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, 30 October 2016

Container spaceship part 1

I have been on a bit of a roll completing two projects in quick succession and have been endeavoring to continue on with that theme and complete some of the many unfinished projects that I have cluttering up my shed. Unfortunately, against my better intentions, a new project formed on the work bench in front of me. Actually it formed in my head first and then I couldn't stop myself.

I was looking through an old display book where I had put some inspirational spaceship pictures way back in the 90's and came across a tiny sketch that I had enlarged and printed out from a Japanese modeling magazine. I really liked the design of the container space ship which is like a giant version of an Eagle transporter and always wanted to make something like it. I have no idea where it is from or what show it belongs to, if anyone knows the source please let me know using the comment system.

I happened to have a couple of turrets from two Italeri M108 kits which I always thought would make a good spaceship front when put together on their side. So cutting these up and spacing the bits apart I could make something a bit larger keeping the 1/35 scale.

Of course the size of the windows makes the scale much smaller than the sketch would suggest but as in my usual way I am making my own ship with that sketch as inspiration, which means I can do what I like and more importantly with what I have on hand.
Currently the top is left open to get access to the cockpit area.
It's all still very experimental at this stage as I have no idea what I am going to use for the truss that connects the front to the engines and hold the containers in place. I am also unsure exactly what I will use for the containers, though at this point I am considering plastic index card boxes.

I decided to crack on with an engine section and finding some nozzle like PVC pipe fittings in my box of bits I arranged them in a formation I liked and built a box to support them.

The usual ceramic bi-pin connectors have been installed with a couple of led down lights I had left over from the Shuttlepod project. These are mounted in the two big nozzles, the two smaller nozzles I may use some garden lights like the Escape Pod Mk2 project unless I find something brighter and better. In the pictures below one of the side panels is still to be glued in place so that the interior construction can be seen. The triangular gussets are the scraps cut off the bulkheads, here being employed to hold the bulkheads perpendicular to the top and bottom panels before the side panels go on. It all helps to make for a rigid and square structure.

The holes in the side panels will be access hatches to help installing the lamps. Its pretty impossible to get the pins to line up otherwise.
It is very apparent that the engine module is of a similar design to my earlier Sony Spaceship and not at all like the tri cylinder design of the sketch. I happen to like the more vertical orientation which in any case is suggested by the cockpit of the sketch.
I intend to get back to the Bulk Cargo project but who knows what other distractions await...

Monday, 24 October 2016

Escape Pod Mk2 part4 Completed.

Part1  Part2  Part3

I set about coming up with a paint scheme for the Escape Pod Mk2 the same way I tackled the design of the paint scheme for the Kitbash Shuttle project, namely taking the side view image of the grey primer model and messing about in Photoshop overlaying colours till I had something I liked.
The other deciding factor was that I had to make use of the colours I had on hand. Below is the original grey photo side view I started with and then the two rough versions I came up with.

The two versions are the same colours but with the reciprocal placement.
Because the Shuttle pod was already orange and I liked the mostly blue version best I chose that for the model. I had a spray can of Blue metallic car paint on hand. I don't usually like metallic car paints on a model because the metal flake is way over scale but it is what I had to hand and as it turned out once the weathering took off a bit of the gloss, I think it turned out OK.

The white markings where sprayed on using white primer. The numeral 2 was done by printing out the computer font onto paper, sticking that paper onto the back of some wide masking tape and carefully cutting along the outline with a scalpel blade. The masking tape was then carefully peeled off the cutting mat and transferred to the model. In the photoshop mock up I had a couple of letters "EP" for Escape Pod but I found they were just too tiny to cut by hand and peel of the mat without ripping apart, so I abandoned them. The black lettering on the tail is some more of the old Letraset dry transfer lettering I recently re-discovered in a box at home and the red pinstripe at the rear is a bit of ancient Letraline found in the same stash.

The weathering was done as per my usual technique described previously.
I also painted up one of the cheap figures I found in Target for the cockpit occupant and added some control panels and a joystick mounted on the sides of the seat.

That brings this project finally to a close but there are plenty more on the way.
Thanks for looking, more soon...

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Bulk Cargo Lander part 2

Part 1 

I am astounded that it has been over a year since I did the first part on this project.
I have done a bit of detailing work on the very top and bottom of the ship. The two central round shapes  marked top and bot are removable caps that hide the mounting points and are yet to be detailed.

I have also been working on the cockpit and led lighting as well as starting some of the panel work. The main effort in paneling has been at the front and I needed the cockpit to figure out where the windows should sit. The panels are cut from the 1mm styrene I formed around the clear plastic crayola dome halves, as described in part 1. It varies in thickness depending on how much stretching of the  plastic sheet has taken place.
The cockpit is made from 2mm and 1mm styrene sheet. The console top is made from one of the clear panels that come in the crayola domes. It is backlit by four white leds that have a voltage drop of 3 volts each and so don't need a resistor on 12volts DC that is being supplied from an old computer power supply, modded as per the instructions on one of the many you tube videos which describe the process.
The room lighting is by 4 amber leds with a 240 Ohm resistor preceding in series for the 12 volt supply as they only drop 2 volts each. Below you can see the rough test of the lighting with the front top dome half in position. This will be removable for access and is held on with 5 screws as described in part 1.

Detailing of the cockpit interior has been completed. One of the more interesting features is the textured back wall made from a disassembled VHS video cassette shell which has been cut up.
I filled a green wheely bin with old VHS tapes that I had lovingly collected over the years filled with rare monster, sci fi and VFX documentary films. I have not had a working VHS machine for over 6 years so I figured it was time to get rid of them, keeping some of the shells with the most interesting textured patterns for just such a use.
Below you can see the 1/48 deck crew figures temporarily placed  in position.

After painting  with a few coats of grey primer and weathered in my usual way I removed dots of the paint with a 1mm drill so the light from the white leds shine through revealing panel lights. Various dabs of Tamiya clear colours make the differing hues. The two central screens were painted with Tamiya flat black and when dry scratched away in a random fashion to suggest some sort of tech screens.

When the camera is lower, you get the full effects of the amber leds and that coupled with  the two crew members that look like they are spinning some decks, makes for a decidedly club like atmosphere.

It looks like there is some serious Doof going on in there.

More soon...

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Kit Bash Shuttlecraft part 5

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

As mentioned two posts ago I have been doing the painting and weathering on this kitbash shuttle project and it is now complete.

I finished the detailing in part 4 but had not done the second primer pass.
After the final primer coat went on I took a photograph and played around in photoshop with some overlays of colour to figure out a paint scheme. I wanted to try for a 1970's sci fi book cover type of vibe with saturated colours.

Here's the final primer pass shot outside in sunlight...

... and here's my final concept out of Photoshop.

 As you can see, the photoshop mock up is pretty rough, but its only for me to do some quick experimentation before committing to paint and masking. I usually use car paint out of a spray can cause they dry fast but this time I decided to use the trusty old Humbrol enamels and just got a red, blue and white and used 'em thinned straight from the tin in my old badger airbrush.  After all the fiddly masking and airbrushing was over I let it dry for a week before attacking it with my usual weathering technique, described many times before. Before removing the window masks I sprayed the model with some Crystal Kote clear matt spray.

After a house clean I came across an old stash of Letraset dry transfer letters and numbers in the Microgramma font that I have had for quite a while. Can you still get this stuff? I'd like some more but chances are its been long retired now that absolutely everything is done on computer, even modeling...sigh.

The rear power and mounting rod access hatch was also a recent addition.
The hatch just fits by a protrusion that friction fits into the center mounting rod hole, the dc connector is next to it and the third hole is just there for the hell of it. The led downlights secured into the nozzles with three small spots of super glue which in the unlikely event they have to be replaced, can be cracked out. The nozzle/light assemblies are plugged into the ceramic bi pin connectors and then just press into the engine pods with a nice secure fit.

The other access hatch is underneath and it has an inline dc connector that can be pulled out. The central round shape in the hatch is removable to allow a support rod and the power connector to pass through leaving the main door in place.

This project has been started and finished within the same year, a real achievement for me being so easily distracted by the next idea. It is always nice to finally bring a project to completion.

More soon...