About this Blog

This is about the combination of two interests, Radio Control vehicles and Science Fiction models. This blog documents my science fiction spaceship and radio controlled vehicle projects.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Science Vessel Spaceship part 6

 The Science Vessel Spaceship project is now complete.

I have finished applying paint.

As the paint scheme was going to be relatively simple I did not do a photoshop rough first. I just winged it on the model.

It is basically finished in Rustoleum 2x UltraCover Primer flat white with red markings using a Humbrol flat red enamel with chips masked out with a latex masking fluid. The dark grey detail regions are the Rustoleum grey Multi surface primer I used for the primer coat left without a top coat.

The weathering wash on the grey primer was my usual poo juice made from Tamiya Flat black heavily diluted with methylated spirits or ethanol. It is liberally applied and then wiped off after drying (which is pretty quick)  with a metho soaked rag leaving the wash in all the recesses and around the detail. wiping in a particular direction will leave directional streaks. Then a dry brushed white cheap artists acrylic.

The white areas received a similar wash mix but in this case it is a heavily diluted grey/brown wash instead of the straight black. I found on the Moon Bus project the black wash did not look so good on the white, I think the grey brown on this model works a lot better. There is no dry brushing on the white as it would never show up.

Then all the paint chipping was laboriously hand painted using a mid grey Tamiya colour and a fine brush.

Finally here is the result. 

The following pictures show the underneath surfaces.

You can't see much of the cockpit interior but that was expected.

The rear half of this model was started in the mid 1990's and sat around neglected and incomplete for around 25 years. It is nice to finally see it completed with a new front end that is in every way a better concept and execution than the original. I think I have improved as a designer and model maker over those 25 years and I hope that incremental improvement will continue.

It's satisfying to get that elusive third model completed in a single year. The other two models, the Stretched Sabre and the Merchant Vessel were started and finished in this year and that is an added bonus. The main factor that helped this level of output was my very low hours of paid work over most of this year. That has all changed I am back in full time work again so I don't expect to match that output again for quite a while. The upside is I can now afford to replenish some of my dwindling Hobby supplies.

Thanks for looking.

More soon...

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Creeper 6x6 part 5

The last time I posted about this project was in 2017.  

With the Science Vessel project nearing completion I was thinking about which project to work on next. I thought it was high time this project was brought to completion.  

This RC vehicle project has been through a number of design revisions over its life with the current design being the third (and final) body with two previous designs having been started to be built and then rejected.

Link to the part 4 post.

In the last post I mentioned I was making a wooden buck to form a perspex window over for the front of the vehicle. That was done not long after the 2017 post and the project has sat around dormant since then.

Below you can see the wooden buck I made to heat bend the perspex windscreen. The buck and the perspex piece is made over size to be trimmed back to fit after bending. The trick to heat bending perspex neatly is to only heat the area to be bent. I use bits of thin sheet metal and you could use aluminium foil to mask the hot air from the heat gun off the bits I am keeping flat.

The first process was to apply the gentle curve to the front face of the window area. I heated the whole section masking off the sides until it was just slightly soft and used a cotton rag to press it down onto the former. Once cooled I used the sheet metal masking to just reveal a roughly 6mm wide strip for the corner bend. That exposed strip was heated and then bent using a flat piece of wood to push the perspex against the side of the former. This was then repeated for the other side. Once cooled it was trimmed to fit the front of the model and 2mm styrene pieces added. The picture below shows the result. The perspex protective film which was a plastic film was still on the undersurface. If the perspex had a paper protective layer I would have removed it first as it does not stretch like the plastic film does.

There is not much left to do to it other than wire up and install all the various light systems and complete all the surface paneling, and paint it  and the figures etc etc. Actually it seems there is still a fair bit to do and it always takes longer than I estimate.

In an attempt to lighten the very heavy body I hacked away at most of the interior bulkheads made from 6mm foamed PVC. This actually did result in a reasonable weight saving.

When I made the chassis originally I had provided a 6v power supply for any future lighting but as I now prefer to run all the lighting at 12 volts I replaced the 6 volt UBEC with a Matek booster board which has an adjustable output voltage. It takes  a feed from the 7.2 volt LIPO battery for the vehicles brushed motor and ESC and boosts it to an adjustable voltage in this case adjusted to 12 volts. In order to get a higher voltage than the source you must sacrifice some current but as I am only powering some LEDs which only use a small amount of current there is no problem.

 The 12 volts from the Booster Board then goes through a Pololu switch that plugs into the third channel of the receiver to remotely switch the lighting on and off via the push button on the transmitter.

In the photo above you can also see the sway bar arm on the middle axle. It is made from a length of solid brass on each side attached to the axle with a short linkage made from Traxxas rod ends. The bars at the other end are attached using a cap screw clamp to a length of piano wire with a flat ground on each end. A small aluminium spacer spaces the bar out from the chassis plates.


The control console is made from a 1/35 tank hull part with a perspex screen covered in a piece of black 0.5mm styrene with two video screen holes cut into it as well as a series of 1mm holes to look like buttons or indicator lights. Buried inside are 4 bright white leds in series, each dropping 3 volts making 12 volts in total. The occupants of the cabin are a couple of Bruder 1/16 scale figures.


 The photo below with a view down through the removable access hatch in the cabin roof shows the console in position.

All the lighting in the following photos are coming from the LEDS inside the console. The glowing edge is the raw edge of the perspex screen. I kinda like its effect so I may not paint over it.

I had an idea to make some sort of glowing revolving tech in a circular area on top of the roof that was yet to be detailed. I had  a bunch of cheap LED linear sequencing kits from another project and thought I might be able to adapt one to make leds sequence in a circle making a sort of rotating effect. The leds are white but there are some portholes painted with Tamiya clear blue which I added to the  the Pilgrim Explorer kit part I used which happily matches the diameter of the existing round shape on the roof.


The snag with this system is that it runs on 5 volts and not the 12volts I have for the rest of the lighting. I may have to re-employ that UBEC switched to 5v to power this device or use another board to drop the 12 volts down to 5 on the body. That may not be the most efficient way to do it, I'll have to experiment to see if that will work.

You can see the rotating effect in the short video below.

 I also made a communications array from some kit parts. The horizontal scanner is a part I was given some years ago. I think it is probably a Millennium Falcon engine part from one of those tiny Bandai kits. It also has the end of a disposable razor, a component I like to add to model somewhere, if at all possible.


The next task is to add some rear lights and then to complete paneling the surface.

Thanks for looking. 

More soon...

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Science Vessel Spaceship part 5

 Grey primer is on and the two halves have been permanently joined.


The following pictures show the underneath surface.

At this stage I am planning to finish this spaceship in a predominantly NASA white style scheme to go with the science/research vessel nature of the concept.

Thanks for looking.

Most Popular Posts