Masterpeice Project. Mastering Mediums and Techniques

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wetphoenix
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Masterpeice Project. Mastering Mediums and Techniques

Post by wetphoenix » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:18 pm

I have been building my masterpiece both in my head and in reality, for a long time I'd be dabbling and allowing distractions in other projects and mediums. but I want to plan it and lay it out. I want it to be a true master piece and what that means to me anyway is a mastery of different techniques, mediums and supplies.
Not simply using techniques but using them well and in the correct context of the model.

Design lighting, Painting and detail are paramount to the finish but the construction and the inner workings, lighting, mechanics should work in concert with the finish.

What sort of techniques do you use routinely that you feel you have mastered, generally feel like your the bees knees with your skill. not nessasarily the best but the best for you.

Should a masterpiece include all aspects of medium (Resin, Metal, Wood, Plastic,. as well as techniques Such as sculpting moulding ,free shaping/forming. greebilization.

What are your thoughts on what a Master Piece should be? and what should be those aspect used to create one.

Do you think that there could be an interest in the scratch building arena where we could challenge one another to use new techniques and mediums.
Set dates and times where phases of the project can be showed and judged.

Anyway I kno we have a build contest but this is more, something that will inspire us to better work or even failure.

regards

Sam

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Joseph C. Brown
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Post by Joseph C. Brown » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:54 pm

I admire what you are trying to express!

But, speaking purely for my self, it's possible that you are over thinking or over analyzing the build process. Nike shoes and Larry the Cable Guy use different phrases, but "Just do it!" and "Get'er done!" to me sum up what is really essential in any modeling project, not just masterpiece projects.

Start the model, finish the model.

Also, what I consider to be a masterpiece versus what you call a masterpiece might be the same. But that's not the way to bet. I've seen museum-worthy models that were technically speaking 'masterpieces' but after taking a look, I moved on with no desire to ever see them again.

I also spent well over an hour drooling all around the display case for the filming model of the original Enterprise, which is by no modeling yardstick a 'masterpiece'. Flaws all over that thing, not to mention the late-1990's restoration... but in my mind, that model defines a masterpiece.

Your mileage may vary...
:8)
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Sluis Van Shipyards
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Post by Sluis Van Shipyards » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:48 pm

I can proudly say that I've mastered the opening of the model box! Seriously I don't think you ever master anything, you just keep improving.

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Post by Paulbo » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:59 pm

I think this answers all of your questions: http://www.starshipmodeler.net/talk/vie ... p?t=105731
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Photoetched metal, decals, resin part, multimedia upgrades at ParaGrafix.biz. Breaking news on Facebook and Twitter.

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Post by Joseph C. Brown » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:17 am

Yeah, but that's only once a year, and located at Wonderfest. :8)
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wetphoenix
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Post by wetphoenix » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:33 pm

I aree with what you said Joe, but I don't hink I made myself quite so clear. your right in the sence I amover thinking my build, but I have "just built" kits before just to get the bug out of my system. I think masterpiece is a poor choice of wording. perhaps Opus would be a better word to describe what I was thinking.

We all build for the fun of building. but I want to build something that I know I built the best, in the best way and from the bottom up. not a kit or a scratch of something there is no kit for. something original.

I spent some time in DC looking at the Enterprise way back and was moved but at the same time I was lthinking there really isn't much to it.

I guess I was looking for others who started with a piece of paper. or a Guide Group to Starship Building from the ground up.

I would love to go to Wonderfest one day but I don't have any friends here who would Drive 15 hours to get there.

Anyway thanks for replying...

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Post by Ziz » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:06 pm

wetphoenix wrote:We all build for the fun of building. but I want to build something that I know I built the best, in the best way and from the bottom up. not a kit or a scratch of something there is no kit for. something original.
See, that's all relative. My "best" 10 years ago is only average by what I know now and have learned since then, just as my "best" 20 years ago was sub-standard compared to my "best" 10 years ago. It's a constant process of learning from your past builds and pushing yourself to try something new or different the next time.

If there's something you want to do that you don't feel you have the skills for, buy some cheaper kits as "guinea pigs" to test yourself and work the bugs out of the system. When you're comfortable, then go back to your "holy grail" build and give it a shot.
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wetphoenix
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Post by wetphoenix » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:45 pm

Thats a good point Ziz, "best " is relative. and once again a poor choice of words.

still I want to create my virsion of the Falcon or the Roger Young. and I don't mean that literally but design and produce an original detailed, camera ready scaled perfect real looking thing.

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Post by Tankmodeler » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:02 pm

wetphoenix wrote: but design and produce an original detailed, camera ready scaled perfect real looking thing.
If you go into any project attempting to create perfection, that is with perfection as your goal, you will never complete it and you will be constantly disappointed. That's a guarantee.

I don't even always try to do my best, much less strive for perfection, but when I put my heart into a build, I aim to be challenged. If I meet the challenge, I feel successful, but there is always imperfection. Always. You have to feel happy with some residual imperfection, though, because there will always be _some_.

Paul
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Post by Mr. Badwrench » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:23 pm

I think I know what you are saying. You want to build the best model you have ever built. A scratchbuild of your own design. One that uses all of your skills, pushes every limit. All techniques will be explored, working with plastic, resin casting, vacuforming, photoetch, machining, Excellent painting, weathering, lights, the whole nine yards. Really the best that you can do. So go ahead and do it.

Just remember that the one that comes after will be better.
I speak of the pompatous of plastic.

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Post by wetphoenix » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:51 pm

Yes Mr Badwrench. that is it. that is it exactly. and you are right, the next will be different if not better.

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Post by wetphoenix » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:39 pm

SO with that established, where would you start, what would be the seminal steps/techniques to start with or use?

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Post by Joseph C. Brown » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:27 pm

I am certain that others will point out alternate approaches to getting a masterpiece build done, but my style is...

-Is this build for yourself or a client?

For yourself, you can usually take as much or as little time as you need. Clients have this odd thing about deadlines. A masterpiece for a client will have other qualifiers.

-Will this build be art or science?
Are you doing this completely from an original idea, and will your build be a perfect re-creation of the Spindrift from Land of the Giants? Differing rules apply to each...

The best tool collection in the world gets no models built. Ya gotta do it, get it finished, look at it and say "yes!"

Or look at it and say "Hmmm. It just doesn't look quite right..." and try again.

And again.

And again.

Nothing in this world will replace the time and experience of just doing the model work.
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Post by Tankmodeler » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:37 pm

wetphoenix wrote:where would you start, what would be the seminal steps/techniques to start with or use?
I don't plan to use certain techniques from the start, I plan how to break down the model into buildable sub-assemblies and then figure just what techniques to use based on the parts that need building.

- Lots of round bits? Use the lathe.
- Lots or repeated bits? Make a master & cast them in resin.
- Parts that have very small and/or perfectly repeated patterns? Make a CAD model and get the part grown.
- Really tough? Use all the above & more besides. :)

etc...

Paul
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Just Do It

Post by ajmadison » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:29 pm

I have been scratchbuilding for the last 20 years. If you start out from the beginning, and on your first effort, to accomplish *everything*, you will fail.

First off, I have found that, all things being equal, scratchbuilding the major structure/s is relatively easy to construct. I build up profiles with orthogonal frames that are skinned with sheet styrene. I can build up the major shapes fairly quickly. BUT, I have found that the details, especially surface details is the major difference between an amorphous blob and the "Millenium Falcon" or similar example. I had one project completely derailed for years because I could not devise a reasonable method to cut the port holes on that project. I had built photon torpedo tubes, phaser strips, warp nacelles, and their pylons.

So, just building your project is challenge enough. Especially for someone who has never built one.

Scratchbuilding is all about planning. You can get so caught up in the, "need to build this, before building that," that in the logical extreme, you can't build anything, because sub-assembly A depends upon sub-assembly B, which depends upon measurements from sub-assembly A. Adding lighting will only complicate the build process.

Okay, back to the planning thing. If you are willing to build your project just like a model kit. E.g. two fuselage halves (or two hull halves) then you can build your project, and add lighting after major construction. But it means, figuring out how to build sub-assemblies that can be brought together in halves. And to add to the planning process, do not forget that you must account for the thickness of the sheet styrene during construction. That means, accounting for the main sheet that supplies the profile, the thickness of the frames/bulkheads, and the thickness of the sheet for the skin. If not, your model will end up distorted.

Not to dissuade you. Hardly, but just build. Sometimes, you can still accomplish what you want after the fact. Rip a panel off here, and insert LED string there, re-apply that panel. In other situations, adding a recessed bay for some port holes is too much effort. I made the mistake of adding recessed details for Reaction Control Thrusters on a shuttle craft, which took hours per thruster cluster. And we're talking details that are mere millimeters across. On the other hand, the resin kits did not attempt this level of prototype fidelity, and I could. So pride in craftmanship got the better of me.

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Post by Mr. Badwrench » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:43 am

I think for this type of project, you have to start one step earlier: You have to be obsessed with the design. If you are planning to spend months or more on a single model, you don't want to get burned out half way through and move on to something else. That has ruined more than one project for me. Start with the drawings, and don't stop drawing. Work out all the details, from as many angles as necessary. You can never have too many drawings. This way you will avoid building yourself into a corner.
I speak of the pompatous of plastic.

wetphoenix
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Post by wetphoenix » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:29 pm

Thanks everyone for the great advice and opinions. I have been in that ocessed design phase for a while . so now I'm on to pre production. I need some tools and materials.

This weekend I will be building the Vacuum former in the wood shop. I stopped in a train shop and the guy can get me a 4x8 sheet of poly Strene for $40 bucks. 1/16 inch thick.

Next week I'll order my goop from Smooth-On. and order up the Aves.

I will be retraining myself with airbrushing. have not done that in a while.

hopefully by the end of christmas I will be ready for the lights.....

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Post by Tankmodeler » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:24 pm

wetphoenix wrote: 4x8 sheet of poly Strene for $40 bucks. 1/16 inch thick.
Sweet jesu! :) 1/16" thick sheet styrene will be a stone cold b!tch to form on much less than an industrial class vacuumm former. Vacform kits are usually made from sheet no more than .030-.040 max thick. Your sheet is .0625 and will be difficult to get hot enough to form quickly and then will need an exceptionally good vacuum system. Most shop vacs don't pull hard enough or fast enough unless your vacform box is pretty small. Like under a foot x a foot by 2-3" deep.

You'll probably be better off if your friend can get you some 1/32" (or .030") sheets. Those will be significantly more useful.

Paul
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wetphoenix
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Post by wetphoenix » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:09 pm

Now that is some valuable advice! 1/32.it's a thought I had too. I never vacuumed formed anything. I am familiar with the mechanics and it makes sense that the thicker the material the harer to heat and work.

I thought I would give it a try anyway just to see what happens. I wanted a thicker wall shape to give strength. I planned to use the thinner ga. sheet for detail.

Do you think if I keep the original shape simple like a square with sloped edges it will work?

anyway we'll see.

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Post by Tankmodeler » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:38 pm

wetphoenix wrote:Do you think if I keep the original shape simple like a square with sloped edges it will work?
The only real answer to that is "It depends". You haven't even built the vacuform machine yet, so we don't even know if it will pull .030" sheet much less .062 sheet, no matter what the shape.
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Post by Ziz » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:52 pm

Vac success also depends how hot you can get the plastic, which in turn dictates how fast it will soften, how strong your vac source is, the size and shape of the master form, how tightly you can fit the vac sheet over the form and onto the table, how fast can you get the plastic from heat source to vac table and down over the form - all kinds of factors. Just building the table will be a trial and error process depending what materials, equipment and budget you have access to. Expect to go through a lot of plastic just doing test shots trying to make your vacuformer work before you get to making parts useful for an actual build.
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Post by ajmadison » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:07 pm

Ziz wrote:...trial and error process depending what materials, equipment and budget you have access to.
Modular Models has written a critical phrase that the rest of us has assumed, or taken on faith.

Its a concept or variation on that theme, I've been repeating for awhile now. Some construction techniques work the first time. The more box like, the easier it is to succeed the first time. But a number of construction problems that have been posed of late, I have tackled in various forms, and from my experience, they all require multiple tries before you're happy with the results.

And yes, that includes vac-forming. I've built a small vac-table. And have made my own parts. I started with some sheet plastic I "liberated" from a fast food store menu display. What took the most work, was understanding what I could pull and not pull. As well with helping me design and re-design my male molds. Did not get to making a female mold, which is even more advanced, and involves making a prototype, making a casting, then turning the casting into a vac-form mold.

Anyway, practice makes perfect. Trial & error. Continuous improvement. All are applicable to scratch building.

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Post by wetphoenix » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:00 pm

Right Ziz,
that is why I am calling this my masterpiece. I know it will take quite a bit to get to the place/ masterpiece is a relative term. but I plan to use this peice to get good at techniques used in it's production.

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