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Stickframe

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  1. Hello dio builders, The good and bad news about a big-ish project is that there's always room for experiments, changes and odds and ends to finish. So, rather than leaving well enough alone, I went about making some changes. First up, the WASP recovery truck - I decided it needed a crane: So, I made one! the idea here is that if this vehicle could actually recover a WASP, it would likely need some way, other than dragging it onboard via winch, or, for that matter, getting it back into the landing deck at the station, should it be out for repairs and so on. The armature is based on a typical backhoe. A few years ago I scratchbuilt an HMEE, which is a JCB military tractor, and used the model as a reference for how this might work. Serendipitously, the half cab configuration lends itself nicely to this! Just like Gradall excavators! And with some paint and weather: Seems to have worked out just fine, looks like it belongs there and, maybe another nod to the McQue designs, which seem to inevitably include a crane of some sort. See if you can tell from the next image what I also did some experimenting with: In fairness here, you would need quite an eagle eye to see what has changed - it looks more obvious on my home screen than above. I added the canopy! Now, before we get into this - a key note: this is only dryfit, taped in place, so there is no tension applied to the lanyards (one on each of the four corners), and it is not suspended with any precision - this is only a test! But, it is turning out as hoped. I used model ship sail canvas. I airbrushed on the stripes, a bit like the colors seen on a parachute. I cut the canvas to just over the shape I wanted, then folded it back (hemmed?) along the edge, added some scale rope and glued the fold together with a light bit of CA. I weathered the canvas using highly diluted, acrylic burnt umber ink, which I brushed on. The new canvas was very clean and fresh - wrong for this setting, so the wash toned it down quite a bit. That darned blue sky!! it's awfully blue!! blue or not, you can see how the canopy works....and actually not liking the sky at all, I made up an alt version: Ahh - that feels better! Turns out I had this background photo on my phone! It's north of sunny Riyadh!! (not the green part - I spliced two images together!) I took this photo in June of 2017, on a very hot day - according to the phone, it was a pleasant 50 degrees Celsius! Wow - I remember that day quite clearly - we walked a very long way up and down ridges, through wadis, and up and down a tall hill - a few miles, and I can say with clarity, it was hot!!! It was pretty funny, there was a "tough guy" on our team, who felt he didn't need to bring any water along - his mistake. The rest of us gave him a hard time about that decision when eventually had to ask for some of ours OK, back to the canopy: I'm betting that once this is in tension - it will look a-ok! Regarding the tension, the four corners of the canopy will be tied off to the structure and outriggers - and, the outriggers will get rope rigging (back to the structure), then, I might just tie off the corners, like you do on a tent, to the ground, or to the pipes across the gravel trail - not sure just yet. As much as I don't want to, next up will be installing tall grass in the foreground. It will be mostly yellow and dried, with a few light green clumps tucked in here and there. OK gents, take it easy Cheers Nick
  2. Hello dio builders, No more graphic silliness today - back to real dio work..... It was sunny today, and I have spent some time in the last week adding to the base, so I took it out for some pics. First adding and adjusting layers of texture, then adding several big, and some subtle layers of paint - please take a look: So, the sun might bleach things out a bit, but, basically shows all - you can't quite see the subtle color variations, but they've been added. Remember, the hilly area will be covered with grass....and the areas on the "bottom" of the pic, behind the trailer and covered with debris. have fences, solar panels etc..... On we go: Ok then - eventually I'll add some pigment and real sand/small rocks here and there. Likely on the areas that look a bit too smooth. I am pleased with the look of the asphalt. I find it hard to get the color like this. This time, before the asphalt color went down, I painted the road with Vallejo Sand Ivory - allowing a light coat of the asphalt color (life color) to look like a road, and not a black belt laid onto the base (which can happen with a dark primer base). I intentionally allowed for some overspray on the edges to look like dust. Thanks for having a look - have a good week - Nick
  3. @nimrod484 - yes - that's pretty much what I did (Nice dio too!). I use a free software app called Photoscape Pro X to make the cutout, and I fully agree with your point - this is not that hard to do, but, practice has helped me a lot. I make the cutout image, then copy it into powepoint, where I place it over whatever back drop image(s) I want, and snip out the final image. I'm sure there are many other software apps out there that would be easier or better to use - I'm fairly low tech, so this is a big step! Regarding time, patience, tedium, etc, I figured it took/takes me a long time to build the dio, so a couple of hours worth of this is worth it - as I really don't like out of scale/context images as the backdrop to the dio. Cheers Nick
  4. Hi gents, @Stef N. and @Alpha Juliet, thanks very much, for the positive words! I really appreciate it. This build, and many others of mine have suffered the fate of the bad backdrop (despite the bright sunlit project - which really annoys me!), so I'm fairly optimistic about this method. Just for kicks, I tried the same "cutout" technique on some of the outdoor images - a few turned out better than I could have hoped. Please take a look: This one - wow - almost can't believe that this worked so well - and on we go: I tried to filter these two (above and below) - just a greyscale/transparent box over the original to try and blend it a bit better. I'm not that pleased with the backdrop above, but it is significantly better than the bright green shrubs on the original. The backdrop below worked fine: No filter here - just a bright sunny day - So there you have it - I wish it had occurred to me to try and find out how to do this a long time ago. I'm not a big computer guy, so can say it's not that hard to do, but a bit tedious, and clearly requires some (lots of) trial and error. Thanks for having a look! Cheers Nick
  5. Hi Pete, yeah, to say the colors are a bit oversaturated..... It's sort of odd how, the retouched images appear to be really big - like I cropped a small portion of a much bigger image - nope - they just look - big to me and about to jump off the screen! In any event, I like to experiment with projects - why not? it's a hobby, and not work! I'm planning on taking regular photos when it's done! Yes - the oil drum - hmm....at least now we know my neighbor can likely make it look like it has a raging fire in it! I remember your tip for the canvas, in fact I thought about trying to use the diluted glue on tracing paper! then I came across the sail material. Once I get going on that I'll post some images of what it looks like - cheers Nick
  6. Hello dio builders, I built this in 2017 - and it was quite a fun project. It started with one, Takom T-55 AMV. I did some research on the kit and found out about where it was/is used, and discovered Northern Syria. Along the way I found out that various US SOCOM operators were engaged in the area. This led to a project - You'll see three of the T-55's. One the Takom AMV kit and the other two received scratch built mods to make them into the AMV. The GMV started as a stock M1151, but was converted to the M1165, with Group 5 GMV elements. The BRDM was a really cheap kit that I needed to find a use for, the recovery trailer from Takom, and the cab a modified Aoshima kit - (4x2 to 6x2). I'll get into the dio a bit more later. First up, some character images and vehicle WIP: I used these as fundamental reference for the project. Vehicle WIP: For a while, I was on a GMV kick, and just kept building them - some aftermarket bits and lots of scratch - same for the BRDM: I really liked the bar armor, so made some up for this. The T-55s were fun to build - The Aber t-55 etch kits are great. As only one kit was the AMV version, the others received lots of scratch work: To make the AMV there was lots of etch and strip styrene in general, with Voyager ERA blocks and frames etc and on the two converted AMVS This is one of the T-55s, but they all have the same look - lots of wear and tear. Now, on to the dio. This was to be a an urban street scene with the T-55s and GMV meeting up, after some event. Here are a few of the dio WIP images: As you can see, there is a lot of debris, and more debris, and more debris! And from here you can already begin to see a challenge emerging - the building is only a frame, which means, there is no backdrop, which causes me grief because I like to take outdoor photos of the final build. Below, you'll see lots of what sure look like closeups. This was not really done to show detail, instead, to not show out of scale backgrounds, which always frustrated me about the conclusion of this build. If you look carefully, at the background, you'll see trees, shrubs, a building...which is a bummer, because I really like the content - the colors, weather, and debris really read! but, you never get a sense of what the dio is showing - Please take a look: The pictures are so tight that this doesn't really look like a dio, which was really frustrating. Recently, I figure out how to digitally "cutout" backgrounds, and still have some indoor images of the project. Helpfully, they were taken in front of a white wall. So, I cutout the white and added some backgrounds: While not too dramatic, the backdrop above allows the project to stay in focus. This photo was taken before the project was done, but I do like the looks of that GMV on the little hill. For others, looking in the opposite direction, across the dio, the results are more interesting: While these photo changes are probably not as good as those done by someone who knows what they're doing, I like them, as you can now see a bit more of the full project - which is good! I feel much better about it now! I might see if I can find the original uncriopped outdoor pics, and see what I can do with them too. That said, I've already discovered, I haven't figured out how to "cutout" irregular edged - like trees! I might try anyway - Thanks for having a look, and happy dio building - Cheers Nick
  7. I think it's nice to see such an array of materials used on the build all tied together to look like they all belong together - nice work! - And your sketch up front - wow! Looking forward to seeing your next update Cheers Nick
  8. I agree with Pete - the slightly different nose is a good idea - gives this a bit more of your signature, and it's a creative and interesting modification. Also like the rust, and the nice chunks taken out of the iron! Cheers Nick
  9. This is looking great - I was wondering how you might be fitting the seat in place - and, now I know! Looking at the weapon, I wondered if you might try adding some bits to make it look like a CROWS, aka, the Common Remotely Operated Weapons System, which our friends in the armor modeling (and real) world install on many modern vehicles. They include some optics, various power/control lines and so on, which might look pretty good on this too! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CROWS You could buy a kit for one of these, but, I'm pretty confident you could scratch something with convincing realism! Maybe your pilot could operate via gun to helmet tracking optics and fire via joystick controls? like on attack helicopters etc?? Build on - Cheers Nick
  10. HI guys, Thanks for putting up with my graphic shenanigans! I must say, a bit like painting and weathering, it is fun to experiment! @silver911 and @Pete in Lincs, this whole project has been a fun experiment, and I appreciate you contributing to, and sticking with it, we still have quite a way to go! Ron, no worries about your thoughts on the canopy, no offense taken. The images shown so far have been pretty low-tech - just me adding shapes in powerpoint! to elicit just this - thinking about what something might look like. I'm planning to use canvas from small scale ship building for the canopy, but haven't cut or worked on any of it just yet. For now I'm more focused on figuring out how to make it work and how to attach it - I'm guessing I might need to add weights to make it heavy enough to actually sag, or look like it's in some tension (or to tie parts of it off on other parts of the dio) - the material is light, and of course, came folded!! I will iron it first, then try out options in size and shape - oh, and how to actually install it! I'd like to used some tiny grommets, but haven't found them just yet, so will likely experiment with methods until I get it right. I was thinking about gluing a hem of some sort around the perimeter. I'd love to use CA but it dries rigid and will fracture, so maybe back to the carpenter's glue? thinking about adding a rope around the perimeter, with little tails sticking out on the corners (to tie it off), held in via the glued hem. But, for today two interesting updates. First, earthwork: Above, you can see I made a tape template and went about cutting and scraping - went fast - so, went on to adding roadbed on the outside of the tower, and adding more pumice gel - both fixing areas I scraped up, and where I want a more regular surface: As you can see above, some new cork on the right side of the tower, and more pumice gel. Some of the gel, to the upper left, to repair scrapes etc for the relocation of a solar tower. The rest came as a result of looking carefully at my "air photo" - realizing, there would likely be a relatively smooth, and well used trail in front of the canopy area and to the tower. I hope this works. If not, there is some fine pumice gel, which I could add on top of this to get the results I want. Part two, well, some snazzy graphics - this time tho from my neighbor, who has long been amused by my hobby, and something we talk about now and then. I sent him a link to this post, and he, who is also familiar with Ian McQue, asked if I'd mind if he ran a filter over some of my pics - the obvious answer, no, I don't mind at all! And in mere minutes, he sent me these and others back: I was blown away! and have no idea how he did it! but, must say, they look really cool! And, as you no doubt guessed, I will likely ask him if he'd mind doing it again once this is dio wrapped up! Maybe I'm just captivated by the novelty of it all, but man - what an interesting way to interpret the dio! OK - happy week gents - Monday will soon be here Cheers Nick
  11. whoa, whoa, whoa -slow down, you move too fast!! Ron - you're many steps ahead of me! I'm still putzing around with how much room I have and what color to paint the ground! I do tho, enjoy figure work, but I'm not that great at painting them - they are tho, already assembled and primed - just not up to bat yet! In the meantime, I thought now would be a good time to get us back to the storyline - Ahh - the good life - alas, the old train station, the rollicking downtown! optimism....the gal of my dreams.....and change - the once thriving boomtown, became home to something else: Looks like the good 'ol boom town is no more - and we were no longer living in the heart of town - in fact, south station was pretty much in the middle of nowhere: Not much nearby - hence the most efficient way to patrol the regional sectors were the WASPs at Wasp Station 5: Thanks to satellite imaging (and an upstairs balcony!), we could see our "home away from home" from above, or most of it, as the crew lived down the hill, near the stream and pond.....the station tho was pretty modest. The general shade/color of the ground is still to come, as is vegetation etc - it's only primer now, and will be lightened as we move ahead, whether I keep fooling around with these aerial images or not. I like the results of the pumice gel for the ground cover, as it looks about right for the setting - Maybe even bleak....Those darned satellite photos! they make it look like the terrain is rolling, and has some trees!.........doesn't seem to be rolling as much in the ground views.... And here we are - you can see the yet to be "officially" relocated tower, temporarily placed, and some more graphic fun with the big canopy. As this unfolds, I'm planning to have several figures: on the flight deck; in the shop; under the canopy; and, under and on the tower. It won't be as frenetic as it sounds! People will be where they are for reasons that will (should) make sense when we're there In the meantime, grading, earthwork and infrastructure seems to still have a way to go! What you can't see here is I placed the other solar panel to the right of the tower - not bad - of course if fell over and I didn't notice while taking these pics!! Cheers gents! Nick
  12. I knew I could count on you guys to keep the ideas coming! And, as always Ron, you have provided me with plenty to consider, and consider a guy did: As always, how about a quick test? Above, the first version - with two solar towers - something is different about them too - I cut about 1/2" out of one tower's height - and...you can't tell! lol - but, to the business at hand. The top image before, and the bottom image, after moving the tower toward the center. Some interesting results - obviously, the focal point is now centered - but, more interestingly, more room is freed up on the right - compare the size of the two red ovals. In scale terms, that is a lot of room - that was getting pretty compressed - which led to this: I pushed the broken down truck and debris to the back, rather than the side - which resulted in more free space. Version one has the half track there, and version two, the half-cab recovery. I like the half cab there as it removes a lot of foreground clutter. So, still plenty to ponder regarding vehicle placement. But, the first problem involves "just" moving the tower. Not quite as easy as that: As you can see above - the first image is showing the tower moved to the left - notice it isn't sitting flush on the base?? of course it isn't, as I cleverly bound the footprint with cork roadbed, and pumice gel ground plane. In the second image, you can see where the new edge of the tower will go - the red dashed line, which marks the outside edge of the base - while the other side, well into the asphalt etc. As I was curious, photo three shows a test cut into the asphalt, and to my surprise, less awful than I imagined. The glue I used for the cork is carpenters glue and usually not too forgiving, but, for whatever reason, it "let go of" the base pretty easily. And finally, a shot regarding if it would be worth it to move or not: And, I think it might be. Though clearly not what I was planning to do, it might just look and work better - if for no other reason than to free up some space on the right side. And, remember, there is a backdrop/fence just not shown here. I still don't have a "real" solution for the solar panels or vehicle placement for that matter, but this shift is certainly interesting, and I might just do it! Cheers Nick
  13. Hi @voozet, really nice work! this is coming along really well, and the generator looks great! @Pete in Lincs, thanks for the tip! Looking forward to your next update! Cheers Nick
  14. Hi Malc, Well, you got me hooked with a Studio 27 kit (which I like) and....cutting it up! very brave indeed! Looking forward to seeing this shape up! Too bad about the rear wing mounts - not the sort of thing a guy likes to discover in a build - nice fix tho. I've built a few models of F1 rear wings (PE and white metal), and always have troubles assembling them (wings to brackets) so much so, that I've taken to the miserable task of drilling through the PE and inserting small brass rivets to hold it all together! Why you might ask? If not pinned I will almost inevitably know the assembly apart somewhere along the way, usually post paint, when it actually matters! Looking forward to your next post - Cheers Nick
  15. HI guys, I'm making slow progress on the base. hmmm....the solar panels, well, Ron, I just don't know yet - you raise a good point. My only counterpoint would be more of a graphic point of view than practical - it might look better with only one - I'm not sure yet though. Your observation made me think about vehicle placement. So far the halftrack has been conceptually located near the trailer tongue, which cramped the space available for the solar panels. I tried moving the recovery vehicle over there, and the halftrack more into the foreground - this allows the viewer to see more of the halftrack and opens up some space for the solar panel....still pondering this tho. In the meantime, I made some headway on the ground plane - first, painted it with primer: As you can see - most of the base is now primed and waiting for more colors - starting with the pipes: As you can see in the lower left, I taped off areas I don't want yellow and fired up the airbrush, with good results, and only tiny overspray, which I will paint over - and, as obliged, some rust and weather: And pretty good results - we're getting there. I'm waiting for some paint for the asphalt area. I want to put it down first so that any overspray from the ground will just look like dust and dirt blown across the roadway. I still need to paint the two concrete footings for the pipeline in the low area, but that will go pretty fast. I've assembled and primed some figures, so if the paint doesn't show up soon, I'll get to them. I've been painting various odds and ends/junk/debris etc which I don't need just yet. I've also been moving along with the canopy - I attached but have not "rigged and placed" the outriggers, and now have some sail cloth, used for making model sailboats for the canopy - still experimenting with it. And.. of course...the remarkably tedious task of making grasses for the berm....I have the grass, the glue, and have done this before - but....it's a really tedious job of making the grass clumps....so, I'll try and push that off longer!! OK, take care gents - Cheers Nick
  16. Yes - our friend and enemy - the camera! Can make a mediocre paint job look good, and point out each and every flaw in a great paint job! The magic of our hobby! Glad to see you seem to have this back on track! Cheers Nick
  17. Well, a guy is going to try and post this again! And, as I attempted to post last night, will show some progress, starting with grading and earthwork: Success!! it posted! Now, back to business - you'll see above, a road, berm, and mound added - and, some long infrastructure. And some ground level: As you can see, rigid foam insulation and cork used to get this moving, with some lightweight putty added to the pink foam to even out the surface a bit. If you don't add the putty, cut marks and unwanted divots - which don't look good if not treated. And, an homage to that light switch!! It ruins more pics than I'd care to count! you might also notice how the berm works to define a foreground and, the long route pipe bank (going deep into the junk box from model RR days!). As Ron noted, this dio is (intentionally) weighted heavily toward the back. I did this because I want a deep foreground, to provide a stage for the tall structures. This will hopefully make more sense as we go: This dio base is really wide, and hopefully I'll eventually be able to get some long views looking left right - rather than only front to back. The topo, pipelines, and road are intended to help define depth - via a bit of forced perspective - all three of these elements come closer together, tightening up the horizon - or so I hope! Aside from the light switch and door jamb....well, you can see the fore- and background elements. The back-, solid to hold things in, and the fore- to make a visual threshold - you are crossing this to get in - Now - lets talk about the canopy. Below are a few photo-illustrations of what it might look like. It's hard to tell, but if you look carefully, you'll see I've temporarily attached and braced the out riggers, and "hung" a digital canopy: Despite the clunky simulation, I hope you can all see the intent of this. I mentioned the berms as part of an amphitheater-like setting, and hope that makes sense now. People will be gathered under and around the center stage, the area under the canopy! Now, back to grading and earthwork. The plan is, the berm will get covered in tall grasses and the flat area, barren - just crushed rock and scrubby weeds. To get the look I'm after, I'm using pumice gel on the flat areas. it's crushed pumice with an acrylic medium used like glue to hold it down and together - please see: I'm not sure if you can see the texture this material provides, but it's the size and scale I'm looking for. I want it too look like a relatively flat, high desert floor. Once it's painted etc, I'll add real rock and sand. In the meantime, I'll add a bit more here and there. And with some context - It's getting there. I am liking the light shade of the base (versus dark brown). I'll first paint this with a medium brown primer, then go over with a lighter ground cover/earth colors. The darker base color works well in creating shadows and diminishes the need for a heavy, uniform top color - instead the top will likely be made of several dustings of various ground color shades. Adding real rock and sand will help tie it all together. Above are intended to show the long view perspective. And finally, about the solar panels - I'm thinking less is more in this case: Despite the poor, dark, and fuzzy image....I hope you will notice only one solar tower - I think this works better visually - using two looks forced and cramped. The idea is that the center right is visually dense, center left, less so. You can also see a hierarchy in height, with the tallest tower on the right, with an imaginary line descending evenly to the left - tower to tower, to wind vane, to solar tower. OK, there you have it! Back to the workbench - have a good day- Cheers Nick
  18. Hello guys - I tried to post earlier, and no luck - pictures wouldn’t upload and text wouldn’t post - I’ll try again tomorrow - I’m trying this on the phone - maybe it will work cheers nick
  19. HI Ron, yes, that somewhat patterned/mottled finish on the paint. I've had that happen from time to time - and still don't know what causes it! Your solution of a light sand, might do the trick - are you thinking of adding another topcoat of the red over that sanded finish/overall car (painting it all reduces the chance of highs and lows in the final red)? I've tried that and had pretty good luck, then add the clear coat(s). The new topcoat might result in a uniform finish over the "pattern" that exists without requiring a full repaint. If anyone can solve this, it's you! Looking forward to the next installment! Cheers Nick
  20. @Uncle Monty, thanks for dropping by! Yes, Ian McQue's work is really interesting - as this is based on the concept of his work, rather than a specific project, getting the colors right has been a real challenge - along with designing something that looks right! @silver911, well Ron, as always.....hmmm? you raise several interesting points - a guy will need to think about placing those solar panels. You might be right about (not) pulling one forward - might not get the results I'm looking for. As to the berm, for better or worse, you'll likely see the results in a few days - grading and earthwork is underway! My thinking is that as this is a wide and tall dio, taking ground level pictures in the immediate foreground (without the berm) might not show as much as I'd like. In fact, the limited view of "typical" ground level photos might not show too much. I don't like to take photos that seem to be hovering, or taken from a drone! By adding the change in elevation, it will allow "ground level" photos to occur about 12 scale feet (plus viewer height) above the "ground" - which means, instead of just holding the camera above the horizon line (suggesting the viewer is standing on a ladder), I can now provide an elevated view that is actually "on the ground", or seems to be. Wow - lots of word contortions there! I hope it works! and that this text makes some sense. Regarding vehicle placement - still to be determined. The bigger take away could be the diagram showing activity areas - both will ultimately be partially shaded by the sun screen canopy and include figures, chairs, tables etc, close to the "station" and vehicle parking between the new berm and main structure, surrounding this activity area. OK, on we go - Cheers Nick
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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