Sokol Refit

Spent some time this weekend installing a mount on my first starship model, so I can photograph it for future book cover art. The process involved cutting away a hole and then sticking in a piece of wood with a 1/4 20 screw base. After that was dry, I then had to cover the wood with plastic and some tubular detail and paint. Below are the results of the retrofit.


I made no effort to cover the actual mount point hole, because this is on the bottom of the model and would rarely if ever be seen. For a model that had no mount at all, I can live with that.


After the paint job.



On the bench, belly up on blocks of wood to protect the antennas on the top side.


Finally a look at my recently cleaned off desk in the garage. I resurrected my old Macbook to act as a browser for social media. I also hooked up an old DVD player and my old Sony 13″ TV so I could watch movies in the garage. Or maybe just listen to them as I work.

GCU Sokol Size

(Revised the scale from 1/350 to 1/500.)

I calculated the scale of my GCU Sokol model and came up with 1/500. So this beast is about 330 meters long and can house about 1,000 crew. It’s slightly larger than the 1701-A Enterprise and a bit more than half as long as the original Battlestar Galactica.

The huge windows kind of make it look like a cruise ship. So I’ll be changing them to the round port holes, the same size as the SS Sokol. Speaking of the SS Sokol, it’s about 180 meters long and also 1/500 scale. In SF terms, its a tad bigger than a Corellian corvette. That’s the ship seen fleeing a Star Destroyer at the start of Star Wars Episode IV.

The third version of the Sokol, the GA Sokol, will be the same scale and come in around 200 meters long. It will have fiber optic lights for the port holes but they will be the same diameter as the round port holes on the SS Sokol.

Here’s a chart that I found on the web and hastily added the Sokol too. (Click to make larger)


Building the GCU Sokol, Part 16

Primer and Primping

Much change on the model during the week off for the holidays. Finished the top decks and the main deck above the star drives. Also finished up the top of the gun decks. Then I finally sprayed on the Flat Gull Gray and magically transformed the model from a rainbow of parts to a battleship.

This is the upper decks and the poop deck getting the detail treatment. I really like how the back of the poop deck turned out. Just a few more details were added to it after this picture was taken.

I had to move operations inside as the weather got very, very cold this week.


This view shows the front of the main deck and the top of the gun deck. I also like the front of the mast or communications decks at the top of the model. Turned out pretty nice.

I took the model outside on a sunny day and took some pics of it against an old black sheet. The key light was a bit harsh and thus most of the details are washed out. But they are cool anyway, so there you go. Enjoy them.

Nice view of the bottom details. I wasn’t sure about the non-symmetrical greeblies, but now I really like it.


This view is of the monster coming right off your bow. Can’t wait to paint up this beast and add me some battle damage. Going to look absolutely awesome.


Moving away in this beauty pass. The main stardrive tubes will have panels when I’m done. Another detail I need to add are the port holes.


Coming right at you, guns blazing. Hard to separate the head from the body in this shot. Darn sun light, I need to make me a screen.


I love this shot. Looking pretty menacing.


This is the start of the hangar deck just aft of the poop deck. This will house a squadron of  starfighters and a shuttle craft. I’m building this one up from scratch so as to have the hangar doors open. Not going to put in the starfighters, but still want to make it interesting to look at.

I believe we are all caught up for now. Next post will be the second to last. I’ll have finished the hangar deck and covered the star drive tubes. I’ll save the final post for painting the details.




Building the GCU Sokol, Part 12

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13

Details, Details

This weekend I had enough time to detail the main port guns and the stern gun pod. I also detailed inside the main gun superstructure behind the guns. The only thing left to detail on the stern gun pod is the bottom. I also have to mount a gun turret on the top and bottom of the pod.

I’ve taken stock of my remaining gun turrets and built up all the remaining guns that I have. I could probably use some more guns, but at this moment, I only have what I have to play with.

On with the pictures.

This is what the ship looked like on Saturday morning before I got under way. A fresh cup of Joe and the last scraps of my plastic bits.

I’m not completely happy with how this turned out, so I will hold off on painting it gray with primer for now. I’ve set some precedent here with zip ties and U shaped plastic above and below the main guns. I carried the same look over to the stern gun pod. Actually, I think I started that look on the head.

This is the stern gun pod on the port side. Like my gratuitous use of naval terms? Comes in handy sometimes to describe ship details. This pod is almost finished. It needs some bottom details. That will have to come another day.

Here’s a step back to see the big picture. Looks busy to me. But then without a primer, it all looks a bit like what the TI’s used to call us on the first day of Basic Training – Rainbows.

Here we have a starship mounted on a vise for easy access to the back of the gun pods. A vise is a handy thing to have on your work bench.

This new turret housing is the top of a prescription bottle. I think I can get a few more bottles that size. Put some shields around it and it will be good to go.

Messing around with gun turret positioning. Nothing final yet. Have to think defensively for this to work right.

A final beauty shot with the head attached. She’s starting to look aggressive. All for now, thanks for looking.

Building the GCU Sokol, Part 10

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Part 11 | Part 12

Detailing the Head

In the past 24 hours I’ve focused most of my efforts on the bow and bottom of the Sokol’s head. I’ve used parts obtained from my good friend Nate’s old Warhammer models for most of this detailing.

You may have noticed the swank new cutting mat. Yeah, it’s fine. I also worked hard on the bottom of the head. I added two gun turrets to the bottom, along with tracking sensors. One of the sensors is exposed for maintenance.

It’s a bit hard to tell in this pic, but I also scored some lines on the bottom and then added little square pieces of plastic. The orange piece is a greeblie acquired last week from the dollar store. It makes a great lower deck.

The last thing I started, but didn’t finish was the port main guns. I was able to add some strips of detail to the top and bottom and added some struts and greeblies. But most of this will get covered by armor plates. I’ll show you what I mean after I build it.

Building the GCU Sokol Model, Part 6

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Part 11 | Part 12

I’ve been in modeling hiatus during the summer months as my garage is not air conditioned. But now with Fall here and the temps lower, I can venture back into my garage and start up the model factory. I left off work on the Sokol last Spring with completing the first major superstructure and finding parts for the engine nozzles.

These pics were taken in low-light conditions as I was shutting down for the night. I’ll try and update them at a later time. I’m probably going to focus on getting the back side of the model built up first, so I can use it in some pictures that will be used on the back cover of the Starveyors book.

So I’ll be building up the superstructure and then only detailing the back side of it. Ignoring for now the head and all other surfaces. That’s kinda unusual, but only the rear of the model will be used for these pictures. I’ll also be building some extremely small scale versions of other Alliance starships and once again, only detailing the back sides.

When I get some of the smaller starships built up I’ll record their construction in this same, rather long series of posts.

In the above photo you can get a sense of the scale, as it actually fits on my desk. The model is about two feet long.