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Everything posted by as205

  1. Wow! This will put my build to shame. My weathering techniques don't even come close. If mine comes to even 20% as good as this I'll be happy. Beautiful work! Randy
  2. Time for a progress report on the SA-5 build. I started on the aft structure of the first stage. I needed to drill a hole for a brass tube that would attach the model to the display base. I marked an X on the top of the part and put the heat shield on the bottom of the base. I then went to my drill press and drilled a hole through the top down through the heat shield on the bottom. I then inserted a length of brass tube through the top and down into the hole in the heat shield. I only pushed it through until it was flush with the outside of the heat shield. Then I applied epoxy to the portion of the tube sticking out of the top. When that had cured I removed the heat shield and then applied epoxy to the tube from the bottom side. Then I put the heat shield back on. Once that had cured I had a rod that was positively attached to the aft structure and would not move while I added weight. With the head shield removed, I put some BB’s in and then poured in epoxy to secure them. With that I was ready to start adding details to the aft section. First I glued the halves of the tank section together and then removed the molded in antennas. Next I added some details to the heat shield. I scribed lines into the heat shield to match the pattern of SA-5. I filled four holes for the inboard engines that will not be used. The inboards did not have the turbo pump exhausts around the engine bells like the outboards did. I also added four small bits of styrene rod to represent the water quench disconnects. I then added the flame shields for the outboards by bending some insulated copper wire bent to the correct shape. I then went back to the aft structure. I filled the ribbing that was molded in. It is in the wrong place and does not cover enough of the base. I sanded that smooth and applied a light coat of primer to make sure I had them filled properly. I created a pattern to allow me to get the stringers spaced properly. There are fourteen stringers between each fin, with a blank area surrounding each fin. With the pattern secured to the part, I started gluing the .020 x .020 styrene strips in line with my pattern. I had to cut out a bit around where the inboard turbo pump exhaust goes. After adding all the stringers, I sanded a slight taper into the leading edge of them. With that complete I created 8 access doors from .005 styrene sheet and sanded rounded corners into each one. I then made two umbilical doors out of the same .005 sheet styrene. I then marked all round the aft structure for the placement the doors. I glued them on with my Tenax cement. That's it for now. Much more work to go on the first stage. Thanks for looking.
  3. Well I don’t usually overlap builds, but I knew I was going to have to wait a bit before I could get back to the Millennium Falcon. I started my next project which is another kit from Martin’s Models from the UK. This one is a conversion set that modifies an Airfix 1/144 Saturn IB into a Saturn I Block II SA-5. It was the first Saturn I flight to have a live S-IV second stage. I love that rocket. It has those great classic lines. Again the resin parts are quite rough and some are out of round, but it will be a great starting point and should build into a nice model. Here are the components of the build. I started by removing the pour plugs from the parts and doing any necessary trimming to the resin parts. Next I started removing the fins from the thrust structure of the kit part. This time I would not be removing the fairings from the base part since SA-5 had these. When I used the Airfix kit to make the SA-205 Apollo 7 Saturn IB a few years ago, I had to remove them. For SA-5 I did have to remove part of the top of the parts that made up the first stage fuel tanks since SA-5 had only a very small flat section. In the picture you can see how much had to be removed. The part on the right has the extra plastic cut off while the part on the left has not been modified yet. You can also see how much the plastic had yellowed over the years. I bought this kit when Airfix re-released it in the 1990’s. Here is the thrust structure with the fins removed. You’ll notice that I had to fill a couple of divots that I made when I was removing the fins. I got a bit zealous with the Dremel and created an oopsi moment. Next, I moved on to some of the resin parts. The tapered interstage needed to be sanded a bit on both ends to get a flat and square surface. Unfortunately the interstage is not quite round. I’ll have to do more work here to get a more rounded part. The instrument unit on top is not glued in place, I was just doing a level check. Sorry for the out of focus pic. The nosecone was not pointed enough for the version that was on SA-5. I started tapering it a bit more. I’m almost there. I’m not sure how much more I can sand it though. I keep hitting air bubbles that prevent a sharper point. I’ll continue to try and refine it. Here it is after more sanding. Thanks for looking. More to come.
  4. OK for whatever reason ARC Forums wont let me edit the last post with the picture of the newly painted hull. I'll try adding it in this post instead. The paint job looks good now. When the clear coat comes in we will see what happens. Randy
  5. Here is a short update. After calming down and looking the model over, it was not quite as bad as it first looked. Only the areas where I had applied the clear coat a bit heavier had cracked. The Tamiya Lacquer thinner that I ordered came in and I started on some of the flat sections on the engine cover. I dipped a cotton bud in the thinner and started rubbing it on the affected area. It removed the rough texture quickly and then removed the paint and primer right down to the plastic. The only problem is it caused the paint to ball up into globs that could clog up the fine detail in some of the parts. I wanted to try something else before committing to the lacquer thinner. I had some 90% isopropyl alcohol that I used to clean brushes. I dipped a cotton bud in the alcohol and then started rubbing it on the part. It slowly removed the rough texture and left smooth paint behind. In places where I had to rub longer it also removed some of the paint but it didn't remove the primer. The primer would eventually rub off if I continued rubbing. Here is a pic. With the alcohol working so much better, I went over the whole model and removed all the alligator skin. I then let the model set for a few days for the paint to harden the paint. Then I re-sprayed the model with the base coat. It looks good. It looks good and now I'll wait until I get some Vallejo clear coat. I'll still test it on a scrap part first to be sure the Vallejo clear coat will not react with the paint. Things look to be back to normal now. More to come.
  6. Hubble, I, too, am watching this build. Uhu makes some very nice paper models. Using that as a starting point is a great idea. Keep up the good work. I can't wait to see what comes next. Fantastic, Randy
  7. Very nice! Completely scratch built, too. The early LM concepts were always so smooth, nothing like the angular LM that actually flew. This model is really looking good. Randy
  8. Underdog and crackerjazz: I haven't tried Easy-off either, but have heard that it works. I don't have any Tamiya Lacquer thinner, but I might get some and try that. It is a bit of a setback but I'll get it figured and get back on track. Thanks, Randy
  9. Niart17 and Underdog: I think the X-22 is not as hot as the TS-13 lacquer. It claims to be an acrylic but it is not water based. I will definitely test first. I might just go ahead and get some Vallejo clear. I do have Future that I have used on other models. That might be another test. I got away with it on my 2001 Discovery XD-1 model and got overconfident and it bit me. I will definitely be doing some tests before clear coating again. I have to figure out the best way to get rid of the alligator skin first. Thanks, Randy
  10. Update time. I moved on to painting the base color on the upper and lower hull halves. I started by adding the mandibles to the lower hull half. I am using Vallejo Model Air 70.119 White Gray. It sprayed on fairly well. I did have a bit of a problem with paint building up on the edges of my airbrush nozzle. I’ll have to look into that to see what I’m doing wrong. I haven’t had that problem when spraying Tamiya paints. Here is the upper hull with a coat of white gray. Sorry about the yellow tint of the pictures. The white balance was not quite right. Note that I painted the areas under the vents with Nato Black to give depth to the grills when those parts are applied. Here is one of the docking ports and the side details. I also sprayed the parts that can’t go on until some of the decals go on first. I also sprayed some of the parts that are still attached to their trees. While the white gray cured I moved on to the laser cannon cockpits. I started by adding some black to the laser cannon barrels. I then assembled and painted the cockpit seats. They were pretty simple, the only colors needed were flat black and some silver. There are supposed to be some lights on the targeting computer boxes but I couldn’t find a proper place to put them and the details don’t lend themselves to lights either. They look pretty good nonetheless. Next I worked on the cockpit interiors. Lots of panels, some gray, some light gray, some black and a couple red. Then a bunch of silver for the ribbed hoses and lots of lights. On some of the lights I over coated with transparent red or yellow. The effect came out nice. Some of my panel borders are not the straightest, but they are not too bad. Here is the right side of the cockpit. And then the left side. When you look at them from the angle of the front windows they look much better. Here is a view looking at the right side. And then looking left. Finally looking more straight down. I put the turbine blade part in to the engine cover section. You can't see much in the picture, but it is a bit more visible when looking at it with your eyes. I had to go back and put some Elmer's glue behind the grills to give some additional support. During the process of applying the detail parts and painting, I popped a couple of them loose and had to CA them back into place. They should be more secure now. It took a few days to finish the cockpits, so by this time the base coat on the rest of the Falcon was cured. I got out my spray can of Tamiya TS-13 Clear to provide a smooth base to start applying the decals. I needed to apply a few of the decals before I could finish the assembly. Then I can finish applying decals and then start the weathering process. I used the Tamiya TS-13 Clear spray on my 2001 Discovery One model recently and the base coat on it was also Vallejo paint. In that case it was Model Color White Gray. This time I had used Vallejo Model Air White Gray for the base coat. After spraying the sections I went back to inspect them in case there were some places I had missed. That was when I noticed that many areas now had alligator skin where the paint looked cracked and the surface was slightly rough. I’ve never had a problem with paint cracking like this before. I checked online and sure enough, many others reported a similar thing happening when applying spray can Tamiya TS-13 Clear over Vallejo Model Air. Well that was just great! It will take me a while to figure out how to remedy this situation, so the next post may be a bit delayed. Lesson learned. I do have some Tamiya X-22 Clear Gloss that I can try. It may work out better, since it is an acrylic. My big mistake apparently is that the spray can clear is a lacquer that can have that type of effect on some acrylic paints. Since X-22 is acrylic it might work better. I’ll try it on a test piece first so I don’t end up with another disaster on my hands. That’s it for now. Thanks for looking.
  11. Thanks for the encouraging words guys. Underdog: Yes, I do have to refer back to the instructions during the build to be sure I don't get backed into a corner. I studied them quite a bit before starting. I also looked online for other builds to get some ideas. So far so good. Randy
  12. Time for an update. I moved on to the upper hull. I primed and installed the maintenance bays and the antenna mount. After some study I decided that I could go ahead and install turbo laser stations and mask off the open windows without having to remove them to install the cockpits. The laser cannon cockpits can be installed from the inside so I will work on them later. I placed, but did not push down, the laser cannon backplates. That way I can paint the whole hull with the base coat without the cannons installed and then put the cannons on after primer and paint. If I put the cannons in first, it would have been difficult to get paint under the cannon and onto the window frames. You can also see that I installed the cockpit to the upper hull and added as much of the piping details that I could without having both hull halves put together. Some of the piping will have to wait since it runs over some of the panels that haven’t had their decals added yet. From the front view you can see where the cockpit meets the upper hull. If you remember I filled in a seam on the cockpit tunnel that wouldn't close. It turns out that probably wasn't necessary. The way the hull and cockpit go together you can't see that seam anyway. I also added detail parts to the covers leading to the docking ports and installed the PE grills in them. I’ll install them onto the hull after the two hull halves go together. I then moved on to the lower hull and installed the landing gear doors and turbo cannon stations. Just like with the upper hull, I partially installed the laser cannon backplates. I then started adding as much of the external piping to the lower hull as possible without having both halves put together. There were a few parts that I could not install until I get some of the decals placed. Those parts, some from the upper hull and some from the lower hull, were primed and painted separately. I also sprayed a black grey pre-shade on the docking ports. From there I moved to the engine cover. I started with the PE grills. They are very nicely etched. They have a small flat spot on opposite edges that matches a flat spot in the cover. That makes sure that the grills are attached at the proper angle. I glued them in with CA glue. I then started adding the detail parts. LOTS of detail parts. A few needed to be glued in place to make sure they stayed in place, but most fit very well without glue. I dry brushed some silver on the turbine blades that go behind the grills. I’ll install that part after I prime and paint the engine cover. At this point I decided to check the fit of the engine cover on the upper hull. It does not snap in quite as tightly as some of the other parts since it needs to be removed to turn the lights on or off. It is good that I did a check first. I discovered a slight warp in the engine cover. I will need to get most if not all the warp out to make the cover fit well and look good. I laid the part on a corner of the workbench and then placed a wooden block on the part and then put a heavy bottle on top to provide the weight required to flatten the curve. I’ll leave the weight on a few days to see if the curve flattens. That's it for now. I'm getting ready to start painting the base color on the upper and lower hull sections. Thanks for looking. Randy
  13. Thanks Pete, It is coming together nicely. Primer is getting applied and I'm almost ready to start the turbo laser control panels. I'll have another update in a few days. Randy
  14. If a person had a job in the ILM model studio must have been a blast! As far as the plastic breaking, It will withstand a couple of bends but then it will tend to start cracking. Removing some of the very thin piping from the trees is a scary process. The pipe bends in different directions depending on where the torque is coming from. I suppose if you had some small and very sharp nippers you might get some of them off with less torquing but I don't have those readily available. I've been using fresh #11 blades and then cutting near the gate in slow strokes and I've had good luck. Sometimes the part comes off easier by cutting from the backside of the part. The assembly process is rather slow because of all the tiny parts that have to be added. But the end result is worth all the time because it looks fantastic. And this is all still fun. It may sound like it is a pain, but it is a fun pain. All part of the process of creating something cool. I just hope I can get the weathering to look good enough to do the model justice. Randy
  15. I've had good luck with Imgur.com so far. You might look into that. It is only a bit more work that just attaching an image, but on the other hand people get to see your work. My two cents. Randy
  16. I moved on to work on the mandibles. First, I worked on the circular pits, adding the detail parts and then spraying them with primer. I put the primer on them first since once it is in place it would be difficult to get primer to the edges. I’m not going to worry about not getting the base color into every corner of them, as this will add some shadow depth to them. Once those were done I started assembly on the rest of the mandible. Many of the parts, particularly the piping, come from the fragile parts trees that came in the separate box. These are very nicely molded, but they are also very thin. You will find it difficult to use nippers on some of them. Therefore, care must be taken when removing them from the trees. Many times I used an X-acto knife with a new blade to remove the parts. So far I have only broken one part, and that was at the beginning when I foolishly tried my nippers. The nippers torqued the part and snapped a pipe. Fortunately, it was in a non-critical area and I was able to weld it back together and now looks fine. Bandai did a very good job designing the gates on the tiny parts. (The gate is where the part attaches to the tree.) In fact most of the gates are either on areas which are internal to the kit or are hidden by other parts when assembled. With that said, it is inevitable that a few gates will be visible after assembly. So you will have to carefully clean them after removing them from the tree. Lots and lots of sniping and trimming. Anyway, I got the mandibles finished and set them aside to be sprayed with primer later. I then moved on the lower hull. The maintenance bays had to be built up first. These also had many tiny parts to complete them. The amount of detail on this kit is truly amazing. There are so many tiny parts that couldn’t have been included any other way than to have been separate parts. There is no way to mold a single part that has that kind of 3D detail. This kit amazes me with each section I complete. I put primer on these parts before installing them in the lower hull. When the maintenance bays were done I moved on the docking ports. Once again a part that in many kits would have been just a handful of pieces was many large and small parts that end up beautiful. I then built the nose piece that fits between the mandibles. The LED in the front landing gear bay was installed. Then I attached the nose piece and maintenance bays to the lower hull. I also added the back half of the lower hull. As you may have noticed, I am not exactly building this kit in the order laid out in the instructions. I’m doing this to try and facilitate painting of the kit. My plan is to get most of the kit assembled, with certain areas primed first, and then spray on the base coat. After the base coat, I plan on applying the decals for the different colored panels and then start to weather the kit. Because of this, I need to paint the engine grid, then install it, mask it off and then paint the areas around the grid. That is the plan for today, we will see how it goes. Here are a couple of the inner and outer grid parts. I painted the back area of the grid flat black and the outward facing grid the base color (white gray). Then I assembled the inner and outer grid parts and installed that in the lower hull. Then I masked it off in preparation for primer on the rest of the hull. That is it for this update. I’ll be working on the upper hull and preparing for primer of those parts next. Thanks for looking.
  17. I was going to start working on the lower hull section when I noticed that one corner was damaged. I don’t think it happened during shipping, I think it may have happened when I put all the part bags back in the box after I first looked inside. It was obvious to me that I didn’t quite get everything back exactly as it was. So there must have been some pressure put on that corner. The plastic is very thin at that point and it had been curled back a bit. I carefully bent the corner back into place. The edge had started to crack off from the rest of the part, so I needed to glue it back in place. I used my plastic weld glue and after that dried I then used some Tamiya putty to fill the irregularities. The underside: When that had dried, I sanded it starting with a fine sanding stick and then progressing through extra fine and finally a polishing stick. It looks good and shouldn’t be noticed once the paint goes on. The underside: With that repair behind me, time to start building...More on next post.
  18. While working on the next assemblies, I couldn't help myself and took some time to look at all the greebles that are all over the ship. The ILM modelers used dozens and dozens of model kits to add bits here and there. It is really interesting to see what you can identify. I’m sure if I was a car or tank modeler I would recognize more bits, but here are a few that jumped out at me as it was going through the sprues. Here is a Saturn V first stage heatshield. You can see where the first stage engines would have been attached. An Apollo Lunar Module is hiding here. Obviously a transmission housing. This looks like a chassis for a car or truck. Another Lunar Module. Here is a thrust structure from a Saturn V third stage. These appear to be military style gas cans. Sorry for the diversion, but I just couldn't help myself. Every time I sit down and start working on a section, I'm amazed with all the greebles that are reproduced from the ILM miniature. Anyway, next post I'll be back to building. More to come, soon...
  19. Underdog, I think you will be happy with it. The kit is very detailed. The parts fit is excellent and I've had to use very little glue on it. I'll have an update in just a bit. Be careful of all the small bits so they don't get damaged in storage. Some of the parts are VERY tiny and thin. I was lucky that I didn't damage some of the parts when I re-boxed the kit after I unpacked the parts bags when I first got it. This is turning out to be a fun build (not necessarily an easy build, but fun nonetheless). Randy
  20. Thanks Underdog, It turns out it was good practice for when I get to the Turbo Laser stations. There are no decals for those, so I will be doing the same thing I did for the cockpit side walls. Randy
  21. Before putting the cockpit in the hull I noticed that BanDai has intended for only the light bars to shine. None of the buttons and lights would shine. To remedy that, I did some surgery on the hull part. This should allow some of the light to fall on the rest of the wall and not just the light bars. Here is a photo with my cutting lines drawn and one section already removed. Here is the completed surgery. I did some test fits and it should not compromise the integrity of the unit. I then also saw that the LED holder had just tiny holes for the light to shine through. I used a round file to open the holes up and allow more light through. Here is a photo showing the original hole size and my modified hole. Here is how it looks with the LEDs installed. Once that was done I put the LEDs in place, turned them on and checked how it looks. Here is a photo showing roughly what you will see with the cockpit windows installed. With that complete, I started on finishing the cockpit assembly. I painted the inside of the window piece. The lower section was painted black in line with the side panels and then the rest of the interior was given a black wash to show detail and give it a bit of a grimy look, then it was sprayed with Matt Clear. Next I snapped the hull halves together. I then noticed that the halves would not close completely without some pressure. Time for the plastic weld. I glued the outside section together first, followed by the side facing the rest of the ship. I was able to close all the seam lines except for the last section that would head toward the rest of the ship. There was a gap that I just couldn’t close. I pulled out some 0.05 inch plastic sheet and cut a small section to put into the gap. Then I used my plastic weld on it and when that was dry I cut off the excess. The gap is now nicely closed. I then attached all the rest of the plastic bits that needed to go on, including an optional photoetch grill section. The cockpit window section doesn’t quite fit right. I will wait to glue that part in until I get it all painted. On to the next section. Thanks for looking.
  22. After the main console was finished, I moved on to the side walls of the cockpit. After the experience with the main console, I had given up the idea of using decals for the side walls. Instead I painted them with a clear flat and then started painting the gray areas. From there I moved on to dry brushing the lights and buttons with silver. Then used some transparent blue and red to color some of the buttons. Here are the results. I think it turned out relatively well. Here are some other views with the sides put together. I then put the seated figures in the cockpit. In the first post on this build I indicated that I was going to try to apply my custom decal to the back wall of the cockpit. Here is the back wall light blocked and next to it the custom decal. Well it didn’t turn out well. I applied the decal using MicroSet, but it became evident very quickly that there were too many raised areas on the back wall and some of them were larger than I thought. Off came the decal and I repainted the back wall with primer and matt black. I then painted the lighter panels with Tamyia NATO Black, the padding around the door with Model Air Sand Yellow and the door itself with Tamyia Dark Sea Gray. Then I started removing paint from the areas that I wanted light to come through. I also added a bit of Tamyia transparent Blue, Red and Green to add color to the lights and buttons on the wall. I used the transparent colors on both the front and the back to enhance the color. I sanded the back side of the light bars to diffuse the light at bit. I also sprayed the back side with some Matt Clear to add a bit of diffusion there as well. Here is a photo with the back wall in place at the back of the cockpit. More in the next post.
  23. Thanks for the kind words crackerjazz, nyart17, and Underdog, I'm sure it will be some slow going at first while I figure out how to attack the challenges. Randy
  24. Thanks, PFlint. I don't do them very often and I'm always anxious every time I do one. Randy
  25. Well, I'm going to do it. I have pulled out my Ban Dai 1/72 Millennium Falcon. It is a great kit and I've seen some beautiful builds of it. I'm going to try and come close the what others have done, but in the end I'll call it done when I have it where I feel good about it, even if it doesn't quite match the studio model. It has a lot of parts, some are so fine that they put them in a separate box to protect them. Anyway here goes. I’ll be starting with the cockpit. I don’t do figures or cockpits very often so they are not one of my strong points. I hope I can do the model justice. I started by spraying primer on the cockpit seats and the figures. I then gathered the colors I needed for the figures, Flesh, Aged White, White Gray, Red Brown, Black, Blue, White, Light Brown, Gold, Sand Yellow, Transparent Yellow and Silver. I used a small fine brush to get the faces and hands, then started on the clothes with the varying shades of white, gray and brown. The padding on the seats got a coat of sand yellow. C3-PO and Chewbacca got and undercoat of black. Then C3-PO got painted Gold and then that was overcoated with the transparent yellow which really gave him a nice gold look. Chewbacca got an overall coat of red brown. His belt, face and legs got a drybrush of black to darken those areas. Then a drybrush of light brown. The boxes on his belt were painted silver and his face got a light drybrush of black to bring out some details and highlight his nose. The figures aren’t perfect but for me they turned out well. Next I started on the cockpit control panels. BanDai includes a some nice decals for the instrument panels. I have heard from many sources that the decals don’t lay down well over the control panels and decal solvents don’t help much. So in light of that, I made a set of custom decals using my decal paper and my ALPS printer. The decals turned out well. After clear coating the front control panel I applied the first two decals. After several applications of Micro Sol the decals finally laid down pretty well over the raised details. It was good that my custom decals are so thin, otherwise I don’t think they would have worked at all. I'll apply some more Micro Sol on these to get them to lay down a bit better. The control panel between the two main panels had some LARGE raised areas and when I tried to apply a decal to that area, the decal just would not conform well at all. I ended up taking a fine brush and hand painting the area. Next I added the control wheels. Finally I attached the control panel to the front seats. It looks like from that experience that the panels on the side walls will have to be hand painted. I’m still holding out some hope that the decal for the back wall will work. The raised areas on that panel are not that large. We shall see. More to come.
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