Republic LAAT Carrier

3D-printed kit scaled to 1/72

Well, I opted to take another commission. Even though for my last commission the buyer backed out, I did end up selling the LAAT Gunship. And the person I sold it to has become a good friend and a 3D print-man for me. He and others are making a lot of figures and customs for the Micro Galaxy Squadron line at 1/72 scale. So, he asked me to build and paint a LAAT Carrier that he printed.

The LAAT/c 3D model is incredible in detail. Moreover, it's very intelligently constructed. If everything fit together perfectly, you'd think you were building a regular styrene kit. However, not everything fits. The tolerances must be really tight because I've had to do a lot of sanding already. Time will tell if it gets easier or if I end up pulling my hair out.

Still, this is one of my favorite vehicles, and I'm going to enjoy customizing the LAAT carrier into truly nice model.

The 3D printed kit had a solid canopy. So I heated a thin clear styrene sheet over a candle and pressed it down over the canopy as a mold. It took about 30 tries and some burned fingers to get a "close" enough version.

The hull has slots with bracers to align everything. However, I had to do a lot of resin sanding to reduce the support points. So that means, I had to wear a mask and sand outside as much as possible since resin dust is dangerous.

Not everything is attached yet, but you get the idea. I'll have a fun time filling all the gaps, but it's not impossible. What impresses me most is the size, the LAAT Carrier is one heck of a beast.

I used Apoxie Sculpt to fill all the various seams left by the 3D printed pieces.

By adding a little water, you can use an electric sander, like the David Union 400 Sander, to smooth down the Apoxie Sculpt.

First primer coat using Tamiya Grey Fine Primer. I then added some more Tamiya Putty to more areas I noticed that needed filling.

After all the putty, I had to rescribe the panel lines. I relied mostly on the saw and UMM Scriber. In some areas, I had to go back and reapply some more putty.

I reprimed it in Mr. Finishing Surfacer Black. This will create shadows when I apply the basecoat, which will look fantastic on the end product.

Now, I used splatter stencils to create random patterns using an airbrush and Tamiya White. When I spray the base coat over this, it will create a worn and faded look.

It took a lot of tape, but I finally got the lines marked off for the teal color. Before spraying, I dabbed some Mr. Mask Sol Neo with a sponge, which when rubbed off, will look like paint chips afterward.

Taking the tape off is so satisfying. At this point though, I noticed the colors looked off, and it annoyed me.

I realized I probably didn't add enough brown to the white base, so instead of throwing it away, I added a filter/glaze. For this, I used an acrylic wash that I thinned down further with water. I also finished the red paint and started the weathering with grime around the pipes/engine bits.

Time to add some decals. I thought about airbrushing the markings from stencils, but I think the decals look better in this case. I'm also adding a lot of other little decals based on some artwork I found. It may not be 100% accurate, but it will look authentic.

3 Comments

  1. Hey Mr.Campbell, just curious, does your friend take commissions for figure printing for the micro Galaxy line? I might be interested, Jazwares never seem to give us enough figures, so it would be awesome to have a few more.

    • Hey man, I know there are some people who print and paint figures on Facebook. Check out our MGS Customs group. If I had more time, I’d probably offer to paint them. What figures are you looking for?

  2. Just some droids figs like R2, some battle droids, some scout troopers, and random aliens, micro galaxy scale-1/72 scale, probably as a small bulk order like 50 figs so I’m set for long time, just for my models and dioramas since it’s so hard to find figures at that size. I appreciate the offer for painting, thing is I do the same, it’s half the fun right?

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