Category: Hobby Musings

The modeler/hoarder’s workflow

My friend, Maxwinamp, the Plamo admin, came up with this. And it summarizes how our stash pretty much, never really ever goes down.

All roads lead to the big red box…

Stretching sprue is not difficult

Heck even I can do it!

This morning, with a handy lighter and the box itself as a ‘placemat’, I sat at my dining table and gave it a go before throwing away the leftover sprues of my VF-1A build.

I started to get the hang of it after a few tries. The key is how soon you can start pulling (the plastic has darkened and started to sag) and for how long before it snaps after cooling down.

So eventually I managed to pull the sprue longer and longer although it started to bend when it got too long. I can even use the ‘mistakes’ (right most) for detailing my figure bases I think.

Now why did I even try to do this? Well, I have a build right now that might need some sprues to replace raised panel lines. Let’s see how it turns out.

Stencils: yes or no?

So I’ve started on the decals for my Crusader and as is typical of a modern aircraft kit it comes with many stencils. And since it’s 1/72 scale many of the stencils are really tiny.

This got me thinking about whether modelers actually put on every stencil available. So I googled around and saw a wide range of responses: some put every little decal on. Some only have the main markings. Some others just have the more obvious markings on.

In real life, full stencils seem to only happen when the plane is first delivered. During a wartime footing, I’m sure maintenance crew don’t have the luxury of making sure every stencil is painted back on after patchng up the aircraft. But there are cases where the stencils actually take the center stage on an aircraft: see the JADSF F-4 Phantoms.

I have here 2 photos of an F/A-18F I took in 2002. It was quite brand new to the service then. From a distance, I couldn’t make out much stenciling.

Even up close, the stencils become more visible but are still not very obvious.

On a sidenote, note the lack of visible panel lines even up close. But that’s for a different post. 🙂

I guess at the end of the day it’s my project: I can be as realistic or as relaxed about it as I want. It’s going to be bad if it ever stops being fun especially if it happens because I had to spend a week putting on many 2 x 5mm sized decals. Besides, if I was striving for 100% realism I wouldn’t have left the ejection seat bare without seatbelts in the first place.

To that end I think for 1/72 and smaller kits I will just thread a middle ground: put on the more prominent stencils, and not worry about the smaller details. I will adjust as the scale goes larger.

/facepalm

There must be a way to test whether the noseweight is enough before you get too far into the build is there? Unless I figure out a way to salvage this, it will probably be stripped of most usable parts and the rest thrown away.

Mecha Nostalgia : Robotech

In the early 1980s, my older brother who was studying in the US would record me video cassettes worth of cartoons. If I remembered correctly there were 21 cassettes at 8 hours each. Yup. That made for a lot of 30 minute cartoons. Among them was a little gem called Robotech.

Robotech is an 85-episode adaptation of three different anime television series made between 1982-1984 in Japan; the adaptation was aired in 1985. Within the combined and edited story, Robotechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island. With this technology, Earth developed giant robotic machines or mecha (many of which were capable of transforming into vehicles) to fight three successive extraterrestrial invasions.

Info from Wikipedia

At this point in Singapore, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada, the 3 separate series that made up Robotech were also playing on local TV in their original forms, except they were dubbed in Mandarin. So it was a confusing time for me. But no matter, I enjoyed all the different versions, even more so after I’ve learned about their differences. Robotech itself was never shown in Singapore.

Like most Robotech fans, I preferred The Macross Saga and The New Generation. For one thing, the characters are more interesting and of course, the mecha stood out more. Robotech’s overall plot was far more mature than was out there with its handling of romance and many character deaths. As a kid though, I could have done with less of the icky romance, especially in the Macross Saga.

The toys were released by Matchbox that went with 3 3/4 inch figures (same as G.I.Joe of the time) with the vehicles correspondingly scaled (somewhat) to match. I remember they were only available in a toy shop at the top level of the mall Wisma Atria. I had 3 toys from the series: the Excalibur Mk VI (retconned into the Tomahawk), the Armoured Cyclone and a figure of Rand in civilian clothes.

The holy grail of this line for me was the Veritech Hover Tank from the Robotech Masters portion of the series. The Hover Tank was the main mecha hero Dana Sterling piloted. Incidentally, there was never a Japanese version of this mecha made. I remember drooling over this toy whenever I was at the toy store.

There are a lot of purists who poo-poo Robotech, saying that it’s a travesty of the original material. For me though, it was my entry into anime and in a language that I understood best.

Part 2 of a series

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