Adam Savage: one of us

I really appreciate that Adam Savage is a scale modeller. There aren’t many “celebrities” that you can point to who build models, or at least admit in public to doing so. Of course, Savage was a prop builder at Lucasfilm so it makes sense that he would probably also build models in his spare time, but it’s such a rare admission that any mention of it is noteworthy. In saying all this, I just want to post this fascinating scratch build he recently did showcasing many of the techniques he used at Lucasfilm.

Pegasus 1/48 scale Martian War Machine, part 2

I opted to fill in the rotatable neck “flange” so that the body would be perfectly smooth and less toy-like, as well as the indented mount area on the bottom of the ship. This was my first time messing with the “super glue and baking soda” method of filling and I have to say it works pretty awesome. So much faster than typical filler.

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Bandai 1/12 scale R2-D2, part 2

R2 has come a long way in the past couple of days. This is the beauty of these Bandai kits. With just a little extra work, they turn out amazingly well. I really haven’t put all that much time and effort into this little guy but it looks pretty impressive, IMO. That said, everything is painted and weathered, and that really makes all the difference in the world from a straight-outta-box kit. I’m almost sad this is going together so quickly, but that just means I can move on to the next thing in my stash, right?

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Bandai 1/12 scale R2-D2, part 1

I needed a break from reality so I put the mostly-finished Apache aside until I can airbrush it and grabbed my neglected R2 kit. I started on this last summer and then got distracted by other kits. Now, however, I’ve dived in to finish this one before building another. We’ll see.

I don’t feel like bothering with the airbrush right now so this is all spray paint. I didn’t like the slightly yellow-tinged white plastic color and found the blue to be very plastic-y looking, so I painted them with Tamiya spray paints. White parts are getting white primer followed by glass clear while blue gets an under coat of aluminum followed by a dark metallic blue that looks reasonably close to the “real” R2. Once the blue started to dry, I went at corners and edges with a toothpick and dinged him up like we always saw in the films. It came out pretty well just from putting the dome together.


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Hasegawa AH-64D Apache Longbow (1/48 scale)

Well, I meant well. My last post was about 45 days ago, and was about a completely different project that I ended up abandoning in favor of the great 1/48 scale Apache Longbow made by Hasegawa. It’s also my first real foray into the world of photoetch (by Eduard), and after a month messing around with it, I find it’s a case of diminishing returns. In the cockpit, there’s very little provided in the set, as it relies heavily on the kit’s apparently good instrument panels. With a few small extras and embellishments, it builds up well, but doesn’t seem to add a whole lot to the overall look. I might have been better served to buy the resin cockpit from Aires. Oh well. Next time. At least the seat belts came out nice. Continue reading “Hasegawa AH-64D Apache Longbow (1/48 scale)”

Imperfection rewarded

I decided late last week to take a chance and enter a model in a local hobby store’s annual contest. And while I know this Airbus A320┬áhas flaws, I’m really proud of it, and thrilled to see that despite these flaws, it still warranted a third place. I don’t build for awards, and so this feels a little unusual putting something up for critique like this, but it’s good to get out of your comfort zone once in a while.

Happy accident for the F150 build

I painted the AMT/ERTL F-150 engine in the specified black for the transmission and aluminum for the block. I opted to get a can of Model Master Metalizer Aluminum Plate, which is buffable to a high shine but which I was going to leave “raw” to look more like real aluminum. I haven’t found a spray aluminum that comes close to what the Metalizer can do. It’s pricy but the result is pretty realistic. The happy accident came when I made the “mistake” of removing the black parts after having unmasked the transmission. I should have known but forgot that my fingers would be coated in loose aluminum from the masking tape I’d used. Normally this would be a disaster. In this case, however, I found aluminum dust coating the high spots on the transmission and found that it looked much more realistic than just straight flat black.  I gave all of the black parts a light finger-brushing and then hit the “fins” on the valve covers and pulleys of the fan belt much more heavily. I couldn’t have purposely painted these parts any better. But I’m stopping here for the day while I’m ahead. I know what happens when I try to push on at this point: overreaching and eventually a frustrating (usually) minor disaster. 

Ghost of the Grand Banks

Titanic, one of my great interests from way back in the 80s – when it was discovered 13,000 feet under the sea – may no longer exist in twenty years thanks to a previously unknown bacteria that is quickly eating away at it. Sad as this makes me, it also motivates me to begin building the huge kit that I recently bought (an update to a kit I’d built back then, then chopped apart and modified to create a sunken diorama.) But first I have some amazing add-on parts sets to get which will result in a far more accurate replica of this great ship than I’d normally be capable of. Usually I prefer making my own solutions for missing detail but this is a special case.