Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

25 July 2016

That's a nice surprise!

This weekend when I visited the forum I was pleasantly surprised to find my diorama of Thunderchild and the Mars Tripods to be Picture of the Week. Thank you, guys. I really was smiling all day.
And also congratulations to Eatcrow, who won the other POTW for his amazing Captain America figure.

At the moment I am doing some work on an older model, the Proton-M, which still needed a decent fairing. Why, I'll tell you later this week.
See sou soon,

22 July 2016

Pickin' up the pieces: the N1

I don’t like unfinished models. They seem to beckon me from the shelves, demanding to be finished. The one I heard beckoning the past few months was specifically poignant. Because of its size. So, since I have the feeling my energy has returned, I decided it was time to tackle the N1 again.

There apparently were a couple of small “errors” when I left this build and I was too frustrated to continue at that time. Scratch building is quite intensive and sometimes leaves me no choice but to abandon a build temporarily, especially when other, real life stuff is also getting more demanding. In such cases I always try and pick up the pace with some easy models or just a completely different project.
Anyway, clearer skies now made room for more creativity again and so I found myself back at the LK3 moon train.

Where were we? We had a completed N1 launcher. Three huge stages with loads of engines. After that, I made a top tank dome, based on the second stage dome and created a loose top part for the LK3 fairing. Inside the fairing, a transition was placed to accommodate the Blok G stage, which would give the LK3 a translunar insertion boost. An inner fairing was made for the Blok D stage, a rocket engine on an open truss structure which was attached to the upper part of the moon train: the LK lander and the 7K-LOK Soyuz spaceship. The whole build starts here and continues from there.

This is what I am working with now. The silver / black part is new.

10 July 2016

Thunderchild (7): The diorama

As I promised, here's the finished diorama.

I already did some preparations beforehand. The hardboard plate was painted in blues and whites, simulating the wake of the ship with white and in darker blues some depth differences in the water. Perhaps it is too blue for an estuary, it perhaps should have been muddier in colour but hey, it’s SF, fantasy and I like this colour. It contrasts nicely with the orange fire cloud of the hit tripod, too.

I use transparent acrylic paste which dries hard as rock to make water surfaces. It’s milky white when applied, but dries 100% transparent. I used the original glass plate between the acrylic paste layer and the underground. It gives the diorama just a little more depth, literally. Just the tiny 4mm between the acrylic layer and the painted bottom makes a big difference.
I already did that once with the Apollo after splashdown pick-up diorama and that had a nice result. You can add stuff below the glass plate, for example.

Anyway, Paste applied, spread, moulded with flat brushes, let it set a little, moulded it again, making the structure more refined for the scale, and after drying, adding some white paint for the waves, white heads, wake and stern wave. In fact I used a colour called “arctic” which has a whiff of blue added because pure white is too white in this scale I think.
I explain the process of how to do a water diorama more elaborately on the tutorial page you can find in the column on the right here.

Well, here it is. Thunderchild versus the tripods. Three paper models with some yarn and metal bits added, the diorama made of a 20x50 cm picture frame with acrylic paint. Enjoy the photos and till next time!


below you'll find a couple more pictures.

09 July 2016

Thunderchild (6): Ship's ready.

Ready to meet the tripods.
Well, Thunderchild is ready for her launch. The last things I had to make were the cables, the davits and the lifeboats. The lifeboats were a little tiny but came together very well. The davits were somewhat harder, I had to find the right material. In the end I settled for this very thin bendable wire I had somewhere. The lifeboats were attached with a drop of CA.

no lifeboats yet, no davits either, but the guns and cables are there.

06 July 2016

Thunderchild (5a): improving the smoke and fire

Hi there! I just did a little touch-up of all the fiery bits of the lost tripod. I wanted to darken the top of the smoke cloud, because it would look more realistic. I took my Indian ink for that purpose, took a brush and tapped the ink from the brush into the fiberfill cloud. It needed quite a  lot of tapped brushes but in the end the result was that the top part of the cloud became much darker and "sooty".  With some burnt sienna ecoline I did some accentuating in the yellow part of the cloud for some more nuance. With some titan white acrylic I touched up the flames a little. Now it starts to look like a genuine fire. Perhaps some more tinkering will follow, who knows...

here in a close-up view, you can see that the yellow-orangey colour of the fiberfill has been
spattered with the black indian ink. The flakeyness of the spatter also gives it more body,
like there are little burning fragments in the cloud. It really needs time to dry, the fiberfill is like
ultra thin plastic fibre, and it doesn't really absorb the colours. So the ink dries in little clumps
on the fibres. The 'soaking' of the stuff in ecoline however, did give it a more equally spread colour.    

05 July 2016

Thunderchild (5); a fiery demise

While Thunderchild awaits its lifeboats and other small stuff, the second tripod is finished. It is shown in the action of tumbling into the water, the three legs cannot longer support the burning "head" and the legs succumb to the weight.
One of the hardest things to make in a diorama is fire. Of course, you can use light and real smoke, like they do in model rail road dioramas. That is something clearly beyond my reach. I turned to fiberfill for smoke effects and well, for fire, I used blotting paper. or something close to it. For the colours I used ecoline (or coloured ink, if you are not familiar with the aforementioned term). I ripped the paper in small shreds and tried to simulate fire. When it all has dried and set, I'll model it all a little more.
For now, here are some more photos of the tripod and a couple of detail shots of the ship.

03 July 2016

Thunderchild (4): a direct hit!

Hi friends.
Although today I am not really in the mood to do some building, I can show you some of the progress I made in the past week.
Firstly, I have made the second tripod. It has been shot right in the face plate and exploded. The remains, billowing dark clouds out of what remained of the "head", is starting to topple and fall into the water. This is what I have in mind, and this is what I made of the "head" of the tripod:

The tripod is held here by its yet unfinished legs, pinned into a cork on which I put a weight to keep it upright.
I used lots of leftover cut-offs from the build of the first tripod, and tried to make it look as if it really had a nasty high-powered explosive ending. 

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