13 December 2013

48 Hour Film Competition Entries

Our entries into the V 48 Hours Film Competition over the years. Note that the entry at the bottom of the page was made while I and my friend Bryce Curtis were involved with Team Naked Pictures.

Black Death (2011)

Balls and Chain (2010)

Extraction (2009)

The Chronicles of Long Hung (2008)

The Three Little Peggs (2007)

Ghetto Fabulous (2006 - Camera Crew with Team Naked Pictures

11 December 2013

TW47 Krote

The T.W-47 Krote that I have is from Nitto and was released in 1984 under the SF3D series.
T.W-47 Krote
Box art for the re-release in 2000, with new Ma.K ZbV 3000 branding.
I have had this kit mostly assembled and never completed for the better part of three decades then! Well, it's finally time to dust it off, replace the missing components, fix the poor construction, and paint this baby once and for all!
I first had to give the entire model a bath. The amount of crud built up on it over the years was scary. Warm soapy water and a soft brush scrubbed most gunk away and a quick "wash" with lighter fluid got rid of the greasy buildup that wouldn't seem to budge.
There was a lot of damage to the model. Glue and plastic had dried and gone brittle, and general handling when moving had broken off all the fine plastic tubing, aerial, and other fragile items. These would all require replacement. This would also give me the opportunity to clean up poor kit construction by yours truly, mainly in the turret region but also along some pretty ugly seams down the leg assemblies.
Added brass protection rails and hooks to replace the missing/broken plastic ones.
Replaced the thin power cables with electrical wire and half round plastic support rings.
Rear view showing routing of new power cables. Superglued down.
The top hull prior to fixing poor fit. Quite bad seams and dips.
 I used Milliput to fill in the dips. NOT a cool experience at all!
Milliput is quite tricky to use. It is very sticky and needs water to prevent it sticking to fingers and tools. This meant I was always fighting the water to get the product to stick to the model. The areas to be filled were very shallow so the Milliput was pretty thin, so when applying the tiniest amount of water to smooth it over it would lift back off again! Grrr. I now have some Aves Apoxy Sculpt so it will be interesting to try that out next time.

Underside filled and smoothed.
Rear filled and smoothed.
I decided to attempt a rough cast texture like I had seen on some other Krote models. There were a number of techniques described on the web using various materials but as I couldn't locate them here in New Zealand I ended up using Tamiya Liquid Primer mixed with talcum powder. Depending on the amount of talc used, working time was pretty variable. A small amount meant the primer was still quite liquid and didn't texture very well. Too much talc and the mixture went off quite fast and got thicker before it could be worked properly. I sponged it on using a fine sponge so as not to create too coarse a texture for the 1/20 scale. I think it turned out pretty well, but wish I had done the feet as well in hindsight.
Turret primed and ready for top coat.
Rough Cast texture not as even as I would have liked...
...but it hides the poor body filler job I did!
The new protection rails and service hooks came out pretty good i think!
Engine and leg assembly primed.

British Ericsson Wall Phone

When my parents moved from the family home into a smaller place they had a massive cleansing of old stuff that had been around for years. I picked up a couple of old wooden wall phones that had been gathering dust. These had been used on the farm for communication between the farm and the house.  I thought they would make a great restoration project. The first one I went to work on is in the worst condition,a British Ericsson N2510D, introduced around 1932.Check out this link for more information on this particular model. Here are some photos of the phone as it was prior to restoring:
The battery box has battery acid staining visible in the bottom of the photo.
Bell Ringer mechanism. Wires only barely still intact!
These are meant to be shiny brass!
N2510D designation stamped on the back.
I completely stripped the phone out and disassembled the timber, stripping the varnish with paint stripper and refinishing with a satin varnish. The biggest issue with this particular phone was the bad case of borer in the base of the outer case. The wood was pretty much destroyed by the little buggers. The holes are too small for putty to work effectively so I ended up filling the holes and damage with fine oak sawdust and setting this with super glue. Even still the results aren't perfect and the colour isn't quite right, but it's on the base and essentially unseen so I'm OK with it.
Magneto and Coil Assemblies.
This is the base after taking the sides and door off. All of the metal components had quite bad rust spots and damaged paint. Pretty much any screw that didn't have proper plating was rusted away to nothing. The magneto visible in this picture would require stripping back to bare metal and recoating somehow. More on that later. I took quite a few reference photos during disassembly as I was sure I would forget where some of the wire connections went during reassembly. I was right!
Magneto Assembly. Lots of pitting and surface rust!
There is 70 years of gunk built up inside. The magneto barely turns and the copper internals are brown with crud. Time to strip it all to base components and give it all a nice hot soapy bath!
After a really good clean and allowing several days of drying on the fireplace hearth, I reassembled the magneto, minus the magnets which still required painting, and checked that it all still worked!
Finished Magneto. Just waiting on the magnets to dry!
In this view you can see the two small oil(?) receptacles at each end. This keeps the bearing system lubricated. Not sure what oil to use for this, but probably 3-in-1 or similar I guess.
Finished Magneto. Note the oil reservoirs.
The bells all cleaned and polished. Each bell is a slightly different thickness, giving them each a different tone when struck. Clever! They appear to be slightly different grades of brass so I am having a devil of a time getting them to have the same level of polish. Hmmm.
Bells polished. Note the different patina.
The start of reassembly. The image below is of the rear panel without the box sides attached, and the cleaned coil has been screwed back down with the original nickel-plated screws.
Cleaned Coil fitted back to rear panel.
All of the metal components that were painted black were quite pitted and scratched so they needed cleaning and sanding right back to bare metal. There was a lot of black painted brass items used in these phones, so I ended up etch priming them and then used rattle can satin black to try and achieve the same look of the original paint. Initially the top coat was Hammerite satin black, but for some reason it just ran like water off the etch primer and did not set at all! No idea why. The paint supplier couldn't explain it either. So I had to strip it all back again and start all over. The end result, using a satin black from the same brand as the etch primer, came out pretty good. They components won't be as robust as the originals, but then I don't imagine the parts will get knocked around much once it is on display!
Etch Primer coat applied.

09 December 2013

Scale Modelling

Way back in the early 80's there was:
- No Internet (ergo no Facebook, no on-line gaming, etc)
- No DVDs (we had to go the cinema to see a film, and if we waited 4-5 years it "might" turn up on TV as a 4:3 ratio pan-and-scan)
- No game consoles (WTF? No C.O.D?)
- No mobile phones (see No Internet)

As kids we had to go out and make our own fun (shooting at each other with slug(BB) guns or building go-carts from old lawn mower engines were favorites I recall), actually call up friends and talk to them live, and for some of us kids (particularly boys, which was unfortunate) building plastic kitsets was a hobby that allowed us to re-live some of the things we saw on TV and the movies, stretch our imaginations a little, and be a little bit creative to boot.
Well, after nearly 30 years of not building kits, I have decided to have another go at building some of the kits from my childhood, and some new ones too hopefully! I have a particular fancy for the Maschinen Krieger series (or SF3D as it was called back in the 80's). These kitsets were the benchmark in design and detail back in the early to mid eighties. They included mixed media parts (springs, wire, tubing, photoetch, etc), well defined sprues, and were completely unique in design. Back then they were very expensive as far as kitsets went, more-so than your typical tank or fighter plane, but I did my best to save up and buy a few. I ended up building one kit to completion, The Raccoon, and started on several others including the Krote, Jerry, and PKA Gustav. Unfortunately by the time I was in my late teens my interest in modelling had waned (other "interests" took over my attention!). I was in my last couple of years at school and was heading to university, so kits got packed away and forgotten. I went overseas for a time, and all of my belongings were put into storage. The upshot was, by the time I got around to showing any kind of interest again, I had lost all but two of the kits (The completed Raccoon and almost complete Krote) and only had the camo cards from the other kits. Sigh.
I made the decision to complete the Krote, referencing some awesome websites like I Luv Ma.K, Maschinen Krueger and Ma.K In Action, and also look to buying the old kits that I lost. Retraining myself in the craft of building and finishing kitsets, to the highest standard I can, is going to be a long haul I suspect!
And so, my journey begins...

New website location

I have decided to phase out the hosting provider for the dogfilms.co.nz website and move over to Blogger. Various reasons really, one being costs, another being lack of updates on the old site. Hopefully with the Blogger platform I will post a little bit more regularly. I still wanted a single place for people to find the videos we've made over the years, so have created pages for the 48 Hours Film Competition entries, as well as one for the other shorts we've made.
I am sorry to say that I personally haven't been involved in any productions for a couple of years now. Other things have cropped up that meant I had to prioritize where my time was spent, and film making is one of the things that has taken a back burner. This is not to say I wouldn't dive back in given the chance! Time will tell.

I am also using the blog for my foray back into scale modelling, something I did as a kid and really enjoyed, but for the past three decades have passed up for other things. Well, now I am back into it with a vengeance!