By Terry Miesle - copyright © 1998.
T'Loth Assault Cruiser
1. Assembly. Though seen only twice in the series, this ship merits a design for B5Wars. We catch glimpses of the class in "Midnight on the Firing Line", where we see one wipe out a Centauri base orbiting Ragesh-3, and "Chrysalis" when we get some very good views of several ships (and a Narn outpost which looks curiously like several T'Loth linked together) just prior to them getting wiped out by the shadows.
Apparently an older design compared with the G'Quon, the T'Loth in turn seems to be the development of a smaller, single-slab ship. Given the Narns' penchant for selling arms to any and all comers, no questions asked, this ship is an ideal candidate for raiders and rogue factions. It features spacious hangar bays and good speed, both top priorities for pirates. As an assault cruiser it can carry numerous assault ships to land ground troops.
The AoG kit consists 7 metal parts: central section, side hulls (2), engines (2) and upper superstructures (2) - plus base, of the newer plastic design. My example was cast pretty well, but the central section was a bit warped, which I didn't detect until I glued the sides on. The side hulls attach to the central section angled both out to the top and to the front. At l east that's what it seems to indicate when I dryfitted.
I first attached the side hull pieces to the central section. This left a bit of gap, which I filled with gap filling superglue (GFS), then scraped and filed smooth later. I then noticed a bit of a warp to the alignment of the side hulls due to twisting of the central section. I bent the pieces as close to straight as I could, and decided to let it be. I left the engines off for the time being, for ease of painting, and glued the upper superstructure in place on the central section. I also left off the base since the model was very front heavy without the engines.
2. Primary Painting. I primed as usual with Tamiya Flat White, then followed with a base coat of Tamiya Sky Grey, after which I applied Testors Dullcoat. I thought of several schemes for this cruiser, and have seen a couple different schemes on the `net. I wasn't convinced a scheme similar to that of the G'Quon would look right on this broad-sided design. I wanted it to be colorful, not just grey, and settled on green. I used the same Tamiya green X-5 I used on the Frazi fighters. I chose this scheme before I closely viewed the episodes. So be it. Perhaps I'll paint another one to replicate the colors we saw then, a two-tone blue.
I wanted a bit of texturing to the color, however, and decided to drybrush the green on the side panels darkest at the outside, and nearly pure grey on the inside. I also drybrushed the bridge out front, and the upper superstructures. Remember, clean your brush often and use a semi-dry brush technique when working with acrylics. When done with this, I let it cure and then applied more dullcoat lacquer.
3. Detailing. I framed the green with Tamiya Sky grey, and put that grey in the detail insets on the side hulls, and the interior as well. I painted the engine section of the side hulls TMM Euro 1 Grey. TMM Steel was applied to the ladder-like detail on the side hulls and the engines themselves. The structure between the engines was painted Tamiya Sky grey. I put TMM Gunmetal in a band on the engines, on the main guns, and framing on the side hull inset details. I used TMM Steel and Euro I Grey on the central section spine. After these steps, I sealed with several coats of Dullcoat.
AoG's Narn T'Loth Assault Cruiser by Terry Miesle
Top and Bottom Views
A black wash was next since I thought the central section needed generous dulling and dirtying. The engines also were given full washes to bring out their nice detailing. Any areas with raised or recessed detailing, like the ladders, upper superstructures, central spine etc., also received a wash treatment. After the wash dried, and I removed excess pigment, then another dullcoat was applied.
I then started the drybrushing of light grey and Chrome Silver. Special attention was given to the guns, engines, bridge (TMM Steel was applied to the dome), ladders, and upper superstructures. The engine nozzles and hangar bays were painted TMM Flat Black and there is a bracket across the guns which got chrome silver.
4. Base I finished by attaching the engines and base pylon with superglue. This mini comes with the new T-shaped slot-and-groove bases of which I'm not fond. I used the base supplied, however, and superglued it in place. The T-base of the pylon sits a bit high in the base, and I had to sand it more close to flat. The T'Loth is so backheavy the pylon is set far aft, cantilevering the majority of the length out front. It proved to be a too much torque on the plastic rod, which broke the night before a model show. I drilled out the stuck plastic and used a spare metal pylon base. Much better.
This is an unusual design, and one which may require a little manhandling to get the alignment correct. It should allow numerous custom schemes, given its expansive hull sides.
|General Notes||Part I: Minbari Capital Ships|
|Part II: Narn Capital Ships||Part III Earth Alliance Capital Ships|
|Part IV: Other Races||Part V: Centauri Capital Ships|