Second Hand AMT Star Wars STAP with Battle Droid

iandrewmartin

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A while back (around early March if my memory serves me correctly) I managed to obtain this kit.

It has been worked on and there are some issues with it, primarily it had been started, but never finished by the parent's son many years ago. Over the last month, I've been looking at the kit and completed parts and have been reworking them to remove the seam lines, moulding imperfections and on. I've had to reglue a fair bit too as many of the parts were not well glued originally.

Of note though is that the ball joint for one of the arms is missing. And it is not inside the chest piece. However, trying to fit the remaining arm to the ball has been impossible so far. I'm wondering if anyone else has built this kit and if they found the same problem with the arms and their attachment?

Pictures shared below.
20200705_091208.jpg 20200705_085904.jpg 20200705_085915.jpg

Project Status:
  • Most of the body glue-up (and re-gluing where needed) is complete.
  • Full body seam clean up is complete.
  • I've worked all of the fine detailing with a small triangular file to remove the mould lines, and they came up very nicely.
  • I'm going to leave the arms off until I get to the time where I attache the droid to the STAP. I'll likely just glue them in place for simplicity's sake. And my sanity of course.

The building of the kit will not be a problem. It will be the painting that will do me in. It is my weakness.

Your thoughts, experience and tips are highly welcomed.
 

iandrewmartin

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OK - so I was reading on a couple of other sites and determined that to display the droid on the STAP you need to glue the droid anyway. So I think that I have my answer on this one.
 

Dark Kyp

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Nice start. ;)
You will have to glue the arm indeed. I advise you to build the STAP first. This way you can find the good position for the arms.
 

iandrewmartin

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Nice start. ;)
You will have to glue the arm indeed. I advise you to build the STAP first. This way you can find the good position for the arms.
One of the sites I visited did say that about the kit. Luckily the young fellow who started the kit did not start building the STAP. So I'll be working on that next to get it completed. I've got to remove some paint first - I've no idea what used but it is awful and shiny. So that has to go. Then it is all about filling of the back of the legs - where the parts come together. I cannot find a decent shot from either the movie or a still that shows the back of the droid's legs. So I' m not sure what is "correct". I'm going to fill them and then deal with any fallout from there.
 

iandrewmartin

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Hi all;
Well, work has been overwhelming here in Melbourne (Victoria, AU), not any of the other ones. I managed to get the body of the droid prepped and puttied on Wednesday (in between some honey-dos) on my day off. Back to work again and tonight I managed to get the putty sanded and the body generally cleaned up.

Putty is a mix of squadron green (I have a bunch of it to use before I buy anything new) and Tamiya (TM) Extra Thin cement, made into a paste - just a little thinner than toothpaste. I find that this allows it to get into holes and cracks easily with the added ability to glue and fill at the same time. That is especially useful in this case where I am rebuilding a previously started kit.

So let's start with the images. (Note: Before on the left - after on the right - except as noted on the last image)
Front of the droid model
Front_Side_Before.jpgFront_Side_After.jpg
There's still a little fine file work required just under the breastplate. But mostly done.

Note: For rubbing down the putty and prepping the plastic for undercoat I am a fan of buffing files. These are the kind with the foam sandwiched between a fine and medium grade (wet and dry) for finishing, or coarse and medium for getting things close to true. You can read more about them here.

Port side:
Port_Side_Before.jpgPort_Side_After.jpg
All of the seams are now flush and tight. Ejector pin marks are filled and any other marks are likewise complete. This is a nice kit.

Starboard side:
Starboard_Side_Before.jpgStarboard_Side_After.jpg
There seemed to be a lot of fit issues, which I am sure were the result of a young modeller, rather than the kit. Still, it has come up nicely.

Back Side (After only)
Back_Side_After.jpg
The tailbone took quite a bit of work, and as described in an earlier post I did a lot of work on the concentric rings inboard of the leg-joins to make sure they all lined up and the join lines were smooth.

Finally, I wet sanded the previously applied paint-work to get rid of overspray and runs. A little more work with the putty tomorrow should see this part of the kit ready to go for undercoat. I'll be spraying it in the Tamiya Fine White Primer. This is ultra-fine and self-levelling and gives a nice smooth result.
 

iandrewmartin

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Here is how I made mine:
It is still in progress.
I don't know it the position is the good one.
Dark Kip;
I meant to ask previously, what paint you used for the metallic. That looks really nice.
 

iandrewmartin

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A little update on the build, since I have two days off in a row.

I've gotten most of the droid parts puttied and rubbed back. So while tedious, most of that work is done. Also did a dry fit of the STAP (and it is a big kit - didn't realise this until I had the STAP in mostly one piece and then it became quite clear). A lot of filling, filing and sanding has taken place to fill ejector pin marks, sinkholes and other issues. Most of the work so far has been on the horizontal stabiliser. That seemed to hold most of the issues with the kit. Should be finished tomorrow night (we're in lockdown here in Victoria OZ to control COVID-19 at the mo and my son is working from home for school right now so not much work can get done on school days).

I'll post pictures tomorrow afternoon. I have some ideas on how I want to finish and weather the model now. I'll share all of that later on. Going to try and do a welded plate on the STAP using the melted/drawn sprue and liquid glue technique. Don't have any Tamiya putty or I'd try NightShift's method of doing it. All of our hobby shops are closed at the moment due to restrictions.

Working around the problem.

More later on.
 

iandrewmartin

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Nice to hear the progress, sorry to hear about the lockdown
Quaralane;
Thanks for your kind thoughts. I'd rather be in lockdown with just over 200 dead in Australia, than in so many other countries with more than 100,000 dead. This thing is deadly and not to be taken lightly.

Stay safe.
 

iandrewmartin

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So;
Here we are again. Updated pictures on the STAP, and the droid. First the droid:
20200810_171953.jpg
I've decided to fill in the seams on the back of the calf. Seemed to be the best idea for a nicer finish.

Onto the STAP:
Bottom and Top (left to right)
20200810_172127.jpg 20200810_172116.jpg
The foot-rests (rudder pedals) have taken a fair amount of work to bring up to speed. The mould seams were between 0.020" and 0.030" (thou) high and had to be sanded down and cleaned up. In the left image, you can see what I mean on the bottom left of the part. The ejector pin marks are also really bad and have been partially filled in this image. This was some of the leftover filler from the wing. I'll need to make up some more before I'm calling this part done. I'm also going to ACC glue some nickel silver mesh into the footwells to add a little interest to this otherwise uninteresting part.

Horizontal Stabilator:
Top and Bottom (left to right)
20200810_172005.jpg 20200810_171919.jpg
Once again the ejector pin marks were severe on this part. This had already been put together and painted by the young fellow who'd started the kit. Sanding of the leading and trailing edges was needed to make the wing correct. It took two fillings and sandings to get the bottom of the wing correct, and the top part needed two coats of putty to fill in the sinkholes in the part as shown in the left-hand photo with its second application.

And so that's where I am up to at the moment. The laser cannons are going to be another major task. I'm actually thinking of chucking them up in the Dremel and using it as a lathe to true them up. More on that in the next exciting episode.
 

urumomo

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Ha ha - eager to see how you finish this out .
I'm thinking your paint-work will be just as good as your construction finesse !
 

iandrewmartin

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After a 10 day stretch of 14 hour days, I had two complete days off - thank the modelling gods. And during that time I took on the worst part of this project, at least to me, the laser cannons and a broken aerial on the droid's backpack. Of these two items, the cannons were the most time-intensive part. While the aerial was the most finicky.

I'm pretty sure that the laser cannon mouldings were OK, merely misaligned by the previous owner, not experienced with putting together round parts with accuracy. Either way after much cussing, filing, sanding and smoothing the laser cannons are done. They took me several hours to fettle correctly.

Let's look at the cannons first:
STAP_In_Progress_2.jpg
You can see the remains of the seams on the left-hand side cannon. It's smooth and round and a visual artifact only.
STAP_In_Progress_3.jpg
I came very close to chucking each cannon in the drill and was going to turn them up to true them. In the end, I persisted and got them round. Much time was spent on the ribbed sections to smooth down the seams in the recesses. I'm pleased with the outcome.

I was thinking of putting LEDs and using some acrylic rod to simulate laser fire. But to be honest, I just want to finish the model and get it on the shelf.

The broken antenna was a problem. Gluing the plastic part was never going to be clean and would look decidedly odd - you'd have known there was a break that had been repaired. Luckily, I have a fair amount of small-diameter brass pipe, used on my model railway layout for operating the switch points, one of which was an exact match for the diameter of the antenna body.

STAP_In_Progress_4.jpg
I cut off the head part, cleaned up the seam, and then centre-punched and began drilling out the head for the brass pipe. Some brand new super-glue from a supplier here in Aus via eBay, which worked a treat and that part was complete. Way easier than I thought it would be. I just need to flush off and drill the backpack before cutting the antenna to length, super-glue it in place, and that detail is finished.

I also managed to work on the STAP some more.
STAP_In_Progress_1.jpg
There is still a fair bit of work on the body of the STAP. There appears to be quite a gap in the casting halves when they mate up. I'm still working through all of the idiosyncrasies with these two parts. I've done a quick clamp-up to see just how weird they are. I may have to shim the halves to get this part right.

The top part of the body (where the cannons sit) will need work too. Big seams exist here also. And they are going to require a bit more work to hide. Thankfully they are under the top piece and so with a little work and plenty of filler, I'll find a way to hide them. Again, it'll just take some time to clean up.

More hopefully tomorrow (during another couple of days off) when I've progressed a little further with the project. With my son at home (due to COVID-19 restrictions) and remote schooling, I can only work after school hours. More later.
 
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