Monday, January 11, 2016

Showcase: Bandai 1/12 BB-8

"Classified? Really? Me too, big secret."
"Droid, please!"
Bandai's 1/12 scale BB-8, completed in Tamiya and Vallejo acrylics; Alclad II lacquers; and Mig Productions 502 Abteilung oils.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

WIP: 1/12 BB-8, Part 4

Not very much progress was made today, outside of giving everything except for the metallic parts a coat of Future in preparation for an oil gunk wash. I assembled the head, leaving off the metallic parts because they don't need to be coated with Future (it detracts from the finish). It fit pretty nice and looks good, but there is a seam on his right side that doesn't match a panel line like the seam on his left. I don't really want to fill it now that the parts are painted, but it's going to bother me if I don't so I'll probably end up doing it. It's a pretty small seam and it shouldn't be too hard to make it look nice.

So far that kit has been quite a fun build and it has helped get the modeling juices flowing again. Also, my two daughters are enjoying seeing this kit come together because they are both enamored by BB-8 and all of his cuteness!

WIP: 1/12 BB-8, Part 3

After a little trial and error, I found a paint mix that I think looks pretty good. It's a little darker than the kit plastic, but after looking over some reference photos of the puppet used in the movie I think it works really well. It's made with Vallejo Model Air Orange (71083), VMA White (71001) and VMA Yellow mixed 4:4:1 with just a touch of VMA Hull Red (71039) added to it. I might go back and add some shading with some brown but I haven't made up my mind on that yet.

 It's hard to tell from this picture, but all of the white parts have been given a light preshade with some excessively thinned Tamiya German Grey (XF-63). I was on the fence on whether or not to do this, but I decided to should help give the model a little more depth and serve a nice starting point for the weathering since it seems to be predominately located on the edges of his various panels. A little more visible in the picture are the metallic pieces, which look absolutely incredible with the Alclad II Aluminum paint on them. I couldn't be more pleased with how they turned out!
I mixed up a warm off-white to serve as the base color for BB-8. I mixed Tamiya Flat White (XF-2) and Buff (XF-57) at a 12:1 ratio and added a tiny brush-load of Neutral Grey (XF-53) to the color cup of my airbrush. All of the white pieces were given a couple of light coats and I made sure to allow the preshade to show through ever so slightly. In the first picture, you can also see his two "eyes" (or photoreceptors as they are called). The kit comes with decals to cover the outside of the large "eye," but it's nearly black, which is not correct to the filming puppet. I masked off the lenses and sprayed the surrounding area with Tamiya German Grey (XF-63). I'll give them a slight drybrush with Tamiya Gunmetal (X-10) to give them a worn look before I put them on the model.

With all the parts painted the next thing to do is give everything a coat of Future before starting the weathering!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

WIP: 1/12 BB-8, Part 2

"He just wants you for parts."
Since I had a little bit of free time this morning, I went ahead and primed all of the parts with Alclad II grey primer and let them dry for about an hour. Since it is a lacquer-based primer, the cure time is incredibly fast; the bottle says it's dry in 30 minutes, but I always like to get it a little extra time. However, after it dried I realized I hadn't decided what direction to take with the paintwork yet. Normally I would preshade everything and then apply the base coat, but I'm worried the preshade might throw off the "look" of the model. I'm also worried about how shallow some of the panel lines on the body sphere are so I'm trying to limit the amount of paint I apply to it.
Even though I'm not entirely sure how I want to go about painting the white and the orange, I knew for certain how I wanted to do the metallic parts. All of the metal parts were primed and then painted with Alclad II Aluminum (ALC 101), which is the most realistic finish possible for a model part. In the above picture, the hatch on the left is how it appears directly from the sprue while the one on the right has been sprayed with Alclad II Aluminum and it's a night and day difference (the bright lights of my painting desk help exaggerate it as well). It's also important to remember that Bandai's metallic-colored plastic is actually pretty good and would look decent enough straight from the box. 

So far this has been a fun build and I have the feeling that completing it will help me get my modeling mojo back so I can tackle all of the projects I have on deck!

Monday, January 4, 2016

WIP: 1/12 BB-8, Part 1

"Come on, BB-8!"
In the build up the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Bandai released a series of models to tie in to the movie, including a 1/144 scale Millennium Falcon as she appears in the new movie, a 1/72 scale Resistance T-70 X-wing, and two 1/12 scale figure kits: a First Order Stormtrooper and an R2-D2/BB-8 combo kit. The Artoo is just a repackaging of the one released in the spring of last year. However, the main draw of this kit is the everybody's favorite adorable new droid, BB-8! I'm not going to do an out-of-box review of this kit but if you're so interested, one from Stevethefishdotnet can be found here on YouTube.
"He's one of a kind!"
I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted to paint this kit. I was leaning towards "not" because I wanted this build to be the thing to break the modeling funk that I've been in the entire month of December. After thinking about for the better part of a day, I decided that I would paint the entire kit. Color matching his orange will probably be tricky as I don't have the widest selection of orange paints on hand and I don't really feel like ordering the paints to match. Other than that, it will be an easy build because everything else is either white or silver.
"Droid, please!"
He comes with all of the gadgets you see in the film: the 'disk drive,' the arc welder, and the blowtorch. I have decided if I will use any of these extras, but I'm leaning towards painting the blowtorch just because that scene in the movie is hilarious!