Jason Eaton

Sometimes my arms bend back

Archive for March, 2011

Archive: The best of 2003

When I moved the website over to this new format, I realized I’d have to port old content. So here we go!

In February 2003, I was living in Annapolis MD at my mother’s house, post-divorce, post-Baltimore, and working as the “Video Director” for an ad agency in Eastport.

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Maschinen Krieger 1/20th scale Lunadiver Stingray – Master Pattern

In 2006, I was lucky enough to get an audience in front of the original 1/20th Lunadiver, built by Yokoyama-san and Sedo-san. At the time, I took a few photos with an eventual replica in mind. Flash forward two years, and the decision to make the Lunadiver in such a way to have it cast as a kit… man, I wish I took more photos back in ’06!

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What a day.

So, Lisa and I got up early this morning to attend a funeral service. We got dressed and drove to the church (a cool pyramid-shaped church in Dundalk) only to find a near-flat tire on the car!! We had been essentially driving on the sidewall, ugh. So we dropped everything and I drove about a minute and a half to the nearest gas station to fill it up with air, hoping to get to the repair shop. Luckily the tire held pressure (I could see a puncture mark), and we got it to the shop in one piece. Verdict? Huge bubble in the sidewall which was probably caused by that hellacious pot hole on Lombard this past Thursday. Thanks Baltimore, your roads really do suck. We’ll get it back on Monday, since the replacement tire needed to be ordered. Of course.

To make ourselves feel better, we got Phở.

 

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Maschinen Krieger – My Gallery of Shame Part I

So I decided to add all of my old photos from the “early days” of building Maschinen Krieger models. These represent the output from 1999 until about 2002. This entry shows the “Schallgewehrtraktor”, which was a treaded vehicle that carried a “sonic weapon”. This model was made in 2002. I dislike it because it doesn’t have a Ma.K. feel (I was still very green to Yokoyama-san’s style), and there are very recognizable donor parts. Plus, those smoke launchers aren’t pointing in the right direction! But, it was a necessary step in my evolution as a model maker and scratch builder, so I am glad I made it… it just doesn’t deserve a place on the mantle, so to speak!

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Battlestar Galactica Antique Viper Pattern a la MCA-57 (aka – ILM)

I have just finished the master pattern for a Studio Scale kit. What does that mean, exactly? Well, Studio Scale refers to any filming miniature that was built my a movie studio for special effects work, and can really be any scale. In this particular case, we have all come to the consensus (nerds online, that is) that the Vipers from the original Battlestar Galactica were 1/24th in scale. Since this exceedingly rare variant was based on many pre-existing Viper parts, it too is 1:24th-ish. So, why “exceedingly rare”? Well, in 1978, the special effects department/crew landscape became very fluid for a couple of months. After Star Wars was released (and started swelling in popularity), the team that created the models (ILM) were not immediately tasked with any projects. In this lull, they began work on Battlestar Galactica miniatures and effects shots, apparently under the name MCA-57. In late Summer, ILM was told that the team was “getting back together” for The Empire Strikes Back, and moving facilities North to San Rafael. Battlestar materials were transported to another shop named Universal Hartland, which finished the series (along with Buck Rogers and Galactica 1980). When the move happened, the Antique Viper was LOST and another had to be constructed!!

The Antique Viper (alternately known as the Sixth Millennia Viper and Model T Viper) was built for the episode “The Long Patrol”. Since it was lost in the move it was never filmed, and only a half dozen photos exist of this particular prop, and these were not taken as reference material. This is why you see a rough-around-the-edges Antique Viper out there, that shares even more lineage to an original Viper casting – Universal Hartland had to construct a replacement! This replacement Antique Viper has been sold at auction, and has been very well documented – but I digress.

The original Antique Viper bewitched myself and a few others who love to spend all of their waking hours trying to ID parts for these silly things. One of these people is Mike Salzo, who had recently recreated the classic Viper in studio scale from cleaner parts and correct measurements, putting all of the “cast and recast and re-recast from an original foam casting” kits to shame. Until Mike’s “Hero” kit, we had undersized lumpy, wonky, and soft Vipers on our display shelves. Now we had a big sexy sharp Viper, and of course wanted MORE. So when Mike and I struck a deal for me to create a pattern of the Antique, I chose the original – the HERO! Sadly there have been a few compromises that impact it’s accuracy – we could not ID all of the parts used because there just was not any reference available. Sections were not documented well (or in focus), and angles are missing. We had ONE shot of the back, but it was at such an oblique angle that some of the “way back” detail between the two engines is impossible to identify. So what you have is a compromise – I made some of this up, but it will be cast in a way that should better reference ever surface, the model maker could swap out the stuff I made and use the correct plastic bits and bobs. Until that day, here’s my take on the Hero Antique Viper!

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