The one thing about working on this kit is it forcing me to buy a cordless Dremel called a Micro. All I can say is Wow and Wow! Why didn’t I get this earlier? The tool is light, easy to use and the variable speeds are a godsend for working on styrene.
Alright. Now I am armed with my new toy, I set to work on grinding back the remainder of thick edges and then continued to address some of the models other issues.
I made the conscious decision from the onset to replace as much of the poorly molded piping detail as I could. Especially going to the exposed inset sections on the mandibles and back section of the hull; those I had already addressed in my previous post. I also reshaped the out of scale verticle flat things on the top of each inner section of the mandibles and replaced the piping along the outer edges.
Then when I was reasonably satisfied with those efforts I tweaked the top of the walkway areas to fix the three circular vents. This meant drilling and grinding out the molded areas and replacing those with some brass photo-etch grills. I also scratch built the tops of the vet housings because I felt those molded on the model were again a little large and out of scale. I then used ca glue to add some black vinyl behind the see-through mesh.
The next thing I wanted to address was the battle and impact damage over the top hull. So with engraving bits, sanding drums, files, an exacto knife and sections of styrene sheet, I set to work using the reference pictures I have as a guide. To achieve the punctured hull look I needed to grind away the plastic from the inside of the model until it was paper thin. For the four bigger holes, I used a thin marker to draw the holes before I dialed back the Dremel’s speed, and carved them away with the engraving bit. Then I glued in some thin plasticard behind them and repeated the process with smaller holes and then glued in the final backing piece. The area above the starboard mandible I literally attack with the engraving bit to replicate the torn and shattered pipes and hull. The big concave dent was done using a semi-pointed grinding bit. All the smaller holes were achieved with a tiny drill bit and the tip of my exacto knife.
The next part was adding the 3D printed fuel towers and thruster veins. Did I mention how fragile printed plastic is? No. Well, they are. I discovered this while washing the parts to remove excess oils and residues from handling and printing.
.Once the parts were clean and dry I reboxed them. Carefully. Then, I started adding the pieces over the areas I previously ground away. Unfortunately what you don’t get with the parts is an instruction sheet on what glues to use… Thank god for the world wide web and professor Google. I also found out that though the printed parts are exquisite in detail they are not an exact plug n play. It is just as well I have a little bit of model assembly and building experience…