Another Escape Pod (Masterpiece Models Base)

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vectorzero

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Intermission - Mystery of the main hatch

The 'hinge' for the main hatch was clearly damaged at some point after filming. Examining the damaged areas and looking carefully at the disturbances to the paint, as well as referring to the very few pictures of the model on the set, we're speculating that there was more to the hinge than the few remaining 88mm gun parts.

The left image shows an 88mm part bridging the gap between the frustrum rim, and the cut edge of the Freuhauf tank end cap. The right image shows the missing (gun mounts?) parts AND what may be the part now glued to the 'top' actually attached to the frustum.

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If you go with the theory that the bracket has been glued back into the wrong position you could build the top hatch mechanism like this.

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Now for the speculation. What if BOTH parts are in the correct position? That would allow the two elements to intersect and actually look like a hinge. To test this assertion, and using solely 88mm parts from a single kit, Andy has mocked this up.

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Interested in opinions on this before committing it into the build. The resin copies of the parts have to be shaved some for everything to fit, but it does kind of work as a concept.

Of course if anyone had a picture of the model on the set with the hatch attached that would be fantastic! ;-)
 
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Studio Kitbash

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This is the kind of model archeology I love.

I like the theory that the top hatch was glued back wrong, but maybe only because I think that version looks cooler.
 

vectorzero

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Intermission over. I've decided to follow the consensus on the hatch and have it without the second 88mm part.
 
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vectorzero

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Wow 5 months since the last update. My bad - the pod is finished but I've been busy with work so have not kept the build log up to date. Lets get going again.

Focusing now on the engine section. The base for this is the bottom 'plate' of the Airfix Saturn V. As you can see from the construction photos I'm using original parts where I can. In earlier posts we've covered the difference in parts between vintage Saturn V models and the more recent ones. Here's another example. The mould for the 'engine plate' into which the F-1 engines seat has degraded over time. All the newer ones have this big sink mark in the middle. Note how crisp the older part on the left is in comparison. If you're hunting on eBay for Saturn Vs and there is a sprue shot, the sink mark is a good 'tell' for a non vintage kit.

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Now onto layering the detail and some modifications to the castings supplied in the Masterpiece Models kit. You can see clearly on the studio model that there are spigots protruding through the holes in the Sealab sections.

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The spigots are missing on the cast parts, so holes were drilled and wire inserted. These new spigots locate the Sealab sections in position.

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This shot shows the Sealab parts and other greeblies placed into position for checking space. Note that the M10/M36 parts (two castings and two original parts) are not yet trimmed to remove the sections overhanging the base of the engine section.
 
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vectorzero

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More shots showing the build up of detail on the base. M10/M36 parts are now trimmed and several of the small details added.

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The Bandai 1/24th Panther/JagdPanther and the drilled portions from the 8rad are now in place. As seen in the images in the Chronicles book, the lower edge of the fin (starting at the outer end), descends behind the triangle at quite an angle. I believe these parts were rooted in the centre to the larger 8rad details. So they have been shaved and fitted in this position with the correct overhang on the outer edge.

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One of the 8Rad suspension units has a missing arm in most shots of the studio miniature, but this is clearly damage picked up whilst filming. I want mine to be an idealised version of what left the model shop, so I'm going to leave it undamaged.

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Dropping the engines into place and adding the Sealab cable bundles confirms the correct height of the 8rad 'fins'. The cable bundles clear the fins nicely. The Hanomag part seemed to be missing from the kit castings, so an equivalent was fabricated.

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vectorzero

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Onto the thrusters. The three engine end thrusters are original Saturn V, and the bottom two thrusters are the kit parts supplemented by the original Saturn V escape tower shrouds. There was a lot of cleaning up to do on the AMT W-925 wheel castings on the lower thrusters, but they came up well in the end. Note the tiny 1/700 Yorktown parts in the jam jar lid.

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These were then painstakingly applied to the lower trusters.

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Again, a combination of the kit castings, recasts of the kit castings and original donor parts were used to keep things as crisp and accurate as possible.

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The main engine cables were cleaned up and separated where needed. These were added to the main engines as a separate part to make painting easier.

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Finally the tiny Sherman detail was added on.

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vectorzero

Sr Member
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Finally the top cap. Andy did a lot of work here to create a hinge different to that currently seen on the studio model. You can see that version in these shots of the cap.

There are two versions of the end cap - one with a hole to allow access to the bottom mount, and a hero version if the model is suspended through the middle mount. Both attach magnetically.

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vectorzero

Sr Member
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Primer time. The pod was sanded all over using 1200 grit paper. Window masked off, and then black primer airbrushed into every nook and cranny to make sure no white flashes come through on the final paint. All panel edges were airbrushed as well as the lower end greeblies.

One issue was the kit supplied top hatch which had the same issue with paint not adhering as we found on the X1. It was washed clean again with thinners in preparation for another matt black coat.

Once all the details were coated, the pod then had a complete wet coat of matt black which was left to dry off overnight. The full black in the image looks shiny, but it was taken while it was still wet.

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vectorzero

Sr Member
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The pod was sanded down once again, and a further black coat applied. Once nice and dry it was given two coats of the base colour after airbrushing the recesses again in white. A satin finish for this stage.

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vectorzero

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With the base layer applied, the next stage is to block in the main areas of discolouration. All these details for rust etc will become more blended and detailed as the paint layers go down.

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vectorzero

Sr Member
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The top colour panels were masked off for their first three colours. Soft brown colours were also added to sketch the main surfaces out and see if the colours are work together ok. Layers are built up with washes and airbrush.

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vectorzero

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More work was done in greys and brown. The surfaces becoming more complex now as the layers go on. Many more subtle and not so subtle details were added. All need either toning down or more strength with the next airbrush pass.

Note that the camera doesn't picking up the subtleties in colour that well.

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vectorzero

Sr Member
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Darker stains were added, and more layers of shading applied.

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The main yellow/mustard stripe was added and shaded to match the reference in the Chronicles book. All the small white paint dots have been applied and the initial dremmel work was done to create the damage areas.

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vectorzero

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The pod was sealed with a satin varnish and then further distressing was done to get as close as possible to screen accurate. Again the camera is not giving a true reading of the colours. We'll improve that with some later DLSR shots.

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vectorzero

Sr Member
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Down to the last details. Numerous nicks and dings added on as well as the grey rectangles. Some photos in natural light showing the smokey layers and balancing of colours to reflect the reference source.

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