BSG Raptor with lighting 1/32

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by Jimw100, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Hey guys,

    I’m in the middle of putting together the Moebius 1/32 Raptor and frankly it has been a bit of a pig so far. I thought it might help someone out to see what I’ve done so anyone thinking of doing the same kit can learn from my mistakes.

    So here was the plan:

    1. Photo etch - I’m using all of the green strawberry photo etches (internal, external and armament)

    2. Lighting - I’ll be lighting all of the interior screens, instruments and lamps using various sizes of LEDs

    3. Armament - I’ll be adding some of the armament from the separate Moebius kit. Likely the wing tip guns and missiles. I won’t put the big rocket pods on as you can’t open the side door with them on, so you can’t see the ECO bay very well

    4. Internal power supply - I don’t like my models to be stuck permanently to a base (how can you whoosh them around the room making spaceship noises if they’re stuck to a display base?!) so I plan to include an internal Lipo battery with a USB charging port concealed somewhere

    5. Crew - the crew figures included with the kit are, frankly, rubbish (sorry Moebius). They’re tiny and weird proportioned and stiffly posed. So I’m planning to replace them with some modified 1/32 pilots. Which will probably mean replacing the seats and modifying the cockpit too

    Let me know if you’re interested to hear more! A word of caution: I’m pretty new to building models and have never used photo etch, weathering materials, electronics or a soldering iron before...what could go wrong?
     
  2. modelerdave

    modelerdave Member

    Trophy Points:
    127
    I'm anxious to see how this goes. Take lots of pictures!

    Lou Dalmaso did one of these with the full PE complement and lighting everything. He has some good tips (though he's a little long-winded). It's a multi-part build on his YouTube channel. You may want to check it out.
     
  3. GMan68

    GMan68 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    I’m keen! This is the one BSG kit not in my stash, and I’m undecided about getting it. Your build might help me decide! Oh, and avoiding your mistakes if I do get one would be real useful too lol.
     
  4. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Cheers guys. Just took a look at Lou Dalmaso's one - he seems like a real pro so don't expect mine to go together as easily as his! Although comforting to see that even he had problems getting it together...

    First instalment (I may not put stuff in chronological order as I sometimes do stuff in a stupid order).

    (Apologies, the photos are all attached because I can't add links in my posts yet, and all photos are taken with my phone, so not amazing quality)

    Internal photo etch preparation

    So the green strawberry photo etch requires you to basically destroy the interior of the model. A lot of parts end up as skeletons and others are just chopped out entirely. I love the commitment to detail that greenstrawberry put into this, but sometimes the instructions aren't very clear (e.g. how much to cut away from various stock parts to make the PE fit), and actually when you see the amount of modification necessary to some parts you think a brand new cast resin part would be better.

    Starting with the cockpit, you need to chop out most of the main floor (I used a Tamiya razor saw), plus the aisle between the seats and the step between the two (photo 1). At the same time I chopped out the screens from the consoles and stuck the pedals in. Which was silly, because they ended up falling off every five minutes from this point onwards. At this point I didn't have a photo etch bending tool (in fact, I didn't know such a thing existed), so the PE looks a bit rubbish, with rounded edges.

    Then I did the back wall - using an electric drill (photo 2). no need to be too precise as none of this should be on display, hopefully.

    Then the main console wall. I ended up taking so much plastic off this I was amazed it didn't just disintegrate. Used the drill plus a combination of razor saw and craft knife to cut out the vent and desk. Photo 3. AS you can see, I got carried away and stuck some of the PE bits on before I had it all ready. You will see this a lot. I'm not very patient.

    Then I stuck the bits onto the back wall (photo 4). The eagle-eyed BSG geeks out there will notice I put the bottom screen on backwards. Cue attempting to pull it off without destroying the PE and then turning it inside out to re-attach. I also stuck the jumpseat on with the seatbelts. Which was not a clever idea, as that got in the way constantly until I finished putting the insides together. One thing to note is that the bottom of this back part has not been cut or extended at all, so should fit perfectly with the rest of the kit when I put the body together. Let's wait and see if that actually happens (spoiler: it does not. at all.)

    On the reference pictures I found there is a big blue square light on the back wall which wasn't present in the PE kit, so I decided to do it myself, using a little drill bit and a sharp craft knife. It ended up looking...OK? Just about OK. Photo 5.

    Next instalment I'll be putting the screens on...
     

    Attached Files:

    Muzza and gedmac66 like this.
  5. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Preparing the screens and instruments for lighting

    Ok, so this is what the main ECO wall looks like with the PE on it. You'll notice lots of the panels are wonky, this is because I was using loctite superglue which sometimes sets instantly when you're putting two bits of brass together, so if you place the parts on there's no chance to reposition them and no way to remove them without wrecking them. After this I started to use Micro Kristal klear (just because I had it lying around, any PVA glue would presumably be the same).

    I also added the centre controls in the cockpit - the instructions for these were completely obscure to me so I have no idea if that's what they're supposed to look like.

    Next I had to work out the best way to do the many screens and gauges. The greenstrawberry kit comes with colour paper screens and monotone acetate screens, and the stock kit comes with some decals. The paper screens aren't ideal as they don't let much light through and are flimsy. The acetate screens are a bit rubbish as they're only black and clear. The decals are OK but sometimes lack details and don't always fit the PE screens. So I ended up using a combination of all three in various places. I put the decals and paper screens onto clear 0.5mm plastic (sanded a bit for diffusion), with a bit of tissue paper glued on the back for the decals to diffuse the light a bit more. Where I used the acetate screens I used Tamiya clear red, blue and yellow to add some colour. I also used these paints to paint the back of the small holes which are supposed to look like backlit buttons.


    the top and bottom blue screens are decals, the instruments are all acetate, the bottom left screen is a paper one.



    You can see that with the back wall attached there's a giant gap in the corner. I couldn't see any way of closing this using the PE parts provided, it just doesn't fit. And for once I don't think I did anything majorly wrong to cause this. There's also a big gap under the corner of the desk which you'll see when I do a light leakage test later. It would have been simple to fix prior to attaching these parts. But not after.

    I put a chunk of blue plastic from a bottle behind the square on the back wall as the hole is too big to be covered by the Tamiya clear paint.

    I then started chucking aluminium foil all over the back to help give more even light through the screens, as well as on the adjacent hull wall, and the cockpit consoles.
    At which point I realised I hadn't cut out the centre of this part for the light to come through to the screen that attaches on top in the middle.

    Next instalment will be a break from photo etch - the new pilots
     
    gedmac66 likes this.
  6. modelerdave

    modelerdave Member

    Trophy Points:
    127
    Nice work so far. I have a love/hate relationship with PE parts. Mostly hate during the build, and a bit of love when it's all done.

    One tip with the monochrome acetate screens. I painted the backs with transparent paints to color them for my Viper Mk VII cockpit. It works really well. Got the tip from Plasmo's build on YouTube. I used the same technique to color all of the buttons. I covered the openings with Micro Krystal Klear and painted the buttoms from the underside.

    7Q5t1iyl.jpg

    hEPVyY2l.jpg
     
    Soulinertia, gedmac66 and xl97 like this.
  7. Analyzer

    Analyzer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,002
    Looking great!

    I have one of these kits in the stash so I am taking notes. I'll have to pick up the photo-etch
     
  8. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Thanks! I actually just did this tonight on my Viper Mk2, looks much better than the standard. Also I found that you can use Pigma Micron pens to do the same thing, I find you can be a bit more precise with them than a paintbrush given that you need to kind of glob on the Tamiya clear paint to make it work. I used the same pens to do some of the non-lit buttons and other details in the Raptor. It didn't work as well as I had hoped, you can see they look a bit scrappy in the pictures above, but probably better than I would have been able to do with a brush.

    I also have a Mk7 in the stash...Plasmo's one looks awesome.
     
  9. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    OK, apologies for so many updates in such a short period, I just happen to have spare time and don't think I will in the near future.

    The Crew

    As I mentioned above, the pilots seem really small for 1/32 scale. The pilot from Moebius' own Viper Mk2 in the same scale is much bigger and much more detailed. Seems odd. Anyway, I found some 1/32 scale F16 pilots which came with a helmet that looked roughly along the same lines as a Raptor pilot, so I set about making them work.



    You can see how different in size the two are.

    So obviously the F16 pilots didn't fit in the standard seats, so I bought a couple of ejector seats (A-10 seats I think). I cut out the "plinth" which the standard seats go on, as these new seats are so much taller they wouldn't fit otherwise. I also had to cut a portion off the side of each seat to get them in.


    Then the pilots. I had to chop one leg off each of them and reposition it to get them into the space available. Then I chopped the arms at the elbows to reposition them so they are touching the controls. I used mainly superglue with sodium bicarbonate to re-attach the limbs (love this as you can sand it pretty much straight away) and also Perfect Plastic Putty (love this less as you have to wait, and even then it's often a bit crumbly) and then my favourite Mr Surfacer 500 to smooth it out, using isopropyl alcohol on a cotton bud to smooth it out after an hour or so.

    I also sanded down the lifejackets on the F16 pilots and then built them out a bit using plastic putty and Mr Surfacer to make them look a bit more like the sort of waistcoat things the raptor pilots have.

    Then onto the helmets. Same process as the rest, and once I had a shape I liked I cut the outline of the glass visor with a blade. I also cut tiny bits of round plastic to put on the ears of the helmets like the Viper pilot has. There's probably a clever way to cut them out with a special tool but I did it with a knife, and it took ages.


    Finally I painted them with a mix of three citadel greens and Vallejo steel. About a million coats of this, and it took about a week to dry for some reason. I painted the whole helmet with Vallejo steel and then went over the visor with Tamiya smoke. Would have loved to do a clear visor with a face inside but...I don't have those skills.

     
    gedmac66 likes this.
  10. 19narvik40

    19narvik40 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    I took some comparison photos of the original resin Viper Mk II pilot, styrene Viper Mk VII pilot and the Raptor pilot I also took some shots of the helmets, and the Viper Mk VII pilot in the Raptor cockpit seat. I've decided not to have the pilots in the Raptor. Instead I am going to convert some 35th scale modern US figures into Colonial Marines and set them so it looks as though they are waiting to board the Raptor.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    That’s a cool idea, I was looking around for some figures to go in the Raptor’s passenger/ECO bay but all I could find in the right(ish) scale were WW2 figures. Where do you get the modern US figures?
     
  12. GMan68

    GMan68 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    The Viper mk II figure is ok, those others are terrible! I’ve never sculpted a figure in my life and I reckon I could do better haha!
    Nice work modding that fighter pilot, coming along nicely!
     
  13. 19narvik40

    19narvik40 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    In the show, the backseater was dressed in a flightsuit just like the pilot, may have been one ot the two pilots. As for the modern figures, unless you want to search for 1/32nd individual figures you can use almost any of the 1/35th US modern figures available from several companies. I had looked for police/SWAT figures but the only ones I could find where either 1/24th scale or not dress/equiped like the Colonial Marines. These are the three sets I am going to use, cherrypicking the most neutral poses to fit with my idea. I am also including a Google seach result for '1/35th scale modern US troop figures'. 1/35th scale modern US troop figures - Google Search

    There will need to be some work done on the figures and you shouldn't need to attach all the accessories to them. I am trying to have the Beretta CX4 3D printed in 35th scale to arm my Marines as well.
     

    Attached Files:

    gedmac66 likes this.
  14. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    That's going to look ace I think. Could use FN P90s instead of the berettas, if they're easier to find/print? I think they used P90s early on in the show. The berettas are definitely cooler though.

    I wish I could find some decent 1/35 pilots to replace my 1/32 ones. I suspect they would fit better - Im not convinced I will actually get the canopy on with my ones.

    next update:

    Installing the lights

    I used a total of about 6 0402 SMD LEDs, 9 0603 SMDs, 7 3mm LEDs (incl two for the engines). I basically just chose whichever ones would fit in the required space. The two bulkheads between the cockpit and the ECO bay are wide enough for 0603 as are the spaces behind all of the monitors in the ECO bay. I managed to get away with a single 3mm wide angle diffused LED for the three cockpit consoles plus the buttons, by creating a little 1mm styrene cover for the bottom of the console piece and liberally using aluminium foil inside it. I didn't really realise that the grille on the outside of the console piece would let the light through so much until after I'd put it all together, so nothing I could do about that light leak. I don't think it looks too bad with the light coming through though.

    The ECO back wall was going to be too close to the back hull piece behind it so I had to use 0402 SMDs, which I just glued straight onto the wall.


    All the LEDs were white, the colour is either painted on using Tamiya clear or comes from the decals.



    The camera makes the main screens look a bit awful but in real life they aren't that bright, you can see the detail pretty well. I noticed at this point that I'd forgotten to light the two screens on the desk next to the joystick, so another hole drilled in the back and another 0603 got stuck in there.

    I used Micro Kristal Klear to glue all of the LEDs in place, and I cut/sanded a few channels where I thought the hull would be too tight up against the wires as they run down the walls. There's loads of space to drill holes through the floor behind the bulkheads and the main consoles to run wires down under the floor, and there is tonnes of space under the floor to run wires and stick in other electronics/batteries etc. Even so I cut out a lot of the under-floor to give more space, as there is another bottom hull piece which goes over this to cover it up.


    This shows the space cut out on the left hand side to reveal the black sub floor of the hull piece. With my LiPO battery stuck under there to test whether it would fit. My grand plan was to have this bottom hull piece attached by magnets so I could pop it off in case I need to rewire or replace the battery at any point. This did not go so well (more later) but you can see here what I did:


    Four 5mmx3mm neodymium magnets epoxied into the hull piece with putty. Then a blob of paint on each one and the side hull pieces pressed on to see where to drill the holes for the top magnets. It worked really well. Until I stuck the side hull pieces together.

    Finally I drilled a couple of holes into the back wall of the ECO bay and ran 2 3mm LEDs under the floor, up through two more holes and out the back to where the engines will be.


    Next instalment will be the proper electronics - actually wiring all this up and fitting battery/usb charger etc. All of the shots above are done with an external test battery.
     
    Soulinertia, 19narvik40 and gedmac66 like this.
  15. Analyzer

    Analyzer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,002
    The interior is looking great and lots of useful info as well
     
  16. modelerdave

    modelerdave Member

    Trophy Points:
    127
    Agree, the interior looks spectacular. Nice work and a great write up as well.
     
  17. 19narvik40

    19narvik40 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    They used quite a few different firearms throughout the series, including the P90. You see a couple in the S1 episode Bastille Day. There are P90 models available in styrene, resin and 3D printing. The CX4 appears most often and appears to be the standard long arm for the Marines.

    As for 35th scale pilots, the only ones you will find are helocopter pilots, with a little jiggery-pokery you could fix one up pretty close.
     
  18. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Edit - wrong thread!
     
  19. Soulinertia

    Soulinertia Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,791
    Incredible! Loving your work on this.
     
  20. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    The Electronics

    OK, first things first: I don't know anything about electronics. If anyone can offer advice on how to do things better then it would be much appreciated for my next build!

    So I had a look at the options for including an internal battery, switch and some sort of charging capability and I came up with the Adafruit micro-USB Lipo charger, a 3.7v 250mah rechargeable battery and a little toggle switch. It should be fairly simple but I actually blew up the first Adafruit board by accidentally shorting it with crocodile clips whilst testing...

    The front of the raptor has a panel that covers the join between the two haves of the hull, and behind this panel there's a big space inside so I decided to put the USB port and switch behind this panel, and then attach the panel on top with magnets.

    I needed to cut out a few holes so I just snipped away with the Tamiya plastic cutters until I had a hole that a USB cable would fit through, and then I drilled one hole for the switch and one on the other side which would allow me to see the red/green charging lights on the charging board.


    I used a SPDT switch (I think) as I couldn't find a small enough SPST one, so I just used two of the pins and it seems to work fine. I wired it into the -ve wire and then stuck everything in place with epoxy. Except it didn't stick for some reason, so I ripped it out and used superglue, which worked fine.

    I gathered together all of the +ve wires from the spaghetti underneath the cabin and all of the -ve wires and began to solder them together (in two separate groups obviously!). I found the magnet wires to be most difficult to do, as I was very wary of damaging the wire whilst scraping off the enamel coating but got there in the end. I used a lot of heat shrink tubing, which I shrank down using the side of my soldering iron, as I don't have a heat gun, or the desire to buy yet another tool to take up space.

    Some of the +ve have resistors on them (not all) as I understand most LEDs are rated only up to 3v as standard. The place I bought them from had 4.8v as the lowest option for pre-wired resistors so for the 0402 less I ordered them with resistors, and also some of my 3mm LEDs were from a different kit and already had resistors on them. I've no idea if resistors are a real necessity when there is only about .7v "excess" voltage, but I ran all of these in tests on a 4.5v source for a while and none blew up. I didn't put resistors on the 0603s because I can't solder that magnet wire very well. I thought soldering the legs of the resistors together would be easier than adding wires and then soldering them, but I was probably wrong about that - it wasn't very easy and didn't work that well. I did a bit of research and got some better tips for my soldering iron and some flux, which seems to help a bit sometimes with getting the solder to stick where you want it. Also someone bought me one of those "third hand" things with a light and crocodile clips to hold bits whilst soldering, which sometimes makes what was a seemingly impossible task only very tricky. For me at least.


    So eventually I got the wire spaghetti down to an acceptable volume that it would fit in the space.


    Neat and tidy? No. The brown tape is a fabric tape with zinc oxide adhesive which I used because normally it sticks to things really well for a long time (unlike duck tape which comes off after a while) and my electrical tape was just awful. Anyway, none of these worked. I should have bought some of those little plastic cable tidies with adhesive backs. Too late.


    So there it is with everything fitting in. I tested the charger and it seemed to work ok, and then I switched it all on and left it somewhere where it wouldn't burn the whole house down if it set on fire. Even with only 250mah running all of those LEDs it went for nearly an hour before the LEDs were too dim, which Is good enough for me. As mentioned before, I see this as a toy rather than a model for display (lucky as it isn't going to be display worthy!) and it will only be switched on for a few minutes at a time.

    Now a bit later (about 2 minutes after I spent hours getting the hull pieces together, with much epoxy and superglue and filling and sanding and clamps and vises) I realised that I originally planned to light up the tips of the upper wings (front and back) like Lou Dalmaso has done with his. And then I watched his video and thought maybe I want to light up the lower wing tips too. Except that all the wiring is stuck in the hull and there’s no way I'm smashing it open to get to it. So I'm thinking about putting in another battery underneath the cabin floor (there is about enough space) and installing either four (or eight, if I do the lower wings too) red and green 0603 SMDs. They would be routed out the back underneath the engines and into the fins. The wires would be external for 10mm or so but I don't think it would look to awful as those magnet wires are really thin and if I glue them down it will just be another bit of detail. The only problem is I can't find blinking red or green 0603s. I think from watching BSG that the left side has red lights and the right side has green. I want them to be blinking like the strobes on modern aircraft i.e. on for a short time then off for a longer time, as I think it looks cooler than constantly on. If I do the lower wings the wires for those LEDs will need to be run externally for the last part as the "step" area of the wing is not hollow, and the SMDs would be surface mounted directly on the front and back sides of the step piece.

    The other option is to use blinking 3mm LEDs which I can find, and run fibre optics. This would have the advantage of the LEDs of the same colour blinking simultaneously, but would mean there's no real way to do the lower wing ones as running fibre externally will look rubbish.

    I also found an LED "flasher" chip which I could maybe use with the 0603 LEDs, but have yet to receive this to see if it works.

    Let me know if anyone has any other ideas (other than "plan it properly next time") :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  21. nkg

    nkg Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,781
    If you want lights which pulse like an aircraft’s strobes you either need a 555 timer and decade counter, or a programmable CPU. To keep it simple. :)

    Sure wish there was more variety in the flash patterns of self-flashing LEDs. Even finding a slow flash is very difficult.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  22. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Thanks! I have an Adafruit trinket I could put in there but I’ve no idea how to programme it. Doesn’t sound too difficult to just do a simple flash though. I’ll have a go.
     
  23. nkg

    nkg Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,781
    Here's the extremely complicated code required to flash two LEDs, one red and one green, for 1/10 sec every second, using a Circuit Playground Express children's educational microcontroller. :)
     

    Attached Files:

    Jimw100 likes this.
  24. Analyzer

    Analyzer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,002
    Doesn't get any simpler than that!

    As a programmer I have no problem understanding/writing C++ scripts, it the circuitry stuff that is hard for me.

    I've been contemplating a slow flash effect for use in my Imperial Shuttle
     
  25. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Ha that’s so simple even I could do it. I wish it was possible to code a trinket like that. No way will one of those playground Express fit in my raptor

    Edit - which begs the question: is there anything out there that does fit the bill? A trinket sized micro controller that is compatible with those simplified web based coding systems? I’m guessing there’s a technical reason why that’s not possible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  26. nkg

    nkg Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,781
    The BBC micro:bit is 43x52mm. Still larger than a trinket.

    Then again, if all you're doing is a simple flashing LED in a pattern, it's easy enough to copy and paste code.

    https://learn.adafruit.com/pages/2358/elements/2974013/download
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  27. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    A couple of small updates:

    Pilots

    In relation to the 1/32 v 1/35 figures, I bought a 1/35 vehicle crewman to see whether it would work as a pilot. The answer is: Yes it would work and I think the scale looks fine for the Raptor (even with the 1/32 ejector seats.


    But I want my Raptor to be in scale with my Viper Mk2 (and Mk7) and the comparison between. the sizes of the pilots makes it obvious that the 1/35 figure is way smaller than the standard viper pilot. So it's not going to work for me. 1/35 on the left, viper pilot in the middle and my makeshift 1/32 F16/Raptor pilot on the right.


    Fin lighting

    I've drilled some holes to route fibre or wires through for the rear fin lights. This hole is where the hollow lower part meets the hollow upper part. As mentioned before the wires will need to go externally from the rear bottom of the main hull compartment into the main lower part of the fin, just where the two join:
    I also received the "flasher chips" which I ordered, but haven't tried them out yet, mainly because I have no idea how to wire them. They have 3 wires, black, red and white and I've no idea how I wire that into a single led.

    Interior Ceiling Panel

    The greenstrawberry kit comes with a ceiling panel that goes just behind the pilots between the two bulkheads and replaces (I assume, as I couldn't see any way to fit them both in) a structural part of the original kit that joins the two sides. It's a weird part as it has a couple of holes which are presumably supposed to be for lights and then a big square hole that is just empty. I thought it looked a bit silly and I couldn't find any reference pics for what actually goes there so I decided to fill it with wires and stuff to make it look like an open maintenance hatch. I also added in another nano SMD above it to shine through the light holes.


    To be honest it won't really be visible once the roof is on but I thought "Why not?".
     
  28. Analyzer

    Analyzer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,002
    I wonder about the accuracy of Moebius with their scales

    The 1/72 BSG fighters for example seem more like 1/80 or even as small as 1/87. The pilot figures are definitely noticeably smaller than other 1/72 stuff.

    But then again, the Bandai 1/72 B-wing pilot is similarly small compared to other 1/72 Star Wars pilots.
     
  29. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Landing Gear

    I also knocked together the photo etch landing gear. I wanted them to be detachable using magnets because 1) I am bad at deciding whether I want the model in flight or landing mode and 2) I'm not sure the landing gear will fit with the armaments. I might magnetise the armaments too.

    So I just put them together as per the instructions, but inside the top of the two side legs I put a 5mmx2mm neodymium magnet, with a matching one drilled into the wing.

    The PE landing gear bay cover covers up the magnet so no need to even use putty. Win.




    I put the same in the front landing gear attachment point but couldn't fit a 5mm in the actual landing gear leg so I put 2 3mm ones in instead.



    The front landing gear leg seems strangely very short, not sure if I've just done it wrong somehow.

    Anyway, I'm not convinced that these magnets will be strong enough to stay attached with them weight of the whole model on top of them. the 5mm magnets are really strong (apparently they will hold about 500g - not sure if that is magnet to magnet or magnet to steel) but because the side legs are canted outwards the leverage of them is going to pull the magnets apart I think.

    Anyway, if it doesn't work when the model is together I can either glue the legs on anyway or probably rip the feet off the legs and glue them straight onto the body for a "wheels up" look.
     
    Analyzer likes this.
  30. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Another small update - I got the “flasher chip” wired up and it works exactly as I had hoped. It gives a standard led (or a flashing one, unexpectedly) an aircraft strobe type appearance. You can apparently put up to 3 leds on the one chip as well.

    Unfortunately I have no idea what the generic name for this chip is and the only place I’ve ever seen them is a uk site. Not sure what the rules are on linking to commercial sites on here?
     
  31. Analyzer

    Analyzer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,002
    Looking good!

    As far as the chip, is it a "555 timer" chip?

    I've very briefly looked into them, but I am a little unclear on how to change the flash timing or even how it needs to be wired and kind of shelved trying one out
     
  32. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    I don’t think it’s a 555 timer. I think you have to wire those into resistors to change the timing and this is just a single unit, semicircular profile and about 4mm long
     
  33. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Assembling the main body

    Ok so this bit should have been easy but...no.

    I’ve heard a couple of other people complain about how badly the standard kit fits together and I think the greenstrawberry parts (at least the way I’ve fitted them) do not help.

    You can see here how far away the two hull sections are from fitting.


    The only solution I could really think of was brute force, clamps, lots of glue and filler.

    I think a lot of the problems were caused by the fitment of the console wall and the two cockpit sidewalls/bulkheads. If you glue these in place so that the bases are fully in contact with the floor piece and the tabs are engaged then the side pieces flare out too much for the outer hull (and roof) to fit properly. So you need to lean the walls inwards slightly, so the outer edge is actually away from the floor piece by several mm. I didn’t know this until too late, unfortunately.

    I did eventually get the pieces all attached, and I used quite a bit of perfect plastic putty, mr surfacer 500 and superglue and baking soda to get all the gaps filled. It need clamping but the angled surfaces make that very difficult to do, at least with the clamps I have.
    The front plate that covers the USB port is tough to fit properly as well. The two parts of the hull bow outwards at the join and I’ve had to sand them down so much to get a flat surface for the plate to fit onto that I’m quite suspicious they will disintegrate.


    I also had to cut down the internal roof section which I mentioned in a post above, as it was stopping the two sides from being close enough for the roof to fit.

    I’m going to have serious problems when it comes to putting the cockpit canopy on, as it is going to have something like a 5mm gap all the way around. I’ll need to fashion something out of styrene to fill the gap I think, which is likely to look slightly terrible. We’ll see.

    The other problem is the door - I really wanted to have it held in place by magnets so it can be opened and closed, but there’s zero chance of it fitting well enough as far as I can see. The top right corner has a gap of several mm and the bottom of the door is too wide. Again I may need to use some styrene to make the door fit, but it will definitely look odd as the door (or the frame, depending on which way I do it) will be a weird shape.

    I had some major light leaks along the cockpit bulkheads, but they’re much better after I added some Mr Surfacer 500. This stuff really is awesome for filling gaps. Before and after shots:


    Next I’ll be fitting the main engines, as well as doing some of the painting. Really I shouldn’t paint th exterior until I’ve got the whole thing put together, as I’m sure there will be giant gaps to fill, but I’m keen to see what the colour scheme will look like. Because I don’t have an airbrush I needed to choose a colour that was available in both spray cans and brush paints. I went for tamiya JGSDF Brown - it’s probably a bit darker than the real thing but should look ok I think.
     
  34. Analyzer

    Analyzer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,002
    The interior looks great. Lighting levels are perfect and the new pilots really make a difference
     
  35. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Attaching the engines

    I painted the inside of the engines black for light blocking and then covered them with aluminium tape on the insides to help diffuse the light. I was wary of the LEDs showing as hot spots through the photo etch end pieces so I decided to position the LEDs at the forward end of the main engine piece, and I also used a piece of clear plastic, sanded to make it diffuse the light and I also added a bit of white fabric to the clear plastic for the same purpose. One thing I will say is that the greenstrawberry PE parts for the engine don't actually leave many gaps for the light to show through. And with all the LEDs running off the one small battery my engine LEDs are quite dim. Plus this Raptor suffered a hard landing just after I attached the engines and (amongst other very structural repairs) I had to re-attach one of the engine LEDs as the wires had snapped (probably the fiddliest soldering job I've ever done and also resulted in melting a hole in the side of the hull, but never mind). So now one of the engine LEDs is dimmer than the other. Oops.


    I thought it would be very difficult to paint the engine pieces and the rear of the hull once it is all put together so I painted them prior to assembling. This was my first try at paint chipping too, so a good chance to try it out somewhere where it won't be too visible. I did a Tamiya grey primer coat and then I decided to do patches of dark grey (I think it was Citadel Eshin grey) and some dark metallic patches within the grey bits so that when I put the masking fluid over it it would look like some chips went just through the brown paint to a grey undercoat and some went all the way through both layers to the metal of the hull. I used a cocktail stick and also a bit of foam to apply the masking fluid. I think it worked OK, but the problem with the Tamiya spray paints (or with my painting technique) is that they dry very hard and I found it was difficult to uncover (or find) the smallest "chips".


    I also decided to try using rub n buff on the engines to make them a bit more metallicy. Not really sure how well it worked, you can see the comparison below. The one on the left has had rub n buff over the metallic paint. I also found that the acrylic paint needs to be reeeeally dry or the rub n buff will take it off. I tried it on some parts that were painted a few days earlier and the paint came off, but on parts that had been painted several weeks earlier it worked fine.


    Attaching the engines should have been pretty straight forward, as the pieces all have tabs to line them up and I hadn’t done too much mischief to them to accommodate the lights (just a 4mm hole in the back). But basically the engines didn’t line up either with each other or with the supporting piece. They were probably a good 15 degrees off and one pointed up and to the right, the other down and to the left. So I had to rip them off and pull the engine attachment bits off, cut the alignment tabs off and glue everything back so it was straight, then fill the gaps created by angling the engines properly (see second photo below).




    Fitting the Door

    I also had a go at getting the door to fit (see above for why it didn't fit). I used a razor saw to cut part of the way through the inside of the door where it angles in, and then put some superglue in the cut and clamped it in place in the door frame so that it would reshape. Then I cut a bit of 1mm styrene to fill the gap at the top. The fit is now much better. Not great, but acceptable for me, and the door actually stays on. I'll have to work out how to get it to stay attached in the open position at some point, which will likely involved magnets.

    I got this 1/35 resin figure as well because I still might not put the 1/32 pilots in, in which case I will have some crew in the back instead. He's not very "Battlestar" but gives an idea of scale.


    Edit: should have said as it’s not too clear from the photo, that figure is kneeling
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  36. Analyzer

    Analyzer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,002
    Its a shame about the fit issues, but looks like you worked it out nicely

    The rub n Buff does look good. I can tell the difference
     
  37. korben44

    korben44 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,892
    With the rub n buff, you do need to polish it once applied and it makes even more of a difference. I used rub n buff, silver leaf, on my Rey's Speeder and gave it a good buffing. I use Mr. Surfacer 1500 black as a primed basecoat with the rub n buff directly on top of that.

    20190130_032026607_iOS.jpg
     
  38. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Wow that does look cool, nice one. I'll definitely try it again on my next model, which will likely be the Viper Mk7.

    I made a bit of progress with the tail fin lights, so here's another update.

    Tail Fins

    As mentioned above, I sort of forgot to include the lights in the fins when I did the rest of the wiring. And also the wingtip lights. I've now decided there's no good way to retrofit the wing lights so I'm just going to leave them off. However the fins are doable, because some of the wiring is exposed under the cabin floor as I haven't yet glued the main hull bottom piece on, and there's room in that hull piece for another bundle of wires.

    I toyed with using fibre optics for the tail lights but I always think they look too directional. Plus I wanted them all to strobe on and off at the same time and having two green and two red probably wasn't going to work. FYI I think in the BSG series the Raptors have green on one side and red on the other but they're constantly on. I just thought strobing was cooler, and sort of more realistic. If a fictional spacecraft can be realistic. With LEDs you get a good amount of light from the sides as well:


    Anyway, I got some little SMD LEDs and I drilled holes for them to go in the requisite places. I held the magnet wires in place with blu tack whilst I used some Micro Kristal Klear to glue the wires in place.


    I had to cut away at some of the surfaces of the fin pieces as they overlap and I didn't want the to pinch the wires, and then cut away a little hole for the wires to come out the bottom of the fin. They run externally for a few mm and then they go into the bottom hull piece. I also had to file a channel in the hull piece for the wires to run until they get to clear space inside the floor.


    As with the engines I didn't fancy my chances of being able to paint these bits after they were attached so after I put the pieces together and filled a few gaps, I primed these and this time decided to do a tri-colour chipping regime, black grey and gunmetal.


    I used the Vallejo masking fluid as before, and again I don't think I could get the smallest "chips" (the ones made by applying the masking fluid with a bit of foam) to show up, but hopefully it looks OK.


    Then it was just a question of wiring it all up. Earlier in the build I connected the engine LEDs to the main body with a little connector so I didn't need to attach the engines straight away, and I managed to use this to my advantage by adding in a section of wire between the two original connectors with a male and a female on it, and I spliced the 8 SMD wires and the three wires from the flasher chip into this, then just plugged the two ends back in.


    Not neat, but it works.

    I would put up a video of the strobes but I think I would need to put it on youtube or something first, so can't do that at the moment. I think it looks pretty good though, and the little tiny 3.7v battery is still doing a great job powering all these LEDs at a decent level of brightness. I think it's something like 21 LEDs now.
     
  39. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    A few small updates - getting close to the end now I think!

    Seatbelts and Canopy

    These take so long to do (although actually they are a much better design than the Viper Mk2 ones, as all of the five straps loop directly into the central buckle so can be put together and then glued in place in one go) but I think they really add to the look of the cockpit. I've also finally attached the pilots now. It's a bit cramped in there...


    Now the pilots are in I have confirmed that the canopy should fit, but I needed to do something about the enormous gaps, rather than just use filler, as the filler would be visible on the inside through the clear plastic. So I've superglued 1mm styrene around the edge of the canopy. It worked a lot better than I thought it would.


    I also dipped the canopy in future/pledge which worked really well, but then when I was using isopropyl alcohol to clean up the Mr Surfacer 500 that I used to cover the styrene I found out that future doesn't like alcohol. So I've got some nasty streak marks on the inside of the cockpit glass. I've put some more future over the top, to see if that helps. I suppose it can't make it worse.

    Door

    I attached 3 2mmx1mm magnets to the door and the frame to hold the door in the open position. I could probably have done with using 4 or 5, but it just about stays put with 3.


    You'll see I've also attached the wings, which went on OK. A few gaps to fill but nothing awful. The vents that go on top of the wings were a bit awkward, they really don't fit very well but a few goes with Mr Surfacer and they're ok.
     
  40. Fett_Ish

    Fett_Ish Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    635
    Use the streak as a bit of weathering/damage to the window. You are really bending this kit to your will, its going to be a piece to be proud of. Not to mix medias but "it's more putty now than styrene, custom and amazing...". Can't wait to see it finished.
     
  41. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Haha thanks - it feels a bit more the kit is beating me senseless sometimes....
     
  42. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    I was just thinking, I’ll be using tamiya spray paint for the main colour base coat. My understanding is that tamiya’s spray cans are enamel. Does that mean I should use acrylics for the wash/panel lines? I sort of have a plan to use Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolour (which is acrylic I think?) for the wash and a mig ammo filter (which is enamel).

    I hadn’t planned to do a varnish coat before using either, as I like to minimise the amount of coats of paint I spray on models (thereby minimising my chances of messing it up). Will one or other of these washes affect the base coat of paint? Or the acrylic chipping colours underneath?
     
  43. 19narvik40

    19narvik40 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    According to Tamiya, their spray can paint is a synthetic laquer that is fast curing. Tamiya spray paints are not affected by acrylic or enamel paints. One basic rule of using different kinds of paint is that you can put acrylic on top of enamel but you can't put enamel on top of acrylic, will toast your acrylic paintwork unless you clearcoat the acrylic first. The Windsor & Newton watercolours are just a high quality version of kids pigment based paints so there shouldn't be any issue. Best thing to do is test the interactions by painting an old or damaged kit.
     
  44. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Thanks! I’ll make sure I do a clear coat before I do the filter. I suppose it won’t hurt to have a coat over the decals anyway.
     
  45. Analyzer

    Analyzer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,002
    I've never had an issue using oils thinned with Weber Odorless Turpenoid or acrylics thinned with water over Tamiya spray paints or acrylic bottle paints. Not sure about enamels.

    The clear gloss varnish will help prevent staining the undercoat though with airbrushed Tamiya acrylics and will tend keep washes only to recessed areas. Sometimes I like the staining effect though so I use a more matte varnish
     
    19narvik40 likes this.
  46. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    OK, so a bit of an update, but also I would appreciate some opinions and tips on what I've done with the painting and weathering so far.

    Painting and Weathering

    I did the paint chipping using masking fluid and this time I used a slightly larger "gauge" sponge (a piece of Brillo pad) for the small chips (as well as a cocktail stick to do the larger ones) and I made sure to spray the Tamiya paint as lightly as possible and I think I managed to get a much better look for the small chips, which kept getting missed on my previous attempts. However this did mean that I overdid the chipping a bit, I think, as I was expecting not all of it to come through. But I thought, never mind, I'll do the washes and see if that makes it look better.

    I couldn't really get the acrylic watercolour paint to work except for the panel lines, so I mixed together some Secret Weapon pigments to a darkish brown and mixed with some water and applied these all over to give some shading to the panels, as I've seen people do with airbrushing. I then rubbed most of it off to even it up a bit.

    At first I thought it looked good but then I was a bit unsure as to whether I'd overdone it. But instead of going a step back I thought I would have a go at the weathering to see if that would even it up.

    So now I've done weathering with Tamiya weathering master pastels (mainly soot and oil stain) as well, plus some mud and some sand to give a bit of variety. And I used AK Jet Exhaust on the exhaust areas as well.

    Now the good thing is I haven't put any clear coats on yet, so I can undo most of what I've done with a bit of water and cotton wool. So I'd appreciate it if people could take a look and let me know if they think it is a bit over the top on the panel shading/weathering (although I know this is very subjective) and more importantly if I've got the "scale" right on the panel shading and weather, or if I've just made it look more like a dusty old model that has been kicked around a bit.

    P.S. Oh, I also did the decals which went on well, and I drilled some shallow 'thrust vectoring jets' in the bottom of the wings.
     
    Fett_Ish likes this.
  47. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    OK so I think this will be the last update - I'm going to say this is now finished (although there are a couple of things I may revisit if I get the time).

    Finishing up

    As always, I ran into a few problems.

    I decided to go ahead with a matte varnish coat, and I used Army Painter matte varnish, in a spray can. I read a lot of warnings about shaking it really well, being aware of the humidity (I ignored that bit) and spraying this really lightly. I found that actually, if I sprayed a light coat it would leave the surface looking all dusty, so actually I went back and did a thicker coat (so the surface of the model actually looks wet after spraying) and it sorted this problem out. But the matte coat really changed the look of the shading and weathering that I had done. I think it has basically increased the contrast and made it look (even) less subtle. Which is a shame. But not much I can do about that now.

    The greenstrawberry photo etch kit for the landing gear and the moebius armament set are not compatible. The PE legs for the landing gear are shorter than the kit ones and so if you use them with the missile hard points and chain guns the legs won’t reach the ground. And the chainguns won’t take the weight of the model so they’ll snap off probably, if you did happen to rest the model on them. Oops.

    I went back over some of the weathering as well, to get rid of various streaks etc.

    I finished putting together the wing cannons and the missile hard points, and I decided that I would magnetise the cannons so they're removable, partly because they're quite fragile. I managed to find some really thin magnets - I think they were 5mmx2mmx0.5mm and these worked well for getting the guns stuck on. Given that they're so thin I just surface mounted them - I don't think it looks bad and I wasn't going to start cutting out and filling chunks of the model at this stage. The photo etch "ammunition chutes" are probably the most delicate and intricate pieces of PE I've ever seen. They look good but are really difficult to handle. I attached them to the ammo drums with superglue and then put a magnet on the gun end, and a matching one on the gun so I can take the ammo drums and cannons off separately to avoid stretching the PE ammo chutes. You'll see in the photos that one of them is slightly misaligned so the magnets don't quite meet. I'll live with it. I also put on the PE cables for the guns which run over the wings, which I think really add some cool detail. I don't like the finish on the guns. I painted them with various greys and then dry brushed and gave them a black wash. I think they just look too much like they've been dry brushed,

    The missiles I just left unglued - the pins they mount with are sized tightly enough to keep them on.

    I added on all the miscellaneous sensors and antennae. I can't even count the amount of times I then snapped these off. I lost one and scratch built the piece out of styrene instead. I also lost the front landing foot, but luckily the kit comes with a spare! In other mishaps one of the two small screens that are mounted on arms in front of the co-pilot came off precisely 1 second after I'd glued the canopy in place, so I had to leave that off too.

    Lastly I unmasked the canopy and painted up the canopy and surround, and added a few different colour of chips and some black pastel to it.


    So I hope this has been useful to some people. I'm looking forward to my next build, which hopefully will be less chaotic (and missing less parts). If you have any tips on better ways I could have done things or how to improve the building, painting or weathering please let me know. My next victim will be the Viper MkII...

    Some final photos to show some of the details:

     
  48. Analyzer

    Analyzer Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,002
    Wow, that really turned out nice!

    Thanks for the heads up regarding the photoetch and Moebius Weapons set

    Also, you mentioned the varnish killing a lot of the subtle weathering and turning up the "contrast"...I experienced that many times.
    I often will go back and do some additional weathering over the varnish in places and then leave it unsealed. Also since if using a matte coat, you have to repaint any metallic parts as the matte kills the metallic shine.

    I find the Tamiya Weathering Set C (the one with Rust, Gun Metal, and Silver to be really helpful for going back over gun barrels or engine exhausts etc... after varnishing
     
  49. 19narvik40

    19narvik40 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    With the cannons on, does the kit have clearance with the landing gear extended? I was thinking of adding the cannons for my Colonial Marines diorama.
     
  50. Jimw100

    Jimw100 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Analyzer: thanks, to be honest it worked out better than I expected. I’ll be sure to get that tamiya weathering set, I don’t have that one yet.

    19narvik40: no I don’t think the photo etch landing gear work with the cannons. I’ll double check in the morning. The green strawberry instructions do provide some parts and instructions to modify the kit landing gear to work with the armament though. I assume the kit landing gear isn’t screen accurate so I suppose it depends how much that bothers you. I believe the PE landing gear only come a few mm past the wing tips and so I can’t see a way to easily (or convincingly) extend the PE landing gear far enough to give clearance for the cannons.

    Would love to see your diorama when it’s ready.
     

Share This Page