Introduction: Bossk's Hounds Tooth Ship (Star Wars)
The Star Wars Universe has a plethora of really cool space ships. One that stands out from the crowd is from the Clone Wars animated series piloted by the Bounty Hunter Bossk and it is known as "The Hound's Tooth."
However, Bossk makes his first appearance in "The Empire Strikes Back", when Vader enrolls Bounty Hunter's to find Leia and Skywalker. He is the lizard looking dude in the Screenshot!
I know there are already assembled models of the ship used for gaming but I wanted to do a model that was scalable and a scratch build. I also wanted to wire it for lights. So I scaled it off photos and designed the details in CAD to be well over a meter long, then printed it down 15% of full scale to get the final result you see here.
If you want a huge ship hanging from your ceiling Filament printing will work just fine.
If you want a very fine detailed ship like what you see here, then print it in resin. I did mine at 15% scale and it is about 14" overall length.
Pick a size, and then let's get started!
1. STL files available here Bossk's Ship STL
2. About a full spool of Filament for a large ship or 500 ml of Resin for a 14" ship. For the fine detail I used resin printing.
3. CA Glue / Activator
4. Sandpaper: 200 400 grits
5. Air brush Paint: Primer (Black or Gray), Sand Color, and accent rust, white, and black.
6. LEDs - Blue, White, Red, or Colors can be your choices really...
7. 22 AWG wire, 220 ohm resistors (one for each LED used), and an USB cable from an old charging cable.
Step 1: CAD & Print Your STL Files
This project's steps can be followed for any ship or movie prop where you have a good series of pictures from all sides of the object. From those reference pictures, you can determine a scale of overall dimensions (length, width, height) and then scale up the smaller details.
I use millimeters as a reference unit of measurement because it makes the math of scaling a lot easier than imperial fractions. For example, if you have a picture of the side view of the ship and it measures 100 mm in length, to double the length, then just multiply by two for 200 mm. If you measured the photo in inches 100 mm would have been 3 -7/8" then doubled, is much harder to calculate and mistakes are more easily made.
I scale the overall body first, and lay down the lines in CAD as I calculate each length. That way if I make a scaling mistake, I can usually detect it right away as the CAD drawing looks strange. Then I fix it right away and I keep checking the scale as I go along.
As I CAD the parts, I make a Master Assembly File to check how the parts will mate up to each other. Resist the temptation to draw the entire ship in one file. First this will make it harder to print on smaller beds. Also if something doesn't quite look right or fits improperly, it is easier to fix one part file and keep track of those fixes than multiple versions of one master file.
I use an Anycubic SE mono that has a relatively small bed so fitting the parts on this machine was a bit of a challenge, but it worked good enough to get me the size I wanted... a 14" long ship. Orientation must be considered to get the best detail out of the print so sometimes you can only print one part at a time. Others, you can stack them up and get multiple prints off a resin bed (usually the smaller pieces). So breaking up the parts into smaller pieces is also a benefit to printing quality and speed of printing.
Filament is a trade off between layer height and how much time you want to post process. A great technique for smoothing filament prints is brushing resin over the filament print and then curing it with a UV light source (outside sunlight or flashlight etc.). This can then be easily sanded smooth, HOWEVER, too much resin will fill into the model lines and corners and you can lose a lot of detail this way. So go sparingly on brushing on resin if you try this method.
Step 2: Finishing / Assembly / Painting
Finishing / Painting:
Sand off all of the parts where support material or seams will join together. Test fit each piece to piece before it is glued. I use a lot of emery boards, needle files and sand paper down to 400 grit and I find that is good enough for such a model. Reason being is I will weather it and I am not looking for mirror finishes on a ship that has travelled the galaxy over several years!
Where parts do not fit up well, you may want to use model filler to correct any mis-fitting of parts. Let dry and sand smooth. I needed to do this on the very top of the ship and pay attention to areas where people will look, like the bridge, or engines , the top etc. Take the time to fit these parts well, and it will be worth it when you lay down your paint.
Prime ALL of the pieces of the model. Primer helps the finish coat stick better to the plastic body and provides a means of surface leveling for a smooth top coat. I used black primer and air brushed it on to fill all of the ship's section panel lines with black. Then coming back with a finish top coat of light brown, I still can see the hint of black in each panel line. I save any fine detail painting until after I glued the model together.
If you will install LED lighting, go to the next step and see how that is done BEFORE gluing the body panels together. If no lighting is desired, then go ahead and glue it up.
Once you know the parts will join up correctly (some warpage occurs even on resin prints), glue sub assemblies with CA glue on one side of the joint and CA activator on the other side. Be careful when fitting these pieces together because the activator will quickly cause the glue to set up. I use this activator method to help set the model together with minimal amounts of CA glue to prevent oozing out and creating more sanding issues. Where ooze does occur, just sand it smooth again and retouch with the airbrush.
Step 3: Wiring Up LEDs
If you want your ship to light up, locate what sections of the ship seems realistic for lighting. Such areas as navigation lights (on ships corners, wing tips, stern, etc) make for a first pass or must have lighting. Then determine where window lighting should be starting with the bridge.
Where lighting is desired, use a pin vise mini drill to drill holes through the hull. You may even want to square these round holes up to be more rectangular (depends on the overall size of you ship). MY ship was too small to square up these drilled holes, so I stuck with round windows.
Paint the INSIDE of the hulls where window holes have been drilled through. Use a metallic paint or a very thick coat of paint to prevent light from blowing through the plastic. You may even want to glue down some aluminum foil against the inside of the hull to help block this light and direct it where you want it to illuminate.
In my photos, I didn't do this and had to rework this issue because I had light blowing through the plastic and through the outer layers of paint.
This will be powered up by a usb cord from a phone charging cable. Cut the end off and strip the red and black wires as + and negative respectively. The white and green wires are not used so cut them flush to the end of the cable. Since USB is 5 VDC, a 220 ohm resistor will be perfect for controlling the current to each led used. Just solder a resistor in series to the positive leg of each led. I used 3 mm leds and a few 5 mm leds here but the smaller ones work best for light control and positioning. I used what I had at the time.
You can add a switch but i didn't as it just lights up as I plug it into a PC of USB wall charger. Keeping it simple is sometimes the best and you don't have to fit a switch into the base or model!
Step 4: Final Touches...
Once it is all wired and glued up, you might want to add a wood dowel and a stand to display the ship. Also keep in mind you may wantt the wings to pivot as in the Star wars show so do not glue the wing cross shaft to the stern - let it be free to pivot.
Touch up any scratches or imperfections and then give your ship the final detail painting of the equipment exterior to the ship. When dry, then come back with a final wash of rust and brown colors to give it that weathered look.
In the end, if you take your time in fitting, sanding and painting, you should have a custom sized and painted ship to your liking.
I hope you enjoy scratch builds as much as I do, as they give you the freedom to create your own model specifically from almost nothing !
Participated in the