A Clumsy Build: Star Wars Virago starfighter

ClumsyModeler

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Feb 21, 2012
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OK, this is my first build in about 6+ years. I decided I wanted to get back into scale modeling, but this time I'm working on actually completing my builds. I've got about 2-3 models, all very close to completion but I guess I got scared off of finishing them because I might not like the end result. So, I'm going to get back into the game by building this AMT/ERTL Star Wars Virago. I won it on eBay about a week and a half ago for the princely sum of $.99 (with shipping it came out to under 8 bucks.) Of course, you get what you pay for, OUCH! LOL!

16j385x.jpg

Even for a Star Wars fan such as myself, the Virago isn't the most exciting of subjects. That's good, because it allows me to be a bit less invested in the end product. The purpose of this build is for me to practice some techniques and make some mistakes without worry. I've also put a soft deadline of two weeks to finish the kit. That being said, let's move on to the build.

20 Feb 12:
Spent some time going over the instructions and put together a shopping list of paints and other perishables that needed to be replaced. Also scored a new Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush. Let's hope my crappy compressor is up to the task! I also spent some time setting up my little desk in the master bedroom. Needs more light!

34tbzt0.jpg

21 Feb 12:
Picked up some goods after work and set to it. It's going to be slow going, I can tell. The first assemblies to complete are the laser cannons. There's some challenging gaps in the assemblies, along with parts that don't seem to have been properly registered to one-another during molding. Not sure if I'm using the right terms there.

After some mucking about with my Touch-N-Flow and my glue, I started fitting the assemblies together. Gaps galore, the horror! Ah well, press on and stop complaining, Jon! After a few hours of slow work, this is where I'm at:

xbcns7.jpg

I think I'll have to break out the putty if I'm going to make anything out of this model. Ah well, that's work for tomorrow. Enjoy, and feel free to toss in your $.02 if you'd like!
 

Grendels

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I have this kit and will be watching to see what is in the box. It looks interesting.
 

JohnSimmons

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Great start! I love shadows of the empire so I too will be watching this with much interest. I've heard it's a bit of a pig to build so don't get discouraged! You wouldn't learn as much from a kit that went together perfect lol. Any idea what scale it is?
 

Igard

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Nice find! Looks like a really cool ship. I played the video game, but don't remember much. Very interesting build.

Oh, yes and welcome to the herd! :)
 

Kryptosdaddy

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Oct 26, 2011
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The thing about alot of these sci-fi kits is they can be difficult because they are so cheaply made. But this is what made some of the great modelers of today, we (I'm not great, just there!) had to deal with all the problems in the old AMT, Aurora, Monogram and Revel kits of the 60's and 70's without aftermarket PE and ridiculously priced rock hard resin pieces you have to saw off and refill the pinholes! Anything we wanted to change had to be done with stuff at hand, so adaptation became the norm.

Hang in there and kick this kt around! I'll be watching this. I don't think I have even seen this anywhere! ;D
 

Kryptosdaddy

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And i'm gonna put my foot in my mouth here, you said you didnt finish things because you did not know if you would like the end result, plenty of us have ruined kits into piles of junk by messing around and trying something to complicated or shying away from trying something to improve a bad area because we just fear we don't know... I say that a drill and a good razor saw are your best friends here!
Another thing is your work area, you need someplace where you can have this project spread out a little and where you can just turn away and leave it without having to pack the whole thing up, been there with that packing and unpacking every time i wanted to work and by the time its all out and you get started its time to stop and re pack it all up- this kills the urge to complete your little piece of art. In this hobby, to much neatness at your work area can be a disease. lol

Check this... look at the background, sometimes things can get nasty!

onemess.jpg

Now if I may suggest to you, get a good durable box like a large boot box or one of those waxed heavy cardboard boxes restaurants get when they buy chicken, of course clean it out with bleach, it can take it. And use that box like a little garage- this can help you put your project away without having to pack the entire thing up!

tonystewart2.jpg

I'm fortunate, I have an area and no little kids to wreak my work! lol, but maybe you don't- but my suggestion is to not only work on your kits, but work on your work area! After awhile your shelves will thank you for it! Good Luck. CR
 

ClumsyModeler

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Grendels said:
I have this kit and will be watching to see what is in the box. It looks interesting.
Stay tuned, I'll be updating every day there's some progress.

merseajohn said:
Great start! I love shadows of the empire so I too will be watching this with much interest. I've heard it's a bit of a pig to build so don't get discouraged! You wouldn't learn as much from a kit that went together perfect lol. Any idea what scale it is?
I loved Shadows too, but this ship design was, well... a bit odd to me. Wish I could get a nice Outrider, though! I've heard it said before that this kit wasn't easily built, but you are correct: Nothing ventured - nothing gained. I'll relish this challenge as I'm sure it will make me a better modeler in the end! Not sure on the scale, if I figure it out I'll let you know.

Igard said:
Nice find! Looks like a really cool ship. I played the video game, but don't remember much. Very interesting build.

Oh, yes and welcome to the herd! :)
Thanks for the welcome!

Kryptosdaddy said:
The thing about alot of these sci-fi kits is they can be difficult because they are so cheaply made. But this is what made some of the great modelers of today, we (I'm not great, just there!) had to deal with all the problems in the old AMT, Aurora, Monogram and Revel kits of the 60's and 70's without aftermarket PE and ridiculously priced rock hard resin pieces you have to saw off and refill the pinholes! Anything we wanted to change had to be done with stuff at hand, so adaptation became the norm.

Hang in there and kick this kt around! I'll be watching this. I don't think I have even seen this anywhere! ;D
Will do, and thanks for the perspective. I can lack that at times, so a reminder is good with me. :D

Kryptosdaddy said:
And i'm gonna put my foot in my mouth here, you said you didnt finish things because you did not know if you would like the end result, plenty of us have ruined kits into piles of junk by messing around and trying something to complicated or shying away from trying something to improve a bad area because we just fear we don't know... I say that a drill and a good razor saw are your best friends here!
It's been said before that I'm not the most adventurous type, so I think you're spot-on with this observation.

Another thing is your work area, you need someplace where you can have this project spread out a little and where you can just turn away and leave it without having to pack the whole thing up, been there with that packing and unpacking every time i wanted to work and by the time its all out and you get started its time to stop and re pack it all up- this kills the urge to complete your little piece of art. In this hobby, to much neatness at your work area can be a disease. lol
Point taken. I do have a large cabinet waiting to be built that's down in the garage, but I was too excited about working on this kit to spend the evening putting it together. :D I'll get it built and that will give me plenty of space on the desk itself to work. I'm only going to have one kit going at a time, so the smaller sized desk isn't going to be a hindrance... I hope. This is the only indoor space I've got to my name, so unless I want to move out into the garage which I think isbad idea since I've already got a reloading bench down there waiting to be put together, and I don't fancy the idea of working out there in the garage during the hot and humid San Antonio summers.

Thanks to all, I'll get more done tonight and post up how things are going.
 

Kryptosdaddy

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Dont rush building your work area, let it develop as necessity allows, I'm assuming your a guy, this is your little man cave! I think there may be a thread here where some of the folks showed their little garages, as i call 'em, check around for ya. Remember the manicure tools at Walgreens are your friends, this stuff is alot cheaper than the specialty sanding sticks.
 

ClumsyModeler

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Feb 21, 2012
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Kryptosdaddy said:
Dont rush building your work area, let it develop as necessity allows, I'm assuming your a guy, this is your little man cave! I think there may be a thread here where some of the folks showed their little garages, as i call 'em, check around for ya. Remember the manicure tools at Walgreens are your friends, this stuff is alot cheaper than the specialty sanding sticks.
You are correct - I am a dude. Yup, I know about the non-specialized building supplies but I bet there's even more great ideas out there now. If all else fails I can just steal my wife's supplies! :D I'll hunt around for them, as well as the workspace ideas. Saw a really nice paint bottle organization shelf in another thread that I'll probably build for myself.

Splashcoat said:
Holy Crap! Did they kick that thing to you when they shipped it?
LOL, the box was a bit munched up when I bid on it but yes, it was literally stuffed into a medium sized flat rate USPS box by the seller. As long as the plastic is OK (which it was), I don't care much about the box's condition. The Mrs was a bit miffed at its condition when it came in though, LMFAO.
 

Kryptosdaddy

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Leave you with this and I'll leave you alone! I found this online, i don't know the guy that has this, this is the perfect set up, there are more ideas in this picture than can be explained in words. And if one of you know, or worse ARE the guy that owns this fantastic cave, i apologize! I saved this for inspiration while I still try to maximize my own limited space.

I'd like to see what he did with his paint booth AND the stash! lol
:eek:

workarea.jpg
 

ClumsyModeler

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Oh my, now you have me thinking about relocating into the garage, and moving my reloading equipment into the house! :D No joke! I'm beginning to rethink how much space I need for each task, and reloading doesn't require as much space as I have allocated to it. Hmm. Anyways! 8)
 

Jimi

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Feb 3, 2012
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merseajohn said:
Great start! I love shadows of the empire so I too will be watching this with much interest. I've heard it's a bit of a pig to build so don't get discouraged! You wouldn't learn as much from a kit that went together perfect lol. Any idea what scale it is?

i hear that, i have one half completed and the fit and mould lines are everywhere, stock up on putty and needle files, you're gonna need them mate
 

ClumsyModeler

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Feb 21, 2012
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Kryptosdaddy said:
What are you reloading? And i hope your little build is coming along.
I picked up a Hornady single stage press for doing some .223Rem and .308Win load development. Sold off all my .308 rifles, but now I'll probably get on the 300AAC Blackout bandwagon by purchasing a new SBR upper for my AR15. I'm also planning on loading for .45Auto and .38SPL and .357Mag. However, I'm getting this nagging suspicion that my shooting will be taking a backseat to my model building. :D

The build is moving along, but as Jimi said this kit is a mess. Mold lines, seams galore and poorly thought-out part assemblies will contribute a bit to the difficulty of building her up. It's great practice though, and will make me very appreciative of the well designed kits out there. Perhaps after building a few of these AMT kits, I'll reward myself with a nice Finemolds kit? :D

Pics and descriptions will be put up after I'm done at the bench for the night.
 

Glorfindel

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WOW, that is one rigged up bench. I don't care about the stash....just the space to lay out all the stuff. WHAT, NO CHOPPER!
 

ClumsyModeler

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Feb 21, 2012
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Tonight's update:

Today I focused on assembling the wings, minus the engines. I figured that instead of following the instructions verbatim, I will put things together into logical groups and shoot some paint onto said groups. If I followed the instructions I would have to paint everything, assemble, and then touch up or finish paint after everything has been put together. I think this new way of assembling the kit will speed up my build times. We'll see.

As for the wings, well, gaps galore. I foresee plenty of putty in my future. That, and some judicious re-shaping of the edges with some files. It wouldn't be so bad if the darn panel edges would just line up, even just a little bit! I'll get some better pictures of the seams and gaps/misaligned panel edges tomorrow when I have better light. I also completed the laser cannon assemblies, which will also take some gap filling to fix the back ends of these things.

Until then, here's a pic of my completed assemblies. Not too bad for two nights of work. At least, not bad for the glacial pace I build at! LOL.

3094snk.jpg

I'm already looking forward to tommorrow! :D
 

Grendels

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I am looking forward to those photos!


Glorfindel said:
WOW, that is one rigged up bench. I don't care about the stash....just the space to lay out all the stuff. WHAT, NO CHOPPER!

Everyone should have a chopper.....
 

Igard

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That's sort of how I like to build (though I'm still learning how to do that!). I like to put as much together as possible and then paint. Ignore the instructions and do it your way.

Looks like she's coming together. I'm also looking forward to more! :)
 

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