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Old 05-26-2009, 05:53 PM
GKvfx GKvfx is offline
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Default Gene's Viper-in-a-month - NEW Photos on page 14 !!!

I don't know, maybe I'm a masochist. Let's take a relatively simple project and somehow complicate it. Take the Original BSG Viper, for instance. We've got the newly tooled Monogram kit and we have Salzo's nifty Studio Scale version that looks like it will fall together in about a weekend. Rather than go that route, I'm pulling out a casting off the original hero filming miniature (the one with the lights and jets) and trying to restore that. You'd think that a casting off of the original would be a breeze to build - but it's more complicated than I initially thought. Imagine having to clean up 30 years worth of glue buildup that was molded with the model. Not to mention that the originals themselves have their own idiosyncrasies - like slight warpage, an asymmetrical fuselage, and soft details as a result of the crummy foam/resin used back in 1977.

Then give yourself a deadline of less than a month to get the thing done.

Since we're having a screening of the Original BSG series' movies here in Los Angeles next month, I decided to throw together a display of models, posters, props, and artwork that I, Otist, and Carson Dyle have accumulated over the years for the lobby of the theater (More info about the screening in this thread - http://www.resinilluminati.com/showthread.php?t=6613). I had organized one of these for the 25th Anniversary and had Jim Key's Viper and Cylon Raider on display. Since then I got this other Viper casting (which is noticeably bigger than Jim's), but I hadn't really started it.

So, it's something of a race, I guess. I guess it's also time for me to take my own advice - shut up and build the damn model.

This photo gives you an idea of the size difference between the Jim Key version sold years ago (the ones from MIM and other dealers are all about the same size) and a first generation casting off of the real thing -


While it's nice that it's the same size and not a re-imagined version (like I was doing with the Jim Key casting), the casting itself still had lots of problems.

I spent a lot of time picking out little bubbles of resin from the grills and corners -


Though the casting is hollow (to allow for an armature), it is not rotocast or pressure cast (Guys like REL, Timeslip, and Salzo really have spoiled us.......), and there are the usual bubbles. Since this is cast off of an original, the soft detail of the material used then transfers over to the casting. Also, all the glue smears that were on the original are also on the casting. I shaved off some of the detail - the most offensive being the little bits of Plastruct channel that are on the engine and the T-34 muffler exhausts -




Anything you see here that isn't tan is a replacement - either a kit part, a piece of Plastruct, or a piece of styrene -


The BIG ding you see in the above photo on the afterburner can (well, that's what I call them) was my own stupid fault. I dropped the damn thing in our parking lot and chipped a chunk out the back. I picked up the parts, but a large chunk had turned to dust. To fix it, I backed the opening with some styrene and globbed in some Bondo -




I found that using a fine toothed X-acto saw blade really helped with cleaning out the panels lines. It seemed to make them crisper than with an X-acto blade. And there were less errant scratches with the saw blade.

One other note - see the pattern of the little squares of styrene that look like latches on the engine panels? See how one of them has four and the other one has three? I think it looks a little weird, but apparently, the original was done that way too. Because I wanted a cleaned up Viper and not a completely idealized Viper, I decided to keep them that way. I'm also keeping some of the weird panel lines of the Viper the same. Some lines meet up, but some cross each other, and others just stop.

It was a long weekend, full of resin dust and cursing, and gluing myself to the model (Charles Adams was on the phone at the time, he can attest to the cursing....) and cursing - but I managed to get the body into a place where I am satisfied with it. It's not as perfect as Salzo's Viper (which is gorgeous), but it will work.

This morning, I primed the body with this new self etching automotive primer that I got over the weekend. I have had plenty of problems painting this kind of resin in the past, even with a thorough cleaning, so I'm hoping this stuff sticks -




More later.....

Gene
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1952-t.jpg (294.0 KB, 727 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 006.jpg (123.9 KB, 715 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 010.jpg (120.7 KB, 708 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 007.jpg (81.8 KB, 703 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 001.jpg (144.4 KB, 705 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 004.jpg (120.3 KB, 699 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 014.jpg (152.2 KB, 697 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 036.jpg (169.3 KB, 860 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 040.jpg (160.7 KB, 858 views)

Last edited by GKvfx; 07-05-2009 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Whoa! That is great! What a neat thing to do. You don't tackle anything small, do you.

The end result will be remarkable, for sure.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Nice, Gene. Great bondo repair by the way. Will be looking forward to the progress, I know you don't have a lot of time to build these days.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Oh Man..... THIS is going to be good!
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Nice one Gene. I remeber seeing this one before and telling you to get on it, glad to see its happening! And, of course, lools like you are doing your usual kick ass job. Is the black primer going to be part of your finish, ie, white paint over that, let cure and then brillo pad down? I thought about trying that but gave up when my test bits came out looking like crap, but knowing you . . .

Looking forward to seeing where you get on it, so far impressive as hell and a very nice and historical piece you have!


Ryan
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean C View Post
Whoa! That is great! What a neat thing to do. You don't tackle anything small, do you..........
I tackle plenty of small things. I just have a tendency to make them bigger than they need to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mech View Post
........You Galactica guys don't do anything easy do you.
Nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belleauwood View Post
......Is the black primer going to be part of your finish, ie, white paint over that, let cure and then brillo pad down?..........
The black is really just a basecoat for the primer. I want to try that Brillo pad technique for the X-wing, but in the interest of time, for the Viper, I'm going to go with tried and true techniques that I have experience with. Otist thinks that the basecoat was a white paint (or a very light gray) and that the weathering darkened the base color to medium gray it looks like. I don't see any photographic proof of that in the Apogee shots, but it is possible. Again, I'll likely just go with what I know best. Looking at some photos of the un-restored original, I'm just shocked at the weathering on it. In close-up it really looks sloppy and lacks the finesse of, say, the Falcon or an X-wing.

Gene
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Yes sir Mr. Gene!

You certainly are bringing that back to life.

Rob.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Great job ya doing on such a rare piece there!

A month aint long but you seem to be getting it there without to many problems.The drop in the carpark was one ya didn't need but you did a great job with the repair.
It's all looking good dude!

Be nice ta be over there for that screening and i hope ya will take heaps of pic's of all the stuff you guy's are bringing for the show for us less fortunate ones?
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

What an awesome piece of history! Looking forward to your progress Gene.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Great work so far can't wait to see how this comes out.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

The brillo pad technique is something I've never heard before.

Elaborate more on that, please.

Rob
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

WOW!!
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

When I get back to my computer tomorrow and can get to my screencaps, I will post some pictures that confirmed for me that the original base was white or a VERY light gray. They are very highly lighted launch tube shots of one of the models with little to no weathering, and under the bright lights she is a pretty white . . .


On the brillo pad technique, was one that was reputed to be used on the X wing and others. Bill George (Y wing ROTJ fame and ILM model builder) did an X off a maxi brute that used this technique. It looked amazing.
Way I have heard of doing it:
Black primer coat twice (extra thickness so you do not scub through)
White gloss coat to cover all black, then let cure up for week or more
Get various abrasive scotch brite pads, and start scrubbing. White will dull out and in heavy weathering areas show through to black and in most will become translucent giving model a gray appearance. How gray is up to how much white you scrub away.


I couldn't get decent results when I tried it a few years back. But I am pretty heavy handed and have always had a tough time stopping weathing when its one step before too much.


Ryan
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:08 PM
GKvfx GKvfx is offline
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Got the wings and tail primed. Unlike the body, those castings were in great shape - particularly the guns:



At first I thought the little piece of rod at the back of the gun was just sprue to make the casting nicer, but it turns out that at least some of the Vipers actually had them (though I'm sure they probably broke off).

Both the guns and the wings are handed (left and right). The smaller tube that is on the laser guns wind up on the underside of the assembly -


There is a bunch of small strip/rod detail on the inside edge of the wings - the part that mounts to the body. Since it's going to be impossible to see, I didn't bother cleaning it up.

Here's the new self etching primer I found -


You know it's good because it isn't for the general public and it says right there that it can cause brain damage (I'll just stand by for the witty retorts from Carson Dyle and OtisT) -




It's thicker than the nice Tamiya Primers that I usually use (which don't obscure detail), but it's not as thick as, say, the high build primer you can get .

Speaking of detail, when I first got the casting, I noticed that you could see slightly raised "panels" that were actually the orange paint of the stripes. Unfortunately, all that disappeared when I sanded down the parts to get a smooth finish on the resin for the paint. Thankfully, it's not a complicated paintjob in that respect.

But, the thing is now primed. Looks pretty stealthy in black -




More later,

Gene
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 020.jpg (151.8 KB, 730 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 022.jpg (149.2 KB, 578 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 042.jpg (145.3 KB, 574 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 045.jpg (138.9 KB, 568 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 044.jpg (193.7 KB, 565 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 053.jpg (181.5 KB, 556 views)
File Type: jpg ViperModel_WIP 055.jpg (160.9 KB, 560 views)
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: Gene's Viper-in-a-month

Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderbearr View Post
The brillo pad technique is something I've never heard before.

Elaborate more on that, please.

Rob
I read about that in an old Starlog - and actually used it on an MPC X-Wing.

Works like a charm - hard to do wrong. Think Pastels, only more permanent.

You lay the base coats like he said. Overspray with whatever weathering colors you want to use, say, grimy black, earth tones, rust, etc. Do one color at a time.

Then take very fine steel wool and buff it down so the base coat shows through however much you want it to. Then do a different color, and keep doing it until you like the results.

Awesome.
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