Thursday, June 14, 2018

Klingon BOP - Part 3:

    To get you all fully up to date (as of 6-14-2018). A discussion about color and weathering ...

    For choosing paint colors. I have to admit that I don't have enough experience to just "intuit" things. I can't look at one color on a screenshot or reference picture and say "okay, I need to mix X amount of this color and Y amount of that ..." or  say to myself "okay, that's pretty close to color X from brand Y." So I usually spend a little time and research to get a general idea. I do own a color wheel and know how to use it, but playing around with different colors is part of the fun ...

    First, I took the pdf of the BOP instructions and grabbed just the paint guide section. Using GIMP, I can then "color in" the paint guide and get an idea of what I want.

    Unfortunately, some of the recommended colors, which are Model Master Enamels, have been discontinued or converted over to MM Acryl. I'm not of fan of Acryl, and I hate playing the game of trying to paint enamel over acrylic and vice versa. So I did some digging and decided to go with Vallejo colors. Vallejo is a water based vinyl acrylic and a lot a folks who use it seem to like it (especially the Model Air line of colors). I've been wanting to try Vallejo Acrylics and this seems like a good opportunity to do so. So, after some digging through color conversion tables and Vallejo's own literature/pamphlets. I've come up with a color list of sorts.

Main Hull:
Pale Green - Vallejo 71.095

Underside Feather Pattern:
Insignia Red - Vallejo 70.947

Light Ghost Gray - Vallejo 73.615
Green Zinc Chromate - Vallejo 71.094
Emerald - Vallejo 70.838
Sac Bomber Green - Vallejo 71.329
Rust - Vallejo 71.080
Gun Metal - Vallejo 71.072
Flat White - Vallejo 71.001
Flat Black - Vallejo 71.057
Steel - Vallejo 71.065
Flat White - Vallejo 71.095

Clear Parts:
Clear Yellow - Tamiya X-24
Clear Orange - Tamiya X-26
Clear Red - Tamiya X-27

And here is what those colors look like in GIMP:


    You might wonder how I got the colors into RGB values for GIMP. There's an interesting website called that list many colors across several brands of paint and estimates the RGB, CMYK and other values. Is it precise, or accurate? No. But it's close enough to get a general sense of what each color would look like on the model.

    Now for the weathering. Since I've never attempted this before, I did a fair bit of reading and watching YouTube videos on the subject. As of now, my plan is to:

1.)   Pre-shade over the primer coat with some Tamiya flat black, then the hull colors.
2.)   Some chipping and scuffing using silver and rust colored paint.
3.)   Dry-brushing highlights.
4.)   Satin/Semi-Gloss coat and then a wash/filter.
5.)   Satin coat and then pastels (both Tamiya and chalk and maybe ground carbon). 
6.)   A final flat coat, first fogging it on, then a couple misting coats.

    We'll see how well this goes ...

    And finally, not ignoring the base. I have access to a vinyl cutter and will probably cut out a mask so I can spray the Klingon emblem on the base. Initial tries with the cutter have proven pretty successful.

    And that's where a I am as of 6-14-2018. Things are pretty busy here at home, but hopefully in the coming days/weeks, I'll be able to work on this model again. For more frequent, smaller updates, be sure to check out my SciFiModelAction build thread on this and look for posts on "The Model Shop" Google+ page and the SciFiantasy community.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Klingon BOP - Part 2:

    I started out wanting to do some simple lighting for the KBOP but, as usual, I added more and more to it ... :)

    First, the running lights and windows will be static, as they were in the movies. They'll be a warm white color and the running lights will be bloomed fiber optics. The "spotlights" on the wings will be fiber optics running to some cool white light sources and the torpedo ring lights and box lights near the back of the neck will be tinted red.

    For dynamic effects, which will include firing of the torpedoes, disruptors and engine pulsation, I'm using an ATtiny85 micro-controller programmed with Arduino. The code and instructions to use it can be found on GitHub here. Here's a schematic of the circuit:

    Specifically, on a button press, the torpedo launcher fires. If the button is pressed and held, the disruptors fire in short bursts for a time. The main engines have a slow rolling fade (~6 seconds) with faster 1/2 second pulsations on top of that. Here is a video of the concept circuit:

    I decided to roll my own board instead of using a prebuilt ATtiny85 dev board, such as the Adafruit Trinket. I used OSHpark to fabricate the boards. Here is a link to the project page.

    I also whipped a linear 5V regulator board to power the model, but I might use a DC-DC converter instead, depending on how much the current the whole setup draws. I'll put up on post on that later.

    In Part 3, I'll briefly discuss my plans on a color scheme and how I intend to do the weathering ...

Monday, June 11, 2018

Klingon BOP - Part 1:

    My current project is the 1:350ish Klingon Bird of Prey (KBOP). This kit was originally released by AMT several years ago and has since been re-released a couple times by Round 2. Most recently, in 2016 for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. I'm building a version from 2010.

    Overall, the tooling for the kit is pretty good. It's not studio accurate without some modifications, but I'm not going for that on this kit. This is mainly a learning experience for me in that it will be the first kit I light and attempt to weather.

    I'll be building this kit with the wings in "cruise mode". Let me get you caught up on where I am now ...

    First. I decided to drill out the ring of lights that go around the main torpedo launcher. Time consuming and delicate work, but manageable. I used a #79 drill bit in a pin vise. You drill a few holes along the length of each window, then use the drill as a "saw" to chew through the plastic in between and clean up the rough edges.

    I'll fill these with Micro Kristal Klear to test out the lighting and use as a paint blocker. Then I'll replace that with more Klear, tinted with red food coloring near the end of the build. Klear is easy enough to remove and replace.

    The disruptors were a beast ... The barrels are way too long and too skinny to even think about fitting a drill bit through. So, I decided to rebuild the disruptors using brass tubing, aluminum tubing and some music wire. I have seen others do this with pretty good results and I think I accomplished the same here.

    A 0.75mm fiber optic just fits and gives a good glow for the disruptors.

    In Part 2, I'll talk about lighting and the basic color scheme I've chosen ...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

    We'll here is my first post, and I thought I would start off with showing some pictures of some of the scale models I have built (well, there's only two ...)

    The first was a 1:1000 Second Pilot Enterprise. The kit was a lot of fun and I plan on building more in the future. The second kit was a 1:1000 D7 Battlecruiser. I built it up and painted it as the Romulan Capital Ship as seen in the Animated Star Trek series. I took some liberty with the accent colors. All the colors used were enamel. That coupled with the intricate masking and various layers meant it took a long time to do.

    Hopefully, I'll be posting more build updates here as time progresses. Right now, I'm working on the 1:350-ish AMT/Round 2 Klingon Bird of Prey. Lot of plans for this kit ...

You can find a link to my Google+ page on the right. Here is a link to my YouTube page.
I'm a member of the SciFiModelAction forums (username Spencer) as well as the SciFiantasy community (username Spencer Wolfe).