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  • Mon Calamari Cruiseur

  • MC-80 Liberty

The movie

Star Wars Episode VI
Return of the Jedi

Luke and his “Scooby gang” managed to escape from Jabba the Hutt’s palace (and to kill everybody without careful, even musicians and slaves, what “good guys” they are…), the rebel fleet is gathering in orbit around Sullust. Bothan spies found out that a second Death Star is being built. Well, spies were not highly needed to do so, all you had to do is watching the Empire public acounts : “Hum, Mr Paplatine could you explain this 500 000 000 000 000 000 000 000  credits hole in the draft budget ?”

Until now, the fleet we discovered at the end of “The Empire strikes back” seemed to consist of only a few vessels like Nebulon-B fregates and Blockade Runners corvettes. We had to wait for the Return of the Jedi to see much more impressive ships like the Mon Calamari Cruisers. Those ships, piloted by… anthropomorphic squids… have about one kilometer in length and can compete with imperial stardestroyers in terms of firing power.

The fleet have a few of these ships, we don’t know exactly how many. In fact, only two of them can be seen on screen : the Home One, flagship of the fleet commanded by admiral Ackbar and the Liberty. The battle is epic and remains probably the most accomplished in the all saga. Maybe it doesn’t reach the emotionnal level of the battle of Yavin but it’s the first showing such a stature, for the first time capital ships are seen in a battle with a real stake.

The model I chose to represent is the Mon Calamari cruiser Liberty. She has a tragic fate because she’s the first to be annihilated by the Death Star superlaser. The surprise-attack wipe her out of the space battle field in only one shot. The vessel and her 5000 crew members are instantanely vaporised.

La maquette

Mon Calamari cruiser escort
  • Model : MC80 Mon Calamari Cruiser
  • Manufacturer : Anigrand
  • First edition : 2007
  • Scale : 1/2256
  • Matter: Resin

The Mon Calamari Cruiser Liberty is recognizible by its two wings. They are distributed on both side of the hull… as usual you may say…

Well if you intend to be unpleasant like that, no thanks !

Where did I left off before being rusely interrupted by myself ? Oh yes : anyway, it’s weird for a non-atmospheric ship to have wings like a plane. So there. These wings are even the most important difference between the Liberty and her big brother the Home One, the flagship of the rebel fleet, more fusiform. So, try to put the word “fusiform” in a website instead of being annoying with your negative attitudes !

Fixing a model failings : the mastic usefulness

 

This Mon Calamari cruiser model is a quite good-quality resin kit . Of course you’ll have to use a lot of mastic to adjust the pieces together, as always with garage kits. In fact, the only real failing of this kit are panel-lines engraved onto the hull. They are totally unrealistic at this scale and I decided to fill them back in. Hard decision since I had to cover the all kit with mastic. Again and again.

Structure reinforcement

 

croiseur mon calamari liberty structure

The ship hull is made of four parts : two upper halves and two lower halves. Connecting these parts couldn’t be made with simple glue, never sturdy enough. I had to imagine more extreme methodes. I had to screw two attachment flanges on the junction. This technic is quite usual on big models, it’s a “roding” variant.

Mon Calamari cruiser detailing

 

croiseur mon calamri Liberty hangar à chasseurs

It is necessary to improve the detail level. Business as usual. The biggest improvement was to include two starfighters hangars. The first is  at the front of the ship, the second toward the middle of the structure. The hangars are made using plastic cards, enliven with tiny 3D printed fighters. On the picture, they don’t look very well painted but you have to remind the scale : 1/2256. At this scale, a X-Wing is only 5mm long ! Watching them at a 10 or 20 cm distance is totally convincing.

 

Back to preschool : stencil painting

 

croiseur mon calamri Liberty peinture au pochoir

The Mon Calamri cruiser painting has been made like it has been with the filming model. I made a lot of stencils using plastic cards, photoetch grids gathered here and there. The technic is very simple, you put the stencil on the surface of the model and you airbrush it. It’s a variant of the usual masking technic using masking tape but it’s way faster. Covering such an area would have taken months if I used this technic.

Mon Calamari Liberty cruiser exhibitions

 

This model is the last part of a complete rebel fleet I exposed only two times :

You may click here to see the Sullust rebel fleet

by petersteven