The Frigate Continues

Well, technically, I'm done. I finished painting over the weekend and added just a few hand-painted windows. But for now, I'm showing off some pics of the progress right before the finish line. Firstly, here's a pic of the primed model with some more styrene rectangles added to cover the cracks and splits. Then, I routered out some road wheels from an AMX-13/90 to create new engine rings. Not only did these cover the broken ends, but they really helped the overall look.

Finally, I have a few in-progress shots of the forward hull. You can see all of the modulating colors that I used, mostly MRP lacquer paints and a few Tamiya paints. The trick here is having a few index cards with sections or little rectangles cut out. Then, I can simply place the index cards on the model, lightly spray, and you get some neat effects. One other trick is spraying along the edge of an index card (or tape), which creates a subtle streak. ILM used this trick with a lot of their models. It may seem fast and dirty, but it looks effective if you are careful when airbrushing. However, I did use tape for the red lines to make them sharp. After, I sprayed some light grey over the red markings to soften them. Note, the contrast went way up for those pics, so the colors are much more muted on the real thing.

Priming the Frigate

Finally, I got around to finishing the build of the Nebulon-B Frigate-headache. Luckily, after getting the primary pieces reattached, the details have fallen together easily. I haven't had many issues, except a few parts cracking. But again, I just keep adding layers and layers of detail, mostly styrene strips. On a nice day, I primed it using Tamiya's Fine Grey Primer, a lacquer. And this folks, is why priming is so important. I had a lot of cracks and splits that I had not previously seen. I also noticed several places where glue had collected and needed to be removed. Also, the thrusters look really bad, so I'll add that to the list of things to fix.

A Nebulon-class Headache

So, my latest project is a rebuild of Nicholas Sagan's Nebulon-B Frigate. It's 1/500 scale and 3D printed from his design. Honestly, it's absolutely beautiful. He captured all of the detail beautifully, and the 3D print looks phenomenal.

However, it suffered a mishap in shipping or something. Anyway, another person wants to buy it and Nicholas commissioned me to fix it. And holy-hell does it need fixing. Apart from it being, well...apart, there's a lot of damage to the armor plates on either side of the main hull. Nicholas reprinted one side, but the port side is really bad. I'm having to kit-bash a kit-bash to rebuild it. What's worse, is that the 3D-print is very brittle. So, every time I try to add something on, something else breaks. It's quite the headache.

But, I'm trying to add as much structural support as I can. Wherever possible, I'm adding 1mm styrene strips behind pieces that I'm adding on. I'm also using 2-part epoxy glue more than CA superglue. Epoxy is generally stronger, but it also has a little flex in it. So, when I ship it, hopefully nothing will snap off again.