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Everything posted by thommo

  1. In the home stretch. A bit of touching up of the paint on the base & add the polystyrene protective cylinder I made to cover it. The 'tree creatures' have a dim green light in them which shows up in the dark when you push the button.
  2. Base ready for paint and foliage. I'm thinking an undercoat of Tamiya Deep Green, then gluing on foliage to represent mostly moss, maybe some leaves, and making some mushrooms, maybe a few flowers, a little grass.
  3. Adding bits to the base today. Clippings & twigs from the garden glued together. 'Legs' added to the tree trunks by grinding down some twigs (yes, the trees in the movies appear to be alive with legs). Ultimately it will be a very green mossy damp forest scene.
  4. The Tree Spirits are built by stretching, shaping & gluing bits of clear sprue. A few more pics of the wolf & princess. Base is all wired up with optic fibres coming from a green LED (steady, not flickering) to go inside the Tree Spirits, though it won't be very bright, probably only really visible in the dark. May paint with a light coat of glow-in-dark paint.
  5. I've got a bit of weird stuff in my cabinets (Frank Frazetta dios, F1 crash inferno dio, pod racer dio) but this one will end up somewhere in my niece's share house in Melbourne. Have been scratch-building the 'tree creatures' from clear sprue. Was going to light them up with optic fibre from a flickering green LED, then I discovered SMS make a glow in the dark paint in exactly the colour I need - but the local hobby shop does not have it. May need to order online, and put the lights in it too?
  6. Our niece saw the dioramas I'd made for our daughters and wanted one. I said "send me some pics of what you want". Being a bit of a wild environmentalist, she sent me pics of Princess Mononoke riding a wolf - a Japanese Anime character, who I discovered is an environmental warrior. Challenge accepted. The princess is pretty much done via scratch building and bits from two different 1/35 figure kits. The wolf will be a solid plastic figure I've ordered on Ebay. There are also little luminous ghost-like figures who hang around with her (tree creatures apparently). These I'll have to scratch build somehow from clear styrene, and light up probably with LEDs/optic fibre.
  7. Yes, I umed & ahed over a flat or semi-gloss finish, and eventually hit it with a little SMS Flat Clear, only because I love flat finishes! I'm going to leave it at that. Have to move onto the next project which is way out of left field. My 22yo niece saw some of the diorama's I did for our daughters and wanted one! And the subject will be Princess Mononoke riding a wolf with fluro (LED lit?) 'tree creatures' in a forest. A wolf I can get online. The princess will have to be scratched from 1/48 or 1/35 soldiers. The critters???? God knows as they have to be semi-transparent.
  8. I've tried to wrestle this old kit into submission. I saw the Airfix Red Box (a mate got this for me in an Op Shop for $5) & thought 'new mold'. Wrong - it seems to be the same old kit as from the 70s? New decals and instructions maybe? Added many scratch built bits - engine components, guns, lower radiator, cockpit detail, rigging from invisible thread etc., used a pin to mark nails which hold wood panels. Cut masks on my Cricut and sprayed on the Maltese Crosses. After experimenting with numerous wood finish techniques, I decided the best is: Base coat of Wooddeck Tan & Flat Yellow (Tamiya). Draw brown/red squiggles with watercolour pencil. Different directions on some panels. Light coat of Clear Yellow & Flat Yellow (Tamiya) but use the weaker Tamiya acrylic thinner not stronger lacquer thinner else it will cut through the undercoat too much. Clear gloss coat of SMS clear. Using a needle, place a tiny tiny blob of Burnt Umber oil paint in each of the many pin pricks along the wood panel borders. With a small brush, go over the oil blobs with turpentine to spread it out a bit, but leaves a tint dark spot in each 'nail hole'. Markings are the captured Albatros on display in the Australian War Museum in Canberra. They appear to have painted over the fuselage & tail markings there and added new Maltese Crosses. The plane was forced down by an Aussie RE8 and captured by the Brits. The pilot & navigator who forced it down were killed soon after by a single round which went through both of them from another German plane behind. The Albatros was donated to the Aussies as a war trophy.
  9. Finished. Will do a Finished thread too,
  10. A good ole Aussie plane! I made one of these too, years ago when I got back into modelling. It's the old 1/72 Frog kit which I found in a toyshop in Narrabri of all places.
  11. Yes Ray, I was worried about that too, but managed to find 2 rubber bands that were perfect. They held things well, but were not so crazy tight that removing them would be difficult. Tidying up the holes on the bottom wing where the rigging goes all the way through was not as neat as I'd hoped, but that's modelling. It's rare everything turns out as planned. I've rigged another 1/72 biplane with MIg elastic rigging. That stuff is brilliant, so fine and easy to get perfectly taut but really only works when you have little anchor points to attach it to. It is so fine and springy that getting it through tiny holes in a wing is all but impossible, as is gluing one end to blind holes.
  12. Top wing is now on and rigging (mostly invisible thread, sprayed with Alclad Dull Alum.) is on. My dodgy balsa jig worked quite well. But afterwards I still manage to dislodge the cabane struts and had to reglue them without the jig in place Then some paint touch-ups and as usual, I tried some touch-ups in spots I had not intended, without masking, and got overspray, which led me to more tricky touchups of one Maltese Cross. Will I ever learn! I put Gladwrap around the fuselage where I hold the model, as I've mucked up so many builds with fingerprints in the past. Even oil from the fingers screws the paint.
  13. And next comes the scariest part of building biplanes. Putting the top wing on . I'm not sure why I torture myself with such rubbish model kits In the past, I've just glued the struts to the bottom wing & fuselage, then moved them about and made the top wing fit....which is a pretty dodgy way to do it. So I Googled for some ideas and on FineScale Modeler, found a (rather hard to interpret) description of fitting spacers between the wings (I think they used cardboard, I went for thin balsa) to get the distance between the top & bottom wing right, then securing all that with rubber bands & sliding the struts in and gluing them into place. So I thought I'd try that....in a pretty half-bottomed way. A balsa spacer toward the end of each wing, and one on the fuselage. To do this, you have to work out the distance between the two wings and the upper fuselage & top wing. This is the trickiest bit which required some rough measuring based of the interplane strut lengths and the fuselage height. Then some fine adjustments of the height of the spacers. And then very dodgily securing the balsa in place with Tamiya Tape. Then putting the top wing on top & adding rubber bands (and finding rubber bands of the correct size is a considerable challenge). I also added the rigging (invisible spread sprayed with Alclad dark alum.) to the blind holes on the top wing with CA.
  14. Lozenge decals applied. I printed these using an image from the InterWeb on a laser printer. The colours are a bit too dark, but that's life. The mauve strips are airbrushed Tamiya Tape. The engine is in and the machine guns added. Making those tiny little round sights was fun . Thin electrical wire wound around 0.5mm styrene rod. Once I got that all in, I noticed the yawning hole between at the rear of the engine. Further Googling shows a fuel tank in there, so I'll try and retrofit something that looks like the top of a fuel tank.
  15. The Maltese Crosses were (mostly) sprayed on after cutting masks on the Cricut Machine based upon a scan of the decals. I use Artists Frisket for the masking material. Expensive, but good for fine work. Who knew that simply reducing the size of the external white mask by 1.5mm in Design Space to create a mask for the internal black section would not work as the outer dimensions would be too short compared to the inner dimensions? Thus commenced much manual manipulation of the shapes using the clunky Design Space software, test spraying, test fitting, repeating ad nauseum until it was more or less right. The largest crosses on the upper wing are a bit too much inboard as I used the Airfix instructions to position the masks and spray, then later looked at pics of the AWM plane again & realised the AWM had repainted them in a more outward position. But by then, it was going to stay that way! The inner black of the underwing crosses are actually trimmed decals from the kit, because at that stage I had not worked out how to solve the fit problem in Design Space. But then I solved it for the other crosses & hence sprayed the inner black.
  16. I was thinking exactly the same re the wood! Yes, the colour scheme is insane. It seems the AWM repainted it. And for some reason they left on aerilon with a lozenge camo on the SB side, but not on the port side???? I also think I'll tone it down a bit with a flat clear. The Airfix Maltese Cross decals are not quite right either. Perhaps the AWM repainted those too with a thicker white outline going all the way around (the kit decals have a thinner white outline & it does not extend to the 4 ends of the crosses). I may have to cut some masks on my Cricut & spray those on the tail & wings.
  17. Yes, I did actually notice that....but forgot about it as the build progressed. I think I may still be able to build it that way however. cheers
  18. Main paint on and wood panel nails accentuated with a burnt umber oil wash. These were made with numerous tiny pin pricks prior to the oil wash. Getting the main paint colours right was tricky as all my ref pics had different lighting levels. I still don't think it is quite right. Tried to mix the purple/mauve from red/blue/white but failed miserably so ended up buying Tamiya purple and fading it with a little white. The dark green colour is a mix of Tamiya Deep Green, Grass Green & Light Blue. The green camo on the wings is a mix of Olive Drab, Deep Green, Grass Green & White. Pale green on the nose a pix of Tamiya Cockpit Green, Deep Green and White. Underside of top wing is the good ole 5 colour lozenge camo. I'm going to try to print that as decals on a laser printer. The Maltese cross on the fuselage and the tail numbers were painted over in green at the museum. I applied the fuselage crosses from the Airfix kit and painted over them show they would show through ever so slightly, but the decals are not as thin as I'd thought and are a little raised. May remove them and spray them on, or may let sleeping dogs lie. Have not done the tail codes yet, which will also be barely visible under the green. May try to cut masks on my Cricut for those.
  19. Oh dear. I've not really looked at that. Any clues?
  20. Excellent. And I'm very pleased to see someone has a cutting mat almost as messed up as mine
  21. After all my experimenting with the wood grain technique, I was not much the wiser but decided the watercolour pencil was the best way to go as it was the most forgiving.....though having said that, not as forgiving as my old technique of oil streaks over a base coat, which is what I did on the prop. So I attacked the fueslage with a base coat of wooddeck tan and yellow, then drew pencil lines with a burnt umber and a few dabs with a more reddish brown pencil. Then over that I brushed a fairly thin mix of clear orange with some flat yellow in it, to give this: The pics of the real thing show a little more tan in the mix, so next I'll dab a bit of that on. Then maybe another thin wash of clear-orange - flat yellow. Then maybe Future, though TBH the real thing is not glossy at all, esp. on the sides so maybe a light hit with flat clear?
  22. As Ray's thread on this kit proved, the fit of the lower wing to the fuselage is terrible. I had to lower it by putting some styrene rod in the cutout, then fill the edges with sanded styrene strip, then add a lot of putty. I also filled all the cabane strut holes and re-drilled them smaller, and on the port side made them higher to match the SB side. You can also see some slots cut for the machine gun cartridge feeds and the radiator hose.
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