My Galactica and other efforts

Discussion in 'Studio Scale Models' started by sleepless, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. sleepless

    sleepless Well-Known Member

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    hello all

    Brad from Australia here, was interested to read the posts about the studio scale Galactica, thought I would throw my effort into the mix. My web page is www.brisfx.com.au look under resume gallery, I would love some feedback.

    Brad
     
  2. Galactifan

    Galactifan Sr Member

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    How much are you selling your Galactica model for???

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. sleepless

    sleepless Well-Known Member

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    Sorry buddy not for sale it has taken years, this is the second version after I discovered my first wasnt accurate enough. I would have about 90% or more accuracy with kit pieces and its a labour of love. Besides shipping from Australia to anywhere would be a killer.
     
  4. StringOnFinger

    StringOnFinger New Member

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    sleepless,

    That is awesome! Excellent work!!

    --------
    Frank
     
  5. ViperRecon

    ViperRecon New Member

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    Beautiful work! I'm wondering how your blueprints compare to Charles Adams' effort accuracy/detail-wise (if you've seen them)?

    Mark Snyder
    Seoul, Korea
     
  6. Mycroft Holmes

    Mycroft Holmes Well-Known Member

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    Before you answer that Sleepless you need to contact Chris P.

    Your Galactica is nice but, too bad your labor of love uses lots of castings. Why not use all kits like I am on all the Galactica replicas I'm doing? It cost WAY MORE but it will be pure like the original was made. The Raider your molding for the bottom of the Galactica was my remaster for Custom Replicas. It was based on a distorted second gen pull. I now have a real Pyro and know all the missed parts and contour mistakes. Not many but enough for me to want to build another one.

    Back to the shop.

    M
     
  7. sleepless

    sleepless Well-Known Member

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    Well what can I say, would be lovely to have access to all the original kits to canabalize, unfortunately I dont have a bottomles pit of money to secure them as I am sure most people don't. I am very happy with my Galactica, after all its all about the enjoyment I thought. Love to see some pics of your Galactica M.
     
  8. saintg

    saintg Well-Known Member

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    Wow, what a beautiful Galactica. Keep up the great work!
     
  9. Mycroft Holmes

    Mycroft Holmes Well-Known Member

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    I will be posting LOTS of picts in the near future of all my Galactica replicas. I need to make sure they don't divulge the promises I was told to keep. Know what I mean [​IMG]

    Yes, I do agree Brads and the others Galacticas I have seen are looking good. After all, there were several Battlestars and differences in detail will make them stand out as the variants of the design as is what happens to most ship classes built at different times. Like the Y-Wings [​IMG] No two are the same, Unless uncle George wants them to be [​IMG]

    Saintg, you do great work yourself! Nice site. I like your character builds. And your props [​IMG] one word ROCKETEER!


    M
     
  10. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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    A very nice Galactica replica. What a unique challenge, many have tried but no one has ever quite got it right.

    As far as how this effort compares with my plans, well I was working mainly from photos when I drew the plans and did not have all of the kit parts to measure. But I still managed to get it about 90% on proportions. My plans do require a minor bit of "tweaking" here and there to fit the parts exactly, but not a lot.

    Your bays, main body, and engine section look great. There are some issues as you know with the shape of the head. I would also point out that your aft bay endcaps look great, but the front ones are a bit off, and the engine openings are supposed to taper quite a bit on the inside.

    This is purely constructive criticism mind you, I for one can TOTALLY appreciate the amount of work you put into this. I look forward to seeing the finished product! Keep up the good work. . .

    Charles Adams
    http://www.StarshipBuilder.com
     
  11. sleepless

    sleepless Well-Known Member

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    I agree Charles, it is near to impossible to get it 100% accurate. I know of the short falls with mine but you get to the stage of being happy with what you have done, and when it all boils down to it, after all things should be kept in perspective. It is just a model from a 27 year old tv show and not the "Holy Grail" that needs to be shrouded in secrecy. I think you have done a great job with your blueprints and I am sure that people that have acquired them from you are very happy.

    Brad
     
  12. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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    ". . .after all things should be kept in perspective. It is just a model from a 27 year old tv show and not the "Holy Grail" that needs to be shrouded in secrecy. "

    Very true! [​IMG] But we all need to remember there is a reason for the unique situation regarding this particular miniature. If it were on public display and well photographed like the Star Wars miniatures, everyone would have "equal access" and nothing would be "shrouded in secrecy." But that's not the case here -- this miniature is in the hands of a private collector, shut away from the public, and so info on it is just not available. That makes the process of recreating it many, many times harder.

    Kudos to you for getting as close as you have with your project. Others simply need to understand how truly DIFFICULT it is to reach that level of accuracy. It took me 5 YEARS of drafting, study, and research to get the proportions figured out! That might help explain why I have not been publicly posting my blueprints for all to see. . .
     
  13. DK424

    DK424 New Member

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    O.K., you guys have piqued my curiosity.

    First off, it's great to see a Galactia thread around here. I did some searching on the Net for Galactica reference, and was surprised at the number of people who'd built or are building the big G. A friend of mine was interested in taking a crack at a studio scale G, and since I'd been spending years (and $$$) researching the SW miniatures, I told him I'd give him a hand. Afterall, half the fun of this is trying to I.D. kit parts. After about a month of looking, I told him there weren't enough decent photos of the miniature to build an accurate model.

    So. . . I just gotta ask. Are there better reference pics out there? I don't mean to step on anyones toes, since I know how we SS modelers tend to be with our information. [​IMG]
     
  14. ViperRecon

    ViperRecon New Member

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    Thanks for the answers, Charles and Brad! I know both of you have worked very hard to get as close to 100% as you have given the circumstances that limit access to the filming miniature. I was just wondering how the two set of plans compared, sort of an objective-as-possible review by the author, and I think I got that.

    Thanks again!

    Mark Snyder
    Seoul, Korea
     
  15. replicaprops

    replicaprops Official Licensee RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What I want to know is where is the list of parts used to make the kit bash, and who is going to offer a kit for sale?
     
  16. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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    That's simply not feasible. It would be like offering an 8 1/2 Star Destroyer kit for sale -- who could possibly afford it???

    There is upwards of $10,000 worth of kit parts on the Galactica at today's prices -- and the more people out there trying to build replicas, the more expensive it gets. Every day the price goes UP.

    With well over a thousand individual parts, the cost of molding and casting it would not be practical either.
     
  17. replicaprops

    replicaprops Official Licensee RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, in the method of construction currently used it is understandable. However im sure that some out side the box thinking could allow for different construction techniques that acheive similar results.

    For instance if you were to break the model down to individual panels and lay them out in a cad program, they could be machined into a pattern.

    I can easily see that the details are huge and the amount of individual parts are equally huge. However, material cost wise when looking at it from a manufacturing point of view is not any where near the price people seem to think.

    Todays large format cnc machines can easily lay waiste to the most complex designs. The real cost is in the initial design of the cad files. Most of which talented individules have already started to construct in variouse non manufactureing disciplines. A 6-8 foot long galactica would cost very little if the pattern were machined on a large table from MDF and vacuume formed from sheet styrene. Even machining and partially assembleing the basic panels would be moldable.

    The real point I guess is what would the manufacturing of such a coveted model do to its price. Would the availability of such a kit destroy its value and desire to build. Also from the point of view of the manufacturer, is such a huge model something to even consider, with the amount of space it will take up.
     
  18. Galactifan

    Galactifan Sr Member

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    Hey Brad,

    Incredible custom Battlestar Galactica!!! By the way, did you ever finish making your Cylon undersuit from a few years ago? If so, are you selling any? Please post pics if you have any. Thanks.
     
  19. rad1701

    rad1701 Sr Member

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    Wow! That is so awesome! Great work!! I'm curious on how heavy it is overall? Did you just move it outside for some pictures? Again, great job. [​IMG]
     
  20. spcglider@aol.com

    spcglider@aol.com Sr Member

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    That is absolutely terrific.

    You're doing probably exactly what I would do. Make castings and replicate the parts that way.

    The only reason they didn't do that in the first place on the studio original was because buying the kits was cheaper at that time.

    If a studio decided to make a replica for some reason these days, you can bet money that they'd do it like you're doing it. The bottom line is $$$. A resin casting looks no different to the camera than an original kit part.

    You're doing an incredible job. Bravo to you!

    -Gordon
     
  21. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Charles and Darthscifi,

    I think it could actually be possible to mould and kit the Galactica in studio-scale - eg, perhaps an ABS vac-moulded hull with urethane detail pieces (none of which have to be that much bigger than the actual kit parts) could be a practicable proposition as a semi-kit that still requires a skilled builder to trim castings, come up with their own armature, etc.

    The job could be divided up in stages like the Small 44" Eagle; so people could get whatever stages they felt they needed. It might even stimulate more activity.

    The financial risk would be considerable. It would have to be mitigated somehow, for example, by forming a collective composed of modellers who already have part of the job done and are willing to loan parts for moulding, rather than starting an all-new master and kit hunt. That might actually be the biggest challenge, as of course many of us are understandably jealous of our work and parts collections. Not to mention the fact many scratchbuilders are loathe to see kits produced of something they have laboured on! (I know that feeling myself, but I still love a good kit too.)

    We'd need to see a shift to more the sort of mentality we see in Japan, where small co-ops are often formed for particular modelling projects (and as a result, there are huge numbers of kits produced, even for very niche markets like SF3D).

    I'm pretty much dreaming here of course!

    Cheers,
    Martyn

    PS hi Brad! Sorry, owe you an email; haven't forgotten, just busy! Nice model!
     
  22. star-art

    star-art Sr Member

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  23. spcglider@aol.com

    spcglider@aol.com Sr Member

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    I agree. It's possible. But sit back for a moment and indulge me while I play devil's advocate:

    I run jobs like this (yes...LIKE THIS) all the time at work.If you'd like to see my work visit www.MNFX.COM. I'm the studio manager and it's my job to break out how lage jobs get executed and to put a price on the process so we know what to charge clients. I've been at it for 15 years. I'm going to ramble here, so don't freak out. This is the initial process I go through for every project that walks through our door. Just sharing.

    I guesstimate that each segment of the kit would end up being $700 to $800 "retail" minimum. That depends on how much you break it up (I'm guessing 5 sections at least)And whether or not everyone is willing to put in more hours than they can dream of for free. It also depends on how much you can pro-rate out the costs. How many kits will you be making above and beyond the ones each member gets for participating? Can you, in fact, sell that many? There's a LOT of silicone involved... that's about $400 per 5 gallon bucket, but you're not talking about that kind of efficiency since you can't guarantee that all the participants are living on the same block. Everybdy will probably have to buy their own silicone supply and resin supply to cast parts. Everyone needs to agree to use the same resin so there's no weeping of parts after they're cast. You need access to a large vacuum-forming machine. Got one? No? Then you'll need to job that out to someone who does. And would each participant be responsible for making the vacuum-form molds for their particular section? If only one person is making the bucks for the hull, that holds up the entire schedule until they are done so that the others can create the detail panels that actually fit the vac-form pulls. But if more than one person is making the bucks, you run the risk of the parts not fitting together at all. Sure, NASA pulls off much more complicated jobs than this, but they are engineers with degrees and such. No offense, but most guys who want a battlestar model on their coffee table are not. Including me! Then there's the expectations of the individuals involved. Are they all on the "same page" when it comes to detail and accuracy of the work? What if the guy doing the port landing bay does a sucky job? What if the guy doing the engine section is a jerk and decides that he's not giving up his section without some sort of monetary compensation?

    I know most model builders are crazy (in a good way), but are they THAT gung-ho? You'd have to REALLY want a battlestar to go that route.

    Now, if one or two enterprising individuals decided that they wanted to a) build an original pattern and B) wanted to spend alot more time designing the kit than actually creating their own battlestar model, you'd probably have a working team. it would take a LOOOOONG time, but you'd have the control you needed to maintain accuracy and quality for the entirety of the project. It would take incredible dedication.

    Don't get me wrong. I am NOT poo-pooing the idea. In fact, I'd LOVE to see it happen and be proven wrong in my gut instincts. And if those guys who are making the klingon cruiser manage to pull it off, I'll personally send them a note of congratulations... cuz it aint an easy task even for a simpler design like that.

    I stopped making copies of stuff for people years ago. Too much hassle and not nearly enough return. Now I just concentrate on building stuff as a hobby. I am much happier!

    -Gordon
     
  24. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Charles,

    Yes, I've seen the page; great stuff - best of luck with the project! Re the G, I don't think it's technically impossible or impractical so much as organisationally difficult, very much what Gordon points out in his excellent analysis, and I touched on in "diplomatic" code - it'd be a job that would only be likely to happen if some really energetic and slightly insane group took it on.

    Gordon,

    Great analysis! No argument with most of your points. I know it was a rhetorical question, but as it happens, I *can* (possibly) get access to a very large vacformer. Sadly, I'm not proposing to start such a group, I don't want a G that badly myself!

    Not sure I understand about weeping parts. Were you referring to mixing different resins, before pouring?? Ugh!

    Yes, clearly you would need a group who can agree on a consensus set of plan drawings, and read them properly too. That wouldn't be easy; we all know better than the next guy, eh?

    Ack, I knew it -as near as I can work out, that silicone cost is about 2.5 times cheaper than what we pay here. Half your luck! (Note to self...must get green card!)

    Yes, we're certainly talking a different scale of "affordable" here. But if the cost of obtaining all the necessary kits is really $10K US (and I see no reason not to take Charles' word for it), then it would almost *have* to be possible to produce *something*, not necessarily a kit as such, that would bring that cost down for aspiring builders, wouldn't it?

    <Edit> D'oh! I see Brad has many of the kit parts already taken care of.

    Cheers,
    Martyn
     
  25. spcglider@aol.com

    spcglider@aol.com Sr Member

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    M,

    What I was referring to by "weeping parts" is when you use older resin or resins mixed in incorrect amounts. There is a "weeping" of oil that happens. If it's bad enough, it can make a part completely useless as there is no way to seal it.

    Sometimes I will pour a large slug of resin in a cardboard tube just to have something to machine a part from. I've cut an entire project on the lathe only to discover I had to do it all again because the paint wouldn't stick to the final parts even after extreme de-greasing measures.

    In that case, it was resin past it's useable shelf life. My mistake. My headache!

    But cheaper resins can be just as bad. There are resins out there that will have the same effect if you're off just a little on your measurements between the A side and the B side.

    I did a sonic screwdriver a while ago and that happened. Magically, I managed to seal the prop with automotive paint somehow. The problem was that after the paint dried, I developed a strange, almost "woodgrain" pattern appear on the surface of the prop. It almost looks like a wooden carving with silver paint on it. Should have just used aluminum!

    -Gordon
     
  26. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Gordon,

    Gotcha - incomplete catalysis, or whatever the technical term is. Nasty! I only buy resin in small lots, so I haven't had that problem often, more often I have humidity problems (= foam). Very humid here from Jan-May or so. Gotta love urethanes!

    Still better than polyesters. [​IMG] I did a ton of casting in those, back before urethanes were widely available here - painful.

    Cheers,
    Martyn
     
  27. spcglider@aol.com

    spcglider@aol.com Sr Member

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    Martyn,

    you're taking all the proper precautions when using urethanes, right?

    I mean, cross venting, mask (or better yet supplied air), yes?

    I can't explain enough why you MUST protect yruself from the isocyanate gasses coming off of urethane castings.

    I myself have developed enough of a sensitivity to them that I have a very hard time working with them any more. One whiff and I start to have allergic athsmatic reactions.

    CLEAR urethanes are particularly aggregious.

    I go on this rant several times a year on the boards because I know two people who have been hospitalized and one person who was extremely effected (I can tell you the sad story later) by exposure to urethane fumes in an uncontrolled environment. as I said above, I'm VERY sensitive to the fumes, the liquid parts, the shavings, etc. That's from exposure over the years. I went to the local clinic and got an epinephrine shot the last time around because I nearly passed out from the effects.

    Needless to say, when working with urethanes, one should ALWAYS 1) work in a well cross-ventilated area. This means you are venting the fumes to the OUTDOORS and you have fans set up to move the air away from your work space (I don't give a rat's * how cold you are...vent to the OUTDOORS) and 2) wear an APPROVED cartridge style mask with cartridges that are effective against fumes. Don't think those stupid little dust masks will help one iota. They WON'T.

    Also included in this is the warning to wear latex or nitrile gloves when mixing, pouring or handling fresh castings. Get a disposable set of togs to wear. And don't forget the goggles!!! Getting liquid urethane in your eye is pure HELL!

    And last, don't cast this stuff in your HOUSE and expose your loved ones to it! Do it in the garage or where ever... but DO NOT do it in your living space!!!!

    Okay...rant ends...for now.

    -Gordon
     
  28. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Gordon,

    Amen to that! Yes, I'm aware of the risks, but haven't developed a sensitivity myself, probably because a) I cast in small volumes only a few times a year, and B) I do approximate most of the proper precautions reasonably adequately. (I hope! Well, as mentioned, no harmful effects so far.)

    Some of the precautions are obviously vital for anyone doing this work on an industrial scale, but even if you are just a hobbyist with no intention of installing ventilators or piped air, there's a lot you can do to reduce the risks. Unfortunately, there are a lot of modellers out there using resins without any understanding of the risks whatsoever, let alone taking the most basic precautions. I know several people personally who do cast indoors, without ventilation of any kind - they haven't had any health problems as yet, but it may be a matter of time. OTOH it is probably at least partly a matter of personal sensitivity, as with bee or peanut allergies, etc. But why find out the hard way?

    My precautions - I *never* do this work in the house, I use a separate garage/shed and open the car doors and entry doors. I don't have cross-ventilation, but do wear a proper cartridge mask and the shed faces into the sea breeze, so there's good air circulation (too good - it's virtually working outdoors. Like you, I'd rather be cold than suffer respiratory failure!) I wear gloves, glasses and overalls or disposable clothing.
    I've come into skin contact with liquid resin anyway, because I'm clumsy, but (thus far) it's done me no noticeable harm. I'll install cross-venting in a snap if I ever get into more serious production.

    BTW, anyone using a dust mask is deluding himself - dust masks are for DUST. (I have a beard, so the feeble things don't do me much good, for any purpose.)

    Cheers,
    Martyn
     
  29. spcglider@aol.com

    spcglider@aol.com Sr Member

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    Martyn,

    good on ya.

    But here's the next bit of info:

    Isocyanates are a cumulative poison. They build up over time in your system (particularly the waste-removal organs like kidneys, lungs and such).

    I worked for six years with urethanes and thought I was "getting away with it". Surprise on me!

    -Gordon
     
  30. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Gordon,

    No argument. Microballoons, epoxies and polyester resins can also be also bad mojo, if you aren't careful. In fact a helluva lot of the materials modellers use are bad mojo, but most of us don't seem to care or understand. I know people who are scared of sanding fully-set urethane foam, but throw microballoons around like snow.

    When you were working in an uncontrolled environment, what sort of exposure were you getting? Constant, day-in day-out fumes, or periodic careless patches, or what?

    I guess we're getting a bit OT though! Um...obligatory Galactica content...um...how about 1/2 SS replicas!? Are there many of those out there? That'd be a whole other level of practicality! Like Nathan's Y-wing project, it would be far cheaper and there have to be many suitably-scaled "stand-in" kits.

    Cheers,
    Martyn
     
  31. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Very nice work, and great personal perspective on the hobby! All about what YOU want and enjoy!
     

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