Death Star Tiles
Prior to Bandai incorporating Death Star tiles as bases/stands into their kits, there was essentially nothing available in the way of dressing up your in flight displays. ICONS displayed their X-wings and TIE Fighter over a Death Star display base, but those were available as a separate product and if they were, you’d pay a small fortune for them as ICONS was pretty proud of their product.
That’s all changed. Hole in the Wall productions has made available a very nice set of tiles for your displays.
The tiles are cast resin and measure 6×6 inches. Each tile cost between $12 & $14. This is an excellent price for these tiles! With my previous builds, I’ve had to scratch build the tiles out of Evergreen sheet styrene. It is very tedious and time consuming work to replicate these necessary tiles for an in-flight displays.
Below you can see the size difference between a Bandai tile and the Hole in the Wall tile. The detail on the larger tile is excellent.
Size comparison to Bandai tile.
I highly recommend these for your next project! A set of four tiles is $48 and worth every bit of it. I will most likely order another complete set for my McQuarrie X-Wing build.
Group size comparison.
The tiles can be found here.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the tiles.
I really had no intention of picking up this project so soon, but sitting in the corner of my hobby room is my Frank Cerney studio scale McQuarrie X-wing.
This kit is the only one produced in this scale (1/24). It features full instructions and nicely molded resin parts.
Mounting hardware installed
I decided to put the mounting hardware to the bottom fuselage half. I used the same stand and hardware that was mentioned in a previous post for my upcoming Blue Leader build.
I adding some more grays, redid some grays and added some aged earth with chipping to my Red 5 build.
I’m really amazed how the ILM modellers were able to make a hodge podge of colors work together.
Added gray with chipping to exposed the aged earth underneath.
Corrected some grays and added aged earth to the fuselage.
I couldn’t paint anything on Red 5 yesterday, so I decried to push ahead on some early Blue Leader /Blue 1 progress.
A fellow builder and good friend pointed me to some stands and inserts that he uses on his X-Wing builds.
These video camera stands can be found on Amazon for around $10.
The 1/4″-20 threaded insert can be found at Amazon as well. The only problem I had with purchasing the inserts on Amazon is that they come in quantities of 50 or 100. I only needed two. I went to a local hardware store (Lowe’s) and found what I needed in the hardware department in the specialty furniture hardware drawers. They had a bag of four for $4.00.
I drilled a 5/16″ hole in the belly of the fuselage. The was hole was a little undersized, which was okay. This allowed me to get the opening to the right size to install it as flush as possible.
I glued the insert to the inside of the fuselage with a generous supply of super glue reinforced with baking soda. Apply the baking soda while the super glue is still liquid.
Since there is a curve in the belly of the fuselage, I sanded the edges of the insert until the entire insert was contoured to the fuselage shape.
Once dry, you can screw the stand to the model.
Stand attached to X-Wing.
Once I was satisfied with the overall install and strength of the insert. I removed the stand and attached it to a 12×12 base.
Stand attached to wood base.
This seems to be the accepted method for displaying Star Wars models. The stand swivels allowing the builder to position the model in any attitude.
I have completed the red paint work on the S-foils. It’s now Red 5 again. Painting these markings isn’t hard by any means, just a little tedious. I don’t like that Revell made the markings like panel lines, but it did make it a little easier to mask the markings. On my next build these will be filled in as the ILM models didn’t have these.
Additionally, I needed to rework some paint. I initially painted the rings around the intake a gray, when it should have been a light blue. So I corrected that, continued the ring around the intakes and added them to the lower intakes.
Left side intakes
I finished off the other three tanks for the engine bays. Overall, I’m very pleased with the final result.
Compare to the ILM model.
I decided that the engine bays need more “stuff”. The original ILM models used tanks from an Aurora Seaview submarine. That kit is long out of production, very expensive these days and won’t fit this kit. So, how do you solve this? You just scratch build them out of sprue and evergreen styrene.
This is the end result:
Scratch built tank in engine bay.
And from another angle:
Looking forward at tank
I think it turned out well. I just have three more to make.
The S-foils are getting color. I applied Model Master Acryl Caboose Red Flat and chipped using Maskol.
Top of S-foils
I tried my best to replicate the ILM miniature, but there no way to get an exact match.
I also corrected the color on a couple of panels that I painted earlier. I originally painted the panels a grime color. I realized very quickly that was incorrect. I looked through all my grays and Light Sea Gray was a close match.
Light Sea Gray replaced the Grime color on the side fuselage.
Overall, I’m happy with the way this is turning out. There’s still a lot more to do.
While I’m trying to figure out what comes next on my Red 5 build, I thought I’d try to make some progress on my upcoming Blue Leader build.
I pulled the droid out of the kit. The first thing I did was remove the dome from the body as I wanted to fill the nasty seam in the dome and I also wanted to reposition the head.
I cleaned up all the mould marks on the legs and the I repainted the legs and both halves of the body Tamiya White Fine Surface Primer. After a couple of coats and a couple of days of drying I decided to test my skill at repainting this little R2 unit with his red accents. This was actually easier than I thought. Using a small brush and some things put red acrylic paint, I carefully repainted the red accents, as well as, the silver accents and louvers on the body.
R2-D2 and companion
Once dry, I sprayed the droid with Testors Gloss Coat. Making sure he was nice and shiny.
After the Gloss Coat dried, it was time to mix up a black wash. This gives the droid some depth.
Black wash concoction
I applied the wash and set aside to dry. When dry, take a slightly damp Q-tip and gently wipe away any access black wash. If you take too much off, just reapply, dry and try again.
Once you halt with the final result, apply a light coat of Dull Coat to the droid to seal the wash.
Once complete, he looks like this :
Finished washed droid.