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1/2200 Zentraedi Cruiser Salan Scout


tplayer
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I am currently building a 1/2200 Salan Scout. It is roughly 9 inches long and about 4 inches wide. With this scale, I can detail the ship with laser and missile turrets and hull hatches. I am currently shaping the profiles of the hull and top engines. All of the profiles are in CAD and I use a laser cutter to cut out the profiles to see the shape and make adjustments. The center bottom engine is next after the hull and top engines are done followed by the miscellaneous bulbs and the "air scope" on the bottom front.

I am planning on creating this as a model kit and if there is enough interest for a 1/2500 scale version of the model. I will make this available as well.

I will post pictures as soon as I get a decent camera.

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This is an older version of the ship. I need to redo the top engine profile of the current version. I merged the removable top engine with the hull to make it easier to blend them together but in the process I really messed up the engine profile.

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I made progress with blending the top engine with the hull. My plan is to focus on the lower hull shaping from the center to the rear and the remaining portion of the engines extending out from the rear of the hull. Then I will go back to the top engines to see what else needs to be reshaped. I feel the side pods need to be widen a bit and more rounded. As a fun side project, I made a stand to hold the ship to help me make consistent photos of the ship at different angles.

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Overall, I haven't made much changes from the center to the front of the ship profile so I went ahead and filled in the previous hull halve to see what it looks like. The solid hull profile will also aid me in designing the top engine profile. The steps consists of gluing blue foam between the wood profiles, shaving the foam flush to the profiles, apply Bondo putty over the foam and wood profiles, and finally sanding the putty until flush with the wooden profiles.

I will be using a different technique on the master hull as it will be hollow to reduce the amount of casting resign and to allow additional effects such as lighting.

The next update will be showing the progress I made with the engines and the back lower hull.

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I made progress with the engine and fins. I used the laser cutter as a 3D printer to cut slices of the hollow engine and fin model and gluing them together to make the parts. It was challenging gluing the fin together with all of the tiny parts! But luckily, I just have to perfect one and make a mold of it and cast the rest. The fin on the solid half was glued on without the alignment pegs on the engine so it's off a bit with the others. I just wanted to see what it would look like in place before lazing an new half.

The lower hull is updated. It will most likely get another update when I concentrate on the rear port in which the next update will cover.

I would like to thank everyone for providing encouragement and interest in this model build!

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Very true. The added benefit of creating Zentraedi crafts. When I get to the detail stage, I was going to try to reproduce the organic skin you see in the close up line drawings of Zentraedi ships. It might not be feasible in this scale but I'll give it a go.

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I made good progress with the rear of the Salan scout. The photos show the rough drafts of the lower engine, the lower hull and the rear port (The ship is laying upside down.) My first impression is I need to enlarge the lower engine. It is challenging not to get the engine to high to be seen from the front view. The engine needs to seat more into the hull. The fins on the lower engines are just 1/4 inch wood cut to the profile. I didn't want to spend any time on them until I get the proportions of the lower engine right with the rest of the ship. The rear port needs to be widen and blended more into the hull. The rear of the ship gained about an half inch due to all of the solid rear profiles. I'll need to reduce the number of the profiles to get back to the scaled length. This will have to been done before I can make the noted adjustments. The next update will cover the corrections made to the rear of the ship.

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When I started to make changes mentioned in the last post, I was going nowhere. So I decided to redo the rear of the ship from top to bottom. The first step was to lower the rear port to align with the center line of the top engines. The lowered port caused the top spline of the ship to curve downward to meet the rear port. I adjusted the top engine width to accommodate the wider rear port. The lower hull was redesigned to blend the rear port to the lower engine. The lower engine was redone and made the hull grip the engine more.

Things to work on:

The top engines top profile have a pronounced U shape to them so they will need to be adjusted.

More adjustments to the lower engine profile again

I feel the lower hull needs to hug the lower engine a little bit more.

In all, I will make a few more adjustments to the rear of the ship to get it right and then it is time to move on to the bulbs and scoop thingy.

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  • 1 month later...

I made a lot changes to the Salan since my last post. I had some other projects to get done before I could back to the Salan. Plus, all the rework of the Salan is the reason for the long delay.

From the last post, I was having a difficult time aligning and reshaping the rear of the ship. When I started this project, I tried to align the front view with the side view which at the time I made the decision I couldn't rely to much on the front view when defining the profiles. But when I revisited the front view to aid me in reshaping the rear of the ship, it ended up I was referencing the parts of the front that were not aligned with the side view. I did manage to scale and align the front with the side view. This greatly help me in redefining the entire ship. Additionally, I figured out how to reference the 2D profiles and make a 3D model. I needed to learn this as some of the parts of the ship will be 3D printed. Plus, seeing the ship in 3D makes the profile shaping go a lot quicker and cheaper.

The major changes made to Salan are:

* The width of the ship was reduced.

* Engines profile now matches the side view and front

* The pod launcher (I was calling it the rear port. I found someone who can translate Japanese for me.) was lowered to be centered with the side pods

* The entire lower hull reshaped to match the front view

To Do List:

* Create all the top and side pods

* Create the front bottom scoop

* Create the lower engine and profile the lower rear hull to fit the engine

Once I get this done. I will cut out the parts and build up the mock up to see where I am at with the Salan. Hopefully, only minor updates are needed. I'm really itching to get to Stage 2 of this model!

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First of all thanks for all the comments and encouragement! I'm having a blast working on this model!

My latest update of the Salan Scout. There are two sets of pictures showing version 1 compared to version 2 halves and the new hull. My first guess of the width was way off! The new hull is much narrow. I added the distinctive channel that goes along the side. This is a single piece of polystyrene placed into the notches along each hull. This was a test fit. The side pods were sculpted earlier in the project before the forum posts. These were casted in dental stone. The mold is currently MIA but I do have the master if I need to make another one. Additional updates have been made that are not shown in the pictures. The alignment pin stringers for all the side pods and bottom scoop are done including the updates to the appropriate ribs. I am half way through hollowing out the ribs to make the hull a shell. I removed all the stringer notches (seen in the pictures) as they were not needed due to the profile ribs being smaller now. Then I will concentrate on the making the engines into two halves plus the inside vans.

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Yes. My goal is to build all the Zentraedi ships at 1/2200 in the following order: Scout, Destroyer, Carrier/Landing Ship, Command and Flagship. Plus, I was going make available something around the 1/5000 scale of the ships for those who want a smaller version.

The digital plans for each ship will be available for those who want to build their own for $5 when I finish each model. The plans will contain all the information needed to build one: views, profiles, additional information (laser turrets, missile launchers, hangar doors, etc.).

Each of my models will be lighted and the hull splitting to show the cannon when applicable. So depending on interest, I can provide the schematics, PCBs and hardware I used in my models.

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Great make sure you tell us what Mistake's you make when you do so we can learn or make Better mistake's them you wont fill bad in the long run,,,,,

I'm looking as a space 1999 Eagle Called ME1, to try on my 1'st ship like yours,

my cockpit is designed a lil different, then the normal 1999 Eagle

& you've shown me a few thing's I didn't know so I say thankx again

for your teaching skill's your reveling to us.

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Great make sure you tell us what Mistake's you make when you do so we can learn or make Better mistake's them you wont fill bad in the long run,,,,,

I'm looking as a space 1999 Eagle Called ME1, to try on my 1'st ship like yours,

my cockpit is designed a lil different, then the normal 1999 Eagle

& you've shown me a few thing's I didn't know so I say thankx again

for your teaching skill's your reveling to us.

I will make sure to keep that in mind when I make updates. Are you posting your effort on the ME1?

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Since my last post, I made the decision to take the next step and hollow out the hull. During the process, I ran into a situation where it would not be possible to have the top engines hollow while still being part of the hull. So I had to separate the engines from the hull. This will allow the engines to remain hollow and still be castable. I still haven't made the rest of the engines that extend out. I figured it will be easier to make these once the hull and engines are solid.

Also in my last post, I mentioned I was going to switch over to polystyrene. I bought the plastic I felt I needed to build up the hull. The first and second pictures are my attempts to laze the patterns out of 0.060" thick sheet. I picked this thickness as this was the closest to the 0.063" basswood stock I was using for the prototypes. The first attempt was a single slow pass with high power. The laser acted like a snow plow in the plastic producing low quality patterns. The second attempt was making multiple fast low power cuts (the picture shows 8 passes). The patterns were cut clean with a lot less build up on the cuts. When I attempted to remove the patterns from the plastic, it was like cutting through rock. The melted plastic was very hard. I was too spoiled with the clean cuts the laser made on the basswood and the idea having to work with the melted plastic made my decision for me.

The third picture shows rib#13. The rib on the right was about 0.063" wide along the length of the profile. There were two problems I ran into with this rib. It was just to fragile due to the being to thin and plus the grain of the basswood was perpendicular to the profile which made it extremely fragile( You can see the rib broken in the picture.). I think I broke a couple just handling them! The rib on the left was the correction to this problem by making the rib 0.120" wide and having the grain go parallel with the profile. The added bonus of making the rib wider was I was able to put the number on the ribs. This makes it a lot easier to arrange the ribs for assembly.

The rest of the pictures show the ribs attached to the hull, the alignment stringers for the pods and scoop, the channel in place and the inside hull stringers. The inside hull stringers are needed to allow the epoxy putty to grip and stay in place when applied.

The next post will show the application of the putty to the inside of the hull. This will be a thin layer just enough to create a inner wall so when I apply the putty from the outside, there will be a "floor" to keep the putty in place.

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Lasing styrene is an art! Take it from me, you'll have to mess with the power, speed and number of passes, but it will work. I'm working with my friend on his machine using 1mm and 3mm styrene now. It also took my friend and I putting a narrower focused laser on it (which he wanted anyhow). But it will work for both etching and cutting. We also either had to cut inside or outside the lines for tolerances to match designs.

Are you using compressed air in the beam field? That helps immensly, especially with styrene melting so easily. In the long run, less power means less "snow plow" markings. So speed and passes will help out. It's looking great though! - MT

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I had some time to fill in the inside of the hulls. First time using Apoxy Sculpt. In my opinion it's similar to milliput as it breaks easy while working it. I used water to minimize the breakage this go around. I will need to do some research on other techniques with the putty. For the bulk price, I can live with it. The pictures show an in progress, a completed hull and the hulls being pressed against glass as the putty cures to hopefully keep them flat. I don't know if it will work. I will find out in a couple of hours. The next steps will be to finish the inside of the hull by filling in the gaps to get things smooth as possible and to start sculpting the outside of the ship.

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The inside of the hull is almost complete. I still need to install the hull alignment pins and complete the hole to the engines. There will definitely be minor touch ups or corrections as I get closer molding and casting the hulls. The outside hull is roughly filled in. I wanted to wait until there was a solid foundation to work on when smoothing the hull with the ribs. One of the very small alignment pins for one of front side pods broke off. I can still align with the one pin. In the pictures, you can see the hull is not perfectly flat. I think I can eliminate this by sanding the hull on a flat surface until the gap is gone. This will be the first thing done before I continue on with the rest of the hull.

Now for the engines. There is an alignment plate (polystyrene) that will need to be heat and pressed against the hull. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it a flat plane from front to back. There is a twist due to the hull and engine profile. I am going to attempt the boiling water technique. First time trying it so wish me luck. Once the plate is in place I can set the rest of the engine profile ribs on this plate. Then I can sculpt and blend the two separate pieces to make the engine and the rest of the hull. The last portion of the engine will be tackled once these two pieces are done.

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Looking good! The good news is that the Zentraedi have "organic" looking ships with uneven surfaces. That should make life a little easier on you. - MT

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I managed to laze out two of the engine alignment plates with lots of fast, low power passes. Thanks MT! So once I had all the pieces ready to assemble the engine, the plate wouldn't align with the hull pins as a single piece. The pins were not in a straight line. This was most likely an error in my CAD design. So I split the plate in two to solve this problem. By doing this, the plates mostly stayed flush with the hull ribs. I did have to use the heat gun on the places where the plate didn't stay completely flushed. The next step was to glue the ribs onto the plate. No major problems there. I did try using saran wrap shrunk on to the hull with a heat gun. My reasoning for trying the saran wrap was my attempt to avoid placing a release agent (Vaseline) on the hull. The wrap kept moving when applying Apoxi Sculpt. I imagine if I tried a couple more times with the saran wrap it would of worked but I switched over to using Vaseline as a release agent. I covered the plate with putty to lock the ribs on to plate and to blend with the hull. Once the putty cured, I gently pried the engine from the hull. So the next stage is to glue stringers on the inside of the engine like I did with the hull and lay down the first inside coat.

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After going through the garage work shop, I couldn't find the mold I did awhile back for the side pod so I made another one. The pictures shows the sequence of making a single piece mold. I casted the pods in dental stone. It's easy to mix and pour and is very durable to work with. The next step is to come up with a plan to either use or don't use the alignment pins on the hull when attaching the pods.

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The engines are roughly filled in on the inside and outside. I used the same technique as I did with the hull. I glued on stringers and placed a thin layer of putty on the inside. Once the inside layer was cured, I followed up with a layer of putty on the outside. The next step with the engine is to make a silicone cone to place inside the engine and pour dental stone to fill in the inside of engine around the cone. Hopefully, this will make it easier to mold and cast the engine.

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