According to Wookieepdia, there is more to the moon Jedah than just the NiJedah Holy City destroyed in the movie Rogue One A Star Wars story:
Many settlements on the moon, such as the ancient Holy City, sat atop the world’s natural mesas…
So the model above is my latest semi-canon creation. The mesa temple city is scratch built. The Star Destroyer is the Hot Wheels model.
This all started one evening when I had a speaking engagement and so, with no time to cook, I picked up a whole hot roast chicken at the local supermarket. Delicious. Then I noticed something. Hey, I thought, in my sometimes off the wall way, that container resembles that city from Rogue One.
After I got the black plastic “mesa” out of the dishwasher, I went to my stash and pulled out the Star Destroyer I bought a year or so ago cheap at a dollar store, just to see if would work.
Given the huge size of a Star Destroyer and its size in relation to the Holy City, it was clear that this model city would be a larger mesa and settlement that one in Rogue One.
The next step was to turn the chicken container into a city on Jedah.
The Star Destroyer was repainted and weathered.
Then I built up the city, painted it, weathered it. Then it was glued onto a foamboard base and the desert landscape was added.
Almost all the model starships on the market today come from either Star Wars or Star Trek, with a few from the Battlestar Galactica reboot. Some speciality hobby stores both brick and mortar and online do offer some “vintage” kits. Even on Shapeways, the online marketplace for 3-D printed models, the offerings are almost all Star Trek or Star Wars.
Yes as you can see from this site, I do model Star Wars and I have some Star Trek models on my to-do list. A few months ago I decided it was time that my favourite science fiction author as a kid, Andre Norton, received some modelling tributes.
I decided that my first Andre Norton project should be from the first Norton science fiction novel I read when I was 13, The Time Traders. (which became a series of novels )
The Time Traders, first in the series, was written in the fifties at the height of the cold war. The basic premise is that the Soviet Union finds an alien starship preserved in the Arctic ice cap and starts using that technology (at the time of the so-called, later proved to be non-existent “missile gap”) and the United States must counter the Soviets.
Both sides some how, it’s never explained, develop time travel and in a time travel arms race send agents back in time to various ages when the aliens later dubbed the “Baldies” were active on Earth. The “Baldies are alien pale, white, hairless, alien humanoids.
Norton only described the starship as spherical. And various cover artists had their own interpretations of the ship trapped in ice. Every cover is different, unlike movies or television where the design is fixed, so that gave me a little flexibility.
So I decided to start with an N scale propane tank model from my model railway days ( I may try other approaches to baldie ships in the future)
I then added a bridge similar to the first cover, using a manufacturers container for contact lens (which didn’t work out as well as I had hoped) and stand/main engine from a bottle top.
Once the model was complete, I took it out into the snow of my front yard.
Of course I couldn’t leave the model out in the snow. So I created a base using another cover, from the novel Galactic Derelict.
There are a couple of differences here. In Galactic Derelict the spherical ship is a scout, capable of holding perhaps up to five humans/humanoids.
It is discovered in the American west during the Palaeolithic when there is still volcanism in the Rockies (at least in the novel) and during an attempt to bring it forward to twentieth century time, instead it sends the crew on a journey across the galaxy and back. In the several thousand years the “Baldie” civilization has collapsed and one of the bases the Terrans visit is a refueling station that, luckily still operates.
So in this case the model remains the full size starship. not the scout. The landing zone is a container for frozen meat pies. The “tower” really should be further away. Once again I used two toothbrush containers glued together, then add details from scrap.
To match the cover, I photographed the base in available light late on the afternoon of April 1. Also there are images of the model in full light to show more details.
Just before Christmas, I purchased a new router. Opened the box and the router was packaged in papier-mâché, a more environmentally friendly to all that plastic. I took one look at it and it reminded me of all those photos of jungle ruins.
So I imagined that once on an alien world (of course it could just as well be Earth) that once there was an impressive building, the Emerald Temple, that was for some reason lost to history abandoned and thus the jungle took over. But this temple was so well built that most of it has survived the ages.
So I put my several ongoing kitbashing ship model projects aside to create the temple. It took about five hours work over three days.
I am calling this the Emerald Temple. There was once cladding or covering or paint that when the temple was new and active would have been a bright emerald green. That has now decayed so I began with a very light spray of emerald green spray paint plus a little camouflage olive green spray paint.
I began with the top of the temple, adding a mix of commercial autumn leaves ground cover with dried tea from old tea bags to create the old leaves and other forest detritus that has built up over the years.
I then added several layers of different coloured ground cover and foam bushes.
Additional plant life were twigs from my garden and a tomato stem, dipped in dilute white glue and then with some ground cover added.
And here is the final product
Finally I photoshopped the completed model into an old screen grab of the jungle in Thailand from a documentary I shot back in 1997, worked so that the temple appears to be part of the older, lower resolution video. It’s up to the viewer to decide whether or not the temple is part of a lost civilization on Earth or on an alien world.
So here are the results of my latest project, scratch building a couple of alien starships and then applying my photographic and Photoshop skills to put them in some star systems not too far away.
Scratch building the Golden Starliner
You start by going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning and scaling. 🙂 And then take the clear plastic packaging for the tooth brushes that the dentist gives you at the end of the ordeal.
Add modellers’ masking tape to mark windows for the bridge and viewing ports. The exterior tape is the exact size of the windows I want, the interior is much wider.
Spray paint inside and out. I use a heavy duty plastic compatible automobile primer.
Detail the starship with appropriate scrap that will add to the appearance of the starship. Remove the inner masking tape and replace it with images (in my case I reduced stock photos to a few millimetres in Photoshop).
Then decide what the basic “look” of the starship should be. After the two halves were glued together, it came to be that although this is designed to be a starship, it had a sort of steampunk look. (The projection in the stern is not a smoke stack. The bit of scrap plastic was there to fill a gap in the original toothbrush package). So I used a gold spray paint and decided it was a luxury liner for that alien species The Golden Starliner. Remove the outer masking tape to reveal the windows.
Later I added detailing paints, varying the gold in areas with brass and copper paints and adding colours including reds, greens and blues where appropriate.
The pirate ship
Once the Golden Starliner was complete, I decided the neat thing to do would be to have it pursued by a pirate ship. For that I already had one look in mind, that the ship would be black. Although sensors in that star system not too far away might detect the ship, it would be black to make visual spotting and identification difficult. The vessels are not the same scale.
The main body is a shampoo bottle. The upper deck is another bit of clear plastic packaging, enhanced with one of my favourite candies, Cadbury Cream Egg packaging.
The upper deck was glued to the shampoo bottle and secured with push pins for drying. I originally had planned to remove the pins after the glue was set but decided to keep them. I used the same grey auto primer. The nacelles, as you can see, are from used highlighters.
The bow is the top of a bottle of mouthwash, another cream egg package plus a bit of scrap from a juice container as the sensor unit. (Thinking that the forward sensor unit could mean the pirate ship could be part of the Star Trek universe)
The pirate ship was spray painted flat black, with the engine end of the nacelles (the highlighters) masked by tape. Some parts were painted in a metallic blue, which was also used to dry brush “space rust” with some other parts also painted in different metallic colours to enhance the model. Here it is seen as I am setting up to take the photographs.
Here I am setting up the chase scene for the camera, showing the completed scratch built models.
The photographs have three elements. The models are photographed in low light with a black background on black cardboard. The planets are created in the Photoshop filter plugin LunarCell by Flaming Pear Software. The sun was created in Flaming Pear’s Solarcell filter.
Backgrounds were public domain downloads from NASA’s Hubble website.
Lighting with a LED TV news lamp was adjusted to fit with the illumination of the planet or the star.
The Golden Starliner
The pirate ship
The pirate ship orbits its base, a marginal planet where normally no one would live.
The pirate ship is an ambush predator, orbiting as close as possible to a red dwarf star so it won’t be seen.
The Golden Starliner follows its usual course from planet to planet, oblivious to what awaits it at the next star.
And the ambush predator begins the chase.
Camera Sony Alpha 77, Minolta 28-75 lens, Iso Auto, F32 apperture priority.
Back ages ago, the tank (or perhaps armoured fighting vehicle) was on diorama base with a purplish alien landscape. That is long gone. I found the model in the bottom of a box of some other modelling hold overs from my teen years that I had hauled with me all those years. So now I am getting back into modelling, I intend to reposition the vehicle in a new diorama and will post that when it’s complete.
There is just one update with the model. One of the tail fins broke off over the years, so I added a black wash as “battle damage.”