The KIV-3 model is nearly complete now. I’ve added a few panels using poster board and matte board, added the wing mounted guns and painted on the base coat of olive drab paint. The guns are actually wooden toothpicks and even have slightly hollowed out barrels. I used matte board to layer up wing tip pylons behind the guns.
Normally at this stage of construction I’d be pushing my fingers around inside boxes of spare plastic model pieces, looking for details to add to the outside of the model. But I have not had such hell boxes in a long, long time. So the details of this model are more subtle. More panels and clean lines than bumpy pipes and fixtures. In a way, it contrasts enough to the Alliance starfighters to make the two more believable.
The last detail to finish up is the cockpit canopy. I’m still not sure how to pull it off. I might give up and just paint it on. I think that would lend itself to the clean lines anyway. I’ve experimented with putting WWII style invasion stripes on the bottoms of the wings. Five alternating white, black lines intended to call out allied aircraft so their own forces don’t confuse them with German planes and shoot them down. My invasion stripes are set at an angle and as such break up the pattern of the wings quite nicely, which is an added benefit I had not anticipated.
Another nod to WWII aircraft are the yellow leading edge of the wings. The Japanese and British aircraft used this technique to identify their friendly aircraft, to ground troops. In this case, it just looks extra bad ass. So there.
Since I’m not in any hurry to complete the model, I may let it simmer in the wings for a while before attempting to weather it. Even ships that fight in a vacuum have some weathering. Especially if they enter atmospheres of planets. Weathering was always my favorite part of modeling. Making the vehicle look like you pulled it out of its environment.
All in all this little starfighter has been a joy to build from scratch. The design is very iconic and just as cool looking today as it was nearly thirty years ago when I first sketched it out in my middle school notebooks.