The first thing tackled was the main body. I quickly assembled a frame using ABS (a superb material, that will not crack or shatter when pulled over curved surfaces) which is available from EMA. with 80 thou Plasticard formers for rigidity. The ABS side panels were then attached one at a time and the whole assembly set aside to cure overnight.

While this was happening I set about building the engines which were cut from various diameters of EMA tubing. The side engines were made up from two different diameter lengths, glued together. I then applied filler to each end. carving and sanding them into the barrel ends seen on the final model. I used David's F38 as it can be worked on within minutes, but it is hazardous to health so always work outside or under an industrial extractor unit.

The main engine was easier to build, as I could cheat, using an Airfix Saturn V LEM shroud for the truncated end. saving me a lot of grief trying to carve this shape... The side engine mount was made using ^ heavy gauge ^^V ABS: a thinner gauge was used for the ' fore and aft under body shields finishing off a good days work...

Once cured (and I didn't even know it was sick -boom, boom!) 1 trimmed off the excess ABS hanging over the edges of the body shape and then set about carefully cutting out the rear area of the main body for the main engine to sit in. This was done by first taping the area off and checking it so 1 knew it was even on each side. I then ran a scalpel around the edge of the tape lightly a couple of times, before removing the tape, turning over the lilnde and scoring through the ABS. Using the back edge of a blade gives you far more control and doesn't leave any edge buildup as you are engraving through the material.

Once this was done I quickly assembled the side gondolas and the underside gallery, before smearing the body witli P38 and carefully reshaping the body by sanding until I was happy that it was symmetrical. I then cut and boxed in the port-side radar attachment point. Now it was time for some detail!


Star Wars vehicles have always been bristling with detail and until very recently this has been achieved in the main part with off the shelf plastic kits. Choosing these kits is not as haphazard an affair as you may think? You don't just go to a model shop and buy up everything in sight, no. each kit is very carefully chosen, so that it yields the maximum amount of parts for the minimum amount of layout.

Tamiya kits were always staple fare for ILM and 1 decided to limit the models I was going to use to ones available in the current Tamiya catalogue, but that were also used throughout the production of each Star Wars trilogy.

The four kits I chose were... 35012, 35017, 35047 and 35091. Sorry; that's Sd.Kfz 251 I lanomag, 88mm C.un Flak36/37, 75mm Anti-tank gun and 2cm Flakvierling 38. I also used a classic ILM kit in Hasegawa's Leopold or 'Anzio Annie' railway gun. plus a couple of brake drums from AMT's General hauler and a single part from Revell's 1:48 Gemini capsule, only due to the fact that, it was a prominent part on the cheek shields of the original CGI image (most probably an in-joke).

Other detailing was done using Plasticard. strip, brass rod and EMA. I cut some characteristic 'Star Wars' notches on the panels I laminated onto the model and all the time kept referring to all Star Wars reference I had to hand.

Kit bashing is an art; I chose my kits and parts very carefully, always trying to produce a realistic look to the finished detail. Joe Johnston (art director Episodes IV. V & VI) was a stickler for a realistic look to detail, as Lome Peterson once recalled "If you have a pipe, you had better make sure that it ends somewhere!'". Joe used to inspect each model at the end of each day. if he didn't like what he saw? It was time for the 'chisel of doom', where Johnston would take a chisel and mallet, knocking all the detail off -to be done again! O

Chisel Porsche

The main hull ol the ship starts to take shape. Note the use of internal bulkheads to provide structural stiffness to the model.

The engines' basic outlines were create from plastic tubing in varying diameters, plus parts taken from kits.

The main hull ol the ship starts to take shape. Note the use of internal bulkheads to provide structural stiffness to the model.

The engines' basic outlines were create from plastic tubing in varying diameters, plus parts taken from kits.

The hull's exterior starts to rcceive a layers of detailing, made up largely from model kit parts - an effective way of adding visual complexity to science fiction models, and a technique that was used on the original Star Wars movies.

This is the slern section of the ship, and although only Just visible, the author added a perforated panel to give this otherwise hollow area some interest.

Star Wars Gozanti ShipPorsche 924 Center Console

The main, central engine Is starting to look more Interesting here, and the associated panels and structures have been created to sit alongside It.

Porsche 924 Center Console

The two outer engine pods have been shaped, and some surface detail added. The engines' support sits between them.

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