Sunday, September 18, 2011

Been A While

It's been a while since I really finished anything. It's just been too fearfully hot. My workbench is out in the garage, and during the high months of summer, working on a model just isn't a lot of fun. And sometimes it's nice to take a brief break and do something else for a change, like float in the swimming pool and drink altogether too much Newcastle brown ale.

But recently (meaning last week) the weather finally broke. It's still hot, but it's just hot, if you know what I mean, not fearfully, brutally hot. I can go outside without feeling like I've inserted my head in a pizza oven. So this weekend I started cleaning up my workbench, which gets a tad dusty when I'm not there every day, and finished a couple of projects I'd started before it got hot and which waited patiently for me to run out of Newcastle.

The top one is the Enterprise-E. I don't remember the scale, since I threw the box away ages ago. And since I also threw the instructions away ages ago, I wasn't entirely sure what colors were called out. So I simply spray-painted it with Tamiya Japanese Navy grey and added a few other shades of mostly acrylic paint. The decals had become damaged. There was some sort of brownish goo on half of the decal sheet. Spilled iced tea? Spilled Diet Coke? Spilled Newscastle brown ale? Ectoplasm? I have no idea. It took me a while to clean up the decal sheet, and I lost a few, mostly some of the escape pod hatch covers on the underside. It isn't my best work by any means, but as they say, any Star Trek model is better than no Star Trek model.

The dinosaur is the "new" Atlantis Tyrannosaurus Rex. I say "new" because it's really a reissue of an old Revell kit; some of the parts still bear the Revell trademark. I don't think it's particularly correct by the lights of modern research, and it isn't all that easy to assemble either. It absorbed titanic quantities of MEK and super glue, and even my largest wood clamps were unable to close up all the joints. It wasn't easy to paint either. Atlantis says it's molded in a color they call "reptile red". It's more like pumpkin orange. And I live in a desert that fairly teems with reptiles, and none of them were ever pumpkin orange (though there are "scorpion lizards" here with upcurved tails that are almost lemon yellow). Anyway, pumpkin orange is a bitch to cover. I ended up using spray cans for the sake of speed and convenience, and sort of feathered three colors for the undersides, flanks and top. I meant to go back and airbrush more detail, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked the spray can feathering.

So I left the airbrush alone. My compressor is set up right now for air tools anyway, and connecting my aging Model Master airbrush to 90 PSI air would probably not be a good idea. So I just detail-painted it and drew in the "panel lines" with a fine brown felt marker.

A while back I bought a new book about dinosaurs, thinking I'd use it for reference material, but I don't think I care for the paintings in the book. I'm sure they're accurate, or at least plausible, but I just have a hard time dealing with the interpretations of various theropods that make them look like big, pissed-off-looking chickens. So I went for something more green and minimalist. The model is far too large to handle during painting anyway, and I decided that a disruptive camouflage scheme would be harder to pull off than it was worth. And whatever the case, I still think it looks better than pumpkin orange. And I like green dinosaurs. Sue me already.

Next up: I bought the reissue of the classic Star Trek Romulan warbird. That sounds like a winner to me.