Weekly Summary

Corvette – Seer of the Black Star is progressing this week. I’m currently in the middle of chapter 3 as the above image shows. That white paperback is the plain cover ARC of Corvette that I use for reference. The computer is new, a System76 Galago Pro for fans of Linux.

She may not look like much, but she’s going to eventually be the Black Star pirate starship. Right now it’s little more than a mount point and some HP computer scrap. Going to be pretty cool though, stay tuned. Eventually this will grace the cover of the book I’m currently writing. I keep a photo bucket on my model builds, so if you like to follow such craftiness, please check in as you can to follow my progress.

Yours truly after a lunchtime writing sprint this week. I listen to play lists on Spotify while I write. Currently the list I’m using is called Corvette 2. If you enjoy pirate music give it a spin. Some songs in the list are not safe for work, wear headphones.


KIV-3 Cover Shot Build Part 2

After taking the summer off to write, I’m back to the model bench in the fall. This time I tweak some of the details and take my first stab at a wing.

We’ll start with our unfortunate Votainion pilot. I used a Star Wars Clone trooper as my base and added things and took away things and well, it’s a work in progress at this point.

The tank treads in the background are going to be seat belts. The shoulders had to be puttied to eliminate joints. The face shield was added after a quick brush with a hobby grinder and a knife. I’ll probably add some more details as I go to ensure he’s not mistaken for a Stormtrooper.

Here he is in his seat. The details have been painted a primer gray but no other painting has been done to the interior pieces.

Here’s a view of the other details, some of which are not yet painted gray. I had lots of fun doing these details, I hope they show up in the final image.

Now it’s time to cover the cockpit walls with thin sheets of plastic. Not all the model will be covered like this, only the parts that we can see in the picture. But the ones that will be seen are molded to fit by bending the pliant plastic into curved pieces. This is pretty much how modern airplanes are built from aluminum panels.

The first panel was not bent to the right shape, but I’m leaving it as is. The second panel is shaped and I don’t think I will bother with any more on this side as they won’t be seen. Now I should turn my attention to the fuselage, but somehow that didn’t sound exciting enough. So I took on the wings.

I measured out the wing as one unit and cut it from a thick sheet of plastic. I figured that I would have to get another sheet and do the bottom side too. But after fumbling around as I went, I decided to use panels on one side of the wing and that meant I only needed one. Turns out to be a good call.

This model is starting to show its size. Eventually I broke the two wings into separate pieces to make them slide into the fuselage just like a kit model.

Here they are propped up with the model. This is such an awesome design and you can start to see how cool it will be when finished.

Each wing has a cut out panel with wire’s strung in an X fashion. As I determines the thickness of the wing, I was able to lay out those wires with very thin diameter plastic tubes.

This process actually went pretty fast and the wing started to come together nicely.

The leading edge of the wing has a slight hint of a chamber like a real airplane or jet wing. I did this just for fun as obviously a space fighter doesn’t need a true wing. The effect is done with a tiny H beam struct and a tiny plastic tube.

A modeler uses what’s on hand whenever he can. This shows the panels being glued into place on the top of the wing. I’m quite happy with how this turned out and should be able to replicate this on the other wing. However, the other wing has to be ripped and bent over, so it will have added interior details exposed. More fun!

Here’s the model at my dining table with the new wing stuck on temporarily. Not too shabby.

Next time I’ll build the second wing, complete with damage and start adding more panels to the main body. With any luck it will start looking more like a starfighter and less like a cutaway picture.

Starship Model Photo Essay

  I thought it would be fun to put all my Star Saga models in one post.


GCU Sokol coming at you, from the novel Starstrikers.

SS Sokol from the novel Starforgers.

An Alliance Skimmer model done in poster board from the novel Starstrikers.*

Gull winged Vickers A-12 from the novel Starforgers. Made from cardboard.*

KIV-5 Votainion starfighter. Made from cardboard. From the Starforgers novel.

Votainion Reemer fighter from the novel Starstrikers. Made from poster board.*

Renoke, featured in the short story The Renoke. Made from poster board.*

Votainion Interceptor, from the novel Starstrikers. Made from plastic.

*Photo’s courtesy of Bill Blohm

Building the GA Sokol, Part 1

This is the third and final build of a Sokol named starship, from my Star Saga novels. The GA Sokol was designed and built just after the Great War in the Starveyors Era. So this is the first post-war starship design. It still looks very much like the wartime starships, but it has fewer main guns and smaller drives.


The first thing I built for this scratch built model is its mount. I used 1/2 inch PVC from the local hardware store. I also decided that I would only have four mounts. Top/Bottom and both sides. This is done with a four way adapter and some spacers.

I started by making the central bulkhead where the PVC mounts will be attached. I used Gorilla Glue to secure it to the plastic.

Then I just proceeded to build up the floor of the main superstructure around the mounting system.

This shows the progress I made in the first day. The mount is about in the middle of the whole model, for balance purposes. Maintaining a rigid superstructure will be paramount as this is also where the pass through flight deck will be and all my electronics.


This area is less thought out right now. I originally was going to build up two separate tubes using plank on bulkhead construction. Now I’m leaning towards building the bulkheads of all three engines as single panels. It will all make more sense when I actually build them and show you next time.

Meta Data

I’ve started a spreadsheet that will track hours worked, costs and parts used. I hope to have a very accurate picture of what it takes to build these starships when I’m done with this one.

To this point: 5 hours, $27.91 in plastic and PVC parts.

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 14

Detailing the Keel and Bottom Port Side

Lots of pictures this time and not a whole lot of progress. I managed to get the bottom and port side of the keel finished and the port side underneath the main gun decks. We’ll start with the bigger details in this long shot. I spent some time in the center of the deck using parts from a 1/35 Hummer that I parted out and various bits of pieces from the bench stock.


There are two turbo cannons on the bottom of the keel and two on the bottom of the main gun deck. When I positioned them, I tried to take into account fields of fire to protect the ship.


This shot shows the major details before I scored panel lines and added some strips of plastic and other panels.


This is the finished port keel and bottom. I also started gluing the thin panels over the PVC tube. That bit is unfinished. But the panel lines and other details on the keel and bottom are pretty much done. I’m quite pleased with this effort, but now I have to turn the beast around in the vise and do it all again on the starboard side. Sigh.


I took this side pic so you could see what it would look like if you were witnessing a fly by from the side. More work to do on the PVC covering, but you can begin to see where I’m going with that. I sanded the PVC and glued the pieces on one end at a time.


Close up of the port gun deck bottom. Gonna stick a fork in this area and call it done. But it sure looks pretty good. I did my best to smudge up the scored panel lines so you could see them.


Another shot of the keel and underside of the port gun pod. I tried to keep to the lines on the sides and keep the bottom of the keel from cluttering up with too many greeblies.

Below I have some little kit bashed model starships that might find their way into the back cover art for the paperback version of Starveyors. More on that effort in another post.