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Meteors

Aliens Power Loader - Halcyon 1/12

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Hey guys,

 

I've had a Takom King Tiger tank sitting on my bench half done for ages. What with a two year old and another one on the way I get very little time for model making.

 

I decided that I needed a quick model with a low part count to get me back into the swing of things, so I moved the King Tiger to the overflowing 'In progress' shelf, and had a look at my ever-increasing Halcyon pile.

 

I made most of these Alien kits when I was a teenager, but never the Power Loader, so that was the one that's getting built. As I don't have much time I will build this almost straight out of the box. I know there's other people that make the legs and feet more dynamic and more like the movie version, along with changing up the pincers. I just don't have the time, nor the skill!

 

There are a few things that need modification. I'll be leaving the horrid Ripley off as she looks terrible.

 

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This does mean I'll have to fashion some safety straps out of something.

 

The joysticks that come with the kit look like dildos unfortunately, but they might have to stay, just for that very fact.

 

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The kit comes with a nice orange light covering for the top, but the bit that's supposed to be the bulb is woeful, so I'll have to do something about that.

 

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Also the piping is pretty plasticky and shiny, but might come good after some paint, we'll have to see about that.

 

So here's some pics, I've pretty much completed the arms and legs. I've left the padding and roll cage off as they would have made painting difficult, I'll add them on later.

 

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Here she is mocked up, looks pretty nice!

 

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Thanks for looking!

 

Tom

 

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The Power Loader's a great kit. I built it back when it first came out, and didn't make a particularly good job of it. Wish I'd got another one to do now I'm a bit better at sticking bits of plastic together.

You can get a few after-market harness sets for the Tamiya 1/12 F1 cars that would be suitable for replacing the straps.

 

Andy:cat:

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Have this stashed away ever since because of the horrid Ripley figure. I always hoped for a replacement head at leased.

Will watch with interest :popcorn:

René

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17 hours ago, AndyRM101 said:

The Power Loader's a great kit. I built it back when it first came out, and didn't make a particularly good job of it. Wish I'd got another one to do now I'm a bit better at sticking bits of plastic together.

You can get a few after-market harness sets for the Tamiya 1/12 F1 cars that would be suitable for replacing the straps.

 

Andy:cat:

Thanks Andy, I'll take a look. I was actually thinking I might cut the buckle out of the horrid Ripley, and then use some fabric to make the straps. Then with the hole-in-her-chest Ripley I might make a diorama and use her as the cocooned colonist they find who gets chestburstered when the go into the reactor, and also use one of my unbuilt Halcyon Alien Warriors as part of the scene. Scale would be off a little, but might be fun.

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14 hours ago, Meteors said:

Thanks Andy, I'll take a look. I was actually thinking I might cut the buckle out of the horrid Ripley, and then use some fabric to make the straps. Then with the hole-in-her-chest Ripley I might make a diorama and use her as the cocooned colonist they find who gets chestburstered when the go into the reactor, and also use one of my unbuilt Halcyon Alien Warriors as part of the scene. Scale would be off a little, but might be fun.

sounds like an excellent plan

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The Power Loader is a great kit,The Ripley figure is an abomination,I used a Neca Ripley figure instead in mine

MINsod.jpg

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Ooh, two Alien-related builds in a week. Looking forward to seeing what you do with this.

 

On the weird flat bulb, I think it might be intended to represent the reflector since it's a spinning beacon? Still not very accurate though... But the rest looks great.

 

Ironically I think Halcyon arranged to use Sigourney Weaver's likeness in the loader kit (by donating to Gorilla Fund - isn't there a bit about Diane Fossey in the instructions?) but then the figure ended up not looking much like her at all :(

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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On 23/09/2017 at 08:46, Will Vale said:

Ooh, two Alien-related builds in a week. Looking forward to seeing what you do with this.

 

On the weird flat bulb, I think it might be intended to represent the reflector since it's a spinning beacon? Still not very accurate though... But the rest looks great.

 

Ironically I think Halcyon arranged to use Sigourney Weaver's likeness in the loader kit (by donating to Gorilla Fund - isn't there a bit about Diane Fossey in the instructions?) but then the figure ended up not looking much like her at all :(

 

Cheers,

 

Will

I wondered if it was supposed to be the reflector too, odd the it's just a flat thing. I've since found an old nightlight of my daughters that I've ripped apart and found a suitable sized bulb to put in there. Now I need to fashion the reflector thing. 

 

The gorilla fund thing on the instructions was really odd when I opened up the kit, I wasn't expecting that!

 

On 23/09/2017 at 06:14, Carts said:

The Power Loader is a great kit,The Ripley figure is an abomination,I used a Neca Ripley figure instead in mine

MINsod.jpg

Looks great! What did you use for the seatbelt?

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I used metal foil,(mainly from wine bottle tops,so a win win situation) cut to shape,the buckles and lock was made fron plastic card and fuse wire.

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21 hours ago, Carts said:

I used metal foil,(mainly from wine bottle tops,so a win win situation) cut to shape,the buckles and lock was made fron plastic card and fuse wire.

Cool, very inventive!

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Sorry it’s been a while between updates. You know how it is when you have a toddler, your wife is six months pregnant, and your herniated disc is causing screaming, burning sciatica in your leg, you just don’t get that much time for modelling!

 

Plus, this kit is kicking my bottom. I foolishly decided to prime in black in an effort to create a shadow coat that I keep hearing about on YouTube and modelling sites. What I didn’t know was how difficult it is to paint yellow on black. This was after one coat.

 

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It looked pretty green. Plus it highlighted a load of horrible join lines and wonky gaps that I hadn’t noticed previously. I did my best to patch them up, but it’s all weird angles and small crevices, so some of it looks pretty dire. 

 

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I’ll have to try to cover that up when weathering, make it scuffed, scratched and covered in soot and oil to hide my poor skills.

 

Last night I gave her a second coat of yellow (mixed with a little clear orange after a tip in another Britmodeller thread), and it’s still not looking great. Needs one more coat, but I’m not too happy with some of the dodgy patching I did. Plus my airbrush was going mental last night, barely spraying then overspraying resulting in blobs and patches. I think it needs a deep clean. I should maybe have chosen a less complex subject for only the second model I’ve ever used an airbrush on!

 

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You know how in those cooking shows when someone serves up a crappy plate of food they say ‘You obviously had some problems in the kitchen, you can see the stress on the plate.’ That’s how I’m feeling about this one right now.

 

I guess the answer is get my head down and get it base coated. Once I get the decals on and start dirtying it up it might start looking a bit better. “If you’re going through hell, keep on going” and all that!

 

Cheers,

Tom

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Yellow is a hard taskmaster, as you've found out it tends to look dirty over black.

 

I would give it another coat, maybe do some highlights with a bit of white mixed in, and then spray thinned clear orange to warm it up a bit. I find it easier to control like that than mixing it in.

 

I suspect weathering will really help though, especially if you stick to browns and rusts rather than blacks and greys. It should change the hue of the shadows a bit and bring it all together.

 

Still think it's going pretty well from where I'm sitting, I don't think any of the Halcyon kits are exactly easy!

 

Will

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It would mean repainting certain areas again but you could always try putting some strips of styrene over the joins?

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To be honest, I think you're being pretty harsh on yourself. I've just zoomed in on the photos, which is usually when you start to see problems, but it all looks fine to me. As Will said (and as you've found out) yellow is one of the hardest colours to work with, but you've got a really nice smooth coat, so I wouldn't be too concerned.

I think the dirty tone from the black basecoat will be beneficial when you start the weathering.

I'd follow Will's advice, and give it a light over-spray with clear orange, mixed with a little yellow so it's not too intense. If you add some satin or gloss varnish into the mix it'll leave a good base for the decals and weathering.

 

Andy:cat:   

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Thanks for the feedback guys, all really helpful! I'll definitely be adding a third coat, and the highlights and orange misting coat sound like a great idea. I'm hoping that the dirtiness will end up looking just right, after all this is a working vehicle that is supposed to be a bit grubby. Glad you said browns and rusts, Will, as that's what I'd been thinking should be the way to go, happy to know I'm on the right track.

 

Haven't worked with strips of styrene, Hunter, do you pick these up at the hobby shop?

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8 hours ago, Meteors said:

Haven't worked with strips of styrene, Hunter, do you pick these up at the hobby shop?

 

Yeah you can get strips in different widths and thicknesses, and most hobby shops will do them in my experience, or most of the time I'll just cut a thin bit off a larger sheet.

 

Look forward to seeing more progress :)

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Third coat of yellow applied. Will try to get my highlights and orange misting coats with satin varnish applied tonight. Who am I kidding, it’s Friday, I’ll sit on my sofa and drink too much.

 

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Some really dodgy join lines at the top of those legs! I guess I’ll cover them in dirt, rust, and grime in an effort to hide the shoddiness!

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5 hours ago, Meteors said:

 Who am I kidding, it’s Friday, I’ll sit on my sofa and drink too much.

:lol::lol::lol:

 

And the yellow looks great!

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It does look good.

Though now you've got it yellow you have to make it less yellow (again)

What an odd hobby we have...

Those join lines, a bit of stretched sprue melted on there to make them look like weld lines, perhaps?

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On 14/10/2017 at 06:02, Pete in Lincs said:

It does look good.

Though now you've got it yellow you have to make it less yellow (again)

What an odd hobby we have...

Those join lines, a bit of stretched sprue melted on there to make them look like weld lines, perhaps?

Thanks Pete. I haven’t tried the melted sprue technique, not sure I’m game enough to at this stage of the build. I’ll just dirty it up in the hopes that covers it!

 

So, I have good news and bad news, my friends. 

 

First, the bad news. As feared, the 25 year old decals have not held up well. They appear to be quite brittle, and prone to cracking and tearing. I applied a couple of light coats of Vallejo’s satin varnish with a few drops of orange mixed in as suggested by Will and Andy. Came up quite nicely, so when that was dry I tried a decal on one of the forks.

 

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As you can see it had trouble over that raised area and ended up cracking. I suppose it’s not that bad, and in the end will just look like routine wear and tear. 

 

As it was was a bit late I thought I’d just try one more simpler decal, so I did a shoulder one to see how that came out.

 

37693873696_372ba305fa_b.jpg

 

Not too bad. Clearly these will tak a lot of patience, as well as a lot of Markfit Strong. 

 

Now, the good news! As I had finished my yellow base coats I took off all the masking and put her together loosely to see what she’ll look like in the end, and I think she’s looking pretty good! (Although a bit lemony in these pics, she’s more orange in real life)

 

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So I think my plan is this. Hand paint all the bits that need to be silver/metal; the forks, the pistons, etc. Then tidy up the black padding bits, they need a new coat and some touch ups where the masking wasn’t perfect. 

 

Once that’s done I’ll give it a coat of gloss varnish as I’ve got a can of mr hobby top coat sitting there. I want to give the decals as much of a chance as possible to go down smoothly. Once the decals are done I’ll give it a matt coat as I don’t want it mega shiny. And then the fun begins as I get to dirty her up.

 

Any opinions on the best way to do the decals will be appreciated!

 

Cheers,

Tom

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Ugh, these decals. My goodness, I’ve been trying to ease up on the swearing now that my two year old mimics everything I say, and these decals have been undoing all my hard work!

 

They’re really thick. They have massive amounts of extra surface area around the actual decal, which means that you have to trim them down, and you therefore have nowhere to really grip them with tweezers. Try to take them out of the water by hand, they’ll come off and stick to your finger. Finally get them onto the surface of the model and they insta-stick like a hardcore leech. Several have ripped as I tried to move them into position because they’ve cemented themselves within half a second of contact.

 

However, I’ve managed to get them on with only a couple of losses, so, as has been my mantra for this build, I’ll just dirty it up to hide the flaws!

 

So here’s how she looks so far with all her decals on, black padding tidied up, and metal bits base coated.

 

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Then I couldn’t resist and did a little weathering on a couple of bits. Sponged on some NATO black, and then drybrushed over those bits with metallic grey to create some chipping and wear.

 

After a Matt coat I’ll use some brown panel line wash to pick out some of those details, and use some pigments to create soot and dust to hide some of those flaws. Then get some oily, rusty washes on those silver bits.

 

37892211191_e3ca0cba55_b.jpg

 

Cheers,

 

Tom

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