Beginning Again with a Vintage MPC AT-AT

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Matt! That means a lot coming from you. If only my modeling skills were as systematically calculated and precise as my after-the-fact thread. Mostly I've been going with the Indiana Jones method.

"I don't know, I'm making this up as I go."
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
There's only two 'bendable' legs in this kit and two all straightened legs in the knees section. Am I correct to assume from your last pictures that you used one 'straightened' leg in the front on the left side near the head and one in the back on the rightside?

Chaim
 

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
^^ Sym-Cha. That's correct. The instructions say to use the moveable legs in the front, but I thought my way would be more stable and look better.
 
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kpax

Sr Member
Great thread and project Dave. Looks great!

I haven't built a model kit in a long time. It's a lot of fun...and frustration! ; )

Great job as always.

What's next?...
 

joberg

Master Member
Yeah...David, that AT-AT looks really crappy and everything; send it to me, via UPS and I'll forgive you for the trauma you've inflicted me with all of those pics:D
Kidding of course. Thanks for the step by step tuto and the praise (that Orion rocks btw:cool). Love the final result of that AT-AT build/paint. It's true that a paint job can make or break a model/prop and you sure have done your research and experiments with washes, airbrushing, etc. It's always trial and error and when it works, it gives that "je ne sais quoi" to the final product. Keep up the great work:) and eager to see your next project!
 

scottjua

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looks freaking AWESOME!!!! When you get the studio scale full stop motion done, I wanna come animate it! That's what I went to school for!
 

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
Hey, look! A couple of experts! Kpax could build a Walker out of cork and pipe cleaners, finish it with tobacco juice and motor oil, and it would look better than the MPC kit. And Joberg would make his full size. As in fifty feet tall, out of old garbage bins, cardboard boxes, and used car parts. And it would probably work. Have you seen his 2001 space station build!?!?

And of course Scottjua of slow-mo live firing Han Solo blaster fame. Thanks for stopping by guys and thanks for the kind words and encouragement!

As for Kpax's question of what's next, I'm trying my hand at a 1/72nd scale FM X-Wing because I have a Salzo V4 waiting, and I'm not confident enough yet to tackle it, but I'm getting there...

BTW, who the heck thought 1/72nd scale was a good idea?
 

rbeach84

Sr Member
What a great thread! Thank you for sharing your progress. I'm going to be using this as a guide when it comes time for me to build my AT-AT.

For filling gaps, I use Bondo spot putty. It does shrink a little when it dries but I really like how well it sands and files. I haven't tried the surfacer products or what Tox recommended so I can't compare. Bondo is just what I'm comfortable with. Here's an image of what it looks like and can be found at Walmart.

View attachment 510793
Instead of the red Bondo spot filler (which is really too runny for many modeling applications), try the 3M Acryl-White Glazing Putty (available through many outlets, including Amazon as seen HERE) Not only is the consistency superior, the fine grain of the compound allows for trouble free polishing and engraving plus the lacquer-base provides superior adhesion to polystyrene plastics. I have been using this for years (previously as the blue tinted version, Acryl-Blue) and can vouch for its performance for filling fine seams, scratches & depressions. Like all 'spot putties' it is not intended for large-gap bridging or contour work, which is best done with 2-part epoxy products that have a much higher structural strength.

Although the Bondo brand is also made by 3M, it is not the same formulation as the Acryl line of putties. Plus, the 'red' seems to suffer greatly from 'settling' in the tube, so if it has be 'on the hook' for a while in the store, you might find (as I did) it coming out as a pure liquid!

One other note: CA & filler combos (such as talc or - best! - Microballoons) do set immediately & only get harder with time. So sand it right away.

Regards, Robert
 

rbeach84

Sr Member
Sorry, Mr, David for my prior 'interjection' as I was catching up on your thread. I can only concur with everyone else - great job on your presentation. Very clear & well organized and hence very useful (much better than the stuff I do!) I would say you achieved your stated objective... plus, the AT-AT is quite nice. I intend to adopt your weathering logic on my Hasbro MillFaclon 'model' when the time comes.

Regards, Robert
 

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
^^ Thanks for the comments and the tips, Robert. I really appreciate hearing what works from the people who know what they're doing. I'm heading to the Amazon page now to get some 3M Acryl putty.
 
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rbeach84

Sr Member
Only too glad to share anything I can... paying-forward & all! Recommend getting two (go in with another modeling buddy to save on the shipping...)
R/ Robert
 

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
Please stand by... We are experiencing technical difficulties today: in the form of spilled paint, globby dried old enamel paint, runny primer, ruined brushes, etc. Just one of those days at the bench where nothing goes right. I'm going to the hobby store to take out my frustrations on my wallet! I should be able to get another post up about finishing the Walker tomorrow.

Thanks again to everyone for the kind words and advice.

David
 

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
^ Are those all yours, Chaim? I've been having trouble finding just one. I think it's because they're all in the Nertherlands!

I will make another post shortly. I solved yesterday's problems by throwing out dozens of old tins of Humbrol enamels that had turned to gunk. I like them for brush painting and haven't had luck painting with any of the acrylics. I watched some tutorials, read a bunch of FAQs, and decided to try the Vallejo Model Colors for brush painting.

So far the learning curve hasn't been too steep. It's taking some time to think in terms of building up thin layers of paint, but I hope I'll eventually be achieving more realistic results from my brushwork. I painted the X-Wing pilot for my 1/72nd scale Fine Molds kit. I tried to make him look like Biggs. I really should have picked something bigger to learn how to use these paints!

Little Biggs-2.jpg

As long as you don't magnify it too much it gives the impressionistic idea of Biggs. It will never be seen as clearly as this through the plastic of the tiny cockpit. I still need to figure out the right techniques for working on something so small. It doesn't help that my hands aren't the steadiest, so at this scale it's like trying to paint a moving target!

Anyway, sorry for the brief detour, back to the Walker shortly...
 
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VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
My favorite detail:

I was waiting to see if anyone noticed one particular detail I added to the kit. No one has mentioned it yet so I’ll just go ahead and post about it. See anything unique about this shot?

Weathring Progress-10.jpg

It’s the tiny Flakvierling parts above each “toe”. I hadn’t planned to include them, since I didn’t think I could manufacture something so small. However, fellow RPFer and resident AT-AT expert and computer modeler, Dragnink, offered me a way to get perfectly scaled Flakvierling parts. I traded some stuff with Matt for a file that he’d compiled, that I then sent to Shapeways, and here’s the result of that:

Shapeways Parts-1.jpg

These things are tiny! And they’re perfect. Matt has modeled the part beautifully and they came out perfectly. The Shapeways order page said they were too small and wouldn’t necessarily print well, so I had to check the “Print Anyway” box and hope for the best. They were all flawless.

They are also much smaller than the parts cast into the hull of the MPC model:

Shapeways Parts-2.jpg

If I ever build another one of these (hopefully Bandai will come out with an accurate kit and I won’t have to worry about that) I’ll shave off all the oversized Flakvierling (it’s such a fun word to type!) parts and replace them with Matt’s printed parts.

I think they really add to the feet, which were sorely under-detailed to begin with. Here’s another look at the final result, this time with snow added, (which I’ll get to in the next post).

Feet CU.jpg

So thank you, dragnink, aka Matt Riegel, for the cool parts and for making my MPC AT-AT look that much better. And thanks for the very kind words in your earlier post about this thread.

David
 
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