Friday, January 11, 2013

How to build your own X-Wing Miniatures Senator Shuttle

My first almost completed project for the beginning of the year is a Senator's Shuttle for use in the X-wing Miniatures game. If you buy the core box you receive a card board card with a picture of the shuttle on it to use. Well that won't do. I like to represent objectives for games in 3 dimensions not 2. So I got out my tools and got to work.

After some playing around with the shape here is the finished product. It's mostly made from square styrene rod glued together to build the shape of the shuttle. I used 1/2 round styrene and flat plastic strips to add detail to the ship. The engines and the front of the ship are some blocks from the machine builder mold from Hirst-Arts. I cast the pieces in urethane plastic for durability. While I like the result, I figured there's got to be a better and easier way to build this. After looking at some pieces from the machine builder mold I found a way to quickly build a Senator's Shuttle and even create a whole fleet of them if you like.  

So unfortunately for this tutorial you will need to own, or borrow Industrial Accessory Mold #326 and the Machinery Builder Mold #327 found here. If you have never used Hirst-Arts, I totally recommend all of Bruce's product lines of molds he has to offer. The quality of the molds themselves is mind blowing and the detail is amazing. I currently own about 20 molds and use them for a lot of my hobby projects. But if you don't want to spend the money, there are a bunch of licensed vendors who sell casts of most of the mold lines. So you'll need the following pieces in the photo.

To make it a bit easier I labeled which pieces come from which mold. Unfortunately you will need to cast mold 327 six times to get the bottom pieces since they only get cast 2 at a time. 

So now it's just a matter of gluing the pieces together in the following fashion to make the essential pieces of the Senator's ship. The pieces that make up the engines are supposed to be chemical containers and have a tiny skull in the center of the diamond. I just take an x-acto knife and scrape it off, but if you want you can leave it on. 

Then it's a matter of gluing all the pieces together and done and done. So this new version is pretty simple to make. I think I glued it together in 10 minutes. Casting the pieces took way longer. But while you could use this ship as is, you can take it a bit further and add some more details to give it more of the Star Wars aesthetic.

All I did was cut up some styrene half rod and smaller styrene rod and glued it to the hull. Now it has a bit more detail and looks more Star Wars like. The awesome part is that the pieces from the Hirst-Arts molds give it most of the detail so you don't really have to do much after. 

A little paint and it will be ready to hit the table. So there you have it. Not much of a tutorial but I tried to simplify the process to make it possible for people who don't have much modeling experience can build one easily. So one project off to a start and it is still January! This might be the year of the hobbies yet ;). Any questions feel free to ask and as always....Keep on gaming!