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  1. Revell's new Razor Crest from the Star Wars TV show 'The Mandalorian'. The kit is definitely a step up from some of Revell's previous Star Wars releases, featuring some excellent detailing and a full interior. It's also nice that they've made it in a standard modelling scale rather than some random one as many of their earlier SW kits were. The only significant downside with the kit is the poor surface texturing across many of the parts, including some quite visible tooling marks in places. Much of that can be removed with a sanding stick and a little effort, but I'd have prefered it not to be there in the first place. Despite that, the kit builds up well and has excellent fit for the most part. A few areas can benefit from a little extra detailing and enhancement, but the end result is an accurate and fairy imposing replica of the Crest, especially if you can stand it next to it's natural stablemate - Slave 1. The full build can be found here Thanks for looking Andy
  2. Back in the saddle after completing the Sternail, so what to build? Well, I got this box of Hobbycraft Vampire bits from the bay. Almost two Aircraft, and I have boxes of greeblies. I thought of doing a star Wars build instead of Kreiger. What could possibly go wrong? Yes, 1/48th, but two seaters, and a 1/32nd figure fits nicely. One kit was sort of assembled and painted silver. But it soon fell apart. The other was still in bits. The silver one had a big hole drilled through top and bottom. I backed them with card and applied filler. I did the same with the nose wheel bays. These will be space fighters with an odd landing gear. And in close up. The rest of the bits. I've supplied the figures (ex Phantom I think) and, in the top left corner is a printed part. I have two of these. Sea Vixen engines courtesy of @The Baron who very kindly sent me some of his excess prints. The plan is to fit the Vixen engines in here (somehow). Exposed engines seem to be a Star wars thing. I also covered over the mainwheel bays as can be seen here. Hopefully I'll find time to do more very soon. Thanks for looking, Pete
  3. I picked up Revell's new Razor Crest a few days ago, and while I was originally planning on starting the build next year, after going through the sprues and seeing how much detail Revell had put into the kit (something that's not always the case with their Star Wars releases), I had to make a start on it straight away. I won't bother with any sprue shots here, but I posted some in the discussion section, and there's also Mike's review of the kit. You get a fairly comprehensive interior included, and the build starts with the cockpit and upper deck area. There's quite a bit of detail here, probably more than is neccesary in truth, although that's not a complaint, just an observation. The main floor panel is a full length plate that also forms the roof of the lower cargo deck. The front of this is divided into two sections by bulkhead panels, the front of these sections being the cockpit, and the rear one is the small vestibule?, foyer?, landing? where you access the upper deck from below. Two side panels close these sections off, then the cockpit is completed by the instrument panel which also forms the forward walls of the cockpit. The rear vestibule section is fully enclosed, and will only be visible through two tiny windows in the upper hull, and will more than likely be completely invisible on the finished build. I'm surprised that they didn't mould the dividing bulkhead with open doors, or supply two versions, one open and one closed. You could of course cut the doors open yourself if you want the rear compartment to be visible from the cockpit. Most of the detailing here is very accurate to the cockpit set used on the show including the panel pattern on the door and the box holding three lights imediately above it (Apologies for the dinginess of these screen grabs, they're the best I've got) Moving to the front of the cockpit, Revell have done a pretty good job at recreating the various controls and screens on the instrument panel, although a few things are understandably simplified. There are however a couple of odd omissions. The lefthand side console has some piping running along the top, and a short tube at the front edge, and these have both been reproduced, as have the row of three red lights although they're quite faint. The throttle-type lever behind the left display screen is there, but quite a flat moulding, so I may cut that off and replace it. The holo emitter above the screen is also present, but again quite flat compared to the real one. To the right of these should be the main centre console display, and that's one of the omissions I mentioned. Where it should sit there's a rectangular recess that looks as if something should go in it, but nothing is included or mentioned in the instructions. Not a real problem as I can scratch something to go there. The two big clunky looking things sticking out from behind where the centre console should be are representations of the control sticks. The real ones are two columns that extend from below the console and end with a square block onto which the joysticks are mounted. These too will be better of replaced with something a little more refined. Interesting trivia: it appears that, in the photo below, the centre console has been removed, probably to allow better access for the camera when filming the scene. The photo below shows the ends of the control columns and joysticks better, and also shows the other strange omission from the instrument panel. While the throttle controls on the left and right side console have been included, Revell haven't moulded the famous lever with the round knob that attracts Grogu's attention throughout the show. Given how well known that feature is, it's strange that Revell don't include it when they include details that most people wouldn't notice. Again, no problem though, as it can easily be added. Revell aren't the only ones to forget though, as in some scenes the control lever (not just the knob) is missing from the cockpit set. The seats are all well done with the two passenger seats being quite basic as they are on the show, while Mando's chair has a lot more detail. The bands on the headrests of the passenger seats represent the straps hung over the back of the seats. They do appear like this in the show, but they can also be seen in use, especially when they're strapping Grogu in place. I'll probably sand these off and replace them with some foil straps. The hole in the back of Din's seat will also need to be filled as I won't be using the included figure. Well, what about some actual modelling I hear you say. Well, yes, I have managed to do something other that look at reference pics, although not a great deal to be fair. I've removed the moulded detail from the tops of the side consoles, and this will be replaced with some wire and brass tubing. I've also made up a simple centre console from styrene sheet with a thinner piece of sheet added to represent the screen. The base for Grogu's lever has been added as well. Oh, and the control columns have been removed ready for some replacements. The two grab handles on the left hand screen are made from thin stretched sprue, and will probably get knocked off before I even get close to painting If you look back up the page at the screen shot with the missing lever, you can also see that there's a folded metal shroud over the top of the centre console, and I've made a simplifed representation of that from some styrene strip (barely visible in the photo below, sorry). A bit of brass tube has also been added to the holo emitter, although now I look at the screen shots, the emitter should be further to the left hand side of the console, so I'll probably re-do this. Okay, that's about it for now. I should get a little more done over the next couple of days. Andy
  4. It only took a few days of construction and painting to have a cheeky little table decoration. Bandai boxed the Death Star II with a Star Destroyer, originally I wanted to build the warship, but the superweapon got me. It can be put together in just half an hour, I haven't used glue anywhere. Sure, the joints could have been sealed here and there, but I didn’t deal with it. The base color is Tamiya XF-19 sky gray lightened with flat white. I painted the panels with artistic oil, as I could safely wash back on the acrylic base and repair it with thinner. The colors I used: Abteilung snow white + Rembrandt Payne gray. I hope you like it!
  5. And the news for us Star Wars fans just keeps getting better and better! Now AMT is bringing out a 1/72nd scale Razor Quest from the Mandalorian TV show. No more word about it than this placard on display at WonderFest this weekend. So, Revell has already announced they're doing one in 1/72nd as well. And there's also the Bandai one - but that looks a very small kit from the imagery thus far. Is AMT's a reboxing of Revell's? Is Revell's just for the European market as was their Republic Gunship? In any event, a 1/72nd Razor Crest is hella cool! https://www.scalemates.com/kits/amt-razor-crest--1355671
  6. This is JPG Production's 1/12 Viper Probe Droid, scaled to fit in with their previous Gonk and Chopper releases, as well as all the Bandai droids. It's a resin garage kit and, as such, is a little rough in places and some of the details are more approximations of the original than exact copies. I swapped the rather crudely formed arm actuators for metal tubing on mine and added some generic details to the arms and body. The ball sensors on the head were re-built using acrylic beads since the kit parts were rather poorly shaped, and the sensor lenses were removed and replaced with red and clear resin ones. It also features one of Warren's excellent lighting kits, available from Tirydium Models. Thanks for looking Andy
  7. I've taken a small delivery of Star Wars Bandai,/Revell Kits to test the water as I don't normally do Film, TV and SciFi. Feedback appreciated https://testvalleymodels.com/products/slave-1-gift-set-05678 https://testvalleymodels.com/products/boba-fetts-starship-06785 https://testvalleymodels.com/products/outland-tie-fighter-06782 https://testvalleymodels.com/products/death-star-star-desdtroyer https://testvalleymodels.com/products/razor-crest-06781
  8. Allow me to introduce NT7-S, a 1/12 scale GNK-series power droid from JPG Productions; painted with Tamiya, AK Real Color, and Vallejo paints; and weathered with 502 Abteilung oils and Ammo by Mig enamels. Comments and criticism welcomed as always!
  9. A-Wing StarFighter (01210) 1:72 Carrera Revell/Bandai The A-Wing was a minor character in the original (and best) Star Wars trilogy, appearing in the background in some of the large space battles. It has since gained a little more prominence in the new films and the cartoon spin-offs, which are numerous. It’s a small one-seater twin-engined ship manufactured (in a galaxy far far away) by Kuat Systems Engineering, and somehow finds its way into Rebel hands. Its speed and pivoting main cannons make it a useful tool that is suited for rapid interdiction and lightning strikes. The Kit This is a licensed reboxing by Revell of the excellent Bandai kit that was released in 2016, which was available only by personal import or from a grey-import box-shifter until now. This is the most minimalistic reboxing from Revell, with a sticker placed over a portion of the box showing Revell’s logo and their product code along with a few European-style descriptions of what it is – a self-assembly model kit. If you’re a Star Wars model builder, you probably know what to expect inside, and I’m one myself so I’ve already got one of the Bandai kits in my stash. Bandai have an incredible team of engineers creating their kits, who achieve amazing detail, simplicity and cleverness of construction, and skill of tooling the most stunning injection moulded kits around. They regularly inject several colours and types of styrene into one sprue with their kits that Western companies could only aspire to, which cuts down the sprue-count and makes for a less messy desk during the build. They’re also snap-together kits in essence, with pre-coloured parts that don’t require painting if you’re either a beginner, a child without the facilities or just don’t want to get the paint out. If you aren’t familiar with Bandai’s style of snap-together kits, you probably think that this renders them simplistic and toy-like. Get that mindset right out of your mind right now, as these kits couldn’t be further from that type of product. The box is pure Bandai with a black glossy surface to the top-opening box, with five sprues in cream; dull red, cream, black and clear; grey; black and finally clear red. Because the A-Wing is a compact fighter, you get the ship itself, plus a base with a Turbo-Laser Turret on a section to one side, which gives that frissant of Death Star to accompany your model. The decals are duplicated as stickers for the younger or less skilled builder, and the package is rounded off by the inclusion of a concertina-fold instruction booklet in colour. Originally, the instruction booklets were written almost completely in Japanese, but as time went on they have included more English, which is helpful to augment the visual instructions and icons that appear throughout the booklet. Construction begins with the A-Wing, which first has its cockpit made up from six highly detailed parts plus a decal or sticker (whenever I say decal, also think sticker from hereon in). The lower hull is next, adding inserts into the weapons mounts and their rear, after which the hull topside is clipped into place, with the cockpit dropped in from above. The red section of the topside is separate due to the self-coloured parts, with a separate spin behind the cockpit and the tapered apron toward the front. The spine has a three-part cream insert at the rear, then it clicks in place along with the apron into the upper hull around the cockpit tub, locking it in place. A similar red insert is fitted to the underside, and clear side panels smooth out the joint between top and bottom halves. The nose cone is red, as are two panels in the underside wings, and another red insert fits behind the tapered section under the hull. Flipping the hull over, a roll-over hoop is added to the rear of the cockpit, and a pilot figure with two small decals is popped into the seat before the clear canopy and a snap-on curved frame part. The engine nacelles project from the rear of the arrow-head hull, and have fins at an angle top and bottom of the exhausts. These have clear engine inserts with stoppers behind them for painting a fiery colour or lighting, and a two-part trunk is clipped to each side of the fins with a tiny part with two angled pipes/hoses coming out of the sides. At the rear are a pair of oval fairings with four more exhaust cups inside, the shape of which is akin to a pair of F-16 intakes, which given their kit-bashed heritage they very well could be just that. Having a second look, I seriously think they are! The twin ovals are attached to an insert with the four exhausts and are fitted together with the main engines and their fins, then are offered up to the rear of the hull to be clipped into place. The pivoting guns at the wingtips are each made up from three parts with hollow muzzles, then the three gear bay doors are clipped into place if you are depicting your A-Wing in flight on the stand, or in the open position with three two-part gear legs if you are putting it on the ground. There are plenty of diagrams to show you where the various parts should fit, so don’t concern yourself about making a mistake. That’s the A-Wing finished and now it’s time for the base and turret extension. The base has a greebly-filled surface to its single part, with an angular diagonal riser that has a jointed tip to allow the modeller to adjust the pose of their model at any time. The bases are able to be linked together by the included clips, which leads us nicely to the bonus Turbo-Laser turret that can clip onto the base, as its footprint is the exact same size as the base itself, and it also has the cut-outs for the clips. The tapering base is a single part, which is extended upward by another dual taper section that is made from four parts inserted into its flat top, and is joined by the turret at the top, which is three parts and builds up around the gun assembly. This begins with two hollow-tipped barrels that have toothed quadrants fitted on their outer edges and in between them, after which the barrels are raised to the vertical and bracketed by a two-part assembly that holds them in situ. The barrels are then returned to the horizontal and surrounded at the sides and on top by the turret shell. The turret clips into place on the top of the base, and can be rotated and elevated as you see fit – just so long as you enjoy playing with it Oh, and no, I couldn’t resist building the turret. Markings The kit is self-coloured, so technically you don’t need to paint a thing, but the back page of the instructions give you a six-view look at the model as per the box art, with colour and decal/sticker call-outs along the way. The pilot figure is also shown painted with the two tiny decals on the helmet, and there is some weathering that has been applied around the cockpit and the rest of the hull to give you an idea of what to aim for. There’s a lot of pictorial evidence out there for any other markings and schemes that you might wish to portray though, and we often see some adventurous schemes here on Britmodeller.com. Conclusion It was a gorgeous kit in 2016 when it came out, and it’s just as good now. If you’re a Star Wars modeller and want a well-detailed model of an A-Wing, this is the kit to get. Very highly recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  10. Well, after searching and searching for a suitable base I have chosen to use the support of a photo frame. If someone wants to see the process that I have followed in this model, they can do so at the following link. Andrés S.
  11. Hello all, This is my rendition of Bandai's 72nd scale T-70 x-wing painted in blue squadron markings as seen in Star Wars episode VII TFA. Overall this was a pretty fun build, there were some mishaps along the way, but I managed to finish it in the end, and am really pleased with the results. Here's the link to the WIP I did on it (this was my first wip, and I also think it turned out well): Here are the pics of the finished model: Hope you enjoy it! Oompa Loompa
  12. INCOM T-47 SNOWSPEEDER Bandai 1/48 (co-Starring Nigel the Mouse Droid) So, amazingly, this is Star Wars build number 5 so far this year. Amazing because I hadn't planned on doing any until I saw just how good the Bandai kits were. This will probably be the last one, at least for a while (I'm sure I said the same thing after the previous one). Most of you will know the details from the wip but for any who don't, it's all here I'll leave the photos to do the talking (Oh, and ignore the wonky gun, it's since been tweaked) Thanks for looking Andy
  13. Hello all, This is my first WIP, so I’m going to be learning as I go along; I chose to build Bandai’s lovely 1/72 T-70 X-wing, this isn’t my first x-wing (I’ve already built a T-65 in “Red 5” scheme) and this certainly won’t be my last as I’ve got 2 more in the stash. The kit itself is as good as any Bandai kit, which means that the detail is crisp, everything fits together without any glue needed, there isn’t any flash to be seen and the clear parts are beautifully moulded without any defects. I’ll be doing this ship in Blue Squadron scheme as seen during the attacks on Takodana and Starkiller Base in episode VII The Force Awakens. I have already cut off the cockpit parts which I painted in Ak real colors RC261 Neutral Grey, and I also cut out the pilot and droid which I proceeded to prime with Tamiya XF-2 flat white. Here are some sprue shots, I know this has been done before, but I thought it would be nice anyway.Note: I cut off the clear parts sprue section from the main sprue to avoid damaging the canopy. Box Art Instructions Bandai decals and stickers Sprue A with fuselage Clear parts sprue section, cut off from main sprue A Sprue B with s-foils Sprue C with silver coloured parts Sprue B2 with BB model droid Sprue with base for The Last Jedi version Sprue with base for The Force Awakens version Here's what I've done so far: The seat was painted with Tamiya XF-19 Sky Grey I don’t know how long I’ll take to finish this kit as I’ve got other projects going on, including a P-51D Mustang GB with my dad; I hope to finish before the end of the year but I doubt that will be possible. I will also try to take some comparison shots to show the difference between the T-65 and the T-70 x-wings using both Bandai kits and hopefully by next week I will have painted the cockpit, and maybe done some sub-assemblies.
  14. I have a thread over on The RPF, but I thought I'd start one here as well. Since Bandai never came out with a 1/48 Y-Wing, I have decided to make one on my own. I'm using my 3D printer (Elegoo Mars) to print these parts. The model is from CGTrader and I'm scaling it to the appropriate size, relative to the 1/48 X-Wing. So here we go! I'm going to use this thread to document my build. So here we go! Just pulled these two parts off the printer this morning. I waaaaaay overdid the supports on the canopy because it's a very delicate part, and because I didn't want it warping at all. Anyway. Follow along if you feel so inclined! SB
  15. Hi. I start another beautiful kit offered by Bandai for fans of the galactic saga of STAR WARS. Specifically the terrifying battle transport of the Empire called AT-AT. The general construction is advanced but until I have completed the cockpit I have not decided to start this post. I certainly believe that it has been a useless and stupid effort because even if you want to see something of what is inside, even using a flashlight, it is impossible. But as I paid for it, I decided that I had to do it. So here I show you: poorly painted, whith Vallejo MC, and worse photographed. I hope to put some progress soon as, as I say, the construction phase is advanced. Regards. Andrés.
  16. Hi all With this model I think I am going close a 12-month period in which I am going to finish 6. Something that I have never done. Although I have some models in process, I did not feel like continuing with them, so I looked at the Bandai boxes related to STAR WARS that I have in hiding and decided on this kit. What can I say about him that hasn't already been said? Gorgeous detail, gorgeous and finely detailed pieces and a perfect fit. A candy. The construction is already quite advanced and I decided to start this post because I think I will not stop its assembly. Of its assembly I can say that it has been a suffering due to the fact that the arrangement of the different pieces has been chaotic in sprues. If you had to build a leg you had to take a piece from sprue C1, another from sprue C2, another from sprue A and two other pieces from sprue B (it is an example, it has not literally been like this). Something that has been very heavy. Well, the cockpit. I have painted it entirely using Vallejo MC paints. Andrés S. Hi everyone.
  17. Hi all and here's my first finish for 2022, Bandai's 1/72 Poe's T-70 X-Wing from Ep. 7 The Force Awakens. I'm going to try and build more Star Wars stuff this year. Not much of a build thread as it went together so quickly! The fit of the parts is a joy and I only used glue in a couple of places. You could build and decal this straight from the box and have a lovely kit on your shelf. But I decided to repaint the orange markings with a custom Tamiya mix of red, orange & yellow. The hull was painted Tamiya XF-69 Nato Black My first time weathering with a liquid mask and I learned a lot - will do better next time. Rest of the weathering was a Flory Models wash and some oil streaking. Most of the kit decals were used. Thanks for looking and happy modelling. All the best, Dermot
  18. Hi all and happy new year - hope you had a safe and happy Christmas with a few models under the tree. Here's my year in builds; not as many as I had hoped to finish but when I look back, lots of colour! All in 1/72 unless noted. First up was Revell's 1:58 Easy Kit Resistance A-Wing repainted in Blue Squadron scheme (it was the Red boxing) Next was the Airfix (old issue) B-25J in 'Psychedelic Monster' scheme for the Unarmed GB here on the Forum. Followed by an equally old Airfix Mk1 Spitfire in fictional scheme from the 'Battle of Britain' movie Next was the Revell F-16C in Hellenic Zeus II Demo scheme for the STGB here. That was followed by the DreamModel AS-565 Panther in anniversary scheme for the French Fancy II GB More colour! Next was the Hasegawa F-14 in Blue Aggressor markings for the Tomcat STGB Hasegawa_F-14_Tomcat_1_72_NSAWC_done (3) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Another Tomcat but this time an Egg version for the KUTA GB And last one was a teeny, tiny Trumpeter Swedish Strv 103c S-tank for Ragnar's Return GB And that's it! Thanks for looking and all your words of encouragement and support through 2021 - it really is appreciated. For 2022, more Star Wars models to scratch that itch! Stay safe and happy modelling. Dermot
  19. Incom T-47 Snowspeeder Bandai 1/48 These finally turned up today and will be my last Star Wars builds for a while (unless the Ep 7 stuff is available for a reasonable price). I'll be leaving the X-Wing for a bit, but I decided to start the snowspeeder straight away. I'm probably going to do a red stripe one rather than Luke's grey stripe which are the markings that come with the kit, and I'll be doing it on the ground rather than in flight so I'll have to make a bit of hanger base for it. I've not done much more than go through the box so far, but I've started to look what work I'll be doing in the cockpit. The moulded detail on the instrument panels is as good as all the other Bandai releases but I might add a few extra details here and there and I'll paint the controls rather than use the supplied decals. It's got the usual clever engineering which allow the parts to just slot together. The side consoles simply slide into the upper fuselage so I'll paint these and the instrument panel before slotting them in As I said, It'll be on the ground, so I won't be using the gibbon twins with their super-long arms which is no loss (it would have been nice if they'd supplied a droid though, something to stand next to it. I may have to have a go at making something, maybe a gonk droid) The problem with not using them is that, like the AT-ST, Bandai have moulded big lugs on the seats to attach gibbon A and gibbon B, so I've ground them off and (rather roughly) rescribed the seat panels. They do look quite coarse but I'll pick up some etched belts which will cover most of the seat so they should be OK. I'll probably add a few extra knobs and switches to the consoles either side of the seats too (maybe a cup holder? or is that only on the ghia model) That's it for tonight. I should get some more done over the weekend Andy
  20. Well, it's been a few years since Donald came into being from the JPG resin Gonk kit, and that's far too long to go without any Gonk action, so I've spent the last couple of weeks designing a 3D model in fusion 360. I've also been waiting for some warmer weather so I can get printing again, and since summer seems to have finally arrived, I fired up the Mars at the weekend and started Gonking around. The design I've drawn up is loosely based on the Gonk you see in the Sandcrawler in ANH, which is also similar to the one that's guesting in Bad Batch at the moment. Actually, the main reference I've been using is the old Kenner 3¾ action figure, which can be seen below. I've taken the dimesions for the 3D model from that action figure, but scaled up 1.6 times, which seemed like it would give me something that would roughly equate to 1/12 to fit in with my Bandai droids. Although I'll be printing out the main components, some of the smaller details will be scratch built as I still want to get some traditional modelling into the project. I started off with the feet which are modelled pretty closely on those from the action figure, but I scaled them up sightly less that I did with the rest of the figure, because at 1.6 times they looked too big compared to the body. The print lines on these weren't too bad, but I gave them a good wet sanding to smooth them out. There are still a few tiny traces of texture around the corners of the raised squares on the top, but they should look fine once I've got some primer on. The holes for the legs go right through the foot, and I'll be scratch building the legs using some styrene tube for the main structure with some wire or something similar wrapped around to create the corrugated effect. The ends of the tubes will then slot into the holes in the feet. I may add some more detailing to the feet with styrene or spare photo etch depending on whether I find something suitable. The feet are modelled hollow, which can be seen from the underside. They're done with 1mm think walls, and I added the framework to give them some rigidity. I might back fill the cavities with some lead shot to give them some extra weight and make the model a bit more stable. I was fairly happy with the way the feet turned out, so I moved on to the lower body. This too printed out pretty well, although the inset channels down each side will need some additional sanding to better smooth them out. It's sitting upside down as you're looking at it here, and the square cutout in the middle is where the legs will attach, although I'm still figuring out exactly how I'm going to mount them. The four holes are there simply to reduce suction on the FEP film when the final layers were printing and also to slightly reduce the amount of resin used. They don't make much difference on that score, but every bit counts I suppose. There should be a panel line running around the lower edge of the body, and I did add one to the 3D model, but I saved two STL files, one with and one without the line, then accidentally printed the wrong one. Since the print took 8 hours, I couldn't be bother to do it again, so the panel line will have to wait for the next Gonk I do. Again, like the feet, I designed the body hollow with 1mm walls, and added an internal framework to keep it all square while printing. The top edge and the frames look a little messy here, but that's just where the print supports have been removed. All that will be hidden when the lower body is clipped into the waist band part. The remainder of the main parts have been printed now, but I'll leave those for the next update. And, as usual with my droid builds, I'm open to possible names. Anyone who's followed any of the old builds before will know the form those names tend to take (not that I condone such flagrant ridicule of political figures, of course) GONK
  21. Hi all, I know it's been aaaaages since I posted here, but I haven't been idle; just busy enough that I've mostly only posted to Instagram for the last two years because it's just the lowest friction avenue. But as the year ends I've been taking proper photos of a lot of models. I'll probably make a single thread for most of them, but this one might interest folks on its own. It's the JPG Productions 1:144 scale Moldy Crow resin kit, mastered by Nicholas Sagan (aka Cosmos Models). It's currently out of production, but JPG has said he may bring it back in the future. I actually picked it up years ago, and made a start out of it 3 years ago, and then it sat unfinished for 3 years because I couldn't find a good base color. Well -- that all changed when I bought an airbrush and the entire line of Archive-X acrylics. Which, by the way, are *AMAZING*. The slightly paraphrase the immortal words of Ferris Bueller -- they are so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking them up. The three year break turned out to be a good thing, because this is the first resin kit I've completed; it took a lot of work to build it, from lots of filing and filling to get parts to fit, to completely rebuilding the wing-attachment, using brass and my Proxxon micro-mill setup. I took a lot of inspiration from game artist Jason Lewis's digital Moldy Crow model he built for his personal project remaking the first level of Dark Forces. It is, without doubt, the most detailed digital model of the Crow ever made, and a fantastic extrapolation of the ship from its distinctly low-polygon origins. Check it out at https://www.artstation.com/artwork/A929GX Jason included a mechanism for adjusting the wings, which I adapted as an added detail on my build, made from steel music wire, brass tubing, and cast resin greeblies. I added a lot of additional detail to the built with cast resin greeblies which I molded from various Bandai kits, and I also completely scratch-built replacements for the sensor arrays on the front of the wings, which were extremely fragile as included with the kit. The replacements are also a lot sharper. I also replaced the kit-supplied barrels on the belly cannon with machined brass Hurricane Mk IIC - Hispano Mk I cannons from master-model.pl Finally, I replaced some of the piping with 1.5mm braided silver hose, a motorcycle kit up-detailing part. Painting Details I primed it with Mr Surfacer 1500 Black, then applied Vallejo Model Air White for pre-shading under the base color coat. The base color is a mix of AX-020 Rust and AX-041 Roof Brown, with accented panels misted over with AX-016 Earth or pure Roof Brown. The red accents are a 1:1 mix of AX-025 Caboose Red and AX-026 D&H Caboose Red. The contrasting rear side panels are AX-008 SP Dark Lark Grey, and the sensor antennas and belly cannon barrels are AX-013 Grimy Black. The sensor fins in front of the engine pods are AX-007 SP Lettering Grey (which is one of my favorite colors in the whole Archive-X lineup). I used the Vallejo Metal Colors line for the grills and actuator rods, as well as dry-brushed metallic highlights on top of the Grimy Black. Mostly bits of Gun Metal, Magnesium, and Duraluminum. Without further ado, the Moldy Crow.
  22. Hi all, After almost a month of work I finished Lord Vader’s ship. This was a very fun and a relatively quick build and, like all Bandai kits, it fits together perfectly. The model was painted with AK Real Colors Acrylics and weathered with Abteilung 502 oils. I hope you enjoy it, Comments welcome! A picture with the enemy.
  23. Inner Light Scale Model Lighting Scalectronics Lighting your model has been a growing interest in genres such as Science Fiction for quite a while now and it is slowly spreading to other genres too, as has been evidenced by the companies popping up offering solutions here at Britmodeller and in the wider world of modelling. They're always either custom-made for a particular installation or cobbled together using our electronic skills and generally speaking, once they're done that's it - You have no real way of changing them. You generally need to have at least some ability with coding if you want to depict any kind of lighting effect such as flashing, pulsing or the Knight-Rider/Cylon "wawww-wawww" effect too, and having had a brief go with some simple changes to an existing code snippet, it's not all that easy if you have no experience. What if there was a black box that has the flexibility so that you could hook up to pre-soldered lights, including options for fibre-optic/fibre guides, with a user-friendly interface that you could connect to and control from your desktop PC, tablet, laptop or even your phone? I think you know by now that there is, and that this is the subject of this review. It's called Inner Light, and it does all those things and more, thanks to the massive leaps in System-on-a-Chip (SoC) computers and the general miniaturisation of electronics that we have seen lately, driven heavily by the release of the Raspberry Pi (see the pic below) and various types of Arduino board. At the heart of the system is a Raspberry Pi 3A in a black case, which is a somewhat shrunk-down version of the new(ish) 3B, but still retains most of the power of the B, unlike the much smaller ZeroW, which probably couldn't hack it. In a slot under the board is a tiny MicroSD card with 16gb of storage space, which is pretty generous in size and of a good brand. There is a 5V Power Supply Unit (PSU) with a USB outlet and generous 2m USB extension cord, but you could replace this with a different length if you feel the need as it's a standard cord. The combined power/data cable plugs into the extension and pin 19 of the General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) header (noted with an arrow on my board in the picture above) that projects through a slot in the case, and your lights plug into the small 3-pin socket at the business end of the power/data cable. In the starter kit you receive two long and two short extension cables, two lengths of LED tape (one with 5 and one with 10 LEDs), five pre-soldered socketed LED units, five unsocketed LED units, five fibre-guide clip-on covers, five 30cm fibre-guides, and finally a quick start guide with a link to the full instructions on their website. That's quite a lot of gear and the fact that most of the LEDs are push-together will save plenty of time in the construction phase of your next project. If your model needs more of anything, there's a full shop on their site with all the items available in quantities of 1 and above for a reasonable price, from fibre-guides to extension cables and LED chips. Once you have your lighting set-up, you then start the process of configuring it, which involves powering up your black box for the first time, and logging in via a browser to the in-built Wi-Fi server that's on the board. Join the new network "Inner Light" from your phone, tablet or other Wi-Fi enabled device - this will cut you off from your home Wi-Fi network, so make sure you remember this when you finish and try to visit Britmodeller or somewhere. Once you've joined you just navigate to http://192.168.1.100 and login using the provided credentials. If you don't want your friends and neighbours hacking your latest creation, you might want to consider changing those details, but that's entirely up to you. If you forget the new login details you can factory reset the device, but that's a pain if you haven't backed up your configuration. You're presented with a nice simple webpage that talks you through configuration of your lights, with colour, intensity, special effects and so forth easily changed at whim, and at any time thereafter. You can also add custom sounds, and make lights and sounds respond to physical buttons too, although you'll have to buy and solder those yourself, but you are shown the correct pin-outs on the GPIO to connect them to. Everything is menu-driven with tickboxes and drop-downs for quick and easy changes to pretty much everything. You can also control the device and its lighting groups (which you set up) by using HTTP command sent over the airwaves directly to your model. If that sounds tricky, it probably would be if you had to do it by typing out the commands yourself, but there are several 3rd party apps available for iOS and Android devices, some of which can be visually customised to match your subject, such as a Star Trek command console seen on their site. That's the theory, but I'm not about to pass judgement on the system without having a go myself, so here there has been a break while I dig into the box, put some lights and cables into a simple set-up and have a play with the system. Now where's my tablet? Following those instructions, I soon realised that I'd forgotten to plug in the MicroSD connector into the black box, which is what supplies the power to the system's processing unit. Once I'd corrected that blunder (it had been a long day), the lights started flashing sporadically as they should and after a few seconds, checking my Tablet's available Wi-Fi SSIDs showed up with the innerlight name, so I logged in using the username and password provided. Navigating to the home page by typing the IP address into your browser's address bar, you're greeted with the main screen, which has a few important settings that must be stored before you can proceed. You choose the number of LEDs (in total) that you have attached to the line, how bright you want them to be as a maximum value (they can be really bright, so they're best toned down), and how they start up when you power on. That's all very simple and hinges upon your ability to count. No worries there then! You can revisit this page if you add or subtract lights later on, so don't worry if you decide to change things, and there's no need to reboot as you can just save the new settings and carry on. The next tab LED Grouping allows you to separate the string of lights into sub-sections and give them names that mean something to you, which will help you out if you decide to switch things up a bit in the future. Allocate the various lights to the groups, and here you don't have to use contiguous blocks, as you can choose a block, a few additional singles, another block and so on, simplifying the process if you want the same effect on opposite sides of your model and have other lights in between. With all your groups set up, you can go off and create some effects in the next tab. Again, everything can be revisited if changes are needed or desired. The Effects tab does just that. You can create the effects that you want to later allocate to your various light Groups by tapping Add New Effect, then renaming it and assigning attributes like flashing, solid colour or chasing, with choice of colour, duration and delays. You can use a colour picker, an RGB slider, or a pick-list from your history to choose your colours, which will be a lot quicker if you're using the same colour in different areas of your lighting design. The final part of the setup is the Scenes tab, which is where you bring the Groups together with their Effects so that you can issue commands to your model from afar. You can connect the Scene to a trigger, which will be a button or switch you add somewhere on your model and wire into the black box using the pins allocated in the instructions. This enables you to be as fancy or simple as you like, providing you've got sufficient lights, enough time and a good memory to keep it in your head as you switch between tabs. In addition to the light effects, you can also add sound effects that will be sent to the 3.5mm audio jack on the RasPi by default, so will require a speaker to be fitted in order to enjoy the sound on the finished model, but can be used with headphones while you are setting it up. While talking to Andy, I sowed the seeds of an idea to allow sound to be sent to a Bluetooth speaker or sound bar, which may appear in future updates of the firmware, taking advantage of the RasPi's built in Bluetooth chip. I've got a terrible memory as most of you will probably know by now, so I kept my test setup pretty simple. I arranged 11 lights comprising the long self-adhesive backed 10 LED strip, plus a singleton with a snap-on fibre-guide cover and a length of fibre slotted through it. The covers have a central hole, and you feed the sharp end through the hole from the inside so that it stops at the flared end, absorbing most of the LED light in the process and transporting it to the other end. You can cut the lengths of guide shorter, or if your installation requires it you can get longer lengths online and create the flattened ends by warming it with a soldering iron or lighter, then smooshing it on a flat surface to create the mushroom head. To prevent light leaks, you'll probably want to paint the exterior of the caps and perhaps wrap them with insulation tape to prevent leaks and secure the caps permanently. Here's a quick demo of my simple setup, which isn't bad considering it was knocked up as I was learning the ropes in a very short period of time with absolutely no forward planning on my part - I've named my technique "winging it". The colour is a little washed out in the video, but as I've not really created any videos in the past I'm using the "newb" excuse. The five lights on the right for example are blue to the naked eye, the centre two are purple, and the three chasing each other on the left are kind of pink. Finally, it's fairly obvious that the single fibre guide is green I hope. I found it pretty easy to get to grips with the interface using my tablet, and the only thing that gave me a moment's pause was initially when I set up a new Group, it didn't immediately occur to me to tap the name of the group to bring up the configuration details. Once that was out of the way it all seems pretty straight forward, but if you ever get stuck there are full detailed instructions on everything you could want from the system, including the different methods of controlling your finished lighting rig either via the built-in Wi-Fi, a third-party app that issues the http commands from a fancy User Interface (UI), or even your Home Automation (HA) device such as Amazon's Alexa or the Google Home devices, by using the IFTT (IF This Then That) app that you can download to your device and configure to work with your HA if you have the technological know-how. You can even operate your Inner-Light from anywhere in the world if you're able to open up the required port on your router and forward it to your device's IP address, but again extra details can be found in the detailed instructions. The system could theoretically support over 1,000 light chips, but with the standard 2 Amp RasPi power supply, up to 100 could be used before you begin to run short of power. Most models won't need anywhere near that amount however, so you should have plenty of power to spare. You can also connect up to eight physical control buttons, each of which will need an additional two wires to be run back to the control box, so placement will be crucial. You'll have to source buttons yourself, and some soldering is likely to be required unless you get the pre-wired for use on the RasPi's GPIO pins. The detailed documentation can be found here, where you'll also be able to find out details of how to update the system's firmware, which is the underlying code needed to make the system function and allows extra features to be added or updated in the future. This adds extra value to your purchase down the line at no extra cost to yourself. Importantly, the system should always be closed down using the app to ensure no damage or corruption occurs to it, and this option along with other useful functions such as data backup, reboot and even factory reset are found in the Options menu, sensibly enough. There is also a help button at the top of every page that directs you to the site to obtain the detailed help files I linked to above, but you'll have to re-connect to your own internet in order to visit if you have a problem. Chances are that you'll be sitting next to a device that's connected however, so it's not a major imposition. My tinkering was all done sat in front of my workshop PC but using my tablet, so anything I needed to know was readily accessible by switching focus to the big screen in front of me. That said, using the configuration system, you can change the Wi-Fi to allow the system to join your existing Wi-Fi network, after which you can access the device by using the IP address assigned by your router (assuming you have DHCP active, which most people do), or by going to http://il.local in any browser on the same subnet. That would have the benefit of being able to access the help files from the same device, and would also open up the HA and remote access options for configuration as discussed above. One improvement that I would like to see would be the option for bundling fibres on one light chip, as the current system only allows one fibre per chip, which could get very busy if you were building a Zvezda Star Wars Star Destroyer for example, which has hundreds of tiny lights in its superstructure that are best suited to fibres. You can of course make your own bundle from some tube and epoxy glue, but the key selling point of the system is its modularity. Maybe Andy could come up with something later on? I've mentioned it to him, and he suggested enlarging the hole in the cap (which hadn't occurred to me), but as modellers we're probably capable of making up a short tube and filling them full of fibres, then attaching it to a LED chip if we need more fibres on one chip. Here's a proper demo from their site, showing what you can do with the system once you're familiar with it and have a specific application in mind. Conclusion This system has the capability of being adapted to many situations, allows alteration of colours, effects etc. after the lights are added to your model, which has previously been very difficult or impossible, and previously required much more technical know-how than Inner-Light requires of you. Adding your own sound, light effects and colour has never been easier and instead of fishing around with wires, resistors, code and burning yourself on a soldering iron, you have a simple almost plug-and-play system that just needs you to answer a few questions and fiddle about with a few settings. Siting the control box will be an important aspect of the installation, but when you're done you can still fine-tune the settings as much as you want. Andy has reminded me that he's got a special offer for Britmodellers which entitles them to a £10 cash-back on their purchase of the Base kit (the subject of this review. Type in Britmodeller in the promo code box, and you'll get a discount, and Britmodeller will also get a small donation as a thank you from Scalectronics too. What on earth are you waiting for???? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Another 3D printed Gonk droid, this time a four legged version. A few quad Gonks have appeared over the years in various corners of the Star Wars expanded universe, although never on screen to my knowledge. Those ones tend to look like regular Gonks, but with four legs. For this one though, I wanted to create my own design with a more modern, industrial aesthetic, while still looking like something that could have come from the films - hopefully I've got somewhere close to that. This should have been sporting the emblem of the Mining Guild (A faction in the Star Wars universe), but I was unable to find anyone who could print the required decals, so that will have to wait for a future build. Unlike the last Gonk I build (PT-1N can be found here), this one is almost entirely 3D printed, with just the legs, rear panel, cables, and eye lens coming form other sources. The full build can be seen here And finally, a few shots with some of my other droids Thanks for looking Andy
  25. Just a quick build of Bandais 1:144 Tie Fighter crashed on a desert planet, undamaged solar panels scavenged for scrap.
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