Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Best Friend's Birthday!

My best friend and little girl, Bela Lugosi turns 9 today (August 24th). My wild 'lil boston terrier and I are going to the fancy local pet shop today and I'll have her pick a toy of her choice. And many a snack for her too! Cheese and cold cuts make her happy!
I love her soo much. She still looks like a pup. We don't age in this family. We have magic powers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Studio Scale Snowspeeder Work in Progress

Hey comrades. so i've had this  Neisen/Salzo studio scale Snowspeeder for everal months and have been putting it off cuz basically "how the hell am i gonna pull this off" goes through my head. but YES it's time. It is HUUUUUUUGE!!!!! should build to over 18 inches. I plan to paint it up as Wedge's snowspeeder with the orangey-red stripes. Most of the work actually i would like to focus on is making the cockpit super detailed , possibly leather seat belts and whatever i can scratch up. 
One great thing is the resin casting is SUPERB and it appears to have very little clean up involved for me. barely an airbubble in sight.

Check back often for updates to the build.

Part One: 
I got alot of parts sanded and cleaned up and started glueing some engines together as well as the 2 pilots. The cockpit tub is not glued in yet as it will need to be primed and painted first to get every nook and cranny,

Part Two:
More bits assembled including the targeting system for the rear pilot, the blasters and the rear plate.

I actually thought i had filed and sanded down all the parts but i found a big bag of little parts that weren't done yet, so AAAARGH. 
I was planning on doing full fiber optics and LEDs in the cockpit but I am soo burnt out from the entire Trench Run build, it's just not enjoyable to do right now so maybe next project. I'll make sure to paint and build this one up extra super to make up for the lack of lighting bling.
At this point my workshop table is buried in toxic resin dust...Blah.
Part Three:
I drilled out a hole in the bottom to house the brass stand. I inserted an aluminum tube at a slant on the inside, doused it with epoxy and cleaned up the outer area with tamiya putty and then after sanding that all smooth i added a sliver of brass tube to keep it neat.
I used my trusty pinvise to re-tap out all the rivet holes that were blurred from the casting.

Part Four:
Update TIME!! You can clearly see the size difference in the old MPC model kit..Its rediculous! (see pic)
I didnt know there was this exhaust manifold in between the rear cooling fins. it has 4 ports each so does the Snowspeeder run on a V8 engine? A small block 350 chevy? awesomeness indeed.
I installed the bottom rudders but somewhere i miscalculated and theres a gap in the right side so maybe ill ram in some t-track cut to fit snug in there. 
On the tip of the cannons I replaced the front tiny guns(?) by simply tapping out a small hole with my pinvise and cutting a small piece of brass tubing, just for that extra detail. 
As you can see the model is almost fully built. I am not installing the rear fins nor the top rudder covers till after paint as they need special attention on their own and it would be a  nightmare to mask around it.

Part Five:
Tonite I didn't do too much besides scratch build some control sticks since the kit had none. I gave 2 to the front pilot and 1 to the rear gunner/harpoon pilot. I couldn't locate any real pics online of the controllers in there so i took a liberty. I made them out of brass rod (not tube), since it is not hollow and won't crimp when i stick it on a mini table vice and bend it with rounded pliers (to not scratch it up). 
Some spring (Mecha Skunk Piano Wire Extention) for the bottom of one in the front.
One one of the top rudders that i am keeping open in the final build i added a little plumbing line and some metal greeblies. 
Primer is about to start very soon. YEHH!
Part Six:
So as i get closer to primer i decided at looking at reference pics how packed with tubes, wires and cables the cockpit was. So i started coiling up some wire made some mounts for them and added tubing to the front and rear pilots using the Mecha-Skunk springs. 
These things rule. i ordered multiple packs of these recently in different sizes and the uses are endless in Star Wars and probably alot of other sci-fi builds. I attached them by tapping the appropriate size hiole and inserted a small piece of brass tube that was just slightly thinner than the spring. nice snug fit.

Tomorrow I am going to make some seatbelts. Apparently according to ref pics the belts were racing harness seatbelts. I think. And they are grey. I'll figure it out.
Part Seven:
Finally got to primer her using Plastikote White rattle can...The base coat went on too a few hours later using Vallejo Deck Tan and Flat White through my Badger Velocity Airbrush. That basecoat mix is my usual mix for my "REBEL" fleet builds. 

The cockpit console, sidewalls and floor are painted with Vallejo Blue Grey Pale and the floor is misted with a thinned Sepia.
Part Eight:
Ok so i got the pilots base coated and pained but still need to detail and hade their faces as well as add a slight weathering to their uniforms.

A couple of evenings later....The Speeder pilots are done!

Part Nine:
Last night and tonite were super productive. The cockpit and canopy are finished!
The decals the kit came with are fantastic for an garage resin kit. They went on trouble free and were die cut for easy release. Nice!
 I Just have to route some wires inside with some angled tweezers but thats it. Weathering was done with grounded brown and black pastels and also some MIG Productions' pigments. 
The canopy isn't fully glued down yet but will handle that tomorrow.
Part Ten:
Last night i masked and chipped the grey and red markings. Tonite I'll try and get that top done. We're slowly getting there!
All orange-red striping and chips are done! Next step...the decals.

Decals on. Next is my favorite step. the weathering. yehh!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some Baby Taxidermy

Those who know me well i have a pretty decent amount of old antique, vintage taxidermy around my house mounted on walls in curio cabinets and on tables. But, some of my favorite ones ever are these few super small baby ones. They get extra points for super cuteness and fascination level even with their tiny size.
I normally never buy much from that Soho "taxidermy" boutique Evolution in New York City. Its over priced and usually only carry the usual fare generic creatures. BUT a couple of years ago i popped in and i couldn't believe my eyes. It had to be mine. I love Boston Terriers and my Boston, Bela Lugosi is my best friend ever.
At less than 5 inches long, this cutie specimen is  freeze dried (so it actually wouldn't be considered taxidermy) and was a still born. Super cute!

The actual size of the tiny chameleon inside its fitted little jar is just over an inch long. This was a present given to me a few years ago by friend and painter Rachel Bess from Arizona. She also made its mount out of brass and metal as a brooch but it resides proudly in my prized possesion curio cabinet.

I got this puny Pepe LePew online last year...I've been lookin for one for years and had little luck. There are plenty of  adult specimens to get but for some reason a baby one is pretty rare. A full on score on ebay for like 30 bucks!!! Fuck Yehh!
Finally The BABY BUNNY

Ok this one is another freeze dried puff ball from Evolution. I suppose its one of the few places i hit everytime I'm in New York City because it is directly across the street from my gallery representation, Opera Gallery.
I couldn't resist nor could you...All fat and round and puffed up...c'mon you'd buy him too! He stand just over 4 inches tall.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Some Other Star Wars Machinery Kits

The AT-ST...
This one was always one of my favorites when i was little. Like other kids we called it the "chicken-walker". It was seen on the Battle of Hoth where the Snowspeeders fought the AT-ATs (OK! Elephant-walkers!!!!) and also at the Battle of Endor with the Ewoks.
This studio scale kit is from Nice N' Models and is pretty rare. And is pretty damn accurate to the stop motion studio model. You can't find kits like these in any stores but thankfully to prop forums and the internet i managed to locate alot of the creators of these gorgeous resin garage kits.

I had to add extra brass pins and epoxy to hold the legs in place as the head is soo top heavy and wanted to droop. We cannot have a moping AT-ST now can we? Not for the prices these go, hell no!
Anyways I painted this with Plasikote rattle can primer in white and it's base color was Vallejo Pale Grey Blue through an airbrush. I applied a dirty brown and black wash, cleaned that up , applied a small coat of Testors Dullcote Laquer between steps and then applied the drips and smokey carbon stains with sanded down pastels. The rust i used was done with rubbing alcohol dabbed on certain areas and then sprinkling on some Rust Pigments by MIG. Another few coats of Dullcote and we're done!

The Probe Droid (Probot)...
And you thought a Probot was that band Dave Grohl is in with all his favorite metal gods. HA HA!
I got this kit many months ago online through a forum and of course i didn't start building it till mo nths later not knowing a really impirtant section was missing. the ENTIRE bottom plate where the arms all attach to...AAAAAARGHHHHHH!!!!!!

By this pont its a little late to bitch someone out so rising to the occasion i whipped up a make believe bottom area out of stereo jacks, brass tubing in various widhs and RC silicone fuel line. I also had to scratch build these gun things too where i attached that fuel line.
So now we have a very non screen accurate Probot but we can file this under "What IF" ir possible "Concept Probe Droid." OK enough of that. It still came out sweet so fuck anyone who hates it!