Renoke Model Update

Top and Bottom of the Renoke model.

The state of the model as of mid-July is as above. Everything is detailed and painted with primer except for the engine and the bridge. I’ve ordered some LED lights for both the bridge and the engine. I’ve also ordered some Tamiya flat white paint for the base coat. The model is 1/32 scale and that will become more evident as I construct the bridge. It has large windows and you can see several seats and a hallway easily. So lots of opportunity to get creative with the detailing. It will probably also feature some fiber optic lights to make it interesting.

The engine is under construction, I’ll be trying to figure out how to light it as I build. Going to be using some high intensity LEDs and whatever else I come across that might look cool. There are going to be fins in the engine that might light up using clear plastic, if I can get it working right.

My favorite part of modeling, aside from doing the detailing, is weathering. The Renoke will have a Millennium Falcon-ish off white base color but many panels are shades of gray, red, brown and green and every inch is covered in oil, grime and rust. Can’t wait to start that process.

NOTE: The lighting in the above pictures is horrible. The top one was taken under the blue tint of daylight and the bottom one under the orange tint of incandescent lights at night. Better pictures will be forthcoming when I can find the time during the day to match them.


Weekend Model Update – Renoke


Still working on the bottom of the model. From the mid point to the stern is pretty much completed. Moving on to the bow, full steam ahead. I also spent some time on the stern details, not pictured. The engine is also being built up now. Pictures of that next time.

Time For More Baseball Pictures

My son’s baseball team (Boise Gems American Legion) played a ton of games, at least one per day, sometimes two, over a ten day period last week and won all of them but one. Just amazing. Especially given that the temps were either in the high nineties or hundreds every game.

Here are some of the best pics I took over that period. I either used a Canon 60D with a 28-135 mm zoom lens or a 70-300 mm zoom lens. I also used my cell phone for the last one.










Writing Update


As I’ve said before on this blog, 2015 is the year I publish four new books. I wrote these books over the past two years and this year I’m editing them and bringing them to press. It’s a slow process when you have to wait for editors and proof editors and book cover artists. With four books in various stages of post production, it seems like I’m not moving forward. But in reality, stuff is happening.

My cover artist, Byron, is working on the cover for The Rising, Book 2 of the Starforgers Trilogy and my copy editor is giving the ebook document a final once over. This book should be done in July. The Devon’s Blade cover is complete. Counterattack, Book 3 of the trilogy is awaiting copy editing and I’ve recently finished reading it through one final time. Presently, I’m preparing The Blood Empress novella for my editor. After I get it off to the editor, I’ll be doing a second pass on the Devon’s Blade novella.

We still have to finalize the covers for Starforgers, The Rising, Counterattack and The Blood Empress. So lots of work for Byron. This should go quickly, as my Gimp versions already have the basic look defined for each cover. The editing and proofing probably take the longest, but you don’t want to rush these stages. Bill Blohm is my editor and my copy editor is Kris Provant.

Usually I do the epub creation, but I may farm that out for one or both of the novellas. That’s still to be determined. After the trilogy books are complete, I’ll have a single ebook available that will contain them all. But I don’t expect to have that out this year. I’d like to let the books sell individually for a few months first.

To facilitate in formatting the ebooks, I’ve finally ordered a new Kindle. My old keyboard version is broken and does not have the new features of a modern Kindle. So I got the new 300 ppi Paperwhite WiFi version. Looking forward to reading on it later this week.

My current plan is to enroll both novellas in the Kindle Select Program to try and reach as many readers as possible. You can read each one as a stand alone story and they will contain links back to the trilogy books. If you are not a Kindle user and you would like to read these two novellas, your best bet will be to join my Newsletter. All members of the newsletter will get the novellas in epub format for free.

That’s all for now. Time to get to the ball field for another baseball game.

Summer Baseball

My oldest son Jack made the American Legion team for his High School this summer. At about the mid-point in the season, the Boise Gems have only lost two games. Here are some pics of Jack playing America’s Past Time.









Renoke Model Update

Almost finished detailing the top and sides of the Renoke model. Took a few minutes this weekend to hit with some gray primer. I just used car primer in spray paint. I do this during construction to see how well the details are holding up. Does it look like a starship, or a bunch of plastic thrown together with modelling cement.

I think we may indeed have starship here. ;-)

Building The Renoke, Part 3

Continuing on from where we left off before, here's the details inside the other side of the ship. Most of these parts are tank and truck related with plenty of strips of various sizes of plastic.

This is about the time I started building up the hump of the actual star drive and detailing the area where a second drive used to be before it was disassembled.

The removable hatch was created for the open store room inside.

This shows the engine area covered over with thinner sheet plastic and the frame around it that existed on the original cardboard model.

Just add details to make it come alive.


I decided to make a sliding panel to keep the hatch in place when the model is not upright.

Can you see what changed?

More details added to the area without an engine.

This shows the left outboard storage containers getting panels. I went with a four latch approach for two of the plastic ones.

Close up of an area to show how I use different kit parts to imply that something was there but was removed.

Continuing along the sides. It's always a challenge to make things look like they do something. You can't just lay down parts in random fashion. That's the art in this particular bit of modeling. It can't be rushed and its limited to what you have on hand. Which means when you get low on parts, you have to know what kits have the best greeblies. Mostly it's tanks and trucks.

Site Admin

I’ve been adding new build pages for several of the models I built over the past year. I’m just about caught up. So if you enjoy looking at the behind the scenes images of each model being built you’ve now got a few more pages to study. My latest build is the Renoke, a Millennium Falcon type freighter from my short story – The Renoke. It will be staring in book five of the Star Saga, so that’s the reason I’m building it. All of these models are designed and built to be photographed for my book covers.

We’re coming up on the furnace that is the Idaho summer, so my modeling will begin to taper off until fall. I expect to finish the Renoke model later this year. That’s when I’ll probably start the next cover models for book six. In the mean time, I’ll be writing the actual books.

The current theme looks great in a browser, but looks fugly on a phone. At some point I will have to change it again for a theme that handles smaller formatted devices. In the meantime, I’m not messing with it much anymore.