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Modeling techniques

This page is here to show you quickly some techniques we usually use to make our models. The purpose is not to go into hard details but to give o short overview of these techniques. If you want to drill down the topics, I advise you to visit the Starship Modeler forum which is very well documented. If you want te see directly to the models shown on the site, please use the secondary menu just top right on this page. Have a nice time.

The rodding

blockade runner tigeage

This neologism means the fact of reinforce a model structure when it’s big or includes heavy parts. All you have to do is fitting metalic rods (brass rods, most of the time) to ensure the structure sturdiness. This model parts are threaded into the rods, like a brochette. Ths major complication is to find a glue working with both metal and plastic (or resin). Bi-component epoxide glue works most of the time.

The engraving

A model may be insufficiently detailed or may have panel lines embossed. If it’s the case, you will have to engrave. Five steps to follow :

  1. Scrib the line with a scalpel. Use a ruler or a Dymo strip for straight scribing.
  2. Etch the line with the non-sharp side of your scalpel blade
  3. Sand with various grain of paper
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 again and again
  5. Vitrify the line, that is insert superfluid glue into the line in order to dissolve the small debris made by sanding

Kitbashing

Many kits are unsufficiently detailed and need to be supplemented with other parts picked elsewere. My favourite kits for that are tanks kits. They provide many varied parts for varied use. This technique is copied to the one the ILM model makers used in the 70’s and the 80’s during the Star Wars preproduction phase. For instance, the Boba Fett’s Slave One wings come from car doors of a Porsche and the wings of the Tie Bomber have been taken almost as they were in a Vader’s Tie X-1 kit produced just after A New hope.

 

 

The glues

colles maquette

To build a model, you have to use glue. I know, it’s crazy… What glue should you choose ? In fact, it depends on the material your model is made of. If your model is made of polystyree (most of them are), you will use dissolution glue sold in a hobby store. If your model is made of resin, only one choice available : bond glue like cyanocrylate (known as “Superglue”). For huge surfaces, you will use neoprene. And if all that don’t work, joker : white wood glue. Doesn’t glue very much but glue anything, very useful for transparent parts.