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airpaint

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    Guy
  1. OK, total self-indulgence here I'm pretty sure any old bloke that likes to watch technical science-fiction and dress up as a Stormtrooper will get a big kick out of this. Nothing to do with Star Wars as such but if you want to know what a Lancaster bomber looks like, check out this great vid of the 65th Dambusters anniversary when the RAF flew their last Lancaster across the dam used in the film and for the dams raid training during the war. This was taken in 2008 but not by me as I sadly couldn't get there and I'm still gutted: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=m1OuyIe0pig I know it's daylight and it's not 60 feet but considering how gently they have to handle this old bird (only one other flying to my knowledge, in Canada) I think the flight up the valley behind the trees is stunningly captured here. Notice how messy and rubbish the current RAF Tornadoes are compared to the Lanc. Yes, I know you in the US have all the coolest planes nowadays Trust you noticed the inaccurate bomb-doors and mid-upper turret Daetrin, at least the film got that right
  2. Glad you found the film and enjoyed it. Everyone might like this link from youtube which I've only just found, it's an amazing piece of editing by a guy with a lot of time on his hands: It's called "Dambusters a la Star Wars" if the link doesn't work and you have to search youtube. "Well, the movie made in the 50's took some liberties too. Check out the wikipedia article on it and you'll see a host of stuff that just didn't happen". That's a bit strong, even the Wiki says it's a only few minor points In actual fact, Barnes Wallis DID in effect design the Wellington, he wasn't just another minor draughtsman working as part of a team. He actually invented a new method of aircraft construction based on geodesic principles which is the main thing that distinguished the Wellington bomber from its contemporaries. It was used by the company for a previous (not a famous type) aircraft and was successful enough for the chief designer to choose it for the Wellington's construction. It could take a lot of punishment from flak, etc which is what the Wellington became famous for early in the war. The theatre spotlights is the only completely fictional bit to add to the storyline. The only real "liberty" taken The altimeter wasn't Gibson's idea, it was invented by someone on 617's ground crew. The drama of it's late and critical invention as a solution to the problem of flying at 60 feet over water at night is all true and accurate though. Most of 617's crews were directly picked by Gibson and his staff as his job was to create the squadron for the raid from scratch. They requested aircrew they knew directly through operations and then picked others from lists based on operational experience. It caused a lot of bad feeling amongst other squadrons as he cherry-picked the best crews which they were understandably unwilling to part with. 617 Squadron continued to exist after the Dams raid and things will have been different then. The idea of the home-made bombsight, which is the important bit in life and the film, was identical, lining up on the towers, however it was implemented by the crews. I'm pretty sure most of them used the method shown though. I'm completely confused by the bit about bureaucracy, as far as I know this problem was actually played down in the film and was more of a problem than shown. I think in the new film, now all the Air Ministry bureaucrats involved are dead they will go into this in more detail and make it a bigger problem, not smaller. It was Wallis's personal idea to go for the dams, they had been identified as potential targets previously (as was just about anything industrial in Germany) but dismissed as not important enough to justify the enormous (basically impossible at the time) problems of destroying them. Wallis was obsessed with the huge effect he thought the attack would have on a wide range of German industry, just as shown in the film. No one else was interested at the time, hence the struggles for funding. The technical inaccuracies about the bomb are obvious only to an expert. The training drops simply used existing test footage as the special effects budget in the 50s didn't stretch to either full-size or working model drops. The most obvious things are the rounder shape of the bombs in the film, the bouncing is identical. The real bombs are actually a simple cylinder, like a tin of beans, and sat smaller beneath the aircraft than the huge round bulges in the film but the mounting method (externally, no room for bomb doors) was correct. Can't remember if they showed the spinning method in the film (long time since I've seen it), maybe still secret. Basically an electric motor was used to spin up the bombs along the long axis of the cylinder via a drive belt. This kept the bombs stable in the bouncing phase after release. Never heard that about the car's occupants being injured, (it's probably true, I've just never heard it before), I thought the general opinion was that it was deliberately killed by disgruntled station crew at Scampton as Gibson and his dog were not as popular as shown. He was evidently a very, very strict disciplinarian and ruffled a lot of feathers. Not "one of the boys" in his command style. Hugely popular public figure though. If you're interested, he wrote a book called "Enemy Coast Ahead" about his RAF service. Bit bland as it was written mid-war when all his raids and aircraft were too secret to be described. There's also no sense of the danger and terror of the bomber crews' job, partly 'cos he was so exceptional and partly 'cos it had to be read as exciting propaganda to aid future RAF recruitment at a time when victory was a long way in the future and by no means certain. The book is very poignant as the first several pages are simply lists of aircrew members he had known personally who were killed or missing, added to this is the knowledge that Gibson was killed on operations after writing the book, he didn't survive the war although he survived the Dams raid. I live not far from RAF Scampton where the Dambusters flew from, also near RAF Hemswell where the film was made, hence my massively nerdy interest I think the previous poster (Langy) was more worried about recent films like (ahem!) the capture of the Enigma code machines which was totally fictional and completely preposterous. I guess we're all hoping for "Band of Brothers" realism and attention to detail in the new film. Thinking of Band of Brothers, did you notice on the Wiki that the actor who plays Guy Gibson was actually a paratrooper involved in the first action on D-Day? Cool, huh? Finally, Daetrin I'm really impressed by you picking out all that similar dialogue, I don't have fresh enough memories of either film to have spotted that. I will be watching for it next time I see either. I put up this Dambusters topic and I'm learning new Star Wars stuff already! Thanks!
  3. Never thought of that, it does look like a TIE. Unfortunately it's a very misleading picture as it's just a flight sim. The circle is a clear plexiglass bubble on the nose of the bomber and the struts project out into it from the fuselage, they're not part of the "window frame" as on the TIE fighters. There's also been mention of 633 Squadron as George's inspiration (RAF Mosquito fighter bombers attacking up a fjord (valley) ) but the Dambusters film looks closer to me, even if loads of films inspired him. 633 Squadron is based on a novel, not a real-life event althought he novel took its inspiration from actual Mosquito operations in its turn. If you get to see the Dambusters, notice how the leaders go around again after releasing their own bombs to draw fire from the (single) bombing aircraft by flying alongside.
  4. As there's been a bit of interest I've managed to find an image from a Dambusters flight sim on Google Images, plus a little pic of the X-Wing targeting computer for comparison. The top image is the unadulterated (OK, brightened a lot 'cos it was a night scene) flight sim image showing the bomb aimer holding up the improvised bomb site. On the lower image I've put two vertical red lines to show the tabs on the bomb sight that the bomb aimer had to line up on the two towers on the dam wall - highlighted in red. The bombers had to fly straight and level (look at the altimeter reading in the flight sim, these were four engined bombers, roughly B-17 sort of size as reference, that had to be dived down a valley to 60 FEET above a dark lake at night, under heavy fire) towards the dam until the towers on the dam aligned with the tabs on the hand-held bombsight, this was the bomb release point. The long and agonizing wait for the lines to coincide is mirrored in the Death Star sequence, except that the lines on the X-Wing computer slowly converge whereas in the dams raid the towers on the dam slowly seem to diverge as the dam looms closer. I've superimposed the X-Wing computer image as a reminder but you can see where the design first started from (IMO, never seen that bit written as Star Wars gospel).
  5. Order Six, there is NO ... Order Six.
  6. I know this isn't new, it's been public since Episode IV came out but I was hunting around the web for info on the new Peter Jackson "Dam Busters" film and I came across this quote from Stephen Fry (scriptwriter for the new film and yes, the Stephen Fry for the UK troopers): “It’s worth knowing that if you say to America ‘Dam Busters’, no-one knows what you’re talking about. It’s only in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain that it’s probably one of the best known films ever made. “Though I think a lot of fans of George Lucas know that he used the final reel, as it were, of Dambusters, almost shot for shot in the attack on the Death Star in the original Star Wars movie. IE The fourth Star Wars movie, if you want to be pedantic about them. “Where they go down into the canyon and release the mine – it’s based on entirely on Dam Busters, and he’s been quite honest about that.” I'd never thought about it before that very few of the US guys will know this classic black and white (1955) war film as the raid didn't involve any US forces. It's a film that crops up at least once a year on TV in the UK and everyone of a certain age knows it and the story of the raid. Allowing for the limitations of the time (clunky model flying sequences and some stuff still on the secret list) it's a pretty faithful account of the Dam Busters raid. The genuine low-level bomber flying sequences are breathtaking on the big screen although not much on TV. So as most troopers do seem to be of a certain age if any of the US guys would like to see the inspiration for the Death Star attack sequence they should try and track this movie down on Amazon or whatever for a few dollars. Even the targeting graphics have their early roots in this film. Nice to remember that it's all true as well. It also happens to be a cracking old war movie too. One note of caution, very famously a code word in the film (and life) was the "N-word" and I wouldn't want anyone to be offended. It was taken from the name of the Wingco's faithful black dog and wouldn't have been regarded as pejorative in the UK at the time, simply a reference to black the colour. It would even have been used in the naming of artist's pigments and the like. The US and the UK have very different histories and there was no significant black population here until mass immigration in the 1950s, after the events in this film. In the 1940s in the UK it would not have been a "hate" word and not used as such although unacceptable nowadays now we're a multiracial society. This is not to excuse the word just to explain its affectionate context in the story which would otherwise be a shock to US viewers new to the film. I assume that for the new (2010?) Peter Jackson version they will have to change the codeword as the majority of the cinemagoers (including in the UK) will be young enough (these events took place 65+ years ago) to need the above paragraph of explanation too.
  7. Wow, Billhag, that's awesome and all laid out on the photo - a true work of art. I was hoping for maybe a typed list 1 - 5 and matching measurements at best. Big thankyou! I have to confess I'm not going to be trying for millimetric accuracy on all the asymmetric teeth, not sure how that would sit on the perfect proportions of the MRCE. Ideally I'd have one of these screen helmets sitting next to the MRCE to work this from but your measurement list is next best thing. I'm going to try and translate the full size of the frown on to the MRCE but balanced out to fit the symmetry. Having all these tooth measurements will help me to see how the line of the frown works as it's all so subtle I find it impossible to tell in 2-D photos. I've tried gridding a few photos and matching camera angles on this MRCE but can't get close enough to match the subtlety of the top edge of the frown. It looks dead straight from some side angles and deeply curved from others as it tracks across such a complex series of curves on the face surface. If the MRCE was hideously far out then it wouldn't be so much of a problem but it's a great helmet and so close that making changes could really mess things up. I suspect there's a very good chance I'll trash the helmet completely but at least if it does work I should have a good collection of my very own "asymmetrical features" that you enjoy, however hard I go for the idealised look. Unfortunately, now you've provided all the info I no longer have an excuse not to go ahead with this. Anyway, I do really appreciate the time you've obviously spent on this for me. Did I mention thanks? Guy
  8. Hope this doesn't count as a double post as I'd asked something far more involved in the general discussion section. I'd like to know the height of the central tooth in the frown of any of the TE, TE2, AP, etc screen-based helmets. I want to do some more extensive mods to the MRCE frown than normal and want to get an idea of how big the difference is. Difficult to see in photos as they're always from mildly different angles. I'd be looking for the full height of the tooth as on an unpainted helmet (not just the grey-painted band as it often has white at the top and bottom of the tooth), ideally in millimetres but whatever suits you. If anyone has one of these helmets and is feeling dedicated, there are five measurements marked on this photo that would give me confidence to proceed: It's the measurements marked 1 - 5 down the middle: height and width of the central tooth and some distances on the faceplate to allow me to work out rough proportions. All the other tooth measurements aren't necessary for me unless you're very bored Cheers, Guy
  9. If it's truly a synthetic (the stuff they spray trucks, vans, buses, etc with) then it will stay softer than lacquer paints even when fully cured so might be ideal for the handguards. I'm sure it comes with instructions but synthetics have some quite odd characteristics when it comes to to recoating. You can build layers (if necessary, never used it in an aerosol but it's usually pretty thick stuff) as long as you stick rigidly to the recommended re-coating times (ten minutes or whatever's recommended). Once it starts to cure, you need to leave it for a long time or it'll craze (like crazy ) when you apply another coat. This will be at least a day or two and can be up to a week if slow thinners are used (unlikely in an aerosol)! Some paints you can get away with taking liberties on recoat times but pay heed to the instructions with a synthetic - it's a really easy and forgiving paint to use in all other ways though, good find in an aerosol can. Also sanding to key the surface for further paint coats can release solvents from inside and cause the wrinkling/crazing thing so best to leave a while after sanding too. I'm sure none of the above will apply to the handguards but if you have this stuff lying around for future projects it might save a bit of heartache. Cheers, Guy
  10. Looks, good, shiny and smooth unlike my solutions. What's the brand/type of paint? And are you sure you have enough R2 units?
  11. Hi, I'm a noob to the trooper thing but was briefly involved in TV props years ago. I had to airbrush, latex stuff several times and found a few ways. Details will be sketchy here as I'm writing off the top of my head having just seen this post and it's hard to remember. The make-up way was to use PAX paint - you mix acrylic paint with prosthetic adhesive like Prosaide or equivalent, I'm sure a quick web trawl for prosthetic make-up supplies will find it. Unfortunately this stuff dries sticky (it IS glue, after all) and might need powdering, can't remember if it was OK without on latex. When mixing anything with acrylic paint, buy expensive liquid acrylics made for airbrushing as they have the highest pigment load. My big breakthrough was sourcing some balloon inks from a local (I kid you not) novelty balloon factory. These are solvent-based screen printing inks designed for printing "Happy Birthday" or whatever on commercial balloons so they will s-t-r-e-e-e-t-c-h with no cracking at all and they bite right into the latex surface too, very tough. You'll need the matching thinners as well and then you can spray them through a heavy-duty single-action airbrush. Again, if you web search this topic looking for screen inks (no internet back when I was doing this) I'm sure you'll find the names of the ink manufacturers to track stuff down. Minimum orders are usually the problem. Finally, I had a lot of success with a home-brew paint made from rubber cement (I think that's what they call it in the US). Basically solvent-based contact adhesive, thinned out massively with the corresponding thinners (bought as cleaner) to spray. Here in the UK prop-builders can experiment with Evo-Stick, and use Evo-Stick cleaners as thinner. I'm not sure but I think maybe "Cow Gum" would be a US equivalent. Can't remember what I pigmented it with, might have used airbrush acylic or maybe polyester basecoat car paint as it's solvent based. It sprays on in thick "webs" and (makes great set-dressing spider webs if you don't thin enough!) builds quickly. Lot more trial and error involved than the balloon inks though and so they were my final solution. You won't get a shiny gloss from any of this, more a matte-to-satin at best. Finally, latex is best cast in very thin layers, allowing drying between layers. This is time consuming and very hands on but quicker overall. Heating up the moulds helps a lot (leave them in a hot place too if not doing it layer by layer)and a hair dryer zaps a thin layer very quickly. You can add fillers like talcum powder to thicken latex, this also stiffens it and slows drying as you get thicker layers. Powder the final piece to lose the surface tackiness too. Luckily, the balloon paint won't be tacky as a final layer. Big, thick pieces of cast latex can still not be fully dry in weeks but as long as the outside layers are solid they'll be good to go. The outer skin dries first and seals the moisture in the centre, it's why thin layers and hollow casts work best. Thick rubber is best done with polyurethanes which have a catalyst to cure, like Smooth-On brand rubbers. Very tough too. I've no idea how the Star Wars stuff was done but if you slush-moulded the latex in several thin layers so it built up thickly on the edges of the mould you could probably get away with leaving them hollow behind. Powder-stiffened latex would be rigid enough and you could always pop in a piece of thin craft foam or something to fill the void to stiffen further. If you were being very precious you could paint 3 layers or so of latex over the foam sheet whilst in the moulds and seal it entirely inside. Finally, remember that although it's unbelievably tough and ideal for props in the short-term latex doesn't last well over time, goes kind of dark and brittle (talking years here) eventually.
  12. I should have put TE2, AP, TM, SDS in the title, shouldn't I? Can't find a way to edit it. Anyway, here's a list of the measurements I'd ideally like, or as many as you can be bothered with: I've put a photo of my MRCE faceplate with all the measurement points marked on it in my gallery here: ----------- Sorry, too dim to be able to post a photo in a thread yet! 1 ) Shortest distance between eyes. 2 ) Bridge of nose to upper edge of frown. 3 ) Width of centre tooth. 4 ) Height of centre tooth. 5 ) Lower edge of frown to top of recess for vocoder. 6 ) Horizontal width of frown. Best guess is fine as it's tricky to measure. 7 ) Height outer right (as worn) tooth. 8 ) Height 2nd outer right (as worn) tooth. 9 ) Height 2nd inner right (as worn) tooth. 10)Height inner right (as worn) tooth. 11)Width inner left (as worn) tooth. 12)Width 2nd inner left (as worn) tooth. 13)Width 2nd outer left (as worn) tooth. 14)Width outer left (as worn) tooth. 15)Width outer right (as worn) tooth. 16)Width 2nd outer right (as worn) tooth. 17)Width 2nd inner right (as worn) tooth. 18)Width inner right (as worn) tooth. 19)Height inner left (as worn) tooth. 20)Height 2nd inner left (as worn) tooth. 21)Height 2nd outer left (as worn) tooth. 22)Height outer left (as worn) tooth. Don't ask much, do I? If anyone replies, just write the photo reference number and the dimension, millimetres best but whatever. Whichever numbers you can be bothered with but 1-5 inclusive would be most useful. Now to find out if I can post this.
  13. Nate, I haven't made it clear exactly want I want to do. I'll try and explain myself better. Like you, I like the perfect, symmetrical idealised look of the MRCE and that's what I want to stay with otherwise I'd agree that an AP would be a better choice. I want to expand the frown to the full size of the original helmets but keep it all tidy and symmetrical and in keeping with the MRCE. As the reference helmets are so 'organic' in their construction, it's quite a tricky call to decide how to translate the frown across to the MRCE, hence the extra detail of the measurements will help me decide how I want to bias the proportions. I don't want to copy the measurements straight across, just see how they relate to the same points on the MRCE. I guess I'm having to make a similar decision to Master Replicas once they'd got a 3-D scan of an original helmet. Which bits to base the symmetry on, if you see what I mean. Did they choose to mirror the big side tube, the small side tube or compromise in between? That sort of thing. Not looking for the easiest way to do things, almost the opposite just for the sake of it Would be different if I had a set of armour waiting to be built up or any deadlines. This is my first Stormtrooper helmet and messing it about is part of the fun. You know what it's like, it only takes a short while to lose the excitement of a new toy so this is a way of prolonging the buzz. Bit like persuading her to get her best friend to join in or putting low suspension on a hot hatch... If I'm honest, I think the MRCE looks pretty good out of the box and the big front seam was the only thing that caught my eye first off. Doh, of course, I've seen bits of your MRCE build before. One of the best photo sequences I've seen and end result is spot on, pretty much what I'm aiming at. I personally think the cut down MRCE ears look superb for the idealised look.
  14. Hi Nate, Yes, I know Star Wars Helmets and all the usual places and it's from them that I can see that the ANH helmets had a much larger and wider frown than I could get by simply filing out the existing MRCE frown. I'm considering going the whole hog and really carving it all out, widening right down to the side tubes, etc. I'd have to put quite a lot of fill material in to re-sculpt the new edges so I'd like to see some actual measurements to give me a more positive guide to work to if I've hacked away the existing shapes. Measurements from other ANH helmets would give me a bit more confidence and help me get the proportions right as there'll obviously be a lot of difference between the idealised, symmetrical MRCE and the wonky ANH helmets. Don't get me wrong, I think the modded MRCE helmets I've seen on here look fantastic. This is just an excuse for a bit of a project! By the way, is your helmet in a public forum on UKG if I go look?
  15. Hi, Hope this is right section to post this in. I was wondering if anyone with a proper grown-up helmet (TE2, AP, SDS, etc) could maybe post photos of the frown area front and side profile with some basic measurements marked on to help me decide how far to go with modding the MRCE frown. I'd like to see if it's possible to hack it/fill it/sculpt it right up to the full size. The heights (and widths if not too much hassle) of the teeth, or at least the centre one would be a big help. Also the approx distance from the upper edge of the frown straight up to the centre of the straight line across the top of the eyes and the distance from the centre lower edge of the frown straight down to the edge of the curve into the recess for the vocoder. This is to try and decide whether extra width in the MRCE frown should be carved all from the top edge, maybe lower edge or both. The exact points aren't critical but it'd be nice to see them marked on the photo so I can try and work out similar proportions on my MRCE. One or two measured distance lines of your choice (maybe between the eyes is an easy one?) anywhere else on the face to help me scale the measurements to fit the MRCE better would be perfect. I know I'm asking for quite a fiddly bit of time-consuming stuff here and I've looked at a lot of the references available here and on the web but this is such a subtle thing and you know how deceptive all the different curves and angles are on these helmets, plus different focal lengths produce different results between photos. Should have said, ANH style, sorry. Cheers, Guy
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