Galactica - The Rising Star scratchbuild

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Joseph C. Brown

Active Member
The Rising Star - one of the most elegant starships - ever! Especially of the Rag Tag Fleet designs. While the other Rag Tag Fleet ships look very believable, this one is simply sleekly gorgeous, and very believable as a luxury liner!

I've seen the Dan Goozee pre-production art, I have the Timeslip Creations resin mini, and I have seen the cg renders on Lee Stringer's Flicker pages. I've studied the Battlebuck pictures, and seen the (Ed Miarecki restored) model that Rob McFarlane has posted images of. The various pictures on Resin Illuminati and here are all in my reference collection now, as well as the SF&F Galactica Archives issues.

I do accept, however grudgingly, that I cannot make a perfect copy of the filming miniature. But I can try very hard to make a darned good looking model!

Rob's pic of the yet-to-be-restored model, for some reason, triggered a massive "I can build that!" reaction in me. Maybe because it was resting on those bricks; and I realized that *I* had bricks, too! A size reference! Sure, I could have e-mailed him and just asked, but where's the fun in that?

I do use insulation foam for a lot of my scratchbuilds. I know, I know - I should use signboard, I should use Renshape; I've heard it all before. By the standards of many expert modelers, I'm merely a dilettante. I'm OK with that. I'm building for fun. So there! :)

Back to the foam. It's cheap, easy to cut, sand, and shape. There are materials that can be applied over the foam as a coating, which then create a durable and much more sturdy final surface. I printed out views of the ship to the size I am working with, and then cut the foam to match. That was the easy part. Sanding, carving, shaping all followed, and that takes a wee bit of time. Eventually, the sanding gets completed (Note: sanding foam makes a mess, as everyone knows. So use wet-n-dry sand paper, and then wet-sand. No mess!) and I decided to make the ship hollow, as I have a strand of LED lights that should be able to illuminate the ship.

So I mixed up a batch of epoxy putty - I use Magic Sculpt, which is very similar to Aves putty, and then applied a dusting of baby powder to the foam. It serves as a release agent for the putty. By using a rolling pin and then a very large section of 4-inch pvc pipe as a bigger roller, I reduced a batch of the putty down to about a 2.5 to 3 millimeter thickness. Much like a huge slab of pizza dough. This then was draped over the foam half of the ship, and smoothed down with a soft-bristled facial brush. And then repeat the process for the lower hull.

So, that's where I am currently at; I now have a very hard cured Magic Sculpt upper and lower hull of the ship. There will still be much sanding, correcting, and tweaking to come, not to mention drilling passenger windows and paint prep. But I really should be able to get this to Wonderfest - it's degree of completion will determine whether or not I enter it in the contest.
 

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Joseph C. Brown

Active Member
I was really un-pleased with the shape of the grooves that lead to the big intakes on both the upper and lower fuselage halves. The lower half proved to be an easy re-shape; the upper one, not so much. Basically, I had to completely carve a new upper hull from foam.

Sigh.

Fun - scratchbuilding is fun, really!

It's my own fault for not triple-checking my shape references every step of the way, and I had to pay that price. I can learn... with repetition! :facepalm

Using a laser level, I used a sharpened metal pipe tube for cutting the improved intake grooves. Lining them up to go from the base of the aft of the tail-fin through to the front of the forward canards worked amazingly well!

Repeat on the other side, cut new intake sections from balsa, and re-apply 8 ounces of thinly rolled MagicSculpt to each half, and viola! I am now where I should have been last week!

Of course, it is now the Tuesday before Wonderfest... meaning, this will be up there with me even if it is only a show-off model in it's primer coat. On the other hand, it does now look very flippin' cool!
 

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