How to Build Science Fiction Plastic Model Kits | Video Workbench

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How to Build Science Fiction Plastic Model Kits | Video Workbench

– Welcome to the Video Workbench Classic Series instructional video, How to Build Science Fiction Models Make your favorite space ships look like movie miniatures This video features the hottest science fiction kits, Ertl’s Star Trek The Next Generation USS Enterprise, Romulan War Bird, Klingon Battle Cruiser, and DS9 Space Station It also includes Ertl’s Star Wars X-Wing, B-Wing and Tie Fighter Even though originally produced in 1992, the techniques used in this video still cover everything you need to get going with your model kit The examples shown here really haven’t changed too much There is no definitive way of building model kit Everyone has their own way of doing things, and with time, so will you This video teaches dozens of useful tips no matter what your skill level, including what I consider the three important Ts of model-kit building, tips, tools, and techniques I would like to talk a little bit about the instructor in this video, Chris Wilson Chris Wilson is a professional prototype model builder, he’s won dozens of first-place regional, state, and national IPMS modeling contests for a science fiction and jet aircraft models I hope by watching this video that you walk away with a better knowledge of how to safely and correctly assemble a plastic model kit along with having found or coming back into a hobby that is very fun and rewarding Thank you, and enjoy (exciting digital music) – The opening scene in Star Wars changed the way I looked at model making Hi, I’m Chris Wilson, and welcome to How to Build Science Fiction Models Let’s get right to work on this Emperial Tie Intercepter from AMT Ertl – [Narrator] The first thing we do is wash the parts in warm soapy water to remove oily mold-release agents Paint and glue won’t stick well to plastic with this residue on it Thoroughly rinse the parts and let them dry Remove parts from the trees using a screw cutter or nail clippers, or score with a sharp hobby knife Clip the sprue closer to the part using your nail clipper or hobby knife If you need do, use a needle file to file it even closer then sand it smooth with 600-grit sandpaper If the part has a little bit of flash plastic around the edge, remove that by scraping it with a sharp hobby knife With all the parts prepared, use a dust brush to clean off any excess debris before gluing and painting Make sure you follow the kit instructions as well as box-top art for tips on painting or refer to the videos of your favorite TV show or movie Begin by dipping your brush half-way in You don’t want to cover the bristles with paint Use smooth even strokes, and only one pass if possible If you have difficulty getting an even stroke with the enamels, you might try using acrylic paint They’re a little easier for brush painting, and they clean up with water Now we’ll move on to some spray painting First, mask off the wing with regular masking tape Notice we use masking tape only on unpainted plastic If you want to mask over painted plastic, use drafting tape It’s a low-tack tape, and it won’t pull up your paint Before spray painting, attach the part to a support such as a spray can This keeps your part in place and allows you to handle the part easily during spraying – When using spray paint, work in a well-ventilated room, and always use a protective mask – [Narrator] Your spray paint will flow more smoothly if you warm up the can first Do this only in a pan of warm tap water Don’t use boiling water, as you don’t want to blow the thing up Leave your can in the warm water for a minute or two, then you’re ready for painting Shake the can thoroughly for one minute Make smooth even passes from about eight to ten inches away making light mist coats Don’t worry about covering everything in one coat You don’t want to built the paint up too much which might cause the paint to run Allow the paint to dry between each coat

If you’re working in cold weather, you can use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process Now that all the parts are painted, you’re ready to snap together the kit If you follow the kit assembly instructions, you should have a good-looking Ertl Tie Fighter There are some things you can do during construction that will make your model look even better First, we’ll cover hobby glues and cements and filling seams Let’s take another snap-together kit like Ertl’s B-wing Fighter Instead of snap-fitting, let’s glue this one together so we can hide the seams even better There first thing we need to do is test-fit the parts before applying any glue or cement Since the Ertle B-Wing is a snap-fit kit, let’s clip off the snap-fit pins so we can test fit the parts better before applying the glue The first type of cement we recommend is Testors liquid cement Brush it on liberally over both surfaces then put them together To fill seams, brush the cement into the gap, then quickly squeeze both parts together Use clothespins, tape, or rubber bands to hold parts together while they dry Be careful not to get any glue on the surface of the clothespins or on your fingers or you could ruin your model’s surface detail For faster drying times, use a super glue formulated for styrene plastic such as Hot Stuff Super glues bond quickly so make sure you’ve positioned your parts correctly before using it Also, make sure you have plenty of ventilation – For builders who live in earthquake zones or have small children, here’s how to make your models stronger (giggles) – [Narrator] First bond the plastic with Testors liquid cement Let that dry, the apply super glue to reinforce it Then add the final step Sprinkle baking soda on your super glue You can put baking soda into an old squeeze bottle to control it better This super glue/baking soda mixture creates a very strong bond Just be careful, the mixture is hot until it dries It’s non-toxic though, so the mixture won’t create harmful fumes Super glue and baking soda is best used to reinforce joints from inside, or behind where it won’t be seen Super glue is also great for filling small seams Don’t let it dry too long before you sand it You want to sand it within an hour after filling a seam If you get any superglue on the surface of your model, you want to remove it before it dries harder than the plastic itself Super glue is a good seam filler because it is fast, it shrinks less than model putty, and super glue sands glass-smooth When filling a seam, you want to slightly overfill it, then set it aside for a few minutes until its thoroughly dry Sand the gap with some 400-grit wet sandpaper making sure to follow the contours of the model Then wet-sand the seam with 600-grit sandpaper You could even go on to 1200-grit sandpaper if you want to See how it looks when it’s finished? With super glue and sanding, you can completely hide any seam You can also use this super glue and baking soda mixture to fill large gaps, such as where an engine meets a wing This may take several coats of super glue and baking soda depending upon how big your seam is If you should use super glue and baking soda to fill gaps, the topcoat for the gap should be straight super glue Adding baking soda to super glue can sometimes cause air bubbles which make little pits when you sand it later On some hard-to-reach areas where there isn’t much room for sanding, you may want to use modelling putty We recommend Squadron Green Putty Just spoon it into the cracks using a piece of styrene and let it dry thoroughly, at least 30 minutes Since putty often shrinks when drying, you may have to apply a second coat before sanding After the putty dries, wet-sand it using the same steps you did for the super glue, 400-grit followed by 600-grit To sand inside curved surfaces, take a piece of sand paper and drag it over the edge of the work bench This breaks the baking on the paper so you can roll it without creating any creases in it Once the sandpaper is rolled, you can sand inside all kinds of small areas Another method of filling seams is called cheating seams In the Ertle Deep Space Nine Space Station, there are several areas where the seams can be covered with styrene strip plastic On the arms of the Ertle DS-9, you can use .060 by .015 strip styrene and cover up a seam rather than filling and sanding it

You can see this technique here where the pylons meet the space station You can lose some panel line detail while you’re filling and sanding seams You can restore lost panel line detail in several different ways For raised panel lines, use a sharp, new blade in your hobby knife Press hard, and carefully re-scribe the lost panel line For large panel lines, you may find it easier to rebuild the line using stretched sprue Stretch the sprue over a lit candle Cut the pieces to proper lengths to fill in the missing panel lines This might mean removing some of the panel line on the model up to its next meeting point w another panel line Cut the sprue to proper length Lay it on the surface of the model Using a small brush, apply a drop of liquid cement on one end of the sprue line then let capillary action flow the cement down the sprue On long pieces of sprue, you may have to touch some cement with glue on both ends You’ll end up with a great-looking rebuilt panel line Sometimes it’s easier to remove an entire panel line and re-scribe it First, use your hobby knife to cut off the panel line It’s helpful to draw your panel lines before you scribe so you have a line to follow Use a curved hobby knife and follow your line Make several light passes first then form a V by tilting the blade first in one direction then tilting the blade in the other direction A little string of plastic will come up Use a toothbrush to remove this string Lightly sand the surface with 600-grit sandpaper, use a toothbrush again, then use your hobby knife to make another pass on the line Repeat this scribing, brushing, and sanding to recreate a good-looking panel line You can scribe all kinds of interesting panels by using a scribing template Tape the template on the model Using a needle in a hobby knife handle, follow this template to scribe a panel, a hatch, or a line where you want it Use a toothbrush to remove stray plastic, then rescribe again if necessary – You can paint your model with a spray can, but you can get much more control with and air brush – [Narrator] For your first airbrush, we recommend an external mix airbrush And internal mix airbrush will cost more money, but the internal mix design allows for a much finer spray In the long run, the least expensive air source is a compressor Use one with a small pressure regulator and an inline moisture filter The first step in airbrushing is filtering and mixing your paint First, pour your paint through an old piece of pantyhose This strains out impurities that could clog your airbrush Next, mix your paint with a thinner in a 3:1 ratio, three parts thinner with one part paint You may have to change your mixture slightly depending on the humidity and the heat of the location where you’re building Switch on your compressor and apply a base coat Make smooth passes from left to right and front to back using a small swirling motion to fill in Hold your airbrush about six to eight inches from the model and run the compressor at full pressure In tight corners and cavities, lower the air pressure of the compressor This prevents paint from bouncing around in tight areas and sticking to previously painted surfaces Paint in several light coats if you need to Once you have the base coat panted, you’re now ready for the second color To mask painted areas, don’t use masking tape You’ll pull up the paint Use drafting tape instead You can also use Scotch Fine Line Tape available at auto refinishing stores and at some hobby shops First, define the edges with the fine line tape, the use drafting tape to protect the previous color coats Drafting tape is available at art supply stores Now you’re ready to paint your second color Another way to mask is by using liquid mask Liquid mask is great for masking canopy lines Brush it on, and wait five to ten minutes for it to dry Next, use a sharp hobby knife to carefully cut along the canopy frame edges, then peel off the excess This leaves the liquid mask only on the glass Now you’re ready to paint the canopy In order add some life to the surface detail of this Ertle B-Wing, we’re going to do some panel highlighting First, mask off individual panels with drafting tape Mix a slightly lighter shade of the base color for your airbrush To make sure you don’t put too much paint on too quickly, dilute the paint mixture to 75% Dullcote

to 25% paint Spray the inside edges of the panel you’ve masked off then spray along the edges of the leading edges of the wings On this Ertle Romulan Warbird, you can see that all these individual feathers were airbrushed Rather than mask each one, it’s easier to use a low-tack masking substance called artist’s frisket paper Frisket paper is available at art supply stores To mask with frisket paper, cut an oversized piece frisket, lay it on the model, and press down firmly on the paper Keep the frisket backing You’ll need it in a minute Use a piece of 400-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the surface of the raised panel details You want to break the surface of the frisket paper over the raised details only Next, use a #2 pencil, and run it over the frisket paper The pencil markings will stick to the surface where the frisket was sanded off When the entire wing is penciled off, peel up the frisket paper and lay it back down on its original backing Next, we’ll use a hobby knife and cut out the patterns If you need to, reinforce the patterns with masking tape on the frisket backing Before you go any further, base coat the model with a mixture of the following Testors colors, 25% European 1 Dark Green, 35% Pale Green, 30% Flat White, and 10% Ford Engine Light Blue Then we peel up individual pieces of the frisket pattern and lay them back down on the surface of the model Pull up four or five feathers leaving every other frisket feather in place so you don’t over-spray Take your original green base color and lighten it by adding a few drops of white Make sure to keep this effect subtle Spray this lightened base coat on the trailing edge open frisket mask Take the original base color, and darken it by adding a few drops of black Spray this darker shade along the leading edges of each feather When these feathers have dried, cover them up with the frisket mask Pull up some unpainted feathers, and do the same thing again until all the feathers are complete Take this lightened and darkened base coat mixture and streak the leading edges Here’s the finished Ertle Romulan Warbird after the frisket masking and the airbrush highlighting A close look at Ertle’s Next Genereation Enterprise shows numerous panels painted a slightly darker shade than the base coat You can use frisket paper for masking, but it’s actually easier just to hand-paint the details For the base coat, mix 50% Testor’s Duck Egg Blue and 50% Light Gray You might have problems with color-blending if you try to hand-paint one color of enamel over another You may find it easier to hand-paint the second coat using water-based acrylics For the Ertle Enterprise panels, mix a color just slightly darker than the original base coat If your acrylic color looks too light when it’s wet, don’t worry, it’ll get darker as it dries and it gets even darker once you add a clear gloss coat which you’ll need to do later when you put on the decals Acrylics have another advantage, you can correct painting mistakes with water without damaging the original enamel base coat but you must fix these mistakes quickly before the paint is dried Keep some water, a clean brush, and q-tips close by If you like to hand-paint with enamel paints over an enamel base coat, try to make only one painting pass If you use more than one pass, the paint of the second coat will soften the paint of the first coat which could cause your colors to mix Here’s another tip when hand-painting enamels over enamels such as on the phasor banks Concentrate on painting the edges first When this dries, come back and fill in larger areas, again, using one pass Here’s the recommended colors for the phasor banks, two parts Testors Aggressor Gray, one part Testors Olive Drab, and darken with a few drops of black For the escape pods, mix two parts Testors Armor Sand, two parts Flat White, and one part Flat Yellow Here are the suggested colors for the Ertl Klingon Battle Cruiser, 30% Pale Green, 60% Duck Egg Blue, and 10% Ford Engine Light Blue Before you apply decals to your model, you’ll need to apply a gloss coat first This will allow the decals to conform better and not trap minute bubbles, also known as silvering A good gloss coat is a kitchen product called Future Floor Wax

You can use Future Floor Wax straight in your airbrush You don’t need to thin it with anything If you choose to use oil paint to weather your model later, Future protects your enamel base coat better than lacquer paint Apply decals by dipping them in water for 10 seconds Take them out and let them sit for a few seconds then position them on the model You can make your decals look even better by using a decal setting solution such as Micro Sol and other brands Setting solutions will soften the decals and allow them to conform better to the details on the model Both AMT Ertle and Paramount Pictures provided exact Pantone colors for the Deep Space Nine kit The base color for the space station is Pantone Warm Gray 5C To create this color with enamels, start with eight parts Testor Sand Beige, three parts Testors Dark Ghost Gray, three parts white, and a few drops of black to bring down the brightness The yellow details are Pantone 110C Recreate this color by mixing four parts Insignia Yellow, three parts Flat white, two parts Military Brown, and a few drops of Pale Green Red details are Pantone Red 180C To simulate this color, mix four parts Flat Red, six parts Flat Yellow, one part white, and a few drops of Rubber The gray color on the DS-9 docking ports is Cool Gray 8C For this color, use Testors Dark Ghost Gray Another way to make panels with different shades is to use decals for paint To achieve this multi-shaded panel effect, you’ll need some paint and clear decal film available at your hobby shop Cut the clear decal sheet into strips of various sizes, then airbrush these strips with slightly different shades of the base coat Add a drop of black paint to darken the base coat and a drop of white to lighten the base coat After the paint dries, cut these decals to size and apply them where they look right Another way to use decals instead of paint is the way this Ertle Klingon Battle Cruiser was detailed Take some spare decals from other model kits and cut hundreds of little squares in different colors Go ahead and apply them in various locations to make the surface look a little busier The end result looks pretty good, but to make it look like the real thing, it’s time to do some weathering The first thing to do when weathering your model is to protect the base coat with Future Floor Wax Apply Future Floor Wax with your airbrush, spraying several light coats over the model Allow the wax to dry thoroughly, about one to two hours The first step in weathering is using oil paint for shading Oil pains are available at artist supply stores For the Ertle DS-9, start with a mixture of raw umber, black, and white oil paints Stirred together, this mixture will form a dirty gray color Take your brush and apply the oil paint liberally getting it into all the cracks Don’t worry about getting excess oil on the model’s surface Next, use a tissue and wipe away the excess oil paint Notice how the remaining oil paint will stick in the cracks and the crevices of the model If you can’t reach some areas with a tissue, use a cotton swab Next, take a soft brush and feather the oil that’s still remaining in the cracks and on the model Come back with your tissue and wipe off any excess oil paint See how realistic that looks? Be careful not to overdo this effect since there isn’t that much bad weather in space For the red and yellow colored weathering, we used burnt umber oils To weather the Ertle Klingon Battle Cruiser, use a mixture of tereverte, a green color, along with black and white to form a dirty green color You can also use this same mixture on the Ertle Romulan Warbird Follow the same steps as you did earlier, apply the oil paint, wipe it off, and feather it with a soft brush The Enterprise should look clean and pristine, so don’t weather it with oils, unless you want the flag ship of the Federation to look a little grungy Watercolor paints can be very useful to scale modelers Watercolor paints are easy to clean up with water but they also tend to bead up on a plastic surface For example, you can use watercolors on this Ertle Klingon Battle Cruiser Paint the impulse inlets, let the paint dry, then wipe off the raised grit area with a tissue The next step in weathering is washing to create harder shadows in small areas, and make it look more used It’s best to use a wash that’s chemically different from your base coat,

even you’ve coated the model first with Future Floor Wax For example, on the Ertle DS-9 kit, use a wash made out of black acrylic paint and water Make a very thin mixture about 95% water to 5% paint pigment Dip your brush in this wash mixture Touch it to the surface of the model, and allow it to flow into all the cracks This really creates a beat-up, used, grungy look Just don’t overdo it Too much grunge, and it won’t look realistic Before you do any further weathering such as washes or dry-brushing, you need to Dullcote your model first The dull or matte paint provides a better surface to hold the rest of your weathering Thin the Dullcote with 75% thinner By using an airbrush, you can apply several thin coats rather than one thick coat You’ll need about two thin coats to get a nice, flat finish Weathering your model with oils and washes can make your model look dark The best way to lighten things up while weathering is with dry-brushing Mix a shade of oil paint similar to the base color but slightly lighter Dip your brush in the paint, and rub the brush on a paper towel to remove almost all the paint You want just the slightest bit of paint left on the brush Brush over all high points on the model Notice that he paint will stick only to the high points creating a feeling of depth and perspective Enamels can be used for dry-brushing, but oils are better because they can be feathered out more to hide the brush strokes They also stay wet on your brush longer which makes them easier to use Dry-brushing is the secret to making this Monogram seaQuest DSV kit look realistic After painting the light blue base coat, and protecting the finish with a coat of Future Floor Wax, dry-brush the entire submarine with a mixture of dark blue and black oil paint The subtle stripes over the submarine were also a dry-brush effect Take the same oil paint mixture of dark blue and black, darken it with a little more black, and dry-brush striped vertically along the tops and sides The final step in weathering is adding chalk pastels which are available in art supply stores Pastels are an optional step since they’re easy to smudge when handling the model and you can’t spray anything over pastels, not even Dullcote or Future Floor Wax, so make pastels your last step on your finish even after decals With a hobby knife, scrape the edge of the stick to form a little pile of powder Use a fine paint brush, pick up some powder, and apply it to the surface of the model You can also use the chalk pastel pencils for weathering The best ones are the CarbOthello made by Schwan You’ll need three colors, black, rust red, and brown Just lightly pencil in a few spots here and there, then take a cotton swab and smear those pastel marks out This will help you create neat little streaks and dark spots You can also use pastel pencils to enhance panel lines and edges Remember, don’t touch these pastel marks, and don’t overdo this or your model will look chalky and powdery Some science fiction spaceships look better with some battle damage like streaks, burns, and blasts For the streaking effect, use a fine tip on your airbrush Mix 75% Testors Dullcote and 25% black, and thin this three parts thinner to one part paint and Dullcote mix Streak it over the surface of your model from front to back Pick out individual panels, do a streak here and there, scatter them about, and make sure they are placed randomly For burn marks, use the same paint mixture and fine point on the airbrush Hold the airbrush very close to the model and tap the trigger a few times which sends out a little burst of black paint Lowering your air pressure will give you more control Airbrush burns can complement the effect of using pastels on panel lines – So far we’ve talked about building and painting models straight from the box Here’s where we’ll learn about adding details that aren’t included in the kits – [Narrator] Look at this Ertle Bat Wing Fighter You can see a lot of added extra detail to enhance the cockpit You can easily scratch-build details in science fiction cockpits like we’ll demonstrate in the Ertle Star Wars X-Wing Fighter The first step is boxing the cockpit

Measure the area and the fuselage of the fighter Draw these measurements onto a sheet of plastic sheet styrene available at your hobby store Using your hobby knife and a straight edge, score the plastic with several, shallow strokes Take your plastic over the edge of your work bench and snap it off For thick plastic sheets, you can use a little vice Line up your scribe, mark on the vice, then break it with your hands or a hammer If you have a VCR with a freeze-frame control, take out your video copy of any Star Wars film and pause it where the film shows details of the X-Wing cockpit From this freeze-frame, you can decide on details to put in your cockpit If you’ve got a few kits under your belt, you’ll probably have spare parts left over from previous kits that you can use for the cockpit detailing For the X-Wing, try using left-over cockpit details from the 1/32 scale jet models You don’t have to be exact with your detailing, just make it look complicated and technical-looking Model railroad shops have a ton of great detailing parts such as photo-etched brass bolts, screens, and grids Cut the photo-etched brass detail to the size you want, position it on the model, and use a drop of liquid cement to hold it in place You can also use super glue if your photo-etched part is likely to be handled On the Ertle Bat Wing, you can see extensive use of photo-etched brass detailing A high-tech cockpit has hydraulic lines, tubes, and hoses These details are easy and inexpensive to make from electrical wire, solder, and old guitar strings Drill holes in your model to hold the wires Bend the wires with pliers If the wire is soft enough, use a pair of tweezers for sharp bends For additional wire bends, mark the wire with a pencil For curved or loop-style bends, take the wire and roll it around the end of a drill bit or a toothpick Cables on real aircraft often have cable harnesses which keep the cables together Space fighters like the X-Wing probably have similar things To make a cable harness, strip insulation off of a small-gauge wire and wrap this around a bundle of wires Wrap the wire tightly with pliers and put a drop of glue at the base Trim off excess wire, and then slide them into position Here you can see wrapped wire used to simulate coiled hose This is an easy effect Take a large-diameter wire, and wrap a thin-diameter wire around it securing the end with super glue For coiled wire like microphone cables, wrap thin electrical wire around a straight pin or toothpick After wrapping it slip it off the pin and stretch it out to the length you want Old guitar stings make great-looking coiled wire hoses They’re a little hard to bend, but the results are worth it Clip off a section of sprue, heat it over a candle, and stretch it to just about any diameter you want Stretched sprue is great for making small detailed parts like handles and switches To help you handle small pieces of sprue, use a moistened brush Attach the part with whit glue, and then reinforce with a tiny bit of super glue applied with a wire This control stick for the Ertle Bat Wing was made from various diameters of stretched sprue For this oxygen bottle, take a piece of sprue file the ends round, then sand the ends smooth Next, drill a hole in one end of the oxygen bottle, and insert a piece of solder You can detail your details but adding aluminum to your metal fittings The best foil to use is duct tape from an air conditioning supply store Try asking for a tiny scrap A little goes a long way, and you won’t need a whole roll Here you can see hold-down restraints made from aluminum foil tape It makes for a realistic-looking oxygen bottle Another great thing about aluminum foil tape, you can scribe or add rivet detail on it You can make a rivet tool from an old watch gear Take a small piece of aluminum foil tape, stick it to a piece of glass, and roll the gear on the foil using a straight edge to guide it Trim it to size, and stick it where you want rivet detail, or flip over the tape, clean off the adhesive with paint thinner, and you’ve got raised rivet detail These tread plate patterns here were made by rolling the handle of an Xacto knife over the foil This pattern here was made by pushing the foil against an interesting raised detail such as this tank part and burnishing the foil with a toothpick Another useful product for detailing cockpits is a Waldron punch and die set This set lets you make holes and discs of various sizes Waldron also has a line of instrument panel instruments and details for World War II and jet aircraft

that can easily be integrated into a science fiction cockpit Jet fighter seat cushions can be scratch built with A+B epoxy putty available at hobby stores and hardware stores Mix the epoxy in equal parts, then squish the mixture between two pieces of wax paper Cut the cushions to the correct size, and wait until the epoxy dries or cures After it dries, file the epoxy seat cushions and sand in the details The seat belts were made by cutting strips from a magazine like TV Guide, and painting them with a seat belt color such as gray The buckle is made from sheet styrene A magazine article photograph of a computer screen was just the right size to add to the cockpit Another useful item for cockpit detailing is brass tubing available at hobby shops and hardware stores On this X-Wing, the plastic-kit laser cannons have been replaced with brass tubing Using a tube cutter tends to flare the ends of the tube inward Use a file and an old Xacto blade to clean this up You can also use a dremel motor tool to file the brass tube ends Remember, always wear safety glasses when using the motor tool After cutting, replace the plastic tube with the brass tube using super glue Space fighters sometimes get a little battle damage during combat It’s best to add battle damage during the building instead of trying to add battle damage later Laser blasts through wings are a common hazard of space combat Thin the wings with a knife blade Make sure you scrape inside both halves of the wing Build some inner-wing details such as brass wiring or tubing that can show through after being hit by laser fire After assembling, you can simulate laser fire by using airbrush burn marks and pastel chalk pencils like we demonstrated earlier You can also add interesting battle damage with a soldering iron This will imitate a heat-burn effect Remember to airbrush and weather this damage too – One of the most challenging things about making realistic space craft is modeling clear parts Here’s how I do it – [Narrator] To make realistic-looking clear parts, start with aluminum foil To detail the fusion core of the Ertle DS-9 ring, trim aluminum foil and push it into place, shiny side out Trim away the excess, and secure it with super glue around the edges In hard-to-reach areas like these engines on the Klingon battle cruiser, use a q-tip to burnish the foil into place If you accidentally tear the foil, patch it with another piece of foil For clear parts like the engines on the Enterprise, use clear paints such as Tamiya acrylics First, paint the outside of the clear part, then cut the tinfoil and burnish it inside the clear part before you install it on the model If you need to, use clay to third old the foil inside This technique also works great for the Romulan Warbird engines You can also use theatrical gels to detail your clear parts Cut the gel to shape, and glue it to the clear part, then glue tin foil behind the gel Theatrical gels are available from theatrical supply stores, and sometimes art stores Your model might require a lot of windows Rather than paint each one, you can make a row of windows with white typewriter correction ribbon and clear decal film Place the typewriter ribbon on the decal film and use the watch gear tool to roll along a straight edge This transfers a row of white windows onto the decal Cut out the decal and apply it to your model just like a regular decal The Ertle Romulan Warbird doesn’t come with any windows at all Use a poster, a video, or a magazine photo as a reference to help recreate all the windows Using a small #80 drill bit, drill all 2,500 windows This is actually easier than it sounds Rather than drill all the way through the kit, drill only a few twists deep creating a tiny hole When using a drill bit this small, make sure only a tiny section of the drill bit sticks out of the handle so you don’t break it It also helps to draw lines on the model to line up your row of holes After drilling, complete and paint the model and remember to apply a protecting coat of Future Floor Wax First, wipe bright yellow oil paint into the holes you drilled, then wipe off all the excess oil paint from the surface of the model Then come back with a black oil wash

made of oil paint and thinner and carefully touch it to the several holes to simulate windows that don’t have lights on Allow the oil paint to dry for a few minutes, then wipe it off The Ertle Enterprise kit came with the windows already molded in, but painting them is an other problem After painting the base coat and applying Future Floor Wax, paint the unlit windows with black artist watercolor Allow the paint to dry for a few minutes, then wipe off the excess paint with a tissue The lit windows were created using white oil paint and again, use a tissue to wipe off the excess paint If you wipe out too much, go back and reapply either the oil paint or watercolor paint You can also use decals to simulate windows, like on this Ertle Klingon Battle Cruiser Use leftover decals or decal sheets from your hobby shop Cut strips and rectangles and apply them to the window areas For round windows, use a small piece of brass tubing and punch the decals out – Space ships look best when floating in space Here on Earth, we have to display our models on stands I’ll show you the techniques I use to display my kits – [Narrator] On some science fiction kits like this Klingon battle cruiser, you can paint up the kit stand and it looks fine The next option it to hang your model The best material is fishing line It’s clear, strong, and available from any department store At one end of the fishing line, tie a fish hook Instead of using the entire hook, snip off the hook leaving just a few of the shanked barbs Make sure you wear safety goggles when snipping the hook Drill a hole in the model, push the hook in, and the barbs hold the hook in the model Another way to support your model on a stand is to build it a stand holder while you’re building the model On this Romulan Warbird, a threaded insert was built into the bottom of the kit This threaded insert was purchased at a hardware store You can now mount your model to a threaded rod, or in this case, a car rear-view mirror socket assembly that was built into the stand In order to display the Enterprise, it’s easy to make a cradle from clear acrylic and wood Draw a shape you like on the wood, cut, sand, paint it, or stain it, then drill some holes to support the acrylic rod Acrylic rods are available from plastic supply stores Now you can simply rest the model on top of these rods You can also build and make your own custom stands from a products called Supersculpy This is a clay-like substance that hardens when you heat it and its available at hobby shops and art supply stores With Supersculpy, you can incorporate the kit stand to help you build a new one Make a simple wire armature with a regular metal coat hanger Glue this wire arm to the kit stand with super glue and baking soda Form the Supersculpy around the stand until its in the shape that you want Add more Supersculpy if you need You can smooth Supersculpy with Turpenoid or lighter fluid Follow the instructions for baking Usually it’s 250 degrees for about 20 minutes When it cools, sand it, apply filler if necessary, and paint it For smaller space ship models, you can take a piece of brass tubing, bend it, and paint it to make a simple, effective stand Adding lights to your model is an advanced modeling technique You should be experienced with electrical wiring, batteries, and alternating current, that’s household current, before attempting to wire your model Don’t attempt to add any kind of electrical power source to your model without the supervision of an experienced electrician or electrical engineer The following information is for general lighting purposes only and is not intended to be a complete guide for installing electrical lights to a plastic model For this video, we’ll show a quick overview of simply lighting techniques involving fiber optics, grain of wheat lamps, power supplies such as batteries and AC power If you’re not sure what these things are or what they do, ask an electrician, or for more information, see your electronics dealer First, paint the inside of the model black This is to keep stray light from shining through the model Next, install the fiber optic strands, and to do this you will need to drill out holes in the model to simulate windows Next, we determine where you’re going to put your source lamp This will depend on the model you’re building and you’ll need enough room for the lamp and lamp housing For this Klingon battle cruiser, there’s room in the midsection Next, pass your fiber optic strands through the model and out of each window opening you’ve drilled A very small drop of fast-setting thin-formula super glue applied to inside will hold them in place

Don’t trim them up just yet Note, super glue can cause the coating on fiber optics to fail Use only a very small amount of super glue or use five-minute epoxy Depending on your model kit, you may need to modify parts before trimming the ends of your fiber optic strands You can glue your cables together with five-minute epoxy to pass the bundle through a bulkhead, holding them in place near your light source When you’ve positioned your fiber optic strands where you want them, you can now trim the entire bundle with a hot knife Then sand the end of the bundle to ensure a stable light transmission Now it’s time to mount one kind of light source, the grain of wheat lamps We’re using these lamps to mount in the engine of this Klingon battle cruiser Use super glue to stiffen and hold the wires in place Now glue the engine halves together passing the wires through the body of the model and to the power source for the grain of wheat lamps To diffuse light from the lamps inside the space craft engine, airbrush the insides of the transparent pieces with a flat white mist coat Let’s finish putting our fiber optics into our model Next, let’s install our light source for the fiber optic cables We’re using a flashlight lamp and lamp housing available at an electronics store The lamp is surrounded by tin foil to intensify the light of the bulb and direct it toward the fiber optic cables The grain of wheat bulbs that we installed in the engines are wired to the potentiometers which control the strength of the lights This large potentiometer controls the flashlight lamp All the main wires of the flashlight lamp in the grain of wheat bulbs are connected to the power source When assembling the model, leave the excess fiber optics sticking out about 1/8 of an inch This permits you to paint the model without painting over the windows After painting, trim the excess fiber optics to expose the unpainted ends which will have light shining through Finally, connect your wires to your power source In this case, we’re using a nine volt DC transformer that converts the 110 volt AC into nine volt DC to power the lamps Nine volt transformers let you power DC lights off your household current – I hope you’ve enjoyed learning my techniques for building science fiction models Coming up, I’ll show you some of my finished kits and some from Randy Cooper, one of Hollywood’s leading model makers From Video Workbench, I’m Chris Wilson We’ll see you next time (exciting digital music)