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Everything posted by MechTech

  1. Thank you, guys! I'm learning new things as I go along. Mostly how to hang on to botched pieces to be used for other stuff later on!😁 @arbit Looks like you literally ironed out her uniform! @derex3592 That's great that you're in the home stretch! She's looking great and I hope they appreciate all the work you're putting into this! I hope you have a case for it. - MT
  2. @wm cheng Your mod is looking really good! Your custom paint will look MUCH better than the stock version! @electric indigo Nice colors! What scheme / country are you doing? @arbit Your figures are looking GREAT! You're sculpting is getting more detailed to, I'd say. The Frigate's Oto Melara 76 / 62 cannons are coming along SLOWLY! I decided to make the barrels out of steel because they will blacken easily and the base of the barrel is polished steel. So I thought I'd save time. In reality, the steel rod I chose seems to be for armor or something! It was slow to machine and I had to resharpen my bits several times. So, about three days later and this is what I have so far... A blank bar of steel and the rough cut blanks. Part of what took so long was having to make the same cuts into each barrel. Make a cut, swap barrels. Make a cut, swap barrels. All so they had the same cuts and appearance. Then doing the radius cuts on the fume extractor. You'll see the radius (bulb) shapes are not all the same - not cool. Especially with two side-by-side on the deck. So I figured out a way to get them all the same spherical shape - well mostly all the same. I took and old Xacto knife blade and ground a curve into it with a Dremmel bit. This worked better. Then the barrels had to be tapered and the ends cleaned up... The barrels have a muzzle brake on them. Four rows of holes around the muzzle. I could ignore them, or try to re-create them. The details make the model, so I included them. My first option was to adapt cooling jackets from brass after market barrels. Of course, none are the right size. So I had to go for a personal first and lathe and mill the smallest detailed parts I have ever made! I have the tiny drill bits, but they will wobble and break easily, especially during drilling over a 100 holes!!! So I first made a bit - same as last time, only this time I needed a magnifying glass. The first bit was OK, so I made a second one (from an old bit) to drill deeper. I wanted the holes to go through. They went through, but drilling the muzzle hole out, or other machining fouled the holes and I could not clear them without breaking the VERY thin brass tube. So the holes are only impressions, not completely through. The piece is so small, my camera would not focus on it. Then finally, the completed and cut-out muzzle break fitted to the barrel. Sorry, my camera blocks part of photos sometimes The muzzles are a little too thick, so I may try again. It's getting there slowly. Thanks for checking in everyone! - MT
  3. Sorry, haven't been online in a couple days... Thank you everyone! I LOVE milling styrene. It's so easy to work with and bits last forever cutting it. I wish I could get 1/4" sheets. Evergreen doesn't reply to my emails - I've asked them. Gluing them together they are not as solid. It is what helps make this look easy - because its not! But fun when things come together. @arbit Great looking figures again! Especially the cockpit with Hikaru and MinMei. @wm cheng The extra work on your missiles was worth it, especially the Sidewinder rollerons. Stuff like that stands out and makes it all that more realistic. Great aircraft photos too - without backdrops. @derex3592 Your rigging looks very convincing and makes the ship all that more detailed too. The contrasting colors make the details pop! @Urashiman What printer did you end up getting? - MT
  4. For all of you celebrating - Happy Thanksgiving! I know we're all over the world here, so not everyone may careπŸ˜‰ @Rock Your cat is looking good! Looks like you'll get the right amount of grime for a Navy bird when you're done. @derex3592 The Titanic is looking good! I'm telling your father in law! And with a Russian too! What would the family say!? 🀣 My apologies for all the photos (at least they're small files). I didn't realize it had been awhile since posting. Been busy with work and on the bench trying to knock some stuff out. More work on the Oto Melara 76mm / 62 caliber Super Rapid cannon assemblies. Remember, save your drill bits when they get dull! Again, I needed just the right size bit. So this old 1/8" (3mm) bit was shaped on a Dremmel and a stone. ANYONE can do it! Then half of the tip was carefully ground off on a stone. That's all you need to make a router bit - it really is easy. Try it sometime. The bit was for cutting slots in this piece to be a guide for the underside ribbing. Just getting the spacing right took SEVERAL tries, days and techniques! I think it came out alright in the end (or should I say the bottom)😁 The second photo pieces were aligned (with lines) to the last pieces made. Then the ribs were glued in place. The slots not only helped with spacing, but kept the ribs vertical to the surface without slumping over to the side. If you remember a few years ago or so I made this cutter from an old hard drive and styrene. It's just a hard drive head with a razor blade bolted between it - very hight techπŸ˜„ A clamp was used as a guide to make cutting short segments of styrene round rod for tiny bolt heads. The nice Tichy Trains bolt heads were too big for this (from my stock at least). The ribs were shaved to narrow-down and the heads glued in place. There's few reference pictures available, so I'm hoping I saw everything correctly for the bolt heads. Usually people don't argue about counting bolt heads - thankfully. Then a couple of pieces to show the rib angles and bolt detail. And with the pieces from last time that fit on top. You'll notice there are slots for ribs on the front; more ribs go on the outside of the base here. I just realized I didn't photograph them! I took a break from ribbing and bolting to etch door details into the rear of the turrets (before I forgot to). When making the bases, I milled so much plastic, my workbench looked like it snowed inside! This is just the start of it! After the bases were cut and angled, the turret slots were carefully cut along with a notch for the twist-lock tabs to go through. A piece of large styrene tubing sits snugly in the circular cut. Then the bases with the twist-lock tabs were glued into the tube pieces. I carefully cut slots into the tube bases to allow more glue to grab the tabs. There was a lot of pressure on them until I sanded everything down so the turrets train around smoothly on the bases. It took a lot of careful sanding to get things to work right. Note the clear base for the display turret. It is acrylic and took hours to sand and buff out clear. And finally... The turret walls don't fit snug around the gun mantlet, so walls had to be cut out of thin styrene and carefully glued in place. Tube pieces were used to hold them in place while the glue dries. Today I get to finish them (I hope) and then sand everything down. That's it for this time. Thanks everyone for checking in! - MT
  5. I'm JUST now seeing this (I usually only have time to check out the workbench thread). This is looking AWESOME!!! Not to mention your painting too! This is a great package coming together nicely! - MT
  6. @wm cheng From learning how to judge models and having models judged, your models will NEVER be perfect - in your own eyes! I see flaws all over the place in award winning models! The difference, those that bring their models in win and those who don't - don't!πŸ˜‰ I KNOW everyone here agrees your models are contest quality! @SpacePirateNeko @arbit Sorry guys. I didn't see your stuff pop up on my earlier post. The fast packs look nice-n-dusty! "I've been too busy battling Zentraedi to wash my ride." That Hikaru looks like the poster child for Petit Cola! Makes me wanna go buy one. Oh wait, it's not available in my galaxy😁 - MT
  7. Thank you guys, I REALLY appreciate your positive feedback! It helps, especially when things are going slower than you "plan" on. @wm cheng I would probably be buying the stuff too, but nobody makes this stuff. So, I have no other choice. It pushes your skills though, so it helps. Like Thoim said, that is a Phantastic Phantom (really the only way to say it). Right now, you could enter that in a show and do REALLY good, possibly get a gold medal. I'm learning to judge for our upcoming show next year. You have a LOT of great details into that besides the aftermarket parts. It's looking Phenominal! @Urashiman That Tomcat is looking terrific! For canopy masking, I really love the latex stuff. I just used it for the Spitfire I did and there was no way even the pre-cut masks I had were going to do the justice the latex did. The masks even leaked despite burnishing them down. It's also faster and pulls less paint than tape. They have it with needle applicators, but I used a blob and ran it around with a sharpened toothpick. It got into all the nooks and crannies. Thanks again guys! - MT
  8. @SpacePirateNeko Yeah, the current exchange rate has $75 model kits around $54. Nice "weathering" set!😁 @arbit Great sculpt! I had to look hard for the fixes you made. The original looked great too! @Rock Your pilots are looking good! I hate figure painting! Almost as much as sanding those deep seem lines that take forever to clean up. It's been slow, one step forward, two steps back, but I'm getting there. As you know, I need three turrets. Two for the ship, and one to go with it as a cutaway for the gun interior. So I vacu-formed a new turret. Notice how rounded and pronounced the corners and wood grain are? While the plastic is still on the buck, I wet sanded the sides down and cleaned that all up. The plastic is .060, so thick enough to allow me take some material down while sanding. So here's "Plan A" for the base pieces. I need to recreate all the detail on the bottom of the Oto Melara 76mm turret in the yellow circle. The ribs under the turret and the bearing ring. So I made the funny looking oval pieces out of .080 (2mm) styrene. Then the rings to go around them. Machining the pieces just failed miserably. The big problem, cutting into a radius does NOT make straight lines (except for your cutting path. It just didn't work out. You can see in the actual turret photo how thin those ribs are. So I'm going to have to go old school and glue the rib pieces around the circle on the bottom. Here's the blanks for that. Even had to cut my own strips! The interior workings of the third turret had to be modified. I had to trim it down the diameter on the lathe. Sadly, the outer ring is no longer even all the way around, but it may not be seen either depending on how I mount this in a display. I did find a line of AWESOME bolt heads from Tichy Train Group. So don't tell anyone, but I accidentally got the old fashioned four sided nuts instead of the modern hexagonal nuts. That's how small they are. But they are VERY accurate, nut, bolt and washer. Also in the ringed photo above is what I believe to be the bearing the turret sits on. I racked my brain how to remake that in styrene. So this is what I came up with. Using my modified Dremmel saw blade (ground down on a grinder while spinning in a Dremmel), I cut a .011" slit around the outer rim (not all of these photos are in order since I was experimenting). Next I milled out the lower band. Then the outer rim was notched 73 times ever so slightly (every 5 degrees). After cleaning all the cuttings off (which took as long as machining), I glued a .011 x .020" strip around the outer rim. This is a finished piece (which STILL needs a little cleanup). My shoulder was so sore after doing all of that cranking away! That's it for now. I'm hoping to FINALLY do the ribs this week. I've been trying to get them done for three weeks now. But at least the bearing rings came out. Take care everyone! - MT
  9. Thanks for posting that! Some of the F-35 maintainers were telling me they no longer outline the panel areas (white panel outlines on paint). So if you're building an "older" F-35, it will have the white outlines. The newer ones are all gray. So if you're a stickler for years and paint schemes, double check your reference photos. - MT
  10. @electric indigo Nice cannon! Not familiar with the show though. @arbit She's looking great! I never wanted blue hair. I just want most of the hair I had back!🀣 @SpacePirateNeko That cockpit is looking GREAT! So is your shading. - MT
  11. @wm cheng The good news is that Navy and Marine aircraft aboard ship are dirty! The better news, can't really tell there's anything wrong with your finish except that YOU know the issues. It's looking good! @arbit MORE great pilot goodness! If only I could print my hair to be like that!😁 @derex3592 Everything is looking GREAT! What sucks about stuff like that is it's never appreciated by most people about how much detail you put into something. Hoever, YOU do know and can appreciate it. We see it too!πŸ˜‰ - MT
  12. @Goodman Models Thank you very much! I originally started out with a base model that Micro Mart USED to sell. They probably discontinued it because of the low quality. Beware of cheap mills from China. The prices look good, but the electronics and quality can be bad. Most have a lot of play that needs to be worked out in them; like mine also had. After the mill I got a Sherline lathe after A LOT of research. Sherline makes the BEST hobby mills and lathes - period. There are some smaller brands, but they don't have the support and all the parts accessories that Sherline has. I've also found their precision to be rock solid. So I took my old mill and mounted a Sherline vertical piece (for converting your lathe into a mill) with the motorhead and revived my old mill. Sherline's motors are quiet and powerful. They are also variable speed, so you can work styrene without melting it. If you want to go entry level, get their small lathe (unless you think you'll need the longer one). Then you can buy a conversion piece that will turn it into a small mill. It depends on your budget. Here's Sherline's info for Canada: https://www.sherline.com/sherline-worldwide-dealers/#ca Feel free to ask more questions. Other board members have also bought their equipment and like it a lot. @wm cheng That SUCKS about your over-coat. I'm sorry to hear that happened. I've found the Mr. Hobby stuff to have the best coatings. I LOVE their matt finish. Mine can sit around for a while. So I shake the can for three minutes, even when not full. It almost sounds like you had more solvent and less coating in the spray. It also dries VERY quickly - at least the matt coat. Maybe it didn't mix well? I hope you can revive it! @arbit I'd title that sculpt, "The Power Couple"! 😁 ANOTHER great sculpt. I'm going to have to get those for some day when I get a 3D printer. - MT
  13. @Goodman Models Your paint is nice-n-smooth! I like the optics too! There is depth to them. Slowly but surely the frigate is getting there. Needed some defensive missiles for quick-reaction, short range (like the RIM-116 rolling airframe missiles). So here's the launcher under construction. Getting a good and straight bevel is harder than you think - even on a mill! The boxes assembled and the turret pieces. Remember the missile "holes" from last week's post? NOTE: the bottom base is temporarily being used here. And assembled (with temp base) TEMPORARILY fitted together. And the actual base going with it. At the base of the lower left side of the turret you'll see ventilation louvers. While filing the turret sides, the file slipped and cut a DEEP gouge into it. Trying to figure out to putty it or cover it up, I decided to cut it out and put a piece of left-over louvers from the bridge area. The turret still needs ladders and detail pieces yet. The fun part was cutting out bases to fit into the vacu-formed turret tops. Several tries later... Next step is making the barrels and the swivel point for them. I cut the flats on the rotary table and drilled the holes and cut the outer area off on the lathe. This way everything stays centered and identical. I had to make six of them. THREE turrets. Two for the ship and one for a detailed cutaway. I used leftover poly-caps for the turrets so they'll hold a pose when elevated. And under the turrets a ring and the bases (same near oval shape as the original Oto Melara 76mm gun turret). The third turret is shown with the carousel-magazine test fit. That's it for now. Thanks for checking in everyone! - MT
  14. @pengbuzz ANOTHER GREAT conversion! I'd have no clue what he was or that it was a conversion. One more for your excellent collection! -MT
  15. @505thAirborne I wish the color swatches were bigger, but this chart is pretty good (depending on your monitor). https://www.tamiyausa.com/blog/ts-paint-chips-tamiya-color-spray-paint/ I know you could look this up too, but just wanted to confirm that its pretty accurate (from personal experience). I miss having local hobby shops! I pray they make a comeback somehow. - MT
  16. @derex3592 I'll skip the railing puns and just say they look great - the who;e ship too!πŸ˜‰ - MT
  17. @arbit Ha ha! I don't know about better, but thank you! I'm humbled. - MT
  18. I hope everyone had a good weekend! Here's some more work done on the frigate. For the torpedo and missile decoys (the types that inflate to "look" like a ship on radar or emit a signal to look like multiple ships to a torpedo), this launcher was made. Basic rivet detail and the rounds are made from Gundma missile castings made years ago. Originally I made a sponson to hold the crane on the back on the ship. I'm such a genius, that I didn't think the crane would need more room to move. I was VERY WRONG! So why waste a good sponson? It now holds the decoy launcher. The rounds get glued in later when painted. Now my crane was left hanging with no place to go. So I made a new sponson - designed with more room. I recycled a failed part as the base and re-machined it to fit bigger bolts (the original was a failure because the smaller bolt hole pattern was off). The sponson top was made with failed deck tie-down patterned plastic for detail. Gundam to the rescue again with another PC insert piece. The crane and launcher are removable to slide the heli-deck outwards for equipment access. The sponson needs sanding when the glue fully cures in a couple of days. Don't throw away dulled drill bits! I needed a mill bit I didn't have the right size for to drill missile holes (think Rolling Airframe Missiles) in plastic. I ground down an old bit flat and filed the interior out so the bit was turned into a mill bit. You guys can do this with a Dremel like I did. Now I have missile holes for the AA missile launcher (more on that another time). That's it for now. Thanks for checking in. Have a good week guys! - MT
  19. @arbit Awww! How cute! Cool sculpts on your page! - MT
  20. @arbit @Thom Thank you guys! Yeah, the cats keep me on my toes. They also help with quality control. This same cat kept sitting on the deck of the ship. Of course it collapsed! It wasn't designed for cats! But I reinforced it with carbon fiber tube and it now supports cats too. Just one way they help keep my builds strong enough for radio control.😁 - MT
  21. It's great to see a lot of builds going on here! My apologies for not posting more build photos lately and catching up with lots of photos, but things have been busy (partly because of building this model)😁 After completing some other models, I figured its time to get my frigate finished. If you remember I built a 5 inch mk-45 gun turret that fires caps to go on this ship. It is designed to be as realistic as possible. On that note, the actual 5 inch gun weighs 27 tons by itself - without the magazine for the shells! So realistically, it's too big weight wise. Although I thought it looked awesome on the deck!πŸ˜‰ The Oto Melara 76mm turret on the other hand is about 8 tons. So more realistic. I also thought two are better than one. The Italians and French have frigates using two of the same turrets side by side. So I thought it would be a good idea on my wide ship. So I tried out the concept with some rough made parts. It looked too much of an afterthought to me. So I got the styrene out, and with the help of one of the cats, got to work adding on to the upper deck area. I also removed some of the bulwark area on the bow and other pieces in the way. And did further "sculpting" to help with a design to get water of the bow quickly in bad waves. So I added roughly about 1000 square scale feet onto the upper deck area. And with the turrets and VLS cells mock-fit into place, it should look something like this when done. I thought the radar and electronics suite also needed improvement, so I added flat-panel radar antennas to go on the main mast area. I used 1/8" / 3mm thick plastic, drilled a hole and put a 1/4" plastic square piece in the middle to hold it for machining. Then beveled it on the mill. Then got these ready. Since even Dr. Evil's henchmen looked down on sharks with lasers, I thought a laser turret and optics would look cool and also be a good weapon system. So I added onto the mast area with a new platform. Then made a smaller mast and all the parts for the turret. Looks like somebody has most of the chaos stonesπŸ˜„ The glass is actual coated optic glass, so it has that red / reflective look to it. And all the pieces together now with figure to scale. Also added ladders cause stuff brakes in real life. Note the "old" hexagonal antenna under the big radar - it's gone now. And the final addition is a better Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) antenna array. It's made from "mistakes" making the 76mm gun interior and Tamiya "Modern U.S. Accessory Set" tank tread replacement pads. The large radar next to it has a new "boot" around the base of it too. I forgot to photograph it. That's everything caught up for now. Thanks for checking guys! - MT
  22. @arbit Awwwww! Great looking sculpts as always! Thanks for releasing them. I'll have to go out and get them. @Rock Those aftermarket parts look really cool! @derex3592 Almost time to get the champagne bottle ready! @505thAirborne That stinks about the canopy. I don't have any, but your build is looking good. - MT
  23. @Bobby You'd just HAVE to make the arms and lower half to complete that beautiful sculpt! @electric indigo Hopefully they don't make it TOO smart in the future. It'll be Rise of the Terminators!😁 - MT
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