The Frigate Continues

Well, technically, I'm done. I finished painting over the weekend and added just a few hand-painted windows. But for now, I'm showing off some pics of the progress right before the finish line. Firstly, here's a pic of the primed model with some more styrene rectangles added to cover the cracks and splits. Then, I routered out some road wheels from an AMX-13/90 to create new engine rings. Not only did these cover the broken ends, but they really helped the overall look.

Finally, I have a few in-progress shots of the forward hull. You can see all of the modulating colors that I used, mostly MRP lacquer paints and a few Tamiya paints. The trick here is having a few index cards with sections or little rectangles cut out. Then, I can simply place the index cards on the model, lightly spray, and you get some neat effects. One other trick is spraying along the edge of an index card (or tape), which creates a subtle streak. ILM used this trick with a lot of their models. It may seem fast and dirty, but it looks effective if you are careful when airbrushing. However, I did use tape for the red lines to make them sharp. After, I sprayed some light grey over the red markings to soften them. Note, the contrast went way up for those pics, so the colors are much more muted on the real thing.

Priming the Frigate

Finally, I got around to finishing the build of the Nebulon-B Frigate-headache. Luckily, after getting the primary pieces reattached, the details have fallen together easily. I haven't had many issues, except a few parts cracking. But again, I just keep adding layers and layers of detail, mostly styrene strips. On a nice day, I primed it using Tamiya's Fine Grey Primer, a lacquer. And this folks, is why priming is so important. I had a lot of cracks and splits that I had not previously seen. I also noticed several places where glue had collected and needed to be removed. Also, the thrusters look really bad, so I'll add that to the list of things to fix.

A Nebulon-class Headache

So, my latest project is a rebuild of Nicholas Sagan's Nebulon-B Frigate. It's 1/500 scale and 3D printed from his design. Honestly, it's absolutely beautiful. He captured all of the detail beautifully, and the 3D print looks phenomenal.

However, it suffered a mishap in shipping or something. Anyway, another person wants to buy it and Nicholas commissioned me to fix it. And holy-hell does it need fixing. Apart from it being, well...apart, there's a lot of damage to the armor plates on either side of the main hull. Nicholas reprinted one side, but the port side is really bad. I'm having to kit-bash a kit-bash to rebuild it. What's worse, is that the 3D-print is very brittle. So, every time I try to add something on, something else breaks. It's quite the headache.

But, I'm trying to add as much structural support as I can. Wherever possible, I'm adding 1mm styrene strips behind pieces that I'm adding on. I'm also using 2-part epoxy glue more than CA superglue. Epoxy is generally stronger, but it also has a little flex in it. So, when I ship it, hopefully nothing will snap off again.

I’m on a Podcast

So a short while ago, I was asked to be on What the Force?, which is a Star Wars podcast discussing all kinds of things from lore to theories on the future films to me talking about painting plastic. At first I couldn't believe it. You mean, you want to talk about plastic things for half an hour. Cool!

But when I did the interview, I had a lot of fun. It was interesting to describe scale-modeling to someone who wasn't familiar with it, and I enjoyed just reminiscing about old projects. So, if you have a chance, give it listen. If you have more time, please listen to the other podcasts because I really like the variety of topics and the casual feeling you get when listening.

Thank you again to What the Force? for having me on, and cheers!

What the Force? link to my podcast

What the Force? Facebook page

Getting back into it – Bandai Rogue One

It's been a long time since I really got a joy out of painting, weathering, and finishing a model. So, I've recently been jumping back in with the Bandai Rogue One set, the one with the U-wing, TIE Striker, and Imperial Combat Assault Tanks in 1/144 scale. Currently, I've actually finished the TIE Striker. Many thanks go out to Dannon Marsh, who makes some excellent masks for the TIE Striker.

For the U-wing, I'm using Nicholas Sagan's multi-pack of U-wing decals. They need to be cut as close to the marking as possible, but they go on excellently with Mr. Mark Setter and Softer. The Combat Assault Tanks (unpictured) are in the early paint stages.

Now, there's something else I'm working on, which I hope to finish this week. I don't want to spoil it. However, it uses Play-Doh, Durham's Water Putty, and a watering hose attachment. Can you guess what it might be?

Rogue One & Scale Updates

To start, I absolutely loved Rogue One. It was a near flawless Star Wars film in my opinion. There was just enough old and just enough new to make it fit perfectly before A New Hope. And there’s so many links to the original trilogy, that I’m sure many of us will be analyzing Rogue One over and over again.

For modelers, new ships means new models. So far Bandai and Revell haven’t disappointed in their lineup. However, by digitally recreating all of the OT vehicles to scale, some of the official sizes changed. X-wings, Y-wings, the AT-ST, and even the TIE Fighter have had their sizes altered.

Best part, my estimates of 7.3 meters for the TIE Fighter is almost spot on for the new official size: 7.24 meters. Yeah, it’s nerdy, but it makes me really happy.

I have updated all of Scale Lists, as well as the Official Sizes page to catalogue the changes. Cheers!