Rebel Shuttle (MPC Tydirium conversion)


Sr Member
I thought I would post a new thread rather than risking the hijack of Trooper's thread about his Tydirium since he did a first class job with his IMHO. This build is a more or less out of the box MPC Imperial Shuttle kit that I did about four years ago. I started it as a test bed to try out some paint and weathering techniques I wanted to use on my Fine Molds Falcon (as well as evaluate the base color on a big model). But I didn't want to just do the same ole plain gray Imperial shuttle everyone else does. The inspiration for this are the Rebel shuttles from the Lucas Arts X-Wing games with their big obnoxious rebel crests on the tails, letting everyone know who they fly for (almost like the tail of an airliner). I opted to go for more of an X-Wing inspired paintjob on this than Imperial one, figuring the rebels would have to replace panels and parts once in awhile (and do repaints).

It was kind of done as a quickie model since I wanted to have something to put on the contest table at Wonderfest that year, so I think I rushed it a little too much. I may do some repaint to it in spots, although it looks okay for now. It didn't win anything (not that I was expecting it to). The pilots were replaced with ones from an Airfix F-14 for more of a Rebel pilot appearance. Smoke tint on the canopy was done with Tamiya smoke tint spray on the inside. It works, but you have to be careful to keep the coats light so it doesn't tiger stripe or pool in spots.

But, here it is:

Since I typically don't light my models, I used the airbrush to simulate an engine glow.



Sr Member
Thats excellent i love it how did you get the big insignia on there did
you have a mask of some sort? Love the base as well is it custom.....well done thanks for sharing!:thumbsup


Sr Member
niiiice !! go rebels :lol
i like your pain job on the engine, mine suuucks! that is wht i didnt show it on mine :rolleyes. i realy like this idea, im going to have to get another one and steal your idea but do my own version of course ;-)

nicely detailed to.



Sr Member
Good job. Those engines actually look like they could be lit in that one picture. The rebel insignia turned out really nice as well.

I been kind of hesitant to work on mine since I'm not sure what to do with the canopy. I should just bite the bullet and try what you did. If I mess it up I can always fall back to solid black instead of simulating a tint


Sr Member
LOL, thanks. The crest on the tail was indeed masked. I had a vector version of the rebel crest which I modified a little to get the look I wanted and printed out on paper and carefully taped to the model. The edge of the crest is a bit soft as the tape seals weren't perfect, but I felt it was at least good enough considering what I had to work with. I've got some thinner tape now, so I could probably do a hard edged mask if I were to do it again today. The base is just a plastic stand platform I got somewhere (not quite sure where) and I glued the original kit's support rod to it. It does look pretty classy considering and provides a nice stable base for the model.

The engine glow was done by starting with a sky blue shade with a lighter blue shade misted in the center. For the outer edges, I airbrushed on Tamiya clear blue, building it up to make the color darker. It was the one experiment that worked better than I expected on this build so I have plans to use it on other models with blue glowing areas (TNG era starships for instance).

I understand the dilema about the canopy Blake. Indeed I had considered just going flat black on my glass if I had messed up the tinting, but it seemed to work fine. The trick is to spray it only on the inside so the outside stays glossy. If I do this again I'll probably end up airbrushing smoke tint on it instead since I can exercise greater control with the paint than with a spray can. Of course, if you can find an original 1983 vintage MPC ROTJ Tydirium (one that says "Golden Opportunity Kit" on the box), those to my knowledge had smoke tinted canopies.

Sluis Van Shipyards

Master Member
Very cool! I had the same idea, but it's at the end of a long to-do list. I think if the mask wasn't perfect, that makes it look more like a Rebel ship. They probably would have just painted it on the best they could just so they wouldn't get shot by other Rebel ships.