Down a notch

Man. I thought I was so slick…

So, one of the things that I’ve started doing again in my spare time is model kits. It’s something I used to do in my younger days and slowly got away from, then many of my materials dispersed. But I still had the interest, and a handful of kits awaiting my attention; part of the holdup was simply that I’ve gotten too particular about accuracy now, wanting to do it right and thus getting bogged down in detailing. Recently, though, I dug out a couple of kits (and purchased a couple of others) and started getting into it more as the photography subjects were scarce.

Presently, I’m working on a model of the ‘Special’ helicopter from Blue Thunder – don’t laugh, it’s a cool movie and a decent kit in a good scale (most aircraft are available in 1/48 and 1/72 scale, too small to do a lot with, but this one is 1/32.) And I tackled the cockpit with gusto, getting into the nitty-gritty of the instrument panels and even adding a video console that was missing from the kit, but visible in the ‘Behind the scenes’ stills from the movie – yes, this is the kind of thing avid builders do, hush. Pleased with how it came out, I did a few macro photos of the cockpit before final assembly, when it’d be much harder to see under the canopy glass. As I discovered before with one of my christmas projects, I really shouldn’t do this. Under the Mamiya macro lens and decent lighting, my detailing job leaves a lot to be desired.

detailed cockpit of Blue Thunder Monogram model kit
It may not look too bad here, but that’s because I’m not going in at full resolution. And won’t be. This is all you need to see. All the little spots where the paint overlapped the proper borders or the engraving looks shitty, they can remain indiscernible.

In my defense, this is pretty small – those blocks on the underlying mat are 1/2″ square (12mm,) making the entire cockpit just 7cm in length and the main instrument panel, top right, is 2.5cm (1″) wide – in other words, I could fit two of these on my smutphone face, and I have a smaller smutphone (I’m big enough to admit it.) Now you know why I don’t like smaller scales. And from an average viewing distance, it looks fine to me. That console towards the rear of the cockpit is entirely scratchbuilt, from sheet polystyrene, and so is the fire extinguisher.

But yeah, just… back behind the barriers, please.

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