Saturday, August 30, 2014

WIP: Fine Molds 1/72 X-wing, Part 2

Continuing work on the 1/72 X-wing before my next round of commissions comes in the mail. Today I managed to basecoat the droid strip, the cockpit tub, and the landing gear bays. I decided to go with the color the kit calls out, which is a mix of Tamiya Flat White (XF-2) and Medium Gray (XF-20). I was more or less pleased with the color as it is a slightly warm light grey that turned out quite nice over the black basecoat. I might play around with this color by adding a tiny amount of Tamiya Buff (XF-57) to mix to warm it even more.

I also got some decals put on the tiny R5-D4 . This little fella has eight (!) separate decals on him and they went one okay except for the ring underneath his head. It took a lot of coaxing to get that decal in there all the way and I eventually gave up after I got it looking okay from the front. I need to seal the decals in with another coat of Future and I might give him a little bit of weathering (like everything else in the Star Wars Galaxy).

You're supposed to be out plowing the fields!
I also managed to get Luke painted up today as well. I preshaded the model with VMA Tank Brown before masking off the helmet and painting the flight suit with VMA Orange. The boots and gloves are VMA Black and the vest and helmet are VGC Ghost Grey with a VMC Grey wash. The chest device is VMA Intermediate Blue with a VMA Black square painted on it. The harness is GW Codex Grey while the leg strap is RMS Olive Drab with VMA Steel used to pick out the cylinders. His skin is GW Dwarf Flesh with a wash of GW Orygen Flesh. The visor is undercoated with VMA Steel and then painted with Tamiya Clear Orange (X-26). He has three decals on his helmet: two starbirds and the caution stripes/red stripe on the crest. Of course, he will be buried in the cockpit with most of this not even visible, but I wouldn't be happy with myself unless he was fully painted.

I considering adding some green stuff tubes from the rear bulkhead to behind to seat to make the entire cockpit assembly a little more screen accurate. I really want to get the cockpit buttoned up within the next day so I haven't made up my mind if I want to go through the trouble of that extra work.

Friday, August 29, 2014

WIP: Fine Molds 1/72 X-wing, Part 1

In my lull between commissions, I got some much needed time to work on some personal projects! As previously shown, I managed to finish Darth Vader's TIE/x1 with a majority of the paint work being completed in the span of a day. Fine Mold's TIE kits just go together so easily!

With the TIE fighters done, I moved on to the 1/72 X-wing. Like every Find Molds model, they go together very well with very few seams or gaps to worry about. The only area that I am concerned about is where the butt plate meets the fuselage behind the S-foils; that area will most likely need some filler.

I managed to get most of the craft built in a couple of hours. The engineering on this kit is great; you can build, paint, and weather the S-foils separately before joining them with the fuselage. I opted to leave off the laser cannons so I don't run the risk of damaging them. I then began priming all of the parts with black Vallejo Surface Primer. I am also painting the landing gear because I haven't decided if I want to display the craft in flight or not. You also get two canopy options; one closed and a two-part one if you want to display it open.

Depending on which X-wing you build, there will be a couple left over astromech heads you can put on a the droid body that comes with the kit. Since I am painting this particular X-wing as Luke's Red Five, I used the R5 droid head to make this little fella. I'm not sure what I will end up doing with him, but I couldn't help but build him as I've always had a soft spot for the R5 series of astromech droids. This tiny droid gets at least five separate decals too!

This droid has a bad motivator!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Showcase: Darth Vader's TIE/x1 Advanced

Here are some nice shoots of Fine Mold's 1/72 TIE/x1 Advanced! The final product is quite tiny; the cockpit ball is about 1.25" tall and the wings measure 3.5" long. The model was completed in Tamyia and Vallejo acrylics and Mig Productions Abteilung 502 oils.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WIP: Darth Vader's TIE/x1

After a wash of 502 Abteilung Starship Filth had dried, I moved on to discoloring individual panels. To accomplish that, I used 502 Abteilung Faded Grey, Faded Navy Blue, and Faded UN White to pick out random panels along the craft. Since this is Lord Vader's personal starfighter, I figured it has seen a lot of action in his hunting of the Jedi and subsequent offensives against the Rebellion, so it isn't unreasonable to think that the craft has been damaged and required repair. The canopy had been given a bath in Future and is now dry, the next step is to mask the windows and paint the frame. After that is complete, the entire model will get a coat of matte varnish and I can then mask and paint the panels in the wings. I sanded the "Star Wars" logo off of the base to accommodate a larger Imperial cog than I did on the TIE/Ln base. The added benefit is that the cog will be centered on the base which should give everything a much cleaner presentation.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quick Update: Space Marine, Submarines, & Personal WIP

Both Stormtalons are complete and currently en route to their owner. I have a Stormraven and a Knight-Titan on the way to my house that I will get cracking on as soon as possible. On top of that, I was recently commissions to paint a model submarine for a family friend of mine. It should be an interesting project: the subject is the USS Michigan (SSBN-727) in 1/350 scale. The boat is near 19" when complete! I'm looking forward to my first maritime model so I'm excited to get started on it.

Until then, I have plenty of personal work to keep my busy. I am in the process of finishing Darth Vader's TIE/x1 and Luke Skywalker's Red Five X-wing. The TIE has already been painted (save for the black panels on the wings) and I have begun weathering it. Typically, TIE fighters don't get much weathering due to their expendable nature. However, this is Lord Vader's personal starfighter and considering the fact that he is one of the best pilots in the Galaxy, I'm willing to bet his ship has seen a lot of action. I know it won't be exactly screen accurate, but I don't mind.

Luke's X-wing is still in pieces, but nearing a stage where I can begin throwing some paint on it. I have all the laser cannons, engines, and S-foils built, and tomorrow I am looking to get some paint on the cockpit so I can start getting the fuselage painted. I'm still undecided how I will paint it; neutral grays or warm grays.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Paint Rack Upgrade

I decided that my current paint storage solution was wholly inadequate; consisting of three multi-tiered spice racks from Bed, Bath & Beyond and one MDF rack I bought off Etsy. After a quick Google search, I found some good ideas for an upgrade.

 This shelf is 24"x30" and made with 3/16" peg board and 1"x2" boards for the shelves. After building one I quickly realized that I underestimated my storage needs so I took another trip to Home Depot to get the material to build another one. Each rack is about $30 in material cost. After a couple of hours, I had this:

The two racks combine are five feet in length and two feet tall. They are almost completely full but I have a little bit of room for expansion. When I run out of room I'll probably build another similar one and expand upwards. The amount of desk space these racks freed up is staggering; I wish I had built them sooner! For comparison, here is what my desk used to look like:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Showcase: Space Marine Stormtalon

Here are some pictures of the a recent commission for a client who is an active duty Marine. He requested his models to be painted to resemble modern armor, so after searching around AFV modeling forums I found Tamiya XF-59 (Desert Yellow) to be a pretty close match to IF armor and decided to go with that. The model was primed white and preshaded with black before the base color of Desert Yellow was applied and all the odds and ends were painted. The interior was painted with VMA Interior Green much in the fashion of WWII-era aircraft and the pilot's armor was painted in MultiCam. The chipping was done with VMA Black and VMA Burnt Umber mixed 3:2 and applied with a piece of torn foam. The streaking was done with 502 Abteilung "Starship Filth" and the soot was done with Secret Weapon Miniatures Engine Exhaust. The most heavily chipped edges were given a rub of Secret Weapon Miniatures Metallic Iron pigment with my finger tip. The effect didn't photograph very well, but it looks great in person.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Showcase: Sienar Fleet Systems TIE/Ln space superiority fighter

As promised, the updated pictures. I'll keep it brief as I feel that these photos speak for themselves. Enjoy!

WIP: Fine Molds 1/72 TIE fighter, Part 2

I have you now...
In the first part of this build log, I gave a brief overview of the model kit and began working on the interior of the model. In this, the second and last part of the build log, I will talk about the construction, painting, and weathering of the model. Join me after the break as I explain my build process and for pictures of the completed model.