Monday 27 August 2012

Enterprise-C, in a bad shape

Upon opening one of the boxes from the attic, it became immediately apparent why I hadn't build this particular Enterprise yet. There is a huge chunk missing from the lower half of the saucer section.

My first thought was to place some kind of plate against the inside of the saucer, then fill the hole with ... whatever was going to be the next step. I used a lid of a Chinese takeaway-box, easily cut to shape.

I read somewhere that you could melt down sprue (we all have LOTS of those) and pour it into a receptacle, so I traced some tin foil to make a kind of mold and started heating sprue, cut to little bits.

As most experienced builders probably already know, this was a BAD idea. The sprue does become soft and malleable, but far from liquid and it gives of a toxic smoke. This plan was therefore rapidly abandoned.

I am now thinking about other options, which include some kind of clay mould, in which I'll pour a resin-mix. The other option is finding out how to work with styrene and cutting it the right shape. Resin will give me the possibility of actually making a mold with the right hull-detail : I'll simply cast a mold from the other side of the saucer. Well, "simply" ... I have yet to discover how that'll turn out.

Sunday 26 August 2012

Further tank assembly

My first deviation from the assembly instructions : I did not glue the "drive sprockets" (the right-most "wheels" shown below - the ones with teeth, to guide the tracks). I intend to leave them separate until I start assembly of the tracks. Since there's so many ways to glue the wheels in the wrong angle, I will start assembly of the tracks and put these wheels in at the last possible moment to make sure they are correctly aligned.

Some parts are so delicate, even the most careful attempt to remove them from the frame end up breaking or at least gently warping them. I was able to repair all and used tweezers and careful application of glue for assembly (I use liquid cement with a needle-applier).
I ended up cross-eyed after the assembly of the basket that sits at the rear of the turret.

Saturday 25 August 2012

My first tank

Since the kits I want to assemble are rather expensive (international shipping costs) or impossible to find anymore, I decided to buy a few small and cheap kits to practice airbrushing. I decided to start with a tank, with camouflage pattern, since that would be a good test of freehand airbrushing.

I bought the cheapest one I could find (6 euro) in a local shop and ended up with Revells' 1:72 M60 A3 (with Bulldozer blade). My initial intent to buy a snap-together tank ended instead with a mini-tank with dozens of miniature parts, but that just made the challenge more interesting.

Still lacking an airbrush, I decided to start assembly as far as I could until I would have to start painting or masking would become impossible.

The tank comes in 5 frames, details appear to be very nice. The instructions seem very clear, but I read them from start to end at least 2-3 times, to make sure I understood the complete assembly before I removed the first part from the frame.
Past experience tought me to be very certain about what goes where. Some kits have mislabeled parts. If these parts look alike, it's easy to cut off the wrong one, which is guaranteed to end up misplaced (only if they're tiny, in accordance with Murphy's law).

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Why a blog?

I was already playing with the idea of starting a blog, but I really decided after a tip I read in FSM April 2012 from

It is indeed an easy way to keep a journal about everything you're doing, nicely labelled per project. Friends and loved ones can keep track of your hobby and should you ever end up with some actual followers :-), it's a nice and easy way to share tips and tricks, get hints from fellow modellers or launch questions to whoever will read it.