Posts Tagged ‘Hoth Diorama’ »
I’ve had these 1/48 scale Fine Molds Snowspeeders almost done for a while now, but just needed to paint the pilot figures. I started painting them last week since I needed to paint a couple 1/72 Rebel pilots as well and finished them a few days ago. These were painted with Tamiya Acrylics, 502 Abteilung oil paint, and Pigment powders. Basically the same techniques I used for the Millenium Falcon.
The two orange speeders are for a client’s diorama. One will be in flight while the other is downed with a pilot being rescued. The two grey “Luke” speeders are for sale if anyone is interested. I can sell them as-is or make a small Hoth display base with the Rebel Turret kit I mastered. Just send me an email if interested for a quote.
As seen in a few of the images, the canopies don’t want to stay completely closed as-is. This can be easily fixed by gluing them shut, but I wasn’t sure how potential clients might want them, so for now, they’re unglued and open-able.
Here’s pics of all four speeders:
So I’m near the final stages of the Snowspeeder painting and am waiting for oils to cure before my final flat coat and pigment applications. This is the perfect time to bust out the sculpey and start on some more Hoth diorama figures. Next up is a 1/48 scale Tauntaun. I downloaded a bunch of reference pics and using the riders as a size reference figured out how big it’d be in 1/48 scale. I was shocked to find out it would be smaller than I thought it’d be. That makes it a little more difficult to sculpt in details, but no matter… it needs done!
All of the pics show these guys with their tails on the ground when moving. That seems odd to me given what’s known about dinosaur movement these days. (probably a necessary evil on the part of the model makers to get it to move neatly) Since they have the same basic shape I decided I would modify the pose a bit to show it running a little harder than seen before in the film with the tail in the air.
I started out with a wire armature and bulked the chest area up with a small ball of foil and then covered that in some wire mesh. Over that I started applying sculpey to get the basic shape down. I started by sculpting and detailing the head since that would be the hardest part. I figured I could hold the body if necessary for extra support while sculpting. Glad I did! After that I started applying the rest of the shape and arms.
I think this is as far as I can go for now before I need to bake it to add more details and the other leg. The leg will need to be removable for casting. I’ll also sculpt the saddle and straps then. After another bake I’ll do the rider and it’ll be ready to go!
EDIT: Couldn’t resist so I added the saddle. You can also see the start of the left leg and where it will be cut off.
Here’s the latest on the build-up of the four Snowspeeders. First I airbrushed some German Gray onto the rear engine parts to darken them up as per the reference. Then I applied a clearcoat of Future and the decals. Those went on quite smoothly except that since I wasn’t using the kit-supplied stripe decals I needed to carefully cut out the orange boxes on the gray speeder on the sides of the air-breaks to remove the gray.Once the decals were done I applied a thin flat coat for the next steps.
I applied the paint chips using neutral gray with a very fine brush then afterwards added more with some sponge to get the finer masses of chips and scrapes.
After the chips I added an warm buff colored filter in order to warm up the cool gray of the initial painting. After that I applied the discoloration with oil paints. This is done by adding small dabs of oil paint (I use and love the 502 Abteilung brand… very fine and smooth!) then blending them and streaking them with clean odorless turpenoid. For this I used Dark Mud, Navy Blue, Buff, and Dark Rust colors. Below you can see the difference between the discolored speeder (left) and the one with just a filter applied (right). Notice that it gives you subtle variations in the surface color making it appear more worn.
Once that dried overnight I went back and added more Dark Mud oils to the gun crevasses and engine parts. I also applied slightly thicker filters of either Dark Rust or Snow White 502 oils to further accentuate panels.
Next I’ll use some thinned 502 oils and apply a thin wash to just the panel lines. No need to get sloppy with a thick wash covering all the color variations. After that I’ll apply another flat coat and then do the soot-streaks, rust, and grime with Mig pigment powders.
Someone had asked about there actually being a gray Snowspeeder in the Empire Strikes Back. Frankly I wasn’t 100% sure either so I loaded up the DVD and took some screen shots. Indeed there is a gray speeder and from what I could tell, the only one I saw flying about was Lukes. Here’s some shots of that and of the 1:1 set pieces:
Here you can see Luke’s speeder in gray and the standard orange model.
Look close and only one is gray. (hint: largest in foreground)
This I found interesting… looks like they used the same model a LOT. Were there more than one model used for the filming?
Here’s a shot of the large set pieces. Man these things were dirty!
And here’s more shots:
As it turns out, what was to be a HUGE diorama has turned into two dioramas… one pretty big and one smaller. No worries and just as fun for me! When it was released I purchased four 1/48 scale Fine Molds Snowspeeders with two earmarked for these dioramas and two for fun.
I opened the 4 boxes and started construction on this quartet on Sunday morning. By Monday evening I was priming the kits. They’re very simple and straight forward to build with only a few easy areas needing seams fixed or gaps filled.
Once the primer had cured I sprayed the interiors with Tamiya Neutral Gray then using a small brush painted in the details. After a quick spray of Future Floor Acrylic to seal it I applied a wash of thin 502 Abteilung blue + black oil paint to pop the control details. After that I applied tape to the insides of the canopy frames to mask the interior and set about painting the exterior.
At first I was going to use the hairspray technique, but after looking at references of the studio models I decided that level of chipping would be excessive. Instead I started by painting all four speeders in Tamiya Neutral gray then painted over that with a very light gray… almost white, but not quite. When that cured I went about painting on the markings instead of using the provided decals. While I love orange on the speeder, nothing I’ve seen, studio models or film shots seem as orange as Fine Molds decals do. If anything it’s red-orange (to me) so that’s what I did for two of them. The other two I mimicked the gray scheme of Luke’s speeder as seen on the Master Replica version which I had lots of pics of in an old issue of TMMI since I couldn’t find shots of the actual model used.
To paint the markings and chips I first masked everything with Tamiya tape. Then using Mig’s Liquid Mask and a sponge I dabbed on what would be the chips after painting. Then I painted the markings, rubbed off the mask, and repeated as needed for the different colors. It was a LOT of work! LOL!
Next up, airbrushed dark soot and darker chipping.
So I sent my turret off to a caster a few weeks ago. He decided to purchase the master and to produce it which is great because I got a bunch of copies for my use plus some trades which is nice.
I got my copies on Saturday morning and that night threw one into some ‘Purple Power’ to clean the mold release. They look great and with three parts, paint-up should be easy so I decided to see how quick I could paint one up. Here’s the process:
Received the kits and threw them onto a bath of Purple Power. You can get it at Walmart. It’s an engine cleaner/degreaser and great for removing the mold release agent from resin parts.
I removed the parts from the cleaner and scrubbed them down with an old toothbrush. I then did the minimal clean-up needed. A few small mold lines on the turret/gun and on the base of the base was all there was. Gave the turret two coats of primer. First was green Duplicolor Self-Etching then a coat of light gray Duplicolor filler primer. After that dried I buffed them with very fine steel wool to smooth out the filler primer.
After that I started on the base coat. This will be a multi-stage, multi-layered process so bear with me. I first sprayed it with Tamiya Light Sea Gray then I mottled some Deck Tan over that. Finally I did a post-shade of panel lines and shadow areas/damage with Tamiya Dark Gray. This was all later sealed with Future Floor Acrylic. It looks like an odd jungle camo, but this base coat will be mostly hidden by the next steps and serve to give a layered and used look.
Once the Future cured I gave the parts a few coats of hairspray and a sprinkling of crushed kosher salt over the still-wet hairspray. This will make for some interesting chipping effects through the whitewash when wet-down and chipped with small soft brushes and toothpicks.
Over the dried hairspray and salt I sprayed on thin coats of Tamiya Flat White. Allow some of the base-coat to show through. Make the top of the turret and other parts lighter to get a sunlight highlighted effect. Spray under the turret thinner to make false shadows.
Once the paint cures a bit… (I only waited about 20 minutes) take and dunk it in some water and use various brushes and such to remove the salt and to add more chipped paint. The hairspray loosens the top layer of paint with water allowing fo easy and realistic chips ranging from small faint scratches to huge blasted away areas.
At this point the contrast between the white and the base coat is pretty stark. I expected this and this allows for yet another layer to be added. All of these layers make for random variations leading to a more realistic end result. Over this spray another layer of white to blend in the chips until you’re satisfied with the look. Vary your obacity as usual to get a mottled realistic look.
At this point we’re ready for the actual weathering. While some might call this done, a few extra steps will really bring out the look and make something that’s plain white to be something that’s far more visually interesting. First I applied a Sin Industries filter (gray for white) then after a few hours of that drying I added some discoloration with oil paint. I used white, blue, dark rust and dark mud colors. After that I added more white oils over that to bring back the lightness that the discoloration and wash took away. Finally I added some rust streaks with oil paint. Here it is all done.
Dagobah is done, so now onto the next Star Wars commission and one of my favorite scenes… HOTH! While the scenery of the ice planet shouldn’t pose as many problems as Dagobah did, it has it’s own unique challenges. I need to make a barren and mostly flat snowscape interesting, but also very very large. I estimate the base of this 1/48 scale diorama will be about 2 x 5 feet when complete. This will be covered in snow, a trench, some boulders, and of course models!
Added to the scene will be the following:
- Two 1/48 Fine Molds Snowspeeders
- One Resin AT-AT (close enough to 1/48 to not make much difference)
- One AMT AT-ST heavily modified. (the possibility exists of having to mostly scratchbuild this part)
- Two Golan Arms DF.9 Anti Infantry Batterys (Scratchbuild)
- 1.4 FD P-Tower laser cannon (maybe) (Scratchbuild)
- 6 or so Rebel Soldiers in Hoth Gear (Scratchbuild)
- 1 Tauntaun with Rider (Scratchbuild)
- Misc. Boxes, conduit, etc… (Scratchbuild)
- And if I feel ambitions, a couple Snow Stormtroopers (Scratchbuild)
First up on the list is the DF.9 Anti Infantry Battery. Yeah… WTF is that you might ask? It’s that mushroom-shaped turret. Pretty common all over Echo Base.
When I started this I was using my Star Wars “Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology”, but it really didn’t match up with the stills I took from the movie. So I ended up mostly using the movie stills for reference, but a print-out of the Guide images for scale.
Here’s where I’m at so far. I’m *almost* done but just need to fill in some seams and whatnot. I need a few of these so will have to look into getting casts made. It’s made using a lot of styrene and a lot of bondo.
Here’s the rest of the images.