NEVER turn your back on a Breen (final pics p 6)

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Kratok
Perhaps today IS a good day to model
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Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by Kratok » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:11 am

El gato,

Thanks for the kind words. I am glad you enjoy my work - I have shown far more on this site than I have ever shared elsewhere. The community just seems so much more accepting.

Hope to get some real building started soon. Probably one more weekend for a house project that is eating all my current spare time, then I am going to hit the workbench.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is doing as well.

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el gato
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Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by el gato » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:49 pm

Your work deserves it. And you should also be commended for sharing your techniques. Your posts elevate the collective modeling skills of everyone here. And you're right about the overall welcoming feel of this community. That is why this is the only place where I share my work too.
RogueWolf wrote:I've sacrificed many dozens (maybe even hundreds) of gummy bears to the dark modeling gods to grant me my wish... but I fear my offerings only amuse them, not appease them.

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Moongrim
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Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by Moongrim » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:24 pm

el gato wrote:Your work deserves it. And you should also be commended for sharing your techniques. Your posts elevate the collective modeling skills of everyone here. And you're right about the overall welcoming feel of this community. That is why this is the only place where I share my work too.
Agreed.
There are Times, Sir, when men of good Conscience cannot blindly follow orders. You acknowledge their sentience, but ignore their personal liberties and freedoms. Order a man to hand over his child to the state? Not while I"m captain.
- J.L.Picard.

Kratok
Perhaps today IS a good day to model
Perhaps today IS a good day to model
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Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by Kratok » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:20 am

Wow.

Almost a month and a half since my last post. I don’t know where the time goes anymore.

I have actually been busy with other things, and haven’t done anything with respect to the contest since my last post. I was online checking out what has been going on, and realized how much time had slipped by. I figured if I was going to have something done by the end of the contest, I had better get busy. So I spent a couple of hours on the Breen this weekend.

My plan was to do a concurrent build of both the Breen battleship and frigate, then decide which one I liked the most to enter into the contest. I opted to start with what I thought would require the least work – the Battleship.
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My original plan was to use the parts unmodified, something like as shown below. That would make it a quick build. I actually did assemble it in this fashion, but foolishly did not take any pictures.
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However, I really didn’t like how “flat: the final design was. After fitting them together, I was also concerned about how flimsy the arch and outer hull attachment points were, and had real concerns that the weight of the outer hulls would cause them to sag over time.

The reference photos I am using show the outermost/primary hulls as being slightly lowered with respect to the central hull/mandibles. Having glued everything together, I couldn’t really mock this up to see if I liked it or not. So, I swallowed hard and cut apart what I had done so far.

Since I had now committed to a more extensive re-work of the donor parts, I decided I might as well narrow the distance between the two inner arms/mandibles. I didn’t want to integrate them into the central pod as portrayed in the reference photos, but did want them tucked in a little closer. I ultimately removed about 1cm from the center of the arch.

I carved the central hull and engineering pods from prototype board, eyeballing their shapes and sizes. I prefer to work from plan views, but since I had none for this conjectural design, and no time to draft my own, eyeballing would have to do. Once the final shapes were finished, I filed a small chamfer all around the perimeter of both pieces, taking care to keep the facets of uniform size.
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An oval was cut into the front of the engineering pod to represent the main deflector, then packed and smoothed with Aves. This left a shallow but consistent and smooth depression for the deflector.
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When done, both pieces were wet-sanded lightly with 600 grit Wet-Or-Dry paper. This basically just burnished the surface, and softened the chamfers at the edges slightly.

Next, time to mount the inner arms/mandibles.

I inverted the upper pod and arranged the inner arms/mandibles at what seemed an appropriate distance from each other. I traced the outline of the arms onto the bottom surface of the upper pod, then milled that out with a Dremel tool. This allowed me to recess the arms into the upper pod, and once superglued in place, the whole structure will be very solid.
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I will add the lower pod to that, creating a sandwich for the main arch, and further increasing its strength.

On to the outer arms.

The cruiser that I am using as a basis for this ship had only one of these large pods, so I had to sacrifice two of the kits to make the battleship. Fortunately, there is a great deal of top/bottom symmetry to this piece. I either ground away or filled what was not symmetrical, and was then able to flip the second arm over. You can see the Squadron Green Putty where I had originally attached the arch in the initial "flat" configuration. Anyway, details will be added back in with small vinyl and photoetch pieces later in the build.
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As previously mentioned, I want to add some strength to the attachment points/pylons from the outer to the inner arms, as the original resin was VERY flimsy. I believe I will construct these from brass shim stock, which will keep them from ever even having the possibility of sagging. They will retain the same arch as the original piece, so will be fairly narrow - making using something rigid like brass even more important. They will tuck in at the interface between the arms and the pods that you see sitting on top (rough placement).

The outer arms will now be slightly lower than the central hull and inner arms. Here you can see what the final assembly will look like (at least roughly):
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I really like the slightly three dimensional look that this yield MUCH more than the original overall flat configuration.
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I think it was the right call.

So, what was to have been my "quick build" for this contest has morphed into a much more involved project. I am still hopeful that I will be able to get both built. But we'll see.

That is all for this installment.

More to come soon.
Last edited by Kratok on Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:14 am, edited 4 times in total.

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el gato
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Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by el gato » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:32 pm

This looks great! And I agree, you made the right call
RogueWolf wrote:I've sacrificed many dozens (maybe even hundreds) of gummy bears to the dark modeling gods to grant me my wish... but I fear my offerings only amuse them, not appease them.

Kratok
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Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by Kratok » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:44 am

Thanks, El Gato.
A little more progress tonight.

I used cyanoacrylate (super glue) to attach the large pods on the top of each large/outer arm. I was careful to ensure that they were placed symmetrically, using several reference points to ensure that they also ran true and straight fore to aft.

The smaller arms were glued then superglued into the recesses in the upper central command pod. Any slight gaps were packed with small quantities of Aves, feathered in with water, and left to dry.

Next, I mocked things up and decided how wide I wanted the final ship to be.
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I then drew a quick and dirty alignment template on a piece of scrap paper. This really consisted of not much more than three parallel lines, with a perpendicular line at one end. The spacing between the outer lines provided a centerline for the two out arms, and the central line was the centerline of the entire ship. The perpendicular helped me keep the backs of both the outer arms symmetrical. The respective pieces were taped to this template, and the gap from the central arms to the outer arms was measured. Sorry there are no photos – I foolishly didn’t take any at this phase, and the template was destroyed during the construction process.

Having now established how long the arms had to be to bridge the inner and outer structures, I took some strip brass and cut the two arms out, trying to keep them as close to uniform as possible. When done, I placed a small drop of superglue on one face, then glued the two arms together. Super glue has great tensile strength, but almost NO shear strength. Attaching the two together allowed me to file the edges as a unit, and ensure the two pieces were absolutely identical. When I was satisfied, pressing an X-Acto blade into the joint between the two easily popped them apart. The leading and trailing edges were rounded, and then both wings sanded and cleaned up.
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I started by gluing these to the outer arms, and was able to maintain a uniform height.
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But I was unhappy with the placement, since it moved the central section too far to the rear. So, after taking this photo, I broke what you see here apart and tried a different approach.

A small recess was cut into each side of the inner arms.
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This would form the inboard attachment point for the brass wings. Various pieces of scrap plastic sheet were tested as a base for the central assembly. This raised the central pod, and when the brass wings were held in place, the various thicknesses allowed me to visualize varying degrees of dihedral for the arch.
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Once I had an angle that I liked, I taped the central pod down to the plastic strip, and superglued the brass arms in place. Since everything was being held flat with respect to the work surface, this ensured that the angle would be exactly the same on both sides.
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The outer arms were taped back onto the template, a small quantity of superglue applied at the bridge to outer arm interface, and the outer arms and inner assembly were mated together. A quick shot of accelerator for the superglue, and the assembly was removed and checked for alignment.
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The brass wings are INFINITELY more sturdy than the original resin arch. There should be no issues with the arch breaking, nor with the outer arms sagging over time. I finished the evening by attaching the lower central engineering pod.
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Keeping in mind that I was never trying for an EXACT match to the reference pics, I am pretty happy with her so far.
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The rough construction of this one is now done. Some final putty work, then a light coat of primer to identify any defects, and I can start detailing.

I can’t decide whether I should finish this one, or move onto rough construction of the frigate. I did a little bit on the frigate tonight, pending a final decision.

Either way, more to come.
Last edited by Kratok on Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

Kratok
Perhaps today IS a good day to model
Perhaps today IS a good day to model
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Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by Kratok » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:34 am

Oops.
Screwed up some of the earlier pics.
All Better Now.
Last edited by Kratok on Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RogueWolf
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Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by RogueWolf » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:48 pm

Kratok,

Very nice work! I have a few of the Breen ships myself and was thinking about making a few other classes or so, but what you have done is just awesome! I love it!
Check out my NorthTrek Creations kits at:
http://www.mvmodels.biz/northtrek.asp
Valar Morghulis

Kratok
Perhaps today IS a good day to model
Perhaps today IS a good day to model
Posts: 667
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by Kratok » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:40 pm

High praise indeed.
In truth, your work always inspires me.

This Breen will look better when painted (they always do), but I enjoy sharing the build process.

Thanks for reading.

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el gato
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Re: NEVER turn your back on a Breen

Post by el gato » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:53 pm

Awesome! I don't bash often, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis...

Wait, that's not what I wanted to say. Rather, it's that I don't bash much but sometimes I've wondered about using brass, especially for stuff that I know will have structural integrity issues. Is it hard to cut? What do you use to cut brass?
RogueWolf wrote:I've sacrificed many dozens (maybe even hundreds) of gummy bears to the dark modeling gods to grant me my wish... but I fear my offerings only amuse them, not appease them.

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