A glimpse into my scale modeling hobby

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Beastly Battlestar

IMG_1924Hey, I actually finished a model kit! That feels like such a rare statement these days other than the Bandai figure kits. Even those can be few and far between. We will just say that I really like to take my time to finish a kit. That sounds like a job interview answer, “I take so long to finish things because I am such a perfectionist.” Something like that…

Down to business. I just finished another great kit from Moebius Models. The massive Battlestar Pegasus from the 2000s BSG TV show. Much of the same praise I have given Moebius before applies here, but I have to admit that after spending plenty of time with the meticulously engineered Bandai kits, it is hard for anyone else to live up to that standard. Fortunately, there were no glaring seams and any smaller ones are fairly camouflaged. Thankfully, because I hate filling seams.IMG_1928I had a few firsts on this kit. This was my first go with photo-etched parts. I bought one of Paragrafix’s photo-etch sets for the landing bay arms and the inside panels on the front piece. I like the little bits of detail they add, but I definitely can’t afford photo-etch kits every time I build a model. Second, I used a Vallejo wash for the first time with the Pegasus. I found it really easy to use, and it gave the kit a great finish. I did not really do much other weathering on this kit, because the wash gave a nice grimier look while making the details pop a bit more.

IMG_1932This model kit is BIG! The picture above shows the Pegasus compared to the TV show’s namesake, the Galactica, and you can see how much bigger the Pegasus is. I still think I like the design of the Galactica better, however. I definitely had to do some shelf reorganizing to display this beast.

IMG_1925Overall, a great kit and a worthy addition to my collection. It was not overly challenging and looks really nice. So say we all!

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Phantastic Phasma

History may remember Captain Phasma as the cool-looking trooper who was a bit of a dud in her on-screen role (I’m still waiting for Episode 8 to change that), but hey, she is pretty darn good looking. This figure kit from Bandai is a good reminder of how great she looks.

The figure comes molded in bright, shiny chrome, which as you might guess is a fingerprint magnet. I kept having to wipe off my grimy fingerprints after working on the kit, but I did not see any other figures on the market that quite matched the chrome look of the Bandai kit. Just a few thoughts on the build and paint process, and I will let the pictures speak for themselves:

  • No problems with assembly. The parts fit just like all of the Bandai figure kits. The cape options were the only main downside. The box has either a hard plastic cape in two parts or a see-through fabric-y cape. I ultimately chose the fabric because I really did not like the rigidity of the plastic cape nor the two parts. I think there are other options out there for nicer fabric capes, but I don’t have the budget to buy another one when there are already two options in the box.
  • I decided to take a bit of the chrome bite away by giving the whole kit a gloss varnish. This helped facilitate a little bit of wash weathering but still maintained a lot of the cool chrome look.
  • Speaking of weathering, I did only a little. I did some panel line washing throughout the kit and gave her a few smudges here and there. I gave her blaster the most wash treatment.

I really love this figure kit from Bandai. Cape issues aside, Phasma looks awesome and everything looks well-proportioned, scaled, and colored compared to some of the other options out there in the same scale. This Captain looks great up on my shelf next to her buddies Kylo Ren and the First Order Stormtrooper. I cannot wait to see how they might utilize her in the next movies, because when a character looks this awesome, she needs an awesome role.


This is the Kit You’re Looking For

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I finally got around to finishing the 1/12 Sandtrooper kit from Bandai, and it looks great! The steps of the build were very similar to the standard stormtrooper kit, but the extra weapons, the pauldron, and the backpack added enough of a different touch to make the build a unique experience.

IMG_0162Here are a couple thoughts on my finishing choices:

-I used Pledge wax for a gloss finish over the decals and to give the base shiny trooper look. This is where I stopped with the standard trooper.

-I did not want to over weather the armor because I thought that the Sandtroopers would still try to keep their armor as clean as possible in a harsh environment. I could not, however, resist giving this guy a dirty look so I used some weathering powders sparingly to give the appearance of dirt and sand. This gave just the right amount of wear that couldn’t be polished out no matter how hard he tried.

-Finally, I finished the whole piece with a clear dull coat. This was my attempt to simulate years in an environment not conducive to anything looking good.

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These Bandai kits are too fun, and I fortunately have been able to grab some on eBay for very reasonable prices. I guess that whole embargo thing didn’t really work out, Disney and Revell…

Next time you hear from me, I will have pictures from a new workspace! We rearranged our whole basement to make room for a new baby in April, so my workbench moved. I should have some good updates on the Tri-Motor soon.


Harsh Reality

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The two projects sitting on my workbench, seriously neglected.

I need to just own up to the fact that I am in a season of my life where hobbies are a mere fleeting dream.  My almost two-year-old occupies most of my waking hours, and my wife and I are expecting another one in April! Yet, I still cling to every minute snatched here or hour stolen there.

The haphazard hours and minutes of late have been dedicated to the Ford Tri-Motor and Bandai’s Sandtrooper. I was able to snap one picture of my current progress, and it sums up my progress on both kits. The Ford Tri-Motor has been assembled, primed, and windows masked. The next step is to give the whole thing a coat of aluminum.

The Sandtrooper is completely assembled without decals. I am still trying to decide how I want to weather it after the decals are applied.

I will post again sometime, maybe over the holidays when I don’t have to worry about students and grading papers in addition to my own little one running around!


Thank the Maker!

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Best friends together again

I finished Bandai’s C-3P0 kit a while ago, but have not had a chance to post about it until now. The school year has started, which means my work output significantly drops (not that I have ever been the most prolific builder…).

This figure is my favorite so far of the Bandai 1/12 kits. The mold colors are great, the sculpt detail is fantastic, and there are fun customizable options. I did some minor detail painting and a little bit of weathering, but otherwise the kit looks great on its own.

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Threepio holding his comlink and ready to panic.

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Accessory options: Salacious Crumb meets eye and restraining bolt centerpiece.


Transition Time

Periods of transition often bring a mixed bag of emotions. You are proud of previous accomplishments but nervous about the unknown to come. In a much less life-altering way, the transition on your model workbench offers some of the same emotions. I look back and see the fruits of my previous work, and I look ahead to see the unknown of a new project. I have yet to mention, however, one of the greatest emotions in transition times: excitement! More than any other feeling, excitement grabs my imagination and helps me look ahead to what is coming. There may be difficulties, but the idea of something new and challenging gets my blood pumping. So, here is the state of transition at my workbench.

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So many cool gadgets and ways to display these little guys.

I just finished building the two-pack set of droids from Bandai’s new line of Star Wars kits. The box comes with everything needed for R5-D4 and, of course, R2-D2. In addition to the droids, there are a boatload of accessories for R2 and all kinds of hidden panels to display them. The kits are easy to assemble, but I took it upon myself to grime them up quite a bit, with the goal of the “just rolled through Tatooine sands for hours” look. These two little guys are impressive. Essentially, you are building your own fully-poseable action figures with these models, which is way more fun than buying something off the shelf. If you have not checked out the Bandai Star Wars kits, what are you waiting for?!

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The current state of my workbench.

On the horizon is the 1/72 Y-Wing kit from FineMolds. This kit is no longer available at retail, but you can probably find it on eBay. I always look forward to FineMolds kits because they assemble well and have fantastic detail. The hardest decision is what paint and decal scheme to use. I am leaning towards Gold Leader, although there are full decals for Gold 2 and Gold 3 as well.

Hopefully, I can do some regular posting over the course of building the Y-Wing. I can already tell it will be a great kit!


My workspace

It would not be a fitting start to this blog if I did not give a glimpse into my workspace. I made a short video with a tour of my space and a glimpse of my next project. Follow the link below, and I will let the video speak for itself.

My Model Workspace