This is a collection of reasonably up to date images of stuff that's going on in the "studio" (ha!). Click on a thumbnail for a larger image.
After several years languishing on the workshelf in a three-quaters fininshed state, I finally stumbled upon the inspiration I needed to paint the armour on these two whilst looking at something else. Then it was a quick wash & drybrush on the base and bingo! Second finished kit of the year.
A christmas present to myself - from Pinkerton FX is this beautiful rendition of the Hitch Hikers Guide Babel Fish as seen in the recent film version. He's "life size" but I can't see him ever going in my ear!. Casting was very good - no bubbles at all, the pour spout had been removed and the area underneath it retextured!
I started with a sandy yellow basecoat and then topped it off with a light coat of bright yellow. A darker tan was airbrushed into the folds and around the gills & eyes, and also mottled over the back a little. A very thin bright lime green was lightly misted at the sides of the underbelly which itself was hilighted in a very pale duck egg green. The lips and sucker were hilighted in a pale pink ready for some more detailing.
Finally a wash of tan into the texture details, a bit of highlighting to the lips, and the eyes. Finished! Well except for the base....
This is probably going to be a long-term project - I've been thinking about doing a "new" version Dalek ever since seeing it in the in the recent Dr Who stories. Whilst it may looks just like a "normal" Dalek, there are a multitude of subtle changes that need to be tackled. They consist of:
I also plan to make the mid-section rotatable and add a "hover" lighting effect.
The base for this is the trusty Comet Miniatures 1/8th scale styrene "TV" kit - these are getting quite rare now and it's taken a while to secure a reasonably priced one from eBay.
I've made a start with the extra rings that adorn each of the 56 skirt balls - for these I've used 17/32" brass tubing from K&S - this fits exactly over the 1/2" balls. Each ring was cut from the tube on a lathe - it's not practical to saw them this thin (3/64th") by hand.
Joe Simon has followed up his Hellboy sculpt with this fishy companion piece. The same huge size, the entire kit is cast in a bottle-green transparent resin. This allows for the illumination of the base again, and also the liquid tubes in his neck mounted aqualung type thing (masked before priming in the photos). Joe has released the kit through his own company this time - 3rd Eye Design
I've built the lighting circuit - 4 turquoise LEDs for the base fixed to a bit of stripboard which also holds the series resistors, and two blue LEDs on flyleads that will go up through a hole in the base into the body and fixed so that they are shining up towards the shoulders. All this runs from a 4.5V battery pack that will also live in the base.
A hole was cut in the bottom of the base for the battery box and lower lights, and a smaller one in the top to pass the upper lights through. These were attached to two bits of wire to hold them in place and allow some fine tuning of the direction they pointed.
The base and body were packed with screwed up bits of cling film to help diffuse the light.
Joe was also kind enough to throw one of these cute little Riddick kits into my order - thanks Joe!! I'd guess he's about 1/16th scale - he fits quite neatly into Abe's hand!
Just out from Bandai is this 1/35th scale "Tumbler" Batmobile. The kit is very nicely detailed and has been engineerd so that it can be pretty much built as a series of sub-assemblies which can be painted before finally slotting them altogether and finishing off a few seams.
I've decided to light the engine with a 3mm blue LED - this required a small amount of modification to the rear parts but nothing too drastic.
After a misting of primer and a matt black basecoat, the sub-assemblies are test fitted together. At this point I realised I'd made a mistake - the front canopy piece is supposed to be fitted before the side machine guns are added - lugs on them prevent the canopy from being fitted later. But it's nothing a little careful filing won't fix!
After painting the details, the LED has been fitted to the assembled engine block - a quick check of the wiring just to check all is well before it's glued in permanently...
Holes were drilled in the rear of the cockpit and the floor to allow the wiring to be taken out to the battery - I aim to hide this in the small diorama I have planned - one advantage of the 1/35th scale is there are a lot of accessories available in the same scale. All that was then required was the final assembly.
I've put together a small diorama with a nod towards a scene in the film where the Tumbler is driven over a police car - I couldn't find one in the same scale (who oh why didn't Bandai make this 1/24th?) so had to make do with what I could find... It was "crushed" by heating it up until soft with a heat gun, and then hitting it with a block of wood - crude and hap-hazard, but reasonably effective!
The scenery is all scratch-built from Balsa Foam, sheet styrene and paper - including the dumpster. The cardboard boxes carry the Wayne Enterprises logo seen in the film, and if you look carefully, there's a pizza box with a slice of pizza in, and even a tiny copy of AFM magazine!
Captain Jack is another new piece from the prolific and talented hands of Neil Sims for Killer Kits. 4 cleanly cold-cast pieces, a great likeness and some fantastic detail in the hair & clothing make this a kit that you can get straight on and have fun painting with. I really must try not to break off that little pinky in the process!
Another themed Homer Simpson to add to my collection (of which I only seem to have finished one. Whoops!) This comes from Dragonwych Miniatures in 2 parts. Cast in good quality urathane, but with a few large air bubbles and bit of a seam round the figure that will take some tidying up.
Don't know who makes this one - but it's very nicely sculpted in 1/8th scale. He's pretty much finished apart from the jetpack.
Sculpted & produced by Neil Sims, JP is the last of the Hell On Earth Cenobites to appear in kit form. A good likeness of the pose found in the Hellraiser Chronicles book, and complete with while metal head piston parts and baton.
This new 1/6th scale kit comes with both a "good" and "evil" head. Both likenesses are excellent (photos do not do them justice) and the overall sculpting is very good - there is very good texturing on the material of the jacket and jumper. Unfortunately the kit is let down by being cast in rather cheap & nasty resin which had a very sticky and uncured feel to it.
Update - Long overdue! I've painted most of the figure now - I was pleased with how well the jacket came out considering it was airbrushed fairly liberally and randomly with dark brown and black in the shadows. it's really helped by the casting though.
I completely remade the fence for the base out of balsa strips since the original piece was very poorly cast. After cutting all the pieces to size they were then heavily "distressed" by flicking and scraping my thumbnail up and down the edges.