About this Blog

This is about the combination of two interests, Radio Control vehicles and Science Fiction models. Its also about vehicle design. The models have to satisfy two main precepts.

1. The vehicles have to work, ie be driveable, but not nescessarily win any races or rock crawling competitions.

2. The main thing is that they have to look cool.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Explorer part 5

The previous post on this project was in October 2014 and this model has basically not progressed since then.

I am joining some other sci-fi modellers and we are exhibiting our models at the Perth Supanova 2018 event starting on the evening of Friday 22nd June. I decided to take some holidays (two weeks) to give me time to try and finish some models for the display. Its remarkable what a deadline will do for motivation, the first model completed was the Kong head Toybash 6x6 project and then I decided to tackle the Explorer that had been sitting around for years nearly complete and actually finish it.

The first thing to tackle was re-wiring the lighting. I discovered that the big 10mm LEDs I had installed already had a resistor inline to run at 12 volts. This meant I needed to change the wiring power supply to 12volts and not the 7.2 volts I had already installed. I wondered why they seemed so dim. The Leds needed to be wired up in parallel instead of the the series format they were in, and I added some extra white leds for a cockpit control console in the cockpit, 8 in total. The white leds I used had a forward voltage drop of 3 volts so 4 in series makes 12 volts. I then wired the two sets of 4 in parallel. I tested the led torches which I had wired up two in series, by gradually increasing the voltage up to 12 volts and they seem to be OK at that voltage. I suspect there is some electronics inside that regulate the power they receive.

Here's some pics of the console lit up. This will throw light up into the cabin interior and onto the faces of the occupants.

Before I built the console I started on a cabin interior and seats. Two 1/12 scale Star trek figures,  John Cho and Simon Pegg to be precise, (though the Simon Pegg face does not really resemble him at all) will occupy the chairs as planned 4 years ago. The seats are made from Foamed PVC sheet, 10mm and 3mm thickness. I hacked away at the figures thighs to get them to sit properly and drilled a hole through their torsos so they can be securely screwed to the chairs under their silicon jumpers.

The rear of the cabin was made to fit the space left between the hull and the RC chassis. It was kit part detailed and piped in the usual fashion., shown below after spraying with primer.

And here it is after the usual application of poo juice and white dry brushed acrylic and with figures in seats added.

The next step was the roof of the cabin which attaches with a couple of kitchen cupboard magnetic catches. It was detailed and then primered and weathered the same way, only this time I took some photos of the steps in my weathering process.

First up is the grey automotive primer.

Next is the addition of Poo juice ( mix of Tamiya flat black heavily diluted with methylated spirits or ethanol), here slathered on with a soft wide flat brush and still wet.

After drying, (it doesn't take long).

Then wiped off with a rag wet with methylated spirits on all the surfaces and raised detail . You have to keep moving to a clean bit of rag as it gets dirtier. You want to leave the dark in the grooves and around the edges of all the parts.

Then apply cheap white acrylic paint and dry brush it on. I use a stiff oil painting brush and a bit of MDF. I add a small dollop of paint and then get a tiny amount on the brush and scrub it back and forward on the MDF to remove most of it.

 Then apply to the model scrubbing across the raised detail and all the edges. Add more paint to the brush and gradually build it up to a pleasing effect.

Thats it, job done. It works really well on most surfaces, but the paint underneath cannot have as its solvent alcohol, such as water based acrylic paints like Tamiya colour.

The rest of the model has been painted and weathered. I still have to fit the console to the cabin after the windows have been glued in and then it should be finished after more than 5 years.
Pictures of the completed model will come in the next post.. coming soon.

If you happen to be going to Perth Supanova on the weekend drop by and check out all the other cool sci-fi models that will be on display. I will try and get some photos and post them up after the show.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Kong Head Toybash part 3

At the end of the last post I decided to add a few more nurnies to the front of the cab and have now done so completing the construction process by finalising the primer.

Then it was into photoshop to come up with a suitable colour scheme. I wanted to go bold with the colours for this truck and looked over a number of vehicle concept art pictures I have collected from the internet for inspiration. Here's what I arrived at as a very rough paintover of the primered side view;

I went to the auto parts shop and purchased some spray cans in the appropriate colours. The first can I tried was an old one that had been sitting on the shelf for quite some time. On pressing the trigger an ooze of thick goo came out of the nozzle. I shook it up some more and tested the spray on a piece of wood and it seemed to come good so I started spraying the model... the spray coming out was not a fine mist but a series of thick blobs. I tried the other similar colour I purchased and it was a newer can and sprayed a perfectly fine mist. So one side ended up with a thick textured finish and the other was more like I was expecting. This ended up causing me problems as the too thick acrylic lacquer paint and the perfectly fine primer will start coming straight of the styrene when you pull off the masking tape. It seems to dissolve the primer styrene bond interface and the stuff will almost fall off which it did in several places. Everytime I removed some masking I had to repair the paint, the model needed and got more and more heavily weathered through the process. The other issue is that I am trying to complete this model and at least another before exhibiting them at the Perth SupaNova event coming up in nearly a week and a half, so there is a deadline. I am taking some holidays before the show to get them done and I dont need any more disasters besides the fact thet the weather has not been conducive to paint drying.

The model is now pretty much done except for a voltage booster board from Hobby King to power the 12 volt lighting from a 7.2 volt battery. I have had the board on back order for a number of months and still no show.

Here is the result of the last few days;

On to the next model for completion.
More soon...

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Kong Head Toybash part 2

I believe I have completed the Kong Head Toybash build, I'll know for sure once the grey primer goes on.

I painted up the driver figures using some old Humbrol enamels after first spraying them with grey automotive primer. You can see that I also painted over the beard of one of them as well as painting on a different hairstyle. The flesh paint gave him a very pock marked facial skin texture. For the driver I added a steering yoke type set up out of a scratch made handle and some kit parts.

 I also made a console back lit by 6 amber LEDs which I forgot to get some photos of before securing the figures in the cockpit and masking off the windows ready for primer.

I decided to make the whole cockpit section removable rather than permanently cement it into position so that I can gain access should any need arise. It is held on by a lip at the top and a couple of screws in the bottom of the wheel arches which screw into a couple of wedges of foamed PVC and the styrene the toy body is made of.

The front of the cab was finished off with a bullbar bumper made from a plastic knitting needle heated and bent round a simple wooden former. It is secured in the middle by a brass tube and some holes in the 2mm styrene protrusions that make up a volume added under the cockpit that transitions back to the front suspension. The body is held on by two screws here that fix into a bulkhead on the Tamiya Kong Head chassis that normally holds the front bumper. The rear of the body is secured by a single long screw that goes through the Kong head rear Bumper into the 2mm styrene that makes up the rear door box.

Next up the model was cleaned with some wax and grease remover and sprayed with grey primer.

The grey primer tells me that the front cab section needs some more surface detail on the front and sides to match better with the rest of the hull, however the rest of the surfaces, I think, turned out reasonably well.

So I need to add a few more bits and pieces to the cab sides and then figure out a colour scheme.

More soon, thanks for looking.