TOS Cylon Raider Pt 7

<< Part 6

A flurry of activity to get this finished in time for a show last week. After putting it off so long I finally had to fix all the electronics in place and glue the fuselage together – the point of no return – so that I could then tackle the seams this would create – and these were probably the worst in the whole model. Underside front and back there is a recessed lip, which was relatively flush, but still took quite a bit of putty to fill. Then there were the seams down the sides where the wing tips connect… This took considerable putty-sand-repeat until the finish was satisfactory, hampered to some extent by the wing tips having to be partially connected due to the fibre feeding the guns. In hindsight it would have been much easier to leave all of the wingtip and gun assembly until after the fuselage, but there we go. All the puttied areas were touched up with the base grey and then weathered down to match the surrounding areas.

It was then time for the final lighting test. Any problems now and I would be stuffed. Headlights – check. Underside lights – check. Engine ramp up – check. Guns – only one firing! Oh no! I’m stuffed! Disaster! Anguish! Panic! Depression… This was the worst case scenario. I had to go back past that point of no return again! It would be impossible to seperate the two halves without destroying the model, but there was one glimmer of hope. There is a 3″ x 2″ panel on the bottom where the stand is supposed to attach – if I could remove that, I could cut a hole underneath and hope to see what had happened. However because the stand attached to the panel, I had glued the panel down really really well. After much gentle prising and getting nowhere I was getting more depressed and desperate and started to pull harder and harder. Finally with a loud “pop” one end came loose, which allowed the insertion of a steel ruler to help lever up the panel until finally the joint at the other end gave way just before the plastic itself did!

The next task was to cut open the belly without risking even more damage to the wiring inside. Using a panel line scriber I slowly scribed out a section, round and round until the plastic was just cut through and the whole piece could be lifted out.

From there it was easy to see the problem: one of the fibres had come loose from the tape binding it to the LED – almost certainly as a result of all the jiggling about of the wing tips as I was fixing the side seams. This time I glued the fibres into one end of a tube with some clear epoxy, and glued the LED into the other, before binding it all up in tape again. Nothing is coming out now!
I made an inner lip around the hole with some strip strene for the piece I had cut out to sit back against, and then glued the panel back over the top – lightly this time just in case I ever need to get back in again. Having already tried the model on the stand, there was no way it was ever going to stay on that, it’s just way too wobbly. Instead I think I shall make a cradle from clear acrylic at some point..

So here we are – finished!
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TOS Cylon Raider Pt 6

<< Part 5

Made a lot of progress recently but forgot to take many pictures along the way! After pre-shading the panel lines on the main assemblies, A couple of light top coats of light grey were misted on, allowing just a hint of the shading to show through. The various darker grey panels were then masked off and sprayed – I kept these just a shade darker than the base colour so that the contrast is not too high.

A liberal coat of dark dirt wash from Flory Models was then brushed over everything, working well into all the nooks and crannies and then left to dry. These are great water soluble washes that are very easy to use and provide great results. Once dry, you just wipe off the excess with a damp cloth or sponge leaving just a hint behind that really makes the details pop out.

Next came the masking of the black stripes on the wing tips. This would be a very simple operation to do with tape were it not for a couple of greeblies that have to be masked across. I used4mm tape for the most part, and then small bits of 2mm tape over the lumps and bumps. These were then extended with wider bits of Tamiya tape I had left over from a previous job (I find it’s very easy to reuse Tamiya tape several times before there’s any sign of the adhesive giving out). The straight stripe on the underside were also masked off at this time.

A not-quite pure black was then misted over in a few light coats to minimise the chance of seepage under the tape. The results were good, and probably less hassle than tying to do this with decals given the uneven surface.
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There was one slight problem – when I removed the tape, it also removed some of the wash that was trapped within the grain of the grey topcoat resulting in faint but noticeable lighter strip on the outside of the stripes as you can see in the picture. A bit of rubbing along the edge and another application of wash managed to reduce this right down again thankfully!

Part 7 >>