01 December 2017

A-Wing Roadster (1/24 scale model), Part 3

This project's come a long way since Part 1 where I mentioned the idea for this build came from looking at the main fuselage and imagining dragster slicks in place of the cylindrical engines and wanting to see what this would look like as a road vehicle.

Reminder of the space version.

Of course, it could only be a hot rod or race car, and much of the inspiration for that was seeing Colin Cantwell's concept model for the X-Wing fighter that looks like it was kitbashed from a dragster.

I bought two of these kits over a year ago, planning to do something non-standard with at least one of them, but I had no idea at the time that making a road vehicle would be an option, so this roadster was as much a surprise to me as it was a delight to build.

Decals port.

I figured spaceship markings would be different from automobile markings, and these particular ones could mean anything, so I didn't follow the decals guide in the instructions...and I didn't bother putting any on the underside. 

Decals starboard.

I used all the tiny decals the A-Wing kit came with and even pulled out some decal sheets from other kits to see if anything interested me or suited the vehicle, but I only added one small one (from a Chevy Nova) underneath the parachute (which you can see in the cover image up top. I thought about adding a big racing number on one of the "wings," but decided this simpler look (fancy paint job, minimal and tiny decals) is better (plus, I couldn't find a number that I liked).

Test fit.

The main body, here, is resting on something to keep it raised, but once it's attached to the front chassis, everything should hold together.


And here it is: self-supporting and ready for road tests. I like the minimalist, streamlined profile of this thing, made simpler by not adding any extraneous details like fins or spoilers or whatever. She looks FAST!


I originally planned to add the front bit of the ship from the Bandai kit as a "wing" attached to the front wheel axle (see Part 2), but it looked awkward and –somehow– it looks more realistic without it. Speaking of realism, I scuffed up the tires with sandpaper and added a hint of chalk dust here and there for some light weathering.


I like how the orange of the body continues onto the forks of the front chassis, contrasting nicely against the black frames. I originally wanted to paint the front bit black like in my paint scheme test image below, but the intake scoop got in the way of masking that off satisfactorily.

Original paint plan.

Those designs were more complicated to mask off than I could handle in real life (compared to Photoshop above), but I did my best and made some acceptable changes which, ultimately, look better (especially leaving the raised section behind the cockpit white).

Extra bracing.

Still, I got to include substantial black areas as part of the extra bracing (rod styrene) coming from the missile launcher grooves on either side of the fuselage, and the "flaps" (landing gear doors from the kit) at the leading edge of the body. There's an additional piece of black bracing (the landing gear skid laid out in Part 2) on the underside (beneath the flaps), attaching the fuselage to the chassis.

A better look at the front end.

This could probably be built in real life using a standard roadster frame, a rear-mounted engine and some kind of carbon fibre sculpted body to recreate the A-Wing shape...but that's beyind me and, anyway, I'm happy with this miniature.


Yeah, that's a tight cockpit, buddy...but if I'd used the model's 1/72 scale pilot (or even the 1/48 scale pilot I had standing by) the wheels would've looked HUGE. Maybe acceptably huge, but I like it at 1/24 and the mechanics I'll be adding to create a little "maintenance vignette" will help make my preferred scale more convincing.

Road test.

Of course, I had to shoot the roadster outside in natural light for that extra bit of realism. Here she is, getting ready to race down Clarke Road. Watch out for rabbits!

Parked at Small Pond.

Like the photo above, this was shot with a simple point-and-shoot that has a wider lens than my SLR, so I was able to do this in-camera, without any Photoshop assistance (except for some minor colour and contrast correction). I didn't make a special autumnal base for this; the car's resting on our lichen-covered well head!

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