Renoke Model Update


Not much action on the model this week, too much baseball. Hope to get at it this weekend though! Here is the stern minus the engine and inverted for working on the bottom.

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.

Summer Baseball

My oldest son is becoming quite the baseball player. He tried out for and made the local American Legion team this summer. From time to time I post pictures of him playing ball. The team is the Boise Gems and they are connected to Timberline High School, where he will be a Freshman next fall. He plays catcher and sometime outfield. A week into the season and the Gems are 5-0. Needless to say, the team is pretty stacked with talent this year. It’s fun to watch them.

His mom took this one and it could be his baseball card picture.

Ready to give that ball a ride.

Here he is talking with his buddy, Morgan Baker.

I think the batter has his tongue sticking out.

Victory Starfighter Build, Part 1

As with the Trogen and Swift builds, this build starts with the cockpit that will attach to a PVC pipe for the fuselage. Once again, for consistency, I used old Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1 model from Revell as the seat and instrument panel.


The nose cone is 1/2″ PVC that I had on hand. It’s topped with a wheel from a tank model. Interior cockpit details were built to be similar to the Vickers Swift.


This image shows the old cardboard Victory model I built in 1/48 scale. I used it for a guide while building the 1/32 scale version.


Here are both Vickers models side by side. You can definitely see the resemblance.


Next up are the wings. They have intake areas just like the Swift. That area needs to be detailed with groves plastic walls and various wheels and plastic bits. This process takes a while and must be repeated for the second wing.


I used many of the same X-1 details for the area behind the wings.


Wings complete, it’s time to cement them to the fuselage.

Next up we’ll detail the top fin, fuselage and wing exteriors and then paint and weather it.



Posted in Art

Trogen Starfighter Build, Part 3

Up first on the detailing is the vertical fin. I lightly sketch onto the plastic the panel lines and then score them with either a scribe or a knife, following a metal ruler. The same thing was done to each wing.

The bottom of the starfighter gets some details from model jets. Here you can also see the only mount point on the model.

I have tone, fire!

With the pilot installed, other surface fuselage details are added.

On a clean bench with her stable mate, the Vickers Swift.

Surface details were matched  to the Swift, because they are both Alliance fighters, even though they are made by different companies.

With the detailing finished there was nothing left to do but paint. I started with a flat white bottom and then added the dark sea gray that was used on the planet Kew. This planet is featured in the novella, Devon's Blade and we had thought that this model would appear on it's cover but it was later cut.

Weathering is one of may favorite parts of modeling. It's where a model starts to look real.

I used gray and white and black pastels applied with a dry brush to get most of the weathering effects. A few flecks of silver for chipped paint.

It looked so real, it took off into the skies and I never saw it again. Although it was cut from the novella's cover, it will likely appear on several other covers later this year. When it does, it will be wearing the traditional all white Alliance paint job seen below.