In Progress » Flaptters from Laputa: Castle in the Sky

04.28.2006 » Concepts / Intro

just got a few of these from R10 after seeing Laputa on CN
a few weeks back. Excellent movie and great mechanical designs
so I had to get a few. Especially since it’s not an expensive
kit. Build-wise this is going to be mostly OOB. My original
plan was to try and make the wings flap. However there’s just
not enough room withing for me to do what I need to do to
make it work. Also, the rear wings attachment point is too
far back and the inside wall is too thin an area for any mechanisms.

Paint-wise, I’ll be using Alclad 2 Copper for
the main color. I might lighten it a bit with some Aluminum
or Pale Burnt Metal but we’ll see. I’m also debating on painting
the wings with a pale clear yellow similar to the movie. I’ll
also be weathering it to make it look aged and used. Not sure
how I’ll do this over the bare natural metal finish yet.

So far I’ve cut out nearly all the parts and
pre-built the kit. Everything goes together very nicely with
no huge gaps. This would be a good time to point out that
this is the reengineered version by Bandai. Their parts-fit
is almost always perfect. I’ve made little modifications to
the way parts fit together so that I can slide in the dash
and grille after painting everything. The bottom of the craft
will be added last (and is one nice large piece) and painted
in a matt reddish brown color. The figures are molded pretty
nicely and thankfully molded in plastic and not polycap material.
WHEW! Below are some pics of my prebuild:

04.30.2006 » Paint and Proportions

While the Flaptter may look like a cool ride,
it also looks to be an uncomfortable one. The Flaptter is
1/20 scale and when you add the figures that came with the
kit on it looks fine. However, those are figs of children.
I took a 1/20 MaK SAFS pilot and added him to the back and
that’s where the comfort level begins to drop. See pics below.
Aside from that I am done with the Flaptter to the point of
being ready for primer. The figures still need a little bit
of work… more specifically the girl needs some putty and
sculpting work around where here headband/hair meets the rest
of her head.

Paint-wise I’ve decided that pure Alclad 2 copper
is going to look too bright and orange. This is based on looking
at my bottles of Tamiya copper and bronze. The bronze looks
like a better color, but Alclad 2 doesn’t make bronze. Damn.
So I busted out my Tamiya metallics that are similar in color
to my Alclads to get a good shade. Below are the results of
my tests on the bottom of an applesause cup. All colors below
are Tamiya Acrylics and amounts are approximate. Titanium
gold is very similar to my Pale Burnt Metal Alclad and Gloss
black will be substituted for Alclad 2 Gloss Black in my final

A: Copper 4 parts + Gloss Black 1 part + Titanium
Gold 2 parts (best mix)

B: Copper 4 parts + Gloss Black 3 parts + Titanium Gold 2
parts (too dark)

C: Copper 1 part + Titanium Gold 1 part (too light)

D: Copper 3 parts + Titanium Gold 1 part (too bright)

E: Copper 4 parts + Gloss Black 5-7 parts + Titanium Gold
2 parts (way too dark)

F: Titanium Gold Pure

G: Copper Pure

H: Gloss Black (pure) and old white glue

05.03.2006 » Horse Cart

One image in the instructions shows a Flaptter
on a horse-drawn cart as pictured in the Laputa Artbook. I
decided to try this for my second Flaptter. Oh yeah, I’m building
2 now… both are primed and painting has begun. Anyway, the
cart fits a Flaptter snuggly and is made from bamboo skewers,
balsa, and popscicle sticks. Also used is misc plastic and
option parts. It’s held together with 5 minute epoxy. The
wheels are made from styrene tube, 2″ PVC slices, bamboo
skewers, and thin styrene for the metal rims. Here’s some


05.05.2006 » Painted and a little

After priming the cart with dark gray primer,
I drybrushed it first with a sandy-gray, then with white to
give a whitewash look. I left the bed of the cart un-whitewashed
to simulate that the paint was worn off from years of use.
After that dried I gave it a wash of brown. Rust was done
with MIG Pigments.

05.06.2006 » Copper!

It turns out that Alclad copper is darker than
the Tamiya copper. This is great since I didn’t have to mix
any other colors into the copper to get the shade I wanted.
I sprayed the parts in the Alclad copper first. Then as a
weathering step I mixed a bit of steel into the copper and
sprayed it as a postshade for a tarnished copper look. I sprayed
this mostly around the vents, but also a little around the
panel lines. Then I used silver and copper Rub and Buff and
blue oil paint to do more tarnished copper around the vents.

05.10.2006 » Done Painting

Painting is done… at least for the Flaptters…
the figures still need painted. Below you can see the pics
of the final paint. Next is some minor weathering with MIG
Pigments for streaks and such.

05.11.2006 » Done Weathering

Here’s some pics of the flaptters with weathering.
Various shades of MIG Pigments were used to streak stains
onto the surfaces.

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