Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Bird Theme: Raptors And A Falcon

Well, I was going to take these to Gen Con with me and enter them in the Miniature painting contest in the Vehicle/War Machine category, but my hotel had over-booked and I lost the room I thought I had. My loss is your gain, so to speak, because I wasn't going to post the Falcon until after I came home with a first place ribbon! A big thank you to Jon Paulson of Paulson Games for creating such a fantastic miniature...the Raptor mech, that is! By the way, if you want one of your own and want to see the other cool stuff that is to come, go here:

On with the show....

Here is the first of four Raptor mechs I have. This comes from the Mecha Front game by Paulson Games. It is a stock Raptor with no modifications other than a comm antenna. The size of this beauty makes it perfect for 10mm or 15mm gaming. The half track is a heavily modified MW:DA JES missile carrier...minus the missiles now!

Also of interest are the military buildings. They are plaster castings of empty Oreo cookie trays with Lego bits and other do-dads to help with the details.

Rear view.

Now we have the heavily modified version. The first thing I wanted to do was modify the static pose into an action pose. I also wanted a slightly different load-out. A big flame thrower and a mech-sized minigun!

The napalm fuel tank is a Lego bit. The flamer thrower had one hose attached to it already, but there are two tanks....

I added the hose that snakes up over the shoulder by clipping a length of cheap necklace. The right foot is glued up in a half step. Since the bottom of the foot was exposed, I had to engrave a tread pattern to the bottom with my Dremel. I wanted to extend the left leg into a striding pose so I cut the knee, sculpted a new knee joint and an ankle joint, and them fixed them into a new pose.

The dripping napalm is a glue-soaked wad of cotton swab, as is the burning puddle on the ground. The flame nozzle is another Lego piece that I drilled some holes into. The other gun is a simple barrel swap. The searchlight is another Lego piece with a jewel fixed into the lens.

The other droplets of napalm are just globs of glue. Here she is with the basic Raptor and A MW:DA Madcat so you can get an idea of how good she looks with my 10mm forces.

I almost forgot! I carved out some side ports for the cockpit and added a hatch and an exhaust vent on top of the mech. I wanted the flamer barrel to look like it was red hot from recent usage...not that the dripping napalm was also a dead give-away.
Oh, one more thing. My friend Owen wanted a close up of the nose art.

Now I present the ship that made the Kessel run in 12 parsecs...the Millennium Falcon! This is the 1/144 scale model from Fine Molds, and I must say it really is fine!

You can see Han Solo discussing his cargo manifest with the port authorities. The landing pad is a Perkins pie pan. The caramel apple pie was delicious, by the way!

You might notice something funny about the landing gear....

....It is a temporary cradle! Since I wanted this to be either in flight or landed, I designed a landing gear cradle using the gear that came with the model and a rig made out of illustration board. They are all aligned so they match up to the underbelly perfectly.

Here she is in flight.

No, it is not lit up. Thanks to the miracle of florescent paint, it only looks like she's in after-burn.

I wanted to add a few extra details to make her a bit more than just out-of-the-box. I added some little detailing decals and a bit of battle damage with my trusty Dremel.

The underside with the landing gear bays sealed permanently.

We're not out of this yet, kid!

The flight base is a bit of custom work using a wooden base, a brass rod, and a chunk of blue styrofoam. I wanted an asteroid look out of the styrofoam so I gouged some holes into it and carefully applied paint stripper to melt the foam into a rugged look.

In case you were wondering just how big she is, here is my thumb.

If the cockpit came with a crew, I would've left it clear. Sadly, there were no crew members included.

The navigation lights and the torpedo bay. I painted the torpedo bay before I assembled her, otherwise there would be no way to paint it, and I didn't want to overlook a thing on this baby.

The amount of detail on this model is simply stunning. Every part fit precisely with no filling and very little sanding required. They aren't know as Fine Molds for nothing!

Well, another successful blog post. I hope you enjoyed it. I guess Gen Con will have to wait until next year.


  1. Wow. All those shots of the Falcon. She looks great. I wonder how she would have fared in the judging.

    Thanks for the close up. A girl on a dino. very fitting for a Raptor Mecha.

  2. Great falcon, and those raptors look very nice. Looks like they would work nicely with my (purely notional) 15mm armies.

  3. I must have missed this post when I was skimming through the other day- these models are terrific, and amongst all the clever stuff, I have to say I really like the cookie box buildings- quite brilliant!

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  5. What brand fluorescent paint did you use for the engine effect?

    1. I use two brands: Liquitex acrylics and Vallejo Model Color. I'm not really sure if Liquitex even makes their florescents anymore. I do know that there are also florescent colors available from the cheap craft paint manufacturers, but they tend to be a bit on the thin side, so multiple coats are needed. The thinness however does work out great for painting a glowing effect. I always use a white primer over the area I want to glow that way the florescent paint color is not dulled or discolored by the black primer that I use overall.