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1/72 Atmospheric Booster & Valkyrie WIP


PetarB
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Petar do you have the launch rail?

I don't have the launch rail, I am tossing up at this point whether to get it or not. The reason is that I really like the lines of the booster & valk - and for me the rail might detract from it once mounted. I like how Bertt did his in the orange colour, it looks very utilitarian and separates it from the booster quite effectively. But it might be too much for me, visually. I've got some polished pieces of clear acrylic which I am considering as the base. Still in two minds though, the launch rail is very nicely sculpted from what I've seen. If only WMCheng would finish his, I would love to see another one to compare... (hint, hint!) ^_^

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I don't have the launch rail, I am tossing up at this point whether to get it or not. The reason is that I really like the lines of the booster & valk - and for me the rail might detract from it once mounted. I like how Bertt did his in the orange colour, it looks very utilitarian and separates it from the booster quite effectively. But it might be too much for me, visually. I've got some polished pieces of clear acrylic which I am considering as the base. Still in two minds though, the launch rail is very nicely sculpted from what I've seen. If only WMCheng would finish his, I would love to see another one to compare... (hint, hint!) ^_^

Hey, I actually worked on my model for 2 stints of 1 hour each this last week - didn't get much done, just dusted it off, some clear-coat in preparation for decals and some base metalizing airbrush on the smaller greebles/gak that I am going to spruce up the structure with - I hope to get some update done to my thread sometime next week!

I highly recommend the launch rail, it does provide an excellent "stand" for the booster! Unfortunately I am still at a loss for the vehicle, but the stand is good enough for the time being.

Whats this about you making Macross pilot figures? I'd love one of Minmay in 1/72 scale with her long hair holding her helmet in the back seat of the VT-1 (its one of the main reasons I've held off building that kit!)

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Well I spent quite a bit of time panel-lining. Sometimes I use good old odourless solvent + oil wash, but for a lot of this one, I use a technique which I call 'ink & russian roulette'. Basically I use a pigment-marker pen with a tiny nib (very hard to find for me) to line in the panels, and as I go, I have a microfibre cloth which I use a lot. For the type of ink I use, you have around 60 seconds before it sets and is impossible to wipe off. So you mark generously in the panel - like a 'wash' with ink - then wipe off the excess with the microfibre cloth. If you let it set too long you're screwed, so I try and make sure I am not interrupted when I do this. It's the reverse of an oil wash, where you leave it to set for a day (at least I do) before removing the excess. I put grey ink on the white decals, but this hasn't photographed well.

This technique has some good applications, but I wont use it on the exhaust bells, for instance. That needs oils for a certain 'look'.

Anyway, I just thought I'd post these pics before the next stage - some post shading, mainly on the boosters. The Valkyrie is shortly getting a matte coat and pastels. Hopefully I can post more pics of the results of my airbrushing later today.

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Edited by PetarB
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Okay, back from the airbrushing session. I have three small children, and allocating an hour or so in the daytime for airbrushing on the weekends can be quite a challenge. But I put my new needles in, and got busy with tamiya 'smoke' and gunze 'oil' and started post shading and outlining panel-lines. I overdid it a bit on the booster's cream areas. I may knock them back, but as it's night time now, it's hard to judge. Excuse the quality of these pics too, I won't get a chance to do any photography in daylight until next weekend.

After pulling of some masking tape, I simply had to put the valk and the booster together - and then there was nowhere to put them except 'sit' them on the exhaust bells...

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Some further reflections -

Firstly, Im really happy because I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel on this one - I should be able to finish it next weekend. I need to because I have to start the masters of a couple of pilot sets before I go on holiday for a couple of weeks, so they are ready for production. I will use the pilot I'm about to paint up as an opportunity to study and see if it's worth putting together a Macross set.

Secondly, I think I will have to purchase the stand that John Moscato sculpted to mount this on. Basically there's no way to display this with any justice other than tilting up, aiming at the sky. The whole shape of the Booster + Valkyrie just screams 'upward and onward.' Oh well, there goes my modelling budget for the next couple of months...

Finally, thanks for everyone's comments so far. It's fun to be able to show off you work, I wish more people would. I love coming here and seeing new spins on old favourites, and new models too. I can't wait for Bandai's new VF-25...

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Petar, I don't know how you managed to pull off a baby blue Valkyrie, but boy you've done it. It will look great next to the VF-4. Excellent work!

Based on the pics, I agree the smoke is a little heavy, but the overall finish is tip top. Hey are you planning on a little pastel on the bells or staying with the high gloss?

Edited by cowie165
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Petar; That Star wars pilot set you made was great. I am surprised you didn't offered here. Many of the macross fans also collect SW items..

It would be interesting to see if you can, eventually, tackle a set of Macross pilots or ground personell at 1/72 in different poses..

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Based on the pics, I agree the smoke is a little heavy, but the overall finish is tip top. Hey are you planning on a little pastel on the bells or staying with the high gloss?

I took another look at the booster this morning in daylight. I'm going to tone down the smoke a bit in the next airbrushing session I do, it's a bit too much at the moment. It should blend it back nicely. As for the engine bells, I love the clean aluminium look to them, but I am going to be airbrushing them a little and putting an oil wash on... let's see what happens!

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A few drops of Tamiya XF-55 Desert (or Deck?) Tan was mixed with a few mL of XF-2 Flat White. The gloss was provided by an overcoat of 'Pledge One-Go' here in Australia, or 'Future' in USA.

Edited by PetarB
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Canopy time! After removing the seam with sandpaper and polish, it was dunked in Future and left overnight.

But before I could put it on, I needed to finish the seat and pilot. The glue shown in the second pic is G-S Hypo Cement. Its a relatively recent invention but and it works superbly for canopies - no residue, invisible, and a fast tight bond. Jewellers use it for setting stones and such. I was very happy to be able to find it at a hobby shop a few years ago, but I have not seen it anywhere since.

No pics of the canopy and trim on as yet, I may get to progress a little more later tonight...

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Check your local craft shop for G-S Hypo Cement. In the United States, it can be found at Michael's and Hobby Lobby. You may have to do some serious searching for it. Sometimes it is in with the glues and adhesives, sometimes it is with the jewelry making stuff.

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Not much of an update, except to report a minor disaster....

I decided to emulate MWChengs booster treatment in airbushing panels on to the engine bells - looked good to me. After coating Alclad in Future, which did not change the finish too much, I did a lot of masking.

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Next I put a mix of Tamiya Clear Blue and Windex, which seemed to work well. Quite hard to photograph though, due to reflections from the green cutting mat their on. Final pics on a white background should show it up better later. I wasn't quite satisfied with this, but I didn't want to put any yellow or orange dusting on yet... wasn't sure how well it would tie in with the booster. So I sealed the blue with Future and re-masked. This time I used a mix of Smoke and a few other bits and pieces, and once done, I put them down. CLUMSY FINGERS! I dropped one a centimeter away from the surface. Three of the 'fins' snapped off, it rolled into another and broke a fin off that one. ARRRGH!

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Anyway, glueing them on at the moment, although one is lost. I think the original mould of these bells had these all integral to one mould. In the casting I got, they were seperate, and putting them all on... wasn't the most fun thing, and also hasn't really made them very strong. If I ever built one of these again, I would probably go to the effort of pinning each and every one of these (16). They shouldn't have broken off so easily.

These pics really dont show the subtle blue and smoky panels well - probably due to the different finishes. Another coat of Future, and an oil wash should bind them together better.

Sorry for the small update. Next weekend should be centrefold spread time, I hope!

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Sorry to hear about the fins snapping off - a few of mine also snapped off too - a bitch to glue back, fill and sand. I think the resin is a bit brittle, plus its just a delicate protrusion - one of the reasons I "had" to get the launch rail, its the only way to properly display the model once its built so all the delicate parts aren't bearing on anything.

Did you say in your post you did a mixture of Tamiya Clear Blue with Windex? Doesn't the windex react with any of the Tamiya acrylics? I use windex to either strip previously painted parts or to clean my airbrush between colours!

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Doesn't the windex react with any of the Tamiya acrylics? I use windex to either strip previously painted parts or to clean my airbrush between colours!

Yes. I used Windex because for me, the alcoholic thinner sometimes speeds the drying time so much that I cannot airbrush as finely as I would like too. Windex does a decent job of thinning and seems to retard drying times - which is good for certain applications. I find alcohol thinners speed up drying times dramatically, which is great for flat finishes, but not so good for gloss and clear finishes - for me, at any rate.

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I not so sure if its wise to mix something ammonia based such as Windex with an acrylic paint like Tamiya - at least in the long term effects might be questionable. Might I suggest trying to airbrush at different PSI and mixture viscosities to get the paint to dry at a rate you want. I've found that by varying either the pressure or mixture of the paint, you can pretty much get it to do whatever you want. Then again, I'm a play it safe kind of guy... I still pay the extortive prices they charge for the "real" Tamiya thinner - my thinking is... how much is your time and effort worth? I'd hate to find out a few years down the line that I "cheaped out" on a procedure or a few cents here and there and have some finish start crackling or crazing on me. I've had a few models done that to me over the years - and boy am I sorry now.

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I must admit, I've been using small amounts of Windex as a thinner for certain applications of Tamiya paints for many years, and have not found any issues to date. Time will tell though...! I hope there are no longer term effects that are only obvious later on... :unsure:

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