Friday, June 21, 2013

Tie Interceptor 1 - Canopy and cockpit

Some time ago I purchased this old kit from MPC/ERTL. It was released in 1992 and includes 3 small ships from "Return of the Jedi": TIE Interceptor, B-Wing and X-Wing. The quality of the plastic injection is not very good and you have to sand all pieces and use special plastic plaster to fill the slots in the union between pieces. They are "Snap together" kits, easy and fast, and with not much detail that you can work to improve. That's why these models are really good to practice before building the large models that I'll attempt during next months.

My first problem has been with the transparent canopy. I never achieve good results painting the metal frame simulated in transparent parts because they are very difficult to mask. But this time I found a fantastic tip to mask clear parts using what we call in Spain "white glue", that one used in carpentry.

That glue has the property of fixing porous materials, but it doesn't work well in non porous ones. That's why it's a perfect masking fluid for plastic parts.

Here you can see the procedure. Just fill the areas you want to keep clear with the glue. Be generous, don't worry about the quantity:

Wait until it dries, you will see it becomes transparent again, and paint it all:

Glue made a kind of peel very easy to remove, and the final result is just perfect:

Another thing to improve is the pilot. Originally it comes a kind of figure more similar to a radio operator, than a TIE pilot. It has no mask, just a helmet, no tubes... nothing similar to a Dark Force pilot. So I used plaster to make the mask and put the tubes from the mask to the chest's "thing" using thin wire:

I also put some kind of control sticks in the cockpit, because in this model the pilot seems to drive pressing only buttons..... OMG!

I'll show more advances in next posts!!!

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