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CR90 Corvette

a.k.a. Blockade Runner

a.k.a. Tantive IV


Some of you may have seen the sprue shots of the new blockade runner I posted in the Bandai discussion thread. Well, I wasn't intending to start it just yet, but since the sprues were laying around on the bench after taking the photos, one thing led to another, and here we are.

I also wasn't intending to show any build photos, as the box scale kits only have a handfull of parts and very simple construction, but in the end I took a few shots of the build so I'll post a brief construction run-through before getting on to the painting.


The main hull is split vertically, but the majority of the seam is covered by other pieces later on




The lower hull, which incorporates the bottom of the cockpit, then clips in place. You can see that they've included (or not included to be accurate) the missing escape pods, so the kit represents a post capture Tantive VI.




The upper hull clips on in the same way as the lower hull. The cockpit face and end caps are then added. On all the parts I lightly reamed out the holes for the connection pins to lessen the tight fit, the added a drop of glue to keep everything secure. Most of the parts joined without gaps, but there are a couple around the neck area that will need a smear of filler.




The engines are a triple layed construction, with the lower cluster added first.




The three engined mid-cluster then clips in place, with the upper cluster added last.






There are panels for the top, bottom and sides of the engine assembly which finish off that area, but I'm leaving these off for now as I want to paint each engine cluster separately.

The only other parts to add are the small gun turrets and the top radar dish.




The whole thing comes in at around 5" (12 ½cm) in length. It doesn't sound all the big, but it seems a lot larger in person than I was expecting. It's certainly the largest kit in the Vehicle Model range so far.




This release includes one of the newer clear stands, which I think are an improvement over the older black ones. It's hard to hide the sprue gate marks, but the clear plastic looks a bit more elegant. It would be nice if they'd release a set of these stands to replace the older ones.




As I mentioned above, I've kept the engine section loose for now so I can get access for painting. That brings us around to the main part of this wip which will be the painting and weathering.

Before that though, I'll need to decide exactly what it is I'll be representing. What it won't be is the Tantive IV.


There have been a few CR90's across the films and tv shows but the've shown up most frequently in Rebels. It's a couple of examples from that show that I'm considering for this build.


The first one is Liberator, which was the command ship of the Rebel Phoenix cell. It's a similar base colour to Tantive IV, but with blue accents and a grey engine section.






The second one has similar colours, but with a different marking pattern. The white triangle on the cockpit on this one would tie in well with the similar marking on the Phoenix Squadron A-Wing I built a while back. The red trim adds a nice highlight too.






It's interesting to note that the digital model of the CR90 created for Rebels replicates the missing escape pods from the Tantive. I'm not sure why they did that, but it saves me from having to replace the missing ones.


At the moment I'm leaning towards the one with the red highlights, but I'm always open to persuasion.




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Poised to follow this one with interest.


I am wondering if the designer of the smaller craft docked with the Tantive in the final image spent some time in the Convair Drawing Office working on the plans for the B-36 in a previous life though ??

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On 28/12/2018 at 22:41, AndyRM101 said:

Well, I wasn't intending to start it just yet

Me neither, but it's sitting in my spray booth at the moment with the aft engines primed so that I don't have to try & fiddle primer into them later.  I'll be mithering @Madmonk for those decals soon too, as I'm going to do the film version (it would be rude not to, and at those prices, I can always get another).  How they expect you to make those stickers adhere to all that detail, I don't know, but I guess if anyone can do it. it'll be Bandai :worthy:


The detail is stunning for the scale.  Their sprue gates are also awesome, as is their engineering and ability to not get a single ejector pin mark anywhere that matters.... for a snap-together kit. :blink:

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12 hours ago, Richard E said:

I am wondering if the designer of the smaller craft docked with the Tantive in the final image spent some time in the Convair Drawing Office working on the plans for the B-36 in a previous life though ??

It took me a while to spot what you mean, but there is a similarity in the cockpit/nose design. They may well have taken some inspiration from the B-36 when designing the cockpit of the Ghost.




12 hours ago, Mike said:

Me neither, but it's sitting in my spray booth at the moment with the aft engines primed so that I don't have to try & fiddle primer into them later.

Yes, that was my plan too. The engines are too tightly spaced to get in there for painting and weathering once it's all assembled, especially now, as I've decided to go with the Liberator which has a grey engine section.


I've gone with a fairly light grey for the engines. It probably should be a shade or two darker, but the weathering will darken it anyway, so it should be okay. Straight Tamiya XF-20, although I put down a coat of Mr Color (lacquer) Gull Grey first, mainly to act as a primer. The top and bottom sections haven't had a complete coverage as there's still some assembly to do on those parts. I mainly wanted to get the middle section painted and weathered as that area would be impossible to access later.




The weathering was done with a wash made from Vallejo Dark Rubber mixed with glaze medium, then some staining and discolouration using Citadel washes.






The engine clusters were then clipped together, and now just need the side panels adding. I think I'll paint these separately too, to avoid getting any over-spray on the sides of the middle engine cluster. I may need to do some bits of filling and retouching when the panels are in place, but hopefully nothing too excessive.





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Very nice so far :yes:  When you consider that the pic above is about 5x or more larger than life on my 23" screens, it's a testament to the detail they squeezed in that it still looks good. :worthy:


It's also a testament to your dust removal skills for the photos ;)

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It looks good already Andy. I am tempted to go the "no primer" route myself having had such poor results with Alclad recently. Do laquer paints adhere better than standard Tamiya or gunze?. I may give it a go but it seems strange not to primer, though I never used to back in the day. Wishing you all a Happy New Year.



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2 hours ago, Rwa66 said:

Do laquer paints adhere better than standard Tamiya or gunze?. I may give it a go but it seems strange not to primer, though I never used to back in the day. Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Hi Richard,


Yes, lacquers tend to stick to styrene better than Tamiya or Aqueous, although those will adhere okay without a primer but they don't stand up that well to handling. I often find, if I've used Tam or Aqueous without primer, that the paint will wear off any high spots or raised detail while I'm doing further painting and weathering. That's generally not an issue with lacquers.

I tend to avoid regular primers if possible, in case they obscure any fine detail. I'd probably have used lacquers here for the main colour, but I don't have that big a range in Mr Color.



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Okay, finally found some time to get a little more done on the Blockade Runner. The engine section has been finished off and painted, and some areas have had an acrylic wash. I've left the remaining weathering for now though so I can complete the main painting.

The engine section was masked off, and the rest of the fuselage sprayed with AK Cream White mixed with some Gunze GX clear to lessen the very matt finish of the Real Color lacquers.








You can see the partial weathering on the engine section better below. The lower half has had a wash with the same dark rubber/glaze medium used previously, while the top part is still in the plain grey base coat. The unweathered areas will be finished off once I've completed the main painting.




There'll now follow a few days of finicky masking to mark out the blue sections. I'm hoping to spray all the blue areas in one session, as I think it will require a custom mix, and I'd rather not have to mix it twice. It just depends on how awkward the masking proves to be.



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It's taken me a while to get around to the masking process, but I finally started sticking tiny bits of Tamiya tape on the Blockade Runner last night. It's taken about 5 hours and around 250 slivers of tape, but I got the back end finished earlier today and managed to spray the first of the blue panels. I'd thought about masking the whole thing in one go, but it was just too impractical, so I'll have to try and replicate the paint mix when I do the front half. The blue was mainly Tamiya XF-8 with a drop of XF-23 added to lighten it.






I managed to avoid any significant over-spray by luck as much as anything, but some of the panel edges will need some cleaning up where the thickness of the masking tape meant the spray didn't get right into the corners. I'll probably lightly glaze some of the blue panels with a paler blue to add some variation too.






The blue panels aren't a perfect match either in colour or in position, as the digital model created for Rebels doesn't match the surface detail of the original Tantive precisely. I'm not too worried about it being an exact replica though, as long as it's close enough to tell what it's meant to be.

The next step will be to spray the front half which I'll try to do in one go, although I might end up having to do the top and bottom separately.

Hopefully, that'll be done over the next couple of days.





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13 hours ago, Plasto said:

Do do your shoot your images with a macro lens?? I ask as the DoF is very good over the images...


Nice work..

Thanks Plasto,


Yes, I do use a macro lens occasionally, but these are all shot with a regular Sigma 17-70mm. I use an aperture of around f20 to keep as much in focus as possible.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Firstly, apologies for the abysmal lack of progress on this build. I just don't seem to have had much time of late. Hopefully, when the masking work is finished, the rest of the painting and weathering should happen a bit faster.

I'm someway closer to that point now, as I've managed to finish masking and spraying the blue sections on the forward upper fuselage and the cockpit. The spraying itself only took about 10 minutes, but there were quite a few hours of masking required to mark out the various panels.






The position and shape of the blue areas are broadly correct but some of the smaller areas are off due to the details on the kit differing from the 3D animation model used in Rebels. Overall it's as close as I can get it given the detail differences and the issues with getting the masking over all the raised detail.






The only remaining masking work now is the underside of the mid-fuselage section. After that, it'll be on to detail painting and weathering.



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10 hours ago, Will Vale said:

especially those blue stripes which go under/through the ribs at the back.

Yes, they were a bit of a swine to get lined up correctly and they're far from perfect. That's also reminded me that there will be more masking after the blue is finished, as those ribs need to be sprayed the same grey as the engines.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, so I've finally finished the main painting after a fairly long interval. The remaining blue areas on the underside of the hull have been masked and sprayed to the extent that's possible with the kit. Some of the detailing on the kit differs from that on the CG model of the blockade runner used on Rebels, so I wasn't able to replicate all the blue sections precisely.

The ribs/fins on the rear of the fuselage needed to be grey, and I'd originally intended to mask and spray them, but some awkward angles and corners made me give in and hand paint them instead. The finish is a little patchier than if they'd been sprayed, but it'll do.




Speaking of awkward corners, there were quite a few nooks and crannies where the blue hadn't hit and those areas needed cleaning up. I kind of made a rod for my own back in that regard, as I'd used Tamiya paint for the blue panels when spraying but the clean-up needed to be done with Vallejo. As a result, I had to try and match the paint shade which I couldn't do perfectly. In the end, I glazed over the panels entirely with the Vallejo which helped blend everything together. I also mixed some lighter blue shades and picked out individual panels to break up the blue areas a little.

Some of the white panels have also been picked out in light grey and cream tones, although they don't show up that well in the photos.






With the main painting finished, I could get on to the washes. The engine section had already been partially weathered with a dark grey acrylic wash, so the remainder of that area was finished in the same way, along with the grey ribs and the scanner dish. The gun turrets were also sprayed in the same grey, then installed and weathered.




For the white areas, I didn't want to use anything too contrasty so I mixed up a pale grey tone from Vallejo and used that to wash the main hull. In a few areas, I used a darker tone to give a little more depth, mainly where there were grills or vents. Any other small details, such as the cockpit visor, have also been touched in.










There's not a lot left to do now. I'll need to add a darker wash to the blue panels, then just a general clean up of any rough areas at the end.



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The final bits of weathering and clean-up on the Blockade Runner have now been finished, so I'm going to wrap up the build. There wasn't a lot to do in truth; just a selective dark blue wash on some of the blue panels and some tidying up of a few messy areas from the previous washes. A light matt coat finished it off.

It's far from perfect, and there are quite a few areas that are more scruffy than I'd like but, given the scale, I'm fairly happy with how it turned out.




Of course, I'll now need to get another one to actually build the Tantive herself. In the meantime, I'll get some finished shots up in RFI shortly.


Thanks to everyone for following along.



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