Droids, part 2 - paint testing

by brae  

Continuing work on the droids. As I mentioned last time, I do plan to paint the pieces since I prefer a painted finish to the plain plastic no matter how good the quality. But, I don't want to just dive in without doing some testing since I am working with a new product - Testors Panel Line Accent Color. Here are the sprays I bought for this project as well. I omitted buying blue for R2-D2 since there is so little of it.

I've used regular Testors paint to detail vent lines before for the Datsun, so I am eager to see if this product works better. Here is the Datsun vent.

I've watched a few tutorials on the accent color product, specifically for these droid kits, and it seems like most used it over a non-painted surface. I want to try it with the paints before applying anything to the model parts, just in case I need to rethink my painted base coat for use with the accent color.

After making the RX-7 model commission, the buyer told me to keep the spare parts from the three kits I used to make the one model. I'm using one of the defunct car bodies for testing since it has panel lines and enough surface area to try the four colors.

Looks like a custom car painted like the Irish flag! :D The silver came out faster than I thought it would, so it ran. Good to know before spraying the real model. I finished the car with Testors Dullcote.

After a few days, I tried out the Testors Panel Line Accent Color. I did like it on the painted surfaces, and I can see how it will be useful for mini projects.

I opted to paint the parts while still on the sprues. They are labeled per droid, which makes life easier, but I did have to cut the color portions apart for painting.

The paints are close to the same color as the molded plastic, but the paint gives the aging washes and details a surface to grab. Plus now the silver parts look more metallic.

The paint also dulled any shiny parts.

For the blue that I didn't paint, I sprayed with Testors Dullcote to remove the sheen.

Next up, starting to build!

Paint Nite, in miniature - 2

by brae  

I once again went to a Paint Nite event at a local restaurant (you can see my previous painting here). From the link here, you can see the rainbow forest painting the artist and host Sarah Benkin would be teaching. I brought a mini sized canvas instead of using the provided canvas. The mini canvas was made using a textured note card glued to mat board with spray adhesive and then coated with white acrylic. I had to leave off some elements due to the scale change, but it was so fun! I already have a ticket for a future painting event.

Droids, part 1

by brae  

And now for something different.... A few years back, mom bought me a BB-8 and R2-D2 kit by Bandai. I've heard great things about these kits. They don't require painting or glue and they have a precision fit with great detailing. I've been hankering to do something a little different, so I dragged this kit out and added a BB-8 and D-0 kit to the mix.

At first glance, it looks like the instructions seem easy to follow.

And, since the pieces are molded to color, that should help sort things. I do plan to paint, though, since I prefer a painted finish to the plain plastic no matter how good the quality.

The BB-8 and R2-D2 models are headed to a friend upon completion.

The BB-8 and D-0 models will stay with me. This one comes with the diorama surround, which is a great feature.

I'm planning to make these battle worn and update a few of the features. Stay tuned....

Ivy Hollow - landscaping, part 2

by brae  

Completing the landscaping. I used Woodland Scenics Fine Dark Brown Ballast to serve as dirt and Fine Ballast Buff as the gravel. I ran the wagon wheels and patted Jebediah's hooves on the loose gravel before setting it in place with Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement applied with a pipette (thank you, Debora - these pipettes are still among my favorite tools). The buff color is too red for my taste, so I applied tan paint washes over it to change the hue. (I have a post on working with these materials here, though now I usually skip the glued on layer and just use the Scenic Cement.)

I made an autumn tree this year using the same wire and putty technique I've used in the past for the trunk (parts one, two, three and four). For the foliage, I used autumn gold candytuft from Scenery Solutions - less than two bundles were used in the end (tutorial by Connie Sauve). Having a sparse tree meant it took less time to create, which helped with my tight deadline.

The grass mat is Wild Grass Forest Floor by Heki from Scenic Express (they call it Pasture TurfGrass on their website). These particular grass mats are pricey, but the high grass with variegated coloration is spot on in scale. The sheets are only 6" wide, though they are 17" long, so there are places on the landscaping board that always need to be pieced. These are my favorite to work with because of the backing, which is a clear, rubbery substance that makes it more flexible than the paper-backed grass mats. (Here is a post on working with the grass material.) Since I had leftover branches, I stripped the leaves from them and littered the ground.


I was sure to get a couple of little bits caught in the lovely rake by Sir Thomas Thumb.

The pump was an unfinished metal mini from the local shows, and I had the bucket in my stash. I built the platform to hold both pieces. When I added the resin (Acrylic Water from Walmart), it leaked through the bucket. I led a path of it over the edge and let it do what it wanted. A happy accident. :] There is also a droplet from the spout.

I borrowed the lawn mower from Ye Olde Taxidermist. It was made from a Phoenix Model kit from Jennifer's of Walsall.

I needed to be able to access the wiring, but there was no room in my tiny post office. I built a shed in the back that will allow me to hide the wiring while looking like a planned part of the build.

I used some fine brass hinges bought in miniatures lot some time ago, and one of them promptly failed after I glued the shed in place. A little epoxy and new nails, and we'll be back in business. In the meantime, I just hold the top part of the hinge down when I open it.

One of the best hay bales I have ever seen in miniature was purchased from Maple Leaf Miniatures.

The horse hitching post was an unfinished metal mini from the local shows, and I added a wood base. I swapped the silver ring for a black one to better match the painted finish.

While I was searching for a bucket to add water for Jebediah, I ran across this gem signed March 9, 1964 B.A., numbered 4.

It looked great in the photos, but no one else bid on it but me. When I received it, I loved it even more. There was no way resin water was going to be added to this.

Luckily, I had ordered window pulls from my friend Greg at All About Miniatures, and he included a gift of metal buckets. I was able to add the resin water to one of the metal buckets and set it inside the vintage wood mini. Thank you, Greg!

The concrete front steps were made from styrofoam, spackling and paint.

Chester was made by 2014erok. I had so much fun playing in the mini dirt this time around - the landscaping got to be a lot less manicured.

Ivy Hollow - screen door, part 8

by brae  

Completion of the screen door. During final assembly of the structure, I added the door hardware to the solid door.

Since the lock rail and the lock box are roughly the same height, I decided to not inset the lock box for fear of making a mess of it. This hardware is so hard to see on the interior as it is, it was hardly worth the risk, but I filed the idea away for another time and another door.

It was a lot of work, but I will definitely make another screen door in the future.

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