The Mirror Fleet Begins!

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by bgt01, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Well, what do you do when you start building a bunch of Starfleet ships? Start building Mirror Universe ships, of course! With all the Connies complete and more Starfleet ships being built, I've decided it's time to add some of my favorite villains. Again, these are my repaints of Rawen's original, fantastic files. I am building my versions of an Empire Heavy Cruiser (I.S.S. Predator), Dreadnought (I.S.S. Worldbreaker), Destroyer (I.S.S. Godhammer) and Tug (I.S.S. Scow).

    I am building all four ships at once so my post will skip around a little, but my goal is to show a detailed buildup of these Rawen ships for reference. My technique is by no means perfect, but it's worked well for me and may work even better for someone with more steady hands. Sorry if the post gets a little long, but I'm a writer and used to presenting all the data. I'll try to keep it under control.

    FYI, sometimes I forget to take a pic, so if you see a part change around ignore it since I'm just trying to show my technique.
  2. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Tools

    My tools are standard stuff. X-Acto knifes and Excel knifes with a variety of blades. Number 11 blades are used the most. Standard scissors and Paper Studio non-stick precision tip scissors. These small scissors are great for clean, precise cuts and have great control. I cut all my circles and almost everything else with these and highly recommend them.They are about $7 at Hobby Lobby. Standard metal ruler. Elmer's Paper Craft Gel Glue and Loctite Super Glue - both brushable and gel control. Lots of toothpicks and dowel rods for shaping. Sewing seam ripper for scoring. Markers. Large and small tweezers.

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  3. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Saucer

    To me, saucer assembly is the easiest part. All parts are scored and cut out. Always score before you cut! Next I edge paint where needed using Sharpies and cheap markers. Edge bleed is a constant battle, but I don't have the patience for paint or watercolors. You can get good results if you are careful. The rounded parts of the saucer are shaped by rolling a dowel rod around the part from the center out.

    Roll the edge strip until it curls into shape. Fold down the tabs. Align the center of the edge stripe with the front center of the top of the saucer (center round window should be right below the forward running light). I glue about 3 tabs at a time, keeping the top as flat as possible. Alternate gluing right and left side until you meet up in the back of the saucer. I must admit I haven't done this yet where the ends meet up perfectly, but if I have a gap it is usually small and it will be covered up when the impulse engines go on. Do not glue the edge stripe ends together because you'll need them to flex a little when gluing the bottom on. My glued tops usually look a little warped until the bottom is on, so don't worry too much.

    When the glue is set, flip the top over, keep flat against the table, place the bottom in position and repeat the process, only now use your fingers to apply light pressure to where you glue to keep the saucer flat. This is how I get a nice, relatively flat saucer. Now just assemble the rest of the saucer parts in order.

    The upper part of the bridge is another score, curl and glue part. The base part I've found to be fussy. My method is to cut off the tabs at the base but leave the top ones, then curl the bottom and glue. The bottom tabs are a pain and not really necessary since the bridge sits flat on the saucer. Now glue the bridge together and glue to the saucer.

    I cut all the tabs off the impulse engines. They are just too small to bend without mangling the part and not really necessary. I score and bend all the folds and edge glue. When the fold is straight I line it on my metal ruler and bend at the edge. This helps keep the fold straight. I use the Loctite gel control so I don't have to hold the parts steady for long. Then glue in place on the saucer along with the impulse strip (I glue to 1mm chipboard and edge color) directly above.

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  4. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Saucer

    More saucer pics

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  5. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Navigational deflector

    This is another fussy part. I start by only gluing the area between the top flaps and the round section at the bottom of the base, Next, I edge paint the deflector with a gold marker and put some on the back since these parts don't align perfectly and some of the backs always shows through. Now I roll the deflectors (1 shaped in and 1 shaped out) and glue. Push a pin (I got gold pins from Hobby Lobby) through the center of the deflector SLOWLY until you get it the way you want it. I put a little dab of super glue on the back at the pin to keep its position. Clip the pin so it is in line with the bottom of the base, set the pin between the paper and glue. I use super glue to strengthen the part.

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  6. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Dorsal

    These are pretty straightforward. I use the tabs on these. After scoring and edge coloring I cut the tabs extra narrow on the front and back of the dorsal. If you don't they don't close up right. You can't fold the tabs without mangling the ends where they come to points, so those sections I cut off. That helps keep the points sharp. I do this on any parts where needed. After folding the tabs I roll a toothpick along the fold to help even it out and keep the fold from "puckering" up when you glue it.

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  7. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Warp engines

    These are the most labor intensive parts on the Rawen models, in my opinion. The bottom of the Bussard collectors is simple score, edge color, curl and glue. Sometimes I cut the bottom tabs off to speed things up. It's up to you. The top Bussard piece is another score, edge color, curl and glue. Glue on the top piece and that's it. I try to keep the seams lined up where the pieces come together for a cleaner look.

    The warp engines are also score, edge color, curl and glue, but they can be fussy due to their size and tapered shape. Again, I roll a dowel until the part curls. Once it curls enough to close, I slip a rubber O-ring over it and then start gluing the seam by spreading glue with a toothpick from the rear forward. As I glue I slide the O-ring down to keep the engine from springing apart. Then glue on the end pieces. You need to squeeze the forward end a little to keep it round when gluing the Bussard support because there will be a gap at the seam.

    Next I glue the small square (Space Matrix Restoration Balancers), gray rectangle (Pre Stage Flux Tuners) and long, thin gray (Flux Tuners) parts to 1mm chipboard (as marked) cut out and edge color. Cut the Flux Tuners carefully and slowly because they are easy to mangle. The long gray strips (Post Stage Flux Tuners) on the top fold over and glue together. I cut them out leaving a lot good amount of white paper on all sides, then score, fold and glue, pressing hard on a flat surface and holding. Then I cut them to size. This keeps them nice and straight. They are too hard to work with if you cut them to size first. Glue them on as marked and that's it.

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  8. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Warp engines

    More warp engine pics

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  9. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Pylons

    Pretty simple pieces. Score, color, fold and glue. My method for attaching them simple. When attaching to saucers, I insert the marked ends through the hole, fold the ends out and put a little glue on the back and then press them flat against the table. Once they set I put a little brushable super glue over them to seal them down. When attaching to hulls I use the same process except I but a dowel rod through the open hull and hold the tabs and hull against it to get a good seal. Do not glue the warp engines to the pylons until the rest of the model is finished.

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  10. mchale

    mchale beach boy

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    Very cool so far
  11. gideon1962

    gideon1962 Member

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    Positively inspiring! An Imperial commendation is in order! Keep up the great work!
  12. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator Moderator

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    You are off to a GREAT START!!!
    It looks like this is going to be a very colourful fleet!
  13. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    WOW! I guess this time your beatuy pics will become a bit ... more aggressive! :mrgreen:
  14. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Shuttlebay

    These parts take some time because of number of small parts. The Dreadnought hull has a forward-facing shuttlebay with a small fantail. I remove the fantail tabs and use very small amounts of gel super glue to edge glue it together. It's very small and mine always come out a little wrinkly at best. I think I'm going to try cutting the fantail edge completely off on any future builds so I don't get the crease at the fold.

    It's similar for the Cruiser shuttlebay. Cut off the small tabs at the fantail and at the rear wall and only use the one that connects the roof to the floor. I didn't cut the tabs off the rear on the one in the pics because I closed up the shuttlebay and you can't see it. That was a small mistake because they got in the way where the pylons come through the hull. Not a big deal, but definitely cut them off in you aren't using them.

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  15. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Navigational deflector

    The navigational deflector assembles as shown. You can build it without tabs, which is quicker to cut out but leaves gaps if things don't line up right. For the rear deflector piece for the Dreadnought I glued it to 1mm chipboard to add strength. The small gold pins I got from Hobby Lobby.

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  16. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Secondary hull/cruiser

    The main sections of the hull are simple curl and glue. I cut off the tabs at the bottom and glue strips to the back so the seams line up better. Then, I put the pylons through the slots, put glue on the back of the tabs and use a dowel rod to push the tabs against the inside of the hull, keeping pressure on both sides. Make sure you get the pylons on the correct sides - the little windows on the pylons go toward the front. Next I cut the tabs off the 3 pieces for the Cruiser hull and edge glue them with a very small amount of gel super glue. The gel sets fast and make them hold their shape. Then I glue them and the finished navigational deflector to the hull.

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  17. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Secondary hull/dreadnought

    Same basic method at the Cruiser hull. I glued the ends of the Dreadnought hull to 1mm chipboard for support, along with the upper pylon. The upper pylon if very tricky. I don't use the tabs since the chipboard makes it very strong, but you have to experiment with cutting it to final size. If you cut the top and bottom straight it won't match the slope of the saucer and you'll get a top warp engine droops in the rear. I leave some extra at the bottom and trim and test fit until I get the top of the pylon level with the saucer edge. Then I use regular glue to put it in position and brush on super glue around the outside edges for support.

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  18. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Joining saucers and nacelles

    When I glue the saucers to the secondary hull I always sight down the spine of the ship and manipulate the parts around until I get the straightest look possible. Same with the warp engines. Use regular gel glue to mount them on the pylons and check them from all sides to get them as straight and level as possible. Once the glue is set enough to hold them I let go and check again. If I still need to adjust, I do that and once they are in final position I put brush on super glue around the base of the pylon and where the engines and pylon connect. That adds strength and eliminates drooping later.

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  19. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

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    Final

    That's it. The ships of the Terran Empire are ready to terrorize the Federation and all worlds that oppose them.

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  20. spaceagent-9

    spaceagent-9 Right Hand Man and Confidant Moderator

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