Randy Cooper Stardestroyer - Assembly description

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by cabour, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    I made at the beginning of each episode of the original trilogy
    I myself symbolizes the power of the Empire
    My shape is simple but graphically awfully effective on screen
    I impose with my 1600m long
    My opponents all have scared to come under my fire
    I am ... the StarDestroyer :)

    Although I had some 2 or 3 things left to correct on my Salzo Galactica, last december I started the Star Destroyer from Randy Cooper.
    This is my favorite ship in the SW saga (the falcon coming in second).
    So when Randy Cooper announced that long 90cm kit in early 2008, I quickly positioned and I was among the first buyers.
    Ther were some parts missing that Randy sent me quickly.
    And so he waited since back then.

    This is a rather well detailed kit. I will see if it is well designed during assembly, but I have no doubt it will book me a few surprises!
    Parts overview (the metal ruler is 50cm long and the floor tiles are 60cm).
    top side:
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    belly:
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    Upper buildings:
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    trenches:
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    Rear:
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    The bridge:
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    There is a slight offset on the neck (which I hope to correct in hot water)

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    The rest of the parts (shield generators, hangar, nozzles ...)
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    There is an in scale Blockade Runner.
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    There are some molding defects : bubbles, gaps, flash, resin drops (!)
    It seems thare are also some large area to sand, so a fixed belt sander or a lapidary is strongly advised here.
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    The internal frame is made of 3 resin parts that I don't feel there are not enough, so I am thinking to replace them with wood and aluminum channels.
    The display arms are in two parts which I will replace by a single one (a table leg like on my Salzo Galactica)
    [​IMG]

    It is larger than the Anigrand kit of only 20cm (72cm vs 90cm for the RC), that makes it twice bigger in volume.
    despite the size, the RC is, to my point of view, more faithfull in shape and detail to the original ESB model, where the Anigrand is a mix between the ANH and ESB stardestroyer studio models.
    On the other side, the Anigrand kit is an easier kit to assemble, and of a better molding (some are close to injected !)
     
  2. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Thanks for posting these pictures, cabour ... now I'll have to double check if my kit, which I purchased second hand from a member here, also contains that blockade runner ... this build is quite daunting for me ... so I might seek some assistance from a local group of modelbuilders ... looking forward to your progress though :)

    Chaim
     
  3. neosporing

    neosporing Sr Member

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    looking forward to see your solutions to the many fit issues that come with this kit. :)
     
  4. jme3

    jme3 Sr Member

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    This is a nice ship when put together, and especially so if going the extra mile to outfit it with lighting. I have one sitting in its box waiting for me to find the time to get it done...

    Will watch your progress with interest!
     
  5. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Indeed ... my kit does contain a blockade runner but it's warped as are some other parts ... anyone know a quick fix how to 'unwarp' parts of this resin kit? That said I'm going to do some more heavy research from other SD builds I found online before I touch or do anything :wacko

    Chaim
     
  6. Jedi Dade

    Jedi Dade Sr Member

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    Soak in very hot (not boiling) water and then gently bend it back to shape. If it doesn't flex don't push it - put it back in hot water, and try again in a minute or two. Once its straight drop it into cold water to set the shape.

    I've been told you can do this with a heat gun as well - but have never tried it...

    Jedi Dade
     
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  7. GF

    GF Sr Member

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  8. Tom1971

    Tom1971 Sr Member

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    Wow, very disappointing to see these issues. I was looking forward to getting one of these someday.

    So it does not go together well, has an inadequate frame, warping, and bubbles.

    Does not speak well of the famous Randy Cooper Star Destroyer.

    I will have to re-think this one.
     
  9. GF

    GF Sr Member

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    these issues are all normal for a garage kit, parts actually fit not bad on my kit not sure how the molds are holding on as I got mine from his very first run from fresh new molds.
     
  10. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Mine was also from the first run, and there were already fitting issues. The most curious issue is the non symetric triangles for the belly.

    To manage the warped parts, it is better to use hot water. Heat gun is usefull when hot water is not usable (part too large for example)

    For information, my kit is already finsihed. I post here all my notes and solutions as an help for others.
    You can see it finished here :
    https://www.facebook.com/olcabour.hangar/posts/1598982593711532?pnref=story
    it was finished just in time for its first exhibition at Geekopolis event (may 2015) in Paris where we had a stand with the theme "The Empire of Star Wars"
    https://www.facebook.com/olcabour.hangar/posts/1599519080324550
     
  11. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    It take me over 2 months to prepare the parts: cleaning defaults, filling bubbles (always with the hedgehog method: superglue and small plastic rods) and gaps ...

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    Some parts were bent and reshaped with a bath of hot water or heat gun.

    I had no 0.5mm optic fiber, so I ordered a 6000m roll from China (aliexpress), and was surprised to receive it the next week (I was expecting a 3-5 weeks delay).

    The assembly starts with the lower part, so the two large triangles.
    Each triangle is made of three parts, which don't have the same thickness...
    And putting them back to back, one can see that the two sides are not symmetrical...

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    The first gap between the two sides is filled with a resin rod (a resin remaining piece from the cleaning step, shapped with a sanding belt machine).

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    To be sure that the parts are aligned, they are glued in holding them firmly flat on the table (or a wood board) with pliers. A second gap is the thickness of the plates, which is not uniform from one part to another and it needs to be uniformized to facilitate bonding. Therefore, according to places, I glued 1 to 1.5 mm thick plastic cards.

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    Note, for this type of kit, it is best to have the fixed and portable electrical equipment to go fast: belt sander, band saw, sander, drill, screwdriver, jigsaw ... and a vacuum cleaner for particles and resin dust. So DIY machines and not just modelling machines.
     
  12. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    I wanted a metal internal frame to ensure it will support manipulations (transport and convention exhibition) and allowing me to exhibit it under different ways.
    The display stand points will be:
    - underside, with a table leg (as I did with my 37" Galactica http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=222490&p=3408040&viewfull=1#post3408040)
    - Or by the sides, with square tube being inserted in the lateral trenches

    So the internal frame is a cross, made from aluminum square tubes of 2 cm width, riveted together with metal brackets, and a metal plate. The underside is maintained by riveting the table leg.
    The materials are so hard I broke 2 hand riveters in this operation!
    So it will be very strong :)

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    The center of the rib is cut in order to the cross go through. The rib is then glued and screwed on a first triangle side.

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    The center of the belly dome is hollow to allow the display stand/table leg to go through.

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    The edges are dig so that the cross arms of the cross settled well.

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  13. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    I've seen your finished SD ... excellent ... I wish I could hire your assistance in finishing mine ... keep posting you progress shots ... quite inspiring indeed :)

    Chaim
     
  14. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Thanks Syl-Cha :)

    ---

    Now that the frame is made, it must be set on the belly shell.
    In fact it is the opposite! technically it's the shell that is attached to the frame, but practically, it is similar because they can no longer be dissociated.

    Beforehand I strengthen the ribs with 1cm medium wood plates.

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    In the center, notches are made in the median rib in order to install the U-shaped aluminum profiles that will keep them out straight the triangles. They are glued and screwed.
    I begin with the first side :

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    The second triangle is stuck maintaining the join with tape. Bonding is first performed with cyano then reinforced with Pattex 100%.

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    Installation of the second aluminum U-profile

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    At the front, a small piece of wood, shaping the belt sander, is needed.

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    At the back, the top of the cross is part of the wooden rib and is reinforced with wooden blocks.

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    The glue used is Pattex 100%. It is solid and remains somewhat flexible. It starts to set after half an hour, but not cured before 2 hours. So the parts need to be hold in place (pliers, tapes...) during curing.
     
  15. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Pattex 100% - check . . . already used it for Darth Vader shoulder armor attaching the leather for the bells . . . but what do you mean bonding with cyano (?) ... can you show or refere to the actual product, please?

    Chaim
     
  16. moonbus

    moonbus Member

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    I think he means cyanoacrilic (spelling?) glue better known as crazy glue.
     
  17. vj mojo

    vj mojo Active Member

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  18. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    moonbus is right, cyano means cyanoacrylate glue, or superglue.

    Thanks.
    In fact, mine is already finished (https://www.facebook.com/olcabour.ha...32?pnref=story). I post in this thread all my notes taken during the assembly to help others.
    I did take a look at your build thread before starting mine (thanks for that :) )

    It was finished just in time for its first exhibition at Geekopolis event (may 2015) in Paris where we had a stand with the theme "The Empire of Star Wars"
    https://www.facebook.com/olcabour.ha...99519080324550
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  19. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    To align the lateral trenches, I added an evergreen strips (4mmx2mm) over the entire length, and I then glue with cyano.

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    The nose is a solid part so it needs to be hollowed to later allow the passage of the optic fibers.

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    The end of each aluminum tube will later receive a cache that will be realized with cutted part from the trench.

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    By positioning the upper triangles, trench parts gaps and heigth differences are highlighted.

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    This is corrected with plastic strips.

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  20. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Any more 'building updates' ? I can use all the information I need before tackling this monstrosity of a kit :wacko

    Chaim
     
  21. Nils

    Nils Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Its a great looking piece once finished.
    I have a few pics on my website www.nbg-studios.com , check it out!
     
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  22. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Back on this assembly description after a hiatus.
    -------
    The thickness of the plates of the upper triangle is also non-uniform.

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    Belt sander and plastic cards plates then come to the rescue ...

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    After bonding, they are reinforced with U-shaped aluminum profiles, and new slots are made in the ribs

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    After many dry tests to properly align the assembly (sanding, adding plastic card and the ribs) the two plates are bonded together: first, few drops of cyano for adjustment, then Pattex 100%
    They are then just screwed on the model, not yet stuck, so I could get them off to light the model later.

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    The back shows a serious gap, filled with a resin bit.

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    Front, the raised plates are shifted between right and left sides. they will be adjusted later.

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  23. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    I'll take care of the adjustment of the neck, upper buildings and bridge.
    It is first made dry, with sanding and adding wedges, maintained with pliers.


    I add a PVC L-strip on the rear rib to have a better hold of the neck.

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    Then the two main parts of the main buildings.

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    A wooden wedge ensure keeping them on their front side.

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    Then I go to the higher buildings, where you have to trim the details.

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    Sometimes there are several millimeters of material to remove...

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    After numerous runs to the belt sander, thickness is good, but still a wrong angle.

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    which is resolved after a bath in hot water (which softened the resin and allows it to be reshaped)

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    And finally the front building. Here too, we must trim the details to insert the part

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    The angle here is also incorrect

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    And is adjusted after a run in hot water.

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    It is also necessary to add plastic strip on neck so the bridge is straight.

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  24. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    The upper is reassemble with screws, which brings its new adjustments (mainly wedges).

    Plates:

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    The neck.

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    The front side of main buildings

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    In an assembly with screws, as there is no assembly instructions (this is not an Ikea furniture), it is important to do a complete dry test to be sure not to end up with impossibilities.

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  25. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Final catch-up of the heights of the lateral trenches
    Some wedges are needed to correct levels, non symmetric details or parts, and adjustments (sanding) trenches to prepare the gluing of the trench lips.

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  26. dtssyst

    dtssyst Well-Known Member

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  27. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Thanks a lot dtssyst :)
    ---------

    Now on the back

    I add wedges (resin remaining parts from the cleaning step) to improve the gluing surface and clog open gaps that appear.

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    This is then covered with black (spray can).

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    And the bottom part is installed

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    The parts (top/bottom) are not really symmetrical (right / left) , and upper and lower plates of the Stardestroyer don't even have the same angle themselves.
    So, several runs on the belt sander were required to have a good fit.

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  28. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    I'm seriously considering taking up my RC SD kit and moving to Paris to drop it in your lap :) ... I sincerely lack the proper tools, skills, patience, workspace and perseverance to even start on my own :wacko

    Chaim
     
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  29. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Thanks Chaim :). Well, I don't think I will ever build a second :$

    To give you inspiration to start your kit, don't forget that the main job on my assembly was the inner structure, which was due is to the fact my model needed to be secure for transports and exhibitions on conventions. If you intend to use the provided stand, and rarely move it, it can be built more easier.
    Anyway, I really suggest a belt sander machine : this is easy to use, and accelerate by 100 times the sanding job with wood and resin. Even a first price in a DIY store do the job perfectly.
     
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  30. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    The hangar bay is built and covered with primer. The small frontal hangar is opened.

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    I thought there were some bright spots between the tiny ribs, but it was a mistake. The holes that I did for the optical fibers are then sealed with evergren plastic rod.

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    To bring electricity to the Blockade Runner or Tydirium Shuttle, I install a connector slot from an old computer.
    The aluminum cross will be drilled to allow it to go through.

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    To light the hangar, boxes are built to spread the light through the openings at the top of the vertical side bay walls. The LED are prepared.

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    Same way to the front opening where the light box is made with evergreen grooved plates to data the illusion of walls of a shed (sorry no photo).

    The assembly is reinforced with plastic strips, and with filler glue.
     
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  31. GF

    GF Sr Member

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    SD%20engine%20spacer%201.JPG Your whole rear engine bay section should sit much deeper, yours is flush to the edge, here's a photo showing the proper position, It really makes a big difference and engines will end up sticking out too much.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  32. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  33. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    The locations of the windows are marked with a fine felt pen then drilled (there are hundreds ones...)

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    In some places of the trenches, larger holes are made, because these areas will be more lighted by diffusion through a clear rod. On the original model, some bulb lights can be clealy seen.

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    Some holes for optical fibers are drilles fruitlessly, as they finish in aluminum U-strip (which cost me a few bits by the way...). They are then filled back with plastic filler.

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    The slots of the lateral electrical connectors are prepared. They will be used when the model will be hang from the side.

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  34. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Disco atmosphere this time, to work on the discotroyer mirrorballs! :D
    Cleaning of casting defects and bubbles of the shield generators.
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    Adding beams, Evergreen strips for bottom, and (stronger) brass rods upper.
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  35. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    I'll just sit this tutorial out and check and double check those of others before even unpacking my kit fully ... though I already did notice some heavy warping going on on some plates of the main structure ... also what's the proper way to start with these resin kit parts . . . do you begin with rinsing them in soapy water as I may have read some where?

    Chaim
     
  36. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Absolutely, any resin kit must go first for a brushing in a soapy bath to remove any greasy residues.

    For the warped parts, a bath in very hot water allow them to be reshaped.
    I also used a heat gun for the very long parts, clamped on a wood board.
     
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  37. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Many small gaps are filled here and there (trenches, overhead structures, neck), and few details repaired following the numerous manipulations and adjustments.

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    The (Tie) small bay is installed.

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    The seams of the large plates are reworked (sanding), the panels lines are re-engraved, and small details (missing after sanding) are redone.

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    Below, the screws are hide with plastic squares.

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  38. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    At the back of the neck, the waste ejector is set up, and the gaps filled.

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    The assembly of the three main engines is prepared with screws. They will be permanently installed once their lighting done.

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    In the trenches, lateral support posts covers are done with the remaining parts from the cuts. A brass loop is added to facilitate extraction using pliers.

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  39. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    First layer of primer in the trenches and of black inside the model

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    Lips trenches are now glued.

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    Lateral support posts covers are also completed with the lips.

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    Then a new coat of primer in the trenches.
     
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  40. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    To facilitate transport, the bridge will be removable.
    To hold it in place while remaining removable, I made a sort of plug : I used wood stocks, glued on each side, and 4mm aluminum rods.

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    The aluminium rods are glued on the neck side. Everything is held in place during bonding.

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    If a metal plate is screwed onto the bridge wood part to prevent the rods to go too far and damaging the optical fiber and LED to come.

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    It finally slid a little too well, so I put some masking tape on the rods to slightly enlarge the diameter.
     
  41. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    The underside support goes through the location of belly dome. The dome kit part was not glued, as I kept it to hide the hole when I will use the lateral support.
    As the dome is an important visual element below the Stardestroyer, that bothered me to not have it. So I made a mold of the kit part, to have a copy which I hollowed out the center.

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    To fix these domes, I use two different methods :
    - the complete original dome is held with a water cistern blocking unit from a (new) toilet kit. It is glued to the dome.

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    - For the hollowed dome, I first imagine a system of brackets but finally went with magnets : magnets in the dome, and screws in the stardestroyer belly.

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  42. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

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    Next is the setting up step of the electrical and lighting circuit.


    Ventral Electric supply

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    Side electric supply

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    As the bridge is removable, connectors are done with plugs.

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    The 3 main thrusters are warm white LED, they are entrenched in truck covers (clear resin parts provided in the kit), painted black then aluminium.

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    The 4 secondary thrusters are cool white LED (they indeed have a bluish tint on the studio model). They are glued to bottom of tubes, themselves fit into the tubes glued on the engine bells, which will be fixed later.

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    On the set of model, some bulbs were exposed in the trenches, and lit comprehensive areas in the trenches. To avoid over-lighting the trenches, I use light rods (the bulb being so remote and hidden inside the model).
    These light rods are made from frosted clear rods, tubes and warm white LED.
    These 11 rods are then glued to the back of the trenches.
    (unfortunately, no photo of the installation step)

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    As I am not sure of me with these light rods, so I placed a switch on the sub-circuit, hidden in the details of a side trench.
    A second switch is placed on the sub-circuit of the engines, in case they would interfere during photo shots.

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  43. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,010
    And I had to go with the optical fibers step (a really boring step)
    They are folded in two, the loop staying on the outside (except for the bridge... no reason there... just forget this trick when I started it...). They remain well in place, do not escape and fill two holes simultaneously.

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    They are then set with a mixture of white glue and black paint.

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    The fibers are then grouped to warm white or red LED, inserted into tubes (evergreen or recycling of body pens or felt pens).
    The white / red allocation is made like the original for the bridge, but randomly elsewher as it was too complicated to do, and besides the right side of the studio model was less detailed and included only very very few fibers (that was the left side that was filmed and then the image reversed).

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    The tubes LEDs are painted in white to enhance light diffusion inside.

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    then covered with black for light leaks to the outside.

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    For the bridge, I had to make some adjustments.

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    First tests.

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    Vacformedhero likes this.
  44. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,010
    It is time to finally close the box, so the whole upper part is installed, glued and screwed to the bottom part.
    The back requires a bit more attention (cyano glue and putty) to prevent light leakage.

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    Last adjustments before painting:
    - Realization of covers of the light rods (otherwise too bright)

    - side connectors covers (tubes and tank wheels)

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    - the canons of turbolaser turrets are awfull as is and are replaced by a simple brass rods

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    - the turrets locations need wedge so that they are level horizontally.

    Before:
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    After:
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    - the screws are hidden behind small squares of plastic card.

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    - Obviously, it was just cured when I realize I forgot fiber on a belly outgrowth ! Too bad, the holes are filled with plastic putty. Grrr!

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  45. Datfly

    Datfly New Member

    Trophy Points:
    17
    This is simply magnificent!

    As a complete new person to the model building world I am curious to how
    you will paint the ship and not paint over the optic fibers?
     
  46. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,010
    The openings are masked and then a coat of primer is applied

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    The preshading consists of panels randomly painted in Panzer gray all over the entire surface.

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    It is then covered with an off white (white with few drops of sky grey xf19)

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    Even if the original model is even whiter than what I did, I think it is too much white.
    So, to mitigate it, I sanded the surface with an abrasive sponge.

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    After a light gray oil wash, I airbrushed very thin coat of the same light gray to finally arrive slowly to the color that satisfied me.

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    EddieL, Vacformedhero and Sym-Cha like this.
  47. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    3,305
    All the fiber optics will be painted over with the rest of the ship and since the fiber optics are threaded with loops far beyond the surface of the ship they can be cut afterwards so they become clear again. See the last 3 posted pictures :)

    Chaim
     
  48. sqbiedoo

    sqbiedoo Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    935
    :eek:eek Majestic :thumbsup
     
  49. cabour

    cabour Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,010
    Thanks Datfly
    Sorry, I missed your question when posting.
    Sym-cha explained perfectly: all the fiber optic are set to rise a bit from the surface, painted as is, then cut with pliers along the surface. Where you cut, the FO is then clear for the light

    Thanks Chaim
    Thanks sqbiedo :)
     
    Sym-Cha and Vacformedhero like this.
  50. Tom1971

    Tom1971 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,185
    Need updates.

    I was gonna pass on the RC Star Destroyer due to the amount of work it required after wanting it for years. Then I saw this built and it was what I had in mind for how I wanted to do mine and I decided screw it,...and took the plunge. Should be here in a week so, so all the pain and work I am going to go through it totally your fault.:lol

    Tom
     
    thebeans likes this.

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