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

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. 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Scale Model - The Villein's Byre House - Part 8

Jesus, how long does it take to build a house? It's like a have a contractor issue or something. I've had a lot on my plate lately. Sorry for the delay. 

I picked up some more materials for this build. I need some stone for the exterior areas and I found some interesting stuff at the Dollar Store. These white rocks are the right size for this model, but the wrong color. 

I'm going to fix that in this post. 

Anyway, these rocks are white and somewhat crumbly. I could paint them and seal them, but pure white will stand out like a sore thumb and paint will be too unnatural looking. So I am going to dye them, 

I could use ink or something, but that will have the same problems as paint, the color will be too sharp. Instead, I am using coffee and a ball jar. These thing will have to be sealed, but the colors will be natural. 

Anyway, All I am doing is add warm coffee on top a handful of rocks. The material seems dusty, so I expect it's rather porous. 
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3

Add the rocks to the jar.
Pour on the coffee. 
Tea also works.
Now add some used coffee grounds.

Now I'll seal up the jar, give it a good shake and leave it sit over night. The liquid coffee will stain the rocks to one shade, while the used grounds will stain everything it touches to a different shade. This is not labor intensive, but it is time consuming. 

Tomorrow evening, I'll open the jar, drain off the ick and rinse them. Old coffee grounds are a good stain, but they smell bad. I'll leave them on a towel to dry for another 24 hours. I could warm them in an oven, but they may smell bad. 

Check back tomorrow to see the next step. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Scale Model - The Villein's Byre House - Part 7

I'm really amazed that I have a 7th post. I've been busy lately.

Anyway, here is the curved and flat wall beams in place. This is kind of testament to the miracle of Tacky Glue. I didn't need to tape, support or pin anything in place.

Great product!

You'll notice that almost nothing is square or even. That's fine. A scale model can be perfect, but I can't help but notice the effort is almost not worth it as people won't touch or hold a "perfectionist model". Also, the run down nature of this build gives the end product a little charm. Besides, if it does break...

Once the roof is complete, you'll hardly notice all the crooked bits anyway. I've been having this debate over whether or not I should place the five cross beams that a real byre house would have. I'm not going to do it as leaving the out makes constructing the roof easier. Funny that models work like that, because these beams would be necessary to complete a real house. Divergent tech for divergent models.

Anyway, I'll throw up a link to Tacky Glue at the end of this post, because it's a wonderful product.
People have asked me about what kind of stryfoam I use. Any kind of styrofoam will do, but I happened to have some sheets of insulation and used those for the base. They were 3/4 of an inch thick and three of them layered together was a good "rise" for the base. The last time I saw this stuff in the store, it was being marketed as a replacement for an acoustical tile, 8 4 by 2 sheets for $10. They'd fill a hole where a tile went, but I can't image they would hold up or work correctly.

Anyway, you don't have to waste good money on a piece of stryofoam. Any salvaged thing will do. The styrofoam floor of this byre house came from the packaging for a TV. Styrofoam isn't easily recyclable, so don't buy it if you have to. Below are some images of things I've made out of salvaged stuff. If you can make stuff from something that isn't often recycles, all the better.




As promised, here is the sales link. Every click and purchase supports this site with remuneration.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Scale Model - The Villein's Byre House - Part 6

I wish I had made more progress on this, but the nice weather allowed me to get outside and do some
yard work. Anyway, in the last post, I wrote about making one wall curved and one wall flat. Today, I'll show some progress. It was a lot more intensive than it looks.

Bamboo is not wood.
To make the curved wall, I needed to bend some wood. What they would have done in real life is made a bunch of short posts to create the space. The curve was an illusion of the thatched roof coming down from a point. If I did that, I would need a half dozen posts. I want no more than 4.

The center upright posts are actually made of bamboo chopsticks, so I tried heating up a piece of bamboo and bending it. Bamboo is not wood, so this didn't work out. Even though I made a dozen or so cuts in the piece, it snapped when I bent it but only in the places where I cut.

I tried again with a piece of balsa wood. This too didn't work for a variety of reasons. I got the exact same result. The issue is, balsa is kiln dried and lacks the moisture content needed to bend.

Anyway, what I got will work, since neither piece broke completely through and through. If it did, I would have gone back outside to get a small fresh stick and try again. Which I might anyway, but not for this build.

Bamboo cracks, not bends. 
Dried balsa wood also cracks.
Now, bending wood requires wood, moisture and a temperature of at least 200 degrees F. Wood is a poor conductor, so you might be able to hold it but don't. You will not be able to hold it long enough to work with it. I took a ball jar lid and rammed the wood inside. I left it to dry over night.

The results were not too bad, so I'm going to work with these. While they are cracked, I can cover this up with the roof and walls.

Now let me warn* you about this technique to bend wood. You need wood with moisture content and some way to manipulate the product without touching it. A steamer is helpful, as are heat proof gloves. I would not trust heat proof gloves against a steamer. Don't hold the wood if you use this method. I simply dropped the wood in a boiling pot of water. If this was a larger piece, thick gloves would be necessary in case the wood breaks in your hands.

Here is how the end product looks. Both are usable, but the bamboo feels like it would break if put under any more pressure. I might use the bamboo for another model as it looks cool.


If you are following along at home and want to try your hand, here are some suggested products from Amazon.com which could help you start your own byre house. Purchasing via these Amazon links supports this site with remuneration.

Foam Cutter Sandpaper Tacky Glue Balsa Wood Styrofoam Blocks

*I don't generally do things that would require a warning or caution, but I managed to remove a chunk of skin doing this and might have burn my palms. This is more a commentary on having diabetic neuropathy as opposed to doing something dangerous. I'm not sure how it happened. Neuropathy is a demon because not only can you have numbness, you can have tingling or pain so you are convinced that sensations aren't important or aren't real. I might have burned myself, or scrapped skin off on the counter top or ball jar lid. I'm not sure which. Just be careful.