Thursday, October 28, 2010

Priming Day

Hi all and welcome back! So today I finally got my model kits of the zeppelin airships completed. I just finished my rivets on the engine mountings and took everything (sans airbags) out to begin priming them for painting tomorrow. I will be working on the cockpits first with the 2 crew for each one, then placing the aircraft glass in and gluing the ceilings on and beginning the exterior.
The overall aircraft will be based on the same color scheme as the rest of my vehicles. I am looking to do the old fashioned color schemes where, from the top down, the top of the zeppelin will have my standard camo scheme to blend in with the ground. and the lower sides of the zeppelins will be painted with a light, beige, white to blend in with the sky from the bottom up... thoughts? I had also considered just painting the gondolas like the camo scheme of my guys and the balloon to be painted like the sky... not sure at all...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Onwards to Mechanicon '10

Well, A few days ago, I posted about my getting back to the modeling of my zeppelins. Its been one week and I am almost all but done! All of the rivets are in place and just the engine mountings remain. I am used sooo many magnets that I am sure my poor hemoglobin will never be the same again. Today I had spent the better part building the additional weapon mountings I would need if I want to use my "zepps" as Valkyries or Vendettas. And since I am making three zeppelins at the same time means I needed to make not 3 twin linked Las Cannons, but 9 pairs! I had been planning for this for some time. I had been trading for IG Las Cannons for months as they came up.

Now that I have my las cannon mountings made, I have pretty much every weapon option I plan on using on my beloved zeppelins. (LC, Twin LC, MLRP, and HBs) I do not plan on using a nose mounted multi-laser (at least at the moment) since vehicles and transports are almost an automatic in most armies at this point. The LC gives me a better chance to get rid of 'em!

Now the last thing I need to do is make the landing gear for my zeppelins as well. I have modified the doors to open out in a reverse gull wing, I had installed steps on the inside of the doors for the troops to get out of the vehicle as well.
Since the doors open down in this fashion, I need the landing gear to be higher than normal to allow for a reasonable angle for the stairs inset into the doors. So I am modifying the gear to be taller. I will not be installing the gear on the zeppelins (they are inset into the vehicle) I will be building secondary bases for my zeppelins with the landing gear built into the base, and then I will put the zeppelin on the mountings to make it look like it landed and deployed the landing gear. This allows me to still have a base for my vehicle, and its exactly the same size... now to just finish the last item or to and to begin painting all of this in just 10 days =P.

- Bossman

Why the lack or posts?

Over the summer I would set aside my Xacto knife and bitz and get out into the fresh air and go hiking, camping and hit people with swords. I participate in Live Action Role Playing. The LARP I currently play is called Alliance. The chapter closest to me is the headquarters chapter in northern Pennsylvania. I am a staff member there and I am the head of their props department. I am responsible for making a lot of things. (see older posts for an idea).

Due to my ability to work with modeling supplies, and being an artist, allows me to occasionally pick up a little side project or two. The sword you are watching be built is one of those projects. The sword was requested to show a kind of Arabian style to it. The customer wished for it to be gem encrusted and to show the power of the lions of the desert. I began with a basic fiberglass core and created a "standard" closed-cell foam blade to look vaguely like a scimitar. But where the true test would be foind in this project was my ability to create a cross guard that contained the aspects of my patron.

The orange and purple material on the cross guard is called craft foam or fun foam. It comes in sheets and was cut with scissors and xacto knife to create flower motifs on the "back" of the cross guard and a stylized gem settings for the "front". The fun foam is then super glued to the corss guard so it sill stay in place for a very long time. The gems are found in any craft store as well. But what was to really set off the sword with the lions of the desert motif. I wanted lion heads on this, but where was I to get my inspiration? Well, in gaming figurines, of course! I found lion heads that I could modify and make into a lions head bas relief. I sculpted the rest of the lions head out with a non-drying clay and set to making a mold so I could resin cast them. The resin cast would allow for a stable material and I could inset heavy wire into the the resin mold to give it additional strength. (see? this is still relevant to modeling! =P)

After the mold was ready I line the inside of the mold with a gold powder and cast the lion in a dark grey resin allowing the powder to be inset into the piece and give me golden lions that could be semi-permanent and could accept a scratch or two without looking like crap. The tabs on the sides of the bas relief was to give an extra area to secure the lions head to the cross guard by wrapping tape over the tabs to pin it to the cross guard as well.

After I inset my two good casts needed for my lions, they were secured with superglue and gorilla tape. I then coat all but the lions heads and the inset gems with plasti-dip (tool dip) to coat the surface of the sword and to help waterproof it. This also added another layer of adhesive to the piece and acts as a primer base also!

This then allowed me to begin painting the cross guard and also making it look like gold. This was a simple process of using acrylic paint on the surface in a bronze, dark gold, then bright gold

The finished product is what you see here. This piece took a few days to make and I just jumped into the next project and so on and so one. I made suits of armor and more weapons than I care to count. Why no posts about this stuff at this point? basically. I just wanted to keep the blog to be about modeling figures, so I didn't post anything much at all until I could get back to my zeppelins and other goodies I am looking to make for my Vostroyan Imperial Guard. Well, thanks for reading and I am posting another status right after this to slake your thirst for my progress reports towards the Mechanicon '10

- Bossman

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back in the saddle again...

For those of you who followed my blog and then watched it drop off for the summer; fear not! I am back for another season of modeling converting and hobbying. I have completed my obligation to Alliance LARP one more season and I can get back to some of the things I have wanted to do, but haven't had the time.

First thing on my roster of stuff I want to do: Zeppelins. I promised that I was going to make 'em. I made good headway, and now I am back to it.

To the left are my progress shots. Over the last few days I had managed to get my work space cleaned out and back up to snuff. I began working on my Zeps on Friday night this past week. First step, Magnets... I magnetized damned near everything I could on these blasted vehicles. The gas bag is magnetized to the gondola. The cabin is magnetized to the gondola, the doors are magnetized. The sponsons are magnetized to the sides, the weapon mountings are magnetized to the cabin... and so on and so on and so on. Why so many magnets? I have them so I can break down the zeppelins and stow them away without any obnoxious protrusions to confound the "feng shui" of my figure case foams. I can add or remove weapon options as I see fit to make them as Valkyries or Vendettas. The magnets would not have been such a pain if I wasn't making 3 of them at the same time. Sadly I will be hard pressed to get them ready for Mechanicon '10, the first weekend in November.

After I got all of the magnets set into place I got my resin tail fins set into place on the scaffolding and put the rudders on as well. They were pinned and glued today to make the bags almost ready to be painted. (I still need to figure out the little extras on them like the observation howda, and the moorings to attach the bag physically to the gondolas to make them look a little more believable.

Not pictured here is the work I did today on the cabins. I am trying to get the glass panels ready to mount, so I can get the roofing made as well. (everything in order I suppose) So I did a lot of work on the exterior of the cabins and will get the gondolas up to the same appearance as well.

The inset rivets on the Valkyrie models are no good for the lower technology level of my Vostroyans. I will be adding extra banding to the exterior and lots of rivets as well. I believe I am going to take a note from Forge World and get a water filter to make the rivets this time...

In either case, this is a WIP of the "test fits" for the whole model put together at this point. well, 18 days to go. Wish me luck!

- Bossman

Monday, October 18, 2010

more photos to come!

Hi All. It's been quite a while with my summer being rather busy. Now that things are slowing down and I am getting more into the modeling mindset I will be posting some new pictures of my continuation of project Zeppelins! I have build the hulls and put 20 magnets into the structure so I can break it down for storage. I am hoping to the the non-gasbag parts into two army transport trays. (Crossing fingers).