Category: "Animals"

A mini doghouse, part 2

by brae  

Continuing on the mini doghouse for Gus. There were no shingles in my kit, though they are mentioned in the instructions. Maybe I took them out to keep them from getting wrinkled, which seems like something I'd do, but I have no earthly idea where they would be. It was no worry since I had some suitable shingles in my stash of supplies. These are half scale speed shingles by Greenleaf.

Considering the door is small, I wanted to see if I could keep the roof separate to access the interior more easily. A few extra steps, but I think it's just better in the long run.

There's an added beam inside to keep the roof from slipping out of place.

I painted the shingles a mix of black, brown and grey to start and then added some grey washes. For the house, I used crackle finish and off-white paint. The crackle finish was old, so it didn't provide pronounced crackling, but that seems to work better for a smaller structure.

I still ended up with a nice aged finish.

For the cupola, I added more trims to make it seem more realistic and more rain resistant. I painted the included weather vane to look like aged copper. It's thin wood, so I worry about its longevity. I left it unglued for ease of removal in case I need to pack away the house or choose to replace it.

All that's needed is a warm, comfy bed and some toys. :D

A mini doghouse, part 1

by brae  

I've had this kit in my stash for some time now: Miss Lydia Pickett and her dog house.

It comes with a resin dog for you to paint, but Gus seems to have his eye on the residence. :D

It's a rather large house for Gus, but that just leaves room for more stuff inside.

It's very fancy, and I plan to keep the original details for the most part.

As for the finish, I wanted a more aged look. I started with a wash of silver grey.

More to come....

Bert - Robox coming to life

by brae  

Even though you've likely seen Bert (my transformed Robox) in scenes here and there, I've not documented the process after dying the plastic. He's also not been "finished" until this weekend when I was able to complete the final paint washes and add some other detailing. Here's where we started: a Robox Canvas White action figure by 1000toys that I named Bert. :D

After dying the plastic, he ended up grey-purple, grey-brown and dark grey. Overall, the results were a great middle color for me to work on from there. In an unexpected but promising turn, the joints turned darker than the body and that would save me time trying to detail those. I ended up permanently gluing the chest plate in place on the torso since it would no longer stay in place. Bert will never revert to his folded up self, but I wouldn't want to risk damaging the paint in the end anyway.

Next up, I used Privateer Press Formula P3 paint in Pig Iron, Thamar Black and Quick Silver, as well as their Armor Wash. From my research, this brand of paint was recommended by artists who repaint action figures. It's not as durable as a spray paint, but there's no way I would have been able to spray paint Bert effectively given that he was a fully assembled figure. There were places to separate the parts, but there were also rivets permanently keeping some areas together.

I started with the feet and worked my way up. The only place I used black was for the tread on the bottom of the feet. The rest is all Pig Iron except for the bars in the main body which are Quick Silver. I then used the Armor Wash over the top of the Pig Iron to give him a more aged appearance. It also settles into and emphasizes any detail lines.

The metallic sheen of the Pig Iron is really nice, and the Armor Wash just darkens it a bit without removing the metallic sheen. Here you can see the difference from the plain dyed plastic to the aged metal.

Bert's head had a moving back, which was a nice feature, but paint would never have survived the movement. I ended up permanently gluing that portion of the figure.

The "eyes" for the Robox were separate parts, which made them easier to customize. Well, I think one was an eye and the other a mouth, but I just refer to them as eyes and figure the speakers for talking are built in. :D I painted the outer rims black, leaving them on the sprue until I was ready to glue them in place.

I had leftover parts from the RX-7 build, so I used some clear lamp covers to serve as lenses. I colored the backs and fronts with Sharpie markers to get saturated but transparent red and blue.

I painted the inner portion of the base with white to help sell the idea of there being light behind the colored lenses.

I think they suit him well. (Just as an aside, the head has the Armor Wash but the arms and torso do not in this picture.)

After getting the rest of Bert finished with the Armor Wash, it was time to address the joints. The dying process impacted the functionality slightly in that the ball joints ended up very tight (I suspect the heat impacted the two types of plastic differently). The rod connections ended up a little loose. So, enter Miraclekoo Silicone Pouring Oil and super glue gel.

The head was the only ball joint that was loose. Not wanting to overdo the correction, I added some mini hold wax to the joint. It allows for more stable positioning of the head and can be replaced as needed without permanently altering the joint.

For the loose rod connections at the wrists and lower legs, I added a thin layer of super glue gel to the rod. You have to let this dry completely before testing the fit so you don't super glue the part in place. Once dry, I sanded the excess until the joints moved smoothly. Now the lower legs now stay in place better.

For the tight connections at the shoulders, elbows, hips, and inner thigh (these move the knees), I used a small amount of the silicone oil. I chose silicone oil so that it wouldn't degrade the plastic over time. Still, I will be mindful of having Bert come in contact with any fabric furnishings going forward.

The joints aren't as loose as they were before dying the plastic, but they are better and I no longer feel like they will break if I twist too hard.

Bert's already dashing, but let's add some edge. Tattoos! :D The Robox did come with decals.

I also have a bunch of leftover decals from my years of building model cars. I opted for one Pennzoil decal since Bert is a fan.

Only a few spoke to me, so I will keep an eye out for anything interesting in the future. The open spaces are minimal, but there is room for a few more. Here you see the one on the shoulder and the side of the head.

I used one of the Robox decals on the forearm, a number 8 on the chest and the Pennzoil on the bicep.

Gus thinks Bert is good at head pats. :D

Bishop Show April 2022

by brae  

First time since 2019!!!  So good to be there and see so many people again. Chicago International is running through tomorrow so there is still time to shop if you're in the Chicagoland area.

Lamis Minis. I hopped right up to Pia's table first, because I wanted bunnies!  I was second in line, so after the first person shopped (not for bunnies), I was able to go just a bit bonkers.

I picked up a skunk (not shown here) for a friend who could not attend the show and got the mom and baby for myself.

I also picked up a snail for another friend and got a mouse and a snail for myself. Poor Pia had to do a lot of rearranging after all that.

Jane Graber. I usually visit Jane's table right away as well, but this time it was three people deep and all the way across. The booth looked like locusts had swept through. I did go back and was able to pick one bowl and mug.

Puppenstübchen. Last time, they had a great deal more kits.

But, their finished accessories and furnishings are also lovely.

Castle Crafts. New kits here, but I also picked up some that I didn't already have. The suitcases came in different colors, and the papers included were shown on the back. Very easy to go through and see what you'd like.

They also had these lovely baskets of mushrooms.

Arjen Spinhoven. I always enjoy seeing Arjen, and I believe this was his first time at the Bishop Show. I was happy to see his table was very busy every time I passed by.

Ulus Miniaturas. Considering my real life purchase not long ago, the tape dispenser made the most sense. And where there's tape, there's glue.

MiniGio. I bought the pineapple set awhile back but bought the watermelon set at the show.

Bindels Ornaments. Another vendor I always enjoy seeing. They have the best selection of bits and bobs as well as packaged kits and lots of examples on what you can make.

Oiseau deNim. I have known Peiwen through blogging for years, but this was the first time we've met in person. We giggled and hugged, and it was so wonderful! :D  She makes the most amazingly detailed tiny miniatures and sells molds for you to make things yourself.

Creations by Lynette. Lynette is not only a talented ceramics maker but was a delight to meet!

Chris Toledo Miniatures. Seeing photographs of his work is one thing, but if you ever can get to a show where he has his roomboxes, you must go. The attention to detail and wonderful finishes are top notch! What's especially wonderful is you can purchase some of his fixtures as DIY. :D

Véronique Lux. I love her storybook animals. :D

Menutmon Kits. They didn't have many kits with them, though they are available on the website.

Dragonfly International. I always find goodies at this table.

Bunny pull-toy

by brae  

I found these kits at a local mini show years ago. Each kit comes with all the things you need and detailed instructions.

I added wood pieces for the hands and a bead for the pull rope. I skipped the whiskers, because I worried it would ruin his face if there were any mishaps, but I've since painted the tiny heart on his chest like the kit drawing. :D

It was a fun, quick and cute project!

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