Sunday, September 02, 2007

The dishes are done

Well...just the master copy. I finished the back of the dish yesterday. The details were much easier than the front to create. However, because the parts that fit to it are more complicated than the cone, it still required some effort for a good fit. As promised, here are some images of my new dish master mounted to the rest of the Fine Molds radar dish assembly parts.
After a brief photo shoot (see above) and moment to appreciate the completion of the dish work, I took it all apart and prepped my new dish master for molding. More info on that later. For now, I leave you with this photo of the completed dish assembly mounted to the hull.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Details of the dish

Creating a scratchbuilt dish for the FM falcon was no easy task. It required a lot of hours and some very tiny bits of styrene (many in the 1mm ballpark). The photo below shows the details for the front all in place before some minor filler is applied and the surface primed.Here's an earlier shot where you can more clearly see the lines I drew on the surface of the dish base to space out the parts correctly. The shine on the surface is from the superglue.It was truly a tedious task to rebuild this part. After putting it off for so long I was in no hurry to get around to it. However, I knew I couldn't finish without replacing the tiny FM one, so I just got to it. I'll post final pics of it front and back while mounted to the hull next time.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Painting the Sidewalls

It has been way too long since I posted an update on this project. I picked the kit back up again a week ago and started back in on it after a very hectic month or two in the real world. I managed to get a good amount of work done in a rather small amount of time. Below you can see the upper hull paint job is complete with the spatter pass as well as some minor adjustments to the engine deck weathering (airbrushed neutral grey around the rear section of the turret sidewall and around the engine grills and streaks).The side walls are also complete now. I started at the outside of one of the mandibles as worked my way across the back and around to the front again. This process was rather painless and quite enjoyable seeing as it consisted of fairly low detail distressing. Seems like the ILM folks took it easy on this part of the ship.
From the rear right of the ship you can see how deceivingly simple the weathering job is. It's really several passes (as with the rest of the ship). I start by darkening the dirty, blackened/brown areas. Next, I go through and add in subtle orange, yellow, red, and light brown accents. With a wet brush loaded lightly with pastels, I add in rust marks, streaks, etc. And then hit it once more with a thinned out black to get some dark lines, runs, and smudges. A very gentle pass with the airbrush and neutral gray ties the weathering together. Top it all off with a super thinned out spatter that is almost invisible.
I'll be getting to the interior surfaces of the mandibles/jaw box next to complete all but the lower hull. This should go quickly but requires separating the hull in half again to really get in there. I'm glad it isn't screwed together just yet and that I opted to do all the extra work in the beginning to magnetize this model so that taking it apart is an easy task. It's paying off already. I'm very satisfied with how the paint job has turned out. There are a few more parts to customize before all painting is wrapped (cockpit and radar dish), but the bulk of the work is nearly behind me.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Engine Deck

Here is a look at the rear engine deck in all its dirty glory. It took a lot of will power not to do this area first (It's my favorite section) Basically more of the pastel work. some minor detailing with thinned out paint/wet pastel. And of always, I still haven't done the spatter pass!
I'm going to finish off the top hull with some minor airbrushing of Tamiya Neutral Grey around the rear section of the turret sidewall along with a few other minor places. Needless to say, it's a big relief to have the upper hull paint work behind me. It was fun while it lasted!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Deconstructing the damage

As promised, I took some photos of the different stages of my hull weathering process so that I can better illustrate how I am going about adding all the grunge and grime. I hope this helps.
First, I want to show some closer images of how I do the streaks themselves. In the left photo, I'm using a thin piece of paper (a sales receipt in this case) like a mask to define the edge of a dark streak. In the right photo, you can see that I'm holding it in place while brushing black pastel dust onto the surface. I try to brush right along the edge of the paper to keep the streak as thin as possible.

After removing the paper mask, a nice streak is left on the hull. I go heavier at the top when brushing on the pastels and use less toward the end to make the streak fade off. Before doing the streaks in this manner, I have pre-shaded the area the streak will be made to soften the mark a bit. After this step, I make a thin mixture of water and black pastel dust to brush a fine line in the streak to make it pop.
This series of images begins with the hull quadrant free from any weathering. I begin darkening the areas with black pastel dust and a medium sized brush. I softly indicate where the streaks will be as well as dirty up any areas that are dark in the reference photos I have. Next, I add some color to the armor plates by brushing in browns, oranges, reds, yellows, etc. It's tricky to keep the balance so I go slow and step back to look at the area as a whole frequently.

Now I add the streaks using the technique described earlier. I use the method for both the black and rust streaks. Finally, I paint the blast marks using Tamiya German Gray with a super fine brush. Once that dries, I take my base hull color (50/50 Grime/Reefer White) and outline them looking at the reference. I also have added the chips in the red hull panel using this paint. The access wells/ports get weathered with black pastels, rust, and a little red. That's pretty much all there is to it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hull of a day

I had a pretty productive day. The quadrant with the radar dish got a lot of attention as did the two escape pod walkways. I had a real good time weathering these parts. I brought out the airbrush and the Tamiya Neutral Gray to darken the turret sidewalls, back end of the jawbox, and a few areas with blast damage. I really like this photo:
This angle shows off the radar dish quadrant of the hull and a good look at the blast holes I cut into the hull. Still missing from the finish is the spatter/speckle pass. I want to get the upper hull completely weathered with paint/pastels so that I can apply the spatter for the top all at once. When the final coat of clear (Testors Dullcote) gets applied, I will call the finish complete.
Many images of the same area from different angles are required to do a thorough recreation of the weathering on this ship. Rob is starting to archive all the print-outs we've accumulated over the course of this project into a 3-ring binder. I will have to take a photo of that next time as it is an impressive volume.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

What a dish.

Here's a good look at the where I am on the dish assembly. I cleaned off the back of the donor dish and filled in the old mounting slots. I added new ones that fit the FM hardware and have begun recreating the details on the back of the dish. The front is going to be very time consuming, and so I started with the lighter work.Below is a quick comparison of the size difference between the supplied FM dish and the new correct-scale blank I created. I can't get over how small the stock dish is.
Somebody just got an upgrade! Here's one last photo to show how much of an improvement the larger dish diameter makes when presented with the rest of the falcon.