Her mum is awesome too just quietly.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Her mum is awesome too just quietly.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
And finally we get to the final film (which was actually the first) of the festival, which I saw way back on July 18th, with Notkate and the Judge (which sounds like some sort of 80's TV cop buddy show).
Moon is based around the character of Sam (played by Sam Rockwell - must have made getting into character easier. In terms of screen time he is the only major character) as he nears the end of his three year shift tending a helium mining facility on the moon. He has spent his three years alone, devoid of physical contact with any other human, companionship provided only by video links with his wife and child, and the ever attendant robot helper (charmingly voiced by Kevin Spacey, and thoughtfully and cleverly constructed as a prop). He has become a little eccentric during his time alone, but his stint is nearly over and he is looking forward to going home. At which point things start happening which suggest he is perhaps not as alone as he has been led to believe...
And thats about all I can say about the plot without giving anything away. The viewer learns more about Sam's situation as he does, and little clues and hints that all is not as it seems abound for the attentive, as well as some nice bits of subtle humour. There are also some nice low key references to classic sci fi films and TV.
Sam's moonbase world was brilliantly realised, grimy and grungy and instantly believable, and pretty much instantly informing the viewer that while Sam is technically an astronaut, he is also an employee with a difficult and tedious job to do, with any glamour long since gone. I enjoyed the use of models for the external scenes rather than CGI (perhaps in homage to classic hard Sci Fi predecessors like 2001). Good model work always looks good, whereas rubbish CGI is like an elephant in the room.
The film is well paced, with key plot points dispensed sparingly and only when necessary (hints aside). Things play out slowly, but not so slowly as to cause loss if interest, with a genuine suspenseful 'what happens now' feel by the end of the second act. Another thing I liked is while the film has some proper points to make, it delivers them simply and effectively, a reflection of the feeling that the film doesn't take itself too seriously.
Recommended for those wanting a low key but engaging and suspenseful watch, executed with intelligence and style.
NotKates summation here (link)
The Judges sermon here (link)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The fuller story is here (link), but this is kinda disappointing, and smacks of someone in the council trying to make their mark. Can anyone else say 'over zealous'?
In the meanwhile, here is a picture of a truck on my parents street covered in Kowhai flowers, demonstrating that spring is indeed springing. That and I thought a truck covered in flowers looked pretty cool.
And finally, Charlotte has now acquired a free standing capablility, here demonstrated at the first birthday party of one of our antenatal group babies.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
There are a variety of means, ranging from simple to complicated. but in this instance I used the very basic technique of fine black powder brushed into the lines between panels, around areas people would walk on the real thing, around the edges of removable panels, and around exhausts and vents etc. The effect is to highlight and simulate areas of wear and tear, and make the model look like a miniature replica of a real life object, rather than a few painted pieces of plastic. Well applied weathering like this can make or break a model. Weathering is a tricky process to learn though and not all modellers do it. To little is always better than too much in this case. Some models get finished in states that make them look virtually unflyable. You wouldn't apply heavy weathering to a model of Air Force One. Something like a US Navy carrier based jet you can go to town on, since they spend most of their working lives outside in corrosive humid and salty air, get paint repatched at random, and are used pretty hard. Aircraft at war often wind up very dirty as well, since the maintainers often have better things to do than worry about the paintwork. Certain paint schemes require heavy weathering, since the real life subject was never clean when it wore that paint or markings. I saw a model of a jet used during the first gulf war at the show last weekend. It was very nicely finished and painted, but looked completely wrong since it was nice and immaculately clean. The real thing it was depicting was absolutely filthy with sun faded and peeling paint and grime and stains everywhere.
When applied to a matt surface the powder adheres itself quite nicely. To keep it intact and not leave fingerprints whenever you touch the model usually another clear matt or satin coat is applied. This both seals the powder on and evens out any variations in tone between different paints, decals and the powder, giving a nice uniform tone to the finish, which in itself is more realistic.
Like I said earlier, you weather a model to make it more realistic. Very few aircraft stay pristine for long after being painted. Fluid leaks, exhaust and propellant stains, sun, and general use all combined to degrade the finish.
Here is a French CN235 light transport aircraft I found at an airshow earlier this year. In addition to utility work, it is also used for maritime patrol and based in New Caledonia. So in addition to tropical sun the finish is also exposed to lots of humid salty air, and winds up looking like this:
For reference, the paint surrouding the roundel and code on the fuselage (52 O ID) is the original colouring for the whole aircraft. The roundel marking itself is showing signs of wear; the yellow ring should go all the way around. The weathering for my Skyhawks was a little more subtle. Here is a period shot of one of the aircraft I modelled. Little points to note are the stains around the fuselage and tailplane, some of the panel seams being visible on the lighter areas, and the gunsmoke residue around the cannon muzzle just ahead of the wing.
And here is the model from about the same angle for comparison, with the powder application hopefully gently highlighting the same areas:And that should be the last post about modelling for a bit.
Normal service shall resume shortly.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Gah, finally got around to updating this thing. Apologies readers for the laxity in posting, but over the last week I have been either too busy (Attending the Model Expo and IPMS National comp, and the big bookfair on Saturday and Sunday), too tired (Sunday and Monday nights, recovering from the weekend), or too sick (sprained my ankle at netball on Monday night, possibly due to the tiredness combined with still breaking in new shoes, came down with some kind of wierd bug on Tuesday, aches, chills, fever, complete lack of energy etc, which I have only just shaken off today).
So thats the last week in a paragraph then.
As far as the increasingly intense triple build got, after a near all nighter on Friday (I only stopped at 4am when I started to get double vision from the fatigue), the three models looked like this on Saturday Morning at about 0930 (note beautiful early morning sunlight creeping across the table. You'll have to imagine the birdsong, we have a couple of Tui resident in our backyard amongst others). As usual, all pictures can hopefully be biggified by use of the clicky clicky:
Commensurate with the progress, the waste bin looked something like this:
Friday, September 04, 2009
Skyhawks one and two in the meantime have since been decaled and dirtied, in a process we modellers call weathering. Its a realism thing. Operational aircraft don't stay clean for very long.