K’nat Starfighter Build, Part 5


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.


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.





Triak Starfighter Build, Part 3

All of the parts and pieces finally come together in this post. This has been a fairly quick and dirty build for me. I’ve never done a kit bashed starfighter before and in many ways it felt like cheating. I even spaced putting a mount in it and had to screw one in last minute and epoxy it. Not ideal for a working model. There are no lights and only the one mount. I do have a pilot figure, but he’s not very detailed.

Still, it does look pretty cool and I’m glad I did it for the experience. It’s not exactly like what I drew but it’s close enough to give the feeling that there are more than one kind of starfighter in the Votainion livery.


Above you can see the body with the blaster masts in place. Simple plastic tubing was used for that. You can also see some of the scratch built details on the top and at the canopy.


These over sized tips of the guns were from the loose pieces bin and matched the original drawing pretty good.


Here is a side view of what I believe were some kind of rocket launcher that were wing mounted. No idea what kit they were from.


This belly view shows the tips of the guns in place and the panel covering what I assume would be the nose landing gear.


Here you can see the mount point, big and nasty, as well as some new details from the parts bin.


Top side details are visible above. Not sure why I painted the blue-gray interior color here, before I sprayed on the primer. Dumb move.


Some putty and sanding was required on the blaster canon tips.


I like this shot above of all three Votainion starfighters from the Starstrikers Era of the Star Saga. The white one is a card board prototype of the next one I will build, the K’nat fighter.


All ready for primer, the cockpit is masked off to preserve it’s paint job.


Rare side view.


Here you can see the final details of the engine area and the top. 

20151228_141713And here you can see the final details on the bottom. A few panels added and various other doodads. 

She’s finally ready for primer and then paint, next time on the blog.

Triak Starfighter Build, Part 2

As with any airplane model, you start with the insides. Here I used the wheel well turned upside down for the seat bucket. Then added details to the side walls as needed. In looking back at this build after I put the fuselage together, I completely forgot to include a block of aluminum tapped for the 1/4 20 screw mounts. I would up just super gluing a mount into a huge hole I drilled on the bottom. Completely crude, but it can be photo shopped out.


I fixed the engine nacelles to the air intakes from the Tomcat model with simple wood screws inside. Then covered the screw heads with air intake pieces from the F-104 model. As with any scratch built model, I’m always taking greeblies and trying them in different ways until I find what looks right for each section of the model. At the time I started, I only had the purple nacelle cover so I made the other one as if the cover were removed. Then I found the red one in my parts box. Too late. I like the detail on display with the cover removed.


Cockpit halves cemented together and then I start detailing the top of the nose and behind the pilot’s seat.


I used yellow clear pieces here, but it will all get painted blue-gray when I’m done. Actually, these will probably be black.


I need to cut out some sheet styrene for the back of the air intakes. I already decided to include a car radiator to cover the back of the fuselage. Why? Because what famous Star Wars ship didn’t have a radiator?


I also used some engine parts from a large scale car model for the back end. 


Nice shot of the radiator.


Time to fill the major gaps with modelling putty. This was a big, multi-night task. Lots of sanding.


I won’t know if the sanding job is good until I primer. But It should suffice for a beat up fighter plane.


Back cover plates on and some other details added. I really like the shocks here. 


For some reason, I’m putting lots of car parts on this fighter. It seems to work so far.


Little by little, more greeblies find their way onto the model. This is actually one of my favorite parts of modeling. Detailing.


More details added to the top and back of the fighter. I also added some strakes above and below where the engines are mounted. A few more details and then it will be time to do the panel scoring.


Terrox Fighter Update

It sure looks different when you put on the gray primer, doesn’t it? I’m still trying to figure out what colors to use and whether I want a camouflage pattern or not. Leaning towards no camo but perhaps some unit colors. This model is an original design from the Starstrikers trilogy of my Star Saga novels. This is one of the primary fighters of the Votainion Empire. It was build to appear on book covers and is thus a Studio Scale model built from PVC tubes and plastic. It has no lights or moving parts.





Votainion Warship Build, Part 5

In Part 5 I start going to town on the greeblies and do some panel lines. I round out the post with a light gray dusting from an airbrush to see what the basic shape will look like as a whole. This is necessary because there are too many colored parts to get a feel for what the ship will look like painted.

I’ve purchased three plastic model kits to use for detailing on this model the rest of the greeblies come from my parts bins. Many parts are from old computers and servers and a whole bunch of purchased, plastic strips of various sizes.

Above and below we see the progression of parts on one side of the neck. In later pictures you’ll notice that I add more pipes and smaller details to finish it off.

Above I’ve added some heat bent plastic tubes around that red piece. Which, by the way, is a dollar store greeblie that was a kid’s party flute.

Above, we see the other side. The dark gray piece is from a hard drive mounting bracket in a server.

Above, I’ve started detailing the top of the neck area. I wanted long, narrow lines here and used greeblies sparingly.

This is a CU of one of the main sensor arrays. Most of the details are finished in this area.

The head got some attention with a layer of tiny details and more strips of plastic. You can also see the front canard details in this shot which includes a forward facing canon. Each canon has a sensor array which is a key from an old kid’s computer. The canon itself is a combination of tank wheels.

The back of the canards needed some work and these two pics above and below show that progress.

And now for something completely different. Engraving panel lines. These are the tools I used. A ruler and pencil to draw the lines onto a thin plastic panel. A metal scribe to cut into the lines and a toothbrush to clean out eraser dust after I erase the pencil lines.

The next step is to add some smaller panels for relief. I sanded it lightly with super-fine steel wool.

Below we see the panel attached to the side of a canard. The final step is adding some tiny details from the tank kits.

Below is the other canard with slightly different panels and details to make it more interesting.

The bottom of the head got another pass with smaller details and some panel lines. Anyone recognize the long gray part?

Hint: Think original Battlestar Galactica. Yeah, a smaller version of the same part used on that classic model. Ya gots to have an homage on the model somewhere.

Below is the model after a light dusting from the airbrush. I very quickly went through an entire bottle of Testors lt gray paint.

Here she is coming at you! The top of the model was not painted yet. I need more paint!

Here’s a beauty pass.

Going the other direction. You can see I still need to do the panel lines on the main wing around the “V”.

Here’s the little air compressor I purchased for my airbrush. Next I’ll need to find a real airbrush as I only have a cheap Testors one at the moment.


One last look at why we do a light primer coat before calling it quits on the detailing. Here’s the side without primer.

Here’s the side with a primer coat. Some of the details blend in better when painted and look more natural. The whole model will get a good, solid coating of flat light gray before I start in with the final color – brick red.

Before I go, I thought I’d throw this parts list out there for fun. It’s always interesting for other modelers to know what parts went into your build.

That’s all for now. Next time I’ll be detailing the bottom and hopefully adding the engines.