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Old 21-11-2008, 04:10 PM   #41
john_trek
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Sheet! I can't remember the last time I spent more on a kit (even an expensive garage kit) where I didn't spend more on the other materials .... paint, putty, masking tape, new exacto blades, sheet styrene, household items or parts from other kits used for detailing and so on and so on ....

The only way to spend more on the kit than supplies is to just glue it to a board, spray it with a can of Testors Flat White, put white glue on the board and pour dirt from your garden over it.

Not a very satisfying result.

Welcome to the real world of modeling..... and you thought collecting DVDs was expensive. Hah!
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Old 21-11-2008, 10:49 PM   #42
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How very true. I'll spend as much again on the repro parts for a Dinky SPV I'm fixing as I did on the vehicle in the first place.
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Old 22-11-2008, 08:01 PM   #43
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I had forgotten how expensive a hobby this could be; it's been a while since I picked up a knife with the intention of doing no ill-will. And the amount of money spent is directly proportional to the degree of authenticity you're seeking and your skill level (or in my case, lack thereof!).

My skills are rusty, but I'm hoping they'll sharpen quickly.
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Old 23-11-2008, 10:03 PM   #44
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I got a few more supplies today, and still more after taking the photos which appear below. Much of my preliminary work is done; I've scoured the Catacombs website and got a bunch of reference photos, and I think I've got a pretty good handle on how I'm going to proceed. Ironically, the actual "construction" won't take very long. I just plan on taking the original kit and adding some chips and pieces of styrene sheets and rods to give the moonbase additional relief.

My first goal was to get organized and to help this, I purchased a "tool box" of sorts which can hold TONS of model parts, as well as homemade styrene bits of various size.



The tool box can be carried around easily, and has several compartments both inside and out to accommodate the organization of source materials.



The compartments can be enlarged to accommodate differently-sized model parts, and each of the dividers keeps the parts in their own bin once the lid(s) are shut.



Here are a few of the items I purchased to "dress up" my Alpha kit:



Many of these items are tools I can use on future products, but the .010" and .020" styrene sheets, square dowels, cylindrical dowels, and thin precut strips will probably be dedicated to enhancing the moonbase kit, and perhaps an Eagle diorama I've been considering. The tweezers, files, glue, knives, sand paper, liquid mask, 1/8" and 1/4" hole punchers play a large role, naturally.

Here's what I'll probably use to recreate the lunar surface:



I've changed my source from one supplier of modeling clay to another. I am currently experimenting with ways to achieve a believable lunar terrain once the model has been glued to the plexiglass base and painted.

Here, I tested out the material (twice so far) on an empty CD case. I roughed up the surface a bit using fine-grit sand paper. I wanted to give the clay something to bite into.



I've got to be careful not to apply too much clay at a time. The material will probably shrink slightly as it air cures, so I will avoid cracking by doing small sections. Here, I used the tops of pens and pencils to simulate craters of varying sizes. Then I used a toothpick to fashion a roll or "ravine" on the lunar surface by dragging and twisting it over the clay, applying different amounts of pressure as I went along.



On the final version, I'll probably pock-mark the surface with the point of the toothpick. It will help achieve the scale a little better. Terrain undulations and rock formations will be added later. Once I'm satisfied with the results, I'll carefully paint the clay grey.
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Old 23-11-2008, 10:15 PM   #45
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Cool idea. Good collection of equipment. My work desk is covered in years worth of stuff, I must clean it up.
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Old 23-11-2008, 11:40 PM   #46
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Yes, you're off to a good start. The lunar surface tests look good!

As for tools, the best part about the tackle box you've purchased, aside from its adaptability, is that it's portable. You can take your whole set of tools anywhere & work on a model in your spare time. (Great for overnight stays when the hotel pool is closed!)
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Old 25-11-2008, 04:54 AM   #47
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Couldn't help myself. I went and placed an Alphan building (or three for those in the know) into the clay to get an idea of the relative scale of the craters. Before I knew it, I was chopping a piece of a travel tube to test-fit as well!



The clay is taking a bit longer to set than I thought it would, which is kind of cool in a way; it will give me plenty of time to mold and craft it before it cures for good. And this stuff cures very well. It's like rock now!

Next step is to test out the paint I bought. I want to get a good grey, one that will make Alpha stand out a bit, but not too much.
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Old 25-11-2008, 05:11 AM   #48
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I'd suggest mottling a couple different shades of grey together, to break up the monotony. Or go with a dark grey basecoat with a dusting of light grey over it. Sometimes, that mottled effect will visually simulate rough texture, which is great for the small scale of this model; saves the trouble of actually roughing up the surface.

EDITED TO ADD: Here are some samples of a mottled grey surface, in these pics I took of my Micro Eagle work-in-progress. I used three shades of grey, or else two shades of grey plus black. Three different colours, at any rate. All enamel paint sprayed from rattle cans, by the way.


Last edited by CR; 25-11-2008 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 26-11-2008, 01:56 AM   #49
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Great tips, CR. Thanks! But I'm going to be applying the paint with a paint brush, or possibly a sponge. The moonbase buildings themselves will already be affixed to the plexiglas base before I apply the clay "moon terrain," so I'll have to be very careful not to paint the base when I paint the surface!
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Old 17-12-2008, 03:24 AM   #50
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Are the Alpha plans that are on the catacombs accurate for building layout and size? Are there any better plans for detail anywhere?

I want to make my Moon Base Alpha Kit be all it can be

Cameron
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Old 17-12-2008, 11:59 PM   #51
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CelticNut, masking tape is your friend! Mask the buildings prior to painting the regolith (lunar surface). It'll be time-consuming, but worth the saved effort of having to be so picky when painting around the buildings. Just don't go too thick on the regolith paint, or it might seep under the tape.
An alternative to tape might be a liquid mask... in my old commercial art days, liquid 'Frisket' or some other brush-on substance that can be wiped away later. Rubber cement might work for this, as well.

Just throwing some ides out there.

As for accurate Alpha plans, one of our newer members here is working on a set, and has shown preview samples of them. They're about as good as anyone'll find, short of going back in time and viewing the original studio model prior to its dismantling!
Read through this thread http://www.eagletransporter.com/foru...ead.php?t=5086 and enjoy!

Last edited by CR; 18-12-2008 at 12:05 AM. Reason: added link
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Old 21-05-2016, 03:17 AM   #52
mainmotors
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Hello, new to the forum here. Always disappointed with this kit's scale and inaccuracies, a larger scale replica either scratch built or garage kit could be a beauty but admittedly too large in the end for display... but then, the model looks just as good mounted to the wall...

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