Saturday, September 14, 2019

Father Son Model Building: AT-ST

This is Zeke and his finished AT-ST model.

Since my last foray into model building went so well I figured my 9 year old, Zeke, may enjoy building his own model.

So I let him pick out a model from Amazon, bought two, and over the past week or so we've been building them together.

It wasn't until we were 5 steps away from being completed that I realized the model was labelled as "15 years or older."   Didn't seem to matter tho as he managed to get everything together nicely.

This afternoon we finished the build.  Happiness ensued.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Foray into Model Building: Star Wars AT-AT

For a project over Labour Day I decided to try my hand at model building.  I haven't build a model since my childhood. It dovetails with my toy photography hobby, so it seemed like a thing to do.

I picked up a Bandai 1/144 scale Star Wars AT-AT kit. It looks like this:
When I was but a wee lad and engaged in model building, I always got stuck up on the glue(no pun intended) and I could never get it all attached correctly.  So I was happy to see this model didn't require any - win!  Also it doesn't have any decals, which is also a bonus.

So I spent a few hours putting together the model.  It ended up looking like this:

It turned out pretty good, but of course it has that flat grey plastic look to it.  I have become accustomed to a better looking model (standards increase when one gets into toy photography), so I knew I needed to do some painting.

Now an AT-AT is naturally grey, so what I really needed to do was to grunge it up a bit - something called "weathering".   Before I started I needed to decide the history of this machine.  Most of the time AT-ATs are thought of as being on the ice planet Hoth, and are shown in snowy weather.  However they went other places as well - there was an AT-AT guarding the force field generator on Endor for example.  I decided to make an AT-AT that has spent its lifetime trudging in a forrest environment.

So I spent a few hours putting on various washes of acrylic paint, and wiping off the excess.

After a few layers of build up, the finished product looks like this:

I tried to get the feet to look worn from mud and forrest detritus.

And I tried to make the vents look rusted from the moist forrest air.

I am pleased with how this turned out, for a first attempt at model making and aging.  In fact I liked it so much I have an X-Wing on order for next weekend.

I may have found a new dimension to my toy photography. I can't wait to get this in front of my lens.  Exciting!

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Blast From The Past: Geoacaching Travel Bug Comes Home

Here is a little blast from the past!

On June 5, 2012 I started a global travel bug race. I sent out 8 alien drone travel bugs to 4 countries on 3 continents, and the race was to see which bug would get back to my hometown of Lenoir NC first.

Now, since then I had burnt out on geocaching.  Really I burned out on everything (Depression will do that to you), and geocaching was an innocent bystander.  I had forgotten about this race, until a week or so ago when I got notified that the bug was in a cache near Lenoir.

Today I went to retrieve it.  Here it is:

This bug, drone #5,  was the first to get released, in the south-eastern part of England.  Since then it has travelled around the UK, hopped the pond to Oregon, then made its way to Texas, Ohio, Tennesee, and finally North Carolina.  It has travelled almost 8500 miles, and been in the hands of 115 people.  Here is a map:

Now its back, and will live out its life in my big box of treasures.  A rather nice way to mark Labour Day weekend.

Cache on!