The MPC X-Wing kit dates back to 1977 when the original Star Wars movie was released and was subsequently re-released throughout the years by AMT/Ertl. The kit contains approximately 76 pieces and is molded in white plastic, detail on the kit itself is pretty good with engraved panel lines and some raised detail here and there. The clear parts are a little thick, but very clear none the less.
The X-wing was originally designed by Incom Corporation for the Empire by Vors Voorhorian, but the entire engineering team defected to the Rebel Alliance with the prototypes hidden on Fresia. It was directly descended from the old Z-95 Headhunter, built by Incom and Subpro, with lessons learned from the ARC-170 starfighter. After four prototypes were extracted from Fresia during the Battle of Fresia, it first encountered Imperial forces in the Battle of Turkana. Many more of the ships were liberated from an Incom facility prior to the Battle of Yavin.
Using the book, “The Star Wars Sketchbook”, I set out to model the surface of the Death Star. My representation of the surface doesn’t accurately depict any one portion of the surface. I took elements of many features and my imagination and made what I thought looked the best.
I started by marking where I wanted my clear acrylic rod and drilled a 5/16 inch hole half way into the 12” x 12” wooden base. I then drew out how I wanted my Death Star surface to look and began cutting styrene. The design went through many preliminary design layouts before settling on a final design.
The larger surfaces were made by laminating four to five sheets cut to shape and then filling and sanding the edges. Constructing the larger surfaces was actually the easy part. The finer details were very demanding. It was like cutting Tetris blocks out of sheet styrene. The exhaust tower is a piece of 2 inch PVC with styrene details glued to it.
I think, overall, I spent about 30 hours on the Death Star surface base. The X-wing was quick and easy compared to the base.
After construction, I painted the entire surface Gunship Gray and weathered it using the same method as the X-wing. Once I was satisfied, I sprayed dull coat over the entire base.