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MPC 1:32 Snowspeeder Restoration and repaint

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When MPC first released their 1/32nd scale  Empire Strikes Back Snowspeeder I snapped it up and built it carefully following the painting instructions and box artwork.

This was one of those models where I attempted some early corrections to known issues, added weathering and a somewhat ham-fisted attempt at modifying a 1/35 scale figure to replace the hideously deformed supplied crew.

I was relatively pleased with this at the time and the completed model has followed me through marriage, children and 3 house moves with relatively little damage.

Fast forward 30 years or so and, having built and painted the exquisite little BanDai 1/144th scale Snowspeeder and with a good few satisfyingly finished builds under my belt, I turned my attentions to this vintage and now less than satisfactory build.


This picture also shows the general appearance of the model before I had made any real inroads other than cutting off the inaccurate little supports from under the laser cannons.



the underside



and the rear (note the drilled out pipes around the engines done using a jeweller's screwdriver as I didn't have fine drills back then)



I also reshaped the inaccurate grill on the front just below the canopy



Some parts required removal, cleanup and refitting as they were not fully located. Also note the canopy glazing is now masked.



After a bit of seam cleanup a primer coat was applied, in this case Tamiya Fine Surface primer followed by my own mix of Tamiya Grey, White and a little Buff.




Masked and painted some of the panels in different shades of the base colour and also tried my hand at using chipping fluid (same as hairspray technique) on the orange markings.







Masked off some additional panels to receive a darker shade of the base grey







Masking off and starting to chip over all with darker base colour



Starting to add some clay washes (Flory Grime and Dark Dirt)





Soot for blast damage and streaks using Tamiya Weathering Master er...soot :)







And with a matt clear coat with canopy masks removed.











I also made the harpoon and cable





That was the outside done.

Now to deal with the pilot (in this case I wanted him to look like Zev Senesca) and the cockpit.

But that will be in the next post.

Thanks for looking in


Phil :thumbsup:


Edited by Phil Lewis
Removing odd links in spaces and text
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Step 2: Zev Senesca


Having made good the exterior (not 100% accurate but I was much happier with it) Attention turned to the cockpit and The pilot.

I wanted to depict Zev Senesca and his craft in the sequence where they were searching for Han and Luke on Hoth.

As he was alone in the Snowspeeder for that it meant I didn't have to source another figure.

As can be seen, a valiant attempt to simulate the starfighter pilot helmet had been made with Milliput but had fallen somewhat short of the desired effect.

This and the chest box (not sure if there is a real name for it) needed some work.

Unfortunately I do not have a sequence of photos showing the tidying work done on the cockpit consoles but you can see the result in the first picture.

So.. unmodified Zev in the tidied cockpit.



The side consoles were also scratchbuilt from the 30 year ago detailing attempt along with the added seat padding.



Chin strap and bib detail revised using dissolved plasticard in Tamiya Extra Thin... an excellent filling medium for those fine, awkward to fill, cracks and can be used to make up details by painting on in layers and which I shall hereby refer to as plastigoop for want of a better name:christmas:.

Chest console had added details from thin plasticard sheet

Collar added from plasticard sheet built up with plastigoop





Helmet details and gloves refined with a bit of judicious filing, carving and sanding and then painted up and weathered.

Orange visor made from a bit of clear plastic individual marmalade serving tub, bent to shape and painted Tamiya clear orange.



I'm quite happy with how he turned out. Actually looks a bit like him... well I think so anyway -_-





And here he is safely ensconced in his office. If only he knew what would happen later in the movie







So this is it mostly done.









I shall be making a snowy Hoth base to display it on in a suitably dramatic pose and will then call it done.


Thanks for looking in


Frosty Phil :penguin:

Edited by Phil Lewis
Those odd hyperlinks to Flickr again.
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Hi Frosty


this is really brilliant - but also a shame to say good bye to 30 years worth of classic work history. The revised working look brilliant - I love Luke's helmet shield visor - great idea there.


I remember when this kit first hit the shelves - mine never looked as good as your 30 year old build though


Really nice work there Frosty - classic plastic restoration at its best



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On with the base

Purchased some off-cuts of MDF from my local timber yard and, after having to purchase a new router when I discovered the old second hand one was stuffed, routed the edges to make them pretty.

Sanded the edges to tidy it up and then mixed some burnt umber and cadmium red oil paints and thinned with low odour thinner to make a mahogany ink wash/stain.

This is the board after routing and with a little test shot of wash/stain on it.



Applied the stain around the edges and about a fingers width into the top surface and then masked a 3mm border all round.

Drilled a 5mm hole to receive the acrylic mounting rod and then slapped Tamiya Snow Effect all over trying to produce a nice undulating surface to depict wind driven snow.

Lightly brushed water over it to smooth out the brush marks and it is now set aside to dry.



Once dry I'll cut down the rod to length and drill the receiving hole in the underside of the snowspeeder.


Thanks for looking in


Chilly Phil :penguin:

Edited by Phil Lewis
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I had this kit as a kid, and the one really laughable aspect of it were the dreadful pilot "figures".  Talk about out of proportion! :lol: I didn't know it was 1:32 scale. TIL :)

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Thanks to everyone for all the positive vibes :thumbsup:

Aside from a few tweaks and possibly a harness for Zev this one is mostly done.

It's nice when a completed model turns out how I wanted it to look.

I'll post some better pics taken with the DSLR in RFI when I actually take them :)











Thanks for looking in all


Phil of the returning Mojo :hobbyhorse:



Edited by Phil Lewis
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
1 minute ago, The Spadgent said:

Bloody hell thats ace!!! You are going great guns with that chipping. What tool do you use to chip with? Damp bud?




glad to have find you sir.



Thanks John.

I've been using Vallejo Chipping Medium and using an old coarse/stiff bristle brush with tap water. I've also used an old toothbrush but the secret is to not scrub too hard. You need to give the water time to reactivate the chipping medium otherwise you'll get 'scrub, scrub no chips..scrub, scrub no chips...SCRUB, SCRUB no chips...SCRUB, SCRUB no paint:suicide:' ask me how I know :D


Phil the chip



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11 minutes ago, Phil Lewis said:

Thanks John.

I've been using Vallejo Chipping Medium and using an old coarse/stiff bristle brush with tap water. I've also used an old toothbrush but the secret is to not scrub too hard. You need to give the water time to reactivate the chipping medium otherwise you'll get 'scrub, scrub no chips..scrub, scrub no chips...SCRUB, SCRUB no chips...SCRUB, SCRUB no paint:suicide:' ask me how I know :D


Phil the chip



Yeah I had a similar effect on the Cat initially. Notes taken, Thankyou sir. :lol:

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Really really great rework on this. You've turned an average paint job, into such a stunning example of a snow speeder. The base really sets the scene beautifully. Thank you for sharing your WIP, some great tips along the way. Cheers

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superb end result - not sure how I missed your last photos until now - the upright stand pole is spot on in the right place and give a very convincing sense of the speeder zooming across the Hoth plains.


very, very good model - and so very old too - totally classic plastic

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I'm gonna give that a firm :thumbsup: it reminds me of the one I had as a yob, which I used to fly around with lengths of cotton tied to the flaps to make them work when I turned it.  Nostalgia... ain't what it used to be :shrug:

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