Friday, 25 November 2016

AMT 1/2500 Cadet Series USS Enterprise NCC 1701 (3)

Just a quick post to report on the steady progress I'm making on my small model of the Enterprise. Several days at work have slowed things down after the initial build and undercoating. Since then I have fished out my airbrush and given the model its top coat of a very pale grey. For years I had been under the impression that the Enterprise was white and earlier attempts at building the ship had gone along with this idea, so it's hardly any wonder that I was never fully satisfied with my results.
 
After airbrushing.

The lighter colour has revealed a few minor flaws, but I may
 just leave them be.
 
 
The article on Steve Neil's USS Enterprise in May's Fine Scale Modeller magazine gave the mix he used. This was two parts white to one part Model Master 4762. Failing that, online converters indicated that Vallejo Model Colour 70.989 or Humbrol 127 were equivalents. So a trip down to the model shop saw me buying the Model Colour, which was already a seriously pale grey and I was left wondering what, if anything, of the original colour I would end up with after mixing it with white. As events showed, though, things turned out okay.
 
Mixing the colours in a plastic shot glass I tipped what seemed like thin white paint into my airbrush and got to work on the model. Fifteen minutes later I had what looked like a slightly off white Enterprise, but after half an hour or so this had dried to a slightly darker and very subtle mist grey. Since then I have shaded some of the recesses with the pale grey wash I've referred to in other posts and painted the round Bussard collectors at the front of the engine nacelles a nice bright red.
 
A final day at work tomorrow will hold me back again, but after that I am off for three days and hope to get most if not all of the remaining work done in that time.
 
A little shading...

...and painting. Note the pure white top to the bridge,
which shows the subtle grey off nicely.
 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

AMT 1/2500 Cadet Series USS Enterprise NCC 1701 (2)

Following on from my last post the small model of the starship Enterprise has been assembled and undercoated, with a little remodelling in the process. After undercoating I noticed a few flaws where I had not adequately filled or filed the seams and joins back sufficiently, so it was out with my files and sanding boards, my Plasto and Green Stuff, to set the world to rights. One of the engine nacelles needed a bit of work, and I noticed that the edge of the upper saucer was not tapered downwards along the edge as it was on the original ship. So, after filing the undercoat back, I filled in a few flaws with Plasto, then running a thin strip of Green Stuff along the saucer's upper edge I bevelled the putty using a toothpick. It seems to have worked quite well as the final undercoated model shows.
 
A flipped image showing all the parts together.
 
Undercoated with Humbrol Matt Grey spray paint. Normally
I paint on undercoat, but I wanted to avoid brush strokes on
such a small scale model. Ignore the German soldier, that's
a separate project.

I decided to attach the engines before under coating to avoid
complications as it was a tight fit onto the pylons.


Cleaning the saucer edge prior to bevelling it. The model
is now fully assembled.

The filled section between the pylons came out pretty good.

Adding Plasto to smooth the saucer's edge.

Bevelling the edge with Green Stuff.

More undercoat applied. It looks okay.
 

Thursday, 17 November 2016

AMT 1/2500 Cadet Series USS Enterprise NCC 1701 (1)

Last weekend I again took in the two-day IPMS Scale Model World expo at Telford's International Centre and came away with a reasonable haul for my troubles. I mostly went for figures, I have an Imperial Gallery 95th Rifles figure and Mitches' Military Models' 17th Lancer officer that look like fun projects, while the US infantrymen at rest look very interesting. As can be seen, I also plumped for one of AMT's Star Trek cadet series, 1/2500 scale miniature versions of the starships of the ever expanding Trekkieverse, or whatever it's called. There are three ships in this kit the original TV ship – Kirk, Spock, McCoy, et al – the elegant refit version from the early films (of course, a dead ringer for the 1701-A from The Voyage Home onwards), and the big, beefy Excelsior-class USS Enterpise 1701-B. There are also separate kits for Enterprises C, D and E and numerous other craft, be they Federation, or what have you. If these builds come out okay then I may take on some of the others, but we'll see.
 
I was inspired to buy the kit having read the May 2016 edition of Fine Scale Modeller magazine that featured (unusually) two USS Enterprise builds that whetted my appetite. The grandest of these was Steve Neill's astonishing large scratch-build of the original Enterprise. His excellent work can be seen here: http://www.sneillfx.net/page7. What got my attention in both magazine articles was not only the mouth watering inspiration they offered, but such eminently useful info as to what colour the model should be and the paints to be used. More on that later.

My cadet build was much less grandiose, but quite satisfying in its own way and it has been nice to see the iconic little vessel start to take shape over a couple of evenings. The cadet series are snap together kits that don't need glue if you don't want to, which suggests it was designed with kids in mind. However, I found that if you simply snapped the parts together that there was some misalignment between them, so I cut off most of the lugs and glued the parts together, simply clamping them with clothes pegs. The only really tricky part was filling and filing back the join where the two halves of the lower hull and the engine pylons meet, but this went fairly well and all that is needed now is an undercoating if the various parts before I assemble them.
 
Just making sure that it sticks.

Minor misalignments trying to spoil my fun.


I filed away some unnecessary square panels on the pylons.

Some filling and filing required.

Ready for an undercoat prior to assembly.


 

 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Andrea Miniatures' 'Technocop 2030'

Technocop 2030Trawling the Historex site is something of a voyeuristic experience for a figure maker and painter like yours truly. There are hundreds of different figures in a variety of scales produced by dozens of different makers, all of which makes choosing the next figure to buy and paint something of a daunting prospect. One of the classiest figure makers is Andrea Miniatures who offer a wide range of white metal kits from 54mm upwards and I had been thinking of tackling one of their kits for some time. I have my eye on a couple of their 75mm historical figures that will make nice future projects, but checking through their 54mm series I came across a number of figures quite obviously modelled after, or at least based on, figures from film and television ... and I was tempted in by these. This one labelled 'Technocop 2030' is obviously based on, the titular character from Paul Verhoeven's violent 1987 sci-fi classic Robocop. As to how closely the figure is modelled after its cinematic equivalent I've not bothered to find out, but it certainly ticks all the boxes from my uncritical standpoint and gave me one of the most pain-free builds I've tackled in a good while.

Counting the base, background and two little pistons that attach to the back of the legs, Technocop is a ten piece kit in white metal that comes in a well stuffed little box that carries numerous useful colour reference photos on the front and back. The parts were pretty cleanly moulded and for the most part required only a very basic tidy up with a craft knife and some fine wet and dry paper. There was a slight encrustation of metal on the right side on the back of the torso, but this was quite easily buffed back with my small engraving tool. The base exhibited a little more flash along the mould lines which needed trimming back, but again this was nothing to write home about and was quickly sorted out.
 
 
As to the build, it was simplicity itself, the figure went together without a hitch, bonded quickly with super glue, as too did the two-part stand. Mirroring a scene from the film, the figure is stepping through a large hole in a wall, his gun drawn, presumably intent on sorting out some nefarious malefactors on the other side. The wall here is set leaning backwards at a rather rakish angle, which gives the scene a slightly more interesting look and the figure is married into the correct position by a hole in the base into which a lug on the bottom of his right foot slots. All that is then required is to figure out just where to place Technocop's hand on the wall and you have your two glueing spots for later.

But first the painting. After undercoating I painted the entire base in Humbrol 32 dark grey acrylic and to give it a little more colour drybrushed the whole with Humbrol 93, followed by a lighter drybrushing around the large hole and on some of the surrounding rubble with Citadel Terminatus Stone. When dry the entire base was thoroughly coated in Army Painter Soft Tone to get a little contrast into the nooks and crannies. As the picture on the box had some graffiti painted on the wall I also used a few extra colours to make a few nondescript scribbles on the outer side (reasoning that the back of the stand was inside a building I left it graffiti-free). The edges if the stand and the wall were then painted black and after a coating of Army Painter Anti-Shine it was all put aside while I tackled the figure.
 
 
 
I undercoated the figure in dark grey enamel and the next day painted the black areas (lower torso, gloves, gun, elbows, eye slit and prosthetic jaw) with Humbrol 33 Matt Black and then painted what little of the face you can see in the same manner and with the same GW/Citadel colours referred to in earlier posts. Once painted the face had a noticeably pouty look to it as if he was fishing for a kiss. Before painting the armour I had to go shopping. In the film, our hero's armour has the distict look of blued metal, so I needed a metalic blue to mix with some of my silver acrylics. I had researched two - Humbrol 52 and Humbrol 222 - which I bought at the local model shop a day or so later. That evening I experimented and found that a 2-1 or 3-1 mix of Citadel Mithril Silver and Humbrol 222 gave me the colour I was after. So, when the next free daytime slot appeared I mixed up a puddle of paint on my paper palette and quickly coated all of the armour. This I then coated with Citadel Nuln Oil wash to pick out the lines and details before drybrucking more of the silver-metalic blue mix over it. Later I used raw Mithril Silver on some of the higher details to give them a bit of a lift and provide a highlight. This and a little drybrushing over the black areas with the Humbrol 32 I had used on the base, finished the figure off nicely.
 
Go on, give us a kiss.

Having buffed back to the metal where the foot and hand would be joined to the base, I stuck Technocop in place with super glue. It was then that I noticed a slight gap under the foot where it didn't fit flush to the base. This I filled with Plasto, but by this time I decided to add a little more rubble to the base as the few lumps that were moulded there seemed rather paltry remains for such a large hole. Rooting around in my supplies box I dug out a bag of small fish tank gravel and some coarse sand and sticking everything in place, first with super glue, then with thinned PVA, I let it all dry over night before painting it up in the same way that I had tackled the base to begin with.
 
 Technocop 2030


Technocop 2030 Technocop 2030
 

A fun build, easy, clean and trouble-free. Like the man said, 'I'd buy that for a dollar.'