1:48 ERTL Naboo Starfighter [Build Video inside]

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StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Heyo everyone. To preface this build: I have always liked the N1 from The Phantom Menace. Loved how sleek it looked onscreen, and still love it to this day. SO, for a while now I have been looking for a 1:72 Fine Molds kit to get my hands on, but those things are extremely rare and hard to come by now. Therefore, I opted for the old ERTL snap kit (not the diecast one) from 1999, and I made a build video out of it:


IMG_6440.JPG


Thoughts on the build: There aren't that many parts, and they don't fit together well at all. Lots of filing/sanding, etc... The R2 that came with the kit is awful, so I swapped out one of the spare heads that comes with the Fine Molds 1:48 X-Wing, and it seems to fit nicely. The seam line on top of the body was a pain to get out, and you can see in the video that I don't get it gone QUITE all the way, but oh well. And it was my first time trying a silver paint called Duralumen, sold by TheDigitalArmory on Etsy. It's pretty cool stuff! I could have done more surface prep for the gloss black, but I neglected to. Oh well. Oh, and I sanded off the little nubs where the guns are. Oops.

So all in all, definitely not perfect, but it was a fun build nonetheless! Also, I thought that my yellow/orange mixture was a bit too orange, but I compared it to the image in Sculpting a Galaxy, and it seems that I got it pretty close!

IMG_6439.JPG


Thanks for looking!

SB
 

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ID10T

Sr Member
Looks pretty good to me!

Im interested in more info on the silver paint. Can you top coat it without losing the metallic “gleam”?

I have some “chrome” paint that’s quite impressive on a properly prepared surface, but any kind of top coat ruins the metallic look.

The Testors model master buffing metalizer paints are also good, but top coats can also be tricky with those. And there is no buffing of the chrome spray.
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looks pretty good to me!

Im interested in more info on the silver paint. Can you top coat it without losing the metallic “gleam”?

I have some “chrome” paint that’s quite impressive on a properly prepared surface, but any kind of top coat ruins the metallic look.

The Testors model master buffing metalizer paints are also good, but top coats can also be tricky with those. And there is no buffing of the chrome spray.
Thanks for watching! And chrome is tricky. I haven't really found a chrome that'll take a clear coat without hazing slightly, thus losing its edge. I have tried Alclad, Kcolors, MM, etc... (although I'll say I like the Kcolors metallic paints a LOT, if you can find them. And I have some Alumaluster on the shelf, but I couldn't bring myself to try it on this dinky little model...) The silver on this model isn't sealed for that very reason. I did mask on top of the silver after it had cured for a few days and the tape didn't lift ANY of it off, so that's good. This whole thing was just an excuse to use the new Duralumen paint that I had on my shelf. Didn't topcoat it, though.

SB
 

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starks

Well-Known Member
This is super cool! Episode 1 had some amazing designs, the Naboo starfighter being up there and I must admit to just watching the Podrace scene at times. I must build a podracer.

You really nailed the metal finish on this... and the entire build to be honest. I was not aware they were produced in a larger scale. I have the smaller scale starfighter here and the droid fighters. I should look at them one day.

Your builds are constantly amazing me.

Cheers,
Josh
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is super cool! Episode 1 had some amazing designs, the Naboo starfighter being up there and I must admit to just watching the Podrace scene at times. I must build a podracer.

You really nailed the metal finish on this... and the entire build to be honest. I was not aware they were produced in a larger scale. I have the smaller scale starfighter here and the droid fighters. I should look at them one day.

Your builds are constantly amazing me.

Cheers,
Josh

Ha, yeah whenever I want to demo my home theater for some friends, I throw on the Podrace. Great audio in that scene. Thanks for the kind words. The silver was an experiment, as I had never used that paint before, but I'm glad it worked!

As far as scale, I think this is as big as they got. I know Fine Molds made their 1:72 kit, and then AMT/ERTL made the 1:48 die cast versions and this version. Again, I could be wrong about that, but that's about as far as I know.

SB
 

computergeek

Active Member
Great job! The seams are really rough on the engines in this kit. I've considered just 3d printing the entire engine and maybe adding a transparent ring to get the engine effect. This is definitely inspiration for me!

Loved the idea of melting down sprues in Tamiya extra thin. That's a method I've used on full sized props but never considered as a filler for models!
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Loved the idea of melting down sprues in Tamiya extra thin. That's a method I've used on full sized props but never considered as a filler for models!
Thanks you! And yes, melted sprue is great, because when it dries, it's just styrene. No weird shrinkage or anything, and it's the same material as the model itself.

Thanks for watching!

SB
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
Heyo everyone. To preface this build: I have always liked the N1 from The Phantom Menace. Loved how sleek it looked onscreen, and still love it to this day. SO, for a while now I have been looking for a 1:72 Fine Molds kit to get my hands on, but those things are extremely rare and hard to come by now. Therefore, I opted for the old ERTL snap kit (not the diecast one) from 1999, and I made a build video out of it:


View attachment 1465352

Thoughts on the build: There aren't that many parts, and they don't fit together well at all. Lots of filing/sanding, etc... The R2 that came with the kit is awful, so I swapped out one of the spare heads that comes with the Fine Molds 1:48 X-Wing, and it seems to fit nicely. The seam line on top of the body was a pain to get out, and you can see in the video that I don't get it gone QUITE all the way, but oh well. And it was my first time trying a silver paint called Duralumen, sold by TheDigitalArmory on Etsy. It's pretty cool stuff! I could have done more surface prep for the gloss black, but I neglected to. Oh well. Oh, and I sanded off the little nubs where the guns are. Oops.

So all in all, definitely not perfect, but it was a fun build nonetheless! Also, I thought that my yellow/orange mixture was a bit too orange, but I compared it to the image in Sculpting a Galaxy, and it seems that I got it pretty close!

View attachment 1465351

Thanks for looking!

SB

Your model looks really good! Your color looks spot-on.

For the record: the correct color for the Naboo Starfighter is Floquil Railbox Yellow #F11033.

That's my concept model in the Sculpting the Galaxy book.

Funny story about that color: George and Doug Chiang gave me a particular pantone color for it. I ordered a quart of custom mixed paint made to match that pantone chip. When the special mixed paint arrived, I noticed that it was an almost perfect match for Railbox Yellow.
During film shoots, it's preferable to use off the shelf colors rather than custom mixed - so I tossed the custom paint and just used the Floquil.
The Floquil is a flat color, so I had to spray a clear gloss over it to make it shiny. The chrome was vacuum-metalized.
 

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Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
Your model looks really good! Your color looks spot-on.

For the record: the correct color for the Naboo Starfighter is Floquil Railbox Yellow #F11033.

That's my concept model in the Sculpting the Galaxy book.

Funny story about that color: George and Doug Chiang gave me a particular pantone color for it. I ordered a quart of custom mixed paint made to match that pantone chip. When the special mixed paint arrived, I noticed that it was an almost perfect match for Railbox Yellow.
During film shoots, it's preferable to use off the shelf colors rather than custom mixed - so I tossed the custom paint and just used the Floquil.
The Floquil is a flat color, so I had to spray a clear gloss over it to make it shiny. The chrome was vacuum-metalized.

That is so amazing that you built the prototype! One of my personal fav ships too. The N-1 creates a great contrast between the "more civilized age" of the old Republic and the slapped-together crates of the underfunded rebellion. I have long theorized that the general top silhouette of the N-1 was intentionally the same as the X-wing -- basically a trident -- only going the opposite direction (pointy ends sweeping back instead of thrusting forward). Any truth to that in the design discussions?

N1 and X-Wing.jpg


For those interested, Bare Metal Foil also works to chrome the N-1 and the Queen's starship. I did those models 20 years ago and the foil is still holding up.

Naboo starships.jpg
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
That is so amazing that you built the prototype! One of my personal fav ships too. The N-1 creates a great contrast between the "more civilized age" of the old Republic and the slapped-together crates of the underfunded rebellion. I have long theorized that the general top silhouette of the N-1 was intentionally the same as the X-wing -- basically a trident -- only going the opposite direction (pointy ends sweeping back instead of thrusting forward). Any truth to that in the design discussions?

Nope, matching the top silhouette of the X-wing was never mentioned. In fact, I never noticed until you pointed it out.:D

The Naboo fighter was one of the first designs I worked on for Ep 1 - and when Doug handed me the first sketches, I said "This doesn't look like Star Wars?" I was so used to the boiler-plate look of the original films. The rationale for the new films was that these were "Pre-War" designs, like cars from the 1920'and 30's. Swoopy fenders, etc... and that the original films ships were "Post-War" utilitarian boxes.
 
Last edited:

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
Nope, matching the top silhouette of the X-wing was never mentioned. In fact, I never noticed until you pointed it out.:D

A happy coincidence then, but one that works (at least for me). I like that there was a very intentional design philosophy that expanded what the "Star Wars look" could be because it made sense for the story rather than just stick to the boiler-plate esthetic because that's what fans expected.
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Your model looks really good! Your color looks spot-on.

For the record: the correct color for the Naboo Starfighter is Floquil Railbox Yellow #F11033.

That's my concept model in the Sculpting the Galaxy book.

Funny story about that color: George and Doug Chiang gave me a particular pantone color for it. I ordered a quart of custom mixed paint made to match that pantone chip. When the special mixed paint arrived, I noticed that it was an almost perfect match for Railbox Yellow.
During film shoots, it's preferable to use off the shelf colors rather than custom mixed - so I tossed the custom paint and just used the Floquil.
The Floquil is a flat color, so I had to spray a clear gloss over it to make it shiny. The chrome was vacuum-metalized.
Wow! Thank you for taking time to watch the video and chime in! It's amazing that you can remember things like the Floquil color # after all these years. Same with the old ILM'ers who worked on the OT (I can't believe anybody remembers ANYTHING about the '70s! :lol:)

And Hunk a Junk, what model is that of the Queen's ship? I seem to recall that Estes made a rocket of it, but this certainly isn't that, is it? Looks great!

SB
 

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
And Hunk a Junk, what model is that of the Queen's ship? I seem to recall that Estes made a rocket of it, but this certainly isn't that, is it? Looks great!

SB

Thanks! Yup, it's the Estes with modifications. I remember sealing and filling all the rocketry parts of it. The Bare Metal Foil was applied in sections using the ship's panel lines to break them up and avoid wrinkles. There are still a few, but overall it turned out better than I'd hoped. Now that I have a 3D printer, I'm planning to make a new set of engine spikes for both this and the N-1 to get a more accurate profile and get them really nice and pointy!
 

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Analyzer

Master Member
Excellent work!

I was lucky enough to pick up a Fine Molds /172 one some years back below MSRP. They have been really tough to come by now.

I was curious how the 1/48 ERTL one was. Might have to get one now
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Excellent work!

I was lucky enough to pick up a Fine Molds /172 one some years back below MSRP. They have been really tough to come by now.

I was curious how the 1/48 ERTL one was. Might have to get one now
Thanks! Yeah I've been trying to get my mitts on one of those FM N-1s for a long time now. But if you're going to do the ERTL kit, I'd definitely recommend replacing the back of the engines. Can't stand that seam line.

SB
 

starks

Well-Known Member
Your model looks really good! Your color looks spot-on.

For the record: the correct color for the Naboo Starfighter is Floquil Railbox Yellow #F11033.

That's my concept model in the Sculpting the Galaxy book.

Funny story about that color: George and Doug Chiang gave me a particular pantone color for it. I ordered a quart of custom mixed paint made to match that pantone chip. When the special mixed paint arrived, I noticed that it was an almost perfect match for Railbox Yellow.
During film shoots, it's preferable to use off the shelf colors rather than custom mixed - so I tossed the custom paint and just used the Floquil.
The Floquil is a flat color, so I had to spray a clear gloss over it to make it shiny. The chrome was vacuum-metalized.

Just a question... and forgive me StevenBills if this is getting off of your topic. But how does the studio approach painting larger models?
This question came to me regarding the colour of the Millennium Falcon and if Im correct Reefer white.
Now me, as a spraypainter, find the concept of buying bottles and bottles of reefer white to paint something the size of the 5ft falcon ludicrous. As something that size would easily chew 1ltr to a 1.5 ltrs of paint. But is this what would happen? Or would they purchase large amounts of colour matched paint?

Cheers,
Josh
 

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