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> Delaton's Vehicle Customs, Onto the Assault Gunboat - 06/08/09
Delaton
post Feb 2 2009, 07:50 PM
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So I'm getting the custom bug again. Except this time, I'm venturing into vehicles for the first time in about 10 years. For those who remember me from the COTW days at Rebelscum, my first custom ship was a refurbished and repainted vintage Y-Wing:



Now I've been inspired with about 4-5 different ideas. While I have out the styrene, extra detailed parts, and accessories, I'm thinking about tackling several, if not all of them. I figure that I'll post all of them here and get everyone's opinions, as well as tips from the vehicle experts!



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Delaton
post Feb 2 2009, 08:12 PM
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The first project I'm thinking about is an E-Wing Fighter. I don't think we'll ever see this from Hasbro so I'm going for it. For those who aren't aware of EU's E-wing fighter, here's a few references:






Scoring a couple of broken vintage Xwings at a toy shop clearance for $3 each, I'm making one into an E-Wing. First thing I noticed is that the bottom of the fucelage is flat on the E-Wing, as opposed to the Xwing which slopes up. However, the vintage Xwing could be cut behind the cockpit to rotate this flat AND create the sloped top nose effect.



Before I chop away on the ship, I want to see what other ship builder use for model "bondo". I need to be able to seamlessly blend new styrene pieces into the existing ship body. Any thoughts?


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Delaton
post Feb 2 2009, 11:32 PM
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I also have the following projects on the "boards:

Generic Landspeeder: Starting with a new Joe Sting Raider, I've already disassembled it and I'm currently figuring out engines and such...


Fixer's Landspeeder: Using two broken vintage landspeeders, I want to create Fixer's 5-engined speeder seen at Tosche Station:


Generic Cargo Speeder: Starting with a non-working extermely-yellowed Troop Transport, I want to change the side bays into something for cargo transport and repaint the whole thing.


Clone Wars Shuttle: I'm holding off on this one until Toyfair to make sure Hasbro doesn't make it. I have a bunch of old shuttle hulks left over from completing my vintage one. Still haven't figured out the cockpit though.


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clonecommander97...
post Feb 4 2009, 02:13 PM
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just wondering, but, is the E-wing suppose to be like the V-wing the first rogue squadron game? (N64)


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Delaton
post Feb 4 2009, 08:23 PM
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No, different.


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rogue1
post Feb 4 2009, 09:02 PM
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Looking forward to your progress on the E-Wing, as it's something that I've had in mind myself for a long time. As far as bondo, what I've always used for larger gaps is just that: Bondo! The minor imperfections still left (as well as smaller joints) can be taken care of with Zap-A-Gap. It's just a matter of applying, sanding, and priming. If any flaws are still visible, just repeat the process until you're happy with the result. As for the shuttle, maybe a scratchbuilt cockpit?
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Delaton
post Feb 4 2009, 11:01 PM
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I'm learning a lot so far, like glue doesn't set instantaneously. I'll post some progress photos over the weekend but I've already chopped the front half of the Xwing and begun to rebuild the rear fuselage.


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IncomT65
post Feb 5 2009, 12:36 AM
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That's an ambitious project, Delaton, looking forward to the progress pics. I'm sure Hasbro will eventually make an E-Wing and a Clone Wars transport, I mean they even make the most obscure never seen before characters. But why let it depend on that, whether or not to make one yourself? I mean it's great fun to take an idea and make something that will be totally yours and most of time, in correct scale.


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rogue1
post Feb 5 2009, 09:06 PM
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The best glue for this type of thing (as far as joining different pieces together) is Pro-Weld: it's a plastic welder that sets up very quickly, and available at any hobby shop. Hope it helps!
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Delaton
post Feb 5 2009, 09:19 PM
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Thanks! Anything will help me now. I'm at the point of doing once piece a day because I have to let it set.


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tykrazen
post Feb 6 2009, 01:35 PM
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QUOTE (rogue1 @ Feb 5 2009, 09:06 PM) *
The best glue for this type of thing (as far as joining different pieces together) is Pro-Weld: it's a plastic welder that sets up very quickly, and available at any hobby shop. Hope it helps!


Agreed... It's amazing for Polystyrene!


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Delaton
post Feb 7 2009, 11:08 AM
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I figured I'd give everyone an update. I've basically completed the fuselage structure, except for some infills, filling of seams, sanding, and details.



I used the clear acetate for the bottom and top of the fuselage to add support. I had tons of this stuff left over from my collection case construction so it come in handy.



The boxes that will be connected to the struts for the wings are Imperial Cruiser battery cover casts. The struts will be Saga Clone Commander cannon legs. The detail on top is a leftover vintage Millenium Falcon side detail. I know the reference photos above show a straight fuselage but the haxagonal cross section of the Xwing is actually going to help when it comes to the wings. Mounting the wings at right angles to the lower half of the fuselage gives the wings just the right slope and look that I'm going for.

Comments welcome.


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darthschroeder
post Feb 8 2009, 05:41 PM
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Looking good, Ash.

Do you have engine cylinders picked out yet?
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Delaton
post Feb 8 2009, 06:15 PM
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not yet. I'm finding that I have to adjust the proportions a little to make the xwing cockpit work (ie. enlarge the wings a bit). This is unlike what hasbro did with the Y-Wing. I have a few ideas for nacelles that I'll explore this week. Another update shoudl come tonight if I make enough progress.


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Delaton
post Feb 9 2009, 10:29 PM
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UPDATE!

I've continued along with the major fabrication elements, including the wings. I've found that I'f had to use jigs of foamcore to keep parts aligned while the glue dries. Even then, one of the wings sagged and had to be re-glued. Apparently even after the plastic cement is dry and the parts are welded, new cement can undo the first cement joint. (makes sense now...) As such, you can see that I have the wings propped up with foamcore while the wings are reset. The additional level of acetate on the top of the wing will help give it more bonding surface to the fuselage.



I increased the wing span a bit to make up for the larger proportion of the cockpit. The original 2-3/4" large part of the wing was increased to 3-1/2" to compensate. The lower half was also increase, but I don't recall the distance. Also, the upper parts of the wings do have a slight cant downward from the fuselage, which is hard to tell from the photos posted. I think more will show once this set dries and I work on the exhaust intakes.



The bend on the second part of the wing was made a little steeper than the reference photo. Aesthetically, it seemed a little better to me. It also made it an easy 135 degree angle (90+45) so I could make some foamcore braces to help hold it in place while it dried.



On this last slide, I want to provide a tip, although it seems pretty obvious. When you don't have complete measured plans (despite the images, they're not very good for measuing), cardboard mockups help immensely in planning those complicated parts. The wing mockup, for example, also has helped me figure out some of the stripe painting to be done much later on.


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rogue1
post Feb 10 2009, 05:18 AM
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Looks like it's coming along very nicely, and I couldn't agree more on doing mock-ups with cardboard or foamcore: it can save a lot of time and frustration in the long run. This may or may not help at this stage, but there's a program called ImageJ that allows you to plug in a known dimension (in this case, the fuselage), and from that you can determine any other dimension or angle in a drawing, eliminateing a ton of guesswork. Here'es a link: http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/
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Delaton
post Feb 25 2009, 10:51 PM
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So it's been a couple of weeks since my last post. Although the images might not show much improvement, I've been doing a ton of work on it. I bought some "modeling bondo" filler to smooth out the fuselage. The product sets in about 5 minutes, sands after around 30 minutes.



Now that I've been filling and sanding around the wings, you can see the form much easier with the clear acrylic clouded.



I've also installed the belly vent things (I called them nacelles last time, not really correct). Even with the cardboard mock up, it still required a lot of filler. After priming, I'm sure it'll need more filler.



As you can see, the seams are still cracking through a bit. This is probably because the ship sometimes rests on them. It's making me think about some removable type of landing gear, but I have no reference to go from. Any thoughts from the FFURG masses?



Also, I wanted to show a close up of the vent grille that I installed before gluing the vent assembly on the ship itself. Little details like this will be fabricated for all over the ship.

Comments and suggestions welcome.


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Sgt Humpty
post Feb 26 2009, 01:25 AM
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Ash,

This is looking fantastic! I cannot wait to see it finished.

I might have some landing gear for you. Let me look around. If I can find some, I'll include them when I send your package out. Happy customizing!


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pbarny
post Feb 26 2009, 09:29 AM
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Are you going to recycle the X-Wing nacelle/exhaust ports for any of the cannons on the E-Wing or going another route? And you going with a v1 or v2 E-Wing (difference being the much larger belly gun for those too lazy or unable to read tongue.gif ).


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Delaton
post Feb 26 2009, 10:59 AM
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Right now, I'm thinking about scratch-building the engine tubes themselves, and using casts of the FX-Xwing exhaust tips for the back end. The vintage exhaust tips look too small in diameter to work. I'm figuring on around a 3/4" diameter engine nacelle.

In regards to the guns, I was aware of the three guns, one on each wing and the one over the cockpit. The only belly weapon I can see is the proton torpedo launcher. Is that what you were referring to?


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