Beginning Again with a Vintage MPC AT-AT

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rbeach84

Sr 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?

View attachment 511559

<<snipped extra>>

David
David, I thought it was the thinned edges on one of the foot 'ankle crescents'...
R/ Robert
 

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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Wow ... those Flakvierlings (great word indeed) do make a lot of difference as well as the scribing of those non-apparent lines on the feet of the original kit. As for those 1/350 scale AT-ATs try looking for T-toys ( http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=F-toys+AT-AT+1/350&_sacat=0 ) ... one box contains 2 AT-AT's and additional legs as well ... I just purchased 3 boxes and have a multitudes of 12 legs left over to scratch build 3 more, if I could achieve that excellence in scratchbuilding at that scale :wacko

There's also a 1/144 scale AT-AT made available by F-toys ... though I wonder what Bandai will bring us in the near future :



Chaim
 
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scottjua

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM 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!

View attachment 511494

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...

Get this outta my face... (goes and throws his model kits in the trash) That's insane... I can't even think to build my stuff now, as the bar is too freaking high.

Can I just send it all to you?
 

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VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
David, I thought it was the thinned edges on one of the foot 'ankle crescents'...
R/ Robert
Robert, I didn't do anything special to the ankle crescents (nice nomenclature!) so if they look thinner perhaps it's a result of the shading from the weathering, I'm not sure.

As for your comment about diecast collecting, well, I do have a few diecast spacecraft and cars, but the finishes are always so unsatisfactory that I think they're one of the main reasons I decided to try building plastic models again. When the 22 inch Space 1999 Eagle is released my Diecast Eagle will be going up for sale.
 

rbeach84

Sr Member
My comment was for Scottjua, who sounded almost discouraged; What I see as 'thinned' is the edges of the slots on the 'ankle crescent' (the walls?) so one slot is narrower than the other. I suspect then, given you didn't alter it yourself, the kit molding comes that way.
Regards, Robert
 

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
^ Ah! I misunderstood, Robert. I see what you mean about the thinner parts of the ankle crescent now. The difference between them is that one is an articulated ankle, and the other is cast as one piece and does not move. There are two of each style in the kit. They should have just made all four articulating legs, but I guess it saved money, or perhaps made it more stable.
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Indeed it's about stability . . . mine has fallen forward onto his cockpit many a time now that the hindlegs were made to articulate as well by me . . . and one day even the elastic band inside, which connects the cockpit via the neckpiece to the mainbody, had snapped so I just found the cockpit apart from the body and resting on top of the smaller AT-AT's in front of it :wacko

Chaim
 

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
^ Chaim, Sorry to hear your Walker is a little feeble, or perhaps just drunk, and keeps toppling over.

As for the rubber band holding the head and neck together, I knew that after somewhere around ten years the band would probably break, so I used magnets to hold them in place and it works well. It also made it very easy to do test fittings and to remove the head for further weathering and such. The magnets can easily be added after the whole model has been built, so there's still hope for your AT-AT. I'll post some more pictures on Tuesday. I'm taking a short vacation right now.

David
 

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Sym-Cha

Master Member
My first AT-AT is over 30 years old already since being put together ... that's why :lol ... it has a second rubber band inside ... curious to see how long that one will last :wacko

Chaim
 

joberg

Master Member
Now that I've seen your insane detailing of Biggs, you've been drafted to do all of the passengers of my Space Station, including the seating, table, etc:cool:D I kid of course, I didn't know that ants were working for you!
 

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
^ Thanks, Joberg! I have to admit to something. I was killing myself trying to match a level of detail I'd found on a FM X-Wing online. I think it might have been a Kuhn model. I couldn't figure out how the heck the builder had managed to put so much detail into such a small figure, and why I couldn't come close to matching it. I finished mine and wasn't overly thrilled, until I realized I'd been looking at a 1/48th scale reference model, not a 1/72nd one. Duh. It made me push myself and achieve a better result at this tiny scale than I would have managed otherwise.

As for your station population, it's summer here in Southern California and there are a lot of ants around, I wonder if I could train them to paint?
 

Vacformedhero

Sr Member
Now that I've seen your insane detailing of Biggs, you've been drafted to do all of the passengers of my Space Station, including the seating, table, etc:cool:D I kid of course, I didn't know that ants were working for you!
Thats not a bad idea , how many do you need painting , we could tackle it as an rpf bulk paint 300 painting one figure and postage for one figure anywhere should be nothing , multinational cooperation in your space station , im in for one tell me the scale and which type and colour scheme ,
 

Darwonka

New Member
I started the MPC AT-AT and quickly got in over my head when I tried to remove the raised panel lines and replace them with my own scribed detail.

At that point, I'd been modeling for about 2 months.

Oy!
 

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VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
I started the MPC AT-AT and quickly got in over my head when I tried to remove the raised panel lines and replace them with my own scribed detail.

At that point, I'd been modeling for about 2 months.

Oy!
There are lots of good panel scribing tutorials on You Tube. I watched a couple and practiced on some old scrap model kit parts. I still have a lot to learn, but you do get better with practice. Just don't practice on something that is precious to you!
 

Darwonka

New Member
Welp, coincidentally, my AT-AT I won on eBay came in today. So it looks as if I will have something to do in between issues of the DeAg BMF.

Thank you for the coaching!
 

VFX Freak

Well-Known Member
Finishing Up…

So after many thin layers of airbrushed paint in the form of primer, basecoat, color modulating filters, and glazes, I finally reached a color and tonal balance that looked right to my eye. I’ve collected bottles of the original Floquil colors with the thought that I could duplicate the ILM models best by starting there. Well, there are too many questions about how the Walker was painted back in 1978 or 79, so that idea went out the window right away. I resorted to winging it.

Once I was happy with the model I took a few shots, but it still doesn’t look right in front of a cardboard box so I printed out a 17x22 inch photo of a snowscape I found on the Web and used it as a backdrop:

Finished_I think-5.jpg

The model is standing on a piece of foam packing sheet. Very low tech, and not that effective, but better than cardboard. Once I got into Photoshop I realized the background was too blue so the color balance is off, but it was a start. The photo gave me a good way to judge the model. What had looked finished in my hand looked wrong on screen. (I have to confess, I think the above photo might have been before I sprayed the final coat of blue filter on the hull, but I forget. Gotta take better notes!)
I noticed that the legs didn’t look weathered enough in the photo, so back I went to the bench for some more weathering with the streaking enamels. I also figured it was time to add some snow.

For snow I used white pigment from MIG. I used some white acrylic wash to turn it into a paste and poked about with a stiff brush until I had what I thought I wanted. I came back the next morning and decided I’d been a bit heavy-handed, so I brushed off the excess. Once I was really happy, I used pigment binder to make sure everything stays in place. Lastly I used some gray washes to dirty up the snow here and there.

Then I printed out another photo of a snowscape from the web and went into Photoshop to warm it up a bit and pull out the magenta. I shot several photos of the model with this extremely simple setup:

Final-36-Edit-3.jpgFinal-17-Edit-2.jpgFinal-16-Edit-1.jpg

The angle and intensity of the light have so much to do with how much it just looks like a model stuck in front of a photo. That’s where the visual effects DP earns his money. I used natural daylight and bounce cards to get the lighting the way I wanted. Sometimes the fill light is too much aesthetically, but I wanted to see the details in the paintjob, so I let it go.

I also need to reshoot these on a better snow base. The foam pad really doesn’t cut it, but it was quick and I was impatient to get the model on camera.
I also took several of the shots through a Harrison and Harrison D1 diffusion filter, which is what they used when originally photographing the models for the movie. Next time I’ll use one of my vintage Nikkor lenses as well, which also match what they originally used. Anything to make the images look more like the film.

Then I took my favorite image and added the film grain effect and the scratched and fading to give the final photo that vintage feeling. I also blended the foreground into the backdrop a little bit. And so we’re back where we started this thread, with the finished MPC Walker in its vintage environment. Here's the before and after of the vintage pic:

Final H&H D1.jpgVintage Walker.jpg

It was a sometimes frustrating experience building this thing. I'm looking forward to something like the Fine Molds kits which will actually fit together! But I learned a lot and feel like I'll be able to do justice to a Studio Scale Walker; at least in the painting department. My build skills need the most work at the moment. Next up is the FM X-Wing in preparation for the Salzo V4.

Thanks for looking and thanks for all the comments and support!

David
 

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