Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Model Madness: Tank Update

As you can see, I'm chugging along. I drilled open the end of the turret gun, which inexplicably was shut, and have been putting in a lot of time putting/sanding all of the gappy seams in the undercarriage.  The more I look at this kit, the more I realize that there's not too many parts to it, and that means soon it'll be time for some wiring and paint!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Next Project- M48A2 Patton Tank from Monogram

Though usually I build models or create "things" inspired by my favorite sci-fi/fantasy sources, I've decided to venture into the real past next with this build, the M48A2.  As the box indicates, it's 1/35 scale, meaning that it's almost 10 inches long, which is pretty good for tank kits (usually, they're 1/72 scale).  This Monogram kit comes with some troops as well, and.. get this... rubber treads!!!

Like my Frankenstein custom build from a few months ago, I'm going to create a custom base with scorched earth and puddles, and I'll also be installing two headlights (although as of right now I have no idea how I'm going to do that).  I'm also going to experiment with a sound card, to see if I can have a multi-button function for various sound effects (engine running, treads, some cannon fire, battle sounds).  This kit is going to present some really fun weathering opportunities, too.

You might be wondering (or not at all) about why I would select this one to build, instead of a Star Trek/Star Wars-themed work.  Well, my dad was in the Army, and was a tank mechanic, and this was one of the tanks he often worked on.  I'm going to build this for him, and then ship it to him in Tennessee as a surprise.  I'm aiming for a sculpture display look more than a model on this one, so the paintwork will be the top most important thing.  More to come.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Yoda Standee Done

At long last (well, come to think of it, it's only been a little over a week), the wood Yoda standee is completed.  I ended up changing my mind regarding using Envirotex, as it would make it heavier and also make it TOO reflective.  It would be difficult to actually display it somewhere in which you could see the image instead of yourself, reflected on the surface.  Instead, I went with Krylon Kamar Varnish, which did the job great, after about three coats.  It's super shiny, yet not heavy, and the brush strokes are still evident enough to break up the reflectivity of the surface.  All in all, I'm happy with it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Almost Finished He Is

Almost ready for the Envirotex!
Added some yellowish highlights to the skin, as well as made the eyes a bit more "wet" and interesting.  I had to be real judicious with the hair, as even just a tiny bit more than what I painted resulted in him looking like "Yoda Fine."  Three Stooges fans will get it.

After a little trip to Wookiepedia, I discovered that the "amulet" around his neck wasn't that at all, but a "bissl," a three-piped flute.  I guess Yoda had to entertain himself during those 25 years or so exiled on Dagobah.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Next Project: Yoda Standee!

I've always loved Star Wars.  Well, to be more precise, from the time I was 5 years old (in 1977), until 1999, when The Phantom Menace was released, and then slightly again in 2013, with the promise of Lucas-free Star Wars films to come.

Anyways, like most guys my age, I had Underoos.  Yeah, Underoos.  Don't act like you don't know what they are, because you do.  Even if you're a chick, you know.  They made Wonder Woman Underoos.

I had some cool Superman ones, which I wore in lieu of an actual uniform.  I had blue pajama pants that I would wear under the red tighties, and boom! I was the man of steel.  Underoos also released a Star Wars line, and the packaging featured neat line drawings of the characters.  In particular, I remember a drawing of Yoda, which appeared on a Jedi Knight Certificate featured on the back of the packages, during the release of Return of the Jedi.  That same line drawing also was used on the back of the Topps trading cards for the film, whenever a Yoda scene was described.

I always loved that drawing of Yoda.  I think it was because in the films he was so obviously stuck to the floor, and here he was sort of leaning over, taking a step.  The pose was dynamic, and the face was slightly more toadish, and less cuddly and cute.  I never forgot that image, for some reason.  So fast forward 30 years.  Yes, it's been 30 years.

I went out to the garage and found this piece of panelling from some package long ago.  I looked at it and thought, "It's pretty tough, pretty rigid.  Would make a good standee.  It's about the size of either R2 or Yoda."  Well, I checked online and found out that Yoda is only 26 inches tall, so there was plenty of room on the board.
I first brought the board inside, cleaned it up, and sprayed some primer (this board is super-absorbent).

I propped up the board and used my art projector to place the Underoos image on the board.  Yeah, I'm too busy to sit down and free-hand this stuff!

I then painted in the preliminary black line work.  Most of this had to be replaced after placing the real colors in.

Most of the colors are in place, generally speaking.  Check out the belt; it's totally wrong.  The original image was so grainy and small that I had to try to fill in the blanks.  Well, it turned out that I didn't know Yoda's costume like I thought I did.  He doesn't have snaps on his belt pouches, and he doesn't have a belt buckle.

I little more definition going on in the face.  I'm going to plot in the hair last.  You can see the Topps card image, along with another variation of the drawing from a Star Wars Monopoly set that I have.  In all three products, the drawing has been modified slightly.

And here he is, with repaired belt and finished walking stick.  I'm still trying to find a good image of his amulet which hangs around his neck.  That's what I'll have to do next, and then it's on to shadows in the face and clothing.

Once I get the hair in place, I'll proceed to cut the form out of the board, and then I'll make it so that it will be hangable.  I'm going to coat the guy in Envirotex, so that he'll shine like glass.  More to come.