Early Blue Leader work

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.

Metal insert.

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.

Paint and some rework

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.

Red 5

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

Engine bays

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.

Red 5 is finally getting its “red”

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.

Astromech work

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.

Canopy painted

Revell messed up the canopy, bad. But instead of freaking out over it, I decided to live with it. My Blue Leader build with have a Falcon 3D Parts canopy.

This kit canopy is painted gray, which is incorrect for Red 5. I removed the gray paint and repainted it Insignia White. Once dry, I applied the Maskol for the chipping. I then painted the frame Model Master Acryl Blue FS26414.

Refinished the canopy.

Wings painted and rework

I started the process of painting the S-foils. As we model builders know, paint is your worst critic. Of course, there were seams that needed to be reworked on every wing. After this frustrating process, I repainted to the wings. In the end, everything worked out.

The next step is to start the masking process for the chevrons on the wings.

Starting the making process for the chevrons.

The devil is in the details.

As I build this X-Wing, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of areas that are just screaming for additional detail.

The Cockpit

Missing from the aft section of the cockpit is the canopy actuators. This was easily remedied by re-purposing the speed brake actuators from a 1/32 Hasegawa F-86 kit.

Actuators installed behind pilot seat.

Test fit of the cockpit after the actuator install.

Painting and Chipping

I started the tedious process of painting the fuselage. Humbrol Maskol is your best friend when it comes to replicating the chips paint of an X-Wing fighter.

In a bold move, I have switched to acrylic paints. Mostly due to Model Master carrying the old Floquil colors.

Here’s the nose and the canopy painted in “blue”.

Nose painted with chipped effect

Canopy trim with chipped effect.

The next steps are to get the windscreen/canopy painted the correct color. Revell really botched it when it came to the paint on this model!

Until next time, MTFBWY.