Monday, May 29, 2006

Day 1

Rob and I got together Saturday at his house for some BBQ and bird watching. OK, so we did actually do some bird building. But, first we grabbed our trusty digital cameras and captured the pivotal moment I would like to call "the reveal". As we pulled the kits from their cardboard cage a smile came accross my face.
Before we got underway, I thought no buildup of a Fine Molds Falcon would be complete without a comparison to the ERTL kit. Luckily Rob had one that he had finished about 10 years ago. Here they side by side:

We were ready to get started gluing tiny pieces of plastic together at last. First stop, a nice bath in warm water and mild dish soap to get rid of any mold release or oils on the parts.
I decided to start with step 7. One of the reasons I skipped the first steps is that they involved some decision making that I didn't wanted to waste time on now. For example, step 1 is assembling the cockpit. I know I want to illuminate the cockpit as well as the instrument panels which means some of the parts may need to be recreated in clear plastic. Since I just wanted to jump in and get something on the ship finished, I decided to target some simple sub-assemblies. Rob worked on his dish and the cockpit while I focused on the escape pods.

This is where I got my first taste of how insane the Fine Molds pattern makers are and just how difficult this kit is going to be. I snapped two little pieces (I repaired them) in the process of attaching them to larger pieces. The key is to be patient and careful. Using Plastruct brand "Plastic Weld" glue is a challenge. It is definately the right stuff for the job as it lightly melts the styrene together on contact. However, it evaporates so quickly that you must really get a feel for how much to apply and when to join the pieces. At the end of the day, I didn't have much done, but the escape pods look beautiful.


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