The Oscar Goes To - Episode I


Welcome to the first episode of this week-long League edition work-in-progress build!
Ordinarily you may think that I would start this one off like I normally do, but I'm going to change it up slightly. Instead of starting this build with the main character, the Ki-43 Oscar, I'm going to start with the base work. I'll save the Oscar for last.
Building a detailed base for your aircraft is a great way to display it. It gives your model context, and some other things to catch the viewer's eye. In this case, I want my Oscar to be in flight, low to the ground, skimming the tree tops of some Pacific island paradise. To realize my plans, I'll have to start making some palm trees. I've never built trees from scratch before, so take what I make here with a grain of salt. To begin, I had to do some research, so I grabbed some images of palm trees...



You can see that they have a particular texture to the trunk, and not all of them stand straight up as a pine or oak would. So, I cut some length of rod off of a spare sprue that I had lying around, and with a candle I carefully heated them up and bent them to the desired shapes...



Now I need to replicate that unique texture. In doing so, I wrapped the sprue with thin copper wire to give it that ribbed appearance, then surrounded that with blue masking tape...


...for the final look...


Now, I've got trunks to work with. The hardest part will be creating palm fronds...a lot of palm fronds. For my first attempt, I will use some rather questionable looking plastic leaves that you can acquire from the reptile section of your local pet store. I removed the plastic spines and replaced it with a length of bendable wire. Then cut the leaves to give them their distinctive shape...



I think it needs a bit of clean up, but its looking good so far. I may experiment with using paper for the fronds. It all depends on how crazy I want to get. I'm not sure how long this is going to take me, but for a few hours tonight, I'll be sweat-shopping a bunch of little palm leaves...
That is all for now! Stay tuned for the next update!

Intro to the Project


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