27 April 2011

Some Resin techniques to remember

I asked the folks on the star-ranger forum about prepping and priming highly detailed resin ship models, and got some information worth keeping track of:

Some serious safety tips from AsleepByDay, and good advice on verifying primer:

  • Prep / clean up: Some resin is dangerous if you inhale the fine dust given off during sanding, drilling or filing; you can avoid this by doing everything with a craft knife, by buying a face mask or holding the model under water while you file :shock: .
  • If you go the face-mask route you want one rated to allow you to work mdf, pricey option for two models; screwfix (in the UK) do a cheap 28 day mask for ~£12.
  • Working resin with a craft knife is easy, the material is brittle however so take it slow, whittle away carving small amounts of the excess material with each stroke of the knife. You can practice this technique before hand on any price of wood. Back scraping if you know that technique from any plastic you've worked with works well on smaller items.
  • Priming:  Once you've removed all the mold lines / flash you'll need to prime (which is the hard part) after that however you can just undercoat your colour of preference (spray can wooo) and act as if it were any other material.
  • Priming can be tricky, hopefully someone else on the forum can recommend a primer they have used with Ravenstar's resin, failing that you might have some left over resin after cleaning the model you can test the primer with.
  • To test: spray with primer, wait until sets (check can for recommended time~24 hours), attempt to flake primer away from resin with a fingernail, (if the primer flakes off then the primer is no good); assuming all is well under coat and retest to see if the undercoat flakes away easily; if not then you have your primer.

Pre-clean and a primer recommendation from Covertwalrus:

  • A bath in warm water with a small amount of dishwash ( ammonia-free) is a good idea before sanding or any other prep work.
  • I've had no trouble with aerosol cans of automotive grey primer with Ravenstar's stuff: No flaking or crazing and it covers without destroying any fine detail.

And a troubleshooting guide from johnny rocket

  • also some times you might run across a spot of uncured resin on any given model .. in a case like that i sand the model with a tooth brush and ajax or comet dish powder .. and then wash in a cup of alcohol the dish soap in warm water .. and place model in the sun for a day or 2 .. the oil in the resin can cause the primer to not stick so these steps can help that problem in most cases..
 Thanks guys, I really appreciate it!

26 April 2011

First Ships Received

From Ravenstar, two Lief Ericsons.  The flash is minimal; they could probably be prepped with fingernail.

I am not sure what I will use for a notional scale.  The best thought-through reference I could find on the web  offers a "real world" length (based on door heights and other evidence from the original plastic kit) of 170m; so at 7cm overall we would be looking at about a 1:2500 scale.  Not that I feel bound by that.

 Another image.  I just love the detail.  My current thought on final painting is a near-black relieved by a few bright points and details -- possibly using some 10mm heraldic decals I have around here somewhere.

In my Future History these will be long range cruisers, able to refuel by scooping hydrogen from a Gas Giant (per Mote in God's Eye and Traveller).
 Then I have three Omega destroyers from Behrle Hubbuch III (who posts on the Star Ranger forum).

According to the B5 wiki an Omega is 1.7 km long (that show did *not* think small) which gives these lads a scale of 1:25000.

 In my future (I find myself wanting to type IMTU but I am not doing exactly a Traveller universe) there will be no artificial gravity, and technology will be in a state of rapid flux.  These ships will represent low-thrust passenger ships with spin-gravity.   I will probably paint them in an airline (or turn of the century ocean liner) inspired civilian livery; for some scenarios they may be troopships, but that happens to civilian liners in wartime anyway.
And here are two together, merchant and escort perhaps?