Monday, June 27, 2011

A slightly different view point.....

Ok, I admit, I don't spend as much time as I could on the hobby bench.

But I do wonder, with all the little people that get painted by fellow scale artists....

.....what would they see, from their view point?

Something like the photo in this post, me thinks......

(either that, or I am trying out my 'Popeye' face)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Melbourne Model expo - Bases!

Good News for the Australian (& hopefully New Zealand) Modelling community!

I'd like to introduce Michael & Robyn (& Luke) of Base44.

Michael is an avid modeler, of skill and experience. He also produces bases for displaying completed models.

Some of his work was entered in the 2011 Expo, hope he earned some trophies!

Michael & Robyn stuck me as friendly people, promoting their business venture at the Model expos.

Bases are reasonably sized & priced, and he can do custom work.

Link to his blog

Details on woods, edges, round bases for figures (Yay!) can be found on his blog

For more information, email Michael at

And yes, he will do mail order!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

And now, some light humour

"It's not easy being green...
...when 900 years you reach"

At this point, I'm calling "time" on posts. I do have a few more entries to do, I just need to get eyes away from the screen for a while.

Thanks for looking in!

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Full Figures

A selection of the figures. Great whites on the first figure, nice atmosphere with the second, while the third is a Russian sniper moving through sun flowers.

I like the contrast being the sniper and the flowers.

Again, a high standard aimed for, and achieved by these people.

Mind you, I still remember thinking "gee, those are tiny!". working in a larger scale has re-calibrated my ideas of scale!

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Boxed Vignettes; the close ups

Here is where I have difficulties shooting a pic through glass - hopefully, the pics are visible enough to make sense.

Top, a wounded soldier is lowered down a track. I presume this is the Kokoda track, and the stretcher bearers are Papua New Guinea natives, nick named at the time "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels"

Second is titled "Farewell my Darling", a final embrace before boarding ship. Yes, that is the side of a hull as a back drop.

Third is some commandos /soldiers scrambling down the cargo net - gear does look Australian.

Fourth is the pair of Soldiers, rescuing a lady from a bombed building. Given the rest of the figures and the theme, I would say this would be related to the Japanese bombing of Nothern Australia.

The fifth (again blurry photo) showed emaciated figures, wearing tattered clothes and battered slouch hats, working on Hellfire Pass.

Wikipedia entry on Hellfire Pass.

This as high craftsmanship, these five.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Boxed Vignettes

Here are five vignettes I saw, that really show some thought, hard work, sculpting and painting as an all round presentation.

all are themes from WW2, and related to the pacific theater (or related to it)

I had to stop, back up, and really look at these.

Close ups, next post.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Busts part 2

More busts. I like the ida of the US Marine, one from the Vietnam War, the other from WW2.

The subtle blacks on Captain Ramius are nice too.

Subdued basing also lets the eye dwell upon the busts, rather then drag it away.

With figures, basing does become very much a part of the overall; you have to focus the viewers attention on such a small area, and give it character and life.

Great effort from these artists.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Busts

Busts - where skills with a Brush will breathe life into the figure - or otherwise.

These have been done to a very high standard, and cover a broad range of periods and roles.

And almost all are military related.

I did grab some photos of a New York City fireman, as well as a Native American mother with Child. My skills with the camera weren't up to the task, and blurry photos are no good.

Bases are either subdued, or occasionally, complement the bust nicely (like the U-Boot seaman).

Again, photos to speak for themselves.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Figures, other scales or subjects

Ok, top to bottom, we have Motoko Kusanagi, from Ghost in the Shell, a Japanese Manga/ Anime,
followed by Judge Dredd, from the British comic 200AD,

rounded out by Yoda.

And if you don't know who Yoda is, well, "Welcome to Earth!"

I like the hair effects on Yoda, the folds with highlights and shadows is heading in the right direction, just has missed the directionality of light.

Great expression on the face of Yoda, though!

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Build it BIG!

Now here is a big & little project.

a 1/72 super cannon, German, WW2.

The Tiger 1 & figure are to the same scale.

Monstrously huge, even in 'braille scale'. I think I'll let the pictures speak for them selves.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Naughty Lady

Well, there had to be at least one lady, barely dressed, or in a state of "wardrobe malfunction"

Andreas (I think) maid puts in a appearance.

Pity the lighting doesn't flatter the figure.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Gundam & Mecha

Here's where the Sci-fi has shown growth over the years - previously (from memory ie pre internet or digital cameras) Gundam was one of those things that meant a pilgrimage to Japan, or mail order from the USA.

(and waiting a week or two after you sent off a letter....)

Now we are a few mouse clicks away from our areas of interest; and 'Lo & Behold' see the growth!!

The top suit has a teeny tiny soldier, between his feet, to give an idea of scale.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Kits for Kids

Bravo to Mr John Croaker, of Model World, South Australia.

Simple kits, mostly cars, almost all of them for about $10; so very affordable, easy to put together, and a sense of acclomplismnet for our younger modellers.

This group I over heard discussing diorama ideas.

John Croaker I remember from when I was living in Adelaide, and has been in the trade for something like 15+ years now that I know of.

Yes, he keeps moving his shop (business driven decisions) however, this is a local hobby store I could recommend.

Friendly guy, God Bless him!

Cheers to John

PS - if you live in or are passing through Adelaide, the current contact number is (08) 8234 1159

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Scratch builds

Now into the realm of the scratch builders.

Here, the Australian sense of humour comes through - the Red-back spider (sometimes called the Black Widow in the USA). Normally these are very tiny, rather shy, and rather poisonous. When I say tiny, about the size of a pea is the average for a real big one; usually, much smaller.

So this one is about 15 times normal size.

The troll is also good, from the sagging skin to the dynamic pose.

And from a technical viewpoint, the 8 gun Pom-Pom anti air mount is head of the class - here's why.

- neat, tidy, precise construction
-well finished, and logically weathered.
- all the spent brass rounds give a idea as to how much fire power this weapon system had.
- a figure to give it scale
-textural variety, from the shiny brass rounds on the deck, to the worn deck plates.

Bonus - a figure on an anti air system that isn't pointing to the sky at the same angle as the guns!

Not all, just a sample, still, these guys are good; setting a high standard!

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Ships, Boats and floaty things...

When it comes to craftmanship, and in a very tiny scale, I have to admire the scale shipwrights. As you can see, they can put a lot of detail into a very small scale.

I counted two IJN Yamatos, one Bismark, a few aircraft carriers (one just as big as the Yamatos) plus a few others of types I am not familiar with.

The top one is a vessel lowering a Remotely Operated Submersible, over a ship wreck. There was another with a submarine doing a ballistic missile launch from under the surface.

As for doing crew, I find it hard enough putting eyeballs on a 1/9 face.

Painting 1/700 scale figures (and making them 3-d) is another skill set again!

Sunday, a day of Rest.....

Yes, today is a day of rest.

Where I get a chance to do the...

the Rest of the housework

the Rest of the laundry

the Rest of the car maintenance

the Rest of the animal & pet upkeep

and the Rest of everything else I didn't get to do during the week.....

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Sci-Fi

Sci-fi was represented, and with some fun stuff such as the "chopper" speeder bike, and the speeder bike with side car. (Princess Leia as aBad biker chick,who would have guessed.)

The general entry view covers buck Rogers 1980's TV show) to Battlestar Galactica, to Star Trek, plus the Star Was.

Others were there as well, the Gundam/ Mecha had their own entry fields.

Again, this is a over view, not a detailed write up, nor a "entry by entry" photographic effort.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Helicopters

This is a 1/72 scale (big!) Mi-26 Halo, Russian super lift helicopter.

Big, bold, although given the size of the base, more figures could be included with out taking away from the aircraft itself. A little sparse for 'life'

Still, a white finish, well executed, and there is a story there. And good to see something from the other side of the old iron curtain.

There were a few more helicopters, but in I guess 1/144 or 1/72. Again, this caught my eye, white contrasting against soil.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - Aircraft

Aircraft were, as always, well covered.

No surprises, lots of WW2 German, some multi engine bombers (mix of American, British & German) the jets, mostly American.

the ones caught my eye, for two different reasons.

Both are large, and the aircraft themselves are finished to very high standards. Weathering is right - subtle, yet there, and not over powering the finish, just complementing it nicely.

Bases; the German bomber is at home, unified with it's base.

The American aircraft, is at odds with its base. The aircraft is realistically weathered, yet it sits pon varnished wooden planking (in scale) with glossy rocks and a wooden work platform.

The rocks and high gloss planks detract the overall effect, for me.

If the planks were subdued, with tie downs, and some steel decking where the rocks are, then I could believe this carrier based fighter is at home.

Having said the above, both aircraft are well finished, excellent craftsmanship in construction through to clean up.

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - first pic

Well, after doing a orbit, this was the first one to stand out for me.

Navigating to the "Edge of the World"

simple, effective, clever.

Scale? I guess about 1/1400

Melbourne Model Expo 2011 - over view

Well, for the first time in about 7 - 8 years, I managed to get to a model expo.

Explaining this to co-workers and friends, well, I said "it's kind of a convention, for scale artists"

True enough, I suppose.

I got there about 1pm on the first day, the event being held at the Sandown Entertainment centre. (and will be held today 12th and tomorrow 13th).

I was surprised by the area covered, and the variety of entries (positive surprise). I suspect I was still a bit early to see the full array of entries, as the tables didnt seem full to brim like other events I have read about.

There was a cafe serving hot meals, demos by various experts (I sat in on parts of resin casting and weathering with pigments)

I spent a lot of time, doing orbits, just seeing what was on display, and how the models were finished.

Vendors were there, the hobby shop guys barely visible behind walls of kits, while the after market people were doing their bit on the opposite side of the hall, with enough resin and brass detail accessories to almost justify serious consideration of selling organs.

Crowd wise, fairly general, other modelers, mums (and grand-mas) shepherding young kids about, Dads taking an interest and shepherding kids away from the "touch to see" natural curious response of little kids. Lots of cameras about, from little digital point & shoot, to cameras that would look out of place bolted to the top of a missile launcher (ie big lens)

Onto the photos, roughly by groupings, not in the order I wandered around in.