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"My WIP ADB Shapeways minis" Topic


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1,001 hits since 6 Jan 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Nerroth06 Jan 2018 6:30 p.m. PST

I have six minis from Shapeways' ADB storefront I've been working on, all in 3125 scale Frosted Ultra Detail; a Federation galactic survey cruiser; a Romulan DemonHawk dreadnought; a Mæsron dreadnought, heavy cruiser, and light cruiser; and a Vulpa blockade runner.

This is how they looked unpainted:

And this my current work-in-progress attempt at each:

Of the lot, I'd say that, thus far at least, I'm feeling relatively comfortable trying to work on the Mæsron and Vulpa ships.

In the case of the Mæsrons, I've been trying to follow the colour scheme shown in the cover art for SFB Module Omega 1, and particularly Adam Turner's cover art for Module Omega 5. I've painted the "city" sections of these hulls grey, with silver "buildings" and (on the CA and DN) black for the "recessed" sections. The "outer" hulls are painted red, with a clear red coating added – though it may not show all that clearly in my less-than-stellar picturing attempts.

For the Vulpa, I wanted to do something different, yet still reflecting their "post-Mæsron" status. So, I used the same colour pattern for the "city" portion of the blockade runner, as well as common weapon and engine colours. However, it took a while to figure out a half-decent alternate colour for the "outer" hull; by accident, I found that a coat of clear red over a layer of yellow produced a nice orange-ey look, which I feel helps distinguish the ship from its former Mæsron comrades. (As it happens, the relevant Omega hex maps show Vulpa territory in orange, as opposed to Mæsron red…)

In contrast, I'm much less happy with how the GSC and DMH are turning out thus far.

If I'm being honest, I've never been overly comfortable trying to paint the white (or very light grey) hulls on Star Fleet or Auroran Navy starships. In the case of the GSC, I made a mistake trying to figure out how to colour in the panel lines, and "doubled down" by trying to give the ship an overall "weathered" look, as if it has been away from a major fleet installation for a significant stretch of time – which, I suppose, would be an appropriate thing to say about the long-range survey missions your average GSC is liable to be sent out on.

In the case of the DMH, I wanted to go with a green colour, yet one which avoided looking too "Franchise-ey". One of my problems has been how to distinguish the SparrowHawk and SkyHawk modules, and other details such as the warp engines, without looking too garish relative to the main hull.

In all, I have much to do to try and tidy up even those minis I feel more comfortable with, let alone trying to salvage something out of the others. Oh well…


Has anyone else here tried painting any of ADB's Shapeways minis for themselves – and if so, in which material and scale did you work with?

Daricles06 Jan 2018 9:07 p.m. PST

Looks like you are off to a good start. Try finishing up with a brown or black wash. It will accentuate the recessed details and give you the weathering effect you are going for.

If you aren't familiar with washes — a wash is just very thinned paint. It will be scary the first time you try it. You'll think you just ruined your paint job when you slop it all over your model. Don't panic. Just wait for it to dry. Most of the wash will run off the model leaving the wash only in the recessed areas. It will make the details really stand out improve the quality of your paint jobs.

Nerroth09 Jan 2018 11:45 a.m. PST

For what it's worth, I have a set of "before" and "during" pics posted for each individual ship to this thread over on ADB's FC forum.

As it happens, that "weathered" look on the GSC was an unintended side-effect of my trying to create my own "black wash" out of a combination of black and clear paint. As you can see, it did not work out quite as I had expected…

Nerroth30 May 2018 11:15 a.m. PST

My latest Shapeways batch has arrived

That is a Bolosco Merchant Cruiser and an Iridani Galleon, both in 3125 scale, plus an Omni scale set of Mæsron fast patrol ships – all in Frosted Ultra Detail/Smooth Fine Detail Plastic*.

Note that the Mæsron PFs deploy in flotillas of four; the sprue has one PF leader, four standard PFs, a PF scout, and two missile PFs.

*Shapeways have re-named various materials one can make use of, so FUD is now SFDP, it would seem.

Lion in the Stars31 May 2018 7:24 p.m. PST

For your washes, if you're using acrylic paints, I recommend buying a bottle of Future (last I heard, they were selling it as 'Pledge with Future Shine'). It will last forever, since you're only using a drop or two at a time (I suggest putting some into a dropper bottle to take up less room in your painting kit).

Anyway, I use one drop of Vallejo ink (or Army Painter tones), one drop of Future, and thin the rest out with 8-10 drops of water. The Future breaks the surface tension of the wash so it goes everywhere, but it really only sinks into the panel lines of the model without heavily tinting the paint.

If you are getting heavy tint to your paint, put a wash of thinned Future with no color onto the model before your panel line wash.

Also, a wash of Future before decals works great at preventing silvering.

Nerroth07 Jan 2019 9:45 a.m. PST

A new trio of ships arrived recently: a Federation Heavy War Destroyer, a Neo-Tholian Survey Cruiser, and a Zosman Heavy Cruiser; all in 3125 Smooth Fine Detail Plastic:

The Fed HDW is a modular design, which has a series of reactor, non-weapon option, and weapon mounts, all on the secondary hull, which can be configured to serve a variety of roles: combat, survey, carrier, repair, and so on.

The Neo-Tholian NSR is a "mission variant" of the Neo-Tholian heavy cruiser, which was a "naval" ship used by the Tholians back in the home galaxy. While the NSR itself is listed in SFB as a conjectural design, I consider this mini to act as a stand-in for the Sojourner - a one-of-a-kind survey vessel which helped lead an exile group of Tholians to the Draco Dwarf galaxy.

The Zosman CA is also modular in design; it has two weapon modules and two system modules on the prow, which allows it to be configured in a variety of roles. The ship can land on planets, so the mini has a set of docking clamps on the ventral hull. Ships of this class can appear in the "on-map" Omega Octant as pirates or mercenaries (belonging to one of numerous Zosman Marauder cells), or in the off-map Phi Sector of the galaxy in the navies of the five independent Marauder worlds (which sponsor the various Marauder cells) or the Zosman Collective (the "main" Zosman star-nation, which officially condemns the pirates yet benefits indirectly from increased trade with the Marauder worlds nonetheless.)

Lion in the Stars08 Jan 2019 1:59 a.m. PST

I really liked the HDW flexibility, back when I still wanted to fight my way through hundreds of pages of rules.

Daricles15 Feb 2019 6:14 p.m. PST

What type of paint did you use for your wash?

I make my own washes the same way Lion does with a drop or two of future and a drop of ink, though maybe a little thiinner than he does with more like 20 drops of water. I usually need a couple coats of wash to get the effect I want.

You can also make washes with most modeling paints with a drop or two of paint and 10 to 20 drops of water and a drop of Dawn detergent to break the surface tension. (Don't rub too hard when applying or the detergent will foam).

Start thinner (less paint) until you get the hang of it. It's easier to have to do a couple of coats to get the right effect than to remove a wash that is too heavy.

If that heavy wash effect you got on your models is darker than you like you can usually remove it with a wet brush and some patient rubbing. Another trick you can do to correct a too heavy wash is to dry brush with your base color after the wash dries to lighten the wash effect.

Washes made with Future dry with a pretty glossy finish. I prefer a matte finish and finish my models off with a coat of clear matte varnish to dull the shine.

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