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    Model Behavior: Painting Action Figures

    You may have seen this figure in recent toy photography videos, and here's how it got this way! Bill and Norm take paint brushes and blades to two Mezco 1:12 collective figures to weather their clothes and give them a little more grit and grime. A little bit of distressing can go a long way with these figures!

    Model Behavior: Rocket Launch Smoke Effects

    Using the lessons we learned from experimenting with cotton batting to create smoke effects, Kayte and Norm try their hands on sculpting the exhaust for rockets in flight. We use photo references to guide our plumes, and light up the effect with some cheap LED lights.

    Model Behavior: Miniature Smoke Effects

    Kayte and Norm experiment with a technique for creating smoke effects for our miniature model builds, using simple cotton batting and some paint. For creating smoke at this scale, we sculpt the cotton and trim it to work with our models and give it some volume. It's a fun effect that we're going to keep on using!

    Let's Build: Wargaming Fallout Shelter, Part 4

    We're starting to the get the hang of these kits! Now it's time to finish the ARK fallout shelter with its final module: the vault door. We've had so much fun putting this together, and would recommend it even for non-wargamers. Now to think about the painting and weathering possibilities...

    Let's Build: Wargaming Fallout Shelter, Part 3

    The team overcomes a few hiccups in the build and complete their respective sections, and it's time to start joining the modules. We're continued to be impressed by the design of this laser cut kit, which even can be populated by 3d printed decor. Next up, the big finale!

    Let's Build: Wargaming Fallout Shelter, Part 2

    Now that we've gotten a sense of how the Black Site Studio laser cut kits come together, the team divys up the rest of the ARK fallout shelter set to being assembling individual modules. Norm runs into a hiccup with a missing piece, Sean demonstrates some on-the-spot problem solving, and Jeremy discovers the wonders of glue accelerant!

    Let's Build: Wargaming Fallout Shelter, Part 1

    Jeremy, Sean, and Norm try their hand at a new kind of build kit: laser-cut modular terrain for use with tabletop wargaming. This set is from Black Site Studio, and is a miniature fallout shelter made for use with the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare game. Let's break open the package and see how the pieces come together!

    Model Behavior: Shiny Model Cars!

    Bill and Norm build this delightful garage kit from Daniel Dawson, a 3D printed flying retro car model. For this project, we wnted to give this car a shiny candy coated finish, and experiment with two different applications of glossy clear coats: an Alclad lacquer Klear Kote and off the shelf floor gloss!

    Model Behavior: Painting Portraits

    One daunting aspect of modelmaking is the painting of figure heads and portraits. To get over our fear of ruining a sculpture, we mold and cast a batch of heads to work on. Kayte and Norm each take a sculpt and paint them in quick succession, learning from each practice attempt and refining their workflow.

    Model Behavior: Iron Giant Build, Part 2

    Bill and Norm meet back up in Adam shop over a month after they first began work on the Iron Giant garage kit to continue the process of piecing this massive figure together and giving it another layer of paint and grime. With each pass, we're amazed by how this resin model's rusted look evolves into something that looks truly old and heavy. (Watch part 1 of this build here in case you missed it!)

    Model Behavior: Iron Giant Build, Part 1

    One of our favorite animated films is Iron Giant, so for this week's Model Behavior, Bill and Norm begin the process of prepping and assembling a massive Iron Giant garage kit (made by FX artist Jon Miller). Using a posable Mondo figure as our reference for pose, we paint and prep the pieces to look like aged metal!

    Model Behavior: Diorama Water Effects!

    Kayte and Norm take miniature vehicles from past Model Behavior projects and augment them with a water base. Using Smooth-On Crystal Clear to make a base, we experiment with sculpting water effects using silicone caulking and Smooth-On's Sil-Poxy.

    Model Behavior: Let's Talk Paintbrushes!

    We got back to the basics with an overview of the various kinds of paintbrushes you can use for modelmaking and painting props. Bill brings a selection of brushes and we demo each type, showing the techniques that make the best use for each. What are your favorite brushes to use for your projects?

    Ask Adam: Life-Size Dream Prop

    Adam Reedman asked Adam, "If money, time, etc. weren't a factor, which full-size working prop would you want to make?" Here's Adam's answer, and if you have your own question for Adam, post it in the comments below!

    Bits to Atoms: Starlords Arcade Cabinet, Part 7

    Jeremy and Sean head back to Other Ocean to regroup with Mike and Kevin for a Starlords project post-mortem discussion. Suffice to say, the team is ecstatic about the reception at California Extreme. Thank you all for watching this series and making Bits to Atoms possible!

    Ask Adam: Career Paths for Makers and Polymaths

    On Instagram, @salzmoto asked, "Outside of special effects, what career paths do you see opening up for makers and polymaths in general? How might someone make a career out of collecting hands-on skills in a world so currently obsessed with digital things?" Here's Adam's answer, and if you have a question for Adam, post it in the comments below!

    Model Behavior: Hairspray Paint Chipping

    For this week's project, Kayte and Norm experiment with a modelmaking technique using off-the-shelf hairspray as a way to create realistic paint chipping. We apply this to a few test pieces and then to a garage kit from Machination Studio. We couldn't be happier with the results!

    Bits to Atoms: Starlords Arcade Cabinet, Part 6

    It's all come to this. Jeremy and Sean bring the cabinet pieces to Other Ocean for final assembly and to test the software with a very first playthrough. Then, with just days to spare, they fix last minute bugs before unveiling Starlords at California Extreme. But we're not done yet! Stay tuned for one final episode to wrap up the Starlords project!

    Model Behavior: Assembling Bill's Replicant Blaster!

    Bill brings to our office the culmination of a big project: a scratch-modeled interpretation of the Blade Runner blaster prop that he's turned into a kit. We assemble this Replicant Blaster kit to show how it all comes together with real hardware (no glue!) and mechanical action (those darn springs!) Follow along to celebrate Bill's incredible prop-building achievement!