Jawa Sandcrawler 1/144 Scale

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Troy Downen

Active Member
I’ve been getting bogged down in the scratch-building of new wings for the 1:18 scale Hasbro Heroes X-wing…

http://www.therpf.com/f11/hasbro-hero-series-1-18-scale-x-wing-heavy-mods-224604/

… so I needed a “quick kill” to help end the year in style! The 1/144 scale Jawa Sandcrawler from Multi-Verse Models seemed like a good subject; no cockpit to detail, no scratch-building – not even any decals! Just a lot of fun painting (which I enjoy). So I yanked it out of the stash and started looking at the various parts. All clean castings with little flash. Not too difficult to assemble. This should do nicely…



The main body comes in three parts (forward, mid and aft) all of which mate to a “floor” or foundation. Here I have already attached the mid section to the foundation and am preparing to epoxy the forward section. I didn’t think that the rather heavy resin casting that makes up the forward section would stay attached to the mid if it were ever to take much of a blow during moving or handling, so I drove a short wood screw into the mid section and drilled a hole in the forward section for the screw head to fit into. With plenty of epoxy surrounding the screw head in the hole, I figured at least that would help take some of the weight of the heavy forward section.



(By they way, a cluttered work desk is a sign of a cluttered mind…)

Here it’s shown that I used two more wood screws to secure the mid section to the floor…



… and those screw heads are then covered with another resin detail on the bottom of the crawler.



The tracked wheels will mount to the four pads seen in the above photo. I have to say that the detail on the tracked wheels is amazing! I don’t know how Multi-Verse managed to cast those details without any flaws. No bubbles or flash on the parts. They really look terrific!



Overall the parts fit together very well with only a minimum of trimming. Here you can see one of the very few areas that require just a minimal bit of filler to clean things up. It really is a pleasure (and a rarity) when an aftermarket resin kit fits together this well.



Even at 1/144 scale, the size of this thing surprised me. Here it is compared to the 1/144 scale AT-AT walker from F-Toys. Look at the size of that beast! I had no idea that the sandcrawlers were this large! But it scales correctly to the 40 meter length stated at StarWars.com. Wow!



Right now the crawler sits in my paint booth with its first coat of primer. It’s time for me to begin looking for suitable rust colors among my paints!
 

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Troy Downen

Active Member
As it turns out, I have every shade of gray (or “grey”) paint known to modern coloring science, but I have only one jar of brown paint in my entire stash! WTF!? Oh yeah, it’s because I NEVER BUILD MODELS THAT ARE PAINTED BROWN! Sigh…

Well, I’m in “make it work” mode here so I lightened up the Tamiya brown about 50/50 with light gray (and a few drops of yellow) and put the first base coat on the model…



This is actually considerably darker than I had planned for this first coat of paint. This is about the color that I had intended once all of the washes and weathering were complete. Hmmmm… I think that I can lighten that up a bit once I get further down the road with this. No stopping now!

As an aside, the details, such as those shown here on the top of the sandcrawler, are not 100% faithful to the filming miniature, but in this scale it would be unreasonable to expect an exact match without creating a 3D model and printing it. Even then, it would be difficult to match some of the detail. Nevertheless, this kit looks every bit like a sandcrawler!

 

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tsenecal

Active Member
I bought this kit when it first came out (its being moulded by a new maker now)... with the combination of solid castings, roto-castings, missing parts, and obvious lack of fidelity to the movie original, i was glad to just finish the thing. It was incredibly disappointing as it was one of the most expensive resin kits i have bought, and basically embodied all the bad things you hear about them. I really want to see what you can do with this/how well yours turns out.
 

Troy Downen

Active Member
In this iteration from Multi-Verse, the castings are excellent, I had no parts missing (that I am aware of, at least) and the fit of parts was very good. Only a small amount of filler was needed.

Yes, it lacks studio model accuracy in the finer details, but considering that it is 1/144 scale it would be difficult to recreate most of those details unless it were a 3D printed model. If you're a stickler for details, you could consider that there were (are) many of these old mining / smelting factories crawling the sands of Tatooine and it's likely that they all differ from each other (supposedly they're hundreds, if not thousands of years old). So maybe THIS crawler is one of those OTHER crawlers? :)

In my experience, this is one of the better garage kits out there. I have some really horrible resin Star Wars kits, but this is not one of them.

Tsenecal, if you have a picture of your older incarnation, post it here. I'd love to see what you did with it!
 

tsenecal

Active Member
it really needs a redo on the paint job... but like i said, by this time, it had killed a dremel, and i was sick of it.

sc.jpg

if you look closely at the frame around the windows in the control room area, you can see bubbles. that kind of stuff was all over the kit. i was able to clean up most of it. the rotocast center section is also kind of ballooned out, i gutted that, and tried to fix it as good as i could.

actually, the biggest issue i have with it is the tracks. the movie crawler had flat tracks... like the NASA Crawler-transporter has, the kind that would keep a giant thing like this from sinking into the sand... the tracks on this thing are obviously taken from a ww2 german tiger tank.
 
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Troy Downen

Active Member
tsenecal, I see what you mean about those bubbles in the casting. I've dealt with many resin kits that had the same problem and it can be a nightmare. Nevertheless, you've done a bang-up job on that kit! Fortunately (for me, at least) this newer incarnation from Multi-Verse has excellent castings!

Mid-progress in painting, this reflects 3 or 4 coats of Tamiya X-9 Brown in various lightened and darkened shades. Also layers of Lifecolor UA703 “Rust Light Shadow” and UA706 “Dust Type 2” thinned (about 70% thinner) and lightly dusted over the model.



Some of the paint chipping has started toward the top of the model. Photos of the studio filming model seem to indicate that this paint color was yellow, but it always appeared orange to me onscreen, so I’m using the “Rust Light Shadow” for the chipping which conveys a dark orange color. It’s always intrigued me as to what this chipping indicated. Were the crawlers originally painted and now, after hundreds (thousands?) of years we’re basically just seeing the brown, rusted metal body?

There are several more hours worth of painting to do on this model, but if I can get off the computer and get back to modeling (!) this could be finished today!

Oh, and strictly off-topic, but pictured below is my other “quick kill” model for year-end: Zvezda’s 1/100 scale Bravo from Disney’s “Planes” movie. I actually got the model last Christmas from Santa but only decided a few weeks ago to get him out of the box and do a quick build. The stickers included with the kit were tossed and replaced with an old set of SuperScale 1/144 scale F-14 Tomcat “Jolly Rogers” decals. The base was - literally – conceived, constructed and painted in under an hour. I realized as I was putting the finish coat of clear on Bravo that I didn’t have a way to display him!



By the way, if you’ve never seen or built one of these “Planes” kits from Zvezda then you really owe yourself a look! They’re billed as snap kits for beginners, but they are actually highly detailed with lots of features. If you can find alternate markings for the kits (they’re stickers – yuck) then you can actually build a VERY NICE rendition of the subject with relatively little effort. I highly recommend them.
 

Troy Downen

Active Member
And that’s a wrap for 2014’s modeling season! The last clear coats have been applied and the epoxy attaching the tracked wheels to the body has set up. The clear coats darkened the paint colors and I believe the overall effect is what I had intended.









This was a great way for me to end the year and I highly recommend this kit to anyone interested in the subject and not wanting to go as large as the Cooper 1/96 scale crawler.
 

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