Saturday, October 16, 2010

Part 5 - How to spruce up your 1/32nd Revell/Monogram Colonial Viper

Part 5 of the Revell/Monogram 1/32nd TOS Mark I Colonial Viper build will touch on correcting the laser canons and modifying the engine thrusters.

See Part 1 for this kit's introduction, and aftermarket parts
Part 2 highlights works on the engine section
Part 3 highlights scribing the panel lines and the cockpit
Part 4 highlights on the front nozzle and fuselage details

If anything, Revell/Monogram could have made the laser canons on their Mark I Viper a little more authentic. The 2 pieces provided looks like a toy where the triangle pieces are a chunk of plastic. The studio model had triangular shaped bars encompassing the mid section as the picture below shows.

Most Sci Fi Scale Modellers I know actually do correct this. They either cut off that whole piece and replace them with styrene strips, or drill through and file out a triangular shape (that's what I did). Either way, its up to you how you want to spruce up the laser canons. You could even use small brass rods measured to scale to give them a more authentic look

Of course this just came in. If you feel you're not skilled enough to correct the laser canon, you can opt to get an accurate set from Starship Modeller. Fireball Models came out with the 1/32 Scale TOS Colonial Viper Replacement Laser Cannon Set - its out of stock at the moment but put in your pre-order when new stock comes in.

Each package contains two laser cannons comprised of two parts each; a front and a rear section. The cannons are identical and are designed to fit either side of the Viper. The benefit over using these cannons instead of the kit’s cannons is two-fold: you don’t have to eliminate the nasty mold seams running down both sides of the kit parts, and these replacement cannons are more accurate to the original studio models.
You will need a small drill bit and some small-diameter wire to attach the cannons to the model

Sprucing up the Mark I Viper's Thrusters

For the thrusters nozzel, well, if you're planning to light up your kit, I wouldn't recommend modifying them unless its a static display kit. Then you may want to spruce up the Mark I's tail pipe a little (they are a little blend, even on TV). Trastoman did his spectacularly by using pieces from another kit.

You have to admit, they look perfect for the Mark I making the thrusters' nozzle more "practical'. What Trastoman did was he took spare parts from another Revell Sci Fi kit, the Babylon 5 Starfury's thrusters' nozzle and placed them there.

Ingenious, isn't it. I wonder how she'd look if lighted with those thrusters. By this time, your kit would have been about 75% complete. You need to go through her again to cover up all the gaps and holes since it isn't pleasent seeing a kit that could have been finished beautifully but has some imperfections.

Then its off to be coated with a primer and paint. Remember, when you paint your kit, paint them as though they are brand new. Weathering can only take place after you've applied decals and coated your entire kit with a layer of clear gloss coating (you'll need to apply a layer of clear gloss first before you can apply your decals. Failing to do so may make it difficult for the decals to stick, and may damage the decals when you attempt to work push them in place). The reason why you want your kit with a clear gloss coat is because when weathering, you'll be doing a lot "washing" using water soluble paints.

Adding the decals


The finished Mark I Viper, a gem of a kit assembled by Trastoman from Spain. More on his finished kit in Part 1

I hope by viewing Part 1 - 5 on how to spruce up your Mark I Viper, you would have some of your own ideas on how to assemble and create some fancy stuff of your own. Problem areas can usually be solved using some proper planning and sometimes having some radical ideas do help. This is basically what  separates a basic modeller (those that assemble their kits straight out of the box) from a professional, the act of modifying, correcting, and creating parts to make their kits more authentic and believable

I look forward to seeing yours on the net soon.

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