Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

23 April 2013

Building in 1/400 is hard enough...

...But if you illustrate your instructions with pictures like this for something originally meant to be built in 1/144 it even will be hard building it in 1/72 or larger!
The model comes together fine, but less steps in one picture would have been great, Canon. (-;
halp! (image: © Canon)
One step further and the whole model assembly guide would have been just one picture... Luckily, I managed to find a thread on Paper Modelers on this particular aircraft and it made it all a lot clearer.

Soon a real update on the 1/400 SCA!

(PS: I just noticed this is my 200th post here. What a funny one it is.)

22 April 2013

ALT 1977 1/400 [3]

And although I am a little further, I have my doubts. I am not entirely satisfied yet with how it all looks. I promise this won't get too 'lifebloggerish' but I try to strive for perfection. And I am not exactly pleased with what I have made up til now. The seams, the irregularities, the little blemishes on the paper from the glue... Who will say? I can't put my finger on it yet. Perhaps I just will continue and see where it ends, Perhaps I want to do it again later on in the process. I learn more with every part I glue.
Thing is, this model was meant for a much bigger scale. It was reduced to 36% of its intended size. So every part is reduced too and now every seam also seems much more visible because there are so many of them, so close together.
Oh well, I will see where this will end up eventually.
Here's where I am at the moment. It's not going fat but steadily were' getting to the tail. I kind of look forward to making the wings.

The seams here are clear to see. The ring-shaped parts sometimes just need a millimetre trimming to get a better fit. This problem here was solved with some ball-head moulding tools and extra CA glue. Note the special parts for the 'back of the neck". Generally speaking this model has a very good fit, though. Note the nicely faded lettering "American" on the hull. I redid the paintjob a little because the model had the text as an outline while it actually was black lettering which was almost erased from the hull.

More after the jump.

20 April 2013

ALT 1977 1/400 [2]

This morning I took a new fresh blade out of the cartridge and started a new build. It indeed is small again, thanks to my glasses it is doable. The fit is great, the colours are looking good. Today, I got as far as the 747's nose section up to just behind the cockpit. So not really very far but I am under way. I hope to show you all more soon. For now, you have to be patient with this one picture.
And so this is larger than life already.

Until very soon,
thanks for stopping by.

19 April 2013

The egg has hatched! And the hatchling is...

It is funny how sketches I have made - sometimes more than a year before the actual building of such a model - resemble the result of a build in the end. In my opinion it only means I know very well how I want to display the model and the subject. I found back some sketches of Spirit's Troy diorama I made in November of 2011 today. I had totally forgotten about them but it almost exactly showed the same situation I made some weeks ago. Same story goes for Mir and the surfacing submarine. Really funny.

But now I have a slight problem with deciding what I want to do with this new one.
The last couple of days I did walk around with some ideas in my head and one kept on jumping up and so I did some research, some first printing and testing of colours and the size of parts. It had grown on me very quickly and I liked what I saw. So I knew I didn't had to worry about not finding a new build. The only thing was how to display it. There are a couple of options.
I'll tell all about it after the jump.

17 April 2013

Now what?

For the first time in a long period I find myself in a situation in which I really don't know what to build next. On one hand that is good, there's a lot of job-related work coming up in a couple of days and I need to keep myself focused, so without a paper project that might be good. On the other side, this hobby also keeps me sane in times like that. Clearing the mind while messing with pieces of paper is good for me, apparently.

I do have a (long) list of things I want to build, don't get me wrong. But most of the time there just springs one to mind, one that just floats up to the surface and gets my attention. And even though I am working on something in preparation I still am not sure that will be the project I want to build right now. It's a creative process, and I don't want to start a new project without having a good feeling about it.

So, we'll see. It might be another shuttle related build (see the little sketch below), since I want to do the complete shuttle fleet, but it also could be a Skylab diorama, or I might even make an attempt to kick off with a paper 1/96 Saturn V. For all I know I could even try and restart work on the Loral payload for the Proton-M, although that is not very high on my list.
This might be one of the options I could do next, but....

For now it just simmers in my head.

13 April 2013

Thar she blows, cap'n!

Well, in the time in between I have done a busload of other things and also found some time to work on the submarine diorama. In fact, I have finished it. Now this one wasn't that hard, I only had to make half a submarine and for the rest it was having fun with gypsum, paint and acrylic paste.
Now where did I leave you? Oh yes; I just had the base plate and a cylinder with an ogive top.
here's how the project continued. I started with making a wave ocean pattern in gypsum.
The place where the sub emerged got a big foamy splash shape around it. I was really curious how it would look when all was painted.

I just used my fingers to make the shapes, the foamy bits were made partially with the aid of plastic cake decoration tools,  It is a relatively thin layer so it was dry very quick. I started to paint it but the first time round made it much too dark. I repainted it in a lighter, more blue-grey tint that much better suited the colour of the ocean. Now I've hears people say the Pacific has another colour than the Atlantic ocean but really, I couldn't be particularly bothered with that.

More after the jump with also the finishing touches.

07 April 2013

And now... For something completely different!

Between the ideas for dioramas I have in my mind there always have been some non-space-related ones - even watery ones, ever since the day I finished the Liberty Bell 7 pick up scene. Discovering the transparent acrylic paste was a tiny revelation, I must say. It gave me the opportunity to create a water-like surrounding without much difficulty. And there's so much you can try to depict at the water.

There were several ideas that sprung to mind after that particular Liberty Bell 7 diorama. First, the epic shots of a lighthouse in an autumn storm, a wave crashing around it in white foam:

Photo © Toby Melville / Reuters
Looking at the frizzy foam around the lighthouse made me think of how it might look in acrylic paste and I had a vision of a cauliflower in my head... Hm... I realised this might take some more practice and this was something to think about long and hard before even trying, so I looked further and came with a second, almost similarly epic scene, the emergency surfacing of a modern submarine. In such a situation the boat kind of throws itself out of the water before crashing into it again, more or less like humpback whales do (hey, that's another nice one to consider…) This is a nice example of such an event:

I decided to try this emergency surfacing as a starter for trying to create white water and splashes. I found a good submarine in U-Don's USS Los Angeles class attack submarine. It is a model in 1/144 but when I printed one page as a test to see what kind of cross section that would give me, I was in for a surprise. This was one huge beast. Even in this small scale it would have been more than half a meter and it certainly would have been too big for my diorama purposes.

So, I reduced the model to 1/300, which in size gave me something of the average launcher I have on the shelf, a cross section of about 2,5 to three centimeters. I chose a large oblong frame for the diorama and just started the build.
more after the jump.

03 April 2013

MER-A Spirit - second part: Troy 1/40 [5] : Finished!

Well, I guess that's that. The sand is dry and it has been poured on to the base. The colour has become a little lighter than I expected but to me it resembles the colour of Mars' surface better than my previous Mars dioramas. So, I put Spirit in the sand pit and with that action there was nothing left to do but take some photos of the finished diorama. I hope you appreciate it. Thanks for taking a look and see you soon when I am back working on the finishing of the Mir display!

To me, the soft shine of sunlight on this door behind the display actually kind of resembles Mars' daylight atmosphere. But maybe I am wrong, I happen to be colour blind so don't take my word for it...

Of course there are some more photos after the jump.

02 April 2013

Watching paint dry

Since I couldn't find any sand in town that matched what I wanted (red, cheap, small quantity) I had to make it myself. I bought some bird sand (the stuff used on bird cage floors - you know what I am talking about) and measured the amount I needed for filling the pit of the diorama. Then I poured it onto a newspaper and from there into a plastic jar.

I bought some burnt sienna ecoline (coloured ink) and mixed some with the sand. The result was stunning and most satisfying. I then also painted the gypsum base, of which I repaired the holes in the side walls and I gave the picture frame (originally brownish) a dab of Mars black paint, because I found the name fitting enough. Now it all dries and tomorrow we'll see what it will have become. Plenty more pictures after the jump.

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