Thursday, October 11, 2018

Oh Joy...Fifth Element Korben Dallas Taxi First Look!

Oh we love the big boxes.

10 lbs!
My wife complained..."10 pounds!". Half the weight of our lucky quadruped. I know, shut up already and GET OUT THE BLADE.

"Two hand scale"
I ordered this a few months back from 325 smackers.

All everything
Note the size of the X-acto on the left. You know what they say about builders who build big models...they have big tools. Or they need big tools and don't have them. Ahem.

Main body shells
The body sections are 24 inches long. They come primed in gray. The finish is pretty good. They are not perfect. This may sound like a criticism, but authentic prop models show the work of tools and human hands. This is what makes them special. Collector models billed as prop replicas made through 3d modeling often have an assembly line look. Too finished.  So, I like the little flaws here and there. It shows the physical work of story making.

Hollow interior
The insides are fiberglass. Not looking forward to the grinding and dust. Grinding is the worst.

Interior parts
After I ordered mine, an interior was added. Golden Armor included mine for free as I had already paid. Very nice! Thanks! The seats and consoles get put onto the large laser cut panel. The seats are primed as well. 

Dash board console.
The main console is a big clear part meant to be lit. As I understand there will be a light kit for this. I have worked with a lot of resin. So glad I didn't have to pour any of this. Thinking about the molds and setting them up....eooooh. Icky-poo man.

Various detail parts
Details are separate. Mostly underside details. Grille, etcetera.

Stickers and lights
The last bits are the translucent bits for the lit areas of the model and the decals. Lot of lights inside and out side of the kit. 

"Feed me, Seymour"
This is going to be a great kit. It goes well with other studio scale models, being large, but not overly so. It has the right feel of a prop model. I have sprayed a lot of yellow paint...not looking forward to that! There is no room for error!  

A great model from a now CLASSIC sci-fi movie! You can find the taxi at:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

"Good Smile Company" Corners market on 1/150 Scale Soviet Soyuz and Erector

Good Smile 1/150 Soyuz Launch Vehicle and Transporter Model Kit Review

Great artwork of missile and erector. Relax.
Apparently humans in the west don’t care about the Soviet Space program. There is little awareness, few kits or reference. I used to be one of these people, but that changed a few years ago when my interest in things Soviet expanded to include space vehicles. They were so weird, like mechanical insects. I didn’t know what end was supposed to be the front or where the occupants sat. And yet, I could tell you what the weld seams look like on a 43’ hexagonal T-34 turret. Yes, sad, in so many ways.

A very nice unboxing experience.
So, I bought a few books (there are only a few) and started to figure this thing out. There are only a few kits out there and all the plastic ones have issues (or conversely, all the modelers of these kits have issues). Mostly they are inaccurate (the kits not the modelers). New Ware makes a resin 1/144 R7 in several flavors as ICBM, Gagarin’s ship or a later Soyuz. The New Ware one is the most accurate, but as a resin kit is expensive and tricky to build. I recall cursing a lot. Aligning the strap-ons and shackles is no simple task. 

Earlier this year I discovered this kit by “Good Smile”:

Fresh from the factory.
This is an odd kit, definitely seems to have been made as a result of losing a bet. It has that Japanese gift ware provenance, I was half expecting to find an anime version of a Russian cosmonaut (cosmonaughty?) holding an empty bottle of vodka while sitting on a super deformed transforming AK-47. But alas, no. Only rocket bits inside.

Nice pics but the words no good for me.
The instructions are flashy and in Japanese. Here's an experiment, I'll take my device and google translate the caption under the left most pic of the rocket launch:

The rising Soyuz rocket. The injection of the auxiliary engine for posture control is visible next to the main engine injection. The white part of the lower part of the fuselage is frost stretched over the surface of the fuselage by low temperature liquid fuel. Where to mount a Soyuz manned spaceship on Allocet. All preparatory work is designed to be done sideways. Difficult screen The truss that is visible on the left and right of the upper part hangs the rocket at the first stage middle part. This truss is a pendulum structure that closes only when the weight of Soyuz is applied. It opens automatically when the rocket leaves the floor.

Pretty much nails it.
For the haters their are many things in this kit made just for them. Raised panel lines, monolithic parts of complex assemblies and railings that scale out to be 12 inches in diameter. For the rest of us there is a rendition of not only beautiful Soviet rocket, but also the transporter that delivers it to the launch iris. While a bit clunky (especially the 1/150th scale part) this is a nice kit. It will build up to be a spectacular model of a little understood part of Earth's spacial exploration history. Yes my dream is to build my own R7 in 1/72nd scale safely cradled in it's erector. Oh gosh, the dog is barking or something is on fire or I'm late for something, SO GOTTA GO. Enjoy!

Here is the rest of the plastic:

Rocket and erector.
Decals and foil "stickers" for bare metal on rockets.
All the sprues in their multi-colored glory.
Green parts.
More sprueage.
...and more.
The truss thingie between stages.
OMG...even more.
Booster details.
Truck details.
Orange details.

Monday, September 17, 2018

On The Madness Of Rearranging Bits Of Plastic #3

Total Fail. This one has beaten me. Utterly. I barely found the resolve to even put it all back nicely into the box. The decaling was a disaster. Bubbles and chips. Melted spots. Terrible. I thought about smashing it or blowing it up. Childish, but I could move on.
I thought I could just pull this out and finish it up. This is a kit off my main line, you know for fun. No fancy reference. Like a snack in between meals. I do a lot of snacking. One might say it ruins your meal. Rots your teeth. I like Good & Plenty. Really. Why are they always sold out, then?

Good night Irene.

I'm giving up hobbies. When I feel the urge scrape a seam line I'll have some Good & Plenty instead. At Walgreens they are $1 for a big box (if you buy four and use your rewards card). Someone once asked me if the pink ones tasted different from the white ones. This is an absurd question, then I realized I was talking to a young person, where such a distinction would matter. After all, why bother to dye half of every production run pink if there was no reason? I gave the young person one and they popped it in their mouth. There was a count of about the time it takes to say "Red Dye #2" and they made a sick face and literally spit it out. YES, THAT'S CORRECT, NO MORE BUILDING. Gonna watch Walker Texas Ranger and eat Sugar Babies and Dots. Do the colors of the Dots match some sort of flavor? Is that why there isn't blue ones? I am listing EVERYTHING on Ebay right now. $1 each. Chuck it all. No more drilling holes for Grandt bolts. No more watch dial glue, no more future, no fancy panel scrapers, no Mr. Color, no saving foil from wine bottles or chocolate candy bars. I AM COMPLETELY DONE. I'll fix the front gate and clean the garage. When I see an un-built model I'll kick it across the alley. Where the neighbors dog can whiz on it. That's right. I'm taking it all down to the river, putting them in a bag with a brick. People will start asking me what I'm doing after a while again, because my answer won't be "I'M BUILDING AN IL-2M THAT I"M CUTTING THE STRAIGHT WINGS OFF TO MAKE THE ARROW VERSION". I am done. No more. Hobbies bad. I will build no more forever.

Another fun model kit.
...This came today. Only 70 parts. There is an all red civilian version. I could build this for fun.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

On The Madness Of Rearranging Bits Of Plastic #2

Total Fail building the Belkits Peugeot 207 2000

Were you thinking the next post would show the Italeri F-104 getting built? Maybe a few of you fell for the "ol' gonna just build it out of the box in a few weeks routine". Well, welcome to the real world of modeling in which a whole lot of things have a very uniquely formed logic of there own. So, let's conveniently forget about that 104 and switch over to "I started this a while back, I bet I can get it finished". In this case it's a 1/24 Belkits Peugeot 207 S2000 Rally car. I have built lots of different kinds of kits over the years and become more skilled. Well, this kit is kicking my ass:

This is the chassis and interior, so far so good. Not much different than an armor or airplane kit, lots of different colored junk and some weathering. The interior of the car has a nice level of detail.

Here is the body shell, it's white, easy-peasy, primer, buff and paint. Just like painting a KV-1 or a F-104. Well, no. This is the second round of white after the first round of kit decals were an exercise in failure. Putting on decals are easy, right? I was pretty dissapointed, because I assumed I was build "a masterpiece" worthy of ooohs and aaaahs from other modelers. Again, a reminder that modeling can be many things and the potential oooohs and aaaahs are just one small part of it. Failure is a reminder to think about the present. It's a reminder that the hobby is a process. It's a reminder that you will be terrible at things and that being terrible is OK.

Here is a nice picture of the real car. The Colorado Decals I got are too dark. Maybe it's the blue walls of this room messing with my mind. Maybe because the kit is crashing and burning I need a scapegoat. 

I used Tamiya spray on the rims. I left the tires on the rims and you can see that the paint has liquefied and turned into sludge. Really? 

Behind me is the F-104. I hear it calling..."I promise not to melt if you build me". Shhhh! Maybe I should be working on our club group build for Chattanooga. Or go on Ebay. This is the cruelest hobby I've ever had.

On the Peugeot I sliced off the windshield washer jets, marked them and drilled tiny holes for new ones. It makes perfect sense to nail a detail the size of a pin head rather than figure out how to get the decals on right.

Second round of white (that took a while to fix) and next set of decals. Look at the tears, bubbling, areas where the blue is melted off from scrubbing....not to mention the bubbles and misalignment's. Yes, not a winner. Why do I keep going? At the last nationals I talked to some car builders and they explained that they used a hair dryer to get the decals to snuggle down. Their cars looked perfect! Why even bother?

Here lies part of the answer. Putting things into piles. Making sure all my foil from wine bottles is perfectly organised. Listening to the OST of Conan. Gluing bits of things to other things to make different things.

Until next time!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Building Italeri's 1/32 F-104 G/S Starfighter: Part 1

That's right for all my professed love of Japanese WW2 aircraft, trucks of all eras and sci fi I am building a jet plane. What's up with that is right.

Downstairs, in the basement is my Hobby Room. Many modelers use the term "bunker" for their areas of meditation. The walls and ceiling of mine are rag rolled a sort of blue, which my wife likened to being submerged in a swimming pool (in a bad way, I think).  I had a lot of people tell me that the walls should be white, so as to not throw off my painting. I'm sure everyone has noticed that my models tend to be less blue. Who know's how many medals it has cost me to paint down in the swimming pool.

Here are my notes so far. #1) What is the level of building? I bought this on a total whim. My intention was "to build for fun", so no after market, no rebuilding landing gear struts or ejection seats. No, no, no. #2) Pick version. I thumbed through the instructions...a lot of Italian aircraft. Duh, I guess. One German and a couple of Canadian. OK, let's do the German one...maybe Canadian. I couldn't keep myself off the compy though. Oh look, there is one with Hinomaru's...  It is like being in a swimming pool sometimes. I vill do scheme C, za German von. "Two peanuts were walking down the strasse..."

#3) Remove parts. Using an old Testors Xuron cutter and the nicer Tamiya one, the good plastic is cut from the bad plastic. I go through and remove the parts that are extra and not for my version. This is a form of simplification to foster the Illusion Of Progress. Model building is like theater, if it doesn't look like something is happening, it is less fun. By getting rid of the unnecessary parts and grouping existing ones it makes it easier to break the project into smaller parts.

What a nice areoplane ! #4) Tape it together to figure out how to build, what is seen and what is easy to change. I only clean up the parts enough to get it together. By checking what can actually be seen you can eliminate the tedious clean up. Also, some parts are more visible than others and require more care. Things on the top and details that always draw scrutiny should get the red carpet treatment. In this case, the cockpit, intakes...probably the landing gear and exhaust nozzle. This is an older kit, so there are lots of panels that can be positioned open to see the cool guttyworks. I'm not a big fan of this, so all those panels need to be blended back into the surface to as to not call attention to themselves. The overall surface finish on the model is pleasing.

Really, building models is an excuse to listen to crap like this: the OST of Conan. It's so bad it's good. Mostly. It is interesting how listening to music has changed. As a youth I had my parents hand me down Hi-Fi and records. Then came cassette tapes, CD's. I skipped over the i-pod, but did digital music services. I digitized CD's onto my hard drive (seems like ages ago), then started Pandora. These days it's You Tube. 

Make sure you understand the instructions. I thought "For Version" meant the real life version, which mine is a "G" for the German one. That is not what those mean, the letters correspond to the version as  noted on the schemes, so the German one is version C, not G. Idiot!

To be continued...