Author Topic: Stranger in the desert  (Read 7055 times)

Offline Frank3k

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Stranger in the desert
« on: July 30, 2014, 11:11:04 AM »
This Jeep was inspired by the Jeep in the 1955 Science Fiction Theatre Episode 05 "Stranger In The Desert":

Science Fiction Theatre 05 Stranger In The Desert


I want to add a couple of figures and some gear, but this is what I have so far:



The Jeep is painted blue, with a light green hood (or bonnet). It's hard to tell from the faded colors in the video, but that jeep seems to be blue with a discolored (or just dusty) hood. My Jeep's blue turned greenish after I applied some weathering.





This is the excellent, newish Tamiya Jeep (Kit No. 35219) with the matching Eduard PE set and the Archer instrument and data plate decals. The PE easily tripled the time required to assemble the kit and I didn't even use all the parts. I don't think this kit really needs PE, other than in a few noticeable parts (no pedals, poor fuel can representation) and they can be replaced with scratchbuilt parts. I managed to loose the PE "T" latches for the hood and windscreen, so I made a couple of replacement parts from plastic. Other than that, it's straight out of the box (and PE).





The license plate is an accurate representation of a 1952 California license plate. I wasn't sure if the plate colors changed in 1955 or 1956 and it wasn't obvious after a brief online search, so I used the closest I could find. The license "7J2 014" is for the date I finished this model (month 7, July 2014). I printed the plates on regular paper, then coated the back with Elmer's Rotted Wood stabilizer, which is basically a PVA glue. When applied to paper, the paper acts a lot like plastic.



I have to make up some sleeping bags, pads, backpacks and other equipment, plus the figures.

If anyone wants an accurate, inexpensive and simple WWII Jeep, the Tamiya is it. It's a quick and enjoyable build, too - as long as you don't add PE.

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 01:48:42 PM »
Really nice Frank.

It does look a neat kit.. I am attacking the Bronco Airborne jeep at the moment and that is waaaaaaaay over engineered with parts for the sake of having parts to add to  parts that sit on parts.


Offline Frank3k

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 09:51:37 PM »
Really nice Frank.

It does look a neat kit.. I am attacking the Bronco Airborne jeep at the moment and that is waaaaaaaay over engineered with parts for the sake of having parts to add to  parts that sit on parts.

Brian,
 Bronco does have a tendency to grossly over engineer their kits, like adding tiny PE parts to vehicle suspensions in areas that'll never be seen. Their GAZ-69 took me forever to finish because of all the excessive number of tiny parts that go on tiny parts...but you still have to build them because they form a critical part of the structure. This Tamiya jeep was just a fun build, even with the extra PE. The only weakness is that turning the front wheels would take considerable amount of plastic surgery.

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2014, 01:20:31 AM »
Nice looking Jeep Frank! Looks like it is fresh from the Army Surplus parking lot.  The hood with the different color adds to that theme and the red gas can is almost straight out of the J.C. Whitney catalog. 
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Offline Acree

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 02:15:11 AM »
Nice job and a great choice!  I love the old Sci-Fi movies and TV shows of the 50s.  I'd love to build Sheriff Grayson's cruiser as a complement to your build, but I couldn't even identify the car.  The name plate on the side looked like it started with a "P" but was not Pontiac.  Any ideas?

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 05:57:06 AM »
Nice job and a great choice!  I love the old Sci-Fi movies and TV shows of the 50s.  I'd love to build Sheriff Grayson's cruiser as a complement to your build, but I couldn't even identify the car.  The name plate on the side looked like it started with a "P" but was not Pontiac.  Any ideas?


It may be a 1955-1955 Plymouth Plaza:

http://www.allpar.com/history/chrysler-years/1953-1954.html
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 06:01:32 AM by Frank3k »

Offline Acree

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 07:37:14 AM »
Yes I think that is it!  Definitely a '53 or '54, though, not '55 (different headlights, etc.).  Pretty ugly car (IMO) even for the day.  Not much chance of finding a model kit of it anywhere, I guess. 
Oh,well. 

Chuck

Correction - there is THIS for $89 on e-bay...  http://www.ebay.com/itm/OBSOLETE-VERY-RARE-YELLOW-CAB-DEALER-PROMO-CAR-VERY-NICE-1954-PLYMOUTH-/221498688766?pt=Model_Kit_US&hash=item339259c4fe

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 08:35:30 AM »
Yes I think that is it!  Definitely a '53 or '54, though, not '55 (different headlights, etc.).  Pretty ugly car (IMO) even for the day.  Not much chance of finding a model kit of it anywhere, I guess. 
Oh,well. 

Yeah, I meant '53-'55 (can't be much later than that). The closest period cars in 1/32 (close enough to 1/32) are the Lindberg, (ex-Pyro?) 1949 Ford Tudor Coupe or the 1952 Chevy Fastback.


Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2014, 05:21:37 PM »
Looks every bit the real deal, Frank!

I like the splash of color provided by that jerrycan on the back.

Brian da Basher

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2014, 10:23:06 AM »
I'm almost finished with this - I added the "Stranger", two figures and a base.

In the TV episode, the stranger was a kindly alien old man; that's silly. Here's the real Stranger:



It's half of a blue plastic Easter egg. It was placed in a nylon (donated by my wife) and stretched against the fabric. I held the nylon in place with a clip, then sprayed it with Testor's Metalizer. The bottom half is from a Glencoe re-release of the ancient Lindberg (or Strombecker?) Moon Lander kit. The legs are from a Pegasus Alpha Centauri UFO (donated by Jeff) and the cone at the bottom and the hatches over the landing gear are from a robot detailing set.

Here are two not very bright prospectors getting close and personal with the Stranger:



The figures are from the two ICM Russian tankers in Afghanistan sets, with some minor mods. The base is coated with some light weight spackle; I may remove it.


The standing figure is sporting a scratchbuilt Geiger counter, resin hands from Verlinden and a New Worlds Miniature resin head. The boonie hat is from a DML figure set and was slightly modified.


The guy with his nose in the stranger's business is unmodified. The gear in the jeep is mostly from a Tamiya set.

I still need to weather the figures a bit and add some minor gear, like canteens and knives. The gear in the jeep needs minor tweaking and I need to paint and rework the base before I set the final position of all the components. The Stranger is pretty much finished.




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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2014, 11:45:39 AM »
The texture created by stretching the nylon hose over the egg is fantastic.  Geiger counter is also very convincing.  Having watched that episode (thanks to your link) I was amazed at what a pair of tools these two were when they kicked the door in on the cabin with guns drawn.  Certainly not a way to make a good first impression but that was another time and another mind set I suppose. 

Coming together really well for a mish mash of spare parts and such.  :)
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2014, 05:57:21 AM »
What a killer diorama!

Love the texturing on the "stranger".

Frank, your talent is completely off the charts!

Brian da Basher

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2014, 09:23:24 AM »
Beautiful work, Frank - thanks for the link, too - I've heard about the series, but never gotten around to watching any of the episodes.

Offline Camthalion

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2014, 06:17:42 PM »
excellent work.

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2014, 01:56:24 AM »
This is really good. :)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Frank3k

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2014, 04:56:51 AM »
Thanks for all the comments. I was surprised at how easy it was to get the pattern from the nylons. This was my second try; the first one was OK, but I missed a few spots. I mixed Vallejo satin clear with Liquitex iridescent blue paint and sprayed it on the dome part. The lower section was sprayed with Vallejo satin clear and Liquitex red-gold iridescent paint.

This episode is fairly entertaining. The two prospectors are not very smart; I'm surprised they didn't die of radiation poisoning before the first commercial break.  The series in general was simplistic, but not bad considering they're only 30 minutes long. They had a thing about "grandpa" aliens,  jeeps and old desert coots (several episodes with one or all of these elements).

Here's a good episode,with the actor who played "Doc" from "Forbidden Planet":

Science Fiction Theater - "Time Is Just A Place"

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2014, 09:51:43 AM »
I think I'm done with this.

"Well would ya look at this thing! I wonder if it's some sorta commie weapon?"


"We're rich, I tell ya!"


"I dunno, Bob. Could be a UFO from outer space. It is slightly radioactive..."


"Don't be such a wet blanket! Let's stake a claim, take a part off and get back to town to celebrate!"


...and they were never heard from again.

I tried to replicate the desert pavement that is common in the Mojave desert (in spots it can look like a paved road) but failed. Oh well. There are sections (especially near lava fields) that look like this. I glued sand from the Kelso sand dunes (in the Mojave) to the base, so it is somewhat authentic.

Thanks for all the comments!

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2014, 09:26:21 PM »
That really is very good ---   :) :)

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2014, 12:32:59 AM »
Awesome!! And what a great job with simple techniques!  :-* :-*
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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2014, 04:34:45 AM »
Frank, you go further with your failures than most people do with success. Beautiful job, man.
I think 'Science Fiction Theater might have been a little better without the end segment - " Did you
miss the point? Here, let me explain it to you..." That aside, it had a pleasent subtlety that you don't
see much these days.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Stranger in the desert
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2014, 06:13:45 PM »
Once again you hit the nail on the head with your analysis, Doc!

Frank, you've built another incredible marvel that would not be out of place in the movies! I've really enjoyed your work over the years and one of the joys of the hobby for me has been seeing you achieve such amazingly imaginative yet realistic museum-quality work!

Brian da Basher