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Aurora Mark

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About Aurora Mark

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    Nova Scotia, Canada

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  1. Brett they had a large selection and quantity still. The shop is Hobby House Ltd. in Ottawa. PM me if you want contact info or particular paints. Vern, thank you kindly for that! That will definitely come in handy when I'm back home looking for paints. Mark.
  2. Thanks Brett. It's also here in part to help me remember what I was thinking about through all these late nights. I did manage to sneak away and take some time for myself this afternoon which involved me walking down to a local hobby shop here in Ottawa. With my paint chips in hand I wanted to find the right combination of paints in order to have them when I eventually make it back home and get back to the Viper build. The problem I have is that back home the only "hobby shop" is a single aisle of models and basic supplies with a limited supply of paints. Ordering paints through the mail for something that doesn't have a specific FS code or accurate colour call out is always a gamble and has bit me in the past. Although I haven't had a chance to do an exact mix-ratio comparison against the paint chips yet, these bottles of paint will get me to where I want to be. I'll just say this is a bit of a preview and that the paints were compared against the colour ships provided on the rack and a glance at the paint through the bottle. They're close, but not quite there yet and I just wanted to make that clear instead of misleading anyone into thinking these are the exact right colours. I don't have an overall preference to paint manufacturers or only enamel or acrylic. For me it's more a need to make sure the paints are compatible and suite my needs. In the case of the Viper, as there are scuffs, scratches and a bit of superficial battle damage but no actual paint chips in the traditional sense of showing primer or bare metal underneath, I'm opting to go for enamel paints. These for me are much easier to work with when it comes to weathering using various methods and provide a solid base layer over a slightly textured plastic that this kit provides. MM paints were selected because the red stripes will be painted on and there were no viable options for both a grey and burgundy in any other brand. Feather Grey - as best as I could compare it will be a near 50/50 mix of Light Ghost Grey (1728, FS 36375) and Light Grey (1732, FS 36495) Burgundy - this is going to take some mixing around but the combination of British Crimson (2009, no FS code yet), Root Braun (2152, RAL8012) and Insignia Red (1705, FS 31136) ought to do the trick. The Phillipsburg Blue used on the instrument panel was a very surprising match to the Intermediate Blue (1720, FS 35164) and I wasn't going to change anything at this point as the panel was already completed. Witching Hour for the rest of the interior tub was actually really pretty spot on with Engine Grey (2034, FS 36076) and will require maybe a slight amount of intermediate blue. Maybe. So there are the main colours. As there really isn't any great information I've been able to find concerning the gear wells (some CGI has the door panels as silver, others are just white, but the actual Starbuck prop has them quite dark on the inside face), the darker grey used in the cockpit tub will also be used inside the landing gear wells. I don't think it's too far of a stretch to think that as they used the same colours in numerous areas of the show, that the same grey would be used for the insides of the gear doors and the gear wells. Again, just an assumption.... unless I can get my grubby little hands on the actual prop which is somewhere in France, there's no way I'll be able to know for sure. Hopefully this is all over soon and things will return back to 'normal' enough so that I can continue working on this kit. Thanks for looking. Cheers for now, Mark.
  3. So a bit of fun to put colours to rest... sort of. I was always bothered by the notion that the Viper was 'white' as it wasn't. It was some... some sort of grey colour. There were some references on a great website that still has not come back (galactiguise.com) so I took matters into my own hands. Turns out the original Viper is sitting at a movie-prop museum in France. They also give a good description of the actual prop itself and the colours used. The grey and burgundy colours used on the viper were the same as the grey and burgundy used on the hangar decks and throughout the ship during production. Right on! Having already found the two interior cockpit colours, it was time to get actual paint chips. While taking shifts at the hospital I had a chance to stop by a local paint shop and pick out the paint-chips mentioned, and so here they are (all Benjamin Moore paints): The fuselage colour: The burgundy of the red stripes (which I was wrong about in the initial posts... they are almost as deep a red as the JT Graphics decals...) For the cockpit itself, the lighter grey used on the instrument panel (which I must say, for looking at colour samples online, the intermediate grey used was nearly spot on!): And the darker grey: I can't wait to bring up the subject of scale effect when it comes time to paint the exterior... among other topics... mainly because of how much experience my wife has in the arts and with painting, that it'll be an interesting topic of conversation. I mean, scale effect isn't anything new... maybe to the hobby in the last 15-20 years, but artists have been using scale effect in paint colours since the 19th century to give a perception of depth and distance, right? For me, its more to take the edge/crispness off a paint colour to give it the look of being more... what's the word... scale appropriate? But for now I'm going to stay focused on the cockpit itself. Although there are two colours here that really contrast each other, I'm having a hard time finding images that show a sharp distinction in colour of the actual cockpit (see some of the previously posted reference pictures). What I mean is, I think there's more at play here than just the two very different grey colours. In reading up on the paint done, there was a clear coat applied, but there was also a fine silver powder applied to both paints in the cockpit. That's something interesting for sure. Well, to me at least. Thinking of the silver powder in the 1:1 cockpit as an almost light grey pastel chalk being brushed on in 1/32 scale, I can visualize the colours blending a bit better. A lot closer at least with what is pictured and shown in BSG itself rather than two paint chips sitting on a desk in front of me that leaves me wondering "is this actually right?" I think my approach is going to be first to match the dark grey as closely as possible. Once the tub is painted in the colour I'll give it a similar treatment as the panel got to try and at least blend or match up the weathered effect the pastel chalks and dull coats gave the instrument panel. Simple enough process that's going to hopefully have the cockpit as I want it to finally end up. We will see. It's all in a planning state as I'm about 3 provinces away from the work bench and I'm honestly writing right now to keep my mind occupied throughout the night. I'm thinking that the next chance I get, I'm going to head down to the local hobby shop with these paint chips and try to find some enamels that closely match these samples. Although the Viper Mk.II will never be as popular as a Mustang or Corsair, I'll do my best to offer up some good information on the paint colours selected to give future readers a more helpful idea of the Viper and its colours as the call-outs in the instructions and a lot of other websites just call for white with red stripes. Anyway, that's me for now. More yammering to come soon, so consider yourselves warned. Cheers, Mark.
  4. Hello all, As per the title I'm looking for the bare bones of a 1/24 Merlin. Preferably the earlier types offered in the Airfix 1/24 Spitfire and Hurricane. No prop, firewall or engine mounts, simply a complete engine as it would come out of the crate. If you can help in any way that would be absolutely fantastic. Cheers, Mark.
  5. Thank you Ikon. It's going to be a bit of time still before I'm back home. Such is the nature of these things. Regardless, I'll post an update as soon as I can. Cheers, Mark.
  6. Thank you Sir. There is a lot more still to come. However updates will be a bit sparse for the foreseeable future due to unforeseen circumstances in the family. Once we're out of the woods the building of the Viper will continue. Thanks everyone. Mark.
  7. Thank you. This cockpit is definitely having me step out of my comfort zone but it is a lot of fun to say the least. Brett, right now I don't want to even think about the rest of the work that needs to be done, hahaha. So, back to the seat. Last step was just the bucket seat itself with some Tamiya filler. The next step was to smooth out the padding and then draw out the plan for the padding itself. Using a marker I traced out the layout for the padding as best as I could using the few shots of the seat that were available: In order to get the seat to have the seat cover look right, but not look flat and boring I went through the ridiculous step of taping up each individual square and putting down varying thicknesses of Tamiya putty: From there the sanding started. Using a thin file the grooves between each pad were applied. Using 400 grit sand paper over a soft piece of balsa wood the pads were then sanded down to shape with focus between each pad to make them slightly rounded. A small pick was used to add the wrinkles to the side pieces and emphasize some of the deeper grooves: Now that this was finished I used a thicker coat of flat black than normal to fill in and smooth out the seat even further. I apologize for the lack of focus of this image: Once this was cured I used pastel chalks of varying degrees of black/grey to give the seat some depth. The pastel chalks were then polished up with a Q-tip to give the semi-gloss finish of the seat cover. Lastly, a few nicks were added with the tip of an x-acto blade and tan colour applied to simulate small tears in the seat itself: With the seat finished all that is left is to build up the inside of the fuselage halves and smooth out the gaps between the cockpit tub and the fuselage itself. The light is at the end of the tunnel! Thanks for looking, Mark.
  8. Si, First off, your build is something else (speaking to the Star Destroyer). Working with small pieces of plasticard here is one thing... what' you're doing is a whole new level of added details. As for what you wrote about the aversion of replicating props and this build peeking your interests, well, thank you kindly! I really do appreciate your comments. Work on the seat back, because, you know, the seat is taking FOREVER to work on... rather than going right into the plastic building of this part, I figured it would be a bit fun to go at the whole process starting with the reference images and research. There are two really great pictures that capture the shape and layout of the seat back. So here are the pictures and what I gathered from them: A - There is a noticeable shape to the seat back and the head rest that follows a curve. There is a slightly noticeable break between the two pieces. The curve starts quite pointed at the top of the actual seat itself and carries right up to the top. The construction will duplicate this and I'll build the main seat back first, then focus on the head-rest portion afterwards. B - The three 'blocks' often depicted and painted yellow and black (the middle one) are actually padded head-rest pieces that have a curve to them. This will be replicated using plasticard and I'll need to incorporate the curve into them, likely with a larger diameter or curved file. C - The top portion above the head rests to protect the oxygen lines has two different thicknesses to them while the outside (thinner) pieces appear to be plates that go down the side of the head-rest. I'll make the forward piece out of 0.5 mm x 1.5 mm strips and the side pieces appear to be plates will be added as separate pieces afterwards out of 0.2 mm plasticard sanded to shape. D - There are two long and thin plates that look like they'd be used to lift the seat on a hoist. The base of them has a bit of leg that bridges between the seat back and the head rest. This will be made using 0.2 mm with two small holes drilled in. To make it easy I'll use thinner strips to add the legs. E - The shoulder harnesses appear to be fixed to the top of the back side of the seat back. It doesn't make sense for them to be fixed to the rear cockpit wall as that would be really bad for the health of the pilot ejecting... After this is all assembled and prior to installation, the two shoulder harnesses need to be pinned to the back and done right as they'll be visible. F - These two lines (oxygen lines) have a small brass connector at the base. I'm going to have to muddle around to figure out exactly what diameter of wire will work and I'll use some Tamiya tape wrapped at the base and then painted brass to simulate this connector. Here is the second picture which really helps with determining shape as the first image makes it look like everything is flat. Not the case: Looking at the pads they have a bit of an inward, concave shape below the pads on the head rest where they meet up with the seat back. The sides have a curved shape to them that shows the side plates mentioned above in "C" that will need to be added. The outside of the pads though are quite flush with the head-rest. That defining line in "A" from the photo above is not recessed but rather it appears to be a groove between the head rest and the seat back. I'm also looking at the height here and the 1.5 mm plasticard strip will need a bit added to it (as I don't have 2.0 mm wide strips). The oxygen lines here have a bit of a flattened curve to them. As well, the bottom of the head-rest where it meets the seat back curves inward and slightly below where the shoulders of the actual seat are. This will be good to know when joining the seat to the seat back. From that point to the top of the seat back there is an inward taper to the shape. The forward face of the head-rest is rectangular, so there will be some creative sanding to get that shape. Okay! So, now that there's a plan forward, it's time to fabricate these pieces. Much like the seat, plasticard was layered and glued together to get a good shape, then filed and sanded to get the seat back shape: And here is the rough shape in the cockpit tub to make sure I've got the right height. It's all via the eye-ball sizing things up, and it looks about right here: With the right shape to the seat back obtained it was time to build up the head-rest. Here are the thin pieces of 0.2 mm plasticard layered and glued down: The head-rest was thencut down to shape with a hobby-saw, filed down and sanded: Using files and sandpaper the head-rest was then given the rounded shape, and the plasticard strips were added for the head-rest pads. Once cured they were roughly sanded to shape: The construction of the top piece of the head-rest was started with that forward facing upper bar, and the two 'nubs' that the oxygen hose plugs into. Lastly, a thin piece of 0.2 mm plasticard was glued up along the sides of the seat back to add that 'grove' between the seat back and head rest: From there the side of the head rest was sanded back even further to give that curved shape under the two side plates. The side plates were then cut out and shaped from 0.2 mm plasticard, then sanded down further to be a bit thinner. They were glued in place and allowed to cure: Last but not least on the plastic construction, the two thin posts and legs were added. From there the holes were drilled for the oxygen lines: The piece was cleaned up to get rid of any extra plastic burrs, and smooth it all out with 800 grit sandpaper. Once cleaned, the seat back was sprayed with flat black and allowed to dry: The piece was then given a few treatments of black and 80% grey pastel chalk to give the shape of this piece some definition and a bit of a warn look. No paint chips, just faded paint: When it came to the two oxygen hoses I messed around a bit and found that the best combination was to have a core of 28 gauge milticraft wire, with 34 gauge tightly wrapped around in a spiral. Realistically this is just some conduit from the looks of it, but once the two wires were finished, they were cut to length, shaped based on the pictures as best I could, and glued into place: A thin 1.0 mm strip of Tamiya tape was cut, wrapped and glued into place: They were then painted bronze once the glue dried: And here is the seat back sitting in the cockpit tub to size it up: The next step will be to finally finish off the seat and attach the two pieces. Once that's done the final details can be added. Thanks for looking, Cheers! Mark.
  9. Thank you kindly Ikon! No pictures for tonights work simply because I lost track of time and need to get some sleep rather than editing the pictures and posting them up. That being said though quite a bit of progress has been made with both the cockpit and planning future steps. This model will most certainly have more challenges in future steps. While going over reference pictures of the Viper there are certain things that have come to light. The cut outs in the fuselage as well around the engines for example. Areas that offer a lot of detail to the eye that will really give a kit some depth, but will need some work first. But rather than leaving me frustrated I took a different approach. Is this kit a lost cause? Is the kit unbuilable? Is it a waste of money, time and effort? Outright "NO!" to all those questions. And I want to make sure that I make that clear. This kit is a scratch builders dream while also being a good all around kit for everyone who finds interest in the subject. The engineering and approach to construction is very unique. There are the traditional large piece assemblies (e.g. wing and fuselage halves). But the assembly of sliding parts together and relying on the previous step to slide and lock the next parts on without a single guide pin (after the fuselage is glued together) makes this a fun approach. A lot of thought went into designing this kit. Sure it could have been made like a traditional Tamiya or Hasagawa kit with many intricate parts, but then this wouldn't be a straight forward and cost effective kit. Everything can be made more complicated for the sake of detail, but I don't think that is what Moebius was going for. A lot of effort is going into making this build a very specific Viper. I used words like "errors" or "corrections" when describing what the kit had, versus what I want to end up with. I no longer think these corrections were errors in any way... finding reference pictures of the CGI models that predated this kit, it became evident that there are differences between the CGI and the full size prop Vipers. This kit most definitely follows the CGI designs. I'll touch more on the specifics of what leads me to believe this as I get to those particular steps. That being said, for a small-time model maker to design and make a physical kit based off a CGI model and without a primary source like a physical subject to use as a reference is no small feat and I tip my hat to Moebius for achieving what they did. I in no way want to spook anyone or stear them away from building this kit. Honestly a quick Google search will show so many fantastic builds of this kit that have been completed by many talented builders. I inadvertently decided to build a Viper Mk. II that is very similar to the kit but has its differences. Much the same as if you were to buy a Spitfire Mk.I but decided to build it into a Mk.IX. It's still a Spitfire, but a different version and as such would require a fair bit of scratch building in order to achieve the final goal. It's no fault of the model manufacturer or the kit that so much needs to be done. As for my comment about this kit being a scratch builders dream, it is! The shape of the kit is correct (so far as my eyes can tell). All the main components such as fuselage and wings are there. The rest of it can be left alone, added to or built from scratch; it is completely up to the builder on how far they want to go. For me, having a solid kit that is going to build like a vac-form, but easier to work with, is a blast! So that's me on my soap box. A bit of verbal diarrhea, but I just wanted to give this kit and Moebius credit where credit is deserved. Now, time to let paint dry, putty to cure, and be to find my bed for the night. Cheers! Mark.
  10. Very impressive! More and more I'm thinking we are going to see model "kits" become available as purchase/download for 3D printers and we assemble them ourselves. But that's for another time. This is one really impressive bit of work! Can't wait to see more progress. The 'grooves' for the jack posts are a very smart touch. Cheers, Mark.
  11. Brett, thank you very much! Yeah, this Green Strawberry set has it's small (read: very small) quirks that I'm discovering as I move along. However it is a valuable set for the cockpit for sure. Even if it was the earlier Viper I would strongly recommend this set. And as for those small quirks that I've mentioned so far, as you can see none of them are a game stopper in any way. Next up was the seat. The seat in the Viper was a slightly modified bucket seat commonly available - RCi's high-back racing seat (p/n 8000S): In the Viper they cut the head rest portion off that gave the seat more of a cropped look. Looking up the seat I had some basic measurements to work with, though there was a lot of eye-balling going on. What I want to end up with is about 15 mm wide, 21.5 mm tall and seat bottom of about 13.5 mm. I started by cutting various shapes of 1.0 mm plasticard and gluing them together to get a rough seat shape: From there it was getting a rough shape by first using files: Once the basic shape was there I sanded the rest of the shape into the seat using 200, 400 and 600 grit: Then it was time to drill in the holes for the harness system. Oddly enough, even though the seat had a slot for the shoulder harnesses, the show didn't use it. The shoulder harnesses were fixed to the rear cockpit area behind the seat back. But more on that in future updates: The seat shape was more of a focus on the outside of the seat and the inside was intentionally left pretty simple because the last thing that needs to be done is the work to represent the seat cover used. A quick covering of Tamiya white putty was applied and the seat cover will be made from it once it cures: Once the putty is cured I'll be able to go at the cover and finish the seat off. Thanks for looking! Mark.
  12. First up was the harness. The Viper Mk II had an RCi Latch Type 5-Point Harness (p/n 9210D). Although you'd think with the G's pulled in the Viper. Looking up this harness as a reference I started by cutting the scale 3" straps out of Tamiya tape doubled over. But soon it became apparent that Green Strawberry didn't do the same... For starters, there were buckles missing in that the adjustments for strap length were present on the actual harnesses for the 4 main belts. The lap belts in the PE set were a good 3 inches, but the shoulder harnesses were not... minor thing, seriously. I'm not losing sleep over 1 inch (which in scale, really, 1/32 of an inch if my math is right). So I did a quick trim of the straps for the shoulders: Even though it is a 5-point harness I noticed that there were no parts included for the fifth belt (the small crotch-strap, or "submarine belt" as the manufacturer calls it...) I went through a few reference shots and even though the seat had a cut out for the 5th belt, and they did fly in some wicked high-G maneuvers, the 5th belt was never included in the actual Viper. Alright! One less strap to make... but I didn't realize this until after the 5th strap was cut and ready. Oh well. Now it was time for the assembly itself. I started with the shoulder harnesses and added two thin rods to the adjustment buckle to give the straps a bit of depth and for the construction to make sense. The corners of the strap that doubles over at the lower buckle was also trimmed to add the angle in the strap seen on the real thing: The assembly continued with the lap belts which were made much easier by the lack of the adjustment buckles: Next up the straps were all airbrushed a thin layer of flat black enamel rather than acrylic so that the paint adheres to the tape as it will be bent around (where the acrylic tends to flake off): Once dried I took a cut down (read: pointier) toothpick and applied the silver to all the appropriate pieces. I also fabricated the small leather patch to add below the one waist belt buckle: Lastly the straps were coated with some dark grey pastel chalk in some places to add a bit of depth to the colours of these straps, the leather piece was attached as was the hook on the other waist belt buckle: The matter of the missing waist belt adjustment straps isn't really any issue at all. The plan is to have the Viper sitting and prepped for launch or a scramble. As such, no restraint system would be either done up neatly or on the seat itself. The two waist straps will be fed up through the openings in the bucket seat and then hanging onto the floor so you won't see the adjustment piece even if it was there. The two shoulder harnesses will be flipped up and over the side walls so that the pilot can quickly grab them and do up the harness once they're in the seat (oh Starbuck, the things I do for you...) Now with the harness complete, it's time to build the seat and rear cockpit that these will attack to. Cheers!
  13. Impressive build Brett! Very clean and crisp paint work and the lights add such a nice touch. Definitely setting the bar high on this one!
  14. Nice work Brett! Very crisp and clean work!!
  15. Hahahaha Thanks Ikon. Really glad it all worked out. Thanks Brett. Work has continued on the seat with the cockpit. There are three things simultaneously going on; the seat, the seat back, and the harness. But rather than a full on back-and-forth between the three, I'll post them up as an update for one part each. Right now the putty is drying on the seat and seat back as well, and the first coat is drying on the harness. Looking like the updates won't be up for a bit still. Regardless, thank you all for following along this build. The light is at the end of the tunnel for the cockpit. Cheers! Mark.
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