Sunday, October 31, 2010

The JJ Abrams New Enterprise - NCC 1701

Are you ready for Polar Lights' new JJ Abrams USS Enterprise?

She's scheduled for a December 2010 release but don't be too surprised if its pushed again for an early 2011 release. This is a ship you either love or hate. Her actual size in contrast with the other ships in the Star Trek Universe puts her between the Enterprise D and E. But then again the Star Trek Universe is no longer the same from what we all know. No thanks to Nero, the Romulan renegade has decided to change history all over his vengeance with Spock, So according to JJ Abrams, everything has now changed. Its not good for die hard Trekkers in general, but it is the highest grossing Star Trek movie screened, and it has successfully garnered new Trekkers into the fold.

Original Box Art which wasn't approved
This is the Box Art we will see end of this year or early next year

The difference in her design is vast. Her hulls now looks more like the Refit Movie Enterprise with her Aztec Markings, those "Turbo Charged" Warp Nacelles and a very sleak looking shuttle bay that looks like a Golf Driving Course from the inside.

The coming kit will be in 1/2500 scale, and if you have the entire Round 2 collections of USS Enterprises, you could even place her next to them for size comparison .. she's huge for an early interstellar Constitution Class vessel.

Building her seems fun but until now we still have not seen what the parts look like to make a better assessment. Lighting her is also another challenge by itself. This ship has more lights than an average Christmas Tree. So until she's officially released, here are some images from Lightwork you can use to plan your build. 

More about QMx USS Enterprise NCC 1701 as well, after the jump

Modelling the Director's Cut CGI USS Enterprise NCC 1701

When a Director's Cut version for Star Trek : The Motion Picture was being made, they needed to redo a few shots of the USS Enterprise in flight and when she was inside V'ger. To use back the studio model would have been a lot of work as the Studio Model was repainted over and now had the insignia NCC 1701A. And it would also defeat the purpose of coming out with a Re-mastered version since the difference in details would become very evident.

Hence another alternative was sought - Computer Graphic Imaging.

According to Drexfiles, the services of Darren Dochterman was sought, who went to create the CGI version with the visual effects created by Foundation Imaging. Darren had the actual Studio Model delivered to the Foundation for reference purposes.

The actual studio model itself was beautiful, just about the best space vehicle created for any Sci Fi Genre. The paint job on the studio model blended so well on the ship that it was going to be a challenging job just equalling the CGI model to it.

The finished CGI version was so well done that the average person would not be able to tell where the actual studio model used ends. Kudos to a professionally designed CGI Enterprise with well deserved credits to the people responsible for her, Sir Lee Stringer, Rob Bonchune, Jose Perez, Koji Kuramura, and Daren himself

For the Sci Fi Modeller who wish to emulate their Polar Lights 1/1000 or 1/350 scale Enterprise toward The Motion Picture version, Drexfiles has provided some spectacular profile images and screen caps for your reference. Personally I would use what Drexfile has provided as they are clean and sharp.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Will be spending more time at my work room now ... oh yeah

Yup, you read right. The past few months its been so hot in Malaysia and with my work room located upstairs, the place feels like an oven. Even with all the windows opened, 3 fans blowing and doors opened, the heat in there is just unbearable. Try working with chemicals in a sauna, and you know what I mean. Hence I spent less time in there and only go in mostly in the evenings where it was slightly cooler. But its still hard to focus on details when you're perspiring like a leaky tap.

I had plans to put in an air conditioner in there for a while now but I've been putting her off since I felt I didn't need to spend unnecessarily until I had some spare cash ..... well, I finally got some cash. It ain't much, but it was enough for a 1 HP aircond. With this baby installed, I now officially have a work room I can work in.

Also amazing was that I didn't realise I had a few devoted followers on my blog. Thanks guys. I plan to update my blog but not as vehemently as before. I would like to catch up on all those projects I've been putting aside so I'll do my best updating her with new contents. It is after all the original goal for this blog, to encourage this hobby and to get more new modellers into the picture. So one good way is to share my WIPs with everyone.

Need to complete at least the Moebius 1/32 Viper before the Galactica kit comes in. Keep telling myself that.

You will notice my work room is sparkly clean in the picture. Yeah, my wife got to it. Good thing everything was packed away before the installer came. She helped me clean up the place and put back all the furniture. I actually found quite a bit of spare parts here and there ... beats me where they belong to cause as far as I remember, I don't recall loosing parts with any of my projects. Everything right now are sort of in their place or packed away in boxes so the dust don't get to them. But once I start work ..... suffice to say it'll be a while before anyone gets to see my work room again .. HAHA!

My own impending projects ... sigh. Really need to sit down and actually get these done before I can start on anything new.

Project 1 : Ma.K Falke with frame structure and engines, electronics and equipments. Very ambitious project which I want to finish but took a back seat because of Project # 3. I'm still game with this project and it'll be my grail.

Project 2 : Revell / Monogram Mark I Colonial Viper - doing 2 kits here, a single seater and a dual seater. I got the Launch Rails for these since this kit didn't come with any landing gears. I had to re-work the cockpits for both as I sort of "screwed up" both of them

Project 3 : The Moebius 1/32 Mark II Viper. She's now about 80% done. Had to work on her in stages because it wasn't pleasant working too long in my hot work room then. Plan to finish this baby first.

And oh yes ......

Time to enjoy all those candies ... and worry about dieting later.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just some highlights for today

Today I'm happy. Despite getting stuck in a traffic jam from hell going to work this morning, and then another not too bad jam coming home this evening, I am very happy. You see, I got me a huge package from U.S. today. I was expecting her much later but it came today.

I had bought some kits off Pat Amaral from Starship Modeller Forum (my first time shopping at the Marketplace there too) and those kits have arrived. The package was so huge my entire office wanted to know what was inside. So I told them it was the dead body of my ex girlfriend who had spurned me for a Pierce Brosnan look alike .... well, I was never a good liar since they saw straight through me, so I had to make a 200 meter dash for my car at the building's carpark and hid the package there.

Okay, that was BS.  I'm writing this piece while still feeling excited. The honest truth is actually more boring than what I had just described. I had some of my colleagues help me carry the package to my car. Its not heavy, just bulky, and furthermore my wrist had recently recovered from a bad sprain so I didn't want to aggravate it anymore than I need to.

And I am extremely satisfied with Pat cause the kits came in MINT condition. The Polar Lights 1/350 scale NX-01 was still sealed in its original box wrap (and she's mine, finally, all mine), and while the movie version Jupiter 2 was already in an opened box, the parts are still in their original plastic wrappers and the decal super clean.

Thanks Pat, those are real gems there, and I do plan to enjoy them later. Time to contact Madman Lighting for his lighting set for this baby

I decided to get the movie era Jupiter 2 after seeing this image. It really inspired me to try to emulate what this guy did - if only I know who build her and have a link to his WIP.

And then there was this image below I saw at Cultman's Fantastic Modelling site highlighting the recent iHobby EXPO 2010 ... slated for a first quarter release in 2011 is the Moebius 1/32 scale Mark VII Viper. Man, that's just like around the corner. Way to go Moebius. Also coming next year is the 1/32 scale Cylon Raider and Centurion. Keep em coming

I shall be waiting .....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vehicles from the movie AVATAR and Available kits

We have all seen the movie. We have all been impressed with the 3D special effects and spectacular sceneries, and the Navii people. But the story line seems like a crossover between many other movies (Dance with Wolves comes to mind). And for the scale modeller, we've been asking if there would be kits made available for the show. So far many knows of toys but that's about it.

But before we go on to available kits, do you even know what those ships are called? Here's are some reference sheets to help you identify what they're called.

More images after the jump

Battlestar Galactica Visual Effects Award 2009

Battlestar Galactica Visual Effects 2007-2008 Emmy Awards book scan - lots of interesting images in the book given out during the Award Ceremony. This one is for 2009

Battlestar Galactica Visual Effects Award for Razor 2007 - 2008

Battlestar Galactica Visual Effects 2007-2008 Emmy Awards book scan - lots of interesting images in the book given out during the Award Ceremony. This one is for Season 4 BSG : "Razor".

Battlestar Galactica Visual Effects Award 2007 - 2008

Battlestar Galactica Visual Effects 2007-2008 Emmy Awards book scan - lots of interesting images in the book given out during the Award Ceremony. This one is for Season 4 only

Tributes, Mistakes and Jokes - Things you may have missed out on screen

I bet those people at the Special Effects department were having the time of their life when they did these.

A form of homage, or tribute if you will for popular ships but found in another film's genre, or tributes to the original series, whatever you want to call them, they're there. But you need to have a sharp eye, or at least have the DVD so you can screen capture the moment, and then enlarge the images to spot them. Here are some that was found:

The new Battlestar Galactica Mini Series (4 episodes)

Scene on the starboard side of the Galactica's Flight Pod (Hangar Bay) turned Museum, were a lot of homages to the TOS vessels

Reference for the New Battlestar Galactica Part 4

Part 4 of the new Galactica highlights will comprise of various screen captures I've saved up from surfing the net over the years. The images are not in any particular order, and I may add more when I have the time to surf through my other folders.

You can use these images to determine which stage you want your Galactica kit build, and in view of the difficulty simulating these damage points, I foresee a lot of "cleanly refurbished" Galactica being build - Hehe, mine included ... well, its not easy cutting holes into your kit, unless like you own ten of them and then you won't feel the pain. Click the link to view all the screen caps

Reference for the New Battlestar Galactica Part 3

Part 3 of the new Galactica highlight will showcase her with heavy battle damages. Please note that these were done via CGI so if you are trying to emulate her with damages, its going to take some work.

Reference for the New Battlestar Galactica Part 2

Part 2 of the new Galactica highlights shows off the CGI Rendition  for those who wants to create minute detail work on their kit. Please note that these are designs were done without final colours and other details added in, hence the clarity are impressive. Again most of these images belongs to ZOIC

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Reference for the New Battlestar Galactica Part 1

A few people I know didn't realise that the new Galactica is not even a studio model. There was no actual kit used in filming, and she is 100% created using CGI. Can be a little frustrating explaining to them since they keep saying what they saw on screen was just too realistic to be a CGI - kudos to the special effects department there. That's the wonders of technology.

So while the ship looked awesome on screen, it can be a nightmare for the rest of us scale modellers. Reference materials can be sketchy if you're to depend solely on DVD screen captures as some of the scenes weren't taken at very good angles (you can't see the sections clearly), and others were clouded with explosions, or they were simply blazing by too fast. And then there is the shades of lights to grapple with. Whatever the reason is, bear in mind that Moebius is releasing the 1/4105 scale new Battlestar Galactica very soon. In the past, there was only resin kits, and being resins, they were not cheap, nor easy to assemble (not everyone knows how to work with resin kits). Being a styrene kit, there will be absolutely no doubt that the arena of scale modellers building the new Galactica is going to increase exponentially. Hence the desire and competition to build differently.

You can Preorder yours at Cultman Hobbyshop 

 I will be posting 4 parts to my blog with regards to the new Galactica. For all those who wish to build their Galactica Actual as close to what's on TV, or just wishing to see how the actual ship really looked like, you could use the images here for your reference.

Please note that most of these images are from ZOIC.  And to the non believers, here's proof the new Galactica was created using CGI

External views of the new Galactica in various poses

Flight Pods (Hangar Bay)