Anyhoo…as I explained in my previous pre-build post, George at Timeslip excelled himself by not charging me extra shipping when it was actually my fault for not asking about shipping outside the U.S., so Timeslip had already exceeded my expectations and I hadn’t even gotten my hands on the kit yet!
So, when the box arrived I was like a little kid at Christmas. And I instantly realised that somehow I had totally lost the concept of how big 4.5 inches is. For some reason, in my mind this kit was like, a foot long. So imagine my “confused puppy tilty head” look when this little box arrived, about the same size as an iPhone box.
I quickly opened it up and I was greeted with what I can only describe as the most adorable teeny-tiny model kit I have ever seen:
Inside the teeny-tiny box was also a teeny-tiny decal shieet. You can’t see them, but underneath the Gemini Freight logos are more little bits of signage for the containters (trust me, they are micriscopic and hard to see in real life too!)
The only slight niggles I might point out is the decal callouts are a little vague but it does say to refer to your reference documentation, and I suppose if you are the kind of person making a small-run niche kit you’ve probably pored over all the reference pictures on Modelers, Miniatures and Magic already. If you haven’t, why haven’t you? That site is an awesome timesink of reference images. I was also going to niggle that they say there was no information about what markings go on the inner containers, especially as they are visible in the renders of the actual CGI filming miniature from ZOIC, but then I guess this kit could have been released prior to the ZOIC renders being released. And, again to be fair, they give extra decals for just that purpose, so getting the information is not a problem.
So, I popped to B&Q to grab some brass rod, Picked up this hollow rod, which is about 2.5mm dia, and then looked at something to make the base from. There were a few little ornate wood things that had coathooks attached, which would make great little stand bases with the screw holes filled in. Unfortunately they were all actually about twice the length of the actual model, so would have looked odd. Stuck for ideas, I wandered around a bit and then, in the lighting section, had a cracking brainwave – I bought a lightswitch blanking plate. Hollow and with an angled edge, I can fill the holes and, if necessary, fill the underside to make it into a perfect, tiny display stand base. I R GENIUS!
Washing is simple – place the pieces in a bowl of warm-to-the-touch water (NOT HOT) that has oodles of washing up liquid in it. Leave them to soak for a minute, then carefully work each piece with a soft toothbrush and your hands to get any mould release agent and residue from all the little nooks and crannies. Be gentle; resin is very easily scratched. Do this for a minute, then place them in a separate bowl of clean water (again warm to the touch, not hot) to rinse them. When you have done this for all the parts, take them from the rinse bowl and set them out to dry. Depending on the size of the kit, you might need to leave them for a while to get all the water out, maybe 24 hours if they are very textured. Or, you can put them outside in the sun, if you have good weather. If you have any little holes, grilles or recessed areas that might be a water trap, you can use compressed air spray cans, or your airbrush, to deliver a blast of air to get any water out. What you DON’T do is pop them under a hairdryer. Why? For the same reason you don’t wash them in hot water: heat will make them bend and warp.
Resin is an odd material, it’s solid but when heated up gets all soft and flexible like pasta. It’s kind of an accepted norm that if your resin kit includes long thin parts like gun barrels, rifles, rods or things like that then more often than not you will open up the kit to find some of them all bent out of shape. It’s not really the manufacturer’s fault, it sometimes cannot be avoided depending on the manufacture process, and manufacturers are often small, one or two-man outfits who cannot afford to throw warped parts out or spend time straightening or re-pouring them. Part of the reason this in an accepted norm in most cases is that it is really easy to fix – simply dip the part in hot water, straighten it and hold it in shape until it cools and hardens again. This is often found to be necessary on larger pieces like fuselage halves and the like, and most modellers take it in their stride (of course, you occasionally get a kit where so much of the casting is warped it is no longer “just one of those things”. But that’s rare).
Thankfully, this kit has been cast beautifully – I haven’t seen a single bubble or pit yet. There was a tiny amount of flash but this is normal and easily removed with the back of a modelling knife. For such a tiny little kit, the casting (and level of detail) is exquisite. There’s a tiny bit of overpour on the cross-beams that go between the inner containers, but it’s only slight and I can live with it. Sadly I can’t get close enough with my iPhone camera to take close up shots of the detail in the little kit, but trust me, it rocks.
So, the only real cleanup I had to attend to was a slight excess layer of resin on the backside of the outer containers. It’s a bit you wouldn’t normally see, but you will notice it at the top and bottom of the containers if you look between the inner and outer rows, down the gap in the middle. You can see this in the picture below. I would need to sand both container pieces to get a surface flush with the edge of the container, no big problem.
However, my trusty supplier emodels does sell brass rods and tubing in 2mm and 2.5mm sizes (amongst others) so I ordered one of each and decided what I will do is firstly see if the 2mm rod fits into this hole snugly. If it does, I’m happy. If not, what I will do is drill another hole at 2mm and use that instead. Then I will either fill this first hole in, or, for simplicity simply add a home-made greeblie over the original hole to cover it up. I’ll probably be adding a few small plastic card greeblies to this middle section anyway to make it more interesting, so it’s no biggie.
Well, that’s it so far. I’m currently waiting for the brass rod and CA glue from emodels to arrive, so thanks for reading and stay tuned for part two – the enbuildening!