Y-Wing (Gold Leader) Build - Nice-N Model Designs

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Sr Member
In order to keep working on the entire model, I machined an aluminum rod to act as a mount. The trick was to machine down the rod to 9/16 diameter to fit the hole in the fuselage:


The next step with the engines is to fit the bottom halves. Here's a "before" shot:


The half won't "sit" properly on the wing. The reason is due to some extra material near the edge of the bottom of the wing.
Here's a corner that had to be cut down a bit:


The small "panels" on the wing had to be cut down a bit as well:


According to the directions, there should be a gap between the two engine halves, so I'm going to double check some reference photos just in case. I'm scratching my head at this point because I'm not getting a gap between the engines so I'm not sure if this is correct or not. Stay tuned. :)
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Sr Member
Due in part to some recent bad, winter weather, I decided to take a two week break, but I'm back. Funny thing about these models is that some times it's difficult to get back into the swing of things but once you pick it back up, it's difficult to put it down. :)

I double checked the Red Y-Wing instructions and discovered that the key to putting the engines together is making sure that the forward caps fit properly, so I check them and they fit just right.



Whatever problem there was with the Red Y-Wing engines, they were resolved with the Gold Leader kit, so we're good and I move on to the second engine (Port or Left side). Please keep in mind that the model is upside down while we're doing this.
So at this point, I've carved out a semi-circle for the wires to go through. I need the bottom half of the engine to fit behind the tap on the upper engine half and in front of the wing:


As with the other engine, I need to remove the "ribbing" so that the engine fits flush with the wing.
Now we're good:


I need the same thing with the other side of the engine:


Although both engine, bottom halves are mostly flat, I sand them down a little with some 220 on a flat surface just to be sure and to prep them for gluing, later. Also, I used a small x-acto knife to remove some extra resin at the corners, within the indentations, which are blocking the forward caps from sitting properly. I also do some clean up on the inside of the rear of the engines and along the edges of the thrusters so that they will go in smoothly. I also discovered that there are some tabs near the inside corners of the tops of the engines which can be removed:


I don't see them in any of the reference photos, but I think they may have been placed to help mark the placement of the fins on the thrusters. Unfortunately, they might impede the insertion of the thrusters, but I'm going to wait and see at this point.

Next up, finishing the engine thrusters with some aluminum tubing and LEDs, which "is when the fun begins". :)


Sr Member
The last page of the Gold Leader instructions discusses the assembly of the engine thrusters and it recommends purchasing some tubing from Plastruct. Unfortunately, when I ordered some pipping and "T" rail from them months ago, I forgot about this tubing and didn't order. The cost to order this plastic tubing and have it shipped is just not economical. In fact, ordering the same size in aluminum from eBay turned out to be lower priced, so that's what I did. Also, aluminum is much more reflective for use with LEDs, so it may just work out better than plastic.

The instructions don't specify a length. I checked the reference photos and I came up with 2.5" in length for the tubing:


I used my mini lathe to cut off two sections and clean them up. Here's one of them installed:

I tried machining the small, acrylic rings to get the tubing centered inside the thruster, but they turned out to be too small and kept cracking,
so I decided to go with some metalic tape, just wrapped around the end:


The rear end of the thruster, installed:

Oddly enough, there's something about the final appearance of this part that reminds me of a NASA rocket, so we may be in good shape. :)
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Sr Member
The next step is to add the "innards" to the thrusters. This includes some clear, acrylic disks and heat sinks:


I'm using some 1" and 3/4" disks I found at a local plastics place.
The instructions recommend drilling a holes through the small disks, probably so more lights comes through the heat sinks. No size is specified, so I'm going to use a standard size 1/4" drill bit which looks good:


I'm still not 100% sure what kind of LED to go with, but I noticed that another builder - Dan - used a jumbo LED. I happen to have a couple of red ones left over from a HIC Hero panel, so I'm going to give these a try. The LEDs are an odd size, but a standard drill bit size works for the hole in the larger disks:


The heat sinks get painted with some primer and eventually with satin black. While waiting on these parts to dry, I'll move on to the cockpit or forward section.


Sr Member
Unfortunately, none of the directions cover the "blaster" installation and one of the "blasters" is shorter than the other one.
I'm pondering the thought of machining these out of aluminum, rather than using modeler's putty to fix the shorter blaster part:


There are indentations for the holes for the blasters, so I use a 3/16" drill bit to get these made:


They're too small, so I move on to 9/32" which is the diameter of the thickest part of the blasters. Using a reference photo, the blasters just barely go into the holes. I'd say, about 1/8" or less so they stick out just enough like the original model:


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Sr Member
We finally had some really good weather last week, which meant that I was able to get some painting done. The "innards" are ready for assembly. I'm going to start with a tiny amount of contact cement for the heat sink attachments and then I'll finish off with some silicon for the holes.


Adding the silicon was a little easier than I had expected. Like filling filling the inside of a glass with whipped cream, the end of the nozzle just fits inside the heat sink. Gorilla Glue now sells some clear silicon with a good size nozzle for this. I used a tooth pick to smooth out the surface:


Finding the right, red paint took some research. I used "Clear Red" from Tamiya. The clear acrylic disks were sprayed (about 3 coats) and then I used small brush to paint the silicon. An old trick I've used over the years is to lightly, spray the inside of the spray paint cap in order to use the paint with a brush. Here are the parts with the first coat of red paint. I'll probably do at least one or two more coats:


As usual, I'm really impressed with the paints from Tamiya. They typically leave a smooth surface without drying problems.
Up next, "jump starting" the entire paint process, wiring and assembling the engines.
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Sr Member
Finally, we're able to go "where no man has gone before" and get this baby wired up. :)
I write that because the instructions don't include information about wiring.

Here's the main body, flipped upside down:


Here's all the "thruster" related parts. In the back ground I have some optional LEDs with spare resistors:


Here's a shot of one thruster with a red LED:


And another with a white LED:

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