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Stickframe

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About Stickframe

  • Birthday 04/23/1965

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  1. Well guys, this, like last week, I was mainly focused on real work this week - so, could only do a bit of work - but, I did move ahead. You might remember the solar panels from earlier postings? Well, I decided now was time to build them, considering they will essentially be part of the background and overall ambience. First up, the prototype and my version: The prototype is on the left - and I really like the look, though I don't think it's a McQue design - anyway, seems to be the right element for this project. On the right some WIP images. The panels are made from cutting up a DVD, attached to an alu frame I cut out - the front side has the yellow tape, and the back - the back of the DVD. Column is alu, brass, some stiff wire, mesh, etc etc - and below, with some paint: Sorry about the poor quality photos - its been foggy here, so the skylights seem to offer ambient rather than their normal bright light! Anyway, you can see the DVD play side, on the viewer facing side, with some more mesh added - without it, they just didn't look finished - the back is painted with Vallejo Metal magnesium and look better/more discernable in real life. Next to the half-track for scale. Then on to where they might go. My first plan was not good: They started as a pair, along the fence (left picture) - but, I don't like them together - essentially too predictable and frankly, a bit dull. So, I came up with an alternative location, with them separated, as shown in the pic on the right. I think this is more interesting and adds depth. A closer view: This is the preferred location, which provides/adds to, the visual depth of the layout. I'll bet these will look pretty interesting when photographed outside! While I was futzing around with these, I thought more about the relationship of the trailer and tower and made a subtle change: The top version is where I thought the two might go, but I decided it didn't look right, so canted the tower slightly, closer to parallel with the base. This results in a bit more interest and variety to the skyline. While I was at it, refined my thinking about what might go where on the rest of the ground: You can see above (in a slightly out of focus fuzzy image!!) two primary people places - that overlap a bit - the work area is focused on the deck, which is the door to the shop, and to the right, a place for people to gather, under the awning above. In the foreground the general profile of a berm that will be added later. And another view: A ground level view above - the berm (not yet made) in the foreground makes something of an amphitheater around the canopy/main "attraction". OK gents, that's it for today - Cheers Nick
  2. OK Ron - you're in luck - a coffee infused reply from me! I am in the midst of updating my section of a report, and checked the forums! - not a very smart thing to do when trying to meet a deadline! Yes - your points are excellent.....About that background - it's purpose was to give the cutout a background that would actually contrast with the build - my plan is not to use just a blue sky for the "real" dio. And, as actual proof that I'm thinking about all of this, also while out walking around, I lucked out and was able to get a few pics of a much more dramatic sky, which, again while heavily under the influence of coffee, I raced to switch out the over saturated blue of before - take a look: The background will ultimately be determined by the time of the day, weather etc when I take it out for photos -but - that won't be any time too soo I'm afraid - Although, I must say, the location of the setting sun, in the last photo suggests the dio is about to fall off a very high cliff!! lol - Ok - back to paying the bills! and thanks for adding to this fun build - Cheers Nick
  3. Ahh - feedback from other dio builders - nice! @silver911, wow Ron - that's a great idea - nice! And bigger WOW! what a build - beautiful. As for this....scale - it's a big base - I'd need some sort of wall projection device to shoot this! And thanks for noticing the weathering. Maybe a bit like your unbelievable motor paints, this process includes several layers of colors and is mighty slow going - and, on a big project like this, it's necessary to redo the same steps on everything - results, yes, tedious, but mighty slow going..... But, I do it every time - sometimes when I'm feeling, well, who knows, I even add it to the backsides that will never be seen....it's an illness.... @Pete in Lincs thank you sir! for all of the above - and glad you like the land cruiser - great trucks that seem to last for ever! Seemed ideal for a little runabout here! Now, @Badder, need I remind you? Model builders have feelings too! hahhaa! No we don't! we build stuff! At the beginning of this blog I, well, added a caveat to those getting on board - this project is an odd one! It isn't competing to create actual realism, but it is after convincing realism! That's my story and I'm sticking with it! now, I'll need to avoid the frogs! @Uncle Monty, thanks and glad you like where we're heading - As we go, you'll see, this will not lean too heavily into the Mad Max realm, beyond weathering and decrepitude - seems McQue's work isn't particularly representative of the "end of days" or overtly violent. Having now looked at lots of his work, it seems to have a very casual vibe, despite the obviously unusual quality it has - this must sound like an odd recitation if you've just stumbled into this build - the subject of "tone" has been discussed a few times - mostly by me skirting around making decisions, or, more appropriately, me sharing my challenges with making decisions that embrace the McQue character - I found this to be easier said than done! It's why the colors are all in the family of washed reds, blues, and yellows - almost comic book representations of institutional/governmental/corporate stuff, but evidently nearly abandoned, or cobbled together - offset by metal and wear - ok - I'll stop now - my thinking about this tends to get very uptight! I feel better tho! OK, a guy has now spent more time than you'd imagine thinking about and building a backdrop. Ideally, there would be no backdrop, and the viewer would simply see scrubby high desert in the background - but as we've discussed several times - that would be hard to make happen without lots of cheating! (ie heavy digital manipulation!) So, instead, I built a string of screens at varying height and with different materials, to make, this: well - that looks easy enough - lol - maybe to others! Not me tho - this took some time. I won't bore you with it, but there is a little story/rationale for each segment - affecting color choice, height and materials....perfect. And of course, I have cut heights, changed materials and colors - several times....and, what's hard to tell in this photo, the two yellow panels in the middle, are not parallel to the back of the base like the other segments. They are instead oriented to the tower, which sits at angle to the boundary....ok - I'm boring myself at this point - let's see another pic: I'm confident the logic of it all is now completely evident to you viewing this....uhhh, or maybe not? I don't know. I promise to not go on and on - the buildings are taller on the right side of the dio, and the tower has a big ground level opening - whereas, they're shorter and less visually dense on the left. So, stuff on the right closes the space in - horizontally and vertically - and on the left, are lighter in color, but bright - and will just "get lost" behind the station and halftrack, they'll provide some variety, but not be distracting - or that's what I'm hoping will happen. Back to my mediocre graphics. I mentioned a while back that yes, I took photos of the sky - and here is one of them behind a cutout of the WIP: Hopefully the preamble makes more sense now - aside from dark shapes on the right, and a punch of color on the left, the bkgd fades away...and a few others: And there you have it as of tonight. I think we're heading in the right direction - seems I could be getting closer to preparing the ground??? or...the dreaded task of figures!! I'm planning to use a few that I used in dio a couple years ago - it was purged! But before, I picked off the figures and a vehicle or two - and, some new figures -new, in terms of not painted - straight out of the stash- except, for one sentry sniper, that I believe Ron will recognize!! I better not screw up the painting on her! oh - and crap, I think I'll need to do more than primer on the underside of the tower!! I looks pristine as is, and obviously (now) it will be evident in photos....the list of to-dos isn't getting much short..... OK gents, a guy needs to get dinner! Cheers Nick
  4. I am sorry to hear of Codger's passing, and my condolences and best wishes are extended to his family and friends. I find his pinned Rolls-Royce blog to be informative and helpful, and moreover, inspirational and aspirational, allowing us see what can be achieved in the hobby. I appreciate him taking the time to translate process and technique in a way that is immensely useful - from afar, it certainly appears that he more than enjoyed the hobby, and dedicated time to learn, do, and share, all of which is appreciated by many model builders, including me. RIP Codger. Nick
  5. Well guys, I have my work cut out for me! @Uncle Monty, thanks! glad you're enjoying this build! It's been fun. @silver911 and @Pete in Lincs, well (again) you two are evil!! lol Lots of good ideas in there - I'll need to write up a list to keep track of them all! In the meantime, we had a nice and sunny day! So, you know that meant, outside with a few pieces of this build! The upside to this is we'll finally get to see some real color and no more of my low tech shenanigans with poorly made backdrops etc!! But, other problems emerge. I love outdoor images of the build, and I think I've been clear on my disdain for unintentional background!! So, off we go - first attempt of images at my neighborhood park, which is essentially across the street, requiring, according to the Iphone, a round trip walk of approximately .17 miles: and wow! we have some strong color! uhhh, we also have some verdant landscape....as you can see in the lower right, the nhood pocket park, which has nice big concrete bench in the center - nice....unless, you don't want to see copious amounts of nicely maintained urban landscape!! So, after I took these and several other pictures, and wasted about an hour attempting to digitally remove the trees from the images, I concluded the right thing to do was carry these two back outside, and walk them the 1.4 mile roundtrip to the better location for pictures - so, I did just that. And what happened? The Attack of the 50' Woman in real time! ARRGGHH!! oh, and her little white truck too! She was marching toward me, and then made an abrupt turn out of the image - that was nice of her! It's too bad about that fence with the black screen, but I think it's better than the shrubbery! Fun and games done, let's get back to our serious discussion - I think the colors worked out just fine! As two keen observers (you know who you are!) will see, I went with variations of rust and yellow for the tower, and it was the right approach - thanks guys for sharing your thoughts on this! And not to be resting on my laurels, I built some more vehicles - as the pictures are comparatively dull, they'll be dropped in between the color splash images: I know - this truck is somewhat ubiquitous, but it seems to fit the part. It received my obligatory lift-kit, so it sits higher than OOB - just added some styrene between the leaf springs and frame. And, I cut about 1/3 of the height of the bed sides off - I prefer it looking a bit more like a flatbed. Back to color: A few more close ups. Check out the nice and shiny brass bell on the flight deck! These are both broadly done, and reflect the right amount of the McQue-vibe....and, yes, I'll likely add the smokestack to the tower - and a few more odds and ends to go - including eventually stringing a canopy off the station (remember the outriggers). As I futzed around with this last week, the looming headache of the backdrop never faded, so in addition to what I mentioned before, I concluded a tired out truck and car would help: The new cars (including the small truck) are straight out of the stash...Items I've had sitting around so long it was clear, they were not waiting for anything more special than this. I can say, they were each good builds - no problems at all, and they look better in real life than shown in these unfortunately dark pics. I left the right front tire off this to get that sad, sagging look - it has seen happier days. And, the last images: It's funny, these were taken at my more "ideal" location - lol. The pic in the left is in front of a very colorful building, which at one point belonged to the university, and is now very fancy office space - but, it also features that super graphic, which despite everything I've just said, I like in the context of this photo! the other, well, I just like it. OK, on we go - have a good one Cheers Nick
  6. Hi Ron, thank you for the advice on this! I really appreciate it I’ve been slowly painting away and your guidance is directing me to a repaint of part of this - what that means is the grey paint I used looks bad, exactly as you mentioned above - perfect. I painted the legs and lower level w faded rust orange - but used a blue grey for the upper level - and, just as you suggested, it looks wrong! So - back to mixing colors for a darker shade of rust red/Tuscan on the top level. I’ll leave a few surfaces grey for contrast but not much. Cheers Nick
  7. Hi model builders, One more update! I've taken some pictures of the tower - pre and with primer: You can see - I added some details, and as is the case, the primer helps show some of them. Plenty going on (the roof was very tedious to make - it's supposed to be standing seam sheet metal - the standing seams are evenly pieces of .01 x ,03 pieces of styrene glued in place.....!) - including trying to settle on a color. The faded, rust red on the original images is nice, but I think it might look too "heavy" in the context of a diorama - could look like a really big red box hovering over our project. I'd go back to my trusty light blue or yellow, except, the "station" uses those colors - maybe a light grey? with rust red accents? The next image shows how McQue handles it - but, he can tone the red down by adding the dirty pinkish, dusty sky - I won't have that luxury - just regular blue sky. BTW, I like the pics in the left side of the image above - and the spindly spine (stairs and tower) going from the ground into the sky - A few more character images for the tower - color and details, and the prototype towers! I'm still experimenting with photos for the layout, to try and figure out how to make a backdrop - mostly to screen out views I don't want to see: This still isn't a real layout - instead basic organization - and most revealing, the two red lines - which represent about 6' and 12' (2m and 4m +/-) height above ground level. I don't want to build a big building here, so will instead rely on fences, debris, maybe abandoned cars/trucks? and so on to help obscure whatever might be in the background when taking photos - like in this case, the light switch on the left, and door frame on the right! I hate seeing that stuff - very distracting! and often a real challenge when taking outdoor photos. I've kept experimenting with photos to see what might happen: As this is only for illustrative purposes, I'm not too concerned about the wacky color contrasts - instead, you can see a few new visual features. First, there is a "new" sky, and separate image for the ground plane. I think this is a more reasonable representation of where this is going than the previous landscape backdrop. You'll also see the basic idea for some foreground topography and vegetation - not just the edge of the base. As mentioned above, not too tall - maybe an inch or two above the base, just enough vertical change to serve as a visual transition. Also - some ultra hip looking solar panels on the left! These are from an artist rendering - and I've liked the basic look and shape since I found the image, at the early stages of this project. They look fun to try and make!! maybe old CD material for the finish?? who knows - but, pretty cool (you can see part of them in the character images above). Also, a long corrugated metal fence along the back - a bit too pronounced for my taste (colors) and way too monotonous - something(s) will go there. I think this illustrates the basic intent. OK gents, on to the work week we go - cheers Nick
  8. Well guys, Back with another update. @silver911, regarding the setting, I am thinking along the lines of a high desert, which would have some scrubby vegetation and grasses, not a barren sand desert. I don't foresee this as being an oasis, but do see some plant life, with some terrain, along the edges. As for the layout, well, I'm not locked on on anything just yet. Keep in mind the height difference, and odd shapes of the vehicles being built - plus many figures. I think this WASP Hive #5 will have plenty going on, and want it to look a bit cluttered, rather than highly organized. My impression is that we are on the same page in terms of trying to figure out how to pull this together, and I appreciate your thoughts and comments! @Pete in Lincs, I didn't forget your idea of the safety net below the deck. I am annoyed to report that I spent a lot of time building up a frame structure to hang the net from...and well, it works - except, to Ron's point - wow - it takes up too much space for my eye as I built it - simply too distracting. So, that styrene will make its way to the scrap pile and on to some other use. I haven't given up - I found some mesh I like, and some thick-ish wire to suspend it from, but I need to figure out how to suspend it from the/a structure - I just don't have a clear path to that just yet. I may give up, but not right now. Speaking of structures, I built the big tower! Inspired by the McCue artwork, and my early collage work. No paint or primer just yet - as usual, still more styrene to add. That said, I like it so far: Sorry about the poor quality in my cutout - the tower is white styrene - and the background wall is white, so the edges are weak. In real life they are quite crisp, and include some visually interesting details that don't show too well at this point. I need to add one more ladder - if you look carefully, the tower leg on the right has a deck mid level along the leg. On ladder is in place leading to a bigger deck, and now I need to connect it to the ground. In spite of my poor quality photo-manipulation, you can see how this is coming together. I need to tart up the outward facing facades - likely another antenna frame/mast, and various bits of plastic and tubing, bolt heads and so on to get us where we need to be. I can't tell what McCue's tower is actually supposed to have been or be - but I like it. For this, I decided it was some sort of a one time grain elevator. You'll see a thick white box connecting to the ground, just inside of the right rear leg - and you can barely see a couple of chutes, made from brass sheet underneath the first floor. What's also hard to see is I used some grooved styrene on the lower floor, and plain siding on the upper floor - suggesting the lower floor may have been a mechanical room, while the upper floor, for people - that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Just for grins, I might take a vehicle or two outside tomorrow and take some bright sunlight photos to see if these colors are "popping" the way I want them to. OK gents, happy model building - Cheers Nick
  9. HI Ron, As always, you raise some good questions, so I'll provide some guestimates! First, yes, I can see where my description of the landform might be confusing, so, pictures might help. The images below might be useful: As you can see above, for this I built up some topography along the edge of the dio - something you need to look over to see into the project. Image "A "shows how exaggerated the landform change is - and directly below, a WIP image, with grass being installed. The goal was to get the views "in" to work right - maybe like a vertical forced perspective? This requires the camera angle to be looking over something while viewing in. Something I notice about these (also) is the pictures in the middle and upper left are similar, and taken outdoors, but, there was a light rain when coming through when the upper left was taken. If you look carefully, you can see water drops on my tall grass! The actual scene this is depicting occurred on a very overcast day, so this worked to convey that feeling (maybe like the backdrop for your F1 car?). In the lower left you can see the sort of character I'm thinking about for this project - just enough foreground to to add some interest to the subject. I still haven't gotten to working on the base, but this is what I'm thinking: Above, is a layout concept. The parallel curving lines represent topography, like the previous example - the letter "A" conceptually ties back to the letter "A" on the previous board. The dots with arrows reflect potential viewing locations for pictures. The dashed blue lines represent the area described where I think I'll need some mid-height background screening. The red box with the 'X" the potential footprint of a tower structure. Regarding the ladder, I assumed there was a ladder inside the station - ground floor all the way up. I have a mini-art kit of a scaffold - maybe I'll add it too? I thought about adding a ladder or two to the station exterior, but, remember, there will be the big canvas pavilion - which would make it hard to climb up, so, not sure about this just yet. Finally, one of the few photos of something up close on this project: Believe it or not, there's a lot of heavy scraping on the underside of this WASP - but, now that it's in the truck cradle, it's all but impossible to see anyway! OK, on we go - thanks for having a look Nick
  10. @bar side well, after all that work reposting, it sure does look a lot like a certain half-cab! Also makes me think about the dio setting a bit. In Landscape Architecture, there is a term - a haha which is when a change in landform is used to create a perceived/actual vertical gap in the landscape, like a canal, but not obvious from afar - the purpose being to create a barrier for animals, while preserving a long distance views from the other side. I tried to include some images from Flickr - but, it decided it didn't want to cooperate today.....so, I'll eventually post them again! Noticed this message on the bottom of the page: The link could not be embedded because of an unexpected error: error: undefined. I posted them anyway - who knows? Aha!! several hours later, this forum seems to be up and running again! In any case, in this context, I could build a segment of low lying landform in the foreground of the dio, and add grasses etc, which would allow me to take photos like yours, that suggest the viewer is looking across some rolling terrain to see back toward the actual scene, rather than just looking clearly across a flat landscape, like in the image you successfully posted, where the terrain and ground cover prevents you from seeing where the hull meets the water - might be interesting? Really looking more for an abrupt change in elevation - that isn't too dramatic - so, I suppose, not an official haha, but you get the point! haha! I saved my text from hours ago, and have since uploaded some progress images! First, a new WASP: Like the half-cab, I opted for sickly green! Seems to look a lot like either some odd-government agency, or the remnant of some equally odd corporate entity - which is why I used it on the truck to begin with. You can see, this WASP has some extra parts for aviation - the keel (rudder?) and flaps underneath - the yellow version didn't get them because - it's being carried on the truck - maybe after a crash?? anyway, the green one gets home in a special place! where the gear can stay intact! OK, on we go with the station - first up, base colors - pretty BRIGHT eh??: Off-beat blue and BRIGHT yellow!! and then, some weather - also, note, this version has my first radar, which I think looks too big.... Then, some weather, and windows: You'll note, some green tint on the glass. This is a bit of an optical illusion - I added some green acetate to the windows on the other side, and clear on this side. This allows the cabin areas to look a bit more interesting without just looking like a really heavy green tint - yes, you can guess how I figured this out, on other projects before - green all around, no light at all - green on one side, some "glow" . You can also see a smaller, and more elaborate radar setup. I haven't weathered it yet, but it will get some dust etc. Oh! yes, added a wind vane (which will get a beacon too) - just dry fit, buy I think in keeping with the spirit of the concept. While not the greatest photo, you can see what's going on - the new radar, wind vane, and landing deck in particular - and about the landing dock: You can see how the slip will work with the WASP, which I am deciding has hovering capability, allowing it to "drop" from the heavens right into place, with a bit of help from the guidance "spatulas" A footnote, these WASPs are heavy! solid chunks of resin - and I'm please to report, no sagging of the dock! I am really looking forward to taking outdoor photos of this! there are lots of colors that just aren't captured indoors. The trailer and tires/wheels needs more dust - a bit too shiny still. I added a little bench on the deck, where a guy will be sitting - I've begun working on figs - and the poor guy on the bench was beheaded, quartered, and reassembled - and looks ok for the wear and well, being cut up! And while I was at it, I wondered how the station might look in some sort of (false) context: I didn't spend too much time on these, as well, they don't really matter that much in the bigger scheme of things, but fun to see anyway. The bigger take away from these two has to do with keeping scale, focus, and color tone in the realm of being convincing. For each, there's a backdrop, cutout of the station, and a semi transparent, color filter over the whole image; my feeble attempt to blend them. Not bad - seems adequately McQue-esque so far. Remember, it will still receive outriggers and a big, canvas pavilion! Shocking to say, but work on the base might be starting soon - I need to get thinking seriously about what/how and so on for it. Oh...and there is that spindly tower to make or not - I don't know if there will be room to make it look credible. Maybe it will partially straddle the station? And, I want to add some mid-height background stuff - solar panels? screens? fencing? junked stuff? so that when taking photos, low lying foreground condition in 1:1 scale might be obscured - specifically behind the gooseneck, power plant. and eventually, half-track. Thanks for having a look - Cheers Nick
  11. HI Ron, I really like your idea for the backdrop - it appears to be trackside, and comes equipped with an actual backdrop, or in this case building façade (ie you can build a convincing wall, and not an entire building!) - so when you shoot it, you don't need to filter out background clutter and can focus on the car! and, can include your various tools and so on - this is shaping up really well! Cheers Nick
  12. HI model builders - no photo update today - but can report, a lot of paint is now covering the tower! I should post some images in a couple of days. I've built and primed the second WASP, and tore off a rebuilt the radar unit, which I concluded looked too big - the new version is smaller, more detailed and primed. I also made a wind vane/sock just waiting for paint. So, things are still moving. A real work project has popped up and kept me busy for the last week - lots of spreadsheets and so on. @bar side - now you've really piqued my interest! But, I can't see the image - please try and repost! It might be the image I'm looking for to shape this dio up!! OK gents, happy weeekend - Cheers Nick
  13. Very nice work indeed! you are flying through this build! looks great. I like using the Vallejo paints too - they airbrush and hand brush pretty well with a bit of practice - Cheers Nick
  14. Another inspiring post - thanks so much for posting all the process photos, very informative to see! Cheers Nick
  15. I continue to marvel at the volume and consistently high quality parts you are making - really something special! getting all of the supports to even generally line up for the torsion bars is something else - and you nailed them! wow - And 32 of the A arms - that match, even with the bends - again, wow! Looking forward to more! Cheers Nick
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