Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Distracted - Space Battleship Yamato

Since finishing up the Ratling Foot Troops for Tail Feathers, I've indulged myself with a slight distraction (actually 2 but this is the only one I will share right now).  It's been a very on and off again project.  It started a couple of months ago when I randomly stumbled upon a beautiful Space Battleship Yamato scale model build and had to resist the urge of my base instincts, which were "I must own and build this!"  Come on, look at it:

Sadly, not my model.
How can one resist that?  It was actually easy for me, mostly, because of the size of the models.  I really do not need something that big, let alone making my first foray into scale modelling with something as big as most of these kits.  That is until I stumbled across Bandai's Mecha Collection.  Oh dear...

A nice little model of the Yamato, only 5 inches long?  And only
$10?  I must own you.
The kit was really not that hard to put together or to clean up.  Actually, I would say outside of having more steps and pieces, it was about as easy as most multi-part 30mm (ish) models I typically mess around with.  Despite a total of 29 pieces, I think this still managed to come in with a lower part count that Robotech Tactics model!  Ok, not really but it was still a worthy insult.  The instructions, due to the limited space, require a bit of staring at but I love the efficient use of materials to provide them:

You have to admit, that is efficient!
My intent was always to paint it, but you can settle for not
painting it.  If so inclined.
I decided to keep certain pieces unassembled for the painting process.  Yes, even though it's colored plastic already I planned on painting to try to unlock all of it's glory.  Or at least as much of it as I could.

*sigh* I really hate assembling models after I've painted them.
*holding breath*
Unfortunately, keeping the upper and lower hull in separate pieces is not an option.  That meant after my base coating, I needed to mask off the lower hull to paint the upper hull (I fully realize I should have done it the other way around.  At least now I do.  lol.  I think).  This resulted in heartbreak when the masking tape pulled off a big chunk of paint and I spent the next hour repairing it.  Then another hour+ trying to airbrush the rest of the upper hull using an old CCG card to mask/protect the lower hull.  Miniature assembly and painting would be so much easier if we humans had a third arm.  Anyway, here is a picture at that point after a gloss coat:

For the next phase, and the reason for the gloss coat, I planned on doing a pin wash for the panel lines.  Since this was a first for me, it required some sagely advice from my buddy John over at 40k Hobby Blog.  Although I did not heed his advice to use enamels instead of oils (because I did not feel like ordering and waiting for enamels to arrive), I tackled this step with a bit of confidence.  That was till I started putting those first few pin washes on:  Watching all my hard/careful work get messy, praying that it will come off like they say its supposed to, praying that you got a good gloss coat on, etc:

Ok, I got a little to messy with the pin wash.
After the pin wash was cleaned up, I began the final assembly.  Here is where it stands right now:

Hmm, I think I've done pretty well..  A couple of warts though.
There are some issues with it at this point.  Most noticeably the super structure and the bow are not a consistent color to the hull.  I can live with the super structure being a different shade as it very well could be constructed of slightly different materials and/or painted slightly differently.  The bow, not so much.  Additionally, not shown by the photo, is the fact that there is a very bad "step" at the hull and bow attachment.  I think, after I have set this aside for a bit, I will attempt to smooth that step away with some green stuff.  Then I will have to repaint the bow, which gives me a chance to correct the inconsistent colors.  Outside of that, the only other thing I want to do is paint some of the windows green.  Like I said though, I'm going to set this aside for a bit because even with it's warts, I'm really happy with it.

It was a really fun little projected and a nice diversion.  Overall, I happy with the quality vs time I spent on the model, for once.  Of course, that is mainly due to being able to use the airbrush almost exclusively.  It was also a nice exercise for improving my airbrush skills and also served as my first foray with pin washes.  Much like the chipping I did with my vehicular combat car, I will approach this task next time with much more confidence.

Down the road, I will have a second go of this model.  I ended up damaging the superstructure on my first build of this.  I tried to roll with it but eventually conceded to ordering a second kit just for the superstructure (the kit only costs $10).  So what is one to do with a second kit, with a damaged superstructure?  A battle damaged Yamato!  Eventually...  I might even have a few more models from this collection.  Maybe.

Lastly, I found the transformation process extremely rewarding:

Not a bad little model straight out of the box, but a
little toy-ish to me.
It may not be "great" but I'm pretty proud of this.
For my future reference, colors used:

Greys:  RMS Stormy Grey (Shade), RMS Cloudy Grey (Base), RMS Misty Grey (Highlight)
Reds:  RMS Bloodstain Red (Shade), RMS Clotted Red (Base), RMS Carnage Red (Highlight)
Brown (Decking):  RMS Leather Brown
Pin Wash:  Burnt Umber oil, with a little Black oil mixed in

Now, back to some Tail Feather models before my daughter finds out I have not been working on them.  Shhh.

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