The completed ship, complete with lighted display stand The completed ship, complete with lighted display stand

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Building a model from a parts kit can be a rewarding experience, albeit a challenging and occasionally horrifyingly frustrating one. Having finished watching Star Trek: Voyager not too long ago, I was super stoked when I saw a Kazon Raider ship at Stories Comics, and decided to try my hand at model building.

DSC_0157The model in the box
DSC_0159Parts in the bag
DSC_0165The individual model components, still attached

The parts come in multiple ‘sheets’, each with around a dozen little parts attached to them. Cutting the parts off and gently removing the flash is a challenging task, and must be done carefully to avoid damaging the model.

DSC_0172My first attempt at airbrushing!

Having never really painted anything before, I bought an airbrush kit (a Testors Aztek Single-Action) and tried to figure out how to use it. I was able to put a base coat on the model, but definitely was too clumsy with it to paint any fine details. After adding the first few base coats, I painted on the individual details.

DSC_0030Just about finished!

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Adding the weathering was definitely a task, but I had a lot of fun with it. The trick is to really water down the black paint, until it’s basically just water with a slightly dark tint. I wasn’t totally thrilled with the way it came out; but hey, it worked! DSC_0042 DSC_0055

So, here’s my favorite part of the project. I used a 3D printer to make a series of ball and socket joints to make a pair of ‘arms’, and ran LEDs and wires through them, to make lighting fixtures! I used a filament spool for a base, and printed a lid with an incline on it for the base, as well. This gives the ship a better pose than simply straight-forward, which is how it sits on the included stand. DSC_0060 DSC_0064 DSC_0069 DSC_0072 DSC_0093

Under this harsh lightning, it looks a little rough. The ball and socket joint attaches directly to the spool, and has been bolted on with two bolts. Inside the base, 4 AA batteries power the LEDs, and the switch on the front toggles them on and off. DSC_0106 DSC_0151 DSC_0160

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