Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fighters Preparing for Attack!

These are some of the 'fleet scale' fighters from Studio Bergstrom:

Primed in white are an X-Wing squadron http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/X-wing and a Y-Wing squadron http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Y-wing (12 ea), primed in grey are two TIE squadrons http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/TIE_series (12 ea). Pictured with them are two WoC rebel ships, the Assault Frigate and Rebel Cruiser. Certainly these fighters scale in much better with these ships then the WoC ones do! They're about .5-1.0cm in demensions, around 1/1000 in scale. For their size they've nice details.

The models are metal, and do have some mold lines and flak. After careful consideration of time, tiny size, etc, Decided to just trim the flak and leave the mold lines - they just aren't worth removing on something so small! Rinsed them in hot water and cleaned them with a soft toothbrush to remove the mold powder. Primed them in my usual white and grey primers (Armory, I think) and glued them to piano wire of varied heights to give a 3-D feel to the tabletop. These models come with pin-holes on the bottom, pins and rubber bases. They're quite nice and a good value I think.

Painting the TIEs seems a bit harder then the X or Ys, but I'm working on it. Presently, I'm trying a dark grey for the solar panels and a light/lighter grey drybrushing. That and a black/grey dip should do them fine. More as this develops!

More pics of the finished ship. The size is noted with the US quarter, which is 2.5cm in diameter, the ship being about 3.5 cm long. In 'lreal life' the ship was 'over 3o0m' so this is in scale.

The fist pic is the port side (left facing forward) and the second is from the stern (rear) of the ship, where you can see the distinct 4-2-1 exhaust ports of the Neb-B engines. The ship has a piece of piano wire super-glued to a hole I drilled into the stern. The three ships are all on slightly different lengths of piano wire, abut 2, 2.5 and 3 inches. When they are on the table, this will create a feeling of different altitudes and help alleviate some of the 2-dimensionality of the table-top. The pink base is from Studio Bergstrom, from which the Millenium Falcon (and all the fighter models) came. It is a soft rubber so you can remove ships from it or put them back in if you want to group them. I really like this, I'd just prefer larger, flatter bits of rubber so it'll be something I get next. I like the flexbility of it, and the bases are heavy enough to keep the ships stable.


Fleet Assembly, Priming and Painting

Thanks to some helpful folks on the web, I got information pretty quickly on how to deal with the yellow resin for these models.
  1. Brushed the loose resin flack off the models, then used a file and very sharp - new - X-acto blade to trim everything.

  2. Soaked the parts in warm water with Palmolive (any grease-cutting soap is good they say) for an hour, then scrubbed them with a soft toothbrush - very gently!

  3. Let dry overnight.

  4. Assembled with standard super-glue, in this case GaleForce Nine Hobby Glue, but any cyanoacrylate like Zap-a-Gap will do. For gaps or loose fits, I used Green Stuff from Games Workshop with no other glue. The parts are light, they held with just the GS.

  5. Primed with my usual hobby primer, this one in a medium grey. However, some of the guys who responded said that cheap-o primer from Wal-Mart works just fine for them at a $1 a can! Must try that!

  6. Did a dark grey wash with some thinned-down dark grey, just regular GW paint.

Painting. For the Nebulon, I'm using three shades of grey for the base coat, one on each ship. I wanted to finish one first and see how it came out. I haven't painted many starships, and needed to see the effect of various painting methods. For this first finished Nebulon, I started with the dark grey wash over the grey primer (the medium and lighter grey are the other two ships). I then painted 'up' in various shades of grey, with the 'outside' parts lighter than the 'inner' parts of the ship.

The ventral fin at the front is actually a rack into which various ship systems can be attached, including things such as the bridge which is located towards the top, and weapons that are towards the bottom. To get the feel of several different 'pods' that were inserted into the ventral rack, I painted the horizontal bits different colors, etc, to give the impression of a variety of sources used to assemble the ship in its present configuration. This is a 'rebel' version captured from the Empire, so it has the Rebel 'red line' and symbol on the upper main superstructure.

To protect it, I used a layer of polyurethane, the water-based MinWax. The mix I used is a bit 'brown' for a natural look, but for the ships I want more of a black/grey wash so I'll make another dip in that tone. I just dipped the ship into the mix and shook off the excess.

At the top, is a picture of the WoC Nebulon B which is a 1/4,000 scale or so, about 7cm long for a 300m+ ship. Above it are the three OS resin ships, one finished and two in their beginning grey. They are "in scale" at 1/10,000. The picture is from V:ESB, a 'real' Nebulon B. I'll leave it to your judgement which you like best!

Personally, I can make a solid argument that a cheap WoC ship that is out of scale but looks cool is a nice alternative to painting, but it is fun to paint them as you want them to look. The cost is about the same, around $4 for either ship. It should be noted that the WoC ship had a large bend in the middle, making it rather 'U' shaped! I had to unbend it and do some re-assembling after. Still, it does the job and it is hard to damage, perfect for conventions!