Introduction: Spaceship Scratchbuild
Hey everyone! It's been quite a while since I've uploaded one of these instructable things, eh?
I'm planning on getting back into posting here, so hopefully you should be seeing more of these over the next few months and more.
In this one, I'm gonna be talking through how I made this spaceship model. I've made a newer one since then with a much better design, and I'm considering posting it, but it might just be too similar to this one in terms of the process but if anyone wants me to post it just let me know. :)
Step 1: Sketching and References
To start off, I highly advise you to gather some references for you to adapt into your own designs when sketching. It makes the process much easier to come up with an interesting, unique design, and gives you an idea of what you want the model to look like when it's finished.
Always try to come up with as many ideas as possible to find your favourite design before making it.
Step 2: Body, Nose, and Wing Shape
To begin, I shaved the top off of the foam ball to create the flat top to my design, and took the old credit card to chop two triangles off the corner. When I glued these to the front to make the shape of the nose, I made sure to use a lot of glue so I didn't have to use as much milliput to save money :]
I then cut out two equal strips and two more triangles to make the shape of the wings. To make sure the wings weren't going to move when sculpting, I cut a slot and pushed the strips through them before gluing. The triangles were glued to the back of the strips to complete their basic shape.
Step 3: Tail and Extra Wing Detail
The tail of the ship was made from two strips of plastic glued together for extra sturdiness, and stuck on to the top end of the ship, making sure it was straight. The top detail of the wings are from a Revell starter kit Snowspeeder, and I just stuck them onto the top of the wings.
Step 4: Engines and Milliput
Like every instructable, I get carried again and forget to take photos of some of the stages. :<
So what I did in this section was take a couple of toy plane engines and glue them to the sides of the nose, using extra glue again to save milliput. I then filled in a triangular section under the tail with a cut triangle of EVA foam and a matchstick for strength. I then glued a couple of ribbed tubes onto the foam under the tail.
I then covered the whole thing in a layer of milliput, and filled in any unwanted gaps, as well as creating some of the forms of the engines.
To finish, I sanded the entire thing until it was all smooth.
Step 5: Adding Extra Detail
With the basic shape of the ship done, it's time to add more detail!
The blasters under the wings are taken from the same Snowspeeder set as the top detail of the wings, and were glued flat against the back of the inside of the wing to make sure they were straight.
The shape of the cockpit was made from a fancy thing I had that pushed an eraser through the hole, and the extra details on the side are parts from the inside of a clicky pen (technical term of course).
I also added a flat strip of plastic to the top of the tail to make it look a bit rounder and a ball inside the cockpit hole, but they're not pictured in this step.
The pictures here also show you basically what the back looks like from the last step.
Step 6: Sanding, Priming, and Spraying
To get a nice finish when sanding the ship for the last time, I used a range of sandpaper from 120 grit up to 400, which worked nicely.
I then primed the whole thing with a layer of grey primer, and I gave it a relatively light dusting of white spray paint, as I wanted to leave some areas in the cracks darker to make it look more worn.
Step 7: The Little Things
I used red, yellow, and dark silver model paints to paint the details on the ship, and a black wash to give the ship a more used appearance. I didn't really think of a paint scheme when designing the ship, so it was improvised and probably could've looked much better with more planning, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome.
I'll always leave a little description of painting techniques in every instructable, but it saves clicking for some people:
Dry-brushing is basically when you dip your brush in paint (here I used silver), and rub most of the paint off the brush until the paint is fairly dry. You then just apply it to areas of your model you think would need it most to look damaged.
Washing is when you take a colour (in this case black) and thin it down with water. Then you brush it on in certain areas. You can leave it as it is, or if you think the colour is too strong/dark, you can use a tissue to dab it off a little.
Highlighting is when you get a lighter version of your colour (e.g. red, light red), and paint very thin lines along the edges of your model, to really make the details pop. This technique is especially helpful when you're wanting to show off just how extremely detailed some areas of your model are.
Step 8: Making the Wooshiest Base (optional)
You could stop reading here, and the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
Or, you could continue, and I show you how deep the base making goes.
A Matrix quote? I don't Neo what you're talking about.
Anyway, this step will show you how to make an intensely wooshy base for your ship.
I started out with a square base I had from a statue I no longer own, which was convenient, and I sculpted some mounds onto it with milliput. I also, tapes some string down to see if that could work for the structure of the sand dunes. I then mixed up some plaster and made the rough shape of the dunes over the original structure, and sanded it down once it had dried. To finish the shape off I used some more milliput to build up some of the dunes. I then brushed a fair amount of PVA glue onto the base, and poured sand onto it.
Once it had dried, I wasn't happy with the colour, so I sprayed the whole thing white, and used a mixture of brown, white, and pale yellow model paints to get the colour and shading I wanted.
For the final part, I found a clear drink stirrer and chopped it down to the length I wanted. I then drilled a hole in both the base and the ship where I wanted the stirrer to connect them. Then all that was needed was to glue the stirrer into the holes, and it was finished!
And now you should have a fancy little spaceship you can show off to all the cool dudes in the block. ;)