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volume 43

New Concepts
New Craft


Thunderbirds Are Go MOLE

inner pages pp2 and 99_scififantasyModeller 06/11/2015 15:12 Page 2

Print editions can be obtained from:


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This Volume is respectfully dedicated to the memory of

Steve Davies, April 1963 – August 2016.

Volume 43
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Hot from the Mould – sizzling releases 6

Studio Scale Classic Galactica–part 2 9
Rampaging Rancor Revisited 17
Grindingly good! – T.B.A.G. Mole 22
Wild House Hover Bike takes off! 31
Fleeing the evil Empire – Blockade Runner build 37
Lunar des res – Century Castings’ Alpha building 45
Brian Johnson – new designs from the FX maestro 49
Cosmic Paddle Steamer – Zero G Models’ Gwent 55
Enhancing the 22" Eagle – ParaGrafix set review 61
Avian adversary – Moebius Meredith Penguin 64
Moebius Batwing – large scale new Bat-tech! 68
Perambulatory Prattler – Claptrap scratchbuild 74
Hot from the Mould – a second helping 86
HULK: a smashing diorama 88

Editor-in-Chief/co-Publisher: Michael G. Reccia.

Specials Editor: Andy Pearson.
Art Editor/co-Publisher: David Openshaw.
Subscriptions: Jane Kneen.
Regular modelling team: Iain Costall, Jim Costello, Barry Ford, Jason C. Gares,
Andy Pearson, Gary R. Welsh.
This volume’s contributors: Jean-Marc Deschamps, Jason Hodgetts, Pete Hutchings, Brian Johnson, Jim Key.

web: www.scififantasymodeller.co.uk
editorial email: info@scififantasymodeller.co.uk
Published by Happy Medium Press copyright © 2016
ISBN-13: 978-0-9930320-8-0

All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part The Publishers and authors (contributors) take no responsibility for any harm
without written permission from the Publishers, except by a reviewer who may or injury to the reader as a result of using the techniques described in this
quote brief passages in a review; nor may any part of this book be reproduced, publication. Safety and common sense should always be foremost when
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, using these techniques and materials. Read all instructions and warnings on
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other, without written tools, paint, glues, and all chemicals. Hobby knives are very sharp and serious
permission from the Publishers. injury can result from improper use. Your work area should be well ventilated
The views expressed by our contributors are not necessarily shared by at all times. Children should be supervised at all times by an adult familiar
Happy Medium Press. Every care is taken to ensure that the contents of with hobby safety. Please note that all hints, tips and procedures in this
Sci.fi & fantasy modeller are accurate, but the Publishers cannot accept publication are given in good faith and based on actual experience. However,
responsibility for errors. Responsibility for correct copyrighting of photographs, neither the Publishers nor authors (contributors) can be responsible if
artwork and illustrations lies with the contributors. All copyrights are something goes wrong during construction.
acknowledged. Reasonable care is taken when accepting advertising. However,
the Publishers cannot accept any responsibility for any resulting unsatisfactory
transactions or any inaccuracies contained within the ads themselves.

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volume 43 EDITORIAL
...I often find myself in Awe (deliberate cap ‘A’... and, introduce new subjects into a world whose internet
no, I’m not referring to a small but very interesting town ‘values’ increasingly expect everything for free.
in the north-west of England). I just therefore wanted to take one of
I’m often in awe when I open the box of those moments to say ‘blimey!’ and ‘thank
either a garage or mainstream kit and you!’ to all the SF and fantasy subject
simply have to marvel at the talent and creators out there. We wouldn’t be here
sweat that have made it possible. Recent without you, and the modelling world
sharp-intake-of-breath-inducers have would be a far poorer, less interesting
included the Moebius Penguin kit, with its place.
beautiful head sculpt by Jeff Yagher, the Keep doing what you do, guys and gals.
artistry of the Proteus test shot from the Just time to mention that our very own,
same company, the hard work that has utterly awesome Modelling: 1999 special
gone into the lovingly crafted Amphicat kit is out now. It’s going faster than a
from Century Castings, Olivier Xavier’s ...um...very fast thing, so if you haven’t got
sculpting prowess on his new Alan Carter figure release your copy, better hurry.
(your skills make me so-o-o jealous, Olivier)... the list is Thank you as always for reading. Look forward to
impressive and endless. seeing you in ninety.
I wonder how often we take a moment to consider just Take care, all.
how much thought and effort and currency go into the Michael G. Reccia
creation of each release, and how difficult it must be to Editor-In-Chief

Follow us on Facebook [ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scifi-fantasy-modeller/110020029085161 ]

and Twitter [ http://twitter.com/#!/SffModeller ]. 5|
00 titles_HFTM_vol43_pp3-8_scifi 08/09/2016 14:56 Page 6


Lots to report from the Space: 1999 modelling front this time round...



Alpha Moonbase
laser tank
New from UNCL is a 1/48th
Mk 1 Space: 1999 Laser
Tank. The highly detailed 9"
long resin kit includes etched
brass parts and decals. Priced
at £69.95 from Timeless
Hobbies, a full build and
review will feature in Volume
44 of this title (image is a WIP

Amphicat Moon Buggy

New from Century Castings is the ‘Amphicat’ (Space:
1999 Moon Buggy) in 1:12 scale – a mixed media model
kit measuring 175mm x 133mm when built (to scale
with 88" Eagles). The kit includes lighting components
and water slide decals as standard. Full contents: full
pictorial building instructions • pressure cast
polyurethane Amphicat parts • lighting components
with battery box • brass axles • 3D printed control
levers • water slide decal set • neodynium magnets.
Mastered by Robert Burns, the kit comes in a white satin
box with printed vinyl box art and is priced at £75.00.

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Space: 1999 figure kits
Featuring remarkable likenesses, a series of intricately
detailed, small run 1/8th scale Space: 1999 figure kits of
characters and monsters are available now from Resin
From Space ( www.resinfromspace.com ). These include
‘Maya in Action’, Koenig in season two uniform, and a
new Alan Carter in spacesuit figure which has Nick
Tate’s seal of approval. The Carter figure is modular in
that the modeller can buy the body then select from a
choice of arm and head configurations. A series of Two new dedicated acrylic colour sets for brush and
‘mini-props’ are also available, including a spacesuit airbrush have been released by Ammo by MIG Jiminez
helmet, comlock, stun gun and holster and laser rifle. – A Space Legions set and a Futuristic Warzone
Coming soon subjects include Paul Morrow and Victor Scenarios set. The former features Blue, Blood Red,
Bergman. Bone, Marine Blue, Polished Metal and Gold; the latter
Gun Metal, Pale Green, Crystal Orange, Lime Green,
A full review of the Alan Carter figure kit will appear Gold Yellow and Old Brass.
in Volume 44 of this title.

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Jamie Hood from Round 2 has given us an early look at MKA018/06 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 Pilot Parts
the following box images for 2016 releases: Pack.

AMT955/06 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D clear


Jamie also reports:

‘We are planning a special limited edition release of the
22" Space: 1999 Eagle kit that focuses on ship designer,
Brian Johnson. We are nailing down details right now,
but fans of the ship and Mr. Johnson should be thrilled
if they end up with a copy under their tree this coming

MKA019/06 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D Aztec ‘The Enterprise box set featuring the new 1:2500
decals – Art reflects ST: Generations version. Produced scale NX-01 has slipped back into 2017. The Lindberg
by Cartograf. 5 Ships of the Future set and Sweaty Swatter figure kit
have also slipped a few months back into 2017.

‘For Q1 2017 expect a reissue of the Bat-Skiboat, a

new boxing of the 1:350 scale U.S.S. Enterprise Refit
POL938 ST:TOS U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 1:350 and reissue of the 1:537 scale U.S.S. Reliant.
scale 50th Anniversary Edition.
‘I hope to make formal 2017 release announcements
soon with Space: 1999-related kits as well as something
pirate-related that may come as a pleasant surprise.
There are a lot of Star Trek possibilities that I have to
bite my tongue about. The way things are shaping up,
we will have a couple major new Star Trek releases
coming in 2017 and 2018 along with a smattering of
other smaller new kits and reissues. Things almost seem
too good to be true, which is why I don’t want to get
into specifics. It is exciting to finally get real momentum
behind kits that modellers have been demanding for
years. I just don’t want anyone disappointed (including
myself) if the plans fall apart.’

continued page 86

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Quest for Perfection
Jim Key of Custom Replicas meticulously creates a museum-quality,
studio scale replica of the last Battlestar.
Two of two.
SINCE THE HEAD - MODULE WAS GOING TO BE A remember the engine section, main body and
HIRED arms coming down first, which went together
ADAMS TO PERSONALLY BUILD THAT. I then opted just as cleanly as any high quality Tamiya or
to have the remainder of the ship sent down to Hasegawa kit, from which we sourced a lot of
us as revised laser-cut files which my main two parts. The Landing Bays came a bit later after
builders, Mark Büchler and Jason Voss, began they had been worked out. Extensions to the
to assemble and adorn with resin parts. Since it armature allowed us to build the Bays as
was verified in the computer as a 3D file, we separate components and then simply plug
used Charles’ build renders as instructions to them into the ends of the armature.
put everything together and test fit. I can

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I have to admit that the anticipation on the placement comparisons. And if that wasn’t
Galactica head structure had been weighing enough, the top panel came off so we could have
on our team for quite a while. Charles had ease of access to the front of the armature and for
been keeping me apprised of the progress, but installing the fibre-optics.
had misgivings based on the curvatures that
were everywhere along the side panels. Test attachments of the head section to the neck
Needless to say, he was a bit worried that it section and adding the engine section quickly
wouldn’t match the 3D as well as drawn up. I created the illusion of having most of the Galactica 1-2: front and rear
told him to pack it up and ship it to us ASAP. at a whopping nearly 75 inches in length. We then sections of Landing
From there we would deal with any set-up a 6 foot table to lay the beast onto, so the Bay under
inconsistencies. continual addition of resin and plastic parts could construction.

1 2

3 4

What arrived was nothing short of ‘amazing’, be added to the build. Jason’s only fear at night 3: Looking into
and I don’t use that word lightly. I expected to would be to come in the next morning and find the landing bay
spend weeks tweaking this module, since it was the that I had chiselled off parts to realign them more opening.
most integral part of the ship, ahead of the precisely to the Chris Pappas original Galactica
Landing Bays and engine rear plate. What I most photos we were following. For the most part this 4: Andrew Probert
liked, beside it having ‘fit’ together correctly, was only happened a few times as so much of the build Landing Bay
that it was mostly on black acrylic for light- aligned easily and quickly. artwork.
tightness and contrast. Adding acne (small white
styrene chips) and beige resin cast parts was It took months to get all the resin cast and parts
exceedingly easier and photographed well for cleaned up to populate the many sections. What

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5: Landing bay looked good one day would look different the next and brightness. The boards also contained the
chase-light and so on, until I had to promise to put the dread constant on lights along the outer walls. The real
electronic boards. chisel away and just let the crew build and be done prize here in the Landing Bays was gaining artist
with it – after which we had the long and arduous Andrew Probert’s permission to use his exact
6: Removable process of cutting and fitting the styrene piping artwork to scale into place for each back wall as
landing bay between many of the resin parts, all of which had translucent scrims. Warm white LEDs illuminate
extension rails. to fit precisely, hence my concern about the resin the Bays from behind the scrims and can be
parts placement. removed from the end-cap via slides and magnets
for repair work if needed. Once painted, I had
We had been working up to the Landing Bays all Jason Voss spend hours pencilling in the tiny panel
along the build, knowing that we would have to lines to mimic the original.

5 6

7 8

7: close-ups of the install the electronics at the same time as the end- It should be pointed out that there is actually
underside caps were being attached. Atlantia had been a much more to do on the bottom sides of the ship
Coffin/Pyramid wonderful warm-up on this section, defining the than atop. The areas ahead of the central stand
section. shapes, parts and installation of the electronics mounting pole, known as the ‘Coffin’ and
8: iconic front boards. A major shout-out to Randy Buckner who ‘Pyramid’ were particularly detail-intense. Atlantia
portside arm face designed and successfully carried out the board had primed us for this process. Filling in the
being filled in. configurations (placement of the LEDs) to mimic undersides of the arms and rear Engine/Waist area
the correct forced perspective from layouts we left little wiggle room for adding resin and plastic
provided him. The trim pots at the ends of the parts.
boards allowed us to increase/decrease chase speed

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9 10

11 12

13 14

15 16

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9-10: Engine/Waist
underside details & I wanted to repeat the weathering process we Head section and Engine tops to start adding the
arms. 11-13: Priming, used on Atlantia, but not quite as dark. The model hundreds of fibre-optic strands. This also included
painting and was first given two light coats of Model Masters the LED thruster floodlights, fans, honeycomb
weathering the hull.
14: adding the fiber- Lt. Ghost Gray to tone down the black surfaces. thruster insets and LED collimators (where the
optics, LEDs, Then darker grey washes were applied to all the fibre stalks were collected into). All lighting was
collimators, and fans low cavities and patchwork, thus helping also to designed for serviceability and replacement, but on
for lighting tests.
15: finishing the give depth to the engraved lines. Same applied to average to last 20,000 hours. And, best of all, no
cross-links and adding the Landing Bays and End-caps. discernable heat. However, as a safety precaution,
the Landing Bays. we did use miniature DC fans behind the thruster
16: custom dry-
transfers for the Now comes the point, just ahead of adding the floodlights to provide extra cooling. In the end
nameplates at Landing Bays, where you open the Main Body, bench testing revealed we could run all lights for
Landing Bays fronts.

17 18

17: Green-screen set-up and 18: showing starboard Landing Bay

with Probert artwork.

19: Custom Replicas classic HDRI Battlestar Galactica 19

rear-view beauty shot.

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Opposite: two HDRI hours with no real heat effects. All harnesses ran
views of the down through the stand column to a small control
completed box, allowing for each circuit to be individually
Galactica. switched on or off.

Above: the We learned from Atlantia’s photo shoot that,

Galactica on once we got to doing Galactica’s shoot, we would
display at the green-screen the entire photography session and
Sci-fi Museum shoot HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imagery). This
in Seattle, allowed for setting up the camera on a tripod and
Washington. shooting both fast and slower exposures, then
overlaying them together with software to pull
details out of the shadows and keep the highlights
to get the best overall imagery. Here are some of
our best HDRI shots.

The delivery for the model had been scheduled

for April 2010, and, shortly thereafter, Charles
Adams contacted me to say that he had been in
touch with the Sci-Fi Museum in Seattle,
Washington. They had indicated that they would
be willing to feature the newly finished studio-
scale replica in their upcoming Galactica exhibit,
scheduled for October of that same year. I
presented the offer, and got permission to
transport the miniature up there for display inside
a custom case, complete with air circulating fans.

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Top: Richard Hatch with Sharon and Jim Key and Charles Adams.
Opposite: Charles, Jim and Sharon with Edward James Olmos.
Below: Glen A. Larson appreciates the Galactica replica.

The museum curator, Brooks Peck, had informed

me that Glen A. Larson, Richard Hatch and
Edward James Olmos would be at the opening and
invited Charles, myself and my wife, Sharon, to
attend the VIP ceremony.

I actually delivered the model two weeks before

the event to make sure that there were no
complications, and that the staff understood how
to work the control system for the fans and
internal lighting, which was only turned on briefly
during the opening to get a big reaction. Sharon
and I returned two weeks later for the exhibit. We
met up with Charles and our photographer,
Preston Kabinoff, who photographed everything.

It was quite a night and a great honour to be there

and to meet with everyone. I am, to this day, very
grateful that I got to show the model to Glen A.
Larson before he passed in 2014. Richard Hatch
was his usual upbeat self, interested in promoting the
old show as well as the new show. Edward James
Olmos was also a pleasure to meet, and was greatly
interested in the show’s many exhibit items as well as
our miniature presentation. Brooks Peck and staff
put on a monster exhibit, and we were very excited
to have participated. The exhibit lasted until March
2012, when we returned the Galactica to our client.

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Underfloor Eating

There’s something nasty lurking in

Jabba’s cellar...
Jean-Marc Deschamps recreates a loathsome subterranean pig-snacker

AMONG ALL THE MONSTERS handful of key scenes, the Rancor was not,
AND MYRIAD OTHER STRANGE, however, animated via stop motion but rather by
WEIRD AND TERRIFIC hand, being realised, in fact, as an articulated
INHABITANTS of the Star Wars foam puppet with rod mechanisms operating its
universe, the Rancor is my arms and hands.
Star Wars is well known for its merchandising,
This creature was having spawned, amongst other items, numerous
imagined for Return of the spaceship toys and model kits that countless
Jedi by famous artist and children have made and played with since 1977.
master of stop motion Surprisingly, however, it was not until 1998 that
technique Phil Tippett in AMT decided to add the Rancor to its Star Wars
1983. Appearing in just a ranks as a superbly sculpted vinyl kit.

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First step filled with plaster rather than foam because this
As with all builds, the project began with a was easier to use.
thorough cleaning of all parts in soapy water,
using a toothbrush to reach into all the nooks and A two-part epoxy cement was the glue of choice
crannies as the kit’s surfaces are very irregular. In here in effectively joining the limbs to the body –
this case this step could also have been carried out epoxy can be applied in the form of dough-like
at a later stage, allowing for the necessary heavy strands and is easy to sculpt and modify. At this
handling of the model during assembly. As to the stage I placed two brass rods under the feet to aid
choice of vinyl for this subject, its properties make in the paint process by allowing me to pin the
it a very adaptable material to release figure kits in model onto a temporary wooden base and, later
but warm temperatures and time can have an on, onto a definitive one. If you’re making this
effect on it, eventually deforming its contours even subject and haven’t cleaned the model by this
if components have been carefully and thoroughly stage, it’s time to do so now, using both soap and
glued together. alcohol.

The best insurance against this happening is to Painting

fill each part with polyurethane foam. I chose a I used a mixture of Gunze (or Tamyia) acrylic
special type intended for repair and insulation H66 Sandy Brown for the base colour, which
applications, but be careful if using this, as the seemed a good match for the overall tones of the
foam continues to expand for hours! It’s therefore original creature, which are a light brown(ish).
best to leave all parts for forty-eight hours before Studying reference photographs helped me to
sticking them together. Cyanoacrylate glue is understand how the Rancor had been painted, his
recommended for bonding but don’t use too much skin featuring darker and lighter areas and the
as an excess slows down the adhesion process. To ridge along his spine being almost dark green in
be sure of the integrity of my assembly I placed colour. I decided to use Prince August paints to
brass rods inside the figure’s arms, feet and fingers. recreate these hues because they are perfect for
In contrast, the Gamorrean Pig Guard was simply this kind of fine detail work. Next, mouth, teeth,

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claws and nails were painted in the correct tones The painted part looked authentic, however.
and coated with gloss clear/satin varnish, not Many different painting techniques were used
forgetting the eyes. The dribble of saliva is just a to accomplish the end result, including washes,
piece of clear plastic found in the spares box, dry brushing, localised hairspray to enhance
coated with clear varnish and bonded in place small areas and specific details painted on using
between the teeth. a fine brush.

The handcuffs were painted in metallics with The Gamorrean Guard was finished with the
a black wash applied to give relief. I painted same paints plus the addition of a fluorescent
rather than replaced the sculpted ear ring, paint inside the mouth and around the eyes to
simply because I didn’t think to use a real one! give the poor victim an enhanced, panicky look!

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Here, too, the sculpting of the figure is fantastic

and all you need do is play with the brush to
bring out the details.

The base
From Star Wars to Indiana Jones is one of my
most useful reference books (plus Sci-fi &
fantasy modeller, of course)... I‘ve always loved
the photograph showing the Rancor in its
minimalist set, which lends the creature a
museum quality that I wanted to replicate for
myself (this simple setting is also perfect for the
modeller who doesn’t want to have to work too
hard to create a convincing backdrop). So, the
model stands on a wooden base layered with
gloss black paint and the wall behind is a cut-out
board coated with white glue and plaster to
create that decrepit look. Add some artistic use
of brush and paints and I’d got the result I was
looking for!

I’m very pleased with the completed model. I
only hope Jabba will be happy with this build
too as my Jedi training is not yet complete and,
more importantly, I don’t look so good in a

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03-TB Are Go Mole_pp22-30_scififantasyModeller 09/09/2016 10:45 Page 22

The Mole:
The Next Generation
Barry Ford builds Takara-Tomy’s
Thunderbirds Are Go kit

THE NEW SERIES OF THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO Whilst here in the UK the merchandise to
APPEARS TO BE HAVING A ‘MARMITE EFFECT’ on appear thus far has been centred on toys, our
viewers: either they love it or they loath it. I, friends in Japan have been working on a range of
unlike my ‘appreciation’ of Marmite, am model kits, the very first of which landed at my
thoroughly enjoying this new incarnation of my front door from that most wonderful website,
favourite television series. Yes, I can see it has its HobbyLink Japan, on New Year’s Eve. ...So that
faults and it is disappointing that physical models was my first modelling project of 2016 sorted.
were not used for the main Thunderbird craft,
but I do think it is a valid interpretation of the The 1/48th scale model of the Mole is
concept for today’s audience. produced by Takara-Tomy (a name with a

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1 2

3 4

1. parts and box art. history of producing quality Thunderbirds pre-painting the parts on the sprues to minimise
2. wheels given a merchandise), and the first thing to impress is the the need for masking using Vallejo Flat Yellow and
coat of Boltgun quality of the box artwork: a stunning painted Games Workshop Boltgun Metal (as was). The
Metal before scene with the Mole in the foreground and exception to this was the wheels (which are
applying chipping Thunderbirds 1 and 2 in the background. Opening yellow) to which I applied a base coat of Boltgun
fluid. the box I discovered that the parts had been Metal before coating with the chipping fluid
3. yellow paint moulded in their appropriate colours and, as this produced by Ammo, amongst others. Over this
added. was clearly a push fit kit, I would imagine that it was airbrushed a flat yellow, which was gently
4. drive section would be simple and straightforward for a rubbed away to create a random chipping effect.
assembled. youngster to quickly build a passable replica of the
vehicle using the stickers supplied. The kit comes I then put together the lower chassis following
supplied with a motor and gears to drive the drill the instructions, which was fairly straightforward
bit and tracks. However, on closer inspection of other than having to deal with the filing and
the parts it becomes obvious that a detailed replica sanding of an awkward join between the two main
of the Mole could also be built by the more body parts. My concern over my modelling skills
Overleaf: experienced modeller and this option has been was assuaged when a large gap could be seen
5. drive section catered for by the inclusion of a set of decals that between these parts on the kit instruction
assembled. replicate the stickers. The only downside to the kit photographs. I chose to weather the yellow parts
6. tracks. is the very poorly detailed Virgil figure, but more with Ammo Streaking Grime, which is an enamel
7-8. drive section on that later. wash that is applied then allowed to dry before
weathered. using enamel thinners on a clean brush with a
9-10. decals applied. Printed reference material for the Mole is almost downward motion to break up the plain block of
11. motor unit non-existent and not a lot is to be found online, so colour and give an immediate worn appearance.
painted. I ended up re-watching relevant episodes and For the first time I used Ammo’s Panel Line Wash,
12. cockpit painted. making notes on the instruction sheet. I began by which is another enamel based product, and I was

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7 8

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very impressed with how it flowed into the middle. I decided the only thing to do was to try Previous page:
recesses via capillary action. The metallic grey and hide the seam by covering the tracks with mud 13. cockpit fitted to
parts were given a wash using Ammo Engine and dirt deposits. To avoid bending the tracks motor unit.
Grime and, once dry, black pigment powder was once the mud was added – thereby losing the mud 14-15. cockpit.
applied to the recesses. A coat of gloss varnish was – I fitted the tracks to the vehicle first. I created the 16. drill bit built and
sprayed onto the model to provide a base for the dirt and mud deposits by mixing various colours painted.
waterslide decals which were placed using a two- of pigment powder with Plaster of Paris and 17. underside of side
part decal setting system. Once the decals were enamel thinner. When wet these powders tend to tracks requires filling
thoroughly dry they were given another coat of be very dark and you can become quite concerned with strips of
gloss varnish followed by a final matt. With the that you have made a mess of the model... but, plasticard.
decals in place additional weathering was created once dry, the pigments return to their original 18. cockpit outer.
by splattering on mud and dust coloured washes colours. 19. Canopy masked
using an old brush flicked by a toothpick. and painted.
It was now time to turn my attention to the pod 20. pod primed.
The tracks are made of vinyl and are, quite itself and I did this by painting up the cockpit in a
frankly, a pain in the bum. Paint will stick to some combination of dark grey, black and yellow
vinyl tracks but when I applied a coat of primer to finished with the supplied decals applied as before.
these it just flaked off and I had to go through an The canopy is made from a clear plastic that feels 21. shade colours
exercise of cleaning them up. This did give me the slightly softer than normal clear plastic parts but added.
opportunity to try and remove the very obvious responded well to sanding. I would say that the 22. base colour
seam down the middle of the track by sanding plastic has a very, very slight milkiness to it but not applied.
them – but to no avail. To act as a flexible base for enough to be a worry. The canopy glazing was 23. assembly of Pod.
further layers I sprayed the tracks with a coat of masked by adding Tamiya masking tape to each 24A. kit supplied
matt varnish before applying washes of various panel and burnishing it using a cocktail stick. A Virgil.
colours... which, whilst bringing out the detail of sharp knife was then used to cut around the edges 24B. my Virgil has no
the tracks also emphasised the seam line down the and remove the excess. A coat of grey primer was nose.

21 22

23 24A 24B

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03-TB Are Go Mole_pp22-30_scififantasyModeller 09/09/2016 10:46 Page 27

25 26

27 28

29 30

31 32

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03-TB Are Go Mole_pp22-30_scififantasyModeller 09/09/2016 10:46 Page 28

sprayed on, which also acted as the inner colour of It was at this point that I tried fitting a battery Previous page:
the framing before being airbrushed with the to the motor for the first time post construction 25-26. cockpit.
Vallejo Flat Yellow. and painting and found that the motor no longer 27-28. Virgil in situ.
worked... I think some of the paint must have got 29. carved foam
The pod was then constructed as per the into the switch and blocked a connection – no base.
instructions, including the electric motor, which at great loss. 30. cork bark added.
this point I thought may be of interest and the 31. initial application
switch was not obtrusive. Generally speaking the I continued construction of the remaining parts of rocks.
parts on this kit fitted together very well but some including the drill bit, painting and weathering 32. base primed.
joints on the pod needed to be sanded and filled, each component prior to building using the
which damaged the previously painted parts. techniques previously described. Once the pod

Rather than using a standard rattle can primer I module was complete I mounted it on the drive
airbrushed on a bespoke primer made by mixing section.
Vallejo Flat Yellow with their White bottled
primer. Looking at references it appears that the The last thing to do was build and paint the
CG model has some shading to panel edges so for Virgil Tracy figure that was cast in the clear
this I used a darker shade of Yellow from the plastic. I didn’t expect great things from this but,
Andrea Yellow paint set before returning with the after giving it a coat of primer, I decided to
Flat Yellow. Boltgun Metal detailing was added abandon it due to the poor detailing, which is
and the pod was then weathered using the same inexcusable really when you consider the level of
techniques described earlier. detail that is possible on small figures these days.

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03-TB Are Go Mole_pp22-30_scififantasyModeller 09/09/2016 10:47 Page 30

Slightly better, but not by much, is the figure

supplied with the super-size Thunderbird 2 toy.
This figure is 1/48th scale and fits nicely into the
Mole cockpit but has next to no facial features.
Ah, well... beggars can’t be choosers. The figure
was cleaned up and primed before painting the
dark base flesh colour. The eyes were painted next
before applying progressively lighter flesh colours.
The blue and green areas of the suit were then
addressed by painting a base colour, adding a wash
followed by a highlight colour, and finishing with
a blending wash. Normally with a small scale
figure I will glue it to an old paint pot to give me
something to hold onto while painting, but as the
legs would not been seen in situ I used these to
hold the figure. Once complete the figure was sat
in place (no glue required) and the canopy closed.

I could say ‘The End’, but, as with many films

these days we’ve got to have a post credits
sequence. I go to a few model shows during the
course of a year and see many fine examples of the
modeller’s art. However, it has long been a passion
of mine to give a model a sense of context, scale
and, hopefully, narrative that is lacking from just a
completed kit, however well finished. To this end I

Classic kits
Studio 2 set about making a base for the model by using a
carved section of insulation and modelling foam
Models glued together with a hot glue gun on a timber
base. Sections of rock were added using cork bark
Large scale:
and some Plaster of Paris railway rocks from
• SHADO mobile • SKY 1 moulds. This was all tied together with an
• Skydiver • Stingray application of Woodland Scenics layered on with
• Terror Fish an old butter knife and an artist’s trowel. When
Friendly service dry the putty was sanded smooth to remove any
ridges and further blend everything together.
with superb after sales support.
http://studio2models.webs.com/ The base was coated with PVA glue and various
email: studio2models@hotmail.co.uk grades of stones were positioned and allowed to
Tel: 07534 294 216 settle while the glue set. Loose stones were shaken
off and even finer grades of stone and sand were

NEW raded applied using diluted PVA. After a suitable drying

time the base was given a coat of grey primer then
upg kit airbrushed using shades of black, grey and brown.
The rocks were drybrushed with highlight colours
followed by various earth-tone washes. Once dry
pigment powders were added. The finishing touch
was the planting of three in-scale bushes that came
from a supplier of model railway scenery.

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04-HoverBike_pp31-36_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 15:10 Page 31


Andy Pearson builds the O.R.C.A. Hover Bike by Wild House Models
1. main chassis
components with HERE’S WHAT YOU GET: 50 RESIN concerns for the future of our
primer. 2. paint PARTS, SEVERAL CLEAR ACRYLIC PARTS, domestic hobby industry.
added to seat and TWO DESIGN OPTIONS, over 200
forward assembly. (Count ’em!) decals, a full colour 8 Having said all that, it isn’t cheap
3. construction in page assembly sheet, two A4 sheets but you do get what you pay for.
progress. 4. kitchen discussing the techniques involved Wild House Models have featured
foil 'reflector' to in working with resin all in a in these pages before and, if there’s
rear of clear beautifully designed and printed any justice in the world, this kit
instrument panel. box. And it’s one of ours! Yes, this should be a real success for them,
5. paint and shading 1:32 scale resin kit is 100% hence the rather contrived headline.
to instrument panel. engineered in the UK and that’s got I should, perhaps, stress that I’m
6. further panel to be good news for modellers not a shareholder in the company
assembly. based in this sceptred isle with but that I’m simply enthused

1 2 3

4 5 6

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04-HoverBike_pp31-36_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 15:11 Page 32

7 8 9

10 11 12

13 14 15

following my building of the model. The O.R.C.A. cleaning process. The larger parts were then
Hover Bike seems to fit into the company’s Hostile primed with Halfords grey automotive primer
Realms™ universe and is a fascinating design whilst the smaller bits and pieces were brush-
which gives the modeller build options in the form primed using the Vallejo acrylic-polyurethane
of a military or civilian version of the machine. In product.
the interests of world peace, I opted for the latter.
Thoughts then turned to colour
I hope that modellers with experience of the schemes. The decal sheet includes a
material will bear with me whilst I state what to number of options that might indicate
them will be the obvious but working with resin the bike’s use as a delivery vehicle so I thought that 16
does require some care, particularly when using a corporate colour scheme might be interesting.
abrasives and especially if working with power For no particular reason I chose to use a neutral
tools. Inhaling the resultant dust is not a healthy grey with just a hint of green for the main body 7. panel in its
option and so a dust mask is an essential and not and deck tan for the panniers and so airbrushed housing. 8. handle-
just a fashion accessory. these colours on the relevant kit parts before bars added. 9. controls
assembly began in place on chassis.
Having checked that all the parts needed were 10. primer to side
present and correct (there’s a photo-spread The instructions were clear and presented with panels. 11. adding a
provided showing all of these and giving the photographic step-by-step panels but I would clear running light
numbers that key to the instructions) it was endorse the manufacturer’s advice to test fit as feature. 12. headlight
obvious that some clean-up of mould-tabs and so much as possible before assembly as, for example, insert. 13. left and
on would be needed on almost all parts but that, the chassis component beneath the seat in step 1 centre: the two heads
in my experience, is the nature of resin kits and needed some further work before it would fit. supplied with the kit.
didn’t prove to be an onerous task. On the right is
In the interests of brevity I won’t detail every the replacement
With the trimming and clean-up completed, the stage of construction but, rather, draw attention to sculpted head.
parts were then steeped in warm, soapy water for points of interest. The dashboard (Do motorbikes 14/15. some arm and
a few minutes, rinsed in clean water and set aside have dashboards?) is one of the components hand surgery.
to dry. I find that, with small kit parts, a tea or supplied in a clear material, I suspect in part 16. basic re-
pasta strainer is a useful accessory in helping to because this might be illuminated using the positioned figure
ensure that nothing goes AWOL during the lighting kit available from Wild House. I wasn’t (with moustache).

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intending to add the lighting kit but the clear mode, the forward landing leg is deployed and
material did present the opportunity of bringing here a detail is worth noting. When the leg is
out the screen at the centre of the panel. This was extended there are two bay doors (both part 41)
achieved simply by painting the screen area with a which would be positioned open. This is not
clear green and adding a small square of actually mentioned in the instruction but is shown
aluminium kitchen foil behind as a reflector. The by a photographic insert at step 12.
dashboard/control panel unit sits on the body of
the bike via a small component (part 14) with a Step 14 indicates that two holes for running
curved underside designed to sit on a matching lights should be drilled, one in each of the main
moulding. This was push-fitted and given several forward body panels. I assume that this is, again,
dry-run assemblies before any adhesive was intended to accommodate the lighting kit but there
applied. were no lenses supplied although the specification
on the box mentions three clear acrylic parts and I
Step 9 involved fitting two shallow domes to the could only discover two, both of which are
two main forward body panels (parts 29 and 31). accounted for in the descriptions above. Perhaps
If the kit was being assembled step-by-step the third part provides the lenses for these running
without any reading ahead or test fitting, the lights but they are not referred to as such in the
photograph of this stage could lead to the instructions. In the case of my model, I filled the
17. under-shading misunderstanding that these two halves should be guide holes with Microscale Kristal Kleer and
to figure. glued together – which is not the case. Step 10 added a dab of clear orange when this was dry.
18. engine detail. involves inserting a forward clear headlight panel
19. chassis. into the frame that will surround and separate the The penultimate step in the assembly of the
20. chassis with two body panels and, if the lighting kit is to be civilian version of the bike was the main (rear)
side panels. installed, I imagine that the clear panel would need landing gear. I had some concerns here as it
21. lift engines. to be removed from the mould plug. As I was not appeared to be too delicate to support the weight of
22. forward lighting the model, I simply removed some of the the model but was actually a lot sturdier than it
landing leg. flash from the plug and inserted the whole thing. looked. Positioning this landing gear wasn’t too
23. rear landing tricky but did need care. The process was helped
leg. Steps 11 and 12 cover the options of displaying greatly by the four leg components being push-
24. basic paint to the model in flight or landing mode and I’d fitted and then tested for position before any
figure. already decided to produce a basic diorama setting adhesive was applied. Having said that, my version
25. stabilisers. so the choice was, for me, obvious. In landing is rather ‘toe-down’ compared with the

11 18
11 19

20 21
11 22

23 24
11 25

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26 27

28 29

illustrations provided with the kit. As the leg civilian chum is equipped with goggles. As the 26. decal to
components have the relevant sockets pre-moulded Editor-in-Chief, Mr Reccia, likes models in stabiliser edge.
and as the fixing points on the lower chassis settings – and as I was for once a little ahead of 27. further decal
seemed very obvious I’m really not sure how I’ve deadline – I thought I might give myself the option application: note
gone awry here. Truth to tell it doesn’t detract from of a figure that could be shown both seated and the number of
the finished model but does mean that the bike is standing. The latter option was accommodated by options!
perched somewhat precariously on the base – but I the fact that the driver was modelled with legs 28. decal detail.
suppose that’s what hovering is all about. akimbo – Legs Akimbo being one of my favourite 29. completed
1920’s Chicago gangsters. bike.
The driver figure supplied is a fine piece of
work. His body is common to both versions but This customisation meant re-positioning the
the military chap has a full-face helmet whilst his arms and giving the driver new hands. The hands,

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30 31 32

33 34 35

30-35 Diorama as supplied, are gripping the ends of the bike’s At this stage my ambitions outstripped my
construction handlebars and, if the driver is used gripping these abilities as I’d decided to sculpt a new head which,
stages. controls, I think it would be necessary to chop off at this scale, was easier said than done. I
the top of the handlebars as they are supplied, eventually came up with something that at least
although no mention is made of this in the looked human (from a distance) and gave him a
instructions. Indeed, there are no assembly biker moustache made from paper as he is, after
instructions for the driver figure(s) at all but what all, a biker.
goes where is very obvious.
Weathering: I love weathering. I’m also aware of
As I wanted my driver to be in a rather more a propensity to get carried away so I gave due
relaxed pose, whether seated or standing, and thought to the environment in which the bike
didn’t want him holding vestigial handlebars, new would sit. I gather that Wild House’s Hostile
hands were needed. A trawl through the spares Realms™ is not set in some future dystopia but in
box revealed that all I had in stock were 1:35 scale a world that has benefitted from adopting alien
figures so I bought a set of Airfix WWII German technology, hence hover bikes and parking warden
Mountain Troops in 1:32, as the box art indicated targeting lasers (although I made that last bit up).
several hands that were not holding weapons, skis,
etc. It’s not really relevant to this article but the On the other hand this was a working bike so
quality of these was dreadful, giving the there would be some dust and grime but it was
appearance of having been moulded in soft soap owned by a company that
and then left out in the rain for a while. Having would presumably want to
said that, I found a pair of hands that would just present a good image so it
about do. wouldn’t be battered and
worn or too filthy. I’d

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04-HoverBike_pp31-36_scififantasyModeller 13/09/2016 15:17 Page 36

also been somewhat conservative

in my use of decals, resisting the
temptation to cover the bike from
stem to stern.

I won’t bore you with many

details of the base other than to
say that the abandoned snack-
shack was made from basswood
strips on a card shell, the ground
cover was a fine grit on a slate
base and the rest were bits and
pieces of stock landscaping
material with added grass tufts
made from an old shaving brush.
The setup is intended to present
the driver involved in some
running repairs as that old alien
technology isn’t as reliable as
once it was.
due to the heat. I
To add some depth to the photograph of the didn’t actually no-
finished model I went on location and took some tice this until I got
shots with an area of open mossland in the home and ran the
background but this was on one of our rare sunny shots through my
spring days and the bike had leaned over onto the computer and I sus-
starboard stabiliser fin which had curved slightly pect that the casual
viewer won’t no-
tice either... unless
I’m stupid enough
to draw attention
to the fact.

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05-Blockade Runner_pp37-44_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 18:29 Page 37

Jean-Marc Deschamps builds and accurises Randy Cooper’s Blockade Runner kit
VISION, followed by a second
one, this even bigger than the
first. The flashes and laser
beams crossing between the two
ships made me so receptive that
those images are still burned
into my brain some forty years

Everyone knows I’m referring

to the opening sequence of the
first Star Wars movie. That
scene was a test for George
Lucas – if audiences bought the
opening moments, they would
buy into the rest of the movie
too. As a fan (who... me?)
finding, building and owning
large scale ships from the first
trilogy has been a quest not
unlike trying to find the Holy
Grail... I desperately wanted to
own a large scale Blockade
Runner which, as a studio
model, was, ironically, bigger
Above left and right: the model on its support base before painting. The wires for the lights are visible.
Above left: resin poured into the primary reactor supports prior to cutting.
Above right: comparison between part from the box (left) and the resized part (right), on top of photographs of the original filming miniature.

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than the Star Destroyer, and,

after many years of waiting,
master modeller Randy Cooper
released a kit of the ship that is
large enough to satisfy every
collector and do justice to the
original, yet small enough to be
exhibited on a shelf.

A little history
The studio model of Princess
Leia’s ship, often referred to as
the Tantive IV or Blockade
Runner, began life as the
personal transport of Han Solo,
with the model being built big –
194cm long – but to a fairly
modest scale. Legend has it that
someone pointed out to Lucas
that the Runner looked
somewhat like the Eagle from
Space: 1999 (and ‘flew’ almost
like it too!) and as a result the
model was relegated to second
place and a new craft – the
legendary Millennium Falcon –
became the famous ship we all
know and love.

The kit
Randy’s kit is completely cast in
resin and measures almost 68cm
in length, making it 1/185 or
1/220 scale when compared to
the ‘real’ ship (125.6m or 150m
long, depending on the source).
Impressed when I received it,
the kit stayed in its box for
years until I decided it was time
it surrendered to me. On re-
inspecting the parts, I felt this
wouldn’t be the easiest of kits
I’d build but it was certainly one
of the most desirable. There is
not much to say about
comparative accuracy – the
model is three times smaller
than its studio counterpart, and
it was obvious that the details Top row: secondary reactor supports sawed to reduce angle.
on the original model wouldn’t Second row left: the side panels of the reactors during modification.
be perfectly reproduced, but the Second row right and third row left: assemblage of the engine section being tested and sanded
spirit of the ship has been fairly on a template.
well captured. The biggest Above right and next page top left: the new angled secondary reactor supports with handmade
problem with the build details.
concerned the engine block that

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05-Blockade Runner_pp37-44_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 18:29 Page 39

is so characteristic a feature of
the studio model – not only are
all eleven reactors cast from the
same master, but the secondary
supports are all on the same
plane. On the original model,
the four external supports are
angled, resulting in some
gracious lines that break up
what could otherwise have
proved to be a fairly dull rear

I decided to remedy the

situation by modifying the
offending engine supports, and
to also add lights and a support
stand inspired by that built for
the original, which held the
studio model by its side... an
underside mounting just felt too
simple! Moreover, during
exhibitions, a model on a stand
somehow looks better
aesthetically for some reason
and more authentically evokes
the look of a studio model.

Step 1: modifying the

engine block
As with all resin kits, I began by
washing the model in a warm
soap solution and cleaning up
all the parts with needle files
and sandpaper. The casting,
whilst not perfect, is generally
well presented (there are a few
air bubbles and some details are
offset, especially on the main
fuselage). With everything
prepared I jumped into the task
of converting the engine block
into a decent representation of
what can be seen on the real
beast. After studying
photographs of the original
model taken by various folks
(here I’d like to thank Kurt

Top right: wires passing through the engine block.

Second and third row left: modifying and improving the reactors by cutting the undesirable pipes and adding new and ‘accurate’ side panels.
Third row right: the ends of the reactors are mounted on a tube to ease access.
Above left: grinding the resin parts fuselage to fit the Perspex inside.
Above right: a PVC tube is glued inside the Perspex tube to prevent warping. A section is made for the side support.

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Khun from Modeler Magic in

particular for his fantastic
website: modelermagic.com I
decided to use the parts
included with the kit rather than
building new ones. Resin was
poured into the primary side
supports then cut with a band
saw to reduce volume (parts
ABR and BBR). The secondary
reactor supports (parts CBR
and DBR) were treated in the
same way and cut to obtain the
correct angles. Needless to say I
made new surface details using
styrene, bits and plastic profiles
(Evergreen) (parts HBR and

After the secondary supports

had been tested and glued onto
the main hull, they were sanded
using a template made from
half-round logs fixed onto a
wooden board (parts FBR and
GBR) giving a perfect fit and
alignment for the next step.

Step 2: modifying and

improving the main reactors
As mentioned earlier, the
reactor ‘tubes’ are all made
from the same master for mass
production and economy
purposes. They are not perfectly
rounded and offset. Further, not
only are the right and side
panels of each reactor different
and feature their own distinct
detailing, but pipes are not in
evidence on the interior surfaces
of the reactors when looking at
the original model. I therefore
individually modified each part
by removing detail on the right
and left panels and throwing
away the unneeded pipes – this Top left: the wires before being enclosed in the structural support. There are only two wires at
step involving me in a lot of the final stage.
work and dust – and added new Top right: the structural support with the ‘elbow’ that will hold the model by its side. A metal
side details (parts EBR, KBR, tube is placed to help support the heavy model.
LBR and MBRs). Of course, all Centre left: the fuselage assembly during surfacing.
imperfections were corrected by Centre right: the interior of the cockpit, including a very, very tiny Star Wars poster on the left!
using putty and the Force... Above left: adding new details to the rear fuselage surfaces.
Above right: a dark brown wash is applied around the details.

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Step 3: conceiving and

building an internal structure
A model of this size cannot be
assembled by simply gluing the
resin parts together... It needs an
armature to prevent it distorting
over time (or ‘warping’ in the
case of Star Trek modelling!). I
used Perspex and PVC tubes
that run almost the length of the
model, from the base of the
main engine support to few
centimetres back from the
cockpit (parts OBR and PBR).
At around the mid-point there is
an ‘elbow’ corresponding to an
airlock doorway on some
official plan (in reality,
‘greeblies’ on the studio model)
that goes to the support base
(part RBR). This internal
structure is strongly held in
place into the main engine
support with epoxy glue and
resin, poured as the tube was
firmly held vertically. Of course,
all the wiring was installed at
this step, as it is easier to pass
the wires through the holes
when the sections are short
(parts JBR and QBR).

Step 4 : assembling
the fuselage
Creating something coherent
was not so simple because
thicknesses differed from part to
part. I had to grind the resin
until the parts aligned
themselves correctly around the
internal structure. An issue
occurred when I presented the
hammerhead cockpit
(assembled with an interior
cockpit painted at an early
stage, and including a
microscopic Star Wars poster!)
(part TBR) to the forward
fuselage. Here too the Dremel
was a real help in grinding the
Top left: red brown painted and weathered paper strips acting as ‘rings’ around the reactors. resin until the surfaces were
Top right and second row: the LEDs as they appeared before rods of Perspex helped diffuse their ready to be covered with Bondo
light (note: in the photo, second right, the ‘reactor’ at the right of the centre row has not got for a perfect transition between
the rod placed inside). the fuselage parts. But what a
lot of work…

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05-Blockade Runner_pp37-44_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 18:30 Page 42

Step 5 : detailing and

During the build process some
details were either eliminated or
replaced with more authentic
looking parts (part UBR). I then
sprayed the whole model with
White Tamiya Surfacer, which is
a really nice product as it goes
on fine and soft for the details,
and puttied any holes and
indents that became apparent
once this coat had dried.

It was now time for final

painting. The original model
appears to be white, and has
yellowed with the passage of
time, even though it was
modified and repainted for
Return of the Jedi. In fact,
ILM’s model makers added new
details for ROTJ, making the
ship appear more armoured for
the final battle. In 1996,
however, sound artist Ben Burtt
returned the Blockade Runner
to its original Tantive IV
configuration for a new Star
Wars opening, created especially
for the IMAX experience. This
time, the largest Star Destroyer
model, built for Empire, was
used to obtain far more
impressive images. During
refurbishing, however, the
ILMers did interpret some
details a little differently and
today the Tantive IV differs
slightly from its original

I painted my model off-white,

bearing in mind that subsequent
weathering would turn this
grey-ish. I used different
painting techniques to
reproduce the original paint
scheme: brushes, airbrushes,
masking and lots of washes
(parts VBR). On the Star Wars
models weathering is very
important, particularly on the
engine section of the Blockade
Runner (as it is on the Falcon).

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05-Blockade Runner_pp37-44_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 18:30 Page 43

Concerning paint, I went with

acrylics because these are easy
to use and they dry quickly. I
tried to refer mostly to the
original 1977 Tantive paint
scheme by freezing images on
my DVD and scrutinising
vintage documents found in
magazines of that period.

Concerning the areas where

there is a brown-red paint, these
were sprayed after masking, but
I decided to form the ‘rings’
around the reactors by applying
painted and weathered paper
strips (parts WBR). I added a lot
of ‘dots’ and ‘splashes’ with the
brush and the airbrush and
weathered the model with
brown and yellow paints in the
recessed panels to give a warm
feel to the whole ship.

Step 6 : lighting
LEDs flash in the cockpit and
inside the reactors, but to create
a better lighting mood I asked
my friend Sylvain, who is a
fantastic professional modeller,
to cut me eleven perspex rods to
diffuse the lighting by hiding the
warm yellow LED bulbs (parts
XBR, YBR and ZBR). The
effect is convincing and recalls
the look in A New Hope.

This rebel ship was not easy to
track down and, as Lord Vader
would say, I am happy to have
put down the rebellion!
Modified, the model is quite a
good replica of the original that
Randy Cooper, a very fine
modeller, has captured with
great talent. However, this
model is one that should only be
attempted by accomplished
Jedi, not a Padawan, and,
during building, there were
times when I have to admit I
almost turned to the dark side
of the Force.

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06-AlphaBuilding_pp45-48_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 19:11 Page 45

Living-Space: 1999
Mike Reccia assembles Century Castings’ Moonbase Alpha Building kit
REGULAR READERS OF THIS TITLE MAY HAVE futuristic, convincing, unified look that is unique
GATHERED OVER THE YEARS THAT I HAVE A FONDNESS to this series and unlike anything else ever created
FOR MOST THINGS SPACE: 1999. That fondness not for an SF TV show.
only encompasses the sets, costumes and
spacecraft seen in the series, but also embraces the I was therefore delighted to recently receive a
look of Moonbase Alpha, both inside and out. Yes, review sample of Century Castings’ Alpha
I know the individual larger-scale Alpha building Building garage kit release. This is a large,
miniatures (as opposed to the large complete straightforward resin kit comprising of a detailed
Alpha model... featured in exclusive photography roof section, four walls, a circular part to add to
in our new Modelling: 1999 special, by the way!) the roof detailing, and some self-adhesive square
are comprised of little more than simple boxes silver ‘mirror’ labels with which to create the
with kit bits stuck on them, but they have a clean, illusion of windows.

Construction is a simple affair, with assembly

consisting of nothing more complicated than
making sure the walls (lettered A, B, C and D on
their reverse faces) match up with corresponding
letters on the inside of the roof (initially I have to
confess I did get it wrong – which I put down to
work pressure, advancing years... and rank
stupidity) and gluing them together. Two-part
epoxy was my adhesive of choice for a strong
assembly, the walls and ceiling being temporarily
held together with strips of masking tape (frequent
checks being carried out to ensure everything was
square) until the epoxy had set. It was then a
matter of filling and sanding any gaps with a little
P38 car body filler and filing and sanding back
until all joins were smooth.

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06-AlphaBuilding_pp45-48_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 19:12 Page 46

Studying shots of the studio miniatures I larger Alpha building miniatures (pure white is far
determined that many of them feature some form too bright). I then masked off random panels
of external ‘pipework’ on their front faces, so I around the walls and on the roof and oversprayed
selected a couple of suitable examples from Wild the masked areas with either light coats of grey or
House Models’ excellent resin pipe set – this white until I had contrast areas I felt happy with
presenting the modeller with a vast choice of pipes and which mimicked the look of the series
in various configurations, thicknesses and scales, miniatures.
perfect for use in a variety of figure dioramas and
also for enhancing kits such as this one – and In Space: 1999 Alpha’s buildings sport a variety
superglued them to appropriate locations on the of checkered line tapes, Sasco year planner
model. oblongs and triangles in various colours and
random decals across their surfaces, a trawl
Creating the Alpha look through the spares box providing me with close
Having first thoroughly cleansed each face of the matches for what could be seen on screen. These
building on a piece of kitchen towel dampened were duly applied to the building, then
with methylated spirits to remove any lingering oversprayed lightly with grey and white to knock
mould release agent, I sprayed the whole building them back and blend them into their surroundings.
in grey acrylic automotive filler/primer. This
allowed me to gently sand smooth any slightly Finally, the reflective window squares were
rough areas once dry, and also served as a perfect peeled from their backing sheets and applied to the
pre-shading base colour for the model. slightly raised locating squares set into the resin,
and the building was complete...
Humbrol Matt White was then sprayed lightly
onto the kit from a rattle can until I had a grey- All the model needed now was some appropriate
white base-coat that matched my reference of the surroundings to sit in...

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The moon for sixpence A unidentifiable but very interesting component

Fortunately David’s daughter Becky had recently from the spares box, originally performing some
given me two square cork faced message boards vital function inside a printer, was then sprayed
she no longer wanted, and one of these, I felt, grey and blue and glued against the side of the
would make a suitable lunar base for the building building. A ping-pong ball was also grabbed from
via some quick tweaking and painting. I therefore, said spares stash and glued into a circular base,
having first marked out the shape of the building which then had four lunar module kit legs added
onto one of the boards, mixed a liberal amount of to it, set at an angle. Finally, the whole thing was
P38 car filler and applied it to the entire base primed, sprayed silver and added to the scene,
excluding the marked out area, stippling and approximating the look of one of the storage tank
texturing the filler into suitable lunar landscape modules that can frequently be seen standing close
swirls and mini craters until it had set (I also to Alpha’s buildings on the miniature sets.
dragged a pencil tip through it at the front of the
building to create wheel ruts for a tiny spare ...And that, in no time at all, really, completed
Product Enterprise Moon Buggy I would add to the build.
the scene once it was finished).
Final musings
With the basic landscape set in filler I epoxied This is an inspiring and versatile release destined
the building to the pre-marked area that was clear to add interest and authenticity to any number of
of filler then spread more P38 around its base to Space: 1999 dioramas. An approximate scale of
suggest drifts of lunar dust and the accumulation 1/72 allows the building to sit comfortably with
of small lunar rocks against its sides. The filler was 12-inch Eagle replicas. It also means that the
then treated to a series of white and grey acrylic model represents a bigger slice of Alphan
washes until I arrived at a finish I was happy with. architecture than most of those seen in the series,
which usually feature much larger windows.

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Therefore, by sanding off the slightly raised to be used in larger dioramas by giving each
window areas and substituting larger window building a different configuration.
stickers than those supplied (or cutting windows
into the resin and backing the holes with ...In short, if you have the room – plus a
transparent plasticard) the kit could be easily hankering for a large scale Moonbase Alpha
converted into a smaller Alpha building at a larger layout, of course – the possibilities are endless.
scale (if you get my drift) and thus also serve in
dioramas as a complement to larger-scale Alphan Review kit kindly supplied by Century Castings.
hardware. A variety of scratchbuilt ‘upper storeys’ For details email:
could also be added to it, as featured on certain of centurycastings2014@gmail.com
the series’ miniatures, allowing multiples of this kit or visit: centurycastings.co.uk

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07-Brian_pp49-54_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 19:24 Page 49

Eagles: the next generation

Brian Johnson exclusively reveals his plans
to produce new 1999-themed die-casts and kits

BRIAN JOHNSON’S NAME AND WORK NEED NO other one. We vied with each other to do the best
INTRODUCTION TO READERS OF THIS TITLE. Having shots! It is one reason we did pretty good effects
joined AP Films under Derek Meddings in 1961, work as both of us were competitive... We did help
Brian with initially as a model builder on Gerry Anderson’s each other too as we were good friends.’ He
Griffon, Supercar, Fireball XL5 and Stingray, Brian later subsequently left the by-then-renamed Century 21
HeavyLift Eagle became a second unit director on Thunderbirds. in 1966 to create special effects shots for Stanley
and Scorpion He recalls, ‘We had two Main Units at AP Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
concepts. Films/Century 21. Derek ran one and I did the

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07-Brian_pp49-54_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 19:24 Page 50

Contributions to various film and television

productions including Hammer’s Moon Zero Two
and When Dinosaurs Ruled the World followed.
Then, in 1974 he once again teamed up with Gerry
Anderson, this time for Space: 1999, his special
effects work over two seasons giving the show an
epic, filmic quality and a unique look that is still
admired some forty-two years after the
programme first aired.

Brian was, of course, also responsible for

designing 1999’s iconic Eagle Transporter,
together with various other craft on the series,
including the much-loved Mk IX Hawk which
appeared in first season episode War Games.

Since 1999, Brian’s impressive career has taken

in Ridley Scott’s ALIEN, Star Wars sequel The
Empire Strikes Back at Industrial Light and
Magic, Dragonslayer, The NeverEnding Story and
James Cameron’s Aliens, for which he was
awarded a BAFTA for his contribution to visual

News of Brian’s latest project, however, will

come as music to the ears of readers of Sci-fi &
fantasy modeller, as he is currently hard at work
creating all-new hardware concepts that are firmly
anchored in a parallel-world Space: 1999 universe, Brian with
including variations on and expansions of the HeavyLift Eagle
Eagle theme. prototype.

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07-Brian_pp49-54_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 19:24 Page 51

The Griffon. We recently caught up with Brian and he took

time out from his busy schedule to share with us
exclusive images of his new creations and explain
the thinking behind what is intended to be a series
of 1999-inspired die-casts and kits, planned for
release under the title Extra sci-fi machinery
from Brian Johnson Designs...

SF&FM: Brian, could you tell us a

little about the background to
this project? How did it come

without a TV series to promote

the new craft the project was
probably going to gather
dust in my iMac!

...Since 1974 there have

been many changes in
ownership of the
rights and as a
result the agree-
ment has to date
not been tracked
down and the arrangement
has therefore never been followed up.

Brian Johnson: SF&FM: What is the thinking behind the function

My Eagle designs of each new piece of hardware in the series? Are
have been so popular over you developing a background story for each
the years and because Gerry vehicle/craft in your mind before you begin the
Anderson kept most of the royalties from design process?
the show apart from securing the rights for me to
receive a percentage from all Space: 1999 Eagle Brian: I hated the concept of a Moon being
kits produced worldwide in perpetuity (including pushed out of orbit by a nuclear explosion, so I
the Airfix/MPC release – and unfortunately Airfix imagined the Moon being hit by a huge asteroid
went belly up two years later!) I have always toyed on the far side and knocked off orbit. Then I
with the idea of designing ongoing generations of thought maybe the Moonbase survivors made it
space craft that would please me but I knew that to an airless planet in another section of our

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07-Brian_pp49-54_scififantasyModeller 15/09/2016 14:06 Page 52

Galaxy and needed new craft to survive

and explore.

SF&FM: Were you always unhappy with the

premise of the moon being blasted out of orbit?
Were you able to suggest the alternative or was the
production company dead set on the 1999 premise This photo and
as we know it? left: Griffon
Command Module
Brian: Sadly no one at the top end of Century 21 variants.
Productions had a clue about science fact or why
that particular format was chosen. Doppelgänger
was another weird, impossible theme from Gerry.
I used to talk to Charles Crichton and other show
directors about the absurdity of the concept but it
was work and we all needed the money and we did
the best job we could under the circumstances…

SF&FM: Are your new vehicles all lunar-based?

Could you specify their names and functions for

Brian: Let’s just say they operate in airless

conditions. The Griffons [1 and 3 com port] are
multi-purpose machines with more advanced
power units. The Scorpion is used for grabbing
heavy metal compounds/rocks/junk. The
HeavyLift Eagle MK II does what it says – carries
heavy objects/spacecraft.

The Ultra Hawk will be an all bells and whistles

New Generation Fighter. No images of this are
available just yet ...watch this space!

SF&FM: What’s the significance of the new logo

featured on the craft – what organisation does it

Brian: The logo was designed by me because we

couldn’t use the ITC Moonbase copyrighted logo.
I drew it up in five minutes and it was supposed to The Scorpion
be smaller than is shown at present [and will be!]. prototype.

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07-Brian_pp49-54_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 19:24 Page 53

This page:

SF&FM: Did you build the prototypes and, if so,

what are they constructed from?

Brian: I have known Bob Ballan from TV’s

Thunderbirds days and he has worked on many
projects that I have been involved in. He is simply
one of the best prototype model makers. He used
a compound that originates from Germany and
when using silicon rubber moulds each item sets
hard in about 3 minutes, which makes casting
all the components quite a quick job. Each design
features repeating frames which slide onto brass or
steel tubing, thus making it easier to assemble than
the Eagle framework.

SF&FM: There are obviously strong references in

your designs – particularly the Eagle – to Space:
1999 in the new vehicles. Although not specifically
linked to the series, are these intended to be from
the same ‘universe’ and background as 1999?

Brian: Because this project started off as a series of

doodles with no future production in mind they
were omni space concepts but with an Eagle
family link in some but not all cases [the Scorpion
is one example] and there will be probably 6 or 7
different concepts.

SF&FM: Are these models subsequently going to be

made available as model kits? If so, will they be to
the same size as the prototypes or to a smaller scale?

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07-Brian_pp49-54_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 19:24 Page 54

Brian: There is a strong possibility but it is up to This page: Brian’s concept

the kit producer to decide what size the models sketch and the prototype
would be. The Griffons are about 29 inches – the model of The Scorpion.
Scorpion is about 25 inches and the Heavylift
Eagle MK II is about 29 inches [my concept name
for a bigger but flattened Eagle was ‘Spread
Eagle’]. The finished Eagle will have bigger rear
engines, by the way.

SF&FM: When might we expect to see these craft

available as kits?

Brian: There is a possibility of some action late

next year but lots of hurdles have to be overcome.
However, I expect the die-cast versions of
whatever size will be manufactured in China [there
are superb die-cast facilities there]. These will be
produced from our original moulds – with a few
tweaks for detail. ...Or scaled down, as a 29" die-
cast will be very expensive… I have a 12" Eagle
die-cast that could have been used for filming it is
so good. I think it is a Product Enterprise model.
At the present moment Head of Licencing for
Brian Johnson Designs, Peter
Greenwood, is in negotiation with My web design skills are pathetic! However, a cou-
several interested parties with ple of keen modellers have offered to help me out but
regard to producing die-casts nothing is written in stone at present.
based on the new craft.
SF&FM: Thank you for giving us an insight
SF&FM: Will there be a website into your new project, Brian. We look forward
readers can go to for updates on to reporting on further
progress? How can inter- developments.
ested parties contact you
for further information?

Brian: I am coming to
the conclusion that a
website will be needed
and I am really not the
person to set that up.

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08-Gwent_pp55-59_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 15:13 Page 55

‘Tell me you’ve
seen something
like that before...’*
Building the new Space: 1999 Gwent kit from Zero G Models
Mike Reccia
ARGUABLY THE MOST IMAGINATIVE, STRIKING AND obtain realistic footage of the heavy model rolling
UNUSUAL OF ALL THE GUEST SPACECRAFT APPEARING across the miniature lunar landscapes during take-
IN TWO SEASONS OF SPACE: 1999, Delmer Powys off and touchdown sequences. At the end of
Plebus Gwent (to give the infernal machine its full filming, visual effects cameraman Nick Allder
title – it being named after its creator), or simply picked up the five-foot-wide model and, in
Gwent, is a fascinating design and an impressive frustration, threw it across the studio, destroying it
model. completely. The fourteen-inch version built for
distance shots happily survived.
Actually the craft was realised as two studio
miniatures by series model maker Martin Bower – The subject of this article is an ambitious new
one five feet in width and the other around 14-inch wide garage model kit based upon the
fourteen inches. Legend has it that the larger dimensions of the largest Gwent miniature. Next
motorised Gwent model filmed for The Infernal to no reference for this version remains, however,
Machine episode provided the least happy and so my finishing and detailing of this model
experience of the series for the Bray Studios-based would at a late stage in construction be centred on
effects crew during production. With its twin set of three shots of the smaller miniature which came to
rotating ‘paddles’ (incorporated into the design by light via the Internet (...and I’m sorry here but I
Bower as an homage to the spinning UFOs can’t give you an address to go to to view these as
featured in Gerry Anderson’s live action series of they were passed on to me via a friend, so I don’t
the same name) it proved extremely difficult to have the original connection to them).

*Sandra Benes to Kano, on spotting Gwent approaching Moonbase Alpha on the Main Mission big screen.

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1 2

3 4

5 6

7 8

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Opposite page: OK – let’s get to the build. This first resin around the other corner filled with P38 car body
1: parts line-up. offering from Zero G Models comprises a hollow filler and sanded down to a smooth finish.
2: rear plate added, body, a rectangular underside plate, two hub
recontoured, and collars, a back plate, pre-scored ‘sticks’ from The curved, raised sections that arch outwards
filled. which the ‘paddles’ must be cut, pre-cut brass from the rear of the top ridge to either side of the
3: recontoured left rods, two pre-drilled hub pieces, an inner ‘eye’ body were asymmetrical, so I smoothed in filler
hand curve on detail piece, a transparent plastic dome for the around the left hand curve and reshaped it with a
upper body. ‘eyeball’ and, finally, a black and white set of scalpel and sandpaper to more closely match the
4: underside front competently hand-illustrated instructions. The curve on the right. The two hub collars that
plate in place, filled, resin parts are nicely cast, though some (minimal) accommodate the paddle hubs were then
and hole drilled for flash, as can expected with most resin subjects, superglued to the sides of the body and any gaps
stand. needed to be removed and one or two slight between the joins filled and sanded back.
5: underside plate casting missteps smoothed and filled before
fitted and filled, assembly could begin. The most challenging part of any Gwent
rear plate fitted and recreation is always going to be the two complex
filled. The body has been purposely cast as a hollow paddle sections, and it was this aspect of the
6: paddles cut and piece to allow the more ambitious modeller to design I tackled next. The use of a small mitre box
fixed on one hub. install a motor to drive the paddle hubs. Being to is recommended in the instructions but, as I do not
7: black stripe in electronics what a frog is to brain surgery I own such a piece of kit (it’s definitely time I did),
place – back view. eschewed this route and chose to simply glue the and as time was, as ever, pressing to deliver this
8: black stripe in bottom panel in place, filling the resulting seam review, I simply used a razor saw to cut up the pre-
place – front view. with P38 car body filler and sanding it back to a scored pad ‘sticks’ into the 32 paddle components
smooth finish while still leaving a slight indent to required for the job (16 per hub). Not using a
This page: indicate a panel line. Knowing the piece would be mitre box inevitably meant that some of my cuts
9: paddles sprayed difficult to display without some kind of support I were not completely square, and so much filing
in blue and contrast also dug out a circular metal stand I’d bought ensued to square up the ends of each paddle.
panelling begun. many years ago when a local shop was closing
10: top cross- down, and which had been slowly rusting in the The locations for the brass rods that sit in the two
hatching stage one. cellar ever since. I felt Gwent would look suitably paddle hubs are pre-drilled, but the undersides of the
impressive in an ‘in-flight’ pose atop said stand, paddles themselves need drilling to accept the
and so scoured off as much of the rust as I could outermost ends of the rods. Hole positions were
from the stand, then primed it before spraying therefore marked in pencil, centrally across the width
with several coats of Humbrol Matt Black. A hole of each paddle and 26mm from one end, each hole
of the correct diameter was then drilled into the being hand-drilled with a pin vice approximately
underside of Gwent’s body to accommodate the 5mm deep as indicated in the instructions.
metal strut emanating from the stand’s base.
The brass rods were then secured into the hubs
The next step in construction was the two-part (these are a press fit as the holes are tight and deep
epoxying of the rear engine plate to the body. This enough to hold the rods securely once pushed into
action revealed that the body rear was not quite position) and the paddles superglued to their other
square and true, so the plate was attached to the ends. It should be noted that the paddles sit with
body at one corner only, squared up by eye whilst their longest length from the brass rod facing
the epoxy was setting, and the resulting gap outwards from the body. Some gentle bending of

9 10

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08-Gwent_pp55-59_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 15:13 Page 58

11 12

13 14

the brass rods was also necessary to allow the Gwent models appear to be mostly silver on 11: top section
paddles to line up and be spaced correctly in screen, but the images of the smaller miniature cross-hatching
groups of four. showed quite clearly that this was not the case. stage two.
Additionally, there was a wealth of detailing in the 12: top section
With both paddle assemblies together I sprayed form of stripes and panels of contrast colour to the cross-hatching
the two units with filler/primer then treated both edges and inner faces of the paddles, and many stage three.
the hubs and the body to a coat of Hycote Renault small details across the body, the look and feel of 13: contrast
Silver Grey automotive paint, which seemed an which I wanted to recreate as much as I could, as panelling front and
appropriate colour having repeatedly viewed Blu- I felt this extra detailing would add scale and centre inner detail
ray footage of the miniatures. The surface of the presence to the model. Finally, the top of the ridge in place - option 3.
body was slightly sanded down once dry and a section that runs from the body front back 14: underside
repeat coat of the Silver Grey sprayed on. towards the engine section could be clearly seen to detailing.
have been finished in a matt black, with there also
Painting and detailing being a black stripe running horizontally across
It was at this point that serendipity stepped in and the top front edge of the machine.
provided me with the three aforementioned shots
of the still existing fourteen-inch Gwent miniature. The ridge was therefore duly masked off and
On viewing these and closely studying an image of sprayed in Humbrol Matt Black. The images of the
the large miniature on the Space: 1999 Catacombs fourteen-inch miniature reveal some white-ish
website (catacombs.space1999.net/) it became panel lines running across this black section, and
apparent that a contrast mid-blue had been used these were recreated via the use of a ruler and a
not only for the panels to the front of the body, but silver pen. The top front edge of the body was also
also as the base colour in a kind of ‘cross-hatched’ masked and a thin black line sprayed on, this
panelling pattern to the top and bottom of the being softened with an overspray of the Silver
craft... and, indeed, across the upper faces of the Grey to mimic what I could see in the images as
paddles too. Strong studio lighting makes the closely as I could.

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The blue cross-hatched sections were tackled toning down the blue slightly with a light
next. These appear to be fairly roughly executed overspray of the Silver Grey.
on the smaller miniature and quite uneven
(understandable when working to the pressure of The two black oblong panels that sit centrally to
deadlines and knowing that a lot of this detailing the lower edges of the lowermost pair of blue
would be lost to studio lighting in long shots). I panels to the front of the machine were similarly
wanted to retain this rough feel yet tidy it up created from sprayed and cut down paper labels. I
slightly. I therefore first of all masked off the like using this method as it quickly allows you to
relevant sections and sprayed them with Hycote produce sharp-edged panels, with the slight white
Rover Pageant Mid Blue. Using a ruler and pencil edges of these in this case effectively mimicking the
I then drew out the cross-hatched panel lines, indented white-ish lines of the cut-in panels on the
keeping them even across the two sides of the original miniatures.
craft. Again using the ruler I then brushed MIG
Pigments Europe Earth weathering powder across Finishing touches
the panel lines and lightly shaded in some of the I love the new plastic bottles of metallic acrylic
panels using the brush freehand. When I was paint being produced by companies such as MIG
satisfied with the look I sealed and fixed the cross- Pigments at the moment. Several of these – Steel,
hatched sections with a spray coat of Humbrol Matt Aluminium, Platinum, Polished Metal, etc.
Satin Varnish. were applied with a brush to pick out various
raised details on the two hubs, giving a convincing
Having sprayed the two hub sections with the contrast-panelled look to the pieces.
Silver Grey I oversprayed with the Mid Blue from
a distance to create a subtle blue on the leading Detailing on the paddles was then created via a
edges of the panels. Primed white adhesive paper combination of decals from the spares box,
labels were also sprayed with the blue and the six painted adhesive paper labels, lines drawn on in
dominant blue panels on the front face of Gwent permanent fine-line pen and small sections of
were cut from these and applied to the model, paper label cut out and drawn on with the fine-line

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08-Gwent_pp55-59_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 15:13 Page 60

pen, then applied to replicate the various ‘grid’

patterns seen on the paddles of the smaller

The innermost sections of the hubs, where they

sit into the hub collars were brush painted orange
to match the images of the smaller model, and the
hubs were two-part epoxied into their collars.
Note: each hub should be positioned so that the
paddles on it match in configuration. Each hub
assembly was held by hand until the five-minute
epoxy gripped, then lined up by eye so that it sat
correctly when viewed from the top, front and
side. The almost completed Gwent was then sat on
a box with support under the hubs for two days to
make sure the epoxy had set thoroughly before
further handling took place.

Various small decals were now added to the

body – particularly to the front, and the distinctive
black lines that skirt the raised central section were
added courtesy of adhesive black vinyl model
striping in two widths. The small squares on the
front section above the ‘eye’ were picked out in
yellow with a brush, various panels contrasted
from the base colour through further use of the Full details of the Zero G Models Gwent kit can
metallic acrylics, and, once I felt that Gwent was be had by emailing: ZeroGModels@yahoo.com
sufficiently detailed, everything was given a and the kit should be available on eBay by the time
thorough coat of the Matt Varnish to seal the you read this. A Facebook page is also under
finish and tie the various colours together. construction.

The final step was to detail the primed ‘eyeball’

in a blue base colour with silver raised detailing
(I’ve no idea what this feature is meant to be but it
looks a tad ‘eye-ish’ to me), push fit the
transparent dome over it then slot the finished
model onto its stand.

I had tremendous fun making this kit and the
end result has thus far been deemed ‘impressive’
by three separate sources upon viewing shots of
the finished model. Construction comes
together fairly quickly, the parts count is low,
and with time and patience this model can be
made up into a stunning representation of the
original. Zero G Models have chosen a complex
subject for their first release and have, for the
most part, pulled this off admirably. Some of the
angles are slightly asymmetrical, but these can
be fixed via a little work with filler and
sandpaper and are not noticeable once the
paddle sections are in place.

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Building an even better Eagle

A Review of ParaGrafix’ upgrade set for the Round 2 Eagle Transporter kit
Iain Costall
bells and thruster sets released and now comes
1 another set of parts from ParaGrafix aimed at
refining the details still further. What follows is not
a full build but rather an extended review to
illustrate the parts in use.
The set is supplied in the familiar zip-lock bag
with a four page instruction sheet and a small
sheet of clear plastic to be used for window glass.
(Photo 1) Upon inspection, the parts are to the
usual standard expected from this company with
everything neatly laid out on the fret. (Photo 2) In
addition to the detail parts, there are also various
numerals and symbols including two styles of
Alpha Moonbase emblems which will look good

3 4

regarding the level 5 6
of detail and the
quality of the mouldings, all of which is true, and as nameplates for the finished model. (Photos 3-6.)
a fine replica can be built pretty much straight ParaGrafix sets fall into two categories: the first
from the box. However, even the best kits can are straightforward replacement parts which
sometimes benefit from upgrades to push the require only minimal removal of moulded details
detail beyond what is possible in injection to be used. The second require a more skilled
moulded styrene. approach from the builder and may need
We’ve already seen turned aluminium engine additional parts fabricating from scratch. The

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Eagle set falls into this second category, with

supplementary items such as styrene or brass rod
and miniature bolts called out during assembly but
not supplied. (Photo 7.)
Grilles are provided to replace the moulded ones
on the cockpit bulkhead along with a new pressure
7 door to allow you to model it partially open if
desired. (Photo 8.)
There are four clamps supplied to attach the
beak to the framework. (Photo 9.) This first entails
filling the locating slots with some scrap styrene.
Left to harden, these were then sanded flush.
(Photo 10.) The four brackets simply fold to shape
and are then glued to the rear plate ensuring they
are aligned with the mounting points on the frame.
Miniature bolts can be used here to add realism,
along with some styrene or metal tube. (Photo 11.)
The brackets are shown here temporarily Blu-
Tacked on. (Photo 12.)
The builder is offered various options to recreate
the pressure doors between the cockpit and the
forward corridor assembly. On the studio model
the doors are much smaller than the one in the
cockpit, more like 1/72, so a choice is given
(Photo 13.) of a screen-accurate door (seen on the
left) or a larger one to match the cockpit (on the

10 13

11 14
12 15

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The screen accurate doors are simple plant-ons are printed on the instructions. (Photo 26.)
(Photos 14-15.), whilst the larger doors are more The rest of the fret consists of straps designed to
three-dimensional. (Photos 16-19.) The corres- hold elements of the frame structure to the pods.
ponding doors are fitted to the end of the corridor These, too, can be augmented with bolts as
module. (Photos 20-21.) desired.
Another area to be improved is the linkages on Finally, and separate from the ParaGrafix set, I
the pod landing feet. This firstly requires some obtained some exquisitely-made aluminium sensor
radical surgery to the kit parts. (Photo dishes from Mike Reader in Canada (Photos 27-
22.) The etched parts are then folded 28.), who also offers engine and thruster sets (e-
and attached using more micro bolts mail: reader@mts.net).
(Photos 23-24.) – and they can be In summary, another fine set from ParaGrafix,
made to operate (Photo 25.). and one which will make an already great kit look
Etched frames are provided for both spectacular.
upper and lower windows with clear Thanks to Paul Bodensiek
16 sheet for the glass, templates for which at ParaGrafix for the sample.


18 23






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...THERE ARE CERTAIN DAYS WHEN YOU ARE of his head together. The likeness, as with the
REMINDED WHAT AN ABSOLUTE PLEASURE IT IS TO previous Batman and Catwoman kits released thus
MODEL SF AND FANTASY SUBJECTS, and just such a far in the series, is excellent, and a slight seam
day dawned recently when the latest release in the where the two parts meet was quickly banished via
’60s’ Batman Classic TV Series kit collection from a little light sanding. Next, Pengy’s top hat came
Moebius Models arrived at these offices in the together from brim and crown pieces, and both
form of an advanced injection plastic test shot of head and hat were put aside for priming and
Burgess Meredith as the Penguin. Initially painting later.
intending to hand it over to one of our hallowed
reviewers, I was so taken with the kit that I confess The torso front – reproducing the Penguin’s
to succumbing to a little avarice myself and, waistcoat/shirt collar combo, was first coated in
having stuck my beak into the parts provided, I grey auto primer, then overcoated with several
decided this build should fly no further than the light sprays of matt white, allowing the underlying
editor’s nest and that I should be the one to bag the grey to bleed through very faintly to pre-shade the
bird... (sorry – I’m afraid it’s highly likely there folds in the garment. Its buttons were then picked
will be a degree of this sort of thing at intervals as out with a brush in a semi-gloss white to contrast
this article unfolds). with the look of the ‘material’. The torso (tail coat)
back was primed and sprayed inside and out with
ASSEMBLY AND PAINTING: Humbrol Matt Black from a rattle can and glued
Following the pecking order to the torso front. The coat’s front panels were
The kit builds into a 1/8 scale action pose of the then similarly prepared in primer and Matt Black
Penguin stood atop a rocky outcrop base, grinning and glued to the back piece, framing the torso
with defiance as he lunges out with his trademark front, the fit of these being so good – with the
umbrella. The first stage in assembling him almost invisible seams following the natural side
according to the amusingly illustrated and wittily seams of the coat – that no paint touch-up was
worded instruction sheet is to glue the two halves required once front and back coat parts had been
glued together.

The legs assemble from two halves,

again with the join seams running
along the natural seam line of the
trousers, and these were duly glued,
primed, painted in the Matt Black
and added to the torso. Right
and left shoes are in two halves
also, with a little sanding being
required here to eliminate the
slight central seam ‘steps’. The
footwear was then sprayed with
Tamiya Fine Detail Primer (white)
and brush painted in white for the

Mike Reccia builds Moebius’ new kit
of a certain Mr. K. G. Bird

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spat areas and the straps that extend from these rocky texture of the piece before finishing off with
and loop under each shoe, and matt black for the a sealing coat of matt varnish. As I had snapped
leather areas. Once neatly finished the shoes were off a locating pin under one of the figure’s feet
sprayed with semi-gloss varnish and glued to the when test-fitting it I securely two-part epoxied the
legs. at-this-stage headless Penguin in position on the
Similarly, each hand is a two part assembly, and
for these parts I reverted to the grey primer/white A choice of plumage
top-coat technique to give them form and add Two configurations of umbrella are supplied with
shadow to the Penguin’s white gloves. The handle the kit – a furled version and an open option that
of the umbrella built into the right hand was requires some assembly. This latter comprises of a
picked out in black and overcoated with slightly top (the central ‘spike’ had snapped off in transit
watered down light brown acrylic, allowing the and was untraceable so a replacement part was
black to bleed through faintly and hopefully mimic scratchbuilt and glued in place), eight individual
the look of a wooden handle. spokes, a central connecting hub part into which
these slot and a metal rod that slides through the
Arms halves were glued together next, trapping spoke arrangement and into the top-centre of the
the hands in place, slight seam lines eliminated via umbrella, which I had primed and sprayed in Matt
light sanding, and, with the hands masked off, the Black before adding the spokes. Assembling the
sub-assemblies were primed in white and sprayed delicate spokes proved to be the single most tricky
in Matt Black. The completed and painted arm aspect of the build and it took some time to
assemblies were then added to the torso. correctly align and glue them together and connect
them to the umbrella. The instructions show them
Flightless bird being glued to the umbrella as an already-built
At this stage the rocky base was primed, sprayed sub-assembly... I found it easier to glue one end of
in Humbrol Sand Yellow and various light and each spoke to the inside of the umbrella, then
dark pigments and washes applied to bring out the locate its other end at the correct angle into the

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central hub piece. Once the glue had set I brush example anatomically (much as the Catwoman kit
painted the primed spokes and their corresponding is supplied with two cat ‘statues’). The bird was
ribs inside the umbrella in MIG Pigments Steel. primed, brush painted in black and white and
Much tidying up around the spokes with matt positioned to the front of the base.
black and a fine brush ensued, and, once I was
satisfied that the assembly looked neat enough, I Finely feathered features
sprayed the completed umbrella with a unifying Of course, the quality of paint job applied to the
coat of satin varnish inside and out. face of any figure kit can make or break the entire
build. I had put off painting the face until last as
The single-piece furled version of the umbrella is I’m the first to admit that I’m a hardware builder
far easier to paint, only requiring, following a and painter first and a figure painter and builder
priming and top coating of Matt Black, the picking second. However, on this occasion I was feeling
out of a raised strap stud near the hilt in silver. slightly more confident than I usually am when
tackling a figure’s features as I felt some subtle use
The two umbrellas are interchangeable, each of weathering pigments might aid me in creating a
sliding into the handle in the figure’s right hand via convincing likeness.
a metal rod to give the Penguin as choice of
weapon configuration. I personally prefer the Having sprayed the face in the Fine Surface
opened version as it adds drama and scale to the Primer I therefore first brush painted it with a
figure. couple of light coats of Revell Matt Flesh 35 with
a dash of white added to slightly lighten the
Mini-me colour. Once thoroughly dry, and using a fine
A two-part ‘penguin’ (as in the actual bird, rather brush, I then worked Dark Star Orange Sand
than the actual villain) is also supplied with the Pigment into the various creases in the face,
kit. This, I think, replicates a ‘mechanical’ penguin lessening the intensity of the colour around the
seen in one of the episodes – the neck join line is outer edges of each crease and fold by removing
deliberate – and is not intended to resemble a live excess pigment with the brush until I arrived at

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what looked almost like an airbrushed blending of cigarette holder, this first having been primed, its
base colour and pigment tone. base picked out in black, the actual holder painted
in a light grey, the cigarette in white and the tip in
At this stage the features were fixed with a spray an ash grey.
of matt varnish and the eyes picked out in white
mixed with a little grey. The pupils were then ...Finished, my finny friends. Finished! Wark,
painted in in dark brown, the iris of each eye Wark, Wark!
drawn in with a permanent fine line pen, white
highlight pinpoints added and semi-gloss varnish Great fun, great likeness, great pose, near
brushed over the eyes to give them a slight sheen. perfect fit of all parts, generous helpings of
nostalgia. And, as with each kit in the series thus
The interior of the open mouth was coloured far, the base allows the figure to be grouped with
with a mixture of Dark Star Red Earth pigment the other subjects to eventually form a bat-shaped
and white, and the teeth framed in a grey-white ensemble diorama.
with the teeth themselves being highlighted in a
slightly off-white mix. The lips were a mix of the In short, loved it.
flesh colour plus a tiny amount of the Red Earth,
with the lower lip being lightly coated with a drop Better waddle off and
of satin varnish. The final move was to feather in buy one, Bat-fans.
the eyebrows using matt back
and a fine brush.

With the face finished to my liking

(and much to my relief) I mixed a dark pink/violet
for the primed top hat and painted this on with a
brush in a couple of coats. The same colour was
used for Penguin’s bow-tie knot, and the violet
was also applied to a length of primed adhesive
paper label. When this had dried I cut a thin strip
of the label out with a scalpel and positioned a
length of it to either side of Pengy’s collar to
represent the bow-tie’s neck ribbon and give me
clean, precise lines for this under the collar before
gluing the actual knot piece in place.

Penguin’s monocle is supplied as a tiny disc of

transparent plastic, and, holding my breath and
wishing for smaller fingers, this was carefully
glued in place using the teeniest amount of white Review test shot kindly supplied by
PVA in the corner of the right eye socket. The final Moebius Models.
touch for the face was the addition of Penguin’s www.Moebiusmodels.com

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Andy Pearson takes to the skies in the new supersize Batwing kit from Moebius
IT’S PERHAPS A SIGN OF ADVANCING AGE WHEN ONE IS Having marked up the exploded diagrams as far as
PRESENTED WITH A REVIEW KIT OF A VEHICLE FEATURED possible with the part numbers from the runners, I
IN A MAJOR MOVIE that had been viewed only a few washed all the parts in-situ with warm soapy water
weeks previously and has no recollection of any such and then primed everything with the Halfords grey
machine or the role it played. product. Whilst that was drying I gave some
That was the case when the latest sneak-peek from consideration to the overall colour of the Batwing.
Moebius came along. I take some comfort from the One thing I’d resolved to do was to try a different
fact that the Batwing’s appearances in Dawn of Justice approach to the finish from that which I had used on
were brief and, when seen, it was amongst much the Batmobile. Not that there was anything wrong
sound and fury. I was also relieved when the friend with that paint scheme but something different
who had also seen the movie reacted in the same way: would be more interesting. I eventually chose a 50/50
‘What Batwing?’ Perhaps it was in stealth mode. mix of Tamiya X-10 Gunmetal and XF-1 Flat Black.
As is often the case with review kits, this one Part of my justification for a change of finish was
appeared in two plastic bags along with several that, as this was an aircraft, the materials used and
exploded views of the parts, three wire diagrams of their finishes would have different performance
the final version but nothing in the way of characteristics from those used on a car and the
instructions. My first reaction, having overcome my ground vehicle would be more heavily weathered.
amnesia, was how big the finished model was likely This colour mix seemed to work quite well and
to be – and big it is, having a wingspan of 18" and a offered a bonus in terms of finish. If polished in Top left: test
length of around 17 ½". As for scale, it seems to selected areas with, for example, a cotton bud, the shot parts.
match the Dawn of Justice Batmobile which I had the metallic elements in the paint will be enhanced giving
pleasure of reviewing in issue 41 of SF&FM, which some subtle weathering effects. Of course, one would Top right and
makes it 1:25. want to control this, which is easily achieved by using second row:
With any kit, some time working out just what goes a clear, satin sealing coat overall once the effect has assembling the
where is always well spent and, where there are no been achieved. cockpit.
instructions, putting the jigsaw together with a dry-fit I applied the paint mix by airbrush to the relevant
is even more essential. It did, however, quickly become parts whist the smaller components were still Opposite and
apparent that the kit could be built with the wings in attached to the runners and, whilst the paint was overleaf: test
flight mode or folded, rather in the way of some drying, I turned my attention to the cockpit. I’d fitting hulls and
carrier-borne aircraft. chosen a mid-grey for this and airbrushed a thin coat wings.

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on top of a black ink wash to bring out the detail, of polishing up clear polystyrene parts is the use of
which there was a great deal. Being a test shot of the metal polish wadding and paper kitchen towel but it
kit there were no decals and so I picked out various became clear (pun intended) that the handling
features in subtle shades whilst highlighting one or involved in this simple process was going to be a
two panels in a way that was anything but subtle. problem as the signs of stress began to manifest
I’d already examined the cockpit canopy and this themselves as cracks, be it ever tiny ones, and the loss
wasn’t quite as clear as I would have liked and of a tiny section of canopy but fortunately one that
showed signs of stress in a couple of areas due, no would be hidden by the framing. I therefore
doubt, to its bagged journey. My preferred method of abandoned my polishing, resolving to live with a

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slightly misty windscreen area. glued these, using a thinned PVA, to various
That reduced visibility was what led me to my less areas of the control panels and the cockpit’s
than subtle detailing of the cockpit. The technique side walls. These looked rather garish in the
here was simplicity itself. I took a section of full light of day but, with the canopy in
aluminium kitchen foil and brush-painted areas of it place, provided some interest without, I
in clear blue, green, yellow and red acrylic. When think, looking out of place.
these were dry I cut small rectangles and squares and With the paint now dry on the fuselage,

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Top left: contrast wings, etc. I carried out a further examination of using rubber bands, tape and even the odd drop of
colour to bays. Top the components, knowing that metallics bring out thin PVA. I remain unsure whether the alternative
right: rear engine
details that can be missed at the priming stage. All folded or flight mode wings are offered as a build
components. Centre
shots: fan in position I actually found were two small indentations on the option or whether the changes are intended to be an
and dry fitting doors. forward fuselage and these were soon filled using option once the model is completed. The latter may
Above left: lower Squadron putty. very well be an option and, whilst I’ve provided some
front fuselage. Above Next I returned to my pre-assembly dry fitting images of the alternatives in my ‘dry-run’ build
right: legs/missiles.

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stages, I went for the wings in flight version. Having six holes in each to match the positions of the gun
said that, I used PVA adhesive so that any future barrels. I also picked out some details on the guns
owner of the model could still have the choice of in a gunmetal blue.
wing position given some care in handling and a little There are a couple of further points worth
water to soften the glue. noting regarding this particular part of the model.
Further options applied to the undercarriage, Altogether four pieces are supplied with the kit to
underwing missile launchers and the main ducted fan join the gun section to the wings. The two I used
in the centre of the fuselage. This latter (I assume) slipped into matching slots in the wing tips and the
helps give the Batwing its VTOL and hovering gun assembly with the Batwing built with the
capability. In the interests of showing as much of wings extended. Two alternative joining pieces are
what you get with the kit as possible I went for open angled at about 17° and I assume this is to enable
duct and bay doors all round and the undercarriage the gun assembly to be presented in a slightly Below left: landing
down. folded manner on either of the wingtips when the legs and bomb
It was only within the bays and on the inside of the wings are similarly positioned. racks in place.
bay doors that I varied from my overall dark The gun assembly can have covers attached
gunmetal colour scheme. These I painted olive green above and below which, in the movie, fold away Below right:
for no other reason than a little contrast and the to some storage destination in the wings thanks to headlamps fitted.
possible suggestion that like so much ‘Bat-kit’, the the miracle of CGI.
Batwing might have a military origin. The penultimate parts to be fitted were the rear Bottom left: some
The two bomb bay doors were missing some parts, wings or spoilers which follow the line of the rear filling of seams was
which were shown on the exploded diagrams. Specif- fuselage and are very similar in shape to those on required.
ically, these were the four hinge sections which connect the Batmobile referred to earlier. Truth to tell, my
the doors to the lower fuselage and it was a simple mat- heart sank very slightly when I noticed these Bottom right: rear
ter to cut replacements from thin Evergreen plastic card. amongst the bagged kit parts, simply because their fuselage.
With the landing legs in place it was time to fit supporting lattice had been quite difficult to
the wing assemblies which, in addition to fitting assemble when building the car. In the event, these Opposite left:
the pre-installed wing roots, also sandwich the simply slotted into the fuselage of the Batwing. completed rear
mini-gun unit at the front of the wing. The latter Finally came the rear engines. These line up with engine section.
had been assembled and painted but I had the intakes in the wing roots but can swivel,
subjected it to a little customisation. The muzzles presumably to provide VTOL capabilities. The Opposite right:
of the guns were presented as flat circles and it assembly of these was very straightforward as they completed front
seemed worthwhile to spend a few minutes drilling were each supplied as two halves sandwiching weapons array.

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just to tighten the fit slightly and this seemed to

work quite well.
When all was assembled I added some
weathering using pigment powders, artist’s pastels
and 4B graphite pencil, concentrating on the
leading edges of the wings and the fuselage with
lots of grime round the engine areas. I was aided in
this endeavour by an image on the internet. This
was a studio shot of the full-sized Batwing’s
forward fuselage against green screens used to
create the scene where our hero leaps from the
front of the remote-controlled aircraft into (sic) a
building to confront the baddies.
My overall reaction to the Batwing is that this is
three turbine-like circular sections. To a stunning design done full justice by an excellent
give the turbines a suitably metallic kit and the commercial release should appeal to
finish I painted each one using a silver fantasy model fans as well as general modellers
Mitsubishi Uni Paint marker pen looking for something new and different. Even
which had also been used on the fan lacking an instruction sheet the build was
set into the upper fuselage. I find this relatively straightforward and shouldn’t
product very useful for working on discourage even younger modellers.
small areas such as these as the pens I suppose the only constraint would be display
are very controllable, dry quickly space and, given that being available, the model
and provide a very good finish. almost begs for the diorama treatment. I’m not
The two rear engines are aware of any 1:25 Dawn of Justice figures being
designed as push-fitted available at the time of writing but there are Dark
components and, whilst the front Knight figures and a multitude of vehicle kits in
intakes of each line up and fit in that scale – all of which would, I’m sure, lend
the rear of the main wing intakes, they were a little themselves to customisation and inclusion.
loose – again, please bear in mind that this kit is a
test shot. To help this situation I ran several beads Review kit kindly supplied by Moebius Models.
of PVA round the receiving holes in the fuselage wwwMoebiusmodels.com

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FEATURING IN THE VIDEO GAME BORDERLANDS, body together in sections (Photo 2). Poly Cement
CLAPTRAP IS A CL4P-TP GENERAL PURPOSE ROBOT on PVC foam board is a fantastic combination,
MANUFACTURED BY HYPERION. Having been only taking a few minutes to dry and forming a
programmed with an overenthusiastic personality, solid weld (Photo 3).
Claptrap brags frequently, yet can also express I cut the front mudguard out of some scrap FB
loneliness and fear... and, after a little trimming and shaping, glued this
onto the main body (Photo 4). The front vent took
Part One: The Build me a couple of attempts to get right as
...Being an old school gamer and a serious scratchbuilding louvres is always a bit fiddly
scratchbuild modeller I felt Claptrap would make (Photo 5) – especially with the spacing. Once I was
the perfect little project for me. Getting hold of happy with the spacings I added some small rivets
reference images is where all of my builds begin (Photo 6).
and proved fairly easy on this occasion as I simply As with all of my builds, Pete does all of the
grabbed some great screen shots whilst playing the painting and airbrushing so I always need to
game. consider this and make things easy to paint,
I began by setting out a especially when it comes to masking. With this in
cutting pattern on my CNC mind I decided to keep the vent panel seen in
and cutting the body out of Photos 7 and 8 removable. I added a couple of
2mm PVC foam board (FB) pieces of FB at the back so the vent could be slid
(Photo 1). Next, using my into place once it had been painted.
home-made gluing plate I now started to add the panelling detail around
(galvanised trunking with an the main body using 0.5 and 1mm styrene (Photos
MDF back) I glued the main 9-11). I cut a pair of wheel arches and secured
them on each side (Photos 12-14).
The fish eye lens was a bit of a head
scratcher but luckily I found a clear plastic
screw cap used for corrugated roofing
which, after a little trimming, proved to be
perfect for the job (Photo 15).
Making the lens tube was fairly
straightforward using various pieces
of styrene tubing (Photos 16-17). A
quick test of the LED followed (Photo
18) ...Wow, that’s a bit bright and
kinda like a laser …that’ll do nicely!
I made a simple lid from 5mm FB,
chamfering the edges and adding
a small sun visor
(Photo 19). After
adding the last few
bits of panelling on
the sides the main body was more or less
complete (Photos 20-22).
It was time to get started on the
arms. First I cut out some simple

Jason Hodgetts scratchbuilds the verbose Claptrap (CL4P-TP)
from the Borderlands video game. Paint by Pete Hutchings

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1 2 3 4

5 6 7

8 9 10 11 12 13

14 15 16

17 18 19 20

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21 23

24 22 25

26 27 28

29 30 31

32 33 34

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35 36 37

38 39 40

41 42 43

44 46

47 45 48

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12-Claptrap_pp74-85_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 19:27 Page 78

rectangles (Photo 23) to create the

arm back panels (Photo 24).
Another quick test was then made to
see how things were looking (Photo
25) ...and they were looking pretty
good thus far.
The next little panel was on the
back of Claptrap and needed to be 49 50
chevroned (is that a real word?). So,
thinking of my mate Pete, this also
needed to be removable to save a
masking nightmare.
I created a 2D design (Photo 26)
on the PC, added the tool paths
(Photo 27) and ran a simulated test
cut (Photo 28), then cutting the parts
out for real (Photo 29). After a little
cleaning up (Photo 30) they were
added to Claptrap (Photo 31).
Some trial and error was necessary 51 52
for the arms to obtain the correct
length and these were mostly made
up from styrene tube and some small
box section cut to create the elbow
joints (Photo 32).
The hands were created from small
pieces of styrene carefully cemented
together and allowed to set overnight
as these would of necessity be fairly
fragile in order to create the desired
effect (Photos 33-34). 53 54
The arms needed to be adjustable
so that the model could be posed,
and also removable to help with the
painting, so I needed to come up
with a fairly robust way to achieve
both these aims (Photo 35).
I originally planned on using real
coloured cable for the hydraulic
tubes to save trying to paint each
one but, as these wouldn’t stay bent,
0.5mm styrene with a little heat
worked great instead. 55 56
Photos 36-40 show the assembling
of the shoulder joints. I used two-
part epoxy to secure the 3mm nylon
threaded bar in place and drilled a
3mm hole in the arm panel (Photo
41). Using a 3mm nylon washer and
a domed nut secured the arm nicely
(Photos 43-45). I made the elbows
slightly adjustable too with the
elbow wire doubling to act as a kind
of spring (Photo 46).
57 58

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I cut out a basic circuit board and

soldered a tint switch to the top and
a 6v battery holder on the underside
(Photos 47-49). The domed nuts
holding the arms in place also
secured the circuit board in position.
I next added a couple of arm flaps
59 60 (Photos 50 and 53) and another
louvered vent on top (Photos 51-52)
before snapping Claptrap in a quick
pose (Photo 54).
Next up was the wheel, for which
I mitred two pieces of styrene tube
and added a small corner bracket
(Photos 55-56).
I also decided to create my own
spring by gently heating some
0.5mm styrene rod and clamping it
in place until cold (Photos 57-59). I
61 62 then made a pair and machined a
base plate, this assembly also
needing to come apart for painting
purposes (Photos 60-62).
The tyre needed to be made in two
halves as the thickest FB I have is
10mm, so I had to sandwich two
pieces together and carefully shape
the piece with my knife taking care
not to cut myself (Photo 63).
Using my CNC I machined the hub
63 64 in two pieces and glued these together
(Photos 64-65). This centre hub was
also left loose to help out with
painting and masking (Photo 66).
Addressing the wheel (Photo 67)
the tread needed to be 3D so I used
a tiny ‘V’ cutter in my CNC to
create a soft edge to each tread
(Photo 68). I also worked out the
spacing before cutting to make life
easier when gluing each piece in
place (Photo 69).
65 66 Once everything had been
applied and was dry I used poly
weld to soften the edges of the
treads and to ‘melt’ the very fine
edges to create a worn effect
(Photos 71-72). I then put the
little fella together for a couple
of test poses and prepare him for
his journey to Pete’s (Photos 73-
67 68

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69 70 71

72 73 74

1 2 3

4 5 6

Part Two: The Paint Job photoetch that would do the job nicely (Photo
With everything unpacked and on the bench the 2) and these were duly superglued in place
first thing to do was give all of the parts a couple (Photo 3).
of coats of primer. For this I used Gunze Mr.
Surfacer thinned with approximately 60% Next I added some shading around the edges
levelling thinners and airbrushed on (Photo 1— and in the recessed areas using a very dark grey
see red key). (Photos 4-5).

I have to admit that, while I have heard of For the base colour I sprayed Gunze H329
the video game Borderlands, I had know idea Yellow in multiple thin layers until I was happy
what a Claptrap was. Luckily, Jason had sent with the dethrone of shading showing through
me some screen grabs to use as a reference. It (Photos 6-10). To give a bit more tonal variation I
was while looking at these that I noticed there mixed the Yellow with a tiny drop of red (Photos
were some details I could add to the top of the 11-12) which was sprayed around the edges of the
model. A quick dig though my box of panels (Photos 13-18).
greeblies turned up a couple of bits of scrap

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7 8 9

10 11 12

13 14 15

16 17 18

19 20 21

22 23 24

25 26 27
28 29 30

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31 32 33 34

35 36 37 38 39

40 41 42

43 44 45

46 47 48

49 50 51

52 53 54
55 56 57

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There is a white stripe that runs

around the body and, as I wanted a
weathered finish to this model, I cut
some small pieces of masking tape
58 59
with serrations on them (Photo 19).
The Claptrap was then masked for
the stripe and the small bits of tape
added (Photos 20-21). I used zero
paint base white for the stripe as it’s
very opaque and would cover the
Yellow nicely (Photos 22-24).
60 61
More masking ensued and the
recessed panels were sprayed black
and highlighted with grey (Photos
25-26), with the louvres on the roof
being done in the same way (Photo

62 63 The rim around the ‘eye’ was now

highlighted with medium grey
(Photo 28) and I then gave
everything a light dusting of flat
clear as I had been using gloss and
matt paints and needed to blend
everything together (Photos 29-39).
Claptrap’s tyre was painted Tamiya
64 65 Rubber Black and the raised treads
sprayed with mix of Rubber Black
and light grey (Photos 40-41).
Parts for the base, wheel hub and
suspension were painted in Alclad
Aluminium over Matt Black (Photo
42), the arms were based in matt
black (Photo 43) and for the
66 67 suspension struts I took some metal
tape (Photo 44) and cut some thin
strips and added these as shown in
Photo 45.

The springs were left in Matt

Black for contrast and dry-fitted to
see how things were looking (Photos
68 69

As mentioned previously by Jason,

he had left a lot of the smaller parts
separate to aid painting and this
really helped with the small panel
that goes on the back. This was
70 71 sprayed white then small strips of
tape were added before spraying red,
72 73 the handle being brush painted in
yellow (Photos 48-50).

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74 75 76

77 78 79
81 82


A quick dry fit ensued at this stage to try and Onto the weathering of the Claptrap. For this I used
establish the angle of the Claptrap when it’s on its an 8B pencil, working a side at a time and building the
base (Photos 51-52). effect in layers rather than in one go. Matt varnish
was sprayed to seal the graphite after each pass as it
There are two small recessed panels on the front can get messy otherwise (Photos 63-74).
and these are lights on the in-game version. I stuck
on masking tape and cut it to size (Photo 53). This I wanted to add the effect of dust thrown up
was then transferred to clear acetate. For the around the bottom of the Claptrap by its wheel so
bottom light I used a piece of mesh as a mask and picked out some suitable shades (Photo 75). I
then sprayed clear blue. The mask was removed sprayed these, heavily thinned at first, in random
and the lens sprayed white. mixes and at the end with a thicker mix from a
distance to give a dusty look, not forgetting the
The top light was painted clear red and a small area wheels and suspension (Photos 76-82).
in the centre in white... (Photos 54-55) and I was
pleasantly surprised by the result (Photos 56-58). The arms had a few areas painted in Vallejo
Modelair Silver, applied by brushing the wire
As the finished piece will be heavily weathered I picked out with Vallejo Red and Yellow (Photo
needed to do something to the base to make it 83). To finish up I masked the tread plate on the
match, so over the aluminium base coat I sprayed base and sprayed the edges with black followed by
Alclad Jet Exhaust in a light, random, cloudy a couple of heavy coats of clear gloss (see final
pattern. Photos).

Vallejo Rust Wash was then applied heavily with ...This was another fantastic build by Jason and
a large brush and quickly wiped away with a cloth was an absolute blast to paint.
(Photos 59-62). Pete.

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12-Claptrap_pp74-85_scififantasyModeller 07/09/2016 19:28 Page 85

An exciting range of highly

detailed, must-have figures
and accessories from:


85 |
13-HFTM2_pp86-87_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 16:17 Page 86


Galactica Raptor update New from ParaGrafix is a
Moebius have given us the following detailed photoetch set for superdetailing
progress report on the further refinement of test the Round 2 MPC 22-inch Eagle
shots regarding their upcoming Raptor kit: kit. The set includes cockpit
window frames, clear plastic
‘Following the second test shot (featured Vol 42 sheet for crystal clear views into
– Ed.) we’ve adjusted all locator tabs for interior the cockpit, two sets of doors for
parts to make parts fit together easier, addressed the passageway between the
sink marks on several parts, removed an unneeded cockpit and the forward cage
tab on the bottom of the rear fuselage part, revised area, two sets of straps for
some locator pins that were too long in the tail attaching the spine to the cages,
booms, added some material to the round tubes so replacement clamps for the
they would fit against the booms better, addressed cockpit area, replacement
part #55 that was a short shot in the second test ‘scissors’ for the passenger pod
shot and told the factory to remove two large pins landing gear and bonus
from engine halves that were interfering with Moonbase Alpha first and
assembly of these. second season logos, plus Eagle
identification numbers and the
‘In the Third test shot we showed them a ‘AA’ Alpha door logo. MSRP
number of locator holes for the armed version that $42.95. www.ParaGrafix.biz See review this issue, page 61.
needed to be flashed over in production – these
holes were not open on test shot #2 – plus some WILD HOUSE MODELS
areas where they needed to clean up mould flash
and where there were locator pins missing from Rick Sternback Warship
parts. Available in a few weeks time is the Rick Sternbach
designed Warship kit from Wild House models. The
Moebius also commented regarding our test release offers 70 resin parts including clear pieces and
shot review in Vol 42: custom photoetch, complete with full colour
Page 64: there are no missing tail intake parts – instructions and packaging. An optional lighting
nothing goes inside the intakes. board will also be available. RRP £155 plus shipping.
A full build will feature in a future issue of this title
Pages 64/65: the round lines were left ‘hollow’ and you can watch the unboxing video of the kit at:
because they are almost invisible in the finished wildhousemodels.com/video-pictures-more-
model – the incompletely moulded side is buried unboxing-the-first-casting-of-the-warship/
under the engines and you have to search hard to
see it!

Side door pages 64/65: We never intended to put

detail on the inside of the door – it is not sufficiently
visible when the door is in place even when the door
is open for us to invest in producing that detail.

Continues page 87...

Errata, Blade Dumber article, Volume 42

Page 87 – Caption should read: Tom Bradshaw as Rex Dickard – photographed by A. J. Pilkington.
Page 92 – Nigel Wood should read Nigel Bird. Page 93 – Final line should read: Thanks to sponsor, Colin
Cooper, and to our late friends Kevin Bulmer and Geoff Hutchins who sadly did not live to see the final product.

| 86
13-HFTM2_pp86-87_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 16:18 Page 87

Forthcoming releases include: by Polar Lights.. The reissue is an enhanced

version with mini lighting kit for the Jack-O’-
Proteus Lantern and with new box art featuring classic
As reported last issue, the Proteus submarine poster art.
from 1966 classic movie Fantastic Voyage will
be available soon as a 1/32 scale kit from Dark Knight Trilogy Armoured Tumbler
Moebius, featuring a highly detailed interior. A In 1/25 scale, this new release comes with an in-
full build of an advanced test shot will appear in scale Bane figure and includes the option to build
the next issue of SF&FM. as the Batmobile if desired.

Batwing Robin and Riddler

The Batwing from Batman v Superman: Dawn Robin and the Riddler are next up in Moebius’
of Justice is set for release as a 1/25-scale classic ’60s’ Batman kit series. Both should appear
styrene kit giving the option to build with before the end of the year.
wings extended or in folded position. The kit www.Moebiusmodels.com
also includes a removable gun cover and
detailed cockpit (see build article this issue).

Wonder Woman
Again from Batman v Superman: Dawn of
Justice, Moebius’ new 1/8 scale resin kit of
Wonder Woman stands 10" tall.

Michael Myers
From John Carpenter’s Halloween,
this 1/8 scale styrene release is a
reissue of the kit previously produced


See our full Star Trek line
87 |
online at: round2corp.com!
TM, & © 2016 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All rights reserved. Polar Lights and design and Round 2 and design are trademarks of Round 2, LLC. © 2016 Round 2, LLC, South Bend, IN 46628 USA. Product and packaging designed in the USA. Made in China. All rights reserved.
14-Hulk Smash_pp88-98_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 16:18 Page 88


Jason C. Gares of Video Workbench creates a detailed

stomping ground for Dragon Models’ vinyl Hulk kit
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! ...Though perhaps we shall from somewhere, the ground below shattered and
assemble the Hulk vinyl figure kit by Dragon Models broken from his impact, but more on that later…
Limited instead, as I’m sure that will be far easier for So, without further ado, let’s get to assembling one
this instructional article. And I’m pretty sure the of the most menacing and dangerous superheroes
Avengers have models of their own to build… or the in the Marvel universe: the Hulk.
world to save… or something like that.
If you’ve been following both my Video
Either way, this Hulk figure kit is well designed Workbench line of kit instructional videos and
and very well manufactured. The model comes in past articles here you’ll know I have a certain way
five vinyl pieces (4 green and 1 brown – Photo 1) of starting all model kit projects. No matter what
that interlock so there are no seam lines to fill or the kit is made of, its subject matter, or genre, I
sand... which would be considered the ‘well always first count the parts, make sure they aren’t
designed and very well manufactured’ part I just damaged, see where they fit into each other, give
mentioned. The detail is as good as it’s going to get them a thorough cleaning and leave to dry
with this character and actually takes me back to overnight before either gluing them into sub-
the good old days of the defunct 1990s garage kit assemblies and/or starting on the painting. (Photos
manufacturer Horizon Hobbies. Back in the day 2-5.)
Horizon produced a vinyl model kit that I really
didn’t care for. I liked the size and detail it offered, Since all parts of this kit are made of soft,
but never really liked the pose. This kit, by Dragon hollow vinyl, for ease of painting I slid long
Models, is a very well done rendition of the paintbrush handles, bottles or pipettes into the
character as seen in the first Avengers movie. The openings as far as they would go. This allowed me
only thing I found to be boring was the flat, black, to paint all parts thoroughly, quickly and with less
oval base that was included. Before I started this mess, as I didn’t end up getting paint on my hands
project I decided I was going to add on to the base while holding them in this way. (Photo 6.)
to make it look as if the Hulk had just ‘dropped in’

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I applied several light coats of Ceramcoat

White to act as a primer on all parts using my
Iwata-Medea Revolution CR airbrush on
everything except for the base. (Photo 7.) A
general rule of thumb when painting superheroes
and super villains is that you want the heroes to
be brighter and the villains to be darker in colour.
Base or primer coats for superheroes are
suggested to be white, while super villains tend to
1 have either grey or black, setting the tone for the
piece you’re painting. This way of thinking will
make more sense later when I start adding
colour... and speaking of colour, once the white
was dry, I airbrushed several light coats of
Ceramcoat Yellow on all parts that would be the
usual Hulk green skin colour. (Photo 8.) When I
started applying light coats of green over the
yellow, it actually showed through in areas,
giving contrast in certain high points and
breaking up the boring green.
I decided to move on to the Hulk’s tattered
pants. Instead of going with the colour scheme
used in the movie, I went with the more
traditional purple that’s been seen in the comic
book for years. I believe the purple pants are a
better contrast to bring out the Hulk’s green
colour than the blue jeans used in the Avengers
movie. I first highlighted all creases and seams
with Ceramcoat Purple, then added a few light
coats over that with the same colour. What this
achieves is a dark and light contrast in the pants,
3 highlighting detail. This technique is also known
as pre-shading and is commonly done over edges
of aircraft panels on fighter jets so they can be
seen better once the overall paint colour has been
applied. I put the pants aside to dry. (Photos 9-

Going back to the body, arms, legs and head, I

airbrushed on several light coats of Ceramcoat
Orange, making sure that muscle, vein and
tendon details weren’t covered. This effect gives
4 all parts an overall orange colour with faded in,
central yellow highlights. The hair on Hulk’s
head would remain white for the time being and
be painted in later. (Photos 11-13.)

Now it was time to apply vein and muscle pre-

shading to make them pop out more once the
overall green was applied. Again I slid what I
needed to into each part to make painting a lot
easier. (Photos 14-15.) I decided to try Iwata-
Medea ComArt Steve Riojas Creature Paint Kit
Vein Flesh and see what results I got... sometimes

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6 7

8 9

10 11

12 13

14 15

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you have to experiment. This is also a way to learn

what does and doesn’t work when painting. I
highlighted all veins and the crevasses between all
the muscles. (Photos 16-17.) In the end I decided
the look I was hoping to achieve didn’t come out
the way I’d liked, so I washed all the paint off and
started over, going right back to the overall orange
and yellow colours...

16 ...This time I decided to use Ceramcoat English

Yew Green for the highlighting between muscles
and veins, and that instead of airbrushing colour
on top of all the veins, I was going to do something
a little different and go around them, creating
more of a shadow effect. If I had a little overspray
in an area where I didn’t want it to be, I used a
cotton swab with a little airbrush cleaner and
gently wiped away. I pre-shaded all parts and let
dry overnight. (Photos 18-21.)

With pre-shading finally done to my liking, it

was on to applying the main green skin colour.
After searching high and low for a colour to match
the box art, I finally found Anita’s Acrylic Craft
Paint Moss Green at a local hobby store. I applied
several light layers by airbrush on all parts over
the course of a day. The end result was a very
convincing natural skin colour that actually could
look real. The pre-shading came through just
enough to bring out deep detail and the yellow
broke up the overall green, achieving a simulated
highlight effect that also doubles as variance in
18 skin colour. (Photos 12-24.)

Before gluing, I heated up the pegs just above

each knee with a blow-dryer on a medium-hot
setting – please be careful not to burn yourself.
Heating up these parts made the vinyl soft enough
to pop the pegs into each hole in both pant legs. I
added glue to the bottom portion of each pant leg
and pushed in the legs to their appropriate side.
After the pegs had cooled and the glue dried I
sprayed the entire lower half with Testors Flat
19 Clear Coat to protect the paint. Once this was
completely dry, I filled both legs and lower body
with Durham’s Water Putty for three reasons: (1)
to give weight to an otherwise very light model; (2)
to add strength and reinforce the parts from the
inside and, (3) when the finished Hulk was ready
to attach to the base, I would be able to make
holes in the bottom of both feet so I could pin him
in place for greater stability. (Photos 25-26.)

Before painting the upper torso and head, I

sprayed them with Testors Flat Clear Coat. Once

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dry, using a very fine paintbrush, I detailed the

fingernails with Ceramcoat Hunter Green. When
finished, I stuck the upper torso and lower body
together using five-minute epoxy. Once this had
hardened, I painted Hulk’s toenails in the same
way I’d painted his fingernails. To add some
contrast to his nails I lightly drybrushed a lighter
green over them. This also gave them a battered,
dirty look. I added contrast and protection to the
nails by applying Ceramcoat Clear Gloss Varnish 21
and letting dry. I applied three light coats of the
Clear Coat all over and let dry overnight. (Photos

I felt most of the detail of this model would

mainly be in the head and face, so I left this as the
last thing to do on the figure. I first blocked in the
hair with Ceramcoat Brown, making sure I got
into every crevasse and detail possible. I then
drybrushed Ceramcoat Black all over the high
areas of the hair so contrast and depth were
added, making it look less one dimensional and
flat. Using a very fine paintbrush, I lightly went
around, blending in and cleaning up the hairline
with more Paint Moss Green. I blocked in both
eyes and teeth with Ceramcoat Ivory, used
Ceramcoat Brown to paint the eyebrows, then
drybrushed more Ceramcoat Black over them for
contrast. I mixed Ceramcoat Red and White
together to make a fleshy pink that would fill in
the gap between both upper and lower sets of teeth
and also between each tooth. Using a fine
paintbrush, I applied Ceramcoat Hunter Green to 23
the Hulk’s lips and between each tooth. Lastly,
using Ceramcoat Black, I painted in his eyes by
creating circles with no tops or bottoms, as these
would be covered by the eyelids. Using more Paint
Moss Green, I painted in the iris and a black circle
over that to represent the pupil. I finished off
detailing both eyes by adding small pink dots to
each corner close to the nose, thin black lines
above and below each eye to represent eyelashes
and, finally, two white dots off-centre from each
pupil to represent light reflection and the 24
curvature of each eye. Both eyes and teeth had
Ceramcoat Clear Gloss Varnish applied to add a
sense of realism. To protect the finish and all the
detail work, I waited to attach his head and put
this to one side for safe keeping. (Photos 32-45.)

With the figure complete, I began work on the

boring oval base. Did you really think I was going
to leave it alone? Nope, not going to happen! The
kind of base I had in mind would complement the
Hulk, selling the kind of character he is and

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26 27

28 29

30 31

32 33

34 35

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36 37

38 39

40 41

42 43

44 45

| 94
14-Hulk Smash_pp88-98_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 16:20 Page 95

conveying an action instigated by the Hulk

himself, which of course would be some sort of
destruction and mayhem. So, how about a little
destruction to a street or road? I felt that would be
a good starting point and would work nicely.

In my opinion the base lacks character. If you

want a plain base you could leave it or paint it any
way you want, and there’s nothing wrong with
that, it’s just a matter of personal taste. I decided 46
to go the extra mile and make a shattered street
with rocks and chunks of ground smashed under
Hulk’s weight, some of which would come up
around his feet to show impact. I first determined
the height I wanted to work with for the add-on of
the street – a half inch would work nicely and,
using a hobby knife, I cut several pieces of heavy
card stock into strips and taped them together
with clear tape around the top edge of the base,
making a perfect oval. I then taped the card stock
to the base all around the oval, creating a fast and
cheap mould. I turned the base over and taped the
peg hole that goes through it, as I was going to
pour a liquid into the mould and I didn’t want it
to leak through. (Photos 46-48.)

Taking a bag of stones primarily used to line the

bottom of fish tanks, I poured it into the mould
and spread it around as evenly as I could using my
hands... you can use any utensil you wish and that
works best for you. Once the stones were to my
liking, I mixed a batch of Durham’s Water Putty in
a container and poured it over them. To help 48
spread it as evenly as possible, I went side to side,
up and down using any hand tool I could find.
When the stones were completely covered I left the
Putty to dry, but I hadn’t mixed enough, as it only
filled the mould half-way. During the drying
process, while it was still a little damp, I mixed
more Putty, topped off the amount left in the
mould and spread it around as I had the first time,
again letting it dry. Once the Putty was hard, I
removed the tape from around the temporary card
mould and flipped over the new part of the base, 49
revealing stones and some of the Water Putty that
went through. At this point I saw a battered street
– all I needed do now was add more detail and
paint it. But first, I glued it down using epoxy.
(Photos 49-57.)

I positioned Hulk on the base where I wanted

him and, using a pencil, traced around both feet,
leaving a marked area where I wanted to build up
the ground showing impact. Using the same stones
as before, I carefully built it up. I also used dried

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51 52

53 54

55 56

57 58

59 60

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coffee grounds to simulate dirt around the stones.

I glued both in place with a combination of Mod
Podge and Ceramcoat Flat Varnish, letting dry
overnight. The next day I pencilled in where I
wanted cracks in the street and, using my motor
tool with a cutting bit attached, ground into the
hardened Putty. Now where I wanted to be with
the base, It was on to painting it. (Photos 58-61.)

61 Again using the airbrush I sprayed three coats of

Testors Model Master Gray Primer all over the
base I made and the oval one that came with the
model. Once dry, I took a spray can of Rust-
Oleum Multicolor Textured Gray and sprayed it
over the entire base. I darkened in all areas of
stone rubble and the cracks in the street with
Testors Model Master Flat Black for a pre-shading
effect. Ceramcoat Dark Brown and Burnt Umber
were airbrushed and dry-brushed onto the stone
rubble areas to show contrast and as much detail
as possible. Once to my liking, I sprayed the entire
base with Testors Flat Clear Coat and let dry
overnight. (Photos 62-65.)

The next day I added the final touches to the

model. I began by gluing the head to the body,
drilling holes through the bottom of the base into
Hulk’s feet, cutting wire coat hangers into small
pegs to be epoxied into those holes for stability,
gluing him to the base with more epoxy and
adding a gold name plate. I added more detail by
painting on dirt around the edge of his feet and
63 underneath his left foot. I even added a splashed
dirt/mud effect to his feet and legs using a
toothbrush dipped in both Ceramcoat Dark
Brown and Burnt Umber and running it under my
thumb to achieve that look. The model and base
were now complete. (Photo 66.)

All in all I enjoyed this model kit very much. It

took me back to when I could walk into a hobby
shop and find garage kits of this sort that would


65 66

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14-Hulk Smash_pp88-98_scififantasyModeller 08/09/2016 16:20 Page 98

make my creative juices run wild in anticipation

of the build and what I could create. I hope
you’ve enjoyed reading this article as much as I
have writing it and have learned a little
something about how easy well designed and
manufactured vinyl model kits are to put
together and paint. In my opinion, they are way
more affordable and easier to build than most
resin kits.

Until next time, thanks for reading, subscribing

and your support. Model On, my friends!

Jason Gares, Video Workbench Productions


| 98
inner pages pp2 and 99_scififantasyModeller 06/11/2015 15:12 Page 99

copyright © 2016

99 |
ISBN: 978-0-9930320-8-0

9 780993 032080