OlCabour's Hangar

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jeudi, 27 juin 2013

Space1999 Swift - Done !

As the rest of this assembly, final assembly brought a lot of complications.
- at first, the legs: curiously, they no longer have the same tilt as initially! So disassembly, corrections with pliers and reassembly was needed.

Several small parts were broken, bent and/or broken during these manipulations.
I caught up as better as I could, then repainted to hide the misery. Fortunately, it is in a rather hidden area.

- Same thing for the pipes of the small reactors.

-I will not detail everything, but I had to get out the airbrush few more times thereafter to correct 2/3 assembly goofing... Under another flow of well-chosen swearwords!

Here it is before the installation of the dorsal tanks :

The method to hold the dorsal tanks support plates did not work, so I get back to a more conventional but reliable method: screw!

Catching up some damages.

Before :

After :

Then complete the tiny pipes of the VTOL and side modules

I'm quite proud of the final result

Here it is, exhibited at Geekopolis convention - Paris / May 2013.

mardi, 25 juin 2013

Space1999 Swift - Wash, decals and varnish

I applied a black wash on the parts (preceded by a coat of gloss /Klir).The wash is very light here because the goal is not to dirty the ship, but just to highlight the details.

(sorry, no photos)

There are a bunch of decals. They all need to be cut from the board and are quite fragile, and many will lose a little of color in the operation. Cutting small black circles is made with a punch ... with more or less success.

I damaged one of the large striped decal strips that circling the dorsal tanks. So I had to redone the damaged part with paint.
To hide the difference, I made a small black weathering with the airbrush to simulate a dirt panel.

It remained to apply a coat of varnish before final assembly.

I tested the Microscale Micro Satin (thinned with water), and as I did not see any differences after drying, I went to the Micro Flat ...not better!

So I get back to Prince August Air mat, strongly mixed with Tamiya thinner (with proportions around 10/90) and especially not with alcohol, to prevent white marks.

mardi, 18 juin 2013

Space1999 Swift - Grey paneling

Black panels are painted, after prior masking and with the help of decals for the control module.

Then comes a light paneling on the "white" and "orange" areas with different shades of gray (using only one gray, Neutral Grey XF53, in playing with the airbrush). Then some black streaks near gauges and nozzles.

As I forgot to hide the aluminum area on the landing gear, they were painted white. Rather than trying to scrape the paint for a unsure result, I airbrushed them with Alclad Chrome.

The tiny resin nozzles are painted with a base of gloss mat, then with Alclad : Jet Exhaust base color, followed by Steel and Chrome.

The end and inside of the turned aluminum thrusters received also Alclad Jet Exhaust, and mat black.

I then applied a black wash.

dimanche, 16 juin 2013

Space1999 Swift - White, red and orange

A first coat of primer reveals rows of micro bubbles on the side modules, quickly worked with filler.

White paint

Space1999 are not pure white, but slightly off-white. So I mixed white Tamyia with sky gray (Tamiya Xf19). Over a white background you can easily see the difference. Over another more colorful or black background, the eye and the camera accommodates it as a white (which is the goal).

The white panels were masked


Then came the difficulty of finding the right red color ... Which is not red at all in fact on the studio model ! It is frankly orange, with a heavily worked panneling made of different levels of orange and red orange.

So I went on basic orange (Tamiya X6).

The paneling is done with red too, but staying subtle and playing with the flow of the airbrush to softly darken the orange base color. A little like a postshading, I used a rather heavily thinned paint (at least 80/20 alcool/paint), and a very low pressure .3/.4 bars (5 psi I think, very near the loose of pressure), and the airbrush in double action (to be very soft in the paint flowrate). This way, painting a panel need several passages to really paint it. So I played with this to add more or less red paint over the orange, so I get lot's of level of tons of color, from orange to red-orange to near full red pannels.

With this technique, near no paint is going out of the tiny flow, so you just need to mask the panel itself, not the whole model. During painting stage, I had photos of the studio panels on an ipad on hand. So each panel is quickly masked : four large tamiya tape, 2 for just a corner, or only one if I just want the separation line (mostly on the dorsal tanks).

Some panels are then done with a mixture of light orange and light pink.

vendredi, 14 juin 2013

Space1999 Swift - Legs and VTOL

Now, the legs.

This is by far the most complicated stage of this kit. They consist of several rods to bend in all directions, metal pipes to cut and fit, and resin parts to put on.

The Swift is a long legged ship. The legs could not be made of resin (it would have been too fragile), and the result would have been, I think, random with cast metal. In short, this is the right solution that was chosen, but it is a real challenge to ride...

Construction of a wooden stand to hold the central body at the proper height.

I started by drilling holes in the modules to insert the rods (being careful to diameter because it changes depending on their location).

Even having converted all dimensions and diameters of rods and tubes in the instructions, I did not always find the right diameter in those provided. Either my conversion is lousy (but in this case, all my conversion would be false, which is not the case), or there are errors in the docs (bad copy/paste ?).

Well, I really had to start the legs this time, I could no longer postponed this uneasy stage. So after a clever set of pliers, drill, of sore fingers and swearwords, re-gluing of part coming apart (under a new rain of swearswords) ...I ended in something that suits me.


The hardest stage was done. It remained to add their struts brace, made of brass rods and plastic tubes. In this kit, they are only details, as the legs are clearly enough string to support the weight of the kit, without any reinforcement.

So I only prepared these parts and installed them after painting. In order to install the legs (which will therefore be also set after painting) I need to play with, and I'm afraid that these struts do not bear these twists.

Beforehand, I take care of the VTOL engines to avoid a conflict with these struts, as they are really near to each others. As they are attached to the side modules, the angle of the rods needed care when drilling holes, and especially in the engine, as they are all different, and their positioning are different from front and back ones.

Here, they are still not properly adjusted:

For the length of the struts, it is better to directly measure the length on the dry build legs rather than stay on the instruction measures, as how the legs are installed directly affects these measures. And here, an error of 2 mm does not forgive.

The detail of the shock absorbers have to be done with the provided gray tape, but I was not able to get my hand on them again... and that was good because I replaced it by masking tapes (Tamyia, Micron) I had and of the appropriate width, thus saving me on cutting.

Final stages of the building : - The engine module is made of parts related to its central cylinder. There are lugs for alignment. Again, drill and small brass rods reinforce the assembly. - The pipes connecting the secondary engines to the main body gave me a hard time because I had misjudged their locations and angles. - Holes in the feet to fit the end of the legs. They will also be glued after painting. - Preparation of small verniers on the head. Again, setting up small rods to strengthen the assembly.

(Sorry, no photos here)

That 's all for now on the assembly, it met a whole skygrapper of kits waiting for paints ... but with a priority pass ;)

jeudi, 13 juin 2013

Space1999 Swift - Feet and Thruster

It was time for her little feet. The small discs (her toes) are also secured with small rod reinforcements.

A dry test, without the legs. It is already very nice.

The main thruster was bending seriously, so I completed the basic installation as follows:

  • Addition of a metal tube securing the nozzle on the engine cylinder, and aligning them,
  • Due to drill bit in millimeters instead of inches, I had to also add a wedge (test with a rod and made with putty) to secure the rod to the main body.

The hinges were glued following the useful method pointed by Alex in the instructions : using a rod as a guide

New dry test

mercredi, 12 juin 2013

Space1999 Swift - Second start, the real one !

A little over a year later, I went back to work on this kit for a second Space1999 display stand at Geekopolis convention

Preparation and parts cleaning was already well progressed, I started directly by the assembly of the sides and upper modules. Both sides of the top and lateral modules are glued end to end, strengthening the bonding with rods (piano or brass wire). I used slow curing superglue, guides and clamps to secure the alignment.

The filled is cleaned with acetone or nail cleaner, curiously this damaged a little the surface of the resin (this is the first time it happened for me with resin). I tried to catch up that, but was not satisfied, so I let this aside to see that later after a good shot of primer (which later proved to be good enough).

Then I drilled the locations of the nozzles. Same operation on the head to connect the neck and the central body.

Rods are also provided to secure the modules on the central body. They will be glued after painting.

Filling a few bubbles that I had forgotten during these operations.
On the head and the central body, the locations of small nozzles and tune metal discs are enlarged so they can go in properly.
On the 2 large dorsal tanks, it is also preferable to keep the two small nozzles with thin brass. hey hold just as it unglued for easy transport and storage.

These tanks are connected together by two small plates of resin molded directly with a brass rod therethrough for support.

These two plates would then be stick on the upper module, but I found it too fragile, so I had to find a trick to have a better secure system. Problem, the plate thickness is not adequate to accept small vertical rods like on the side modules. So I take some hollow grooves on the upper module to add some material (small rectangular plastic card) to its opposite on the plate. With that, the rods hold better, but it still remained limited. (we will see later that this was still not enough).

Space1999 Swift - First start

In late 2011, I started the assembly, hoping to have it finished for Migennes Collector 2012's convention, where I first exhibited my little Space1999 collection.

The first step in a resin kit is invariably a stage of cleaning the parts.

Molding seams are sanded. Despite it was important on the 2 long upper tanks (which is often difficult to catch up on cylindrical or spherical parts as the curvature usually takes a hit in such situation), but ultimately, there was rather excess material to be removed so it went well.

Filling bubbles with small plastic rods and superglue. They are not numerous, and mainly located at:

  • Small discs feet
  • The neck of the central module

The back of the cheeks of the head is the most difficult place to clean, because the bubbles are tiny, located just below the surface, and are concentrated near a joint molding. I did not notice on the first side, and with this type of bubbles, it is extremely difficult to catch.

I was much lighter on the other side and was able to avoid a second headache.

Seeing the volume of work, and what I still had to do on the dioramas, I had to put the kit on pause.

Space1999 Swift - Review of the kit

The Swift (translated in Cruiser in the French dubbing) is an Earth ship lost on a mission and that Alphans found during their journey in the episode "The Brain".

Its design fits perfectly the earthy style established in the series, and inspired by the eagle: elongated, a cockpit with 2 separated windshields by a central ridge, ...

It is also recognized with its two large backbone dorsal tanks.

This article describes various stages over several years. And at each stage, I resumed writing directly after, but never publish it. Initially it was intended to be published a french magazine about collectors items called Dixième Planète (Tenth Planet), and where I used to write model kits news and reviews articles. The completion of the master took too long, the magazine stopped before, and this never happen. So all this is a following of episodes with feelings notes (a draft !).

Review of the kit

This kit, produced and directed by Alexandre Dumas / Sci-hi model is a must have for any Space1999 modeler. Alex sent me his progress steadily over the months period of its making. Here is the first review "out of the box" kit received in late 2009, made before receiving the instructions (which was not ready at that time) :

This review was not complete because I did preferred to not yet open bags where there was the smaller parts. Besides, I have to say that without the instructions, and given the number of parts, the placement of many of the smaller ones do not come altogether and some remained totally obscure to me. Comparing with pictures of the original model, the proportions are there. We can find all the details. It was not an easy job for Alex, given the low level of documentation available on the subject.

Turned metal parts are superb. Small nozzles that have a larger neck are those that fit the back of the control module. The large nozzle has grooves that perfectly match the original model.

The casting is rather clean. However, the two large dorsal tanks may be require some putty before sanding to keep a perfect curve.

Assembling the side modules (with doors) will require special attention: the alignment is not easy to achieve with such long parts.

The landing gear shock absorbers parts are hollowed, like a tube! This is the first time I see that on a resin kit of parts of this delicacy ! Hats off !

On the main body and the control modules, the slots for the nozzles will need to be expand to allow their insertion. Curiously, the VTOL and the secondary rear engines cylinders do not have a hole to insert the nozzles.

The small resin nozzles at the back of the dorsal tanks, that look like the Hawk one, are beautiful and very thin. On the flattened cylinders that come onto the main engine, several small ears broke in the shipping, but as everything is packed, they remained in the small bag. Phew! It will just takes 3s to glue them back.

There are a lot a decals. I think I will paint the windshields and antiglare rather than used the decals.

There are also many metal rods. Such as aluminum pne would be for landing gear, I guess the brass ones are for the assembly (or so it is a Mikado game :D)

Without the instructions, the review of this kit was finally a series of feelings. Indeed, the assembly seems complex and delicate (especially the feet), the lack of instructions being here really confusing and it was difficult to follow the course of the review. In short, this is clearly not a kit for beginners.

A few months later, after receiving the instruction :

It's much more complicated than I thought! Here are some comments after a first look:

  • It's well done, explicit a regular modeler, but also for a less experimented one, as all the tips are specified. Photos during Alex assembly are very welcome because it speak louder than text.
  • Ouch, it is not in the metric system! For measurements, the conversion is easy, by cons, the appropriate drills, it does not exist in this side of the Atlantic!
  • P5 / 6: there are some suggestion on the mounting direction that seems curious, like for the side modules. I think rather go in the opposite direction: glue the pod part, and then drill holes for brass rods to the back and their opposite in the main body. So the more classic method that avoids to use filler on the viewable faces and allows to paint them separately (and therefore easier)

vendredi, 31 mai 2013

Space1999 Swift - Preview

Some shots of the recent finished kit : fanstatic Scihigh Models Swift

With dorsal tanks :

I will detail the WIP soon. Have to compile my notes and then translate it.