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Scout Ship - from digital to physical model

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Finally wrapped this up over the weekend although the changes are pretty minimal. Mainly cleaned up some of the hull markings and added edge highlighting in some areas such as the missile turret. Then sealed everything with a coat of Testors Dullcote.


I learned some valuable lessons during this project in terms of how to 3D model to get the best output for painting and I'm putting together my notes so that I can improve my next design.














Below is a digram that I put together for reference, evaluating the size of specific model features to how they turned out with regards to "paintability". I'll be turning this into a set of guidelines for my next model. In fact, I might try giving this model another go, correcting the features that needed to be more prominent to show up better in the final painted model.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Taking the lessons I learned from the previous model, I created an updated version of the model with the aim of improving detail in key areas as well as adding features to improve the “paintability”. It’s also the first time that I attempted to create my own water-slide decals.


Background for Traveller Fans

This model depicts a fleet courier, part of the Imperium’s 193rd Fleet, based in the Deneb Sector. This craft shows the wear and tear of heavy action during the Fifth Frontier War and has the “Bridled Steed” emblem of House Aledon emblazoned on the hull, denoting it was based out of a Regency Naval Base after Archduke Norris Aledon’s elevation to commander of the Imperial forces in the Spinward Marches in 1109.



Improvements to the 3D Model

  • I made a number of changes based on what I learned from the previous model.
  • Increased the size of small details on the hull
  • Deepened some ports and crevices to better hold washes
  • Added inset panels for cargo area
  • Extruded the portions of the hull along the leading edges to make accurate masking easier
  • Added landing gear with optional covered bays or extended gear
  • Added a beam turret
  • Unified aft panel and thrusters as a single component since separate thrusters was unnecessary
  • Hollowed out more of the hull and reduced the amount of resin required by 20%.
  • Deepened the flight stand post and added an interior bolster column within the hollow hull


Masks and Decals

I exported a scaled 2D vector design of the model and brought that into Affinity Designer to add hull markings and text.




I then created airbrush painting masks for some of the larger elements like the hull stripes, unicorn emblem and cargo bay markings. For the smaller elements such as arrows, circles and hazard bars, I printed these on laser waterslide decal paper.


Since it’s impossible to print white on a laser printer unless you have Ghost White Toner (which I have on order), I could only create decals for the smaller markings that didn’t have white in them. Unfortunately, without a white backings, the colors (beside black) are translucent and appear desaturated on darker surfaces.


I also failed to use a decal setter, so some of the decals “frosted” when clear coated later. I picked up some Micro Set and Micro Sol to hopefully remedy this situation in the future.




Painting and Weathering

I wanted a heavily weathered look to this ship to reflect its use as a fleet courier ship having seen combat, multiple ballistic reentries and hazardous fuel skimming from the upper atmosphere of gas giants. I also wanted a hull color reminiscent of modern naval ships.


I primed the model using Badger Stynylrez Black then applied a mottled coat of Tamiya XF-82 Ocean Gray 2 for the hull and the leading edges were painted with VMA 71.115 Blue Gray. The white markings were masked and painted with VMA 71.119 White Gray and the small red arrows on the hull were painted with VMA 72.711 Gory Red. Scuffs and streaks were painted on with VMA 71.052 Anthracite Gray.


I then gave everything a wash of Flory Dark Dirt, most of which was wiped away. I then gave selected areas a thin wash of Flory Black. Then I applied Vallejo Model Wash Dark Gray into the panel lines and areas that needed darker shadows.





















Edited by teddylindsey
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