Jason's Blog

Andy PearsonAbout Jason and Video Workbench

Born in 1971 and raised in Milwaukee, WI, Jason grew up going to movies and watching SF TV shows. Based on his love for what he saw on both the big and little screens he eventually found the world of drawing, cartooning and model kit building as a way to take those beloved characters and vehicles and make them part of his surroundings.

Graduating from high school in 1990 and earning an Associates Degree in Commercial Art in 1992, Jason decided to become a freelance teacher of the arts to many people, both formally and non-formally. From teaching disadvantaged inner-city children to seasoned professionals, Jason has taught people from many walks of life and continues to do so through his library of Video Workbench instructional DVDs and free on-line videos located at the Video Workbench YouTube channel.

Throughout his 20s, Jason did commission work for everyone from friends to independent film makers, fine-tuning his kit building skills to the point of feeling ready to compete against some of America's greatest modellers.

In 2004 he entered his first model kit building competition, a HobbyTown USA show - the first time he would be judged by fellow model kit builders on his building and painting skills. At the end of the competition Jason took home first, second and third place prizes for his various efforts.

One of his proudest moments was when his Terminator model was showcased in the FineScale Modeler publication Great Scale Modeling 2008 from an entry in the 2007 Wonderfest competition in Louisville, KY as one of the Best in Show for that publication.

From 2004 -7 he competed in many modelling competitions and won many awards - in total 15 Merits, 9 Blue ribbons, 12 Red ribbons, 3 White ribbons, 7 medals, 9 First Place Trophies, 4 Second Place Trophies and 3 Third Place Trophies. Finally, judged by a closed panel of professional IPMS judges going by their strict guidelines and rules, his Science Fiction Vehicle Best in Show plaque at the 2007 IPMS Mad City Modelers show was won for his rendition of the Time Machine prop from the1960 movie. He then retired from competition.

Since 2007 Jason has produced, directed and starring in a series of instructional videos allowing modellers to learn his techniques. In 2011 he took ownership of Video Workbench to continue teaching beginning, as well as seasoned, modellers and continue the fine tradition of what the Video Workbench line of instructional videos started in 1992.

Jason Gares, Owner of 249 Studios
Email: jason@videoworkbench.com
Website: VideoWorkbench.com
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/VideoWorkbench
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WWMKG/

April 2016

22-04-2016

Welcome one and all to the April edition of my 2016 blog. Today I offer up some tidbits of modeling goodness that you may find interesting and may need or want to add to your tools and collection. Pull up to your favorite, computer, laptop or pad along with your favorite beverage and dive into the wonderful world of model kit building. Let's begin, shall we?


Goodman ModelsGoodman Models was kind enough to send me a pack of their Super Sanding Blocks to try out. They are waterproof, are color coded on the edges so they can be identified easily and come in six different grits; 80, 180, 220, 320, 400 and 600.

I used them on the Spyda Creations Tournament Challenge resin model kit below and boy do they work out GREAT! They fit in my rather large hands snug and can be used dry or wet. The color coded dots on the sides correspond to a sheet they include so you can either learn the grits, or keep the chart handy in your work area so the blocks can be easily identified.

Goodman Models Box

Goodman Models Sanding Blocks

Sanding papares

One real nice point of the blocks is unlike regular sandpaper or sanding sticks, they are very ridged. Granted, they can't bend to get to areas that are contoured, but are very durable letting you put just enough pressure where needed.


In short, I HIGHLY suggest picking up Goodman Models' Super Sanding Blocks today before you start your next project. You can purchase them direct from their Facebook page for only $20.00 USD + $10.00 shipping worldwide by going here: https://www.facebook.com/GoodmanModels
 

Spyda Creations

Next up is Spyda Creations Tournament Challenge resin model kit sculpted by Jason Spyda Adams, who was kind enough to send me a kit to review. Over the course of a month I built and painted this beauty. Transforming it from a few resin parts into a fully realized creation inspired by the likes of Heavy Metal magazine. I decided to think outside the box with colors and concept, changing the cracked sand covered base that Spyda originally intended into lava glass and the flesh of the challenger into metal, giving her a somewhat robotic look.

I would suggest this kit to those who are a little more advanced with pinning and gluing resin model kits, especially with 5 minute epoxy or fast setting super glues. There will be filling of small gaps, slight seam removal and sanding, nothing out of the ordinary for a garage kit. Also, I had decided to glue most of the model together before painting, and that made painting quite a challenge in a few areas. I decided on that way of thinking because I was afraid that certain parts, if painted in subassemblies would rub off if glued in afterwards. But that's me, you can decide how you would like to build and paint it after you purchase one. Go to http://www.spydacreations.com and get your hands on one for only $120.00 USD + $10.00 shipping. Check out my Video Workbench Showcase video below to see how it turned out. I'm really happy with it and I'm sure after buying one you will be too!

Spyda




Lastly I have two more Video Workbench Showcase videos for you to view:

The Stasis Pod resin model kit is produced by UK garage kit company Wild House Models from their Hostel Realms Universe and was built and painted by myself over the course of a few weeks. This resin model kit stands 5 3/4 inches tall and has the option of having LEDs connected to a circuit board that illuminates the model one of three ways. Special thanks to Wild House Models for contributing this model kit to build and paint, it's GREATLY appreciated! You can purchase this cool kit at the Wild House Models website here: https://www.wildhousemodels.com starting at $123.40, as there are many options that you can add.



Spaceship MiniaturesLast but certainly not least from Spain comes Spaceship Miniatures Dr. Zarkov's Rocket Ship resin model kit as originally shown in the 1936 serial series Flash Gordon. This resin model kit is in 1/72 scale which measures out to be just over 7 inches in length and was built and painted by myself over a weekend. Originally no base was included, so I scratch built one out of wood and plastic. Special thanks to Spaceship Miniatures for contributing this model kit to build and paint, it's GREATLY appreciated! You purchase this very well done model kit for 85€ at https://spaceshipminiatures.com. Take a look at my end results in the video below.






Whew! That's it for this month! I would like to once again thank Goodman Models, Spyda Creations and Spaceship Miniatures for contributing their products to be reviewed and mentioned in this month's blog. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's GREATLY appreciated! If you read this blog and would like to have a model kit product mentioned and/or reviewed here, please contact me at jasoncgares@gmail.com so we can talk. As always, thank you for reading, subscribing and your support! MODEL ON my friends!

Jason Gares of Video Workbench, Sci-fi & Fantasy Modeller & 249 Studios


Click Here For: Email | Website | Vimeo |YouTube | Curious.com | Facebook | Blog




Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Model Kit Building

22-03-2016

Explaining Scale

An understanding of scale is fundamental to scale modeling and fortunately the basic principles are easy to understand. This video explains the principles of scale and the reasons for the many different scales available to modelers.



Choosing Your First Model

This video will provide advice on how to choose suitable model kits. It will include simple guidelines to follow in making the choice to help avoid starting a model that is too difficult or might give disappointing results. Whether it is tanks, cars, aircraft or something entirely different that appeals to you, consideration of all factors in this video should help guide your choice.




Tools & Supplies for Model Kits

In this older video before Video Workbench owner Jason Gares bought better camera and audio equipment (around 5 or 6 years ago) talks about and shows tools and supplies that he thinks can be very valuable assists to any model kit hobbyist. His suggestions are from 30 years of being in the hobby and finding out what works best for him. No matter the genre, Jason's suggestions are a good starting point for those who are thinking about getting into the hobby and what to expect.



These three segments are part of the 3 hour, 55 minute "Tips, Tricks & Techniques for Model Kit Building" instructional how-to video. Rent for $0.99 or Buy for $2.99 below:

Vimeo: vimeo.com

Youtube Preview:





February 2016

12-02-2016

February is upon us and that means depending where you are in the world, most likely you are stuck inside more often than not because of cold and inclement weather. To help you out I have a few videos below that I hope you can find informative and useful.


This History of Scale Model Kits

As a model kit enthusiast, understanding the history of the hobby can add a new perspective on a fun activity! In this video I explain the origins of scale
models and how it became a worldwide phenomenon. Discover why scale model building is such fun, and how it is used in several professional fields. Come
along and learn about the endless creative possibilities. Your journey in this hobby is about to begin.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUwm59d_f5Y




Defining Scale Modeling

The hobby of scale modeling probably means different things to different people. The reason for defining scale modeling in this video is to clarify what
the hobby is to someone who has heard of it and might want to get into it. Also, the definition will be helpful to people that are on the outside looking
in and wonder why this hobby and what it has to offer. Video Workbench is intended to be the ultimate video teaching tool for scale modelers, so it is only
appropriate that it's explained what is meant by the term scale modeling.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O03BBJIYYfw



The two video segments above are part of the Video Workbench 3 hour, 55 minute "Tips, Tricks & Techniques for Model Kit Building" instructional how-to
video.

If interested you can RENT it for $0.99 or BUY it for $2.99 below:


Vimeo:
https://vimeo.com/store/popup/149408098/ondemand/756143


YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6avBjGtmUsg


Flash Gordon Rocket Ship Resin Model Kit Review Raúl García of Spaceship Miniatures sent me a 1/72nd scale resin model kit of Dr. Zarkov's Rocket Ship to review. This rocket ship design was
featured in the classic Universal 1936 serial series Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers. What do I think of this resin model kit? Watch the video to get the
whole story.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rSVC6e3vvU



That's it for this month. I hope you learned a little something about the history of this great hobby of ours and perhaps also might like the new Spaceship
Miniatures Flash Gordon Rocket Ship resin model kit. Please show Raúl García some love by going over to SpaceshipMiniatures.com and
purchasing his exceptional model, you won't be disappointed.

Until next month, thank you for reading, watching, subscribing and your support. MODEL ON!

Jason Gares of Video Workbench, Sci-fi & Fantasy Modeller & 249 Studios

Click Here For:
Email

| Website

| Vimeo

| YouTube

| Curious.com

| Facebook

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January 2016

18-01-2016

I hope that everyone reading this January 2016 blog post had a fun, relaxing and safe holiday season. One of the things that was fun for me was having an 11 day vacation at the end of the year, spending it with family and relaxing, doing as little as possible. Though, I did squeeze in a little model kit building time between eating, drinking, watching movies and playing video games. ;)
One of the ways that I wanted to celebrate the end of 2015 and bringing in the new year of 2016 was to give something back to all of you, loyal Sci-fi & Fantasy Modeller readers and Video Workbench viewers.

My gift to you is to be able to watch for FREE, all eight instructional how-to Video Workbench Classic Series model kit video titles. The titles are listed below to watch in their entirety all the time and any time on YouTube and on VideoWorkbench.com.

If you don't want to stream them and want to be able to watch them any time offline, there is also the choice to buy and download digital versions of each for just $0.99 USD, the download links will be below the FREE versions.

With over 6 hours of FREE instructional how-to tips, tricks and techniques at your disposal, how could you go wrong? Even if you're not into some of the subjects below, you can still learn things that can be applied to other genres of model kit building that you are interested in.

That's if for this month, I hope you like the gift, get something useful out of them and have a GREAT 2016 building your favorite model kits.

Until next month, thank you for reading, subscribing and your support. MODEL ON!! :)


1.) Basic Modeling (FREE to Stream)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zecfYZBZoRk&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=1

Basic Modeling (Buy Digital Download)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChPS6fUW9mg&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=9



2.) How to Build Car Models (FREE to Stream)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDqfHXuNKWI&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=2



How to Build Car Models ( Buy Digital Download)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFViWP4mMwg&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=10



3.) How to Build Jet Aircraft (FREE to Stream)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-d7vP4Hb5k&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=3

How to Build Jet Aircraft (Buy Digital Download)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9pYWW7yiM0&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=11



4.) How to Build Science Fiction Models (FREE to Stream)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30vb09jYalg&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=4

How to Build Science Fiction Models (Buy Digital Download)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0250ZMAyeo&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=12



5.) How to Photograph Scale Models (FREE to Stream)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa-oor1e9q8&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=8

How to Photograph Scale Models (Buy Digital Download)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vENeXgK_8EQ&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=13



6.) How to Build WWII Aircraft (FREE to Stream)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjU2yacy3xk&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=5

How to Build WWII Aircraft (Buy Digital Download)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKDwz9W895E&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=16



7.) How to Build & Paint Figures (FREE to Stream)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KcklbFtPTA&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=6

How to Build & Paint Figures (Buy Digital Download)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUwTypoCig0&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=14



8.) Model Finishes & Painting Techniques (FREE to Stream)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tYM-dn2ix8&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=7

Model Finishes & Painting Techniques (Buy Digital Download)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPsAgULlOm4&list=PLaO4lBS54d4k2eFQGgqKdZFb1f6pg5bF1&index=15


December 2015

10-12-2015

The Obscure Cities

The first gift idea has to do with my friend Steve Smith's book that he helped get published with the help of a Kickstarter campaign and through his publishing company Alaxis Press; Schuiten-Peeters The Obscure Cities "The Leaning Girl." Steve Smith has been a fan of Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten's French graphic novel series The Obscure Cities since the late 1980s. Five books in the series were translated into English but stopped after 2002 with three graphic novels and at least five other books left in the series.

The Obscure Cities is an internationally acclaimed graphic novel series, having won major awards in Europe and Japan including the Grand Prize Manga in the 2013 Japan Arts Festival. It was the first time that a foreign author or series won this award. The translated The Obscure Cities album was chosen over 457 other entries.

Steve Smith translated The Leaning Girl ( L'enfant Penchée) into English and has licensed the rights to the entire series with the hope of reintroducing these great stories to the United States and English-speaking countries. The Kickstarter campaign was to help cover the production costs on the first book, The Leaning Girl. Steve Smith has the blessings of the author and artist, and the licensing rights from their publisher, Casterman, in Belgium.

The Leaning Girl

This series is a passion of Steve's and he wanted to be able to share it with other European comic and art lovers in English speaking countries. Part of his desire to use Kickstarter is that this series should be seen by a larger audience that has proven time and again it is supportive of unique artistic projects. The Below videos explain more about:









If you are interested in this very cool book, which was funded and is currently available, the domestic limited edition hardcover retails for $102.75 ($115.00 international) or the domestic softcover version retails for $31.99 ($49.00 international.)


Nosferatu 1:1 Scale Bust

Nosferatu Bust

My next gift idea comes from friend and garage kit producer George T. Stephenson, president of Black Heart Enterprises. In 2016 Black Heart will release their second 1:1 scale limited edition bust, Graf Orlok, the vampire from the 1922 film, Nosferatu. Sculpted by Jeff Yagher, Nosferatu is already in production and will be released by mid-2016.

With that in mind, Black Heart is doing something they have never tried before. After giving A LOT of thought, they have launched a Kickstarter Campaign to assist in financing the production of the Nosferatu bust project.

The bust will be available in three familiar Black Heart formats: 1:1 scale wall hanger, an unpainted 360 degree Series Bust; and a painted 360 degree bust.

So Why a Kickstarter Campaign?

Well, it costs a lot of money to produce a 1:1 scale painted bust. To get the best price, they have to order in volume and have to pay for the sculpting, moulding, casting, painting, packaging and shipping before they collect one dollar in sales. They can do that; in fact, they have already paid for most of the expenses associated with producing their "Nossie" bust. But, when so much of the money is tied up in one project that may take a few months to market, they are financially stressed with respect to other projects they want to bring to market.

The Kickstarter Campaign (they hope) will allow them to make sufficient advanced sales to order the quantity that they are confident they can sell and to get a better price. That also allows them to get another limited edition 1:1 scale painted bust produced and marketed in a more timely manner. Eventually, Black Heart would like to release three painted busts per year and they hope this campaign will "kickstart" them towards their goal.

So Why Should You Be a Backer of this Project?

The benefit to Black Heart is obvious. The money they get from your donations and advance sales relives them some of the financial pressure of financing the project. And they can get to work on their next project faster. However, the prices offered to the backers of this campaign for the "rewards" are a really good deal. But, they aren't going to give you a hard sell. Check out their Kickstarter campaign for yourself. They have some pretty cool stuff to offer at some pretty cool prices. The campaign ends December 17th, 2015 and are at 50% of their funding goal. Hopefully they can count on your support for the rest.<

Click Here for the Nosferatu Bust Kickstarter Campaign.

That's it, I hope that I gave you a couple ideas for your holiday shopping list. One you can purchase right away and enjoy and unfortunately the other one will have a waiting period, but is oh so cool and worth it! That's it for the last monthly blog of 2015. I hope you've enjoyed my articles in "Sci-fi & Fantasy Modeller" this year, as-well-as my blog entries. I hope you and yours have a fun and save holiday season, no matter how you celebrate it. Until next year, thank you for reading and your support. MODEL ON!!

Thank you and have a GREAT day!

Jason Gares of Video Workbench, Sci-fi & Fantasy Modeller & 249 Studios

Email:
jason@videoworkbench.com

Website:
VideoWorkbench.com

Curious: https://curious.com/videoworkbench?ref=qpRjKhFeWXo

YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/VideoWorkbench

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/WWMKG/

Sci-fi Blog: http://www.scififantasymodeller.co.uk/English/blog.php?b=jason


De Agostini ModelSpace

11-11-2015

This month I would like to focus on the fine people over at De Agostini ModelSpace and their two newer videos featuring Steve Dymszo painting the studio scale 1:1 Millennium Falcon kit they produce. Steve really gets down to the "finer details" of both painting and detailing this extraordinary model kit. It's pretty amazing to see all the details and in all actuality, how messy and imperfect they actually are by the photos he shows in both videos. It's refreshing to see how Steve and the gang over at DeAgostini Modelspace decided to take this series of videos with a lighter, whimsical approach to showing how to go about detailing this beast of a ship.They really want to enforce that no matter what you do, it's NOT going to be 100% accurate and to just have fun building and painting it.

It's really important to note (and something I can't stress more myself) that Steve makes it obvious that as much as you can TRY to reproduce the Millennium Falcon studio scale replica, it's still going to be different from the original, and there's MANY factors that actually prevent a modeler from achieving a 100% perfect replica. The time period has a LOT to do with accuracy, and especially in this case, as the original paints used are either discontinued or their formulas have been changed. Also, using reference photos can make a HUGE difference in color matching, as there will be a world of difference between actual printed photos and using them on an LCD screen from either a computer or mobile device. So as much as there is the want to achieve 100% studio scale accuracy with color matching, you can get close and that's about it.

We can also continue on with debating about three dimensional markings, parts and weathering. Those things are also in the "get close" category and will never be 100%. As yet again, it all depends on parts used, reference photos and the true colors you get from them. But in the end, it really shouldn't be about achieving 100% accuracy, but having fun building something as iconic and renown worldwide as one of the most well known (loved and hated) science fiction space ships of all time, and actually being able to own something very close to what was seen in the "Empire Strikes Back". For me it's exciting to be given the opportunity to be able to own and build something of this caliber. I would have never thought in my lifetime I would be able to build and own a piece of Star Wars like the Millennium Falcon and from such a fine company like De Agostini ModelSpace being able to produce it, giving it even greater value.

In the end all that De Agostini ModelSpace, Steve Dymszo and I want is for everyone to have fun building the coolest "hunk of junk" in the galaxy and being able to share it with Star Wars fans worldwide. Thanks for reading and enjoy the two videos below. MODEL ON!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcd8fWpDWyg




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTexpUdCrKU


Stasis Pod Resin Model Kit Review

14-10-2015

Neil Wooding of Wild House Models sent me a Stasis Pod resin model kit and accompanying electronics kit to build and review for this month's blog post. If you've never heard of Wild House Models before, it's an enthusiastic collective, formed from talented British designers, artists, 3D CAD professionals, sci-fi kit builders and electronic experts who are passionate about creating and building high quality resin model kits in the United Kingdom. They've created and are fleshing out an original science fiction universe entitled 'Hostel Realms' which the Stasis Pod resin model kit fits into. What's the purpose of the Stasis Pod and how does it fit into the 'Hostel Realms' universe; watch the video below to find out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAfvRUJAmXI




Now that you've had a brief introduction to the 'Hostel Realms' universe and the role the Stasis Pod plays in it, it's time for me to take a look at and review this original resin model kit that Wild House Models offers. In my video below I will take a look at all the parts, build the kit, paint it and give you my honest positive and negative thoughts, letting you know what I think about it and if you should go to the Wild House Models website to purchase one.
I hope you enjoy the video review and if you have any questions, comments or subjects you would like covered in my monthly blog, you can contact me at jason@videoworkbench.com.

Until next time, thank you for watching, subscribing and your support. MODEL ON!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1vdfqTMhJM


Gravity Colors

16-09-2015



Gravity Colors Four bottles


It's nice to see in this hobby new items coming out to support both the hobbyists and manufactures. In this case it would be Gravity Colors, which is a company that was established in Europe in 2013 (now with a satellite location in Delray Beach, Florida USA.) It was created to supply plastic scale model builders with premium quality automotive paints, making it possible to paint car models with the exact color shade that was used in the factory by the car manufacturer.

Now I know what you are thinking, "they are made specific for car modelers", which is true... to a point. If you think outside the box and look beyond what it's intended purpose is for, you can most likely use these paints on any science fiction model of your choice. For example, two of the colors that were sent to me to test out for the video below; Mercedes Fire Engine Red and Aston Martin Silver Fox along with their Surface Primer, will be used exclusively on both the Black Hole Maximilian and V.I.N.Cent plastic model kits produced by MPC. When I had a choice to pick colors, those were the ones I picked to use on those specific plastic model kits, it took a little time (and luck) to match colors with reference photos but I think I did pretty well. After testing the paints out and in my opinion, I really thought they were the best paints to use on those kits.


Gravity Colors


If you've never heard about Gravity Colors I believe the video below will give you more detailed information on the "who, what, where and when" about their products and how they perform. I hope you enjoy the video review and if you have any questions, comments or subjects you would like covered in my monthly blog, you can contact me at jason@videoworkbench.com.

Thank you for the support and MODEL ON!!


YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO-QzkwIBCY


Star Wars Build the Millennium Falcon by DeAgostini

11-08-2015

Millennium Falcon by DeAgostini (Pic 1)

I know it's the second month in a row, but I decided I was going to talk yet again about a particular Star Wars subject. I thought that since the trailer for the new movie "Star Wars: the Force Awakens" is creating such a "buzz", that it was only fitting to discuss another Star Wars subject that's also creating quite a "buzz" in the model kit and prop building communities; the DeAgostini  "Build the Millennium Falcon" 1:1 scale movie prop replica model kit. What, you haven't heard about this and want to know more? Read below to discover more...

Here's all the important information right from the DeAgostini website:
"This official model of the iconic Millennium Falcon is a 1:1 replica of the original Empire Strikes Back movie prop, and also features unique internal details, lighting and movable parts.

Your magazine will include easy-to-follow detailed Assembly Guide plus a fascinating look inside the Star Wars archive with The Starship Fact File, The Guide to the Galaxy and The Secrets of Space flight.
Easy to construct but with an unprecedented level of realism, It really is the ultimate Millennium Falcon model.

Pay-as-you-build option
25 month subscription at $59.99 / month

Millennium Falcon by DeAgostini open (Pic 2)

Product in Depth
"With its unique molded metal and resin construction, this is the most detailed Millennium Falcon model ever. Your 1:1 scale movie prop replica is 31 inches long, 23 inches wide, just over 7 inches high and it weighs 24 pounds. It has pre-painted hull parts, with working electronics and removable panels to view the interior. It's just like the prop from The Empire Strikes Back."

Moving Parts
"The exterior of your model includes a number of fully articulated parts that can be moved into a variety of positions." 

Working Lights Effects
"Your model includes internal wiring and switchable LED's that can be connected to an internal battery or external low-voltage power source."

Cockpit Interior
"The large scale of the model means that the cockpit is approximately 4 inches long and 3 inches in diameter with a fully detailed interior."

Interior Details
"While the outer shell of the Falcon is exactly like the prop used in the movies, it also features removable upper panels that reveal finely modeled parts of the interior."

Wall or Table Mount 
"The underside of your model includes concealed mounting points for the landing legs or a baseplate for an adjustable wall bracket."

Now that all the vital information is out of the way (if you wish, you can find out more by going to the DeAgostini website: http://www.model-space.com/us/build-millennium-falcon.html) I think it's safe to say I would like to "weigh in" on this subscription-based model kit project, as I'm subscribed to it. Please take into consideration that over the 25 months this subscription lasts, the $59.99 a month ($66.98 with shipping) will equal out to $1,674.50. So as you can see, it won't be a cheap model, but as I understand, it's actually quite affordable for a movie prop model kit of this magnitude. This is the first Millennium Falcon model I decided to buy for myself, as I was never impressed with the MPC, Revell or Fine Molds kits in either size or detail. I've also always wanted to own a movie prop but didn't want to spend a "boat load" of cash to get one, so this will be as close to that as I can get.

In the 6 minute video below, I do an unboxing and review of the first month's parts and magazines I received so you know what to expect:
YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tJuPEfzAN8


As you saw by the above video, the 25 installment model kit prop replica of the Millennium Flacon looks to be very promising. It's well designed and has a TON of detail that's been missing in previous model kit releases, plus it's going to be HUGE!

Below is another video that I think needs to be watched to give you some perspective on certain details that the lead designer of this project Steve Dymszo would like to bring to light about this project. He shares his thoughts on the painting process, materials used to create the model, suggested adhesives and the best paint to use for the overall base color.
YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-Yaj2wlHS4


If you've never heard of Steve Dymszo, here's a brief description of his background taken from the above videos YouTube description; "Steve was a Geotechnical Engineer for 13 years before becoming part of the prop replica industry in 1995. He was the co-founder and VP of Product Design for Master Replicas, and also founded Quantum Mechanix, SD Studios, and Artifactory, which are all currently serving the collectibles community." As you can see Steve is very well versed in what he does in the collectible market and I believe is the right man for the job.

I want to get beyond what DeAgostini provides for this prop replica and let you know that of course, there are aftermarket parts available. Antonio Regidor (known as 308 Bits on Facebook) from Barcelona, Spain designs aftermarket parts is a 3D Cad program and has Shapeways.com 3D print them (he's known as TonnyRR on Shapeways but has a store there also called 308 Bits.) I got in contact with Antonio and he contacted both Eric Ho and Aimee Moyer over at Shapeways to send me some samples for review. Both Eric and Aimee were very nice to work with and were very accommodating when it came to the parts they sent me. Let me tell you, I was unprepared for the HIGH level of detail with the parts I received.

The parts that were shipped to me are as follows and are shown below; two laser cannons and yoke, DeJarikk game table (drilled), Hall Grille Complete, Cockpit, Hall Nav Console, and Hall Couch Cushions.

Parts (Pic 3)

Like I mentioned before, the detail in all of these parts are HIGH and very true to the actual prop parts. Which begs the question, why are these parts more accurate and detailed than the parts DeAgostini provides? Considering a lot of what is available from them has been scanned in? How can someone that doesn't work for DeAgostini, be able to do enough research to make more accurate parts? Maybe Steve Dymszo needs to hire Antonio Regidor to help out; it might not be a bad idea...

Below are pictures of the differences between both the Hall Nav Console and the DeJarikk game table. The 3D Printed parts by Antonio Regidor are on the left and the DeAgostini parts are on the right:

Hall Nav Console (Front)
Hall Nav Console (Front) (Pic 4)

Hall Nav Console (Side)
Hall Nav Console (Side) (Pic 5)

DeJarikk Game Table
DeJarikk Game Table (Pic 6)

You can clearly see by the above pictures the level of detail (sprayed with gray primer so you can see the all detail better) in the 3D printed parts designed by Antonio Regidor and produced by Shapeways.com. In my opinion they are above and beyond what DeAgostini provides with their kit and also have the option of being lit with fiber optics. As the plastic is clear frosted to diffuse light and holes are pre-drilled to accept fiber optic strands. Though, what DeAgostini provides is also a lot better than previous models produced by other manufactures since the first Star Wars film appeared in 1977. So in the end, if you already have or plan on investing in this HUGE movie prop replica model kit project, think about what is provided by both DeAgostini and Antonio Regidor over at Shapeways.com and decide what you want and how accurate you want this prop replica to be. Because in the end, no matter what you do, it will be a Millennium Falcon like no other, as it will be a one of a kind, unique by how you construct and paint it. May the Force Be With You.

Until next month, thank you for the support and MODEL ON!!


Reviewing and Building the Bandai Star Wars Stormtrooper Plastic Model Kit

10-07-2015

Welcome to my first monthly blog entry on the "Sci-fi & Fantasy Modeller" website. My blog postings are to serve as supplemental material from what I normally contribute in each issue, offering a little more over what the magazine does every three months, hopefully filling the waiting period between each book published. My thoughts, reviews and insights on all things science fiction related, may it be model kits, movies, TV series, video games, etc. will be posted here. I will also try to share a video (like this month) along with my blog so that it's not only something you read, but watch as well. So let's not waste any more time...

The first model kit that I've ever bought from Bandai is their Star Wars Stormtrooper plastic model kit. I have to confess, even though I love GIANT mech robots, their Gundam series of kits have never really appealed to me. But that may change, as the way their snap together kit of the Stormtrooper was designed, pretty much blew me away. I would have to say, hands down that it's the most well designed kit I've had the pleasure to build. Every part is designed to snap into place and hide most seams. The seams are designed in such a way that they look like they are part of the kit and should be there. Everything from the packaging, the overall design of the sprue trees to how the parts fit together snug really shows that Bandai knows how to design a model kit, now I know why their Gundam series of model kits sell so well.

But, I do not want to go any further with this blog, as the video I produced on the unboxing, construction and review shows and explains it all in 8 minutes and 10 seconds better than I can here.


Until next month, thank you for the support and MODEL ON!!