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GIANT CYCLOPS & CHARIOT DIORAMA (GEMINI STUDIOS)

Updated: October 15, 2005

CUSTOMIZED LOST IN SPACE CYCLOPS & CHARIOT DIORAMA BY GEMINI MODEL BUILD-UP STUDIOS:

Recently, a client approached me with a new Lost In Space project. He had a re-issue of the “Aurora 420” and asked what I might be able to do to make it more accurate and a little more interesting than merely building the kit straight from the box. After some discussion it was decided that I would upgrade the Chariot and modify the figures to portray the family not in their spacesuits but in the colorful velour fatigues worn in the series first season. I always try to include as much detail as possible in my work and will explain the modifications done on this project. The results are pictured here and I hope that everyone enjoys them.

CYCLOPS:

The Cyclops really needed no modification and was built straight from the box and hand painted in various brown shades of Apple Barrel acrylics. Darker washes and drybrushing in several lighter shades brought out the details. Finally, a clear gloss coat was added to the teeth and eyes to bring him to life.

BASE:

The base presented a couple obstacles. The ground is molded in two parts and when assembled leaves a large gap. Also it is molded with a “dimpled” surface which does not really simulate the desert-like terrain of the Robinson’s planet. My solution was to add two different shades of fine grain craft sand to my acrylic base color and hand paint in several thin coats. This not only provided the texture I wanted but solved the gap problem as well. To further eliminate the gap on the sides of the base, small rocks were glued into place. The large cliff on which the monster stands was base coated in Burnt Sienna acrylic. Darker wash was applied and then the piece was drybrushed in various earth tones to simulate the outdoor filming at Red Rock Canyon.

CHARIOT:

The Chariot is very well sculpted and looks pretty close to the vehicle used on the series. The body was assembled and the seams were puttied and sanded as usual. Strips of styrene were used to build up the front and rear window frames as well as the front sides which were sanded off while doing the putty work. Thin styrene strips were then cut and shaped to create the top ladder rungs which are not included with the kit. After priming, the Chariot was painted in dull aluminum using several thin coats of automotive lacquer with a clear top coat. The small details such as ladder rungs, luggage & racks, lights and wheels were all hand painted. The gun hatch dome was painted silver and masked and painted the same shade of light blue as the graphics. The “solar collector” was detailed with a small piece of bright aluminum foil. The final detail for the Chariot were the graphics. The decals supplied with the kit are not very accurate so I chose to replace them. I downloaded the artwork from my files, reduced it to the proper size and printed it on glossy photographic paper. The artwork was then cut to their proper shape and glued to the body. Finally, the Chariot was hot glued to the completed base and dark earth toned tread marks were painted on the ground behind.

FIGURES:

The most challenging part of this project were the modification of the spacesuits into the 1st season outfits. The figures were assembled and all necessary sanding and putty work done. The clothing detailing was carved using hobby knives and needle files. It was an extremely time consuming process, but I think the results were worth the effort. Most of the work was pretty straightforward. The most difficult part was Maureen’s tunic neck which was built using a thin strip of epoxy putty shaped and glued into place. The faces were airbrushed using acrylic flesh colored paint, then when dry, a brown wash was applied. Finally, the eyes and facial details were hand painted and the rest of the figures were painted and detailed using various shades of acrylic paints.

ORDER INFORMATION:

The cost of this project is $275.00 (not including kit) plus shipping. Modification for 2nd or 3rd season is also available. For any comments or questions regarding this or any other project, please e-mail me at: geminibuildups@aol.com or visit the website at: www.geminibuildupstudios.com


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