Artist Sean Sides is well famed by his many fantastic miniature accomplishments in the art form! Recently Sean completed hi studio scale Gemini Freighter… made exactly to the specs of the original studio model! An amazing piece from an amazing artist! As you can see in the photos… the piece is very close to that original. You can also see how many of the Rag Tag fleet Sean’s collection now holds from his building of them… including Galactica herself!
As long as I can remember, I have been intrigued by the amazing studio filming miniatures built for the original Battlestar Galactica series. I have been building scratch building replica’s of those miniatures for the last 8 years or so. The “Gemini Freighter” is my latest build that represents a nearly exact replica of the original miniature. Using nearly 100 highly detailed photos of the original, I was able to source and locate the majority of model kits used to build this. Once the containers were identified, it was pretty easy to determine the 6″ length dimension of them by matching up the rivet/panel patterns to the filming model. Once that was done, I could determine the overall length the 3/4″ pipe would need to be to make the armature and the head and engine section.
Constructing the head section was pretty straightforward, as the main parts on it are from the 1/24 Airfix Harrier kit. With that known, the dimensions of the head square was easily derived, then all the other kit parts are added to the top and bottom. The engine section was a little more challenging. The ‘exhausts’ used parts from the 1/35 Leopold kit, cut shorter at the mid and outer engines, but getting the box shapes to the correct size presented a little more of a challenge. Once that was all resolved, I was able to add all the greeblies needed on the engine section. After the containers were joined, Plastruct “C” Channel was used to cover up the seams at the containers, and a number of greeblies were added.
Painting was the most enjoyable part of this project. Each container had a unique color (I used Floquil paints). Care was taken to match as close as possible to the original base colors, then a wash was applied to dirty things up, along with some airbrush filters and then some dry brushing to bring out the highlights. The overall base color is a kind of raspberry color, which I found to be very pleasant to the eye once it was dirtied up and dry brushed. It’s really amazing the variety of colors they used on these models. The white lettering all over the model was created by designing custom dry transfer decals once I figured out the font that was used. These were applied to the model, the chipped and weathered to again match the original. I used a reflective tape for the engines, as they did, so that internal lighting was not needed on this model.
Though I was never able to find all the parts, (or didn’t want to buy a expensive kit for just 1 part) the model is about 95% accurate when comparing to the studio model. There are approximately 35 unique model kits that include a number of common Armor, Race Car, Truck, Naval, Airplane, Space and Sci Fi models. Thanks to the help of some friends who kindly loaned me some kits to cast or use.
The Gemini Freighter joins these other BSG replicas I’ve created from scratch – the Galactica, Cylon Tanker, Colonial Movers, Mining/Livery Ship, Wingship and the Picon Maru (my version of the Astral Queen).
All in all, it took a little over 4 months to build this replica, and I enjoyed every minute of it, as I hope you will with the results.