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.

Building the GA Sokol, Part 3

It’s been a while since I posted about this model. I’ve been busy with life and writing my next novel. Also, we’ve been using these models on the back covers of the paperback versions of the Star Saga novels. You should be able to buy these books next month at most online venues.

The Head

I decided to focus on the head for a bit so I could finish installing the fiber optics for it. Detailing the back and bottom happened first and now I’m moving on to the sides. The top of the head was detailed also. Below are a series of pics that show the head’s progress in the past month.

Back and bottom of the head as I detailed it with whatever was on hand.

This is the other side of the back of the head. Liberal use of computer components is evident, including CDROM cover plate, keys and other scraps of plastic.

This is the bow details coming together. Tank parts dominating here.

Back lighting my portholes after drilling them out. Not as even as I had hoped, but I learned a trick from Bill in the comments that I’m going to try for the other side. Use masking tape to form a guide to drill along.

These are the details on the bottom of the head.

Really happy with how the top of the head is turning out. Can’t wait to see it painted up so the details blend in.

The Body

This week I took a break from the head and worked on the engines and framework of the body a bit. I used the PVC pipe again for the star drives and then only the outboard ones. There is a center engine, but I planned to not show much of it, so I left the space hollow for electronics and such.


Above is the PVC pipes literally bolted to the frame box with screws.



This is on the work bench where she stands now. I used the corrugated plastic face of old server computers to hold the engines together and provide internal strength.


The yellow wires are intended for the lights that will be in the engines. They are not connected to anything yet.


This is the under belly of the model where I used some basswood strips to brace the engines to the main frame and take some of the stress off the plastic bulkhead. All of this will be covered with plastic soon.

That’s it for now.

Building the SS Truxtun Part 2

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6

(This model started out as the SS Sokol and has been recast as the Destroyer – SS Truxtun.)

Rapid progress on the model this weekend necessitated that I do up a quick Part 2. Once you get going with the super structure of a model like this it comes to together pretty quickly. I used the main struts coming out of the body to anchor the engine and head of the ship. For the moment, you can slid each off and on with little effort. This makes for easy access to the middle area where I need to build up some details.


In this view, you can compare the shape to the drawing. I know, it’s reversed, but I didn’t think of that when I was snapping the pics. As I get more details constructed, I will do this shot again.


This is the view from starboard port. The head is taking shape and you can see the smaller bracing at an angle on the grid work that attached the head to the body. I’m using nothing but plastic or styrene from all the construction on this project. So far I’m not having any difficulty and it’s actually been quite fun.


This is port astern angle showing the two main engines. I used plastic parts from various extra medicine droppers we had in our junk drawer for the funnels.


The next step is to start building up the various structures like the bridge and the starfighter bay on the top of the main body.