TUTORIAL!! Make Your Own…Y-Wing Fighter by Lasse Henning


Another tutorial from Model Master… Lasse Henning!…

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This is one of the classic Star Wars rebel starfighters. It conveys raw engine power and a serious attitude, and its battered and worn look it tells stories of countless engagements and atmospheric reentries. If I were to have one hopeless dream come true, it would be to fly this relic into battle with blazing cannons and a warrior`s cry.

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There is something about all the exposed detail that is special to the “Star Wars look”. The model looks like it has been dipped in glue and rolled in plastic parts, I just love that! Naturally, that was how I started this project, I went out and bought about 10 different model kits of trucks, battleships and tanks.

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The fighter`s main body frame was constructed from 3-millimeter styrene. The bridge between the body and the engines was made from 8-millimeter plywood for strength, and laminated with 1-millimeter sheet styrene. The main volume of the engines was based on two acrylic tubes, which I also laminated with sheet styrene. Styrene sheets are ideal when you add styrene kit parts later. It also provides a good surface for the paint and it is great for scribing panel lines.

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I wanted to build the model with lights in the cockpit interior, engines and in the R2-units eyes. It was therefore necessary to incorporate this in the basic structure. There is room for a 9-volt battery behind the “snap-off” end plate on the body. A small bulb provides light for fiber optics later installed in the cockpit and in the R2-unit. Engine lights were based on two powerful brake-bulbs scavenged from my old car.

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Ok, so now I had the basic shape of the model prepared. The only thing missing was all the round parts. This project offered me the challenge of vacuum-forming for the first time, which caused me a huge headache. I had heard of industrial vacuum-forming, and I soon realized this could be achieved at home.

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I started experimenting with the kitchen oven and the domestic vacuum cleaner (ref. the vacuum-forming article). The results were surprisingly good! I must admit to shedding a few happy tears at the sight of the first successfully formed engine dome. I made the vacuum plugs by cutting styrene ribs and filling the shape with epoxy putty.

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I repeated the process for the cockpit section, the canopy and the rear engine shields and suddenly – there it was; the complete shape of an Y-wing!

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Then it was the interior of the cockpit. I converted a driver’s chair from one of the truck kits into a pilot seat. I just rebuilt it with epoxy putty straight onto the chair. The pilot was made from epoxy putty as well, but I learned later that “Super Sculpey” or Pro-mat was better for sculpting figures. The details in the cockpit were mainly made from truck parts.

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Detailing was easy and a lot of fun. In addition to the kit parts I used styrene rods and tubes.

The hardest part was knowing when to stop.

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The model was painted in Humbrol enamels. I dripped Maskol (liquid rubber) on the white plastic before the paint was sprayed on. When the model was finished I just peeled the rubber off to simulate chipping of paint.

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Most of the details were hand-painted. The last thing I did was to give it a dark wash of thinner and oil colors and a drybrushing.

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FINISHED Photos!!!

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