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  #1  
Old 03-07-2013, 11:25 AM
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Default Moebius Galactica

Right. Next project, hopefully a little less protracted than the Eagle. I plan to make it the way it would have been just before retirement, "a Battlestar, not a frakking museum", as was put in the mini series, so will not be fitting out the stbd pod with windows or applying battle damage.

Before I get started, I'm considering lighting it. I'm thinking of four blue-white LEDs for the outer engines, leaving the inner engines dark, yellow-white LEDs for the landing bays and some small red LEDs, may be with FO, for the recesses where the pods retract. I am less optimistic about FO lighting of the decks between the head jaws and the back end of the lower jaw, though amber FO lighting of the main turret cockpits seems plausible.

That leads to a question of whether to use batteries or a mains transformer, but I suppose that matters little as the batteries would have to be external. I suspect I'll go for batteries.

Next issue: what alterations need to be made to make it a little more accurate? I know the step between the back of the head and the spine is to high, so the middle deck block needs trimming to let the upper jaw sit lower down. I plan to use a hot stylus to make small imprints of straight lines to make some minor detailing between the ribs, and I plan to sort out the armour plate edges where they intrude in the ribs along the spine and upper jaw. I also hope to find a way of creating some detail inside the pod retraction recesses, perhaps using the Revell decals as a guide to cut some very thin styrene sheet to create relief. Is there anything else which needs attention?
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Last edited by Snagger; 05-08-2013 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

I've been looking closely at the model parts and the pictures Griff posted in the reference section. The plates on the side of the alligator head have to be done from scratch not only to sort out the bevelled lower edges but also their proportions.

The mid-decks need to be trimmed on their top to lower the upper head jaw and the back end of that piece trimmed to make the spacing of the rear most rib even with the others. The gun batteries on the head should be mounted in four pairs per battery, which is correctly modelled, but there is a single gun pair just behind the mid-side plates with two clear ribs behind - there should be two pairs of guns with just one clear rib before the next battery.

On the top of the head, the double-thickness plates need to be sanded flat to single thickness and some scribing done on the panels. Some small greebles need to be added between the pointed and square panels.

At the front of the upper jaw, the face plating needs trimming flush with the inner hull and bevelling in the centre where it joins the upper centre armour. The ends of that front plating needs extending with small triangles to cover the full width of that level of the inner hull.

The gun batteries on the pods are correct fore and aft, where single guns are installed between narrow rib gaps, but there should be four batteries of four pairs along the mid sections of the pods. On the kit parts, these are molded as single gun units. Annoyingly, they have one too few ribs and have misaligned the ribs relative to the pod arms - the kit's front battery in that section has only three emplacements, rather than four, and modifying the pods to have the correct number of ribs and guns just won't be practical. I'll remove the single guns to fit pairs, but the ribs and missing emplacement will have to stay. I might try to slim down the horizontal ribs below the batteries and open their gap out a touch -this is, after all, where the launch tubes are meant to be.

I'll be fitting paired gun units along the spine rib gaps where the armour plate is trimmed back.

I've also been looking at the photo-etch kits. They seem hard to get in the UK, and would triple the cost of the kit. The Revell kit has transfers for the pod recesses in the main hull that are identical in layout to the etched parts, so I might just cut them down and use them, perhaps on very thin plastic sheet, using the transfers on the sheet as a cutting guide. The photo-etch guns and hangar ribs seem pointless as they're very inaccurate, and I don't like the raised name lettering either.

So, a bit of trimming and scratching, but nothing terrible. I'm still not sure about the lighting, though. I won't even try the window lighting - the scale would be impossible and they're hardly visible except in close-ups on screen. The engines could be done easily enough, as could the inside of the pods (if I can find warm white LEDs), and I was thinking of small surface mounted red LEDS for the recesses (I think there should be five per side, but if anyone knows better, shout out). I'm still wondering about the idea of a single yellow LED with fibre optics to each main gun cockpit; the name plate lighting is brighter, and I just don't know if its feasible to attempt that with tightly folded FO filaments through the pod cases - the light units are visible as raised blocks on the CGI model, which gives some leeway, but on this scale, it might be impossible to achieve. I could really use some advice from those of you who have played about with lighting and FO on this.

The photos show the areas of the head to be trimmed, the incorrect guns on the pod and the transfers.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Galactica trimming (1).JPG (595.8 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg Galactica trimming (2).JPG (611.8 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Galactica trimming (3).JPG (574.7 KB, 29 views)
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Last edited by Snagger; 03-11-2013 at 02:52 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2013, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

All of this has happened before... All of this will happen again....

I have started on carving away all the soft details, much like Marko did. I have already removed the twin lines above and below the launch tubes on one pod, and fitted square section rod in place beneath the tubes. The upper line will be fitted once the halves are glued together so that I can fill and sand the joint more easily. The armour plating at the front of that pod has also been trimmed away and new ribs and plating fitted to get rid of that soft edge.

Good news on the pod ribs - the positioning is slightly off, but there appear to be enough ribs to allow the correct number of gun emplacements after all. It does mean that the battery under the aft pod arm and the battery between the arms are further aft than they should be, but it all works out to a fashion.

I have carved away the soft lines on the lower hull section that flow in from the lower jaw - the line is good where it passes along a gun battery, but the last three rib sections are soft again. These were replaced with more styrene rod, and I am half way through doing the same on the lower jaw; I have done one side and replaced the worst affected armour plates with new so that the ribs are fully detailed. The aft lower plates of the lower jaw are being carved under to regain the rib details just below the added styrene line.

I'm glad I got the 20 Revell kit rather than paying 60 for a Moebius box, given the work I have ahead. It's a shame that while they have managed good proportions, sloppy molding practices leave such poor detailing. They should have made the plating separate to the hull and pod sections so they'd fit over the ribs. Still, it's nothing I wasn't already aware of before buying the kit.

I'm still hoping for some lighting advice - I've been looking at plenty of tutorials on here and other sites, but none give much of a clue as to whether I can light the name plates with FO bent tightly - if that can't be done, then there's little point lighting the rest of it as it is one of the more prominent illuminated features on the CGI model.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg galactica carving (2).JPG (551.5 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg galactica carving (3).JPG (598.4 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg galactica carving (5).JPG (598.8 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg galactica carving (6).JPG (562.9 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg galactica carving (7).JPG (599.3 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg galactica carving (1).JPG (589.9 KB, 36 views)
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Last edited by Snagger; 03-12-2013 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

I've been looking through a lot of tutorials about lighting, but nothing seems to go into detail about fibre optics other than how to attach the fibres to the light source, so I still don't know if lighting the name plates will be possible.

I have four 10mm white LEDs that I bought for my car's instrument lights (they had T9 plastic base fittings). Happily, these fit in the kit's upper engine pods directly and will only need the smallest trimming to fit the lower pods. They work well from a 9V battery, and were great run from a 12V phone charger (they're designed for 12V, being automotive, and that was done by incorporating resistors into each leg immediately beneath the LED's clear base, inside the hollow plastic T9 base fitting). The only snag is they're not quite blue enough, though I think blue LEDs would be far too blue. I might try painting up the interior of an engine pod with black (light blocking) and medium blue over that to see if that gives the required blue hue to the lighting, particularly around the edges.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

If you put love into it, that can be one hell of a fine-looking model.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

I hope so!

I've just ordered some LEDs - 50 3mm warm white from Oz for 6 and 200 mixed colours 2mm from China for 12 including postage. The Chinese pack also includes resistors to run the LEDs at 12V, though I can only hope they have allowed for the different values for the different colours. So, I'll be using a spare phone charger for this rather than batteries after all. The kit also seems to have two cockpits per main gun turret, which will have to be removed.
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Last edited by Snagger; 03-18-2013 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

I've found more faults - the kit is missing the CIWS gun batteries, in the standard 4x2 configurations, along the upper edge of the lower jaw. It also appears that my impression that there are 5 red lights per retraction bay is wrong - there are 6. The Revell decals have pink bands to signify the lights, but only have 4.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!

(anyone get this little joke?)
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

I have finished tidying up the lower jaw and added the other side's horizontal rib. The joint in the upper surface of the jaw section has been filled and cleaned up, and came out OK. All that needs adding are those missing gun batteries.

I have trimmed the parts to bring the upper part of the head down flush with the spine. This required the sandwich decks to be cut down at the top, in line with the seam along the back face, the bottom edge of the rear face of the head (the part with the greebling) to be cut away to sit lower, and some of the greebling trimmed to fit the shape of the neck in its new position, which coincided with the profile section near the bottom. It's as if the parts were originally designed correctly and were redesigned to lift the head to high... I also trimmed the back of the upper head to get the rib spacing even. This was actually very simple - the rear plate locates to the upper head with a lip, and the inside of the head has a corresponding rut around most of its rear edge. The head part was trimmed to remove the depth of that rut around its whole edge, and the lip was removed from the rear plate. This gives a very close match for the rest of the rib spacing.

I looked at moving the upper head back against the spine, but this would have put the ribs on the head and jaw out of line, so I made up some sheet styrene shims to fill that gap.

I have also packed the hollow sections of the head and spine where I intend to improve the ribs and armour edges with Aves, so the parts won't lose their shape if I cut all the way through.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg gal head trim (1).JPG (587.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg gal head trim (2).JPG (593.0 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg gal head trim (3).JPG (596.3 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg gal head trim (5).JPG (596.3 KB, 45 views)
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Last edited by Snagger; 03-19-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2013, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

A bad photo of the head with the rear trimmed and the rib spacing evened out and a copy on one of Griff's screen caps which just about shows the six red glowing patches (the rearmost is out of shot, but other angles have clearly shown it):
Attached Images
File Type: jpg gal head trim (8).JPG (549.0 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg gal red lights.jpg (65.1 KB, 33 views)
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Last edited by Snagger; 03-19-2013 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

I've just done some carving out of the poor molding in the head section's upper plating. It took 2-3 hours just to do that one run, which is a good indicator of why this is such a slow build, again. To be honest, trying to sort this crap molding out is worse than cleaning up the metal parts of the Warp Eagle kit.

The photos show the unmolested edging on the right hand side and my trimming work o the left. The size of the photos makes my work look very rough, but in the flesh it's OK - a few uneven flats between the ribs, but I plan to score these voids over the whole model to give a small amount of texture as they shouldn't be smooth anyway. At least the modified plating now looks like it sits over the ribs.

I'll see if I can get some more blades for the scalpel - I'm using the standard triangular blades for this, and the tips tend to snap off. What would be best is a narrow chisel shaped blade with a cutting edge 90 degrees to the handle axis - it'll give a better result in much quicker time. Otherwise, I'll carry on with how I'm doing it. Every time I see one of these kits with the sloped armour edges, it makes me cringe.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg galactica head cutting (2).JPG (572.5 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg galactica head cutting (1).JPG (587.7 KB, 22 views)
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Last edited by Snagger; 05-08-2013 at 09:23 AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2013, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

Quote:
Originally Posted by KUROK View Post
THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!

(anyone get this little joke?)
I get it!!
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Moebius Galactica

Looking good so far. Always good to see a "BIG G" build.
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