Last week I posted pics of two land speeders that I’d just purchased on eBay. You may remember that they were in less than ideal condition. Being a bit of a bargain hunter I found it difficult to resist the price and decided to take the challenge. I wanted to take you along with me on the road to recovery for these two neglected speeders.
These are the two speeders as shown in the eBay auction:
As you can see, the first one isn’t too bad but the second on is in poor shape. Once they arrived I was able to take a closer look and pretty much confirmed my initial assessment-the first one was almost usable as is but the second one needs some work. When I found the pilot’s missing arm everything became clear:
Taking a closer look these it was apparent that someone had assembled them, painted them red, attempted to save them with some conversion work, and primed them black before giving up. As is often the case with salvage cases I pick up from eBay these were assembled with super glue…lots of super glue. Since super glue is brittle it’s usually possible to break the pieces apart at the joins and shave off the glue with relatively little damage to the model. So my first step was to break off the bits that were easy to remove:
This is what I had after about five minutes of gentle prying with bare fingers. Then I broke out the tools to work on the more stubborn bits. I usually try to get a blade into the seam and slowly work at it until it comes free. Then I shave at the remaining glue until I get down to the bare plastic. It’s important to remove this glue all the way to the plastic, otherwise my styrene cement won’t bond. I then went over the model to remove and thick portions of paint and excess glue.
The first of the two models was in pretty good shape. The wings from the other one had been used to give it an X-wing type of setup that I didn’t really like that much, and one of the extra wings had already broken off. I decided to keep this one closer to stock. I removed the second extra wing, cleaned up the glue left behind, and removed the spoiler from the second one so that I could add it to the first. I also pulled off the side doors, cleaned up the super glue, hid magnets behind the doors, and put them back on. The gun-rail is missing so I’ll need to build a mount for the heavy bolter, and I still need to build the crew. The ones I pulled out were in decent shape so I’ll clean them up and add some wolfy bits. They’ll be glued in place after everything is painted. The second model needed more work. By the end of the first evening this is what I had:
The original doors come out in decent shape but the door frames were pretty beat up so I just shaved them clean. I briefly considered opening the midsection up completely but I wasn’t sure how the typhoon missiles would mount and because I’m planning to use these in a tournament in April I didn’t want to get too bogged down. So I built some new panels for these doors and hid a magnet behind each for the missile launchers. Before adding the wings I traced one onto styrene to make a vertical fin. Both the side panels and the vertical fin were cut from .040 styrene with thin styrene laid over that to add detail. For the cockpit I decided to start with a template made from thin card because it’s free. The two sides are symmetrical so I built the template for one side, trimming and matching until the parts fit together. Then I traced this out onto .040 styrene twice. For the sections with windows I traced the panel onto very thin styrene then drew a window on that, cut it out, and added it to the panel after the cockpit was assembled. After enclosing the cockpit I built up a mount with a magnet hidden in it for the heavy bolter. The sensor array was missing but the twin heavy bolter conversion it came with had incorporated the locater beacon bit from AOBR so I cleaned it up and cut it to fit as a replacement. Here’s what I have now:
There’s still a little work remaining before I paint. I’ll need to build some new antennae for the fronts and some of the joints need a little putty to even them out. I’ll build some low profile Typhoon launchers for them. The open one needs a crew and heavy bolter. Overall I’m happy with the progress so far. By next week I should have some paint in progress pics.