Friday, 30 June 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 20 & Han Solo in Carbonite, part 9

Reveal time! It's convention day and the work of the past...crikey, I think I started thinking about the AT-AT before Christmas and Han...I have no idea. I think everyone has wanted a giant slab of carbonite in their home since they first saw Empire, right?

The final job, before assembly, was to get everything down to the school. Thankfully, this is just 5 minutes down the road as it turned out not everything would fit in the car; specifically the giant base board of the AT-AT and, well, the entire slab of carbonite.

Yeah, Han had to be carried down the road, much to the delight of passersby.

There have been a couple of minor tweaks since the last blog entries. When I built the AT-AT in the hall, I completely forgot to put the ankles on. Since taking the whole thing apart just to add these pieces would have been a bloody nightmare, I ended up cutting a slot in the cardboard and then sliding them on. Worked fine and you couldn't see the cut.

Sadly, I never managed to get hold of a 6" Luke to dangle beneath it.

The final addition to Han was a couple of hooks on the back so I could run string through and tie him to something just in case. The weight is all on the front and it wouldn't take too much for the whole thing to topple and crush a small child. I didn't end up doing the panels on the side as doing eight of them would have driven me nuts. It'll be something to add at a later date, should I get the desire.

More photos from the convention are on the school website, here.

Of course the big question, with the con over, is where to store the bloody things. Um, yeah, good question. It'll sit in the garage along with all the other crap I've built and can't bring myself to throw out. At this point I'm 90% sure I'm not organising another con at school (long story) so there's a good chance this will be their one and only outing. Oh well, it's been a fun ride.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 19

Almost there!

Some weathering today, i.e. covering the whole thing in a black wash. Not a great success, I'll admit and it's ended up hiding come of the detail, but the 'clean' look was simply no good for a Star Wars vehicle. Given more time, I'd like to go back and add some brighter grey back in to balance all the wash, but for now, it'll do.

Next time this is assembled, it'll be at the school comic convention!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 18

So a tiny problem cropped up while painting the AT-AT; well, not exactly during the painting, more the taking the AT-AT apart afterwards: I destroyed the feet. As much as I loved them being able to stack on top of each other, they simply weren't strong enough. Drastic action was needed. Expanding foam came to help...

The trouble with expanding foam is that it doesn't start expanding very rapidly at first. There's a good few minutes before the expanding really kicked in and during those few minutes, well, I thought it wasn't expanding anywhere near as much as I wanted. So I added more and more...

Turns out expanding foam is an utter bugger to get off paving. But at least the feet are nicely solid now.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 17

Not a lot to say about this, other than I bought a tin of 'urbanite' emulsion from Homebase, picked up a brush and began to paint...

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 16

The problem with corrugated cardboard is that the ends make it very obvious that you've used corrugated cardboard. This bugs the hell out of me whenever I use it and I'm not going to stand for it now.

So I've attempted to use two different methods to fill the gap. The first is a load of Poundland filler, which...wasn't entirely successful. The second, which I used on the leg coverings, was better and was essentially sticking paper over all the edges.

And this, essentially, brings me to the end of the build. Is it perfect? No. Could I have made it a thousand times better with a larger budget? Obviously! But it's already cost me more than enough and that's before we move onto the final stage: painting.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 15

We've reached the point where all the main areas of the AT-AT have been completed and the big question arises: how much detail do I add before I start painting? Once the painting begins there's really no going back; not with the time limit as it is.

Since the con is still a while off, and there's a reasonable chance of good weather before that, today I began some detailing. First off, essential panels to the front and rear of the main body. These attach with velcro and simply 'stick' onto the laminate beneath.

Also, some windows and doors are added on.

And a bit more velcro to hold the triangular flappy bits between the centre and front/rear ends in place.

You may notice the big chunk of tape holding the triangle on on one side. This may have to be replaced as it isn't sticking too well.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 14

Ankle time. Pretty obviously, these are made from cardboard. The wooden fence-post legs then slot through and they rest on the feet. The exterior is covered in a cardboard skin (which I've failed to take any photos of), with a gap for the leg.

There was much internal debate about the best way to do the ankles, most ideas for which became hideously complicated. In the end, I figured simpler was better.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 13

Here are a couple of photos of something that seemed important, but I can't remember what I was actually supposed to be showing with them -

I also took this, which appears to be a start on an end section...but I didn't take any other photos. Did I finish it today, or was this as far as I got? No idea!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 12

And so we continue my attempt to convince people that I've actually written this in May and definitely not mid-August. Today work began on the undercarriage, utilising a bunch of paper boxes. It wasn't a particularly complicated job - cut a few circles, stick into the boxes and then cover in a long length of cardboard - and it was quite satisfying to have a large object completed quickly.

And that's about it. I built it in two sections as I figured a single one would be a little unwieldy, and it attaches to the main board with strips of velcro.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Construction: AT-AT, part 11

After a cold, damp day yesterday, it was a surprise to wake up to find that today was actually Nice. Finally, the AT-AT could be moved outside and life was made an infinite amount easier. Although putting it together is taking a lot longer than ideal, which is going to complicate things when it comes to setting it up at school for the convention.

Anyway, first here are some Start of Day photos, showing some of the additions I haven't been able to take proper photos of while the build was inside.

First job was attached the previously-made side-flaps. This was done by adding a scrap of wood and some velcro. I'll add more detail later.


Next was the bigger job - sorting out the side panels for the body. After much hunting through bits of cardboard and wood, I found an old fence-thing, that my dad made years ago to stop my children falling down the step by our patio doors. I only had enough to cover either the front and back, going for the back since it's larger. No idea what I'm going to do about the front.

The ridges will be filled in before painting and I might add a panel on top to add some detail.

After the walls, the roof needed adjusting. Fairly simple, in theory, however since the left and right sides weren't symmetrical, there was a bit of fudging involved. I doubt anyone will notice, however. A couple of extra hinges will be added as soon as I have them, just to make sure everything is secure.

Finally I added a couple of flaps to the main side panels. This literally was a 2 minute job.

So that's another job ticked off and leaves only a couple of main areas to do:

  1. The front side panels & roof.
  2. The undercarriage.
  3. A little work to complete the feet.

2 & 3 are fairly straightforward, or at least I have a plan in my head for. The first one, well, that depends on finding the right materials. After doing the back, I know how to do the front, I'm just not certain what to use. I may have no choice but to give in and buy something.

After those 3 it's a matter of deciding how much detail to add to the build. I could go crazy and add tonnes, but I have to allow a decent amount of time to start painting in case the weather turns terrible. But then if the weather stays fine it'll be much harder to add detail in after it's been painted.