T-47 Seaspeeder "Beyond Horizons"

Custom (1/48)

"As the sun rippled over the waves, Aleena Kirian stood silently, face against the wind, warmed by the light and the ever-shifting horizon..."

Construction

Check out the Build Log.

This started out as a simple kit-bash. After building other T-47 variants, I thought a T-47 Seaspeeder version would be pretty cool. I bought Tamiya's 1/72 Seiran with the intention of using its floats on the speeder. As I began to build it, I realized it seemed too wide. To counter that, I used styrene tubes on the engines. I also used part of the Seiran's wings to create the outriggers. Then, it was just a matter of detailing it. I used a lot of brass wire on the engines and the sides.

For the dock, I built up a basic shape with styrene sheets, using black sheets in the back and sides. I bent styrene rods to create the cabling. More styrene was used in the platform. Originally, I had bought a 1/48 stair set from Plastruct, but the steps were too thick. So, I used it as a guide to make a new stair set out of styrene strips. Then, I added the brass railing and a flood light at the top. I used Tamiya putty to create barnacles along the base.

For painting, I used almost entirely acrylics...even most of the weathering. I sprayed the dock a solid grey color, but I used post-it notes and tape to create gradients of color using my airbrush. I also used a pencil to add slight variation in the colors.

The water was created in many thin layers. For most of it, I used Easycast 2-part epoxy resin, which doesn't heat up like most resins. I found that some Vallejo paints could be mixed with it for color, but only a drop or two was needed. I also found that AK/AMMO enamels could mix with it as well. However, I tried a lighter Vallejo blue that did NOT mix at all with it. As I finished using the Easycast, I switched to Magic Water, which doesn't dry as brittle. Personally, I would prefer the harder/brittle set of the Easycast, but the Magic Water did not wick up as much as the other.

Once it dried, I shaved off the edges where it crept up the sides, and then used Water Effects from Woodland Scenics to create waves. Finally, I cast resin helmets from one of the Snowspeeder pilots and made 2 custom helmets.

Backstory

Among the many modified T-47 variants the Rebels constructed was an oceanic version nicknamed the seaspeeder. These vehicles sported large pontoon floats bolted underneath the wings. Extending from the hull were elongated engines with large rudders that could steer the craft during sea travel. Of course, the T-47 Seaspeeder retained its repulsorlift capability. Yet, the craft could make better use of its fuel reserves by entering a low-power mode and gliding across the water. The T-47 Seaspeeder could maintain the low-power mode for 6 days continuous travel enabling pilots to undertake incredibly lengthy missions and transport runs between aquatic bases.

T-47 Seaspeeders had onboard sonar devices allowing better detection of underwater threats. The typical laser cannons remained intact but were powered down in most conditions to preserve power. The rear harpoon/tow cable launcher had to be modified to prevent saltwater splashing into the engine turbines. A sealed flap at the back prevented leaks but required the gunner to lower it before firing the tow cable. Other modifications often included cables and ropes along the sides, as well as a dedicated anchor mounted to a concealed winch in the front.

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