Category Archives: submarine

Pegasus Models 1/144 Nautilus part 3. Painting the squid and the sub

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first part

second part

 

Well, this post should be at least two parts because it covers quite a lot, but I did not have the opportunity to take many photos, so here you go.

The base

Was primed with dark grey Vallejo primer, and then I misted different shades of grey over it from the top down- this leaves nice shadows at the uneven surface. I used a dark brown wash, and the Mig Neutral wash also got some use finally. (It is a lightish grey color and so far I could not figure out where and how I should be using it.)

I dry blended some green and reddish oil paints at patches to give some color to the terrain, representing the different colors of sea vegetation.

The squid

The monster was painted with the same dark grey Vallejo primer as the base first. I was thinking about how to paint the suckers, and I came to a solution: instead of painting individual suckers, I leave the part of the arms dark grey, and crape the paint off the suckers gently with a blade.

Painless, and looks good – a win-win in my book.

Most giant squids I’ve seen (on photos) were red. I started to paint this guy red as well: first gave deep red overcoat to the arms (leaving the side with the suckers grey), making sure that the underlying dark primer shows through. This gave a reddish tint to the beast. This was further glazed by several layers of progressively lighter reds. To make the squid a bit more interesting I used purple on the head section (in glazes), and painted purple and white bands on the arms; they were “blended” using an overcoat of diluted red ink.

The eye was painted white first (leaving the pupil black), but it looked somewhat lifeless, so I added a yellow ring, leaving the inside of the cornea white.

The head was treated similarly, only the hood was painted purple using different shades glazed on top of each other. The edges were highlighted with pink, and then I blended everything together using purple ink diluted. The squid got a layer of gloss varnish, and then I used mica powder mixed with a little varnish to make it look iridescent. The eye and its surrounding area got a bit more of the mica treatement.

The Nautilus

Since the sub looks really steam-punky, I decided on bronze/copper instead of the steel color Verne himself gave to the Nautilus. In his book the ship was a dark steel contraption, but it’s my model, so I call the shots here. Let’s just agree it is not historically accurate, and leave it at that.

The Nautilus was first primed with Vallejo’s black primer for metallic paints (it is a shiny black), and then I applied MRP’s dark bronze. Man, that paint stinks… (I did not notice that while it is an acrylic, it is not water based.) But it did work, unlike their creme color on my Panther. I can wholeheartedy recommend this paint.

Once it dried, I used Vallejo’s gold and bronze on the panels in uneven layers, with the dark bronze showing through. I did not want to paint the whole thing in an uniform shiny metal color, because it would look like a toy like that. The scale effect (and the natural weathering of the metal) would cause the Nautilus look duller, and darker, so this is what I tried to replicate.

As the last layer I misted some copper over certain parts. The aim was to have an uneven, shaded surface everywhere; and this seems to have been accomplished quite nicely.

Detail were pained with AK’s True Metal paints (bronze and gold); they were used as highlights. (I love those paints, by the way. They are very easy to work with, and look pretty good. They do not polish as well as the videos would make you believe, but nothing is perfect I guess.)

The ship was glued to the squid at this stage using two part epoxy. I really wanted to make sure it stays there.

I removed the masks from the windows, and this is where the disappointment strikes: hardly anything can be seen of the interior. The nacelles of the windows distort the view, and the bloody LEDs are not very good at providing a good source of lighting. Obviously I will have to learn some more before the next project about creating ambient lights. The LEDs work more like spotlights, unfortunately. The bridge can’t be seen at all, so the captain’s wheel, and the whole neat little room is completely unecessary to install. Another LED-related issue: the top spotlight was left off for now; the kit version was a solid piece so I could not fit the LED inside, and I could not fashion a suitable replacement. I will look around in the spares box to see if I can find something. For now it will be left like that.

At this stage I started weathering the metal. Since it is a bronze ship, the metal oxide should look nice and green – another reason to choose this color over the dull steel. The top part, which is exposed to the elements when the boat is not submerget got some streaking, too. Since AK Interactive’s latest products, the weatherin pencils, took my fancy, I realized that I have a lot of acrylic pencils in my possession -which are essentially the same thing. I used the black and dark colors for the streaking as a trial.

I was debating what color the plants should be on the deck; I think wood would look great (it gives a little contrast to the metal surface), but I’m still undecided. I might repaint it later.  I used several greens to represent the oxidizied brass both as pin washes and as several layers of glazes applied selectively to specific areas. (Mostly near the edges of panels.)

And basically, this is it.

When I have some time I will fashion a larger lightbox to take some proper photos where the sides don’t show. For now it is finished.

Pegasus Models 1/144 Nautilus part 2. Electronics and the squid

This does sound like the start of a bad joke.

It isn’t. It really is about electronics and the giant squid that will hold the whole thing in place.

Sorry to disappoint.

Anyhow. I finished the interior in the first part, and after a long period of trepidation I did bring out my soldering iron (I bought it two months ago), and using lead free solder, I managed to bang together a few LEDs, a switch and a 9V battery.

I had a bunch of LEDs waiting; I bought a home-made lighting kit for the model, which provided some rudimentary instructions and some good pointers about how to install LEDs into a plastic model, and I also bought a bunch of cheap LEDs on Aliexpress with the resistors already installed.

The top part of the ship had to be cut off to give better access to the bridge (I marked the area with a green marker). The extra PE set provides a bridge, so I wanted to show it off as best as I could. (Not much can be seen through the ports, but at least it’s there. It is smaller the space available in the model, so the installation was not perfect, but again: not much will be seen of it, anyhow. And it will glow green.)

The whole exercise was less painful than I expected; it is not pretty, but it works. (See photos.)

I essentially put all the LEDs going into the body of the model into a parallel circuit, and just put the green LED that goes into the base of the squid in line next to the switch. I do hope all the wires will fit into the hull… I drilled the appropriate holes, and fixed the base of the wires with a glue gun onto the bottom plate of the hull. I ended up only using the LED from the lighting kit for the headlight; the rest were too bright for my taste. (The others are too dim, and quite large, too, but this is a compromise I am willing to accept.)

I used the masks on the observation windows, and found them somewhat lacking… some of them are a tad too big, and some of them are inaccurate in shape. It is the most obvious in the case of the central circular section: as you can see it should be made up by triangular shapes. The problem is that the masks provided are equilateral triangles, and as you can see their sides should be longer than the bases to create something that resembles a framed observsation port, rather than a cut-up pizza with the slices slightly pulled out. I ended up removing these masks, and using masking fluid slightly diluted with water. (The masks on the sides of the central part were somewhat oversized, so I ended up removing them as well.)

Well, at least we got some masks, so there’s that. Some of it was actually quite useful, too.

I also started working on the squid. The arms were relatively easy to determine how to assemble (the slots are tailored for individual tentacles, but it did take some time to work out which one goes where), and I drilled a hole in the base for the green LED.

I will install the LED once I painted the base.

Pegasus Models 1/144 Nautilus part 1. Interior

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Well, while the Panthers are being built, and the baby is growing, I do, of course, have plenty of time for a new kit. Obviuosly.

 

I am not sure what really made me buy it; once I happened to stumble upon a photo of the model I just had to have it. The interior (of which I do have a fetish for), the steam-punk look, the LEDs (which need to be added as an aftermarket), and the giant squid are all very attractive on this model. Not to mention my dearest found it very cool, too, and since she is very understanding about my hobbies, if she likes a model, I will build it. So I hunted it down on Ebay (it was relatively cheap and came with the ParaGraphix PE set), and started to build it. I mean, just look at this thing.

The model would look good out of the box, but the PE definitely makes it shine. (Not to mention the LEDs which actually make the model shine.) The PE provides chairs, tables, railings, ceiling tiles, ceiling beams, and an entire extra interior compartment (wheelhouse); all in all, they are a tremendous addition to an already great model.

The LEDs came from an aftermarket set for this model created by a fellow modeller, who sells them on Ebay.

The main saloon is just, well, cool. The sofas, the book shelves, the organ and the globe add a very Victorian feel to this craft. The PE set provides the captain’s bridge/wheelhouse as well, which is originally not included in the model; for this you will have to cut a few holes into the plastic parts. (Last photo, shaded green.) It remains to be seen how it will be installed; right now I’m not sure.

 

I used Citadell paints to do the details (books, wooden desk, etc.), and AK Interactive’s True Metal paints to do the walls, ceiling and floor. I thought a submarine most likely has bare metal walls, and I opted for brass. I did some subtle weathering using oils -washes and streaks- but did not want to go overboard; after all, this is Captain Nemo’s sub, and it is well maintained, not a wreck. I applied the paint with drybrushing – this way I left the underlying Vallejo primer show. (I am worried that if the surface is overly shiny, it would look unrealistic. I am especially worried about how I will deal with the exterior. I know, Verne made the Nautilus a steel boat, but I prefer the brass/copper/bronze look. I might just mist the paints over the primer. (The scale effect will make the metal look less shiny – after all, it is as if you were looking at it from a distance.)

I guess I will cross that river when I get to it.

Now it is time to learn soldering… (Translation: the project halted indefinitely.)