TIE Bomber Scratchbuild

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Keiko

Sr Member
Around Christmas I finally snapped and took the plunge into scratchbuilding myself a TIE bomber to go with my Finemolds fleet. I'd bought a 2nd FM Vader TIE to use as the wing donor, but had been holding out for years in the hopes a proper commercially available kit might some day come to be.

Finally, one quiet day over the holidays 8 months ago, I figured "what the heck" and started on the wings. I figured I'd peck away at it from time to time and see where that got me. I'm not done yet, but I'm well into it and figured posting progress on line might help motivate me to keep the action advancing.

So, here we go...wing action.

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The above was my 2nd attempt. I didn't know it then, but I have since learned that almost all the parts take at least 2 tries.
 
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Keiko

Sr Member
Next up was the fuselages. Fuselagi? I scaled dimensions off of photos of the real mini and came up with 24.6 mm as the required OD. I had some acrylic of 1 inch or 25.4 mm OD which I spun on my drill press, aka poor man's lathe to get as close to the calculated dimension as I could.

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Keiko

Sr Member
I was really intimidated by the rear part of the fuselages. I wasn't sure I could pull it off, so I tackled it next.

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I'd found some formulas online for how to make a cone out of flat sheet. Knowing the taper of the cone and the diameter of the bottom allowed me to create the shapes. Of course, it's actually 2 cones, one within the other.

- - - Updated - - -

Here the rear covers continue with the second inner cone.

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The same approach was used for its calculations, though it was easier without scribing all the lines.

- - - Updated - - -

Next up was the inner cone of the rear structure. As time went on, I began naming parts in my head as you'll see when I get to them, but I never came up with a good name for this part. I did however notice that it is also on the radar dish of the large Falcon miniature.
 

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Keiko

Sr Member
Next was the scribing of a series of bands around the fuselages. I had to get innovative here and my solution was really Rube Goldberg.

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It worked out okay though. I found the acrylic so hard that instead of my usual Bare Metal brand scriber, I had to use a more industrial one that is actually intended for auto and machinery applications.
 

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
Besides being an awesome project, the beauty of this thread is that the minute Keiko finishes and it looks all amazing and perfect... Bandai will announce their kit version. So... hurry up and finish, man! :p
 

Keiko

Sr Member
Besides being an awesome project, the beauty of this thread is that the minute Keiko finishes and it looks all amazing and perfect... Bandai will announce their kit version. So... hurry up and finish, man! :p

Exactly this. It's happened to me several times in the past. I had a 1/72 Y wing about 75% done back when Finemolds finally came out with their kit. I regret nothing though, I learned so much on that project.

Next step was engraving panel lines around the forward part of the cockpit section. I got a lucky break in that the ID of my acrylic rod is a perfect fit for the window opening. I harvested the front "dash" from Vader's TIE and installed it such that its lip engages with the clear canopy part for a nice installed fit.

This took me a couple of tries too. I photographed the scribing procedure on the rejected first try only which will explain why the dash part is absent in the scribing photo.

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Keiko

Sr Member
Next up was scribing the remaining lines all over both fuselages. I didn't photograph much of this, so you'll just notice in future photos that the lines are suddenly there. I used Dymo labelling tape as my guide for all the lines. It's flexible and self adhesive with a strong enough grip to not slip during scribing operations.

After that I drilled through each fuselage to install a main through spar that would connect the whole ship, wing to wing.

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Keiko

Sr Member
Next was the mid spar construction.

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By this time, I'd left sleeves of the through spar material in each fuselage and also used that same diameter for the base of the mid spar. The next smaller size of tubing slides through everything to line it all up.
 

Bouq

Active Member
Awesome work and great lesson of scratchibuilding!!
Thanks a lot

the tip using fishing lines is excellent! (but every post of this thread teaches something!)

Thank you very much for sharing it
 

Keiko

Sr Member
Thanks Philbouq! I'm glad you're getting some ideas about new techniques to try. That's what it's all about. The internet and forums like this have given me lots of ideas and inspiration. I feel like it's really revolutionized modelling when compared to the old days of scouring magazines for tips and techniques.

Next up I tackled the front of the missile/bomb fuselage. As usual it took 2 tries to get it right. You might spot the error in a few of the photos, but notice that the final image has the correct layout.


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Naturally, the photos are out of order, but I think you get the idea.
 
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Keiko

Sr Member
And on to the detail pieces for the cockpit fuselage. Since there's a big space underneath that will need paint, I'm building them with the upper part a separate component that can be installed after the first bit of painting is done.

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Edit: and being not very computery, I've got the photos out of sequence again!
 

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Keiko

Sr Member
Slowly but surely I've moved on. I just kind of jump around parts of the ship as one detail or another strikes my fancy. Here I've begun working on details for the missile fuselage.
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EDGSW

New Member
This is one of the most spectacular, detailed and precise builds of the tie bomber I have ever counted it my pleasure to witness! Looks absolutely fantastic and functions well as a guide to begin building for other modelers, might have to get on that soon... Keep it up!
 

Keiko

Sr Member
Wow, thanks EDGSW, I really appreciate it!

Next up was the wing spar. It too was made of rod one size larger than the through spar so it could telescope into position. It can be seen in some of the earlier photos with the wing test fit, but the detailing was done a little later as shown here:

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Keiko

Sr Member
Thanks Rats, that's high praise.

Next up is the harrier pieces that go along the fuselages astern of the wing spars. I discovered along the way too that my efforts to have one throughspar for the whole ship was for naught - the cockpit fuselage had rolled when I was drilling it out. This did not become obvious until I started putting the details on relative to the scribed lines. I had to come up with a new aligning system that isn't as slick but works as well.

If I had to do it again, I'd drill the through holes first and then scribe all the lines accordingly. That way, a roll of the part during drilling wouldn't throw everything out of whack.

Anyway, as with all the parts that go against round cross-sections, there is lots of sanding against curved surfaces to ensure a good fit.

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We're almost up to date now, so my progress is going to seem to slow down, but I'm actually working faster now as the trickier acrylic work is behind me and the more fun basic scratchbuilding in front.

Cheers,

K>
 

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