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Starship Modeler's 24th Contest: Trek Wars

Blockade Runner Tantive IV



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Here is my completed Randy Cooper Models Blockade Runner / Tantive IV kit. Wow what a project!

I have to hand it to Mr. Cooper for both his imagination and his courage in tackling, and executing, such a huge kit. The engineering of the kit was fantastic, and the finished project looks identical to the on-screen model. When I bought the kit three years ago, I was expecting some additional work to prep it (as it was a limited edition kit made of resin). Instead, I received a well-packaged kit with no broken parts, almost zero flash, no short shots, excellent fit, and good surface detail. The kit is designed to accommodate lighting, which I added.

I lit the kit using large yellow LED's for the engines, overhead white LEDs for the bridge, and a single flashing LED to represent a computer on the bridge bulkhead. This was my first attempt at lighting a model, and it was a lot harder that I thought. Still, the Tantive IV has no exterior lights at all, so this is a good project to try my soldering skills on.

Designing the base took almost as much time as building the model. The weight (8-9 pounds) and the size of the model (27" long, 10" wide) dictated that a strong and heavy base was required. Furthermore, the base must accommodate a battery and switch, and also provide structural support for the brass rods holding the model up.

I rebuilt the turbo laser turrets as I planned on placing fiber optics at the end of each barrel. However, the resulting light intensity from the fiber optics was not sufficient, and trying to place a small LED at the tip of each gun seemed like a lot of work that wasn't supported by the images of the actual ship, so I abandoned that effort.

The paint job was relatively simple. I used a rattle can of primer grey from Wal-Mart, then followed it up with a rattle can of gloss white from Krylon. I weathered the kit using a water-based dark grey wash from Vellejo and touched-up panel lines using Tamiya panel line wash in black. I used just a little pastels for the exhaust areas and a touch of white oil paint to dry-brush the engine exhausts. I paid a lot of attention to the engine exhaust area as they are the prominent feature of the ship. I think it looks exactly like the prototype in the films. The escape sequence in the movie "Rogue One" was my primary reference source.

So I am very satisfied with the results of this project. Randy Cooper Models also offers an Imperial Star Destroyer, and I am looking to that as my next project. The Star Destroyer will definitely need a few hundred feet of fiber optics for sure!



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Last updated on 13 October 2020.