Build Log: Shrike (Slave I kit-bash)
kit-bashing, scratch-building, painting, weathering
Hull parts and internal wiring. There are 3 thrusters. Each small one is made from the wing parts of the Slave I. The large thruster has 3 LEDs lighting it, while the smaller ones have 1 LED. Also, you can see a lot of the greeblies I've added to the rear. I originally cut out that chunk because I wanted another big thruster under the main one, but I couldn't make it look quite right. So in the end, I built up the area with more detail.
I added grabhandles to the side as some kind of maintenance access thing. I used the Grabhandler, which allows you to recreate grabhandles at precise sizes. I used the first one as a guide, mashing the sharpened ends into the plastic strip, then drilling out the holes. The final grabhandles were dunked into a brass burnishing fluid that darkened the metal and made it ready for painting.
Fiber optics in the upper hull. I connected the fiber to the cockpit with white glue, then added Apoxie Sculpt over the drilled holes to block light. Also, even without the cockpit mods, the cockpit tub doesn't fit well to the model, so I added a lot of Apoxie Sculpt to the edges for reinforcement and light blocking.
So, here's the money shot: the painted cockpit. It's mostly a lot of grey with green/grey chairs. The lights will add more interest, but I also intend to weather the whole thing some more with oils and enamels. Also, I added the Mandalorian helmet and jetpack. I actually made a resin mold of the helmet and used a resin copy just in case I want to use a 1/72 Mando helmet in another project.
Finally, here's the figure, a female pilot, black hair with green streaks. I need to repaint some areas. By the way, this was Jango Fett, but I added hair and breast-ly areas. I opted for sloped armor over simply breast-cups that seem...over the top for armor. I'd rather go for feminine, but not slave Leia. Besides, like this, she looks like Bo-Katan.
Sprayed the black on in uneven coats. The goal was to make it look worn, so there's no need to get complete coverage. The curves on the back were created by placing two pieces of Tamiya tape back to back, then free-scoring a curved line with my Xacto. Peel the tape and place for perfectly symmetrical curves.
You can see the highlighting better here. Essentially, I made a filter with acrylics. Acrylic filters are hard to control on large surfaces but work well on small, raised panels. For this, I used a flat brush and removed some of the paint by blotting a paper towel before brushing it on (so it won't pool on the panel). Note: this isn't dry-brushing, but the effects can be similar.
After a few minutes, I got back and removed the excess with a brush dampened with odorless mineral spirits. This darkens not only the panel lines but the area right next to the lines as well. You'll also notice that it surrounds paint chips, be they recessed or raised (painted on) chips and creates a false sense of depth. In other words, a wash or filter makes paint chips look more real.
To make each panel stand out, I use oil paints in what is called Oil Paint Rendering or what I call paneling. In this case, I am rendering shadows and highlights. Blue oil paint is great for making soft shadows, and a light grey is nice for highlights. I also throw in some tan on a few panels to make them even more unique.
Here you can see the effects of all my efforts. Panels have slightly different gradients of color. Having a shadow panel next to a highlight makes them both stand out. The raised panels were painted with acrylics, but everything else was oil rendered. Also, notice the orange wires/hoses and grill below were painted with oils.
Here is the main crew entry point. I used brown oil to over-emphasize the doors. I also used Mig Ammo washes to create tints in the recessed areas. The idea is that the craft will land with part of the nose hanging off the platform. Landing gear will extend from above/behind the door, and a ramp will extend from the door area.