Thursday, July 25, 2013

Time to tell of my goofs.  After all the effort at making sure the foundation plate for the upper superstructure was perfectly level, I flipped the model right-side up and added the canyon walls, so-to-speak, connecting the plate to the upper hull.  And I totally missed the fact that when the model was upright, the upper hull would SAG!
Fortunately, correcting that only required an hour or two.  The photo below shows how I cut the walls free at their top portions, flipped her upside down, then added some quarter-inch strips of styrene to maintain the proper gap once the upper hull was truly flat again.  I'd already added some detailing on those wall segments, and most of it wasn't affected by the increased spacing.  Also note the markings for where the lower hull will overlay the upper.  It helps with envisioning how far the detailing will have to go.

Detail section of an area below the beaver tail.  This is viewed up-side down from how it will be mounted.  An early effort at thinking INSIDE the box. It took some effort trying the keep the levels properly horizontal, but it was good practice.

These are a couple of segments for the arrowhead-shaped cutout on the ventral hull.  As I was working on them the detailing became more fine that what I'd already completed and glued in place for the waist.  It took a couple of days of comparing this with what I'd done before I resolved to re-do the waist.

So that's what this photo is; restarting the waist paneling.  This shows the five panels, each about 7 or 8 millimeters wide, with the detailing starting to grow.  As a product endorsement (for which I am not compensated,) the grid pad underneath is excellent for fine work like this. However, it reacts to standard liquid styrene glues, so pieces can get fixed to it if proper care is not taken.  Notice how the grid lines are almost gone in the upper left section?  That was due to a glue spill.

The waist paneling can be mind-numbing at times, so I decided to work on other areas too.  This is (what I call) superstructure section 3.  Sorry for putting it on white paper.  I'll find something to show better contrast next time.  Anyway, here it is with partial detailing.

And here it is assembled.  Detailing is about at 30%, I guess.

Same section, another view.  I've been able to find online some very nice photos of the original filming model to use for reference.  However, there's one area that I've not been able to find photos for, and that's the nose.  So this is a request for help; 
ANYONE who can find photos, please let me know the web page.  I'm not asking for views of other commercially available models, since there's too much variety.  Any photos of the nose, of the front 2 feet or so would be greatly appreciated.  I have nothing to offer as a reward.  I'm just asking for help.

As a final note, I've decided on a name for her.  It had to be something ominous, something with an edge, like how the British name their warships, so I decided to call her "Conquestor."
My daughter suggested "Baby-Muncher."  Maybe Palpatine would have liked that, you think? He was kinda freaky that way.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Shortly after the last blog about the 4th Corellian freighter I got caught up in other things and my interest waned over the months.  Even after a few attempts to return to it the freighter didn't get advanced much, and now it sits on a shelf, patiently awaiting its turn again.  A few months ago, however, my wife encouraged me to get back to modelling.  (How many of you can claim to having a spouse this understanding?  Congratulations to those who can.)  After some serious consideration of my skills and interests, I decided to duplicate another of the iconic Star Wars craft, the Executor-class super star destroyer.  The research alone took a couple of weeks.

First things first; I needed a set of reliable plans with the dorsal and ventral angles and measurements.  I was able to get a little useful info from official SW websites, but as with the Foray, most of the info came from generous folks who had photographed the real model when it was found on display.  I compared the photos with sketches, scratch-built efforts and a few commercially available models, and found that the commercial models were the least accurate.
So, anyway, I drew out several sets of plans until I came up with these...

On one website the modeler showed how he was building his model (I'm guessing it was about 7 feet long,) using a pair of tables / doors joined together at a slight angle to give the upper hull the needed support during the build.  I used his idea to build a table of my own.  I've looked for the website again but haven't been able to find it to give him credit.  When I do, I will.  It was a simple idea, and effective.
The rod down the center is to serve as a base for the open side of the hinge.  You can see some of the adjusting screws on each of the 4 main arms.  That's because some of the drawings I've seen of the Executor-class show the ventral and dorsal hull angles at midline to be a little different, with the ventral angle being more flat.  I'll keep checking that as I build, and if I decide that's accurate, I can adjust the screws to flatten the table when needed.

The completed table is below.  Notice that the dorsal angle isn't that sharp to begin with.

The upper hull cut out and flat.  It will be about 41.5 inches, which will give it a scale of 1:18,000

The upper hull in position, with a few of the waist panels in place.  Those black arrows indicate where I intend to have the support rods for suspending the model, much as I did with the Foray.

Here are the waist panels under construction.  I laid them out on a sheet of .02" styrene, 12" long, with each panel 7mm wide. They are scored to snap apart easily when this stage was done.  This also allowed me the option for drilling fiber optic holes before they would be glued to the hull itself.

A close-up of one end of the panels.  The scribed lines are visible.  The difficulty was in trying to establish a high enough level of detail in a limited area.  More on this later...

Another view of the upper hull and waist panels.

Here I've built a lattice structure to be used to ensure the base of the upper 'city' superstructure is perfectly level with the waist.

View from above

The superstructure foundation in place.  I didn't know it yet, but I'd already committed my second goof.  At least it wasn't as time-consuming to correct as the first one.  More details on those goofs in the next post.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Here are some photos of one of my works-in-progress.  It is intended to be the 4th ship in the Corellian Freighters series, and like the Quagmire and Arrogant Magistrate, it was designed by one of my brothers decades ago.  So long ago, in fact, that none of them remember drawing it.  I have my suspicions that it was Robb...
The original drawing was done on a standard letter envelope, so I expanded it to the size I wanted to facilitate the construction.
So, here's a photocopy of the drawing;

And here's what it currently looks like.  The interior is about 75% complete.  All that's left in that category are the dorsal gunner's station, some ceiling work for the cockpit, and a lot of work in the engine space.  There's about 2 inches for the engine space that is still under construction elsewhere, and hasn't been attached.

Here's a size comparison with the 150th scale Falcon.  The similarities are evident, especially at the mandibles and gunport.  However, I like the structural transitions to another well-known Corellian ship.

A view from starboard forward. There isn't as much asymetrical detail as on the Falcon.

Belly view, showing the battery and its future storage compartment.  A few of the exterior lights are faintly visible.

Closeup view of the cockpit.  The seats aren't yet installed.  I should have put one in to show scale, but you can judge it somewhat by the size of the door.  The design is for a single pilot at the main console forward.  Maybe you noticed the LED above the door, and the fiber optics...

Here it is illuminated.  I covered the LED with a scrap part, to prevent it from washing out the image.  As it is, it does cause a significant glare on the floor below.  But that's just so you can see that there's a hallway back there that runs the full length of the cargo section of the ship.

A lower view looking down the mandibles and showing more of the hallway.  I gave it a tubing-style, like the Falcon, with similar white padding sections.

A view looking into the port side cargo bay.  A workbench is visible through the forward door.  The aft door is larger to facilitate loading and unloading.  Of course, the fact that it offers a better view is only secondary.  Note that some detailing in each bay is only visible when viewed from the other side of the ship.

The same location, but now looking almost straight across and out the starboard loading door.  You can see the difference in the interior bulkhead detailing between these two shoots.  The aft section shows a newer, modular design.  That's because the ship is undergoing some renovations.
Why renovations?  As the ship was in its early phases of construction its character was beginning to come out; old, rugged, reliable of course, but also recently punished more than the crew could patch up at a quiet spaceport.  At least, that's what she told me.  However, she hasn't yet told me her name.

So, that's what's on the table, although, to be honest, I've kept back a few surprises for later.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Imperial Galactic Navy now under new management.
Imperial II class Star Destroyer for sale.

When you let one thing slow you down, soon you let a second, then you wonder where the time went.  We moved a year ago, and the months before and after were filled with related duties.  My hobby tools are still packed away, but we've recently freed up some floor space so the desks for my wife and I may soon be available again.  I have a couple of unfinished modelling projects to work on, and for those reasons I've decided to put the Foray on the market.  Selling it will provide finances and opportunities to complete those unfinished projects.
So, for anyone interested in owning this creation, here are some of its selling points;

The model is 30 inches long, and was built with the intent that it could be used not just for static display, but also for filming.

It has a wooden framework interior, and is built primarily of sheet styrene on the exterior.

It is illuminated via a fiber optic network with over 1600 'windows' showing.  It also has some interior and exterior detailing illuminated by approximately 20 miniature incandescent bulbs.  The three main engines and four sub-light engines are also illuminated.  Of these bulbs, all are replaceable with the exception of the miniature incandescents, which were built into the structure.  So far, none have burned out or needed replacement.

Power is supplied through a scratch-built 120vac to 5vdc rectifier.  The 5vdc output plugs into the model's hardwood base and feeds into the ship's aft starboard side though the two metal support prongs, as shown;
(Incidentally, the photos here were taken in front of the Hobby Works store in Rockville MD.  They've been generous to allow the model to be on display since its completion.)

Removing the prongs leaves the two holes... (Click on the pictures to see the larger images.)

Which then can be covered by a pair of sliding doors, in case viewing or filming is desired.

One possible reason for closer viewing is the TIE fighter bay on the starboard side, just forward of the prongs.  A better view can be seen in the under-construction photos of this blog.

(Most filming models have a good side, which always faces the camera and which shows the highest quality in detailing.  The mounting side usually has only basic detailing.  I decided to add something special over here to try to keep things balanced.  In effect, I built the Foray so that it is viewable from all angles.)

In case filming is desired from this side while still maintaining the model's illumination, a separate receptacle for the power plug was built into the port side of the superstructure.  Here's the normal view;

...and here's with the receptacle exposed.

Oh, and yes, the Millennium Falcon on the back of the bridge is included.  It's removeable, so you can go interactive with it and impress your friends.  Although the Foray does not represent the ship that the Falcon landed on in TESB, I feel that the size comparison is helpful for getting a feel for the 1600-meter length of the Imperial II class.

Those are the details that I don't think were covered during the earlier entries of this blog.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

$7550 is the price.  Contact me at;

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I've been preoccupied with other things, and we've had computer problems in the last few weeks, but now it's time to get updated. First of all, here's the third member of the Corellian Freighters collection.

This one was also designed by the same brother, and it's called the Quagmire. It's slightly larger than the Falcon, 27 cm. However, it was built several years before the Magistrate. It was my first effort at building interior detail, so it has the cockpit and gunports visible (upper and lower,similar to the Falcon). The Magistrate has only one gunport, but shows some crew spaces inside through the boarding ramp.

The Quagmire also has shock-absorbing landing gear. It's removable, like the Falcon's, but I lost the 'gear-up' body panels a while back.

One of the reasons this entry is so late is because I've been prepping for IPMS competitions in this area. The Star Destroyer and the Corellian Collection were entered in the IPMS NOVA Model Classic, and in the Virginia Shootout competition held by the Roanoke Valley IPMS group. The Collection did well, and the Star Destroyer was awarded Best of Show at each. If you have any interest in modelling, I suggest you check for an IPMS chapter in your area. The shows they do are great for kids and families, and not expensive to attend. They also cover a nice spectrum, including figures and sometimes paper models. (And the paper ones can be shockingly well detailed.)

For the future, I'm planning to attend several more IPMS shows this year; Penncon 2010 in Mechanicsburg, the Region II convention in Fredericksburg, and Maraudercon in Baltimore. I'm also working on another member for the Collection. Like the Quagmire and Magistrate it was designed by one of my brothers about 30 years ago, but none of them remember doing the drawing. So, it's officially a mystery, but I'm giving credit to a different brother. The styles are different enough. It's taking a while because it's going to be a bit of a leap in how much detail it'll show. More on it as soon as a camera can be borrowed.

Hey, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is a Corellian scout that my brother designed back when we were teenagers. I finally finished it in '07. It's scale to the Falcon, and is 19 cm long. I gave it the name 'Arrogant Magistrate.'

One more in this series, in a week or so.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Since finishing the Foray I've been looking at getting back into models, and have visited a few local chapters of the IPMS. (If you don't know, check it out.) The nearest group, Washington DC, has a good group of guys who've been very helpful with some of the residual problems of the model. Anyway, that occupied a lot of free thought, which is why I've been neglectful here.

So, two things to mention to start getting up-to-date:

First; I took the Foray to a model competition in Richmond VA at the end of February, and was pleased that the model was well-received. It even won a couple of awards. Check out the IPMS Richmond web page, on their Contest tab.

Second; I thought it might be helpful to share some of my previous efforts. This one should be recognizable. It was finished ~1980, and is 23 cm long. More to follow...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My brother took some photos that show the Foray in a better light. Thought you might appreciate these...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The painting is complete, the fiber optics have been clipped, and it's ready to display.