Zylaxus: a dubious build thread

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Hmm, comparing apples to kumquats to avocados

On your images the top looks gold, but bottom looks gray, not silver (may be best rendering of silver OR can do.)

RE the model, I like the gold better, and even if pic 2 looked silver, I think I’d still prefer the gold.

RE the BALL, the gold it doesn’t show off the ball as well as the gray. OTOH not sure true silver would spotlight it any more than the gold.

Kind of a pickle, because the ball is a pretty important part of the concept, and you sure put plenty of thought, time, and work on it.
On your images the top looks gold, but bottom looks gray, not silver (may be best rendering of silver OR can do.)
OR is just showing a solid color unless you add a decal texture to it. To get the best possible silver, you need to apply a silver texture. I've done that in the past, but decided it wasn't worth the trouble here. Silver without the metallic texture is just gray.

On this (old) model I went to the trouble of putting in the silver textures. You can see it has more life to it than just gray.

On the Zylaxus model I think I just chose too dark a gray, making it look very dull next to the much brighter gold color in the render. It'll look better in real life (and, unlike the fluorescent orange, *will* show up properly in pictures). Here is the model with a lighter grey (still no texture):
Might blow the theme, but I think a dark but vibrant color (so contrasts with BOTH the black AND the ball) for the cage fins might work (I don’t think black would work, you’d lose the cage), but keep a metallic color for the other tail fins and probably the canards. Maybe a metallic green or purple for the cage.
Hi ho silver
Painting or flying?
I don’t know what that last word means.

Anyway, perfect painting weather, so on went the silver. Silver is so challenging because it’s impossible to tell if the coat is even until it’s cured.

I think I did ok but we’ll see. At minimum I do think I got full coverage.

The sanded fin surfaces seemed to work out fine.


I guess I really need to get the decal design done now…. At least I now know this rocket will make it to LDRS in some form or another.
Wow that’s a lot of masking!
And now, a lot of unmasking!

This metallic paint dries much faster than the regular 2x stuff. It still smells a bit, so I'm leaving it in the shed for a while longer, but it was still a perfect time to unmask on a beautiful spring evening. The results are good:

silver-results-3.jpeg silver-results-2.jpeg

The silver came out pretty even (as even I can reasonably hope for), and I seem to have done a better job than usual of getting the paint burnished down around the fin roots. I think my new sequence of taping across the leading and trailing edges first and then along the root second worked out very well. I did have a couple of spots where the black paint chipped off:

Weird but whatever. Already touched up with my Vallejo black. I continue to be impressed by how unimpressive the black coat is, but once you see the whole rocket it really doesn't matter very much.

One "fun" thing about unmasking silver metallic is that it tends to flake when sharply bent or flexed (such as when removing tape), and you end up with little metallic flecks everywhere, including all over the rocket. Need to be careful to wipe it all off before applying decals or clearcoating.

Unmasking the ball to come soon.
Unmasking part 2

Unmasking the ball was about as challenging as I expected, pulling bits of tape in and around the cage with tweezers. It looks like it was successful insofar as no unwanted paint got in there. Again there was a bit of black paint pulled up right next to it but a quick touch up took care of it.


You want to see metallic paint? Here you go:

I'm glad I went with the silver. The ball really pops out of there. I'll never really know if I chose the right ball but it generally gives the effect I was hoping for.

My super-lame decal design is finished; I still need to print and clear-coat and apply them. It's now almost certain that I'll have this completely finished for LDRS. 😌
I wanted to do something a little weird and different for the cockpit (this is an alien ship after all). I started with the design from the Estes Alien Explorer then modified it until I landed on this, cut into three pieces. The compound curve of the nose was more than the clear-coated decal could handle, and I was left with several ugly creases. Thankfully, 3 (or maybe it was 4) applications of Micro-Sol got it under control.

I needed something to break up the long expanse of the front body. The only thing I could think of was to put some alien gibberish along the top.

Final Beauty shots to come soon I hope.