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B-wing Starfighter


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Hello,

 

  Sorry I've been away so long.  Been super busy with work, family, other hobbies (old cameras restorations) and life in general. I was out of the country for a while as well. 
This is so out of the box you need a telescope to see the box. 
I am a big Star Wars fan ever since I saw the first movie in 1978 as a kid.  Huge fan is an understatement.  It is funny as I don't like sci-fi much. I don't even like movies.  Haven't been to a movie theater in about 3 years (since Star Wars Episode 9).
Anyways, as an engineer,  2 of the things I like the most are ships (vehicles in general)  and droids.  However, for some reason I haven't build that many Star Wars models. Only 2 in all these years.  A recent trip to the Star Wars Disney park rekindled my life long interest.

So back home, I started checking the current plastic model offerings.  Vintage kits are ridiculous in prices. Currently, Bandai is offering the most variety of plastic models of the series.  But while browsing eBay, I came across this:

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A prebuilt and broken old MPC B-Wing Starfighter.  I had to rescue it.  This model dates back from the early 80's. 

 

This will give you an idea on the size.

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The canopy is missing and all cannons are broken.  It seems it was put together in a hurry, maybe by a kid to play with. Nothing wrong with that.
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Fortunately, it is a snap together kit and no glue was used.  While quite a challenge, I was able to get it apart.
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Typical soft styrene from the '80s that made me eventually hate AMT. 

Let's say the fit has some challenges...

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This will be tackled in several phases. 
First: The cockpit.  The unique cockpit of this ship rotates 360 degrees so the pilot can stay properly oriented. But that means it needs to be assembled and installed before the 2 main body halves are joined. No way to address mold lines that way.  I'll re-engineer the kit.
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Rusty Trusty is back!!!!
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This was started over a week ago, so I'll get up to speed in this thread within a few posts.

Stay tuned!

 

Thanks,

Ismael

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Hello,

  So I'm doing my own canopy.  This has proven to be quite a challenge at this scale.  This is design/attempt # 5 or 6.  Quite possibly not the final one.  The tape strips are for visibility as these clear parts are INVISIBLE when dropped or when they decide to fly across the bench.
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The wire is part of the canopy support.  I'll make something out of it like a heads up display or something to disguise it.
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The rear section was glued and reworked the seams.  The raised details were sanded down and I re-scribed them as recessed panel lines. 
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To disguise a very ugly seam in the back, I made up this added details.
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The cockpit front and rear parts were separated to be worked independently. Afterwards they can be joined back together.
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Why?  So the main fuselage can be glued together and the seams worked WITHOUT the cockpit, and have it installed afterwards.
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And I am only halfway on step 1, of a simple snap tite kit  😀
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Thanks,

Ismael

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Hello,

  Can you tell the difference between the box stock and my own brass and aluminum Precision Targeting Laser?  It is about 10mm long. The challenge now is to do 2 more identical ones.

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Also modified the GH72 Autoblaster 
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Next: SW-7A Ion Cannons...

 

Thanks,

Ismael

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Hello,

 

SW7A Cannons with their respective Precision Targeting Lasers.  (Not yet fixed in place so not perfectly aligned yet) Don't let the beauty fool you. This is a lethal weapons platform.

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Need to remove the molded ones from the other wing. I think you can tell the difference, can you?
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Canopy design #9, modified autoblaster
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Thanks,

Ismael

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Hello,

 

  This part goes at the bottom of the ship. It is supposed to represent another cannon like that ones on the wings and the broken part was supposed to be a Heavy Cannon which is actually longer than the regular one. It is also missing the Precision Targeting Laser.
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This is getting serious! This sucker is carrying quite a heavy punch!
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They are out of alignment as these are not fixed in position yet. They'll be straight in the final product.

 

Thanks,

Ismael

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Hello,

 

Kit's original design vs my way. The kit calls for the wings to be assembled into the swing axle. That is a problem to work seams and make sure the wings are smooth. So I re-engineered the kit to finish the wings first, then mount on the swing axle.

First, the front plate needs to be removed

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Kit's original instructions:
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My re-design:
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Thanks,
Ismael

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I remember building the AMT Ertl release of this kit, (not sure if MPC and AMT Ertl are one and the same) but looking at the photos pre disasembly brought back memories of how much of a dog this kit was with the part fit especially around the cockpit and S foils.  Im sadly out of the game of modelling due to getting older and sadly losing interest in the hobby due to partying etc as teenagers do lol. but by god this kit was horrible. i wish i had the skills back then to scratch build parts and addressing the flaws with the kit itself. 

 

looking forward to seeing the finished result..:)

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Hello,

 

Thank you warhawk121!

 

   This model has no "landing gear".  Let's not forget this is an MPC snap tite model from 1983 designed to be assembled quickly to play with.  So, taking a bit of an artistic license and inspired by the X-wing landing gear, I came up with this:
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You are looking at 2 days of work here.  Aluminum, brass, plastic and lots of determination.

Test fitted: Minor tweaking still needed but getting there.
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Just to put it in perspective:
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I have to say I'm happy with it so far.

 

 I then machined these 2 washer like thingies for a precision tight fit and pinned the front plate.
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But wait, there's more!

If you are going to be a blaster, be a BLASTER!

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I think I am getting closer to paint and assembly.

 

Thanks,

Ismael

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Hello,

First burst of color!
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Two days of masking for 10 minutes of airbrushing. The flat white base is actually primer that was slightly sanded. The gray is Humbrol enamel. Love those little tin cans! The roundels are Corvette (Chevrolet) engine red. There has to be a Corvette reference somewhere!
The roundels are not decals. I cut my own in Tamiya wide masking tape.
I insist the scheme looks like a japanese zero from WWII, but that's what the references indicate.

 

Started the weathering. You can see the untouched body compared to the wings in process.

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In process, but you get the idea.
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Thanks,

Ismael

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Hello,

 

I understand this topic is not the cup of tea of the forum but I hope you can at least pickup some ideas or get your curiosity going.


Now, each one of these is lethal.  But all four in a vehicle?  That's carrying a punch!
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Thanks,

Ismael

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Hello,

Getting closer to the finish.
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Lots of fun hand painting this guy:
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Added an escape T handle, canopy rails, targeting computer, 2 control sticks, a display screen, cabin lights...
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Painted and detailed the blaster guns
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An idea on size:
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Thanks,
Ismael

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Hello,

  This one is FINISHED! 
Honestly, there was really not much interest in this subject in any of the forums I posted it in so I skipped the last few updates.  The canopy was a whole project in itself.  The cockpit rotates gyroscopically to maintain orientation regardless of the position of the ship (which makes little sense in space as there is no up or down...)

Here is the snap toy from 1983.
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Took it out for a spin.
"Locked S-Foils in Attack Position"
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Pew! Pew! Pew! Pew! Pew!   KABOOM!
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Hope you like it.

Thanks,
Ismael

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Really good restoration project! I too remember building this kit as a kid. Didn'y know any better, but seeing how bad the fit it is, I'm surprised mine stayed together. 
Thanks for sharing your adventure!

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