Skip to content

GCU Griffin Build, Part 1

The GCU Griffin is a prominent starship in the Starstrikers novel. It’s a Class-C Scanner ship, smaller than most other fleet starships it has to rely on bigger ships to protect it. It was such an important ship, I actually built it from cardboard when I was still in High School. The below bitmap art side view was done in the old MS Paint program and based on that original model. It will be my guide as I recreate the model in plastic and 1/350 scale for use on a new Starstrikers cover.

GCU Griffin

I have decided to use 1 1/2 inch PVC for the main stardrive and then build out my scanner pod and head with sheet styrene (0.60). These parts are cut with a sharp X-Acto knife and a metal ruler. As I go along slicing and breaking the parts from the sheet, I save my scraps off to the right to be used inside for internal bracing. Waste not, want not. Sheet styrene is expensive and I try not to waste it.


Here we have the main stardrive tube in place with the scanner pod and the head taped into position to make sure my proportions are correct according to the digital drawing. I think a few inches off the tail pipe are in order.


The wooden block is helping to keep the tube in place in roughly the correct height. This is as far as i got in the first day. Before going too much further I’ll have to determine mount points and lighting for the engine and the fiber optics for portholes.


I anticipate this will be a fairly quick build. But you just never know what challenges lie ahead. At this writing, I have no idea how to do the mounts points. I’m leaning towards using 1/4 20 screw mounts, similar to what I use for the starfighter models, because this ship might be long, but it’s relatively small and light.

Below are two more drawings I did of the Griffin. I included them here as a form of research. Usually I have some kind of drawing or old photograph of something similar to what I’m trying to capture. An inspired by this type of thing. This drawing even refers to it as being spelled with an e instead of all i’s.

GCU Griffin

I drew this one of the head only. In looking at it now, it looks like the head should be shorter than I cut the plastic. Groan. Back to the drawing board.

GCU Griffin Head Detail