Greebilizing...

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Jon Kunatz
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Greebilizing...

Post by Jon Kunatz » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:20 pm

Ok...

Say your cutting up all these little plastic strips to mount all over a starship hull. Putting them in random places and all that.

How and where do you put them to make the ship look good and not ..."Fake".

Somehow in some places...it just doesnt look right to me. Should I use tubing or other parts too..or what.

Any advise helpful.
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Post by Joseph C. Brown » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:31 pm

If you have decent set of illustrations for your ship - top, side, fore, aft, etc - take your greeblies (greebles, gribblies, nurnies, guts-on-the-outside parts) and push them around on your illustration(s) until you are somewhat pleased with the arrangement.

Conversely, just lay the greeblies out upon your work surface until you have an arrangement that you like, snap a decent digital pic of them, and start gluing then on. Refer back to the pic for placement.

This all assumes that you are doing an original project. If you are attempting a recreation of say, the Falcon or another SW ship, slavish accuracy to screen-shown canon detailing is required at all times :D
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Post by Kolschey » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:49 pm

For doing your own stuff, what I find in my work is that I try to have good composition- that is a balance of shapes and spaces, arranged in an interesting fashion. I try not to let things get too dense, else I end up with a sort of barnacled surface that interferes with the overall shape of a piece.

I also tend to spend a good deal of time looking at real world objects, everything from truck engines to construction equipment, gas pumps, telephone junctions, water lines and so forth, just to get a "feel" in my head for how shapes move and flow.

That, and lots of practice. :8)

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Post by Chacal » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:18 pm

One thing I'd do is not to 'spread them randomly'. Try to mark off some broad areas in which there will be a higher greebly concentration. Keep those areas 'fuller', while sprinkling a small 'grouping' here and there between the fuller areas.
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Re: Greebilizing...

Post by TazMan2000 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:22 pm

Jon Kunatz wrote:Ok...

Say your cutting up all these little plastic strips to mount all over a starship hull. Putting them in random places and all that.

How and where do you put them to make the ship look good and not ..."Fake".

Somehow in some places...it just doesnt look right to me. Should I use tubing or other parts too..or what.

Any advise helpful.
Use different widths of plastic to have different sizes of panels, but use the thinnest possible according to your scale. Take care in placement...putting them randomly may work, but always think about why the greeblies are there. Is it for maintenance access to an important part of the ship or to add extra armor to a sensitive section? If they are mounted perfectly parallel to adjacent scribed panel lines, it would add to the realism and make it look like they were engineered to be there. Look at reference pics of the Star Destroyer and get hints from there.

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Re: Greebilizing...

Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Thu May 20, 2010 10:01 pm

Jon Kunatz wrote:Ok...

Say your cutting up all these little plastic strips to mount all over a starship hull. Putting them in random places and all that.

How and where do you put them to make the ship look good and not ..."Fake".

Somehow in some places...it just doesnt look right to me. Should I use tubing or other parts too..or what.

Any advise helpful.
Seriously?
Google these things and Study:

Aztec Pattern
Star Destoyer
Millennium Falcon
TOS Enterprise

Then refer back to your blue prints...

You DID make a viable set of blue prints- didn't you?
OR- or at least make a drawing?
What are you doing?

If YOU don't know what you are doing... how can WE know what to tell you?

There are at least 4 different ways to represent hull detailing and probably about 50 ways to side-step it in paint or other related shortcuts, so you have to KNOW what type of effect you are going for- is the ship a cruiser such as a Star Destroyer? Is it a smaller ship? Does it have a boat-like quality to it such as the TNG Enterprise? This is scratchbuilding- ussually that means you decide what you are making, before you make it- otherwise... you muddle your way into problems like this.

It could very well be that your detial is the right shape but has the wrong thickness, and looks out of place becuase there is too much "edge" on it... sand it down some. could be that you don't have enough- or too much scribe lines around your gribblies- that defines the area. Any number of things could be wrong- or right... but it's your project- don't be lazy about it- sketch it out first, with real stuff or paper- just make it work- that is the bottom line.
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Post by Tony Agustin » Thu May 20, 2010 11:21 pm

Jon I wish I could 'articulate' into words of how to 'greebly-ize' but I can't.
I could say it's all about being extremely random and avoiding patterns.

It's sometimes hard to do but if you catch yourself doing it 'Don't Decorate'.

Here's a link to the Nostromo restoration to maybe help a little.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lazymodele ... 056425158/

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Post by elend » Fri May 21, 2010 3:14 am

I always try to make it look, like it'd work. It's also really helpful to split up greeblies and glue more smaller ones together, than to just take a tank part and glue it onto the hull. I don't think about a purpose for this greeblie or that. Piping looks always great and I love to do that, but it has to "go somewhere". It always needs a start and an end point for me. Even if it's just a little styrene bit at the end.

I did some detail here for a little hatch that was blasted away:
www.andersdenkend.com/zwischenraum/Mode ... uck_04.jpg

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Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Fri May 21, 2010 4:18 am

Well- the point I was trying to make is that before you decided what this was going to be- you made THIS, which is, by most standards, a blueprint or drawing of the structure for the model- entailing how it would ultimately go together and look. You knew what you were going for- a very helpful bit of direction for the build… Now- to take an example of your own work… (elend) here is a reference for a great build you did not too long ago, which has lots of topical detail, as well as mechanical garb in between. (Good work BTW the final is goergous!) In any event- you knew exactly what you were going for- and that is a tremendous benefit, whether you realize it or not. This “information” you to make decisions like this, and this… to make the details you need without spending years thinking about it.

PS- I am not trying to pick on anyone- just think that this is a major consideration for any scratch built project, and we all would do well to spend time “figuring it out” beforehand. It just makes the whole build go smoother.

Happy Modeling!
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Post by elend » Fri May 21, 2010 5:10 am

Oh, well yes of course. If you look from a bit farther, it's always good to have a plan, where you want to have greeblies / detail and how it should roughly look.

I was more talking about the actual bits and pieces and how to assemble them. You can't just put one tank greeblie next to the other and hope it'll look nice. You gotta combine them, add some styrene, cut them in half, use the other half somewhere else, etc. That helps a lot in a) making it look more convincing and b) hide the origins of the parts, which is kinda important as well.

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Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Fri May 21, 2010 7:42 am

Most details are very fun to make- but when you know what the details are for... the most successful details I have ever done are the ones where the parts actually represent some purpose on the craft. That is another reason why I emphasize the drawing/blueprint. Most of the time, I have to look further for the detail that I want- to match it up to what the drawings call for…

When I started this project, I began by drawing, I already had a detailed drawing, but it was flawed- so I redrew it… there were things that could not belong- and things that I changed for the project. But the parts of the ship remained the same, and I even had an idea of what on the ship does what, for instance, there is piping that runs around the back and sides of the cockpit area that serves as shielding from the gravimetric disruptions of the gravity drives. So, when I make it- there seems to be a purpose to it- obviously it’s not for aesthetics There are pods to either sides of the corridor that house the guns, and the maneuvering thrusters. Info like this can help me to “tech-out” that area. On a larger ship this information becomes more relevant, as you need it to actually make hull changes, or cutaways, for structural elements in the design. Most of us have been looking at the final product of movies and sci-fi films for so long that we take a lot of the actual engineering of a ship design for granted, but there is a lot of thought that precedes the model itself. George Lucas didn’t just take the first drawing they did; he looked for both stylistic and coherent designs. The model guys took the drawings and built as close as possible to the drawings. In some cases, Ralph Macquarie took the preliminary models, and drew designs out of them, filling out the design concepts.

I think that I have successfully taken a grebblies topic and railroaded it into a design lecture.

I am going to shut up now, just a little bit.
Last edited by AbsoluteSciFi on Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Joseph C. Brown » Fri May 21, 2010 8:05 am

Or, let's assume you are putting greeblies on your model. You don't like the way it looks.

Remove them.

Try it again with other, different greeblies.

Repeat as needed.

It is your model - if it's not making you happy with it's looks, then change them and try again.

And again, until either you are happy or you decide to take up ME-109 building. :D
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Post by bluesman » Mon May 24, 2010 9:54 am

Jon

I do the layout thing that Joe recommends. I also mod or cut up parts to disguise them more.
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Post by publiusr » Mon May 24, 2010 7:14 pm

What I find paralyzing is that certain parts seem to cry out for certain applications. I wind up looking for blue bodies for blue parts, forgetting they can all be painted differently.

Some larger structures don't look as if they deserve smaller greebles. it is almost to the point that I want to give them away to someone who would use them--but I think they might not go where they are needed.

Brad Dillion has this wonderful scratch warship. Very well done. But there is this deodorant base that just seems tacked on to it. It seems to be more of a ST TNG type of deflector fitting, so that makes me want to find other objects to go with the part, as opposed to just tacking a greeble on.

But sometimes the greeble is right when it speaks to you.

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Post by Sparky » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:44 am

Don't forget to hit it with a coat of primer every-once-n-while.

If you started to add detail then noticed it don't look right, hit it with primer to re blend everything before peeling stuff off. Then decide if you need to strip it and rip it.

This tip brought to you from Tony :idea: Tony you forgot to mention this, we've seen the tip from you at the club meetings after you brought in a freshly primed project that looks fabulous.
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Re: Greebilizing...

Post by KWSTAS » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:02 am

Jon Kunatz wrote:Ok...

Say your cutting up all these little plastic strips to mount all over a starship hull. Putting them in random places and all that.

How and where do you put them to make the ship look good and not ..."Fake".

Somehow in some places...it just doesnt look right to me. Should I use tubing or other parts too..or what.

Any advise helpful.
Hey there.If you 're still interested , check this link : http://www.resinilluminati.com/showthre ... 889&page=2 .This is a W.I.P. by me.I describe some ways of dressing up different areas of the "Alien Refinery" and there are also plenty of photos , so you can see how to use different pieces of different models.Happy modelling..... :D

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Post by NAZGÛL » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:45 am

Joseph C. Brown wrote:Or, let's assume you are putting greeblies on your model. You don't like the way it looks.

Remove them.

Try it again with other, different greeblies.

Repeat as needed.

It is your model - if it's not making you happy with it's looks, then change them and try again.

And again, until either you are happy or you decide to take up ME-109 building. :D
This is a great answer for the q. Try and redo untill youre happy with it.

And sleep one night before eventually stripping stuff off. Often you will look at the model with new eyes and the stuff you didnt like the night before has a new impact.

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Post by MillenniumFalsehood » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:17 am

I would seriously follow the advice of "Go with what looks the part". I mean seriously. Why? Because the ships we all know and love (I mean L-O-V-E LOVE!) are all designed by people with industrial design backgrounds and look as though they are supposed to be used and abused.

Take the Millennium Falcon for example. The ship has these big, huge vents on the back which are the centerpiece of the engine bank. If you look closer, those vents have some small boxes grafted onto them which appear to be associated machinery because of their proximity. Then look on the docking arms. The rings on either side have details in them which are designed to suggest that there are doors there for docking. The arms themselves have tiny hatches and vents on the surface which have obvious functions. Look around the hull itself. There are tons of tiny squares here and there. Why are they there? They are patches which plug holes made by micrometeorites and are in various sizes and shapes to suggest various levels of damage. Solo though is proud of the laser scars on the surface of his ship, so he keeps those un-patched. Sort of like war trophies. On the underside, if you look at the docking arms again, you'll see that they are asymmetrical. This is because the starboard side arm is dominated by the massive boarding ramp. The guns, the mandibles, the side trenches . . . all these areas have major features that are indicative of a particular function for that area.

Now here's where art comes into play. Think of greebling a ship like the game Tetris: each piece should fit next to it's neighbors with very little space in between each piece. Also, don't be afraid to add a second, minute layer of greebles (a very thin layer, like piping or additional widgets) to add depth to the first layer.

Another good tip: Try for a bit of symmetry overall. As humans, we tend to prefer symmetry, even in asymmetrical shapes. In other words, even if the shape has no symmetry, there is still a definite pattern at work.

Finally, mix it up! Put a row of circular objects in one area, and surround them with rectangular bits. Or put in one massive greeble or two and surround it with smaller greebles of differing shape. Don't stay in one area too long, either. Skip around and do a little of one area, then a little of another. This keeps your pattern from growing stale and your mind from going insane. Also, go with the flow as far as placement of the greebles goes. Don't think too hard about it unless the greeble you're placing is a major feature.

Use all of these techniques, and you're sure to get a greeble design that is pleasing to the eye *and* functional.


For example, here's my YT-1300 Light Freighter(I used every technique I described here to achieve this look; there are no aftermarket parts whatsoever):

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h4/Mi ... 300002.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h4/Mi ... 300006.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h4/Mi ... 300004.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h4/Mi ... 300003.jpg

Final result:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h4/Mi ... 300001.jpg
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Post by Treadhead » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:57 pm

Lots of good advice on this thread.

One thing that I'd like to mention. If you are going to use kit parts for greeblies -- or maybe little tidbits that you have found -- disguise them as much as possible so they won't be recognized on your model.

Nothing ruins an effect more than an M1A1 road wheel drawing attention to itself...
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Post by Tankmodeler » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:04 pm

I'm sure it's the engineer in me, but when scratchbuilding S.F. subjects I always (I mean always) try to think through what it is that the "greeblie" is supposed to do and how it is supposed to work. If it doesn't have a purpose, it doesn't get added. Nothing looks more fake (to me) than stuff just strewn around a model's surface. In real life, nothing is added just to add it. It has a purpose. If you can't think of a reason for the object, then leave it off.

The other tip I would pass on was also mentioned above. Try to change the look of things you are using as greeblies. I can look at the back & deck of an X-Wing and immediately recognise several kits and/or specific vehicles. Try not to do that. Excising parts of other models to use is fine, but repurpose them, hide them, section them. Do something that makes sense to refelct a different purpose. Then they work much better.

If you want to use a Panther road wheel, then use it as a base for a radar mast or gun turret. Add a ring around it to change the profile, that sort of thing.

My key thing, though, is to imagine a purpose for everything. It can be a fantastic purposem but think it through and "sell" it as real.

In engineering, form fits function and most Sci Fi subjects are engineering more than anything else.

HTH

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Post by Ziz » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:00 am

One other thing to keep in mind is that if you're trying to find a "logic" to your greeblies, there's a difference between "balance" and "symmetry". Symmetry is when things match or mirror each other front/back, left/right, or top/bottom. Balance is when you have different sizes and shapes in corresponding areas but each set takes up the same amount of overall space.

Symmetry:

|||| OOOO ||||


Balance:

|||||||| OOOO
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Post by Chacal » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:21 pm

Tankmodeler wrote:I'm sure it's the engineer in me, but when scratchbuilding S.F. subjects I always (I mean always) try to think through what it is that the "greeblie" is supposed to do and how it is supposed to work. If it doesn't have a purpose, it doesn't get added...

Biiig can of worms there, buddy. Many have been lost to the 'practical' side of the greebly. Nights spent figuring out where data cables would breach bulkheads, where RCS tankage would abut power conduits. Yeah it's fun, but that don't put models on the shelf. [drill sergeant]Build-eet, build-eet... build-eeeeeeet![/drill sergeant]
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Post by Tankmodeler » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:04 pm

Chacal wrote:
Tankmodeler wrote:I'm sure it's the engineer in me, but when scratchbuilding S.F. subjects I always (I mean always) try to think through what it is that the "greeblie" is supposed to do and how it is supposed to work. If it doesn't have a purpose, it doesn't get added...
Biiig can of worms there, buddy. Many have been lost to the 'practical' side of the greebly. Nights spent figuring out where data cables would breach bulkheads, where RCS tankage would abut power conduits. Yeah it's fun, but that don't put models on the shelf. [drill sergeant]Build-eet, build-eet... build-eeeeeeet![/drill sergeant]
Well, I suppose you _can_ lose yourself in the greeblie engineering. But for me, I'm a design engineer. I can do it pretty quickly. It doesn't have to make a lot of sense, just enough to satisfy the basic quick look.

And, for me, it isn't about putting models on the shelf ( :) ), it's about building stuff I like. I like stuff that has internal consistency. Random greeblies drive me round the twist. :)

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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:06 pm

Tankmodeler wrote:I'm sure it's the engineer in me, but when scratchbuilding S.F. subjects I always (I mean always) try to think through what it is that the "greeblie" is supposed to do and how it is supposed to work. If it doesn't have a purpose, it doesn't get added. Nothing looks more fake (to me) than stuff just strewn around a model's surface. In real life, nothing is added just to add it. It has a purpose. If you can't think of a reason for the object, then leave it off.

The other tip I would pass on was also mentioned above. Try to change the look of things you are using as greeblies. I can look at the back & deck of an X-Wing and immediately recognise several kits and/or specific vehicles. Try not to do that. Excising parts of other models to use is fine, but repurpose them, hide them, section them. Do something that makes sense to refelct a different purpose. Then they work much better.

If you want to use a Panther road wheel, then use it as a base for a radar mast or gun turret. Add a ring around it to change the profile, that sort of thing.

My key thing, though, is to imagine a purpose for everything. It can be a fantastic purposem but think it through and "sell" it as real.

In engineering, form fits function and most Sci Fi subjects are engineering more than anything else.

HTH

Paul
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Post by Treadhead » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:12 am

Lt. Z0mBe wrote:
Tankmodeler wrote:I'm sure it's the engineer in me, but when scratchbuilding S.F. subjects I always (I mean always) try to think through what it is that the "greeblie" is supposed to do and how it is supposed to work. If it doesn't have a purpose, it doesn't get added. Nothing looks more fake (to me) than stuff just strewn around a model's surface. In real life, nothing is added just to add it. It has a purpose. If you can't think of a reason for the object, then leave it off.

The other tip I would pass on was also mentioned above. Try to change the look of things you are using as greeblies. I can look at the back & deck of an X-Wing and immediately recognise several kits and/or specific vehicles. Try not to do that. Excising parts of other models to use is fine, but repurpose them, hide them, section them. Do something that makes sense to refelct a different purpose. Then they work much better.

If you want to use a Panther road wheel, then use it as a base for a radar mast or gun turret. Add a ring around it to change the profile, that sort of thing.

My key thing, though, is to imagine a purpose for everything. It can be a fantastic purposem but think it through and "sell" it as real.

In engineering, form fits function and most Sci Fi subjects are engineering more than anything else.

HTH

Paul
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Kenny
Me too!

What Tankmodeler said. Figure out what a greeblie is supposed to do. And my axiom is this: Never put stuff on a model that is easily recognizable as something else.

I've seen a lot of models that were built very well -- but the greeblies scream Tiger Road Wheel! It ruins the effect.

If your using strip styrene, all the better. But for what its worth -- follow Tankmodeler's advice. You can't go wrong.
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Post by Springheel Jack » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:52 pm

I always think less is more. As Chacal said earlier I like to use groups of a few select greeblies rather than cover the entire surface of my model with bits.

I think there is a difference between building models for the cinema or tv screen and building for display. A display model is open to prolonged scrutiny and has to look more "considered". A movie model such as Nostromo has to make an impact over a few relatively short scenes and that is why it is plastered with bits and bobs to give an exagerated texture. To me the surface of Nostromo looks daft when you can study it in a still photo yet the same model looked fantastic on screen.

When I see models literally covered with stuff I think what does all that gear do? Why would any spaceship designer put all of that equipment on the outside of the craft. I forget who it was but one special effects designer once said when he saw ships like that he wondered how any astronaut would find the door!
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Post by KWSTAS » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:40 pm

You know that is the Nostromo we love.You can build yours using the Airfix space shuttle and call it Nostromo.It's clean like the way you want it. :D

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AbsoluteSciFi
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Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:44 pm

Tankmodeler wrote:I'm sure it's the engineer in me, but when scratchbuilding S.F. subjects I always (I mean always) try to think through what it is that the "greeblie" is supposed to do and how it is supposed to work. If it doesn't have a purpose, it doesn't get added. Nothing looks more fake (to me) than stuff just strewn around a model's surface. In real life, nothing is added just to add it. It has a purpose. If you can't think of a reason for the object, then leave it off.

Paul
True enough that is!

The bigger the beast, the more the surface seems to be broken up, the smaller the craft, the less greeblies show, and or are hidden under panels. It is the nature of the "compact" or smaller craft designs, like a Star Trek shuttle-craft, or an X-Wing, the detail is minimal.
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Post by ajmadison » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:46 pm

I'm a little late to the conversation here, but I'd like to say something about panel detail. I believe that panel detail is apart of the concept, since the FX miniatures of 2001 were the first, certainly the best example, until maybe Star Wars, maybe, of using panel detail to demonstrate exterior texture.

But something that ruins the effect for me, even on extremely nicely executed scratchbuilds, are panels cut from way out of scale sheet. I'll see an otherwise beautiful model, but the panels are the equivalent of being cut from (exaggeration here) ten foot thick steel plates. I know it can be difficult (read you need to have on hand new blades and replace them often) to cut 5 thou sheet styrene, but inch and a half thick inspection covers on a 1/72 star fighter doesn't look right to me. Now on Star Wars examples, the panels are armor plate, or something to that effect, but on sleek starships from the Star Trek genre, I'll see panel detail that when scaled up are a meter thick. I'm not saying that a scratchbuild that doesn't have its exterior detail made up entirely of photoetch is not a good model, but I see a fair number of models where 20 thou sheet is used to represent a sheet metal cover or what should suggest a weld bead on an otherwise smooth hull.

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Post by Gerry » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:30 pm

I'm one of those guys who's a lousy Drafstman. I can't make a draft or a blue print to save my life so I can sympathise with you.

My sympathetic advice... balance.
Random things are rarely random. There is a balance to them. Not too many in one area, and be sure to repeat it exactly on the other side.

Sometimes the 'random' pieces make a pattern like on Klingon ships where hull panels make feathers ... {which I think is stupid} but there it is.

play around, sketch if you can. Even tape into place before glueing.

But don't stress on it.
1 thing is guaranteed.... after it's done you will say "I should have done _______ instead". We all do.
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