Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dung Beetle Knight

Kingdom Death is a company that started out selling a boutique line of 35mm resin figures that people either loved or hated. Their wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for the Kingdom Death: Monster game also drew controversy for alleged sexism and misogyny.

Personally, I like their figures, and found the charges of sexism to be a straw man almost entirely based on personal bias.

Regardless, the only model I own is a collector's edition Dung Beetle Knight from the first production run, and I don't really have plans to buy any more of their figures (due to their size).

The model consists of the Dung Beetle Knight and its food collecting ball.

I was originally going to build the model OOB, but there was something about the bars across the eyes of the ball that didn't sit well with me.

I studied the original illustration, and while it appears as if there are literal bars across the eyes, I decided to interpret the bars as areas of more intense light emitting from within the ball.

Instead of trying to pull off painting light effects, I decided to just wire the model up with LEDs instead.

I wanted light to emit from inside the mouth and through the nostrils as well, so a total of four holes were drilled into the model.

To drill the holes, I had to break the model apart
because I had already glued it together.

Clear beads painted with Tamiya Clear Yellow (X-24) were installed in the eye sockets. The beads were epoxied in place so that the hole through the center of the bead appears as a vertical bar.

Because I had to remove the integral base to make an opening in the bottom of the ball to accommodate wiring, I decided to make a new base for the model using clay.

I made a thin layer of clay and allowed it to dry. I put the thin layer on top of a thicker base layer of wet clay, and rolled the ball over a section of the clay to crush the dried layer.

I'm going to try and cast this piece in resin to make it a little more durable for drilling and installing a battery holder underneath.

Now I'm off to do some research on how to get the proper iridescent shades when painting up the knight.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

White Elephants

Sometimes when an impressively large model catches my eye, I have to take a reality check and think about whether there is any point in owning the thing.

Here are a few items that gave me a moment of pause before I decided not to buy them.

1. Kyoshinhei by Good Smile Company

This figure represents a God Warrior from the Studio Ghibli short film produced for a 2012 exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.

Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo posted by f711513007

At 50cm in height, the figure is impressive, but I have to say that it would be well under it's actual 1/72 height as represented in the short.

The figure is still probably very undersized compared to the original God Warrior as presented in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Scale issues aside, the final price with shipping would have been very high, and there was the very real possibility that the model could have sustainded damaged during shipping (polystone resin is not the most durable of materials).

2. Colossal Titan Coin Bank by Bandai

This PVC figure represents the aberrant type 60m Titan from Attack on Titan.

The Colossal Titan at 60cm, is even taller than the God Warrior. It is actually 1/100 scale, but that's something I would have been willing to overlook with regard to a fictional flayed giant.

3. Flower-class Corvette by Revell

Even now, I often contemplate buying this kit, but at 85cm in length I wonder where I would store it. The pool might be an option, but I couldn't keep it docked there all the time.

4. U-Boat Type VIIC by Revell

I would seriously consider a waterline U-boat since they could be used for gaming every now and then, but at 93.3cm long, the type VIIC and the even larger type IXC submarine (106.3cm) are just really big.

I suppose that the kit could be converted easily enough to a waterline model, but that seems almost like throwing away half the kit.

5. Skipjack-class Submarine by Moebius Models

As with the U-boats, I would definitely consider a waterline model of the Skipjack for an Ice Station Zebra scenario, but at 106.7cm, the full hulled kit is a monster. I believe that this model is also sold in Revell packaging.

6. Gato-class Submarine by Revell

Yet another submarine. This time the 132cm long Gato-class sub. If I were to have bought this model, I would have been tempted to get two. One built up in the standard way, and one built up as the USS Sea Tiger from the 1959 film Operation Petticoat.

Balao-class submarine

However, I probably would have been bothered by the fact that the subs used in filming were actually Balao-class submarines, while the USS Seadragon which reputedly operated in red primer color for a time was a Sargo-class submarine.

7. C3-type Cargo Submarine by Lindberg

Lindberg went out of business, but the kits are still being produced by Round 2 LLC under the Lindberg brand name. The model is 148.6cm long, and comes with four Kaiten manned torpedoes.

8. Saturn V Rocket by Dragon

There was a time when I was really interested in getting the 1/96 scale Revell Saturn V, but by the time the Dragon version came around, that desire was a distant memory. At 153.7cm tall, I'm not sure if there is a commercially produced 1/72 kit that is larger than this one.

In closing, I'll have to admit that at times I look at my existing piles of lead and plastic and wonder what the point of it all is. However, finishing a project no matter how small, or getting to play a game with newly painted miniatures always brings a sense of satisfaction, and puts me back to the proper hobbyist perspective.