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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Thank you, everybody! That kit was a joy to build (aside from screwing on the fin...) and paint.

Terry, that's just exactly the way I like to paint wood! :thumbsup: Didn't know if I could pull that off, but it turned out okay. For the wood paneling: I wanted that specific wood color to reflect the usual yellow in the costume's black, grey, and yellow (seems like an awful lot of yellow looking at just the interior, but once it's engulfed in that huge gloss black car body it comes out just right). As luck would have it, I have a folding food tray made of exactly that wood. Just painted the kit to copy what I saw in the real thing. Some trial and error was involved getting the right color of pencil for the grain, though, some too dark and some too red.

That follows my style in painting figure kits, which has always been to favor realism. My only regular formula or method is to find examples of kit objects to emulate, and then match the colors, patterns, and textures by eye. Batman, I went out and found a tree that looked the same. The Witch kit, found a book on Medeaval life with good photos at the library...that sorta thing.
 

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My problem has been finding a color scheme for the interior that is consistent enough for my liking. Having a floor pan made out of diamond plate (chrome) makes for such a strange contrast to the rest of the vehicle.

The majority of my batmobiles have black interiors, but for the level of quality for this model, it just seemed like a crime to paint it all black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Thanks, TRENDON & FT!

daikins, I know what ya mean. I had the same problem with the PL styrene '60s Batmobile. I finally decided the exterior would be a metallic black with red trim to emulate the tv car, and somebody here posted a really nice JL '60s diecast BM with a dark red interior I thought looked great. Plus, it matches the red trim...and an early Batmobile in the comics did have red stripes at the wheels. Not knowing what to do about the floor, I ended up painting it flat steel, and that turned out ok with the deep reds.

Honestly, I wouldn't know what else to do with it. Plus, I have an unfinished '50s batmobile from Horizon, and no idea what to paint that!

It won't look as good as this one here, because there were a few things I couldn't get the Bare Metal Foil to adhere to well and had to handpaint silver...which doesn't look as good to my eye, too dull compared to other elements and I just couldn't paint it as crisply as I'd hoped for.

I really ought to get back to it and finish. One of Robin's arms is missing. I hate to ask Dave if there's still an open kit of this for parts replacement when it's my own fault for losing it, but I ought to be able to make a new one with epoxy putty.
 

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Dreamer-

You can have my un-used Robin. I like the cars without the figures.

I think I am going to paint the diamond plate gunmetal, so that it still retains the metallic aspect but does not offer such a jarring contrast to the woods and upholstery.

I too have the Horizon kit, as well as it's 80's counterpart. With the '80's I went with an all-black interior, after deciding the light grey color in the comics was just silly. I think the contrast works in the comics (needing neutral light colors as the background to the bright colors of the costumes, etc.), but not as a 3-D model.

The Horizon '50's kit is now on deck to be re-worked into the "Bubble-mobile" that was drawn in most of the late-50's by artist Shelly Moldoff. It had a full bubble canopy, flat trunk surface, and a fin that extended soley from the rear of the car. I have been leveling the back of the car and am trolling for a cheap Big Daddy Roth kit for the bubble top. Hoepfully the fit will be okay, but the laboratory will go the way of bondo (as illustrated in the comics). It should look really cool when done.

I just started using Bare Metal Foil and found it challenging. I used it on my PL Batboat. I went nuts on the kit, adding all the red-orange pinstripes, figuring out paint friskets, and decided that the silver paint wouldn't cut it. While I usually don't like chrome on my model cars, the BMF really makes that model work, but boy, the curves on the windshields and trim were tough.

I will figure out how to take some pictures of it and my 1940 Batmobile and try posting.

deane
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
I'd love to see them!

1940's BM? I'm going to try to make one after October, still gathering parts for scratchbuilding. Been on the back burner for a few years now, same with the Horizon. Horizon needs a few fixes and that vac canopy is intimidating. That whole kit, it's not the sort of thing I have any experience to fall back on.

And, yeah, silver paint for metal is less and less tolerable to me too, but even worse when it's on a vehicle kit. Unfortunatleyu, I have mixed luck with BMF, and almost none on complex shapes or compound curves.

I got out that PL '60s kit last night, and think I might give BMF one more shot at the interior. If it works, I'll strip it down and start over. Most of it wasn't glued yet anyway.

Got a bunch of Bat vehicles I haven't gotten around to working on yet, and a few I'd better try to buy before they disappear completely. Never did pick up that boat! :eek:

And thank you for the Robin, if you're sure you don't want it for anything else! I'm pretty sure I can make a new arm.

Edit: fogot to include, that Horizon conversion job you're planning is something I want to see too! I'm not familiar with that design from the comics, but it sounds good.
 

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Dreamer-

I found Robin last night. It looks like I assembled him for use as a scale reference, but never did anything with him. Just send me an email via the board if you want him.

I found a "Bubble-mobile" picture here:
http://mymodels.topcities.com/batman/batmobile/other-bm03.html
Basically, I think the artists got tired and started drawing a less-complicated version.

I had hunted down the Horizon kit with great enthusiam when it came out, but found it very challenging due to resin problems. I wound up calling the company twice to ask for new parts due to warping or packing damage. Once I saw the JL version, I knew that all of my efforts had been in vain. I am building the interior now and can't believe the amazing amount of detail. I think I'm going to try and color-copy the images used in the comic for the display monitors.

The Horizon kit is perfect for the conversion because it's this big chunk of resin that looks so sad next to the JL kit. It's really a matter of finding a bubble-dome with a diameter that fits the body. Even with all the extra stuff I'm doing to the JL kit, it's coming together so much faster than the Horizon. I don't think I'll shed a tear when I start mixing the bondo...

Okay, pictures up by the end of the week, I promise!

deane
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Deane, your public profile isn't allowing emails or personal messages. Send me an e-mail at [email protected] if you like, let me know what I can do for you in return (shipping costs at least). My real address is:

Jeff Larsen
6433 S.E. Clatsop
Portland, OR 97206

That's not sensitive info, so no problem posting it.

I noticed the other day that Mike Stutelberg (Batcar admirer who designed the PL/JL kits - amazing job, Mike!) also did the instruction sheet on the Horizon kit. I'll finish it, maybe next year, end of this year, now that my skills have improved.

I'm not too worried about figures in the kits until I can have a lineup that's all in the same scale!! Sometimes I wnat them, sometimes not... Someday it would be nice to have most of the major Batmobile designs in the same scale, all lined up with a Batcave garage setting for them. Not that I'd have anywhere big enough to display it.

I'm also taken with the idea of converting those two figures from the Futura kit into Batman and Batgirl out for a ride. Only bought one Futura, though, and I might build it straight instead of as the Bat ride. Need another Futura - I'm not sure if I'm advanced enough to do conversions yet!
 

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It really is too bad the the bat-kits weren't better received by the buying public. Had PM/PL had an incentive to continue the series, a 1940's Batmobile (like the 1/64 scale JL kit) would have been very sweet. All those interior details are a real inspiration to do them justice as Dreamer did.


Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thanks, Steve!

You guys who didn't get this kit and have considered it, You really should find one while they're out there. Seriously, the detailing is so nice it's easy to make it look good. Mike Stutelberg's attention to detail is amazing - that map, pencil, and ruler are from the very story that originally introduced this Batmobile!

Man, the very thought of a PL '40s Batmobile, in either 1/25 styrene or 1/24 diecast...and it won't happen...:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Thank you, Mr. Buyer! :cool:

Deane, I look forward to finishing the kit now thanks to you! I appreiciate it - and look forward to your own work. :)
 

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Dreamer--I joined this message board just to see your pictures--they blew me away! I recently acquired one of these 1950s Johnny Lightning Batmobiles on Ebay, and was looking online for "inspiration". Could you give a novice like me any tips on how to do something comparable? I haven't purchased any paints or cement yet. I'm not sure where to start. ANY tips would be greatly appreciated. (PS I actually saw 3 or 4 JL Bat50s interiors online but yours took my breath away!!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 · (Edited)
That, sir, is an honor I can only hope to live up to. :eek:

Really, there's not much I can say except to detail the paint job, and you'll be wanting your own colors for that. I'll detail what I did, and hopefully you'll find something useful in it. Offhand, I don't remember anything about the build itself that was problematic, or suggestions about doing any one thing before another. Others will chime in and help if there's anything.

A few things first - forgive my typing. It accounts for most of the endless revisions and edits to my posts, and still errors slip by.

Second, how much of a novice? Myself, I'm a figure modeler primarily. Build the occasional car or vehicle for fun, but nowehere near the level of the guys who are good at it. They could tell you a lot more in general. I just got lucky here that the wood turned out to be a good choice (and took care of most of the interior) and the kit is so well designed and constructed.

I don't want to insult you by telling tou what you alredy know, but I'm gonna hit the basics anyway.

Do you know about Bare Metal Foil? Future Floor Polish in model building? Dry-brushing? Primer?

Third - get that kit out and start trying to screw in that fin! Most of us found the holes not tapped deeply enough, and had to either deepen them by constant screwing/unscrewing with great pressure (a reckless move, it threatens to destroy the clear canopy if your hand slips!!) or by saying "screw it" and gluing it instead with two part epoxy cement.

Needle files and fine sandpapers for cleaning up lines from the casting. If you are just getting into building (or just returning to it), you might not have a sprue cutter yet. Since I bought one, I'd never do without one again, but you may not want to bother with that if you decide not to stay with the hobby after the Batmobile.

Test fit everything, get familiar with the kit, try to visualize yourself doing each step well in advance of actually doing anything.

Okay, the paint job.

First, primer is a must. I tend toward Krylon Sandables, available practically everywhere in big generous rattle cans. Given a few of the lighter colors here, white primer for this one. Give the primer at least a day to cure fully - I live in a more humid climate, for me it's two or three days just to be sure.

Some modelers prefer enamels, some prefer acrylics. I tend to favor both/either depending on what kind of details need painting. Blending is easier with enamels, while there's nothing better than cheap craft store acrylics for drybrushing. That's for raised details more than smooth surfaces, even with practice it's difficult or impossible to do a clean job of shading this way on smooth areas. Trying to force a clean blend with fast-drying acryls will usually result in a screwed-up surface that has to be stripped back off. Otherwise, acrylics have a number of advantages: they're available in 2 ounce bottles for as little as 70 cents to a couple of bucks each at any craft store, in several brands (Americana, Apple Barrel, Folk Art); the variety of hues and tones is a modeler's gift; if you're in a mood to keep working, you can hit them with a hair dryer and move on to the next coat. I prefer Apple Barrel, but that's for painting by brush. For airbrushing, I've too little experience yet to have a preference.

I used both enamels and acryls on this.

The wood. You might not choose wood paneling. If you do, best thing is to get yourself a sample of the real thing and study it, have it right in front of you when you paint. Get acrylics from a craft store, if you don't like what you've done it's easy to strip it down and do it over. Also study the fine grain and get a colored pencil from an art store - get several in the right range, and narrow the choice by trying them out over the paints you choose. Also, don't lose patience if it doesn't come naturally at first. I've had a lifetime of trying to emulate surfaces and textures in pencil drawings and in painting kits.



The grain seen in finished wood isn't in long ribbons nor is it found only in lighter or darker patches. Don't rely on what you think wood looks like - that's a mental shorthand we all learn and is often wrong about...almost anything we try to recreate from memory alone. Erase what you think you know about whatever you're trying to emulate, and paint what you see. Wood grain (at least in the type of wood I was studying) is seen in short little dashes, throughout the wood. See the pics I attached, those are what you want the pencil for.

The colors of the food tray I was copying were already available from Folk Art in Camel and Cappucino, no custom blending needed. I bought several pencils in browns and red-browns. Painted the basic wood in uneven waves of the two colors, added the pencil in short strokes (keep it sharp). it still looked like a paint job so I married the colors a little by adding a highly translucent layer of Camel or Cappucino over that just for slight tinting, at least as much water as paint but more evenly applied than a general wash, to make it all one organic piece.

The best touch of all was pure luck, and can't be seen in photos. It's really impressive if you see it in person. - I can say that as it reflects no effort of mine! Real wood has a particular texture to it's sheen. I finished the wood by drybrushing a clear satin acrylic finish over the rest. Very lightly, hardly there at all. It gave it exactly the texture and sheen of the real wood table, and completed the illusion. Pure luck! I had no idea it would do that.

Drybrushing is taking just a little paint on your brush then wiping it all back off. There's a residue of paint left, and lightly brushing the already painted surface will pick up that residue. It takes practice, and you want to do it lightly - heavier concentrations can be built slowly as needed. Get a packet of shaders, flat brushes, in varying sizes at a craft or art store. I usually use the cardboard on the back of notepads for wiping, you don't want tissue or the like that will leave particles in the bristles. Like I said, it's mostly for raised details, but once you get the hang of it you'll find you can do it on surfaces with only the most minutely raised textures - even the texture of a previous coat of paint, like the wood.

The steering wheel was done as wood, but finished in clear gloss.

Knobs on the cabinets are gloss black.

I'm having to post this in portions, the text is too long for one post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 · (Edited)
Bare Metal Foil. Comes in chrome, bright chrome, gold, matte or aluminum, copper...I'm hoping for steel someday. Looks awesome when it chooses to cooperate with you. Finicky about when it will or won't adhere, hates compound curves, impossible to blend or hide overlaps. Used it on the dash: trim on dash top, trim for gauges, switches, where the phone hangs, and tv screens. Used it on the trim at the door bottoms, on the fire extinguisher strap buckles, the speakers on the interior walls (if speakers they are - or heating vents maybe), and the gear shift.. Forget trying to do only the trim on the gauges and switches, just cover them entire with the stuff then paint over the foil.

The gauges...there's nothing for the gauges but to go blind doing them. Look closely at mine, they're just blobs of white and red paint on black fields. Best I could do. I recently learned a neat trick that should save you wearing out finely pointed brushes: use a mechanical pencil of .3 mm lead. push out a little lead, dip, paint, break off the lead when done. Haven't tried it yet, but it might yield a better job than mine. Funny, that, as mechanical .3 mm is what I've always used for drawing. The real car guys, now, they do fantastic gauges and dials! Some of them print out gauges and paste them in, and the real fanatics drill out the gauges, put in clear sheet plastic, and printed gauges behind that! The stuff these guys do intimidates me! Mike Warshaw...his dash lights up. :eek:

The Foil would not adhere to knobs or buttons, or speakers by the screens (they would have if I'd tried just covering the entire dash, I realize too late), so those are Testors silver. Flat black enamel for the additional panels. The radio tuner indicator is off-white with a thin coat of clear green. (shrug) It was an iffy move, but works okay.

The screens, those I used images cut from a Kino catalog. You know Kino? Great company for movie buffs, very high quality. Specialize in older films, silents, foreign...I found good images online, but once reduced they were indecipherable. Only the Kino images were already small enough. Their film noir section was pefect! Dark nights, damsels in distress, shady dangerous guys in fedoras...all from the Forties and Fifties! One of those two screens should, according to the comics, be a radar image, but I didn't find anything that small that worked.

Floor is Testors flat steel enamel, floormats are acrylic charcoal with two lighter grays drybrushed.

Seats have gloss black enamel frames, upholstery is painted with acrylics. Charcoal base coat, then a wash of black paint, drybrushed again with charcoal...then drybrushed with two successively lighter shades of gray in successively lighter coats for highlighting. Finished with a drybrush of...possibly acrylic satin, but more likely it was acrylic matte varnish. See, acrylic "matte" fisihes ususally aren't. Most have a slight sheen to them, makes them perfect when you want a sheen that isn't a full semi-gloss. Experiment with brands, though, and see what's to your liking.

Same gray treatment for the armrests on the doors.

Testors enamel silver was used for metal in most places Foil wouldn't go. Silver on the spring on the lab stool.

What does that leave, anything besides the lab?

Future Floor Polish on the clear pieces. And Future on the canopy!! Neat stuff, that Future, learned about it from the guys here. Makes clear plastic look like glass. Use it on the headlights, tail lights, searchlight, test tubes...also makes a great gloss and sealer. You can tint it with clear waterbased paintes, or with food coloring! Make very sure the pieces are clean first, free of lint and so on.

The test tubes were painted with clear water-based paints from the art store, Pebeo Crystal, found in the section for ceramics. The spectrometer (I'm guessing that's what it is!!) has a Testors flat aluminum front. The image was taken from a site on spectrometry and reduced in size.

To do the finest of lines on the map, use that mechanical pencil of .3mm lead! Get out a real map, wing it for a layout, use the same colors. The kit's pencil...well, it's a plain ol' #2 pencil. bright yellow only on the outside, remember to paint both ends with a wood color and dot of charcoal.

That pencil (the real one) is extremely handy. Don't know what other subjects you like, but the .3mm pencil is perfect for doing panel lines in other kinds of craft, probably cars as well. I did those tiny Star Wars kits from Fine Molds in Japan with a .3 mm.

On the microscope, flat black enamel with knobs and central tube in silver enamel...but the circular disc that changes magnification would probably be white. Here's something I tried with the eyepiece, though, that may or may not be to the liking of others: I tried a dot of medium grey-blue at the center of the eyepiece... In fact - I can't remember, does that piece have a slight mound to indicate the glass? It does, doesn't it! Seem to remember it did. Shaved it off and drilled/ground in a slight concavity that was painted with the blue. Over that I used a toothpick and a tiny blob of Micro Krystal Klear (ask the hobby store) to make a clear eyepiece, in the same shape as the plastic bulge I removed. When cured, hit that with a dab of gloss.

Blue may not be terribly convincing. Maybe it should have been gray, or slightly greenish.

Krystal Klear is basically white glue. It goes on opaque, clears as it dries. Only works that way built in in small portions (I love it for concave eyes on figure kits). In larger protions, it gets milky. You can also use clear Gallery Glass, sold in craft stores for making faux colored glass. It's available in clear, frost white, and a number of clear colors.

I think that's about it, 'cept for the bottom which is straightforward. Just a paint job, really, nothing more. Hope you find something in all that useful!

The one thing that still bothers me is that the map is too thick - as cool a piece as it is. Don't know how you would have to reconfigure the connecting pins, but you could use a folded piece of paper, torn to match, with a printed map on it...? Find one online and print, or scan a local map.

In any case, thank you for the undeserved praise and kind words, and welcome to the BB! Look around the other forums - general modelng, Cult's (mostly sciifi hardware, occasional figure stuff and dioramas), movies and tv discussion BB, etc. The people here are very talented, knowledgebale, and only a little crazy. Mostly Harmless. I hope you stay with the hobby and stick around!
 

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Dreamer, I really--REALLY--don't know how to thank you enough!!!!!! THANK YOU, this is more than I even dared to hope for! I hope you believe that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", because I just cut & paste your responses to use (with your excellent photos) to use as my reference guide. I am going out and picking up the materials you recommended TODAY. (Including that Future floor wax!)
In all frankness, I haven't done any model building (let alone painting) in nearly 25 years and never as sophisticated to what you just detailed. But after "winning" that 50's Batmobile kit on Ebay (and reading up on what else is out there)...
Again, I very much appreciate the time you spent with those last posts...(I was surprised what you said about the gauges, they look terrific! And I love the matching woodgrain finish on the doorpanels and steering wheel--even though I'm feeling a lot of intimidation here) I'm a little nervous about that Bare Metal foil as well, I've read on other posts that it's difficult to work with--I plan to take my time with each piece.
I wish there was some way I can reciprocate for all of the excellent advice--I look forward to posting some feedback (hopefully positive!) on this thread again soon.
--Warmest regards, Doug PS. I know nothing about airbrushing--can I accomplish most of this with a variety of brushes? Please forgive my lack of knowledge here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
Yeah, I just got into the hobby again about eight years ago and was amazed at what's involved in the hobby now. Floor Polish! Dremels! I've just started learning how to use an airbrush, but then to me that's usually for really smooth paint jobs on cars and vehicles. Smaller items and details, or skin tones on larger scale kits, will take more practice and a more advanced airbrush thn I have. No worries there, don't need it for the Batmobile. A storebought spray can will work fine on the bottom of the chassis.

A Dremel, you won't need that either. Some of the guys here have never had a use for one. I got one a few years ago, didn't use it a whole lot then but use it increasingly now as my skills improve. Another tool I wouldn't want to be without. It's largely for modifications made to kits.

Don't rush on the Batmobile, take your time. You might even buy some cheapie or close-out-sale car kits, if anything catches your eye, and do them first just to limber up. Paint the gauges, practice drybrushing, that sort of thing. And try painting wood paneling on some throwaway scrap plastic or other surface first.

A few thoughts come to mind since posting earlier. The Metal Foil didn't fight this kit too hard, the things I covered were easy enough for the most part. Don't be too intimidated by the foil. It'll either work or not work - it decides, you don't. The hardest thing to foil was the gear shift. You'll need a hobby knife for trimming the stuff. I also used BMF on the levers athe bottoms of the seats, but you can't even see them once assembled. Forgot those were there.

The wash for tinting on the wood...may have had the slightest touch of yellow in it. Sorry, just don't remeember if I went with that or not. It seemed to me like the Camel & Cappucino after painting them together needed to be a little warmer, a little more golden. I do remember that my first attempt was way too yellow, and I might have abandoned the idea after that. So definitely try it on a scrap surface first!

On mechanical pencils...I have a .3 made by Alvin called a Draftmatic, and I do not recommend it! If you've already bought one, no big deal - the last few years, it's all I'm finding on the shelves, and it's a major pain. I much prefer Pentels. The problem with the Alvin is that you cannot open up the business end to clear the mechanism that pushes out the lead. In my experience, that mechanism often gets jammed, and you need to be able to unscrew the cap (as you can with Pentels) to clear it of broken lead fragments. The Alvin has no cap to unscrew. I'm currently trying to find a .3 in a Pentel, or at least a brand with a cap that unscrews. The several stores I been to only carry Alvins. I may have to special order a Pentel or try to find one online

About Future, always use it on both sides of a clear piece, if both sides are accessible. Do the inside of the canopy as well as the outside.

As far as chrome goes, many advanced car modelers hate electroplated chrome on their kits. I've never felt that way, but some do. They always soak the chrome pieces in Castrol degreaser or Pine-Sol (doesn't hurt plastic, is great for stripping kits down for restoration) so that they can paint them with metallic paints. Most metallic paints just do not look like metal, IMO, so I've never seen that as an improvement. It doesn't apply to this Batmobile because the chassis is already assembled. You could do the wheels that way, but they'd stand out form the housings for the lights. Just thought I'd mention it, though.

I cannot recall what kind of glue I used. You should check out Ambroid Proweld or Tenax 7R. These are MEKs (Methyl Ethyl Ketones), and work by "capillary action". There's a brush in the lid, you hold the pieces together and draw the brush along the seam. The cement is drawn between the pieces and welds them together. What's on the outside of the pieces evaporates almost immediately. If you already have other cement, that's fine - I might easily have used Testors. Go to the Cult forum and run a search on "glues for styrene". Those pieces on the lab work surface, I glued them from underneath where the pins connect, ater the parts were in place. Probably Ambroid there. It's a thin glue, so if you go over it with several swipes it will be too much and seep through, causing a mess.

Most of all, just have fun and don't sweat any of it! :)

Oh, and do post as you go!
 
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