Completed K’nat Fighter

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.

K’nat Starfighter Build, Part 1

The K’nat fighter is featured in an upcoming novella set after Starstrikers, Book 4 of the Star Saga. It was mentioned briefly in Starstrikers as being one of the fighters based on the Eclipse starship. The novella that features this starfighter is called K’nat Trap and my plan was to build one in 1/32 scale for the cover of that novella.

Here’s the thumbnail that I drew to illustrate a possible cover idea. As of this post, I have not finalized the cover, so check back later to see how it turned out. In the meantime, let’s build a K’nat!

This is the very first drawing I did of the K’nat fighter back in the late eighties. It’s not exactly clear what the thing really looked like. So I did a cleaner version about ten or fifteen years later.

I still wasn’t completely sure what the thing should look like, so I decided to build a cardboard model of it to scale. After I had the look I wanted, I could then build the plastic version. Below are some images of the cardboard model.

The last image shows it in relation to the Votainion starfighters of it’s day. With the basic shape worked out, I was ready to start my studio scale build. This was actually the second model I built using RenShape for my mounting platform inside the model. I cut a piece to fit inside the model and then drilled out the holes for the mounting rod and the set screws. I would be able to mount this model from five different points.

After the RenShape heart of the model was finished, I could start gluing plastic to it with Gorilla glue.

The model would have lights in the nose and the engines but no actual cockpit would be built. Holes in the interior bulk heads would allow for the passage of wires. I would put a 9 volt battery inside, but not allow access to it. When the battery dies, the model will no longer have lights.

The engine exhausts are actually the lids to my after shave bottle. I glued an LED into them for lights. I really like the Gorilla glue for this sort of thing.

My youngest son is into 3D graphics using Blender, so he decided to render the K’nat for me. We applied a skin to it in this screenshot.





Building the Renoke, Part 7

The last two areas to detail are the top of the bridge and the bridge itself. Nearly all of the parts I used for these areas are from the same model kit – the HEMTT Gun Truck 1/35 from Italeri. Beautifully molded parts and nearly all of them worthy of use on a model like the Renoke.


The gray parts above are from the HEMTT kit.


The old crane mount on the left is a piece of 1/2 inch PVC scrap.


There’s only one high intensity LED light in the engine. But it turns out to be enough.


Nicely glowing engine even in broad daylight.


Above is the circuit I used for all the LEDs in the model. Each one wired to a resister and then the leads that carry it to the LEDs themselves. A single 9 volt battery is all I need to light them. Later, I wired a slide switch into the circuit.


The finished bread board looked like a squid.


The bridge is lit by a red LED and the fiber optics.


Night time test in the garage. You can also see the two F-4 ejection seats I used.


Here is the switch on the left. I probably should anchor the battery in there too.


The headlights are connected to the leads with removable metal plugs. Not what I wanted to use, but what I had on hand.


In preparing the headlight area for painting, I used Fasmask to cover up the LEDs.


One final shot of the pretty bridge lights. Next up is painting, followed by weathering.

Building the Renoke, Part 6

The final areas to detail are the bridge and the bridge cover.


Fitting the top section so that it doesn’t require gluing is not an easy task. But it must be removable to get to the front mount point of the model.


Here is the back wall of the bridge. I love how industrial it looks.


This is the bridge back wall inside.


This image shows the other inside wall and the pilot and copilot seat area.


Here you can see I need to build more floor!


Things are starting to come together in the bridge.


Decided to give the sides some more attention with greeblies.



Here are the bridge fiber optics drilled into the walls and glued in.


Light test. The fiber optics are going into a single LED.

The final bit of light kit is the headlights. For these, I needed to build a box and mount an LED.


Bright as a sun flare!


This is the temporary bread board I use to test my simple circuits before soldering them up.


The mounted headlight boxes.

Building the Renoke, Part 5

This is the start of the engine detailing. I used a piece of transporter diorama that I had from an old Star Trek toy. It had a blue clear plastic part that would be easy to light up with an LED. I just built up the inside of the engine exhaust with scratch plastic pipe and sheet styrene. Tedious.




But the end result looks pretty good.


Here are the details used to bring the engine area alive.


This angle shows the bottom front of the Renoke with the rectangular landing pads.


The final bits of details added for the hatch area of the bottom.


Top of the model after primer.


Back of the model after primer.


Finished bottom of the model after primer.


The bridge and front of the top are the final areas to be detailed.


Sanding the primer gives a nice texture. But it will soon be covered with base coat.


Votainion Warship Build Part 6

In this post I finish detailing the bottom of the model and begin prepping for painting. Below we see the major detail pieces in place for the main body of the model. The clear area to the right is where the flight deck will go. In this model, I have opted to show the normally open deck in the closed position.

Below we see the larger pieces in place under the engines. Some of the details are from a tank and one of them is space bar from a computer keyboard. There are lots of pieces from computers on this model, especially on the bottom.

The bottom of the neck is mostly straight pieces of plastic

Here is an overall look at the whole bottom of the model. All the details are in place save the launch bay and the bottoms of the wings and canards.

The bay area is now tackled using strips of plastic and lots of tiny details culled from tank models.


After completing the details on the bottom of the wings and canards, the model is given a light gray coat of paint so I can see if the details are working.

These images were taken against my wooden floors for greater contrast. The next primer coat will be flat black.

A look at the side of the model after all detailing is over.

More shots of the model with light gray primer.

Another area I took care to detail was the stern where the engines will go. You can see some of the new pieces as they are white.

One final pass in attack mode. I’m liking this angle for the ship.

The engine area is airbrushed with flat black Tamiya paint.

Then the painted engines are put in place to get an idea what they will look like.

The base coat of flat black on the engines really makes them look sinister. I used Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black on the engines.

All the tools I need to paint finally arrived this week and this image shows them.

The engines are detailed further with plastic strips. The goal was to make it look like each engine had panels removed for maintenance during a long space voyage. So each engine is slightly different and one has the exhaust funnel removed.

Here is an engine getting some strip plastic detailing. The work is a bit tedious as it has to be done to all four engines.

The engines are installed for a quick look to make sure we are on track.

The engines are lined up to see if they still fit after the extra details are added.

The final base color will be Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown. I may add some flat red to this to ensure more of a barn red color. We’ll have to wait until the final post to see how that went.