Saturday, October 16, 2010

Matchbox 1/72 Stranraer: The Madness Revealed

I'm procrastinating inking the newest issue of Obscure Tales and I'm working on the Stranraer. I've completed building the interior and I've painted and washed it. It looks pretty good here. Nice and full:

Remember to click on the images as Blogger crops them to a uniform width. Most are wider

The problem is, when I button it up, it is virtually all invisible; the radio station with it's electronics rack and plush seat can only be seen if you shine a light inside and tilt the fuselage just right. Even through the dorsal gunners hatch, not much can be seen. I was fooled by the white of the Evergreen plastic into thinking stuff would pop out when I painted it cockpit green. Oh, well.

Here's the navigator's station, the only part besides the cockpit that will be visible:

The other thing I did, which will also be nearly invisible, was to make a new instrument panel. The kit panel is an embarrassment (especially when put next to the crisp, well-detailed Lewis guns and pilots). I found a panel layout diagram, drew instrument faces in Adobe Illustrator, laid them out to scale and printed them on paper. I then worked a sandwich of Evergreen sheet and paper. Turns out, that the detailed faces I worked on were a waste of time given the resolution of my HP DeskJet. At least they look busy. What did work nicely was painting the panel black and then twisting an Xacto #11 in the hole to reveal some white. In person, it makes the instruments pop. I'm debating whether to put a drop of Future on the faces as it may degrade the image more.

In other good news, I made a test of a technique I wanted to use on the wings and control surfaces (which are aluminium doped) and it worked! I'll share when I've done it for real and have some pics.

Listening to while posting: "Keep Fishin' " by Weezer

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stranraer: The Madness Continues

With the interior done except for painting, and a break to participate in 24-Hour Comics Day, I've decided to venture into Biting Off More Than I Can Chew Land. It's been a strange journey so far.

The kit canopy is VERY, VERY THICK.

With all that (hopefully) beautiful detail inside, it seems a shame to hide it behind a warped, distorting canopy. So, I've decided to build my own canopy out of sheet styrene and that thin clear plastic they use for packaging headphones and the like.

I thought and thought and sketched and sketched and came up with Technique #1. I'm building a frame of styrene. The frames are a bit wider than scale, but I think (hope) that the clearer transparencies will make up for that. We'll see how it paints up (one reason for doing it this way was easier painting of the interior of the frame. My one worry is putting the 'glass' in I have a plan, but it wasn't fully formed because I didn't think I'd get to this point without complete failure.

I've got a tentative plan for Technique #2 which I'll be attempting Sunday. I'm doing that a) just in case placing the glass in the current frame fails or b) it looks like butt.

All in all, this is the smallest, most delicate thing I've made yet. Not only that, it's the smallest most delicate thing that needs to be structural! I'm pushing the limits of my engineering ability and my tools. Some of the parts are so small that I really can't see them when they're in the tweezers. Zowie. Stay tuned!

Listening to while posting: "Swans" by Camera Obscura