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SS Bourke – Part 1

When you scratch build models, you eventually wind up with bins of parts that you have saved. Some of the parts are from model kits and some are just interesting bits that you’ve picked up along the way. I didn’t start this model with a concrete drawing. I just knew it had to be spindly and long and the engines needed to be different from the current ships of it’s time but incrementally moving to where they needed to be for the middle of the Star Saga. An evolutionary step in the direction of round, twin tube designs.

I started this model like all others, making a mount near the center of it so I could hold it up on a C-stand and photograph it for book covers. The hull I went with was a scale model of a railroad car mounted German gun from WWII. The engines were found at my last job, I don’t recall what they were in a previous life.

The design language for this model was function over form. It’s a research and prototype ship so nobody cares what it looks like, as long as it functions. So I expected to have lots of antennas and instruments bolted onto a frame of some sort.

The model stayed just engines and the train hull for a while as I struggled with how to make the next section that would hold the bridge. I finally decided to use an old armor model’s hull and just go with what it presented me.

You can see all the pieces of junk on the bench that I test fitted, looking for something that worked. This style of modeling is known as kit-bashing. No plan, just find parts that might look good and make it up as you go.

I finally found some upper hull parts and then started covering things with sheet plastic that used to be signs, hence the red parts. The Lego Tie Fighter part would be painted over, so I knew it wouldn’t look like a Star Wars ship after primed.

On the stern section I went with chunky and engine looking parts. This thing was going to look fugly before being painted.

She’s starting to look like something now. Exactly what, was anyone’s guess still.