Becoming a stripper…

…a paint-stripper. Well, I didn’t like how the paint had laid on the Shuttle; it was grainy. I’m fairly convinced that the paint was drying as it hit the model. Thus, I need to use a paint retarder of some sort. So, I decided to soak the model in Windex and remove the acrylic layer. However, I found the while the Vallejo paint lifted perfectly, the AK acrylic Primer pretty much stayed on. I used a toothbrush to remove most of it (without damaging the lacquer primer underneath). Now, I’m letting it dry.

In other news, I bought an F-toys AT-TE, and I am making a small vignette with it. I did some slight weathering on the vehicle. Then, I used a picture frame and some DAS clay to create terrain. I created the spires from 5 minute resin. Basically, I just stirred the resin until it began to set, then lifted the stirrer. If I timed it right, I could create rather unique spire/obelisk shapes reminiscent of Geonosis.

wip-ftoys-atte

Mini Dioramas

I finally uploaded several photos of the Mini-Dioramas I used as centerpieces for my wedding on Oct. 17, 2015. These are very small and use Micro Machines to depict scenes from either Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.

Still building…

I am still building, though not as much as of late. Lots going on in life. But since The Force Awakens premiered, we’ve been getting official lengths for some of the vehicles. Thus, I updated the scales for the Titaniums and the Hasbro Micro Machines. I also changed the TIE Fighter scaling for the up-teenth time. Maybe someday I’ll do a page explaining how I keep coming up with weird numbers and scales for them.

Slicing thin styrene strips

Something I have had trouble with is cutting the super-thin styrene sheets (.13 mm). You can’t buy strips this thin, and using a scoring blade tends to just bend the sheets. So, I used a paper-cutter. The trick was having something that held the entire sheet down so it doesn’t move. I was able to create several dozen strips of various sizes. Now, I can put them in my chopper and create super-thin raised panels for any project I’m working on.

thin-styrene-strips

Modulating the AT-AT Barge

Here’s what I accomplished a few days ago. I airbrushed the modulated greys using Life Color paints. Then I hand-brushed the small raised panels with Vallejo paints. Of course, most of the contrast will lessen as I apply filters and other weathering techniques.

Breaking into the hobby

One thing I enjoy about modeling is seeing new people get into the hobby. Yet, it worries me that people may be discouraged by everything that is out there. The photos of professionally built models, aftermarket accessories, and the dozens of paint brands make it kinda intimidating. One look at a lot of the pics of models and you might wonder, “how can I ever make something that good?” Couple that with some modelers vehemently arguing about accuracy (even sci-fi modelers), and I can imagine anyone would feel overwhelmed after a bit of reading.

The important thing to realize is that like any art form, everyone has their own style and their own desire for what they want to focus on. The other aspect to remember is that everyone was a beginner once. Look back through my models, and you’ll see how rough they were when I started out. I built with superglue, slathered on the paint, and barely weathered at all. It took a lot of practice to get where I am now. And I have to remind myself that I’m not trying to beat someone else…but rather, I’m trying to get a little better with each model.

On that note, if any viewers have any questions about modeling or any of the articles/models on my website, feel free to message me. I always like meeting new modelers, and I think it’s great sharing information and tips.

Now go paint something.

– Jonathan