Archive for the 'Star Trek' Category

15
Sep
13

The Intervention

Don’t you hate it when you’re working on something, minding your own business, and someone has to come along and disturb you. “You haven’t eaten in five days. Step away from the dozens of unfinished projects, and eat a sammich.” It’s always something….

 

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19
Jul
13

Works in Progress

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I have this bad habit of starting one project, before I finish the previous one. It doesn’t help that I often work at a rate that can almost be described in geological terms. This leaves me with a lot of things sitting around in an unfinished state, sometimes for years. The two figures in the back are victims of that. The painted figure is only recently finished. It’s the human form of my werewolf “Greyryder” character. He’s supposed to look like me, but all my attempts to cut scale glasses out of clear plastic failed, and I hate sculpted on glasses. They never look right. I tend to go with the smallest frames I can find, so trying to make something roughly twice the size of  those little reading glasses they sell in stores in 1/18 scale is a challenge. Keep in mind, I’ll need multiples. There’s an unjacketed version not in the picture that I’m still working on, and in fact started before the one in the picture. I’m also working on a swappable head with a baseball cap sculpted on.

Now, a lot of the ships in this picture are “casual” builds. Most of them will just get cleaned up, built mostly out of the box, painted, and decalled. There’s a second one of the TOS Enterprises that will be getting modified, molds made, and parts cast so I can build a better Enterprise, and other ships from that era. I’m also planning an improved movie style Enterprise, and I’ve nearly finished the nacelles. The Enterprise B in the back will be getting some minor improvements, before I’m ready to paint it. Like my Hobb Creek, it’ll have its Aztec patterns painted in clear coat, rather than the screen accurate ILM mottle.

The heads near the front are modified castings. Optimus is cast from a Reveal the Shield G2 style Optimus Prime, and is being modified to be based (if a bit loosely) on the Alternators Prime head. It’ll be an alternate head for the “Joeformer” Prime I made a while back. The head next to it is spliced together from two different Snake Eyes heads. Actually, one was a Snake Eyes disquise Zartan head. I’ll be sculpting over it to make a head based on some concept images I’ve seen from G.I. Joe: Retalliation. Next to them is a narrow pack for a G.I. Joe Duke I’m working on. I started out trying to imitate the one that comes with the Sideshow made Duke, the more I looked at it, the less sense its construction made to me. One of the problems of only have internet sourced reference pictures, I guess. I wound up just making my own design.

The two unfinished figures are spiced together from various source figures, ground down with a moto-tool, and sculpted over. The one on the Left side of the picture is Hellchick V2, an unproduced player model for Quake 4, and very different from the Hellchick model released for Quake 3. Her design comes from Autodestruct.com. (NSFW warning, there’s some gory creatures and topless women among the artwork.) I haven’t decided if I’m going to keep her topless, like the source art shows her. Maybe I’m just a prude, but I’m not sure I’m ready to have an anatomically correct figure in my collection. I started making her mostly as an excercise in detail sculpting. She’s got a lot of straps buckles and hardware on her, that I wanted to try my hand at sculpting, without making them too thick or course. It’s actually her gauntlet and the broken off horns on the right side of her head. The horns I’m just having trouble keeping the shape of what’s still there to match the whole horns on the other side of her head. The two headed thing on the other side is an original design. It’s supposed to be Gigeresque, but I’ve never been good at surface detail in any of my art. That’s been a big stumbling block, for me.

Other things that aren’t in this picture are a “Joeformer” Wheeljack, that was started well before Optimus was. There’s also two figures that are meant to be the siblings of the first G.I. Joe figure I customized, A version of the catgirl from my webcomic. They’re mostly waiting on accessories. There’s the Atomic Robo figure I haven’t even started sculpting on, yet. As far as heavily sculpted figures go, I’ve also got my “Demon King” character, who’s supposed to be sort of an armored mutant cyborg werejackal sort of thing. His base frame has been mostly assembled, I just have to design some armor for him, so I can get started sculpting him. I just want something more detailed/ornate than I usually come up with. Got a lot of ideas in my head for figures I’d like to make, but haven’t started on; two different werewolves, a 1/18 less stylized Xevoz Moon Stalker, a satyr girl, and the woman who rejected the Demon King. Probably some others, that have slipped my mind, too.

And then, there’s the diorama stuff I want to build….

24
Jun
13

U.S.S. Hobb Creek pt. 4

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Gonna call her done, for now. Decals are on, a layer of flat clear has been applied, and the last few details have been painted on. All the windows have been hand painted in either flat white, or gloss black, depending on whether they lit, or not. Aztec panels were painted on in gloss, to provide an effect like the refit Enterprise filming model had, instead of the mottled diseased look that most newer Trek ships have. The decals have been done to reflect late 24th century practices, so the side markings are similar to Voyager’s with the larger lettering and registry instead of the sip’s name. I also left the red outline off the ship’s name on the saucer, for the same reason. The escape pods are similar to what’s on the Nova class, just because I like their look. The decals were made at 1200DPI, which nearly choked Paint Shop Pro 9. It doesn’t like doing vectors that large, and all the text was done as vectors. Other graphics were scraped from various corners of the web, and modified as needed.

 

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The aztecing, being done in clear, is subtle enough that it doesn’t show up well in pictures.  That last picture was taken specifically to show it off. It’s most visible on the saucer, but it is everywhere on the ship. The only parts of the hull I didn’t paint it on, are the colored sections on the engineering hull. Those are decals made from graphics I found a while back on the Starship Modeller website. I gray scaled them, so that my base colors would show through. The patterns are surprisingly crisp, but subtle, and hard to capture on camera. Or, I’m just horrible at taking pictures. I suspect it’s that last one.

 

The background image in the picture at the top of this entry is from http://hameed.deviantart.com/art/Deep-Space-Nebula-152575344

13
Jun
13

USS Hobb Creek pt. 3

Guess who’s back, back again…. Sorry. I’ll stop, now.

 

Anyway. Seems I neglected to post the last few things I got finished on the Hobb Creek model. I cut some .010″ thick styrene sheet to make phaser strips. There’s two on top of the saucer, two more on the bottom, one on the bottom of the secondary hull, and one on each side of the shuttle bay area. The styrene was cut into straight strips, and worked into curves into it before being glued down.

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Since I’m doing this as a 24th century ship, I went with a darker base color than the refit Enterprise had. It’s also a nice call back to the original series ship. I went with Model Master Jet Exhaust for the phaser strips, since it looks closest to the strips on the filming models, of anything I have. I suppose black or Tamiya Gunmetal would have worked too, given how they always looked on screen.

 

The warp grills, deflector crystal, and main deflector were painted white, and thinned down light blue paint was used to create a glow effect. The main deflector recieved some extra attention with a darker shade of blue around the outer edge. The Bussard collectors were painted with Model master Italian Red, which, as red paint goes, is pretty orange. If I was building a General Lee model, this would be my first choice. (unless I was doing the movie version) Unfortunately, I bought this paint for a Ferrari model….  On top of the Italian red, I painted yellow “Kirby dots” to try to create the impression of a chaotic looking energy field inside. There’s no real cannon example of this, unless you count the random blinking lights in the filming model from TOS, which has since been retconned into kind of spinamajig. I just think it would look neat, on screen. Over the red orange and yellow, I painted transparent red.

 

The other details were painted, mostly by going off photos of the refit Enterprise filming model.

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And, I just realized I never took any pictures of it, with the glowy bits painted…. Brilliant.

 

Moving right along…. I’ve gotten started on making the image file to print the decals from. I’m still in the phase of making sure things are sized and shaped right. I’ll get the red outlines on the saucer name and registry decals once I’m finished with the test fitting. Since I’m still in the test fitting stage, I’m printing things out on regular printer paper. Final decals will will be printed on clear paper. Once the decals are down, and sealed unter a layer of flat clear coat, I plan on painting the Aztec paneling on with gloss clear. I have never liked the ILM style of Aztecing, that they started with the Reliant. It makes no sense why every panel on the ship would be painted a slightly different shade than every surrounding panel. The refit Enterprise model had it right, giving the impression of light reflecting differently off the panels, as they wrapped around all the ship’s compound curves.

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Yes, the registry is ridiculously improbable. Obviously, I don’t subscribe to the notion that only Enterprise keeps the same registry, with each succeeding ship. The NX is only because she’s a technology tester. I actually prefer a proper NCC registry, but it just doesn’t work with this ship’s back story of being a test bed for bleeding edge, experimental technology.

05
May
13

USS Hobb Creek pt2

After one failed attempt, I successfully modified a saucer, with a new Exeter style superstructure. The first attempt failed, because I made it way too big. Most of the ship’s parts are in place now, but the saucer is currently on only by a friction fit. Took this picture on the Infinitely Variable Diorama, so it’s much clearer than the previous pictures are.

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This time, I made the superstructure only slightly wider than the existing B deck blister. I made it by cutting off the bridge, and grinding down the top of the B deck. I cut the top of the new superstructure out of thin sheet styrene. (.o20″ inch thick, I believe) A small piece of thicker styrene was glued in to hold the back of the superstructure roof in place. Before the setting the new “B deck roof” in place, I cut a hole in it for the bridge module. The bridge was from another saucer casting. Part of the B deck from the donor saucer was left on the bottom of the bridge, the same thickness as the sheet styrene. I originally tried cutting this extra material off, so I could glue the bridge directly to the styrene. I ruined that first bridge in the attempt. The bridge was glued to the filed down B deck with Goop (can’t seem to fin Shoe Goo locally) so that I could move it around a little, and make sure it was properly centered on the saucer. Doing it that way also made it easier to get the top of the superstructure lined up properly. Any gaps around the bridge were filled in with Fixit Sculpt, at the same time I filled in the sides of the superstructure with the same. A cut down deflector crystal, taken from the donor saucer, was glued in place on the back of the new superstructure. Since I wanted it to sit level on an angled surface, it was easier to just file it down thin enough to sit on top of the the new superstructure. I drilled a small divot where it would go, to give the Goop some place to go. Once the deflector crystal was where I wanted it, and the Goop had cured, I put a little superglue around the base of it to hold it in place. A little bit of Fixit sculpt was worked in around it, as well, to fill in any remaining gaps. I scribed a few lines into the top of the new superstructure, to break up the other wise featureless surface. After that, the modified saucer was placed into the lower half of the mold I’d made, and a new upper half was made.

At this point, the nacelle struts have been reinforced with piano wire, and the wire has been sculpted over with Fixit Sculpt. The struts and nacelles have been glued in place, and the seams have been filled with more Fixit Sculpt. I’ve added the angled side fins to the nacelles. There’s a little bit of cleaning up I still need to do around the joints where the struts hit the hull and nacelles, and the saucer has a couple of minor blemishes to fix. Then, I’ll glue the saucer permanently in place, and clean up that juncture. After that, it’s paint and decals. I’ve already tracked down the fonts I need to make markings appropriate for a ship in service in the late 24th century. I’m not thrilled with the way the font handles the outlines around the letters, but it’s not difficult to work around.

I can’t seem to resist creating back stories around the things I create.  The ship itself doesn’t have much of a story, other than having previously been the U.S.S. Whitfield, before being retired and then relegated to the bone yard. The crew however, is where the real story lies. It involves a spacial anomaly, time dilation, and a 23rd century ship finding itself in the 24th century mirror universe. I hope to eventually build the original Hobb Creek. That one is a design entirely my own, but using TOS Constitution parts. I’ll probably have to scratch build that one’s engineering hull, since it’s a four nacelle design. I mention this, because with the mirror universe involved, there is another Hobb Creek.

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This one will have a few spotting differences from its Federation counterpart. Current plan is for completely different nacelles. The impulse engines will be closer in design to the Exeter class from Star Trek Online, as well.

01
May
13

USS Hobb Creek pt.1

What’s this? Two posts inside of a week? The ol’ Greyryder must have gone mad!

Not all. A bit peeved perhaps, but not mad.

So, anyway. Ran into a bit of a problem, with the mold for the saucer. It was distorting under the weight of the resin, but not immediately. It would wait until I had the mold filled, then start to bow out. Cunning mold; lulling me into a false sense of security. Beyond the problems this was causing with the shape of the finished piece, it was also leaving a large cavity at the front of the saucer, which is at the top of the mold, as it sits for casting.Fortunately, I kept the foam core box I had built to make the mold itself, and the two-part rubber the molds are made out of will bond with itself monolithicly. I made the top piece of the mold a little thicker, and made sure it was flat, so I can strap a piece of foam core or styrene sheet to it, when I pour the resin.

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As you can see, I got a good saucer poured, and  now I can start modifying it to have an Exeter style superstructure. I am planning to keep the Enterprise style bridge module, though. I find it more visually interesting. The Exeter class bridge is little more than a lopped off cone. The easiest way to do this, is going to see me using the bridge from one of the bad castings I poured. I need to trim down the height of the existing B deck blister, so I can build the new one. The easiest way to do that is going to be to grind down the bridge, as well.

29
Apr
13

Small Update

Been a while, I know. I kind of got sucked into Warframe, for the past couple a three weeks.

 

Anyway. I finished the engraving on the underside of the little Enterprise saucer. The first part of the mold I’m making off of that is curing, as I type this. I’ve been having trouble with the second parts of my molds sticking to the first parts, when I make them. Either my rubber to rubber mold release has gone off, or I’m doing something wrong. Honestly, I’ve always had trouble with the edges sticking, but never like this. Most of the keys to keep the nacelle mold halves aligned tore, when I first separated those. I’m using some of the left over rubber from the saucer mold to patch that up.

 

The engineering hull and nacelle strut molds are ready to go, however. I did pour of those, mostly to make sure my resin was still good. It is, and both parts came out, with no air bubbles that I saw. Unfortunately, I didn’t mix enough resin for the hull pour. That’ll have to be poured, again. Not a problem. I make molds so I can make multiples of these parts. The resin I’m using is kind of flexible, especially in thin parts. I’m worried that the nacelle struts won’t be able to actually support the weight of the nacelles. If that’s the case, I should be able to use some thin piano wire to reinforce the struts.

 

I have yet to accurize the original kit nacelles, so it’ll still be a while, before I can make an Enterprise. However, my main goal was always to make my “test bed” ship, the U.S.S. Hobb Creek. That’s why I made that Exeter style nacelle. My hope is to have the Hobb Creek well on its way to completion, by the end of the week. Of course, to paraphrase Jayne Cobb, what I plan, and what takes place ain’t ever exactly been similar.

 

Having these molds, will also give me the parts I need to make another ship from the same project the Hobb Creek is supposed to be part of. The U.S.S. Serling is a Decatur class ship, with modifications similar to the Hobb Creek’s. Far as I can tell, the Decatur class is a fan design, but it’s mostly a Constitution kitbash. The front of the Dacatur’s engineering hull is shaped a little different, But I think I can pull it off. The project is supposed to have two other ships (the Miskatonic and the Ellison) but one of those is a Miranda class, and the other is a Soyuz. Without a Miranda model for a base, I can’t make either of those.




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