This model poses some interesting problems when it comes to painting and weathering. The base color of the fighter is flat black, which means the only option for seeing anything against black is to go light. But it all starts with an even coat of Tamiya Flat Black. I taped over the canopy so it retained the primer gray.
I experimented with some dry brushed silver on the right side of the above picture. But that really didn’t make any panel details pop at all. Clearly something more was needed.
Above is a close up of the wing showing the silver dry brushing.
The bottom got some touch up with different shades of black paint brushed on.
In the end, the best way to show details turned out to be brushing on gray pastels. I mixed white and black to get an ash gray color and then used a wide, soft brush to dust the model. More gray around the engines than on the rest of the model to simulate the burnt metal look.
Votainion fighter use a blue-gray color for inside panels and details that are normally covered up with panels. I hand brushed this color on and then dirtied it down with black pastels.
Here is what the stern looks like after a proper dusting with the pastels. Even the top panels have some accent areas using the pastels.
Above we see the model getting it’s canopy painted in the sunlight. As you can see, it looks a deeper black in sunlight. For the canopy I used a mixture of black and silver to create a different shade of dark material.
Above you can see the canopy paint and the weathered top panels.
Here’s the completed fighter on the bench with a shiny canopy window.
Here it is on my desk at work with the headlights and engines on.
Engines lit and full afterburner.
And that’s a wrap! Next up comes a screen test against black felt in preparation for the K’nat Trap book cover.
Detailing the model continues with a mixture of sheet styrene and model parts. I used a stack of tank wheels for the cylinder beside the space time engines. I also put plating down on the inside bottom of the stern.
Close up of the right side to show off the scratch build details. Not a ton of detail, but enough for this model.
On the bottom of the fighter you can see most of the panels are on and some plastic greeblies. The gray parts are paper towel roll inserts from the bathroom at work and the tan domes are of course contact cleaning holders. You can also see some details on the top inside of the engine area. Just enough relief to make it interesting to the eye.
One final look at the top, front of the fighter before the primer goes on.
From the model shop this week comes the completed K’nat fighter in 1/32 scale. The finishing touches were done with artist’s pastels in white, gray and black. I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out and it will be featured on the K’nat Trap book cover early next year. I’ll try and postup the build wrap up this weekend.
Yesterday morning the house was quiet with everyone asleep, so I wrote the final two scenes in my latest novella, Corvette. It feels good to have that behind me. I was thinking it might stretch out to be a novel, but at under 50K words and about 215 pages, its a decent sized novella. Corvette is my attempt to write to a market and create a prequel to the Star Saga. The structure and tropes that I used are similar to what is selling right now in Military SF. I hope to have it out in ebook form early next year.
Right now my writing sprints are focused on the second draft of K’nat Trap. This is the novella that I wrote earlier in the year and its set a few years after Starstrikers, Book 4 of the Star Saga. Looking forward to making the changes my beta readers have suggested and tightening up the second draft. With any luck, it will be out before Corvette, sometime next year.
In other news, I’ve nearly completed the K’nat fighter model for use on the novella’s cover. Here are some shots of the model on my bench.
This is a 3rd Generation Votainion starfighter and appears in Starstrikers and K’nat Trap. It has a standard engine and two NexGen space/time drives that let it move through space and time for short duration.
It’s quite the challenge to paint and weather an all black fighter. The canopy in these shots is just primer gray. Eventually it will be painted.
Sometimes I have an idea for a starfighter model but it’s not completely fleshed out on paper and I don’t know if the actual design will work. Or I may be working from a twenty year old semi-orthographic drawing, as was the case for the K’nat fighter.
If you really start looking at this drawing you realize that it’s not even remotely accurate enough to actually build this fighter. So either I re-draw it or I make it and start changing things as I go. Sometimes the later route will let you find new aspects to the design that you can’t see with a drawing. Like a 3D artist with the ability to rotate his art around and look at it, building the model in posterboard let’s me see it from all angles.
This is what I came up with using posterboard. It looks a bit like a sparrow to me. Very bird-like anyway. There are some things I like about it and some things I don’t. I will mess around with it more before finalizing the design.
Here is the mock-up under it’s predecessor, the Terrox fighter. They are similar in size and even in some design cues. This is on purpose. Ships should look like they have evolved, same as airplanes from the same manufacturer.