics are incredible and a valued addition to the game as they present gameplay information, not random photos from a at the time unreleased movie. It's a good thing the box is as sturdy as it is, it's loaded with parts. 3 painted models, cards, dice, tokens, templates, etc. It's a lot of parts, but nothing extraneous. 

The first play guide has you in the seat of your beloved X-Wing or TIE fighter and blowing the snot out of your enemy in minutes. The instructional method is a familiar one: learn the basics as you play, add more rules, play again, then master the all rules and go crazy with new adventures. 

The first session can be played in 10-30 minutes as you learn the rules. Its really nice. My first impression of the game was that it was a copy of Top Gun**. There are some similarities, both where made for a movie, both had some cool tokens and a move, react, shoot, repeat method of play. But that is where it ends. 

There is one thing missing from the box that sets this game apart from the others: A Game Board. There isn't one. Players are told to find a good sized table, lay down some felt or a black table cloth and have at it. Sure, you can buy one but the rules clearly state it isn't necessary. Movement templates guide the ships, unlocking them from the play space. The lack of a board is actually a strength. Not having a grid or hexes to lock your pieces down gives the game the same fluid dynamic of Star Wars space combat. You feel like you're in the cockpit. 

This game brings back a lot of memories in one tiny box. I have already mentioned that it felt a bit like a better planned out version of a Top Gun** Movie game from the late 80s, which was an apparent skin of the Aerotech game (which is available via the Battletech Compendium at DriveThru. It has the movement guides like the turn keys of Car Wars. Combat is handled with dice where each player rolls dice at the same time like Risk, with the twist that the defender's dice eliminates the attacker's damage. There is a I-go-you-go approach to terrain, which is a hell of an old school call out to games like WRG. And it's Star Wars themed. 

First edition games may seem rough, but this one isn't. Gameplay and rules are tight, with carefully considered options. Gameplay pops and snaps into place naturally, it's like something from the Spice Mines of Kessel. And since it's a vehicle for selling models as add-ons, it very successful at that. 

*While intended as a two player game, there are 3 models which could be divided among 3 players. For complex missions, one could add a game host. My initial playthrough was with 3 young children each having a model and myself acting as a gamehost, so 4 people can be involved. Whatever you do, it just works out. 



** I wish I could point you to the Top Gun game I had back in the 80s/90s, but I have never seen one except the one I bought from the shelf of my local Hobby Shop back when the movie was hot. Since I lost my copy, I don't even have a picture. It was pretty cool at the time, coming with about a dozen tiny plastic airplane tokens. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Ooo... Shiney.

I'm stuck in mainatence mode right now, I'm cleaning up the basement and getting ready for my spring Model series while trying to figure out where my campaigns are going. I have to decide if we are doing Star Wars or D&D tonight. Since the players are the same, I guess it doesn't matter. 

It's a good thing it doesn't matter because I had to take a spin to Hobby Lobby for a model and Home Depot for a shower head. One of those was more important than the other, but both where wiped from my mind when I found this excellent R2-D2 ceramic figure my grandmother made for me. 


It stands about 9 inches tall and has a fitting to hold a light. At some point the single flasher bulb was replaced with Christmas tree lights. It lit my bedroom from 1978 to about 1998. I am really sure my grandmother had no idea what R2-D2 was at the time. It's dated 1978 and bears my grandmother's initials, TV.


Putting it away was an odd but glorious moment in my life. My girlfriend at the time said, "Ooo. Save that, the kids will like it." That was about 2 years before I proposed. I didn't even notice. From about 2002 til now the kids did like it. But now they are Star Wars'd out and it has been returned to me. 

It really never left. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

The Last Package Arrived Today

My last package from Amazon arrived today. Now I am almost ready to start a second series of post on modeling. I'll be working on these Bandai 1/144 scale models over the summer. You can find them at many hobby shops, but I've had the best luck on prices at Amazon.com. Ironic, because the grid of ads from Amazon is showing the most expensive things. Sigh. Ah. Checked it now, and most of the prices are reasonable. 

(Note: My Amazon Affiliate account has really taken off, I just need to figure out how to make it work better with my posts.) 

One of the snags with series posts is they start strong and either come to an early conclusion or they just peter out due to a lack of inspiration. 

I hope to change that this year by having a spring/summer series ready to go. I also have a couple of things in my back pocket. My Star Wars campaign looks good to restart and even more exciting (for me anyway) it looks like my gang is ready to go back to the Peninsula of Plenty campaign, perhaps as a hexcrawl. That's two more series to update for the Blog. 

The only problem now is time. I've had my basement flood and defy all attempts to remedy and I recently started a new job which takes up my evenings. My weekend is now Tuesday-Wednesday and I work every holiday for the foreseeable future. I'd know how things will work out, but they will. 

At this point, I am thinking of retiring the Podcast. I really can't see how I'll have the time for all of this. Time will tell. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Modelling Post - Figures for 1:144 scale models

I've been building some 1:144 scale models by Bandai. I have a snowspeeder and AT-ST built. I also have a couple of X-Wings, TIE fighters, two different Millenium Falcons and a few other things to build. 

I can't wait.  

I want to make some ground crew figures and have had difficulty sourcing them. The best I could find was 1/75 architectural figures. They're not a bad fit for the scale, being just a little too tall. I am going to end up modifying them, so I don't mind the off size. I'll be cutting and painting them to look like Star Wars characters. 

To get a sense of scale, I stood one up next to the models. They aren't too badly scaled. (Ignore the tape I used as a base.) For less than 10 bucks, I picked up a 100 of them from Amazon. For the price, they're great. 




Monday, November 30, 2020

AT-ST and Snowspeeder in 144 scale Part 2

 Today, I started my Snowspeeder. 


I'm down to just 3 sprues of parts and one is just the base. 


Again, the parts come off very cleanly. On these three parts, I needed to use an arced motion along the wings to remove the extra plastic from the clipping. 

The third part is the engine on the top of the image. It is slight recessed into the body and sticks out. I found it was easier to place it in the top half and use a dot of glue to stick it in place. 


And I made my first mistake. I miss a tiny bit of plastic when cleaning up the clip points. You can see that it is now keeping the wings from meshing together completely. I couldn't see that without some really bright light. 


I was able to fix it by running a razor along the seam and cut it off. In the next picture you can see that seam is better but not perfect. 


And this is what it looks like from top down. 


Next comes the canopy and the root of the the gun pods plus a good way to confuse yourself. In the picture below, I have the roots of the gun pods swapped. 


By flipping the pieces, everything becomes obvious. 


In the last image, you'll note some recesses in the model. That will catch spillover from the gluing. It's a nice touch on these models. 


The next part is the gun and barrel. The thin barrel made me nervous, so I cut a chunk of sprue off with it and trimmed it off with a razor. 


The barrel has a C shaped part on the end to connect with the gun. If you don't align this part correctly, the barrel will look zig-zagged. 


Now, the gun rests against the previously attached root section. If you're brave, you can put a dot of glue there. It isn't necessary as the gun itself has a two point, box shaped connector. It won't flex or go out of skew. 


I think this image shows the connection between the gun and barrel better than the last one. 


Of course, no Snowspeeder would be complete without the tow cable gun. This part is even smaller than the main gun barrels, so I took a piece of the sprue with it and trimmed it up with a razor. 


And for scale, here we have both models. 


No flyer would be complete without a base. This is another item I didn't glue together. The connections are very sturdy and the base has 3 different slots for positioning. There is a ball pivot on the top. Glue would remove the adjustable nature of the base. 


I wanted to show the the different slots on the base. 3 different positions. 


And one final image of these guys together. This one captures all of the fine detail on these two tiny models. 




Tomorrow, I'll start painting. I can't wait to work on the A-Wings I have.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

AT-ST and Snowspeeder in 144 scale Part 1

 I haven't done a modeling post in a while. I haven't had much time. 


I started on my first plastic model in a long. I picked a good one, Bandai's Snowspeeder and AT-ST in 1:144 scale. 



They have good detail, but low requirements for skill.


The "instruction sheet" fits on the inside of the box lid. 


You'd think the parts would be very tiny, but as you can see with the first image, they look "beefy". The pieces come off the sprue easily and hardly require any clean up. 



I left the clippers in view for a sense of scale. That black strip is a piece of sandpaper I used for cleanup. The parts are too small for a file. 

Each part has pegs in the middle so you don't end up with glue blobs on the edges. There are seams visible, but there are more parts to cover them.

Update: I'll be finished tonight and will paint tomorrow. 


This is a jump from the prior image, I forgot where I left off. There are 3 panels that fit on the head. They are wonderfully designed to cover any seams. The tiny body gave me some trouble. The piece on the right (A4 27) needs to go on the large head support deck (A3 17 and 13). Unfortunately, I couldn't SEE how it should go. 


I resorted to enlarging the instructions. The piece has a support that fits into the deck, but it looked like it could go in several orientations. The two "tines" go "down" into the deck. When completely assembled, this part is on the bottom and almost hidden by the two shield guards on A3 13. You could leave it off, but it's great little detail. 


This is what it looks like assembled. At about this point, I started regretting not painting it first. 


The neck that connects the head to the deck has a ball joint. 


You put one side on first. 


Then the other. 


Again, this is another jump in the steps. The legs simply attach to the pins and the ball joint snaps together. If you wanted to place this model on a base, you could adjust the leg positions and the head angle. However, if you are full of gumption to try this, I suspect you'd want to cut the knee joint. 

Notice the hemostat in the image. My sausage fingers are too big to hold the smaller light on the side of the head. Again, the light and the gun mount are on pins, so they can be adjusted, too. 


And, here we are. All done. 

I'm not sure if I'll paint tomorrow. I have to teach a class online, so I might be making a template for model building so all of the images are neatly organized and the same dimensions. 

Check back soon for the Snowspeeder. 


Monday, July 6, 2020

Scale Model - The Villein's Byre House - Part 9

And we are back. The nice thing about this project is, you can let it sit. There is no rush. 

In the last update, I tried to color some white stone with coffee. The results were inconsistent, this is some sort of chalky porous stone with little chips of quartz in it but it is not as porous as I thought. 


Let's call this four rows. The bottom row, I painted with different shades of brown, tan and grey. The second row from the bottom, are coffee treated stones that took some color. The third row are stones that took very little coffee color at all and the top row are completely untreated stone. To my eye and not the camera's, the third row is not as shock white as the untreated stones and I could use them but probably won't. 

When doing scale models, there is a trick to colors. Your brain does not think that you are looking at a tiny version of an object. Instead, it believes that you are seeing a full size object very far away. And in the atmosphere, a distance object is not only smaller, it's blueish. 

The Space Shuttle on video is great example of this color change in action. It's white. When you see the crew enter through the side door, clearly, the shuttle side is white. When the camera is moved back the white exterior becomes grey with tones of blue. As it lifts off and travels a great distance from the camera, it becomes bluer. And on approach to the ISS, it is back to brilliant white, no matter how far away it is. It's the air and the background colors that make it change. This is why blood looks lousy on figures, because it's never the right color. 

So, I will have to shade these rocks blueish to make them look "real". Just a smidgen. I'll come back to them later. 

Now for the walls. I'll be using sheets of basal for this. 

I didn't crop this image so you can see how large the piece of balsa is. It is sufficiently to cover the entire side of the house, but then the grain would be wrong. I want that grain going up and down. 
Yes, I will have to make many cuts to do this, but only four. The middle of the rectangle will have door in it. By running up and down, it looks more like what people expect. 

Think of siding. When people use aluminium, it often has a grain that goes side to side because it can. It's just stamped into the metal. If you tried that wood, you'd have to work hard to either accentuate how the pieces fit together, hid the connections or have something that looks ramshackle. Side to side grain is "rich" and a byre house shouldn't have details of luxury. The design still exists because of it's ease of construction and repair. So up and down. 

Technically, if this is something from 1300 or 1400s, then this is would be a "rich" person's house. The plague took care of that by tearing society up a bit. The devastation allowed those locked to land serfs to negotiate labor costs. It was a shock to their "betters" because if those landlords wanted something done, the labor pool had collapsed so you need to discuss who was getting what. Negotiate or you're project gets cut. 

Speaking of cuts, I measured the distance I will need to cover. It's about 1 and 7/8th high. To do this, I just dropped in a piece of index card and drew a line. Now when I cut the card, I'll end up with a cutting template which forces the idea of measure twice and cut once. 


Next post, placing the walls and doors. 

For those wishing to source their balsa from Amazon, they have a few choices. I like the Small, Random packs of balsa because I use it all the time and draw inspiration from the oddly shaped bits.