Sov Replicas 1/72 Y-Wing and Scimitar are now being offered by Skidmarks Diecast Collectibles.

Site Re-Design is complete. On the bench Sov Replicas Y-Wing and Scimitar.

Site Re-Design is progressing.

Part One - The Kit Pieces


November 15,2003

Well I finally got my Captain Cardboard studio scale X-Wing in and was like a kid in a candy store opening the box.  My first thought was "Oh God what did I get myself into."  Two things about me.  Number one is I mainly collect props and resin props don't intimidate me, and I am always careful and methodical when putting a prop together.  However, number two is I love to build models but tend to cut corners and rush to finish.  I know that is a terrible combination when model building, but I just cant seem to be patient when building a model.  Having said that, I have never had a model turn out the way that I hoped it would.  Fast forward to today and Lo and Behold I have a $300 dollar model kit that I want to be perfect.  So my first step was to familiarize myself with all the pieces of this kit.  Here is a borrowed image I found that shows all the pieces of the kit.  I am making myself update this page as I go along as to not rush the completion of this kit.  I have a mind to do lights similar to the way Jason Eaton did his but have not decided on a course of action yet.  I hope you enjoy this as I go along and please any tips or comments are welcome. This kit is 1/24 and is considered studio scale.

    *NOTE*  The First picture on this page is NOT my image, the owner of this image is Sean Sides and his webpage is: http://www.squaremodels.netfirms.com

Thanks to Sean for letting me use his image on my website!!!

As you can see this kit is well detailed and very large.  It is also made of resin.  My first step was to inspect each piece for flash and air bubbles and set aside the pieces I felt were going to need my special attention.  I started with one of the several zip-lock bags that contain the smaller pieces and as you can see from the images below there was very little clean up required.  Click on the small images to see the full size images.

Having inspected the first bag and done the necessary clean up, I moved onto the bag containing the engine body and engine exhaust vents.  Here is where I remembered a valuable lesson from long ago, RESIN IS BRITTLE!!!!!  As you can see below the engines have some thick over-pour at the top of the engines on the stem.  This part with the over-pour is unfortunately the part that has to be inserted into back of the engine ports so it has to be relatively smooth and of a uniform size.  This piece has to be fairly straight to ensure that the engines are not out of alignment when final assembly takes place.  I was flicking off some of the smaller flash pieces on the over-pour when I pressed a little too hard and the stem broke off.  This sucks to be sure but easily fixable and gave me an idea that I may implement on all four engines.  It was also a good thing because it reminded me that I need to progress slowly and carefully and not rush what I am doing with this kit.  It is also a good thing because now I am going to have to drill it out and insert a metal support inside as to prevent it from breaking again.  This I plan on doing for all four engine stems because I think it will add more strength to the overall piece and prevent a repeat in the future.


To this point I have suffered very little and have gained allot of insight into this kit.  Most of the other smaller pieces have minimal flash and are going to be a breeze to clean up.  AS you can see from these pictures the smaller pieces have very clean lines and require little work.  Some of the flash marked is so minimal you almost cannot see it. 



Most of the kit is like this and has taken so little time to clean up I have had to constantly remind myself of the end game and not rush the construction.  However, some of the larger pieces are going to require some elbow grease.  As you can see from this image below the wings on the back side have a lot of surface bubbles.  I was hoping to avoid having to fill them all in, but once I started sanding it became apparent that all those tiny annoying holes were going to have to be filled in, *Sigh*   Three out of the four wings came out like this, the three bubbly ones were of a darker color resin similar to the engine vents above, and the one that came out perfect was similar to the lighter color seen in the other three images.  I do not know why this is the case but oh well it is a small price to pay and is of course easy to fix.  So having determined that I am going to have to fill in the holes and there was no way around it I set to work getting the air-bubbles ready for filling with my trusty needle files.  Good God are needle files handy to have around.  I have a set by squadron that I swear by, so get you a set they can be used on almost any material and are cheap at Squadron's webpage. So back to the wings below is a picture of two of the wings having been filed out ready for filler.  The third wing, NOT pictured, was the worst and I have already started filling in the air-bubbles on it.  Luckily the bubbles are on the backside of the wings and should be easy to fix.  Will post more on this later.

Now that we have that out of the way, I will be working on the two pieces of the fuselage.  There is an upper half and a lower half and both are going to be needing some work.  Here are two images of the bottom half of the fuselage where the wing mounting bracket is inserted.  As you can see there is a good amount of over-pour here that will need to be cleaned up.  I have not dry fitted the bracket yet to see if there will be interference but I am sure there will be some especially around the corners.


Below is the same area of the upper fuselage, and as you can see it will require some clean up as well and some of the over-pour is rather thick.  In this instance I am calling it over-pour because I do not know what else to call it. :P

Some of the other minor issues I have run into are on engine intake areas.  The covers that go over the intakes have some surface bubbles and I am not sure what I am going to do to fix this.  Some of the parts that have surface bubbling are very detailed pieces and I do not want to lose the detail.  I have not cleaned out the surface bubbles yet but you can see where I highlighted with an arrow one of the bubbles, what you cant see is how many there really are.  All of the tiny little holes will have to be filled in and sanded.

The last foreseeable problem I have noticed is that the lower fuselage is a tad bit un-even so it will require some work as well.

The rest of the pieces look amazing and will require little clean up.



That about does it for the kit pieces. Continue on to the next page for The beginning of the cleaning process and the beginnings of construction.

Part Two: Prep for Construction

November 16,2003

    Having gotten an idea from Scott Alexander himself I decided to try his idea out to correct the bend in the fuselage.  He posted in a thread to fill up your sink with really, really hot water and soak the piece in it for a few minutes then set it on a flat surface and let it cool off then set the resin with cold water to make the change permanent.  I had hope this would work and I was very happy with the results.  As you can see from the before picture to the left, that it worked rather well.  Notice in the after picture on the right that there is still some bend to fuselage, but it is almost sitting flush.  It is much less noticeable and I think once the two halves of the fuselage are glued together this will not be a problem.  I did not have much bend in the upper fuselage but I went ahead and did it while I had the sink prepped for the bottom. So give it a try but do be careful as the water can be extremely HOT!



November 21, 2003

    Well the clean-up process on all the parts still continues.  There are a ton of small pieces to this kit and I am taking extra care with each piece to ensure I don't have a repeat of my engine stem break.  I talked to Scott Alexander via email and he is replacing the three wings that he sent me that had all the air bubbles.  He approached me and said that they never should have shipped out and that he would like to replace them.  I wasn't looking for a freebie but damn you got to love customer service like that.  Another reason I am happy I bought this kit.  Since I am getting new wings I decided to use the "bubbly" wings to test out my gap filling techniques.  I cannot decide which filler to use and I am testing out which one I like the best.  So far I have it narrowed down to Squadron Green, Squadron White and Bondo Spot and Glazing Putty.  So far I really like the Bondo glaze it goes on thin and is very sandable.  Will post pics later on.

November 23, 2003

Small piece clean up still continues, and you really cannot appreciate how many pieces there are in this kit until you start scrutinizing each piece to make sure that all surfaces are smooth and flash free.  It is taking a while but I would not do it any other way.  For two reasons really, number one you get intimately familiar with each piece, and number two, it makes you proceed slowly and methodically.  I also finished cleaning up the main wings.  Scott is sending me new wings but to be honest I think the ones I have now will work out just fine.  I will evaluate the new wings and see if it is to my advantage to clean them up and use them once they arrive.

 So, after trying all three products, Squadron's White and Green Putty, as well as, Bondo Spot and Glazing Putty, I have decided that I like the Bondo the best.  It goes on thin and dries very quickly and can be sanded to silky smooth finish.  I am using several grains of sandpaper, one semi coarse sandpaper to clean really rough edges quickly and two different grades, 1000 grit and 1500 grit wed/dry sand paper.  I am wet sanding most of the time so I do not kill myself with dust.  For all the small pieces that I use my needle files on I either do outside during the day for good light or if I work indoors in a well ventilated room with my goggles and mask on.  The mask gets hot and bothersome but the alternative is worse. 

So back to the wings.  Having decided to use the Bondo glazing putty I started one layer at a time and filled in all the small holes as best I could using a little putty at a time.  Once I felt I had the holes filled in good enough, I put a thin layer on top of everything and let it set for 24 hours.  You really don't have to wait 24 hours, really only like 30 minutes to an hour, but some of the holes were really deep and I wanted the putty to set and dry really well before I proceeded and I did not want to get in a hurry.  So after the first application I dry sanded the glazing putty lightly to remove all the rough edges and went inside to begin the wet sanding. 

I really like wet sanding because it is just not as messy as dry sanding and to be honest I hate wearing that mask.  I started with 1000 grit wet/dry paper that I got at Wal-Mart for $1.96 for several sheets.  I use this until all the Bondo feels smooth to the touch all the way down the sides of the wings.  Once I think it is smooth enough, I sand a little more just to be sure.  Then I set to it with the 1500 grit wet/dry.  I sand using this until the entire length of the piece feels like glass.  I have done this step at least twice per wing to make sure all the imperfections are smoothed out. 

As you can see from the three after pictures below, all the little red dots on the wings are where there were air bubbles that needed to be filled in.  This really was not difficult and took very little time to do and I recommend tackling a problem like this on your kit every now and again to break up the monotony of sanding and filing all those small pieces.  The wings really were just a test for me to see which putty I liked the most, but I am really happy, and damn proud, of the way they turned out.  This kit is a blast so far to build and although I do not consider myself a model builder I see how building something of this magnitude can become addictive.



December 14, 2003

Well, it has been a few weeks since I updated my site with my progress but the Holidays have put a damper on my model building.  I had some time today so here we go.  If you have been keeping up with my progress, you already know that early on during the clean up phase I snapped off one of the engine struts that stabilize the engine as it goes into the engine manifolds.  If you do not know to what I refer, see this image.  So, having damaged my model the first few days I had it, I decided to use some aluminum tubing to replace the brittle resin. I have completed all the necessary part clean ups for the time being and realized that if I plan on lighting this model I had better start working on my wiring schematics now before I start any assembly.  So for the last few weeks I have been contacting various sources to do the electronics for me.  I got several quotes, some high, some affordable, but I really wanted to learn to do this myself.  At first I wasn't sure that this was something I could do, but having made up my mind to try, I went at it.  I did a ton of research into electronics, and learned all about resistors, capacitors, Ohms Law, and blah blah blah.  Needless to say there is allot there to learn and what until a week ago I considered brain surgery, is really not that complicated with a little patience and an electrical engineer to bounce ideas off of.  Without the help of a good friend of mine, Kenny Kuntz, I doubt that I would have gotten this far.  Anyway back on track.  I figured the best place to start would be the engines.  I wanted the LED's that were to be in the engines to be larger than normal LED's, and I also wanted the LED's to flicker very fast to give the appearance that the engines were really firing.  So, after much trial and error and trying different resistors and capacitors, I finally had a circuit that made the LED's look the way I wanted to.  Having designed the circuit to my liking, I set my mind on fixing the broken engine strut and testing my LED circuit in a live simulation.  So after measuring the size of the hole that the strut needs to be from the engine manifold, I went to Hobby Town USA and bought some 1/4" aluminum tubing.  I set up my drill and drilled a small pilot hole through the engine.  Next I took a 15/64" drill bit and re-drilled the pilot hole getting it ready for the final hole which is 1/4".  After drilling the tubing was to large to go through, so I went ahead and drilled the hole at 17/64".  After drilling I tested the fit and it was perfect.  I cut the tubing with a hobby size tube cutter and inserted the tubing.  A little super glue later and it was done.  Here are a few images of the engine with the tubing in place and the LED wiring ready to be hooked up.  Enjoy the pictures and also please check out these two small movies showing the engine LED in operation.  My digital camera takes lousy movies but you can get the general idea.  The flicker is very fast and unlike the crappy movie the live version is perfect.  Movie 1  and Movie 2  The movies may load a little slow so give them a minute.  Enjoy!!!


As you can see it looks perfect and should provide not only a conduit for the wiring, but also added strength to an otherwise brittle piece of this model.  The next two images better show the LED and the test set up with the LED firing.

Last but not least an image showing the Test Fire!  Now check out the Mpegs of the Engines in action!!!!

Part Three: Preparation/Electronics

January 13, 2004

Happy New Year to one and all.  I hope your holidays were great.  Well I have been working on the electronics for my model for about a month.  Basically I have been testing the circuits I am building and making sure that they are the right brightness, that they function correctly etc, etc.....  Having worked out the kinks in that area I decided to start working on the Cockpit of my model.  I ordered some fiber optic cabling from www.thefiberopticstore.com and am very happy with what I got.  If you have never used fiber before, this stuff is really cool.  I bought several different sizes and various lengths.  I also went ahead at the suggestion of Jason Eaton, aka... Moffeaton, and bought some Plastikote T-235 Grey Automotive Sandable Primer.  I had never used this before but man does it go on resin smooth.  It takes very little sanding to get a glass-like shine with this stuff.  I do not know what it would do to plastic but it is excellent for resin.  I go this at my local Pep Boys. 

I basically started out by drilling the holes in the cockpit area for where I wanted the fiber to go, washed the piece in soapy water and let it dry.  The biggest problem I had here was not to go overboard.  I want the cockpit to look nice but not tacky so I had to force myself to remember, "Less is More."  Anyways, after drying I primed the cockpit and sanded.  Washed the piece in soapy water again, and let it dry overnight.  I primed it again, and sanded once again.  I washed it in soapy water and let dry overnight.  I decided to start inserting my fiber cable to get the cockpit ready for its final priming and start the finishing touches on it.  As you can see from the images below the fiber, even hair thin pieces, transmits the light from the LEDs fantastically.  The third picture shows it with the lights off, well stating the obvious sorry about that.


I have also started getting the wings and engines ready for assembly and painting as well.  in these images you can see how smooth and even the finish is on the Plastikote primer.  Remember how bad these wings started off?



February 22, 2004  

Well, it has been about a month since I last updated.  Was getting some Christmas stuff paid off so my model funds sorta dried up.  I recently started work on my model again and am finally ready to start assembling the model.  In this update, I have started assembling the wings and engines.  I drilled holes for the engine LEDs and everything, thanks to meticulous preparation, is going together perfectly.

While aggressively sanding one of the engines I inadvertently snapped off one of the engine mounting brackets.  Shown here, you can see where I drilled out the broken piece and filed it down so I could repair it.


I took two pieces of styrene and bonded them together with some plastic weld and cut them to shape.  :)


Once I had it cut to shape I used some gap filling super glue, and as you can see from the picture below, it came out perfect.


 February 26, 2004 

Say Hello To My Little Friend!

These images show the progress of my R2D2.  Here is some advice.  In small applications where hand brushing is the only alternative, go with Tamiya brand Acrylics.  The metalized paints I used on R2 are the Chrome Silver and Metallic Blue and are the perfect colors for the small scale of this R2.  They brush on smooth, dry fast and do not leave any brush marks.  I am really happy with the results.  Keep in mind R2 here is about as round as a quarter and about an inch tall, he is tiny! You can't really tell, but the LED used here is a blinker.  It flashes red and blue.  I won't be using it for this application because it blinks too fast, but  it suited these test images well, and gave me a wicked idea for a future project :)  I hope you enjoy them and as always comments are welcome.



March 14, 2004

It has been a few weeks since my last update and as you can see if this is not your first time here, I have made some changes to the appearance of the site.  I wanted to make the pages easier to load for people on slower systems, so I made the images smaller, and by clicking on the images it will take you to the larger image.

Now as for updates, I have been working on a few things that I will show here.  The wings are almost 100% assembled, almost every piece of the model has been filled, sanded and primed and ready for assembly.  Some pieces such as the fuselage halves, nose cap, and but cap are the only pieces at this point that are not ready to be primed.  I have some re-scribing to do on the fuselage and I will detail that as I get to it.

As I said a moment ago the Wings are almost 100% assembled.  All I have left to do is attach the engines and the laser canons, both of which are finished and ready for assembly.


Here is a shot of the engines, ready for assembly.  I still need to run wire through the wings to the engines, but planning for this I have all the holes drilled in the wings already.  :)

From this next image you can see all of the smaller accessories.  Most of these are for the four laser canons.  I have not assembled the laser canons because I have not decided if I am going to paint them prior to assembly.

The base that I am going to be using is a beautifully sculpted piece made by Rolando Gutierrez.  He used to make a Tie Bomber conversion kit for the Ertl Tie Advanced.  He stopped making the kit, but his molds of the bases he did were still in good shape so I was able to pick one up.  As you can see this is a large base and although I am modifying it to run power, it is the perfect size for the Captain Cardboard T-65.  I included the 12 inch Luke Skywalker in the picture here so you can get a good idea of the size of the base.  Thanks again to Rolando, it is a great piece.


I am still running more fiber into my tiny little R2, and have also started painting the pilot.  Again to give you an idea of how small these pieces are, the R2D2 is about as big around as a quarter, and as you can see from the picture on the far left, the pilot really isnt much bigger.


The last image here is another test of my R2D2.  The drill bit I had to use to make the two separate boxes on the left there was so damn tiny I was afraid it would break before I could finish.  I was able to finish and although it is tested with regular light, I think you can see that it is still coming along nicely.


April 20, 2004 

I have a small update to my CC X-Wing today.  I have almost every major piece assembled and ready to paint.  I am going to paint the wings, main fuselage, engines, guns and cockpit as individual pieces and assemble them all and touch up at the end.  Here is an image of the laser canons assembled and ready for paint.

Continued on Page Two

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