Micro Reactor: Method

CONSTRUCTION:

 

  • Plastic toy egg containers separate into a top oval half and bottom round half providing two distinctive and complementary domes to work with. If the halves are connected, trim off any excess material. 

 

  • A plastic bottle cap makes an excellent base providing a good fit inside the dome. It also prevents the dome from flexing when handled, preserving your paint job.

 

  • Rinse out the bottle caps and remove any labelling. Any protruding plastic ridges where the cap was sealed to the bottle can be sanded flat.

 

  • Attach the base of the dome to the top of bottle cap with super glue, leaving some of the bottle cap ribbing visible to add detail around the edge.  Allow to dry thoroughly.

 

DETAILING:

 

  • Areas of wear and dents can be added to the dome by carefully slicing off small sections of its outer surface with a craft knife. 

 

  • Control panels and repair patches can be easily made from thin Plasticard. Cut small squares or rectangles which will readily bend to fit the shape of the dome. Once glued in place, add ‘buttons’ or ‘rivets’ by cutting thin slices of Plastruct rod section and gluing them in a suitable pattern.

 

  • Extra detail can be added from model kits to make piping, vents and exhausts etc.

 

 

PAINT:

 

  • Apply a base coat of acrylic black spray primer to the entire model.

 

  • Once dry, apply a light coat of acrylic spray in your colour of choice. An uneven coat can look effective for a more weathered effect.

 

  • Once the colour coat is dry, paint any areas of metallic detail such as repair patches in black ink. This creates a good base to dry-brush with metallics or paint in a complementary or contrasting colour. Pick out any control panel buttons, bright green and red create a simple ‘start/stop’ button visual.

 

  • Roughly outline any raised areas of detailing with brown inks, brushing downwards for streaks of rust and dirt. This can look effective as run off where the dome meets to cap base.

 

  • Decals, especially industrial signage, hazard markings and graffiti can add lots of extra detail and narrative. Lettering and numbering sets are ideal for adding chemical elements and tying together multiple units with a numbering system. Decals can be sealed with a coat of matt spray varnish for added protection when handling.

 

  • Any remaining flat areas of colour can be broken up with grime and rust by applying brown inks and paint lightly with a sponge. This is especially effective around rims and areas of damage.

 

  • Black and brown weathering pigments can be applied to areas around vents and exhausts.