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1/72 Resin Atmospheric Booster Launch Rail


wm cheng
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No, unfortunately not... it was just too expensive and the proportions were too high. I am hoping that this "re-issue" might address the tall proportions and make it a little more affordable. Any news on the "re-issue" would be appreciated! :lol:

The proportions will remain the same. The only real difference will be in how some of the parts are cast. I'm not a big fan of 'surface cast' flat-backed parts, and parts with huge pour stubs. So I'm just making some small changes to allow for cleaner casts.

Price is still way up in the air. I'll be doing all I can to keep costs down though (and no, fillers won't be involved)

The re-issue of the launch rail should be in the SSM soon. John has my casts, and I think he just needs to source those brass bolts before they're ready to go. No price yet on those either.

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  • 3 weeks later...

THe launch Vehicle: It would have been tremendously difficult to make the whole "LV" more squat, if not impossible; might as well resculpt one from scratch. That thickness issue was one I grappled with in the mocking-up stage, and I chose to go slightly "meatier" for 2 reasons. One, it has more visual presence (artistic license), and second, it has a lot of weight from the booster sitting on it, and a slimmer main section might potentially have sagged or developed a slight bow over time.

Nice to see the build-up process though, we definitely need to see more of these ^_^

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

Sorry, been on a crazy shifted work week and we're leaving for the sunny Caribbean tomorrow for March Break! but will get back next week and its first on my priorities! Its all assembled and painted/primed dark grey. No additional details, decals or painting yet - but its 80%.

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  • 1 month later...

Yay! - my wife took our daughter to daycare and I got a whole day to finish up...

I last left off assembling and gluing the main structure together and I primed it a medium/dark grey to see if there were any flaws. Of course there were some, but I had to weigh whether anyone but me would see/notice them versus the time I have left to finish this sucker off. It would be nice to have enough free time to work on these things so that I don't ever have to make these decisions - but unfortunately unless I win a lottery or retire, that's just going to be my dream!

I rooted through my leftover parts to look for some suitable "gak" to dress up the machinery underneath the Boosters, I wanted it to look more complicated with hoses and actuators and such that look like its connected umblical to the Booster before launch. Its just a black shaded area in the lineart, so I'm free to make up something that looks cool out of what I have available. Landing gear stuff is always good (especially if you've built a few Valks with the gears up). I've used the main gears from the Bandai Yukikaze EX kit as well as some unidentified Gundam joint pieces on top of the great pieces that the Captain has provided with the kit. I decided to paint the launch rail in several shades of dark to medium grey so that it would blend into a carrier scene or look in place next to my ARMD Launch Arm. I airbrushed the smaller bits in Alcad Steel to get a darker contrasting metallic sheen to them. The idea is that the black oil wash will end up picking out the recessed areas and a light grey/silver dry brushing will hit all the highlights creating further depth from the shades of grey and metallic steel. Finally the bright silver will be painted to the hydraulic actuators (the actual part of the cylinders that move in and out) for contrast.

The photos below also show a gloss clear coat applied (I used ModelMaster Acryl) so that the decals will lay down nicely without silvering or bubbles. This is an essential step since the final model is relatively dark and the final finish will be a military flat - both are typically bad news for the silvering of decals and their carrier film. So good surface prep is important.

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One of my favourite stages... the decalling!

Again I dipped into my spare decal box as well as some very cool Wave Option decal sets that were specifically made for Macross a while back (unfortunately I don't believe they are sold anymore). The good thing about modelling for a long time is that you end up eventually amassing quite a collection of un-used decals. Whats also is good is that I used to rummage through the clearance bins at the local hobby shops for decals that they are trying to get rid off - mostly obscure aircraft, but what I look for is data stenciling which can be applied anywhere on anything. I mostly added white or grey low viz stenciling in areas that I find appropriate. If you look at a lot of aircraft photos, you get an idea of where stencils go, mostly to warn people of dangerous ports or areas or locate commonly used hatches and access ports. I just try to think of where people might want to label stuff on the launch rail to creatively get a pleasing placement of the decals with a few small hits of colour to bring some life to an otherwise dark and drab piece of military hardware. I tried to keep the pallet simple and in keeping with the VF-1S and booster by sticking to only reds and yellows as to my spot colours.

I used a lot of MicroSET on the model first, then laid the decals on top of the bubble of MicroSET. I then press down with a damp paper towel to press any air bubbles out. If I see any details that need to show through or any excess carrier film then I dab on some MicroSOL on top to let it soften and set properly. Just make sure you don't fool around with the decals once the MicroSOL is on. You can use as much MicroSET as you need (it doesn't seem to harm the decals, but it will make it very soft and easy to fold) - but MicroSOL is the powerful stuff, once you dab that on, don't touch it until its dry! I am especially careful with these decals since as I mentioned earlier, its a dark undersurface with a flat finish on top (thats two strikes already!) so one has to be extra careful to not get any bubbles or silvering of carrier film. It was so hard to resist not putting a UN Spay Kite symbol on the launch rails - but I thought we had enough of that symbol on the booster and valkyrie.

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Oil wash time! As many of you already know, I use artist oil paints thinned down with low-odour varsol (mineral spirits). I like this combination since it allows a long time to work with the wash. I usually leave it to dry for a few hours before coming back to wipe it off with some paper towels. I decided to do a straight black wash rather heavily so that whatever remained, it looked like heavy machine grease.

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Once I wiped the excess black oil wash off (I had to retouch here and there sometimes since I might wipe too much off) and got it to the point where I liked it, I sprayed a flat clear coat to seal in the wash and blend in the finish of the decals to the finish of the surrounding paint. Also weathering with the dry brush technique always works best on a flat/matte finish.

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I then airbrushed some thinned dark grey over the decals to knock their brightness down and blend it more into the overall colour of the structure. I also airbrushed a thin black over all the seams and joints to further enhance the differences between the seams and moving parts - kind of like a post shading which I believe adds life to the flatter areas of colour. It also shades the decals a bit so they look worn in and "spilled on".

I also dark oil washed the smaller bits. I then did a dry-brush with some light grey to pick out all the highlights - I then went over with some dry-burshed silver to pick out the corners so they look like worn or chipped metal.

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I finally paint the silver chrome onto the hydraulic cylinders - I found that the Tamiya Silver Marker the best most silver paintable paint that I've ever used (with the exception of Alcad Chrome Silver, but you need to prep the undersurface of that with gloss black and masking such small areas would be suicidal). So I usually take a small paintbrush and dab it on the paint marker to paint these small cylinders. But the high reflectivity really makes them stand out and believable.

I finally get to piece all the "gak" and greebles together. I took some Tamiya rust weathering kit and smudged it on some areas to give it a browny/rust tinge here and there. Its been a while since I built a tank, but basically that was the finish I was after. I gotta break for dinner, will post some photos with the booster on later tonight...

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Amazing what you can do in a day! Give your wife our thanks as well. It's great that you can share your magnificent work with all of us.

Can't wait to see it with the booster!

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Fantastic work. Love the details picked out in metal.

Edit: Just went and purchased this from Starship Modeler. $100 later.... sigh.

lol

Petar it'll be the icing on your booster cake :)

Edited by cowie165
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Thanks everyone for the kudos! (especially to my wife and daughter for "letting" me do this! - I miss modelling!)

Here are some snaps of it all together on my workbench. As usual, I'll wait for a nice sunny day and take some real decent pictures of it outside with a nice neutral background and I'll post it under a separate thread in the models section as with all my other buildups.

Thanks for following along - aah... it only took two years to finish this hehe. Can't say when I'll start the next one... maybe it will be just some small projects like the 1/144 scale Chara-Works Valkyries that can be done in a day or so. Come on! lets see everyone else's Launch Rail (and Vehicle if you've got one built! stop hoarding and start building - I need my fix too! ;-)

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Not much to say except "Wow!". I really like the added launch arm detail and the decal fading. I must go and read your booster WIP again - it has some great pointers on painting exhausts.

Looks like I just found a new desktop wallpaper! Great work, again! :)

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Not much to say except "Wow!". I really like the added launch arm detail and the decal fading. I must go and read your booster WIP again - it has some great pointers on painting exhausts.

Me too :)

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  • 1 year later...
As beautiful as it is, I'd love to see it mounted on top of the launch vehicle.
Nice job on the armature looks very authentic. The hydraulics you can also use a type of wax base metal applicator called Rub and Buff to add as a protective finish and give the metal a polished kind of machined look the stuff is transparent and also can be used on canopy tinting.
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