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Home-Made Minis "How To" Guide

 
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Home-Made Minis "How To" Guide Reply with quote

In the light of (the very positive Very Happy ) comments about my home-made miniatures for Federation Commander, I thought I'd make a couple of ships and take pics at various points in their construction so that I could explain how I make them.

I started by making a Gorn BC, but sadly I messed up some of the photography in the intermediate stages (hence the blurry pictures in some cases - apologies for that). However, I'll still show you what I do have of that, and explain how I made it. Because I messed that one up slightly, I thought I'd make another ship as well, and make sure I photographed it right. I decided a Kzinti BC would be a nice model to do as a "how to" article.

For the Gorn BC, the first step was to cut out the double saucer and central hull section from a piece of 60-thou' (that is 60 thousandths of an inch thick) plastic card, to the approximate 2-dimensional shape. I then cut the wing pieces from 30-thou' plastic card. The warp nacelles were formed by first taking a section of round sprue from a model kit, and heating the centre of the length very gently over a candle, rotating it to heat it evenly. When the plastic started to melt, the plastic was taken away from the heat, and the ends were eased apart until the centre of the length of sprue was of the appropriate diameter. The plastic was then held in this position until cooled, to keep it straight, and the warp nacelle sections were cut from this thinner centre section. Here is a picture of all the parts laid out together; a ruler is shown next to the parts to give an idea of the size of each piece, the graduations being in millimetres:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705823923/

The next step was to shape the main hull by carving the eliptical cross-section into the centre hull using a Stanley knife, and rounding off the edges of the saucer section using sand paper. The wings were neatened up using sandpaper and glued in the appropriate position to the centre hull. The fronts of the warp engines were sanded round, and then glued onto small pylons (made from 30-thou' plastic card) and attached to the rear saucer. The model was then glued onto a stand made from 20-thou' plastic card. At this stage, the model looked like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705824003/

The next step was to apply a paint basecoat of extra-dark grey, after which the model looked like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705824037/

The model was then dry-brushed with a medium grey, to give depth to the colour. This was done several times, brushing fairly lightly, until the desired colour was achieved:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705824063/

The detail was then added using a fine brush; the rear of the warp engines and the shuttle landing pads on the wings were painted blue, and the plasma-F launchers and impulse engines on the wings painted red. The navigational deflector on the nose was painted gold, and the Gorn triangle symbols painted in orange on the port wing and on the port side of the forward saucer, and then outlined with white once this was dry. The base was painted black once the paint on the model was dry. The model was then given a coat of matt varnish to finish it. The finished model is almost exactly an inch long, and looks like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705824081/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705824095/

The first step in the construction of the Kzinti Battlecruiser is a similar one; cutting the basic shapes of the parts out of plastic card. The rear hull and the main piece of the forward hull were cut from 60-thou' plastic card, while the warp engines, wings and another section the shape of the forward hull were cut from 30-thou' plastic card:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705837689/

The two pieces of forward hull were sandwiched on top of each other using polystyrene cement, and left to dry thoroughly. They were then carved to give the angular shape of the forward hull, and a layer of polystyrene cement smeared over them to fill the slight gap between the two layers. The rear hull was carved into a cross-section consisting of an irregular hexagon, with the lower angular sides smaller than the upper ones. The forward and rear hulls were then glued together, and left to set. At this point, everything was neatened up with sandpaper. The warp engines and wings were then added, and the ship glued to its stand (again made from 20-thou' plastic card). At this point, the model looked like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705837695/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705837701/

The model was then given a basecoat of dark red-brown (mixed from red, brick-red and black), and it then looked like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705837705/

The model was then given a dry-brushing of red toned down slightly with brick red, and at this point looked like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705837719/

A final drybrush was added using just red, to give the final colour:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705837727/

Details were then painted onto the ship; a pair of gold bands was added to the hull at the rear edge of the forward hull, and to the aft hull just forward of the warp engines. These were then outlined with thin black lines. The Kzinti symbol was painted on top of the ship's forward hull, and outlined in grey. The base was then painted black. Finally, the ship was given a coat of matt varnish, and left to cure. The finished result is about 23mm long, and looks like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705845991/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705846001/

Finally, I took a couple of pictures of the two ships together, so you can see what they will look like in play:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705846009/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28932177@N08/2705846019/

I hope you all enjoyed this rather lengthy post, comments and questions welcome Smile
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1955
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bloody hell. Very nice indeed - Obi-Wan has trained you well!

It'll be a shame to have to blow 'em up when next we play....
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Davec_24 -

Again I am impressed by your creativity and skill.
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1545
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just fascinating how you included pics of the steps along the way!
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Davec_24
Commander


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, glad you like them Smile I've noticed I got the triangle symbol on the Gorn BC's forward saucer the wrong way up... I always do that - maybe I'm thinking of the WW2 Dutch air force markings. I'm now in the process of re-painting that the other way up, anyway.
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