The Escape Pod Project

Discussion in 'Studio Scale Models' started by DaveG, May 4, 2016.

  1. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They're not roto cast, just pressure cast in a two part mold. There's no big secret but I guess years of pouring resin creates a bit of an instinct as to what works and what doesn't. That's not to sound flippant, I'm really not sure what the trick is. One thing is to make sure not to mix too much air into the resin and I do over fill a bit, though not a lot. Since I only needed four castings I did not set up the mold with a fill channel and sprues like I did with the shrouds. Basically I pour the resin into the female side of the mold, then lower the male core side of the mold in displacing the extract resin. Then into the pressure tank. Every mold is different and has different quirks. The first couple of castings had bad bubbles around the rim until I got the hang of this mold.

    - - - Updated - - -


    Yes, Filmtools is a good place, although they are a little pricey. Norm's is another good place, most of my stands are from them, cheaper prices, I think they are up in San Fernando now. Matthews and Mole Richardson in Hollywood are good, but a bit expensive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  2. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks guys! Ive been asking this info from another member for months. But I guess that was his little secret.

    Great looking Escape Pod. Its been a while since a good one rolled off the RPF production floor.
     
  3. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Looking very good Dave...eager to see the painting process and how much wear and tear you'll put on that one:)
     
  4. satazius

    satazius Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    American makes the best grip gear to actually use on set. Not cheap.

    Modern is also an interesting option. Though they don't make C-stands, they make a lot of other stuff and will do custom work very inexpensively. They sell directly to the public over the phone with a CC at 25% off their list price. Don't need to set up an account.

    But for stand purposes pretty much anything will do. The world is awash in C-stands, so keep an eye on local sales outlets for used gear. That vintage look is cool anyway. The pads on old grip heads can bet replaced. A good idea if they are well-worn and supporting a precious model.

    And always remember the clock-wise rule for grip heads: knuckle towards you. Weight to the right. This means the weight tightens the head if it moves. You don't want the weight pulling counter-clockwise and loosening the head. That results in sadness ;-)
     
  5. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Working on the final detailing last weekend. As I was pouring a mold in the adjacent room I heard the unmistakable thud of what had to be a model impacting the floor. Sure enough, I had left the Escape Pod just lying on my workbench and as soon as I walked away, it had rolled off and fallen to the concrete floor! :eek

    Fortunately the damage was minor, only one really smashed up detail. The few other dents are now authentic "weathering"!

    Broken Part.jpg
     
  6. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    I"ll take any weathering techniques from you Dave, including dropping my model on the ground!:D
     
  7. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's finally cooled down enough in Los Angeles to get to painting. First step, a coat of automotive lacquer primer, sprayed through a paint gun.

    IMG_2679.jpg IMG_2682.jpg
     
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  8. bwayne64

    bwayne64 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Dave, Pod is looking sweet ! I wanted to ask if you know how much you would have to scale up your drawing to match the studio model. Maybe a percentage upscale ? Do we know if you can still get the original buckets ? Thanks,

    Joe

    P.S. Found the buckets !
    Oops, deleted the ebay listing. It's not a rare kit, but read another post that said there was a rule about linking to auctions, my bad ;-)
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  9. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's not just a matter of scaling, the proportions of the 1970's vintage KFC buckets are different than contemporary 5 quart paint buckets. As near was I can tell they are wider and possibly shorter. So the taper angle is likely to be different as well. Also I laid out all my panels and detail based on trying to get them to visually match the original but on a slightly different shape. What this all means is that to lay out patterns for a "screen accurate" Pod would mean basically starting from scratch. Sorry.
     
  10. bwayne64

    bwayne64 Well-Known Member

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    Hey no worries. I found a couple of photos of the vintage bucket. They even laid a ruler across the bucket. Unfortunately the one for the vertical axis is leaning, so probably only a best guess from that pic. No diameter for the bottom of the bucket. Too much to hope for I guess ;-)

    s-l1600.jpg

    s-l1600 (1).jpg
     
  11. RSWillett1

    RSWillett1 New Member

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    Hey Guys, I just so happen to have a few original KFC buckets I can pull some measurements from in order to contribute. I scored them from a lady in PA who was a "career" KFC employee from the 60s thru the 80s. She has since been a hard core KFC collector with literally a house full of related stuff. The buckets are marked 1969 and the style of recycle symbol matches the time period. She remembered they did not change the bucket style until the late 70s/early 80s, which should put these as a match for our time period. I'm off to work now, but will post again this evening when I get a chance to do some measurements.

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    IMG_5641.jpg
     
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  12. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Since the buckets were in essence used as "molds" the important dimensions would be the insides.
     
  13. RSWillett1

    RSWillett1 New Member

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    Indeed Dave! There is also a flared "lip" at the top to account for. I have ordered some expanding urethane foam to go ahead and cast the inside of the bucket. I can then take more accurate measurements of the casting. I'll be sure to post the results!

    IMG_5642.jpg
     
  14. bwayne64

    bwayne64 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome dude, that will save me having to buy one ;-) We definitely need the bottom diameter and the height. I should have saved a greasy bucket back in the day. Ah, if only I knew then, what we know now , LOL .
     
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  15. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    That pod sure looks great Dave! And thanks to RSWillet1 for the sharing of the measurements!
     
  16. jawsmodels

    jawsmodels Well-Known Member

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    Hey Dave. M
    Looking awesome! My understanding of the mechanical details on the sides are that they are actually Landing Gear. As noted in the concept & production drawings. Keep up the good work.
     
  17. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Moving forward with the paint. I mixed up a light grey using Tamiya acrylics as the base. It looks pretty light to the eye the subsequent washes should darken it down considerably. Over the base coat I airbrushed some panel line shading and other shading with some darker grey acrylics. The trapezoidal grey panels and yellow and black caution stripes were painted over chipping medium so I could come back and chip away some of the paint back to the base color. I know the stripes on the original didn't have the black diagonal lines but I like the industrial look of them. A coat of clear satin polyurethane was sprayed over the entire model to seal the acrylics for the next step, oil paint washes.

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  18. vectorzero

    vectorzero Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Did you manage to cast the bucket and measure the results?
     
  19. RSWillett1

    RSWillett1 New Member

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    I have yet to get a good casting. Waiting on more foam to arrive. The first round I only ordered the sample and it was not quite enough to reach the top of the bucket. Gallon size casting foam is on it's way. I will start a new thread with the info and photos when it arrives so as to not hijack Dave's build thread. Paint job is looking great Dave!
     
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  20. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Washing Up!

    I applied an overall wash to accentuate the highlights and shade down the overall grey a bit. Prior to applying the wash the entire model was sealed with a water-based satin polyurethane varnish from Vallejo. This reduces the amount to which the wash "stains" the base paint. If I wanted even less staining I would have used a gloss varnish. The varnish was left to dry overnight before proceeding.

    I use artist's oil paints (the kind that come in tubes) exclusively for my washes. The long drying time allows for the effect of the wash to be reduced by rubbing the surface with a solvent soaked rag. Before applying the wash the entire surface is brushed with clean paint thinner. Then a wash made of ivory black oil paint cut with turpentine is liberally brushed over the model as can be seen in the first picture. I prefer turpentine to paint thinner for oil based washes, it just seems to work better. Then I wipe off as much of the wash as possible with a clean rag. Further wash is removed with rags moistened with paint thinner. Generally I worked the rags in a linear fashion from top to bottom which makes for nice vertical streaking. If there are areas that are difficult to reach with the rag I used cotton swabs or a paint brush moistened with a little thinner. Again, the nice thing about artist's oil paints is that even after the solvent has evaporated they still take a few days to truly dry. This means I can continue to go back and remove or blend out the wash with paint thinner. It took about an hour or so to wipe off the wash to the point where I was satisfied with it.

    Once this overall wash has dried completely I'll start in with spot weathering.

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  21. 3DImpact

    3DImpact Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is all looking great! The final wash really nicely brings out all the greeblie detail.

    I'm getting ready to paint a Partisan emblem on my Biker Scout helmet and would love to get exactly the weathered/worn paint look that you've achieved in the green area in upper center of the image here. Could you describe your technique for getting that worn look?

    Thanks!

    Dan
     
  22. t2sides

    t2sides Sr Member

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    WOW!! Outstanding work DaveG, looking really good, and great technique tips for the weathering. :cheers
     
  23. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Dan, Thanks. (BTW, the detail parts are Nernies not Greeblies. But that's a subject for a different thread!)

    The paint chipping is achieved using what's known as the Hair Spray Technique. I didn't invent it, it's something plastic kit modelers have been doing for years. However I'm using Vallejo's Chipping Medium instead of hairspray as I've found the results to be a bit more consistent.

    1) Spray the model with whatever the base color is that you want to be revealed by the paint chips. I'n the case of the Escape Pod that was a light grey. I used Tamiya Acrylics for the base color. Let the base color dry for several days.

    2) Spray the area where you'll be doing the paint chipping with hair spray or Vallejo Chipping Medium loaded in an airbrush. Like I said, I've done tests with both and prefer the Vallejo product. It's better to apply a couple flight coats instead of one heavy one. Let it dry throughly.

    3) Spray on the top color with an airbrush. Here's the important part... YOU MUST USE A WATER BASED ACRYLIC FOR THE TOP COAT! This technique WILL NOT WORK with enamels or lacquers or anything sprayed out of a rattle can. Again build up the top coat with several light spray coats, not one heavy one. Allow to dry for 3 to 4 hours. If you wait too long the top coat will get too hard and it'll may be difficult or impossible to get it to chip.

    4) Moisten the area to be chipped with clean water using a soft brush. This will 'activate' the hair spray or chipping medium. Basically the water soaks through the water-based top coat softening it and dissolving the chipping medium underneath. You can then carefully chip off the paint using a toothpick, your fingernail, an old toothbrush, Scotchbrite pad (my favorite), etc. Different tools will yield different results. After a few minutes the chipping medium will start to harden up again, you can rewet it at that point and continue until you've got the amount of chipping you are after. Actually, on the Escape Pod the paint on the grey panels chipped off more than i wanted, but that's okay, I still like the look. When you're happy with the results let the whole thing dry for a couple of days before doing other weathering.

    5) Seal the finished area with a flat or satin water based polyurethane. This step is optional but I've found it to help preserve the look.

    It's pretty simple to do but I'd recommend you practice first on a test peice to get the hang of it.

    On the original Star Wars models the chipped paint look was achieved by stippling rubber cement over the base paint as a masking, then spraying it with the top coat and then rubbing the masked bits off. I've tried that, as well as using liquid latex as a removable masking but prefer the hairspray technique. I've found it to be more controllable and yield more realistic results. - Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  24. 3DImpact

    3DImpact Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh, excellent - thanks for the detailed response and pointers! Hugely helpful and much appreciated!

    Dan
     
  25. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Looking great Dave:cool And thank you for that tuto on painting and the wash:)
     
  26. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Going in now with some spot weathering and washes. Here on the tail end splotching in some Engine Grease (Mig Productions 502 Oil Paint) and Yellow Ochre (Winsor Newton Artists Oil Paint). The secret with using oil paints is to first moisten the surface to be weathered with a little paint thinner first. This allows the paint to blend out. Some of the more fragile detail parts broke off during the overall wash and rub down. I'll have to glue them back on.

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  27. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Makes it so StarWars for sure:cool
     
  28. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks Joberg! The yellow ochre weathering is something you see repeated on the original Star Wars models. It doesn't make much sense (heck, neither does rust in space!) but it adds a really nice subtle hit of color to otherwise very monochromatic paint schemes.

    Working on the finishing details. Not having four Sealabs at my disposal I decided to solder together some copper wire to make the cable harness that attached to the engine nozzles. I like that they are not all identical, makes it more realistic.

    IMG_0068.jpg
     
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  29. gedmac66

    gedmac66 Sr Member

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  30. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    According to Wookiepedia some escape pods were designed to fly into the atmosphere to be picked up by other ships. Of course, in ANH the escape pod lands (crashes) on Tatooine with R2-D2 and C3P0 aboard. Although the crashed pod filmed in the sand dunes was a spherical shape with a round door. I always thought that maybe the exterior we see dropping away held a spherical passenger compartment that could survive atmospheric re-entry. Given the limited resources of the Rebellion it would not be out of reason to see them using 2nd hand (3rd hand!) reused Escape Pods that had seen a good bit of action.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  31. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    While at that moment it was doing something for the rebels, it was really an Alderaanian ship, so who knows... :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  32. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Love the look of those copper wires...I use those and other soldering material to make pipes and such. Easy to bend for sure:)
     
  33. Bulldog44

    Bulldog44 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is totally amazing. Love this model. Beautiful work.
     
  34. t2sides

    t2sides Sr Member

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    INCREDIBLE work DaveG!!! Echoing joberg, what you did with those copper wires to simulate the Sealab cables is simply stunning!! That is super creative, and I agree, the minor differences really make it stand out very nicely!! Your weathering and finish is top notch!! Looks so good!! Really appreciate your 'tutorials' on how you approached that, very helpful for us! Thanks for sharing!! Looking forward to the final beauty shots when she's all wrapped up!
    Sean
     
  35. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks Sean! I definitely had a lot of fun building this one. Planning to shoot beauty shots this weekend.
     
  36. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Finally got the shop cleaned up to the point where I could break out the photo equipment and get some studio shots of the finished escape pod. It turned out I forgot to set the ISO correctly so the shadow areas in these shots are a little noisy. I'll shoot some more and see if they come out better.

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  37. t2sides

    t2sides Sr Member

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    Impressive.....MOST Impressive!!! Great Shots Dave, just stunning!
     
  38. ProfKSergeev

    ProfKSergeev Well-Known Member

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    I think the only ISO problem here is that I SO jealous of them skills. Superb execution, Dave!
     
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  39. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Beauty all around Dave!!:cool
     
  40. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  41. t2sides

    t2sides Sr Member

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    TWO THUMBS up :thumbsup :thumbsupon the Tested article, congrats on getting it on there!! That build and construction is just top notch!!
     
  42. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Congrats on the Tested article:cool Beautiful pod Dave!!
     
  43. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    'Tis the Season...

    Every December, a group of us at work get together for a Christmas ornament exchange. Each person makes multiples of an ornament, one for each other member of the group. The ornaments are always wildly creative and of amazing craftsmanship. My ornaments this year were smaller versions of the Escape Pod!

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  44. Fett_Ish

    Fett_Ish Well-Known Member

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    Freekin' sweet! Did you print and cast those guys or build one up from scratch? Either way they look great!
     
  45. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I 3D printed the pattern and then molded and rotocast the ornaments. I have some process pics I'll post in a bit.
     
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  46. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Hallmark is calling Dave;) Great stuff!!
     
  47. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  48. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    We're able to see the scale better in that vid...extremely cool to have in the Xmas tree!
     
  49. Gimme Shelter

    Gimme Shelter Member

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    wow - this was such an amazing build - and a great idea for a scratch build

    I am wowed out to the maximum
     
  50. DaveG

    DaveG Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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