Thursday, 31 May 2018

Star Wars AT-ST [WIP - Phase Four: Mid-section Metallics, Weapons & Assembly sans legs]

Phase Four of the AT-ST weathering process is straightforward as it only involves applying 'soot' on the weapons and metallic paint on the mid-section's flexible steel pipes. Then it was a case of putting it all together and touching up the paint and weathering, where required (see photos below). 

Star Wars AT-ST work-in-progress: Main hull, gyro system, drive engine and weapons completed
Bandai Star Wars AT-ST: side view (left) of main hull, gyro system, drive engine and weapons

Thankfully there wasn't much touching up to do after the AT-ST (sans legs and base) was assembled. Enough attention and care had been given to the individual sections prior to assembly that almost no extra work was required. Sure there were places I had missed - e.g. sections where I had inexplicably forgot to even basecoat - but nothing overly major that it couldn't be finished in a day or so. 

Rust stains and oil dot filters provide chromatic variation to an otherwise monotone light grey hue
Panel lining is essential in defining depth on the Imperial AT-ST walker
Micro paint chips all over the AT-ST walker also ups the level of realism

A key issue of painting parts separately before assembly is to run the risk of breaking fragile parts. As paint will inevitably get into certain joints, the act of putting parts together becomes unnecessarily difficult. And having to use extra force on snap-fit parts with fragile parts in close proximity is akin to walking on egg shells. Unfortunately this is the price you have to pay if you go down this route.

Bandai Star Wars AT-ST: side view (right) of main hull, gyro system, drive engine and weapons
Command viewports and entry hatch are in the open position to allow visual access of the pilots/interior
Weapons on the AT-ST walker's left (your right) is angled wrongly and will need correcting

Apart from assembly of the AT-ST hull, gyro system and drive system, this phase involved the painting of metallic colors and 'soot' weathering to make details stand out further (see below).

Flexible steel pipes in the mid-section were painted in metallic silver and given a black wash
Bottom section of the AT-ST walker's main hull also contained some flexible steel pipes
Tips of the AT-ST walker's guns received pastel weathering to simulate soot or weapon discharge residue

Without interior LED lighting it's difficult to make out the details in the cockpit interior as well as the pilots, especially from the photos. Moreover, the naked eye is infinitely better at adjusting for low light than a camera can ever hope to do. In short, it's much easier to make out the cockpit interior and AT-ST pilots when viewing them with our own eyes rather than through a camera lens.

An opened entry hatch allows light into the cockpit interior hence better visibility of the pilots
Photography lighting resulted in the interior becoming relatively darker

What's left to be done on the Bandai Star Wars AT-ST kit are its infamous chicken legs and the base. The legs will undergo the same weathering process but with the addition of mud weathering on the footpads. As for the base, I'm thinking of replicating the ground conditions found on the Imperial bunker on Endor, you know the one where Han Solo and Leia gets caught in a trap during Return of the Jedi. So there's a fair bit still to do. Better get right to it. Cheers, and have a good weekend!


12 comments:

  1. This is taking shape in the best way imaginable. This is movie-standard. Absolutely great!

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    1. Thank you Suber for your kind and extremely encouraging words!

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  2. Great work ! Superb !
    Greetings

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  3. Looks ace. I saw some one do one of the Legion ones in a metallic colour with red panels here and there and it looked quite cool

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    1. Thanks Simon! Yeah, there is so many variations you can do with the AT-ST which in a way is like a blank canvas to paint on. In fact I've an idea for one with Rebel graffiti but that's one project whose story will be told another day.

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  4. It comes together nicely. Can’t wait to see the finished piece.

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