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Will Vale

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About Will Vale

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    Very Obsessed Member
  • Birthday 07/06/75

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  • Location
    Wellington, NZ
  • Interests
    Modelling, Running, Cooking, Work, Fatherhood.

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  1. 1/9 Spiderman by Horizon

    That's such a tight set of spider buns, the original kit makes quite a difference! Love the red too W
  2. TIE Striker and friends

    Cheers, and it's somewhat movie-accurate too I think they're done! I spent some time with a carpenter's pencil and graphite powder adding a bit of sheen to various edges which doesn't really show in these pictures. Then I painted up the guns, with dark grey "rubber" concertina sections and metal (Chainmail) for the flash hiders and cross-links. They had a heavy wash of MIG Dark Wash which I gently removed with the tip of an almost-dry brush and then a little touch up with graphite powder of the worky bits at the back. In theory there should be another concertina rubber section around the base of the flash hiders but it's not moulded and I didn't think it was worth trying to fake it with paint. I also added two tiny slivers of sticky "holo" reflective foil (from HiQ parts, it's sold as sensor stickers and I think it may be the same stuff as Aurora film?) to the drivers' vision blocks, but I didn't try and fit anything into the commander's periscope under the hatch rim as it was quite deeply recessed. Plus it took me three goes to get the foil onto one tank and I think I still have some of it attached to me... I think that was all? Other than clipping the bits into place properly. Oh yes, and I neatened some of the white armour on the commander, painted a demarcation around his visor and then gave all the white bits a coat of Klear to brighten them and smooth the brush marks a bit. I might take some RFI pics, or I might carry on and do some diorama stuff if I can find a suitable sub base. Cheers, Will
  3. Macross: help & advice appreciated

    10 year old me is crying inside, you monster! I see where you're coming from with that but I don't think you're right - most of the things in question have pilots and/or crew and most of these are human (because they're played by human actors). And we see those pilots and crew on screen next to their machines, in part to establish a scale and show how they fit in but also just because we're seeing the machines in use. So scale of machines relative to human beings is totally natural for sci-fi, and by extension scale relative to real world units. Building to standard model scales also has the advantage that you can display things together and see the correct relative sizes rather than have a collection of random box scales. I think that's as interesting for sci-fi as it is for e.g. model aircraft. It does break down a bit for really big stuff like Star Destroyers, the Enterprise etc. where the only scale cues are little lights to represent windows - they could be anything from hundreds of metres to kilometres long without it really making any difference to the statement "that's really big". It also breaks down because often the filming models are different sizes and might not agree perfectly with the full size sets, so the scale is flexible. But that's much less often the case in these enlightened times of CAD and CG where scale consistency is easier to achieve. NB: Someone is going to comment on the height of Zentradi now, I just know it Will
  4. RGC-80 GM cannon

    Congratulations, that's awesome news! Will
  5. TIE Striker and friends

    That's pretty fun. I like the idea of using the AT-ST because it clearly identifies the tanks as Star Wars despite their being new non-OT designs. I can keep the Snow Speeder for an eventual AT-AT-roping exercise. I varnished the tanks today, although only on the lower sides, base and in among the prongs where they were shiny, since the tops were pretty flat already from the dust and I wanted to keep a little bit of variety in the finish. The Khyber canisters got a couple of coats all over though since they were gloss to begin with. Since I had the airbrush out I sprayed some thinned Flat Earth along the lower sides and around the base of the prongs. That was a bit plain so I spattered them with both AK Earth Effects and Africa Dust Effects, loading a paintbrush with a small amount of a thickish mix and flicking it through a fairly high-pressure air stream from the a/b to get nice small drops. It's not super-visible in this picture but hopefully you get the idea: Just the guns to go now, I think? And a little oil, and probably some fine metallic chipping and/or graphite powder in places. Cheers, Will
  6. TIE Striker and friends

    Cheers Andy I'd like to base them but I've run out of the little square wooden coasters I was using, I've got other things but I've rather fallen for the look of the coasters. They've been put on clearance by a big chain and almost dried up - there's a shop an hour away that seems to have some but I haven't had time to get out there yet. The most appropriate setting would be Jedha and I'd quite like to do the buildings but not really all the people! I watched the movie again and there's a scout walker in the Jedha battle scene as well which would be fun. Maybe I can do a bit of street and put some Aurebesh up that says "curfew" as a cheat... Will
  7. TIE Striker and friends

    I think the tanks are pretty cool-looking and they're used quite well in the movie, but they're seriously impractical both as a tank design and as a lorry! I added more layers of weathering using mostly the same things as above, plus some MIG Rust Effects and Citadel paints for a few details. I also went back with the MIG Dark Wash and re-instated some panel lines that were full of dust. The container ends I blacked in with the Tamiya panel liner (the mesh should really be painted black but I didn't fancy that) and the seams with Dark Wash, maybe I should've got the Brown to reduce the impact of the seams a little? I also did some drybrushing with pale orange (Lugganuth Orange) and pale yellow (Dorn Yellow) from Citadel, I wanted these to look plasticky rather than metal. Lastly I touched in the guns with black and painted the commander and his hatch. That was a bit fiddly - there's not really enough detail to delineate the armour plates with a straight wash and I ended up using cream, then a sepia wash for a dirty base and painted in the lines and undersuit with dark grey and black, then finally went over the armour panels with white and at the same time thinned the lines a bit. I sort of think he needs some weathering (in the movie his suit is absolutely knackered) but I think it might just look messy if I add chips? NB: The containers and the cupola aren't pressed home yet, the hatch in particular seats much better when properly in place. Cheers, Will
  8. TIE Striker and friends

    Thanks, but did you read about the bit where I melted the TIE above? That wasn't very natural and there may have been swearing... If I'm brutally honest I reckon the only trick to any of it is magnification - if I can see it then it's a lot easier! The steady hand comes with practice. And the enamel weathering things I've been using are so nice because you can mess around happily and mostly wipe it off if it goes wrong. Plus they have fine pigments so you can get nice streaks and other thin/small features which make it all look in-scale - e.g. despite being mostly manipulated with a 3mm flat brush the streaks are *well* under 1mm across. It's a bit different for me if I'm trying to copy something exactly, but for the sci-fi stuff I tend to not worry about that and all the work reduces to "follow some of these steps" - turn the handle and models come out of the end, eventually. The chipping is all sponged on, using a "sharp" corner of a torn sponge for a bit more control. It's honestly not that great in terms of shape of chips, but I've added quite a bit of dust and it all sort of blends in and hopefully adds to the effect. I did think about touching it up with a brush but didn't bother in the end as it's such a tiny model. Talking of tiny, I've just painted the tank driver and blimey that was fiddly! Difficult combination of very small, hard edges, and black/white contrast giving nowhere to hide. I'll take a pic in the morning but I'm kinda dreading what he'll look like close-up :/ Cheers, Will
  9. TIE Striker and friends

    Aww, I was hoping you were going to run with it and come up with a complex and convincing in-universe discussion of why the AT-ATs would've been way better as hover vehicles! I realised I hadn't posted the next step yet - after the filters I drybrushed the tanks with Screaming Skull (a cream colour to support the new tint) and then chipped with the always-popular German Camo Black Brown from Vallejo. Some of the chips are a bit splattery, I think the paint was a touch wet, but it'll all get blended in with following layers. On top of that I blended AK Africa Dust Effects and a bit of standard Dust Effects on the flat surfaces, and streaked more of it down the sides. The movie tanks have quite a lot of "bird dropping" white stains and the dust gives a hint of this. A bit more of that plus some rust and they'll nearly be ready to varnish. Cheers, Will
  10. TIE Striker and friends

    Toronto-GOSH! What about the mighty AT-AT then?
  11. TIE Striker and friends

    I added some filters to the tanks - Tamiya Smoke sprayed from below along the sides and around the base, plus some heavily thinned Clear Orange from above along each side, I think those have helped warm things up a bit: Still probably not what you'd call canon, and I'm sure it will lighten a bit with the flat coat, but I think it helps a bit. I also painted the containers orange with Tamiya Orange. Which is gloss and I don't like gloss acrylics, but it was handy and is a good bright safety orange. Five or six coats later, I added some highlights by adding white to what was left in the airbrush cup. I've picked out one container in each set in the paler tone for variety. I assume that if the containers are apparently separate like that, then at some point they'll actually be separated and so might wear at different rates. NB: The fiction for the Occupier tank suggests that it's a hovertank, but the prop vehicles were built on Alvis Stormer flatbeds and you can definitely see their tracks in the movie. I think they made a production time decision to use them as tracked vehicles (for the feel? to avoid post production work?) which is why all the toy names are wrong. FWIW I think it's s terrible decision - the tiny tracks sit maybe a metre inside the enormous over-riders at each end - so I'm going to say they hover when I come to base them [edit: Not Stalwart, Stormer. But Alvis Stalwarts would make for some awesome spacey conversions :)] Cheers, Will
  12. TIE Striker and friends

    Thanks Nigel! After a short break to build this (which I have yet to get muddy, but soon!) I've put some paint on the tanks. I found a different picture which makes me think that I should've used a warm dark grey whereas these are a bit more imperial. I don't think I'll change it now though, but I can see how I can shift things with the weathering and maybe a filter or two. Interestingly I was expecting the pin wash to be quite quick to do because they're so small - instead it took ages as there's just so much detail to pick up I've also given the ISD a coat of paint - this is Tamiya Royal Light Grey with some highlights from a lightened version of same: I'm a bit unsure how to proceed with this - I was going for a more cloudy paint job, but the finish had a salt-and-pepper feel to it even though my paint was very thin so I ended up adding more coats to even things out and losing quite a bit of the variation. There's a bit more left on the underside, maybe: Currently thinking about darkening it a bit, maybe with Andy's crazy masking technique, maybe with pencilled panel lines? I'll ponder for a bit, it's not as obvious as the tanks. Cheers, Will
  13. A-Wings - Phoenix Squadron

    I'm sure this is teaching Granny to suck eggs, but I quite like making flare cores by painting a circle and then streaking it out using the blur tool, with SHIFT to keep it in a straight line. Then copy and paste to get as many star-points as I want.* * Other old-skool Photoshop techniques may be available. W
  14. TIE/sk x1 "Striker"

    Thanks chaps! I feel like there's a subtext here but it's just too subtle to pick up. Maybe if I was, I dunno, prescient it would help. Will
  15. A-Wings - Phoenix Squadron

    Very pretty, the dirty creamy white in particular as it complements the blue nicely. One tiny nitpick on the photo edit - I think your canopy glints might need a white core to sell that they're reflections off a hard specular surface? The lighting on the A-Wing bodies is top though. Will