What if

GROUP BUILDS => 2009 Group Builds => The Knackers Yard => HOG memorial GB => Topic started by: Weaver on October 29, 2009, 05:57:52 pm

Title: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on October 29, 2009, 05:57:52 pm
Well here's my bits.

First off, the gutted, but otherwise unmolested trackball unit. The "problem" with this thing is that it's almost TOO perfect: anything I offer up to it spoils it instead of adding to it. For that reason, I'm going to mostly leave the shape alone and have it as a very high-tech "sci-fantasy" design with no visible means of propulsion. The idea is to have a domed cockpit where the trackball used to sit, and a pop-up turret emerging from the button behind it. I've had an idea for the dome BTW: soft toy eyes, i.e. the ones with a big, loose black disc in them. The curvature might be a bit too flat, but it's worth a look.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5397.jpg)


Here it is with all the bits separated and one door held in roughly the right open position. Since I'm not doing much with the exterior, I'll have both doors open and do some serious work on the interior instead.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5398.jpg)


I hope to build it into a diorama using these 15mm figures (I've got a stock of unpainted ones that I can do a better job on than these), since it's a bit tight for 1/72nd scale ones. I'm currently thinking along the lines of researchers visiting an old battlefield, with alien flora and fauna taking over the wrecked war machines.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5400.jpg)


All suggestions, criticisms, howls of ridicule etc.., welcome, as ever.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Brian da Basher on October 29, 2009, 06:33:17 pm
You've got my interest, Weaver! Using that old trackball is truly inspired!

Your idea for a diorama really takes it to the next level! I keep picturing your Scarab in different metallic colors hovering over a Mars-red landscape. If you need flora cheap and easy, you can pick up some plastic aquarium plants for pocket change. As for animals, I've got some sled dogs from the Monogram Ford Trimotor kit I could send you. Drop me a PM with your address if you want them.

You're really getting this GB off to a great start!
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: ChernayaAkula on October 29, 2009, 07:21:12 pm
This thing looks like it was meant to be whiffed!  :wacko: Leaving the shell alone (apart form a vent or something like that) and doing a full interior seems a good idea.

<...> I'm currently thinking along the lines of researchers visiting an old battlefield, with alien flora and fauna taking over the wrecked war machines.

Great idea! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: nev on October 29, 2009, 11:45:40 pm
You're spot on about it already looking "right", so I commend you on your idea to open up the interior :)
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Ed S on October 30, 2009, 07:25:12 am
Sounds good so far.  I am looking forward to more of this.

Ed
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on October 30, 2009, 07:51:27 am
Cheers all - now all I need to do is, errr, something..... ;)

Your idea for a diorama really takes it to the next level! I keep picturing your Scarab in different metallic colors hovering over a Mars-red landscape. If you need flora cheap and easy, you can pick up some plastic aquarium plants for pocket change. As for animals, I've got some sled dogs from the Monogram Ford Trimotor kit I could send you.

Yes I was thinking about metallics too: I've got some old Humbrol ones, and of course, there are car paints.  I was thinking of "bluebottle-like" colours, i.e. dark metallic blues and greens, possibly with a grossly contrasting stripe and some lettering. I'll have to have a play......

I've got some of those sled dogs too!  ;D However I was thinking of the flora and faunas being a bit more exotic: probably sculpted out of Miliput, so I'll pass on that (thanks for the offer).

Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on October 30, 2009, 08:33:52 pm
Well that was "interesting". The trackball unit was greasy from years of handling, so I thought I'd better give it a good wash in hot soapy water. I'd always assumed it was self-coloured plastic, but it quickly became apparent that it was covered in a thin layer of paint, which immediately cockled on exposure to the hot water. That meant that it all had to be scrubbed off....... joy.

Got some cheap Googly Eyes. One of them will fit as the cockpit dome, but it might be a bit flat. Have to have a bit of a think about that.... The eyes are very, VERY thin plastic, like vac-form canopies, and are very firmly glued to their bases, which means they have to be handled carefully.

Had a new idea for the button: it's not now going to be a gun turret, it's going to be a hovering-tin-can-style robot that lives in an external socket to save space when the craft is flying. In effect, it'll be a cross between Vincent from The Black Hole and an X-Wing's R2 unit.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: philp on October 30, 2009, 11:08:05 pm
Weaver,
Check the gumball machines for the domes that come with crappy stuff in them.  Might be one that would fit and be more rounded than the googly eyes.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on October 31, 2009, 02:51:48 am
Weaver,
Check the gumball machines for the domes that come with crappy stuff in them.  Might be one that would fit and be more rounded than the googly eyes.

Gumball machines arn't that common here, and when you do see them, they tend to be "toy machines" rather than gum machines, with spheres that are too big.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: buzzbomb on October 31, 2009, 04:09:00 pm
nice use of nifty materials.
I have done something similar myself (larger scale though.. and remarkably also called Scarab) and I like this design, very Hammers Slammers combat car.


about the dome..
You could check out the local $2 shops for a small lolly dispenser which is a miniature "gum ball" type look, usually they have skittles like things in them. I have used them before and they work really well

(http://www.modelblokez.org.au/bthpix/PA/flush/radarbits.jpg)

The green thing is a deodorant bottle top to give some idea of size
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: ysi_maniac on October 31, 2009, 06:01:24 pm
 :thumbsup: Perfect choice, indeed!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: pyro-manic on October 31, 2009, 09:13:54 pm
Looks interesting! For the dome, could you not heat-form one yourself using the trackball as a master?
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on November 09, 2009, 06:12:58 pm
Very slow progress, I'm afraid: I've tried to make some modelling time every day for the last week, and almost every time, someone or something has taken it right back off me again.... :banghead:

Anyhow, we now have a basic floor, and the beginnings of the droid:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5407.jpg)

The white thing in the background is another "found" find: it's actually a re-sealable milk bottle cap (of frankly dubious value), but isn't it just begging to be a gun turret? Don't know if I'll use it in this project, but definately worth snapping up.

Pyro - interesting suggestion about heat-forming the dome using the trackball as a master: when (if) I get some time, I'll try it out. Cheers!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 10, 2009, 01:44:27 pm
Very slow progress, I'm afraid: I've tried to make some modelling time every day for the last week, and almost every time, someone or something has taken it right back off me again.... :banghead:

<snip>


I can totally relate to that, Weaver. Glad you had a moment to post an update. Looks like your Scarab is coming along very nicely!
 :thumbsup:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on November 15, 2009, 12:51:14 am
Went and bought the diorama materials yesterday - gulp: never done this before!  :huh:

Latest obstacle is a bad back that makes me larey of sitting on my model-room stool for long.... :banghead: However, more later.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on November 15, 2009, 05:39:56 am
Okay, ROUGH diorama mockup:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5409.jpg)

Here's the plot. The Scarab crew (pilot, two scientists and a biffo (bodyguard)) are surveying for minerals. On this planet, there are large snail-like grazing animals (the green "shells" in the middle) which follow trails of particular vegetation, burning it off and digesting it with acids, which leaves trails of bare soil in their wake. Glittering mineral deposits can be seen in these trails, so the crew are following a pair of Shells to what they hope is the motherlode.

However, the Shells have led them to a ruined artifact. On a grassy bank (it WILL be a bank, not the vertical you see here) stand two wrecked gun turrets, obviously set up to defend the circular stone structure in the middle. There are signs that the slope is part artifical, part natural, indicating that it's been fortified. Behind the turrets are two clear towers, which might have contained sensors. One turret and tower are more-or-less intact, but the other has been heavily damaged by a weapon which has caved in the slope and caused the tower to lean. This tower is also badly cracked and has plants growing right through it. There is a crater in the forground with garishly coloured plants growing in it, and one of the Shells has taken a swerve around it, the track revealing that soil beneath the non-favoured vegetation is a different colour.

All the hardwear is heavily corroded and overgrown, except the stone ring, which is pristine and has a ring or dead grass around it. Looking down into it, all that can be seen is eldritch, swirling blackness...... :blink:

In case you're wondering, the turrets are milk-bottle caps, the gun barrels are Maped-brand retractable stick-erasers, the transparent towers are a giant pen sold with other pens inside it, the Shells (which I might replace with pure Milliput sculptures) are Maped pencil sharpeners, and the stone ring comes from the Burger King toy which I vandalised to get the figures for the Panther-Pink Panther Plane:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5411.jpg)

Now I really need to crack on with the Scarab, so that at least one element of this has a chance of being finished for the deadline...... :rolleyes:


Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Ed S on November 15, 2009, 06:25:08 am
Looking good.  I'm looking forward to more of this one.

Ed
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Mossie on November 15, 2009, 09:13:40 am
Don't why, but I'm getting a 'Logan's run' feel to this.  Looks good so far Weave, looking forward to more!
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: nev on November 15, 2009, 11:42:08 am
I'm getting more of a Mass Effect opening level vibe.  Either way this looks 7 kinds of awesome and you've officially got my intrest! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 15, 2009, 03:50:22 pm
What an incredible project! The diorama looks like it has the potential to be a real show-stopper!

I really like your uncanny ability to find just the right part from such a variety of objects.
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on November 16, 2009, 02:34:40 am
What an incredible project! The diorama looks like it has the potential to be a real show-stopper!

I really like your uncanny ability to find just the right part from such a variety of objects.
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Brian da Basher

Cheers Brian, but you give me too much credit. Actually, I assembled a collection of likely-looking objects (not a quarter of which I'm actually using in this one) and then concocted a scenario that used a few of them. For instance, the gun-turrets wern't in the plan at all until after I found the milk-bottle keepers. If I'd found, oh I don't know, a calculator that looked like a tank, say, the diorama would be very different.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on November 20, 2009, 04:54:32 pm
Made a little progress on the interior, but still painfully slow. However I did get a bunch of new materials today, including Humbrol Metallic Midnight Blue paint, which looks perfect for the shell colour, and some bits from Sainsbury's which include a promising dome:

http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,26614.new.html#new

I've also found a sprue of Minitanks windscreens which will make nice "floating" computer displays instead of solid screens. They just need a thin bar at one edge to obscure the moulded-in windscreen wiper (there is ALWAYS a catch.... :rolleyes:)
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Eddie M. on November 20, 2009, 06:52:51 pm
Very intriguing! Looking forward to your progress. ;D
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Jschmus on November 23, 2009, 05:49:55 pm
I'm getting more of a Mass Effect opening level vibe.

Thanks, Nev!  Now I'm getting flashbacks of Eden Prime.   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on November 23, 2009, 09:16:05 pm
Very intriguing! Looking forward to your progress. ;D

Cheers - so am I......... :rolleyes: :banghead:

Slight progress on the interior, including a decision to use one of the stamper spheres complete as a cockpit "bubble": totally impractical but very retro-cool and in keeping with the spherical consoles (push pins) to either side of it.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on December 14, 2009, 05:14:44 pm
Real world problems continue to make progress painfully slow on this, compounded by the resulting demoralisation (vicious circle). I strongly suspect that it won't be done for the revised deadline, and that annoys me no end.

Anyway, here's the progress, such as it is, so far:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5413.jpg)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5414.jpg)

The interior looks more spacious than it really is here, because some of the features are attached to the upper shell. The console chairs to either side of the pilot bubble swivel, as does the clear table, and the seat next to it slides along a pivoting arm (not clever enough to make it swivel as well though). The idea is that it swings forward and locks during "rough going" but then unlocks and swings/swivels to let a scientist work at the clear table and bench on the curved section in front of the engine bulkhead.


(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5415.jpg)

Roof detail. The pillar hanging down from the droid socket will have a microscope-style viewer that hovers over the clear table and a clear viewscreen, both on arms. Currently debating whether or not to make them swivel.



(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5416.jpg)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5418.jpg)

Buttoned up and hard to photograph. Another thing I'm still debating whether to use the full pilot globe or just the upper half with an elevating seat. The former looks cool, but it eats a hell of a lot of space. Either way, the pilot will have floating clear touch-screens rather than a sold dash. These and the spherical pods will have decals to represent their controls. bear in mind that the standing figure is on a fairly thick base, so overhead clearance would be slightly greater than it seems here.

Interior colour will probably be light stone, with orange seat foam and white details. If I go with the globe, the bottom half will be black on the inside, the implication being that an image of the outside world can be projected onto it, thus making the ship "invisible" to the pilot.

A paint test for the outside colour didn't go so well - more thought required.......
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Eddie M. on December 14, 2009, 05:30:03 pm
Thank looks outstanding!! Regardless of when it's done, it's still gonna be super cool!! I wish I had that type of spatial design ability.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on December 15, 2009, 03:56:42 am
Thank looks outstanding!! Regardless of when it's done, it's still gonna be super cool!! I wish I had that type of spatial design ability.

Cheers Eddie! I'd love to be able to take credit for "spatial design ability", but to be honest, I'm just making it up as I go along. The pillars for the pod-consoles were already there, as was the one for the table, and the droid socket. The cutout in the floor is the shape it is "'cos it looked cool", but it causes all sorts of problems with access to globe and around the sides, where the walkway space is just a bit too narrow.... :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: nev on December 15, 2009, 09:06:21 am
What Eddie says.  This is too awesome to be rushed.  Take your time and pick up a whiffie in 2010 :)
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Ed S on December 15, 2009, 09:39:12 am
This is looking good.  Lots of great ideas in this.  Although I do wonder about the glob of blue goo holding the pilot's seat.  Is that some sort of organic moveable seat mount?   ;D

 :thumbsup:

Ed
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on December 15, 2009, 09:41:36 am
This is looking good.  Lots of great ideas in this.  Although I do wonder about the glob of blue goo holding the pilot's seat.  Is that some sort of organic moveable seat mount?   ;D

 :thumbsup:

Ed


It's the Universe's first high-G bean bag.....;)
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Brian da Basher on December 16, 2009, 01:45:21 am
That's some top-notch detail work, Weaver! You've made some excellent progress on this incredible project and I'm looking forward to your next update!
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on December 16, 2009, 04:03:48 am
Cheers Brian!

Actually, looking at the pics has made me see something I havn't "in the flesh" (as is often the way):

The pillar which hangs under the droid socket is a bit big to just be a support for a scope and some screens: what if it actually WAS the scope, with a suggestion of telescopic bits on the bottom and an eyepiece sticking out of the side? This would imply that the droid itself could look into it, and that leads to the though that the pillar is the way in which the droid interacts with the interior when it's in the socket: it could have two small screens instead of one bigger one, which could display a couple of eye graphics when they're not doing anything else.... ;D
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: John Howling Mouse on December 25, 2009, 01:13:39 pm
After all these years, I'm still overwhelmed by the degree of talent and creativity on this website.  Very, VERY cool!
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Brian da Basher on December 30, 2009, 12:49:28 pm
I'm not sure if this helps :

 GB Deadline extended to Monday, Jan. 4th (http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,26684.0.html)

I hope it does.

Please remember to post pics of your finished entry here (http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,26422.0.html).

Good luck!
 :cheers:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on December 30, 2009, 01:57:49 pm
Cheers Brian! In all honesty, I'm not sure it will, but I'll try.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Brian da Basher on December 30, 2009, 04:35:06 pm
Cheers Brian! In all honesty, I'm not sure it will, but I'll try.

Win, place or show, I hope you had fun, Weaver! Good luck!
 :cheers:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on December 31, 2009, 07:06:47 am
By hook, crook and compromise, progress is being made. Still not betting any of my own money on getting it done though. No time for pics, either.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on January 01, 2010, 08:37:18 am
Horrible feeling I've just cocked it up: tin of white spray paint that worked fine yesterday seemed to be spraying thin, runny, spluttery stuff today. Same treatment and handling both times..... :banghead:

However, it's only an undercoat for a translucent glaze, so it might yet work out okayish....

Still think I'm going to run out of time: party here tomorrow and back at work on Monday.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on January 01, 2010, 07:46:01 pm
Paint went pear-shaped on the inside too..... :banghead:

Oh well, as a taster of something that did work, here's the pilot's seat:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5419.jpg)

There are 30 components in that. Here it is with a ruler for scale. The arm consoles and the mic boom move:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5421.jpg)
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: nev on January 02, 2010, 12:36:33 am
That seat is so good it belongs in one of JHMs threads.  Quite literally, Baztastic.  :bow:
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on January 02, 2010, 02:37:12 am
Well mixed blessings today: it's snowing heavily enough in Cheshire, but our friends who live up in the hills north of Bury report that it's seriously heavy there, so (quite correctly) they arn't coming here for the party we had planned.

On the one hand, this means that I suddenly have today free.

On the other hand, I only have today free because it's bloody cold, and I suspect that cold is behind some of my paint woes... :huh:
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: pyro-manic on January 02, 2010, 06:34:56 am
Go, Weaver, go! This is seriously impressive stuff. I don't know how you manage to manipulate parts that small - I'm having massive trouble building a simple seat for my pirate flying boat....
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on January 02, 2010, 07:36:25 am
Cheers folks!

Unfortunately, paint goes from bad to worse. I painted the floor and lower interior with MATT pale stone, which has managed to come out in a horrid, ripply semi-gloss finish. I thought that it might look better if sanded down, but it then became apparent that it was only surface dry, and as soon as I started sanding it turned tacky again and I now have a zillion bits of 1500-grade sandpaper embedded in a floor that looks more like carpet now..... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: It's currently on a radiator (not directly) to see if that dries it out properly....

The shell is painted, but needs lots of touch-up and tidying, and when I pulled the doors off, it became apparent that the paint in the cracks, in contact with blu-tack, hadn't dried either, so I now have to wait for that to dry or else I'll risk putting blue fingerprints on everything.
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Eddie M. on January 02, 2010, 11:10:27 am
Beautiful work!! That's the kind of skill I wish I had the patience for...
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: John Howling Mouse on January 02, 2010, 03:49:36 pm
Wow, that seat IS amazing...   :bow:
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on January 02, 2010, 07:00:17 pm
It would seem that the problem with the light stone paint is down to the particular tin: I found another, 3/4 used tin which dries matt. However, I've also decided that the colour is too dark, so I'll be re-painting it tomorrow with a mixture of REALLY MATT light stone and white.

Seat cushions have just been painted with Orange Lining and look great!
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on January 03, 2010, 05:26:13 pm
Okay, sorry folks, but it is simply NOT going to get finished for the deadline. I've got a thumping headache from painting and re-painting tiny things all day and I have to go back to work in the morning. Please DO NOT extend the deadline any more on my account: I'd rather finish it at a comfortable pace and get it right than make any more compromises for the sake of speed. It WILL be finished, because it's far too close to get stalled on now.

More titbits:


Lab module. It's not finished yet: needs some glassware....

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5423.jpg)



Pilot's seat painted:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5424.jpg)



Painted shell. I originally wanted it blue, but when I saw the high finish that the Fiat Metallic Grey car paint gave, I decided that a) it was too nice to cover up and b) it would be a pain to glaze over because of it's ultra-smooth gloss. The latter point was more than justified by the problems I had with the blue glaze on the zig-zags, and is the reason why I didn't make their blue darker with more coats. In any case, I rather like this subtle scheme. The inspiration is Roger Dean fantasy/sci-fi art, by the way:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5425.jpg)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/hws5mp/The%20Whiffery/Scarab/IMG_5426.jpg)



The floor is better than it was, but it's still bloody awful in the cold light of day, so I'm going to make more doobreys to stand on the exposed bits and cover them up (another reason why it won't make the deadline).


Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: BlackOps on January 03, 2010, 08:44:00 pm
Very cool!
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: nev on January 03, 2010, 10:43:58 pm
Awesome lab station!  No wonder you've got a headache...
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Brian da Basher on January 04, 2010, 02:28:05 pm
That's some amazing detail work, Weaver! I'm sorry you didn't make the deadline, but I hope you'll keep us updated as this wonder is sure to cause many of us to look on it in awe!
 :cheers:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: Scarab
Post by: Weaver on January 09, 2010, 03:31:47 pm
Cheers Folks!

I'm going to start a new thread for it in Current and Finished Projects - Sci Fi.