Ok so I am kind of determined to get a model kit lit up with some LED’s but I don’t really want to build any of my larger scale stuff at the moment so off the back of the relatively quick building TIE Fighter I thought I might try my hand at Revell’s 1:112 (what kind of scale is that?) X-Wing Fighter and I am going to try chucking a few LED’s and some Fibre Optics at this one to see what great disaster I can conjure up with a soldering iron and model kit!
Its’s a cheap kit, very simple to build but if I can pull the idea in my head off it should look reasonably good I think. Anyway I forgot to take a sprue and box shot before I starting cutting parts off the sprues so heres a much prettier picture of the box than I would have ever managed.
So whilst this isnt quite a ressurection of the undead from beyond the grave I thought it about time we did some more work to the Vampire build. I had a few issues with the fit of the intakes, this seems to be a common issue for me and I am starting to wonder if it’s the way I am building the kits.
With the benefit of hindsight I don’t think I would follow the construction order given in the instructions for this if I was to build these parts again I think I would either attach the intake to one half of a wing, attach this to the fuselage then complete with the other half of the wing, or attach the intake to the fuselage first, then put the wing in place before the glue between the wing halves cures just so I can move all the parts in relation to one another to try and get the best possible fit.
However it is what it is and I have a slight step and some gaps to deal with so I go with my tried and tested method of Mr Surfacer 1000 to address this issue. Here’s some photo’s waiting for the 2nd coat of Mr Surfacer to cure after the inital coat was sanded.
Why do I get hung up so much on silly little things, so the saga of the solar panel colour is starting to drag on a bit now, I started by putting down a base of Bronze, then put a clear blue over the top and toned this down using Tamiya Smoke. I’m still not entirely happy with it and am kind of regretting not just painting them Gloss Black but it is what it is and I spent too much time messing about on this so it’s time to get a coat of Klear down and mask them panels up once dry.
Unlike my aircraft builds I feel the need to use the included pilots on these Star Wars kits, the TIE Pilot is adequately represented in this kit, it’s not a great figure but at this scale and with how much of him will be visible he doesn’t exactly need to be.
The colour call out for the solar panels is matt black, and I am sure this is what the fantastic studio models were painted, however when I put a coat of this on I found the detail on the panels themselves of each cell tended to fade away compared to a gloss finish, but then this got me thinking too… and thinking’s never good!
When you see the on screen TIE Fighters the panels have a blue hue to them, this, much like the grey shade debate is often put down to a “blue bleed” from the special effects screens. Then I remembered a recent trip to the National Museum of Scotland where I had seen solar panels up close and they’re not black, the ones I was looking at either had metallic blue or bronze almost like flakes in the make up of the panel. I know realism doesn’t really come in to it with Sci-Fi but I decided this was enough to ignore the colour call out here and try something a little different, so here I go probably offending all those hardcore Star Wars fans/builders out there.
Returning to the theme of quick and easy builds I decided to get another of the small Revell Star Wars kits out of the stash, this time I plugged for the iconic TIE Fighter with this kit being 1:110 scale. I have to admit I find the lack of consistency with the scales on these small Star Wars kits a tad annoying. I would much prefer if they were all done to one scale, whatever that may be, but thats just my own personal hangup and it I am sure this doesn’t bother most of the builders of these kits and I suppose this would maybe cause a few issues when it comes to displaying them alongside one another.
I did toy with the idea of lighting this one up with some LEDs/Fibre optics but looking at the internals there probably isn’t a lot a room in this one to embark on my first lighting project so I’ll leave that for another build.
Progress slowed a little of late on this one but the intakes are looking OK to my eye, I put primer on to see what they looked like in paint and I don’t think they too bad at all considering the size of the step that was there. I left her belly up with the primer drying on the underside last night, which meant I spent a lot of time looking at those dodgy wheel wells. I may throw in some cabling or something to try and add a bit of interest, depends if I can find any reference images or not.
Whilst I am waiting on another coat of Mr Surfacer curing on the MiG-27 I thought I would crack on with the cockpit on the Vampire build. I am not expecting too many issues here as the kit is MPM plastic and the etch is MPM too, so here we are making a start.
I knew the intakes were going to be an issue with this kit when I purchased it and right enough they’re an issue! I was going to remedy the issue with Styrene sheet as usual however I had thought about attempting a fix like this previously using several coats of Mr Surfacer but didn’t have the time to see it through, so this time I thought I would take the time to give it a go and see how it turns out, so on goes the first coat!
Well the progress on the MiG-27 is slowing down a little as there’s a lot of waiting around at the moment waiting for things to cure etc and I had just received an Aztec decal sheet for Vampires in Latin American colours so I thought I would make a start on a build of Revells boxing of the MPM Vampire F.Mk3 in 1/72nd and happily there’s still time to build as and entry for the Made in Britain Group build on Britmodeller so here we go!