[SSM's 15th Contest: Wrecks]

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Needle Threader

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by Joseph C. Brown

Scale: 1/35

A modified version of the Death Gliders, it is designed to go through a Stargate. Like the more conventional death gliders, it is built to be used by two people - a pilot and a gunner. While conventional Death Gliders are built with two wings, this craft has one wing curved in a partial cylinder around the central body housing the cockpit and weapons. It is armed with two heavy cannon version of staff weapons.

Only one example of this ship type has been seen, in the season three premiere episode "Into the Fire". During this episode General Hammond goes to Chulak to meet up with Teal'c and Bra'tac. They develop a plan to rescue SG-1 (captured by Hathor) and for this plan, Bra'tac shows them the hidden ship. Bra'tac had hidden the ship in the forest "some hundred years" ago, where it remained undiscovered until the end of the 20th century. The ship is used to fly through the active Stargate to where Hathor has captured several SG-teams and then to attack Hathor's Jaffa from the air. The craft's fate after this episode isn't revealed.

Bra'tac stated that few pilots could master it, indicating that "threading the needle" is a skill for the young. Teal'c says of the craft that "they do not build them as they once did."

The Model

This is the model that taught me that I cannot make models. That's how it seemed at the time, as I had horribly underestimated what would be required to complete it! Using a garage kit Death Glider fuselage as the starting point, locate a model of the actual Stargate to determine what is the inner diameter of the Gate in 1/35 scale. Now calculate a tubular wing that fits through a model of the Gate and can still be matched to the few screen caps of the vehicle in flight. Determine the actual shape of the wing - good luck!

Learn what parts of the French curve set are helpful in making scribing lines on sheet plastic. Learn to cut teeny tiny thin pieces of sheet plastic to make the exposed greeblies that are on normal Death Glider wings (non-canon - they cannot be seen on screen), and then contrive a reasonable pattern onto the tubular wing.

Play around with some RTV and resin to make the wing using the mangled sheet plastic. Make a copy that is acceptable. Again. And again. I ran into many, many shape issues, and getting this completed became Zeno's Paradox personified. I did indeed give up, and handed off the masters, such are they are, over to a garage kit maker who will hopefully have better luck than I did!

When the Wrecks Contest was announced, I pulled out my surviving resin experiments from various storage bins, and was determined to get this one finally completed. Snapping some pictures of the finished model under various bushes in my yard was very satisfying to me, even if a bit puzzling to the neighbors.

Image: Getting started

Image: Wing inset pattern

Image: Fun with scribing

Image: Resin poured

Image: Basic shell

Image: Components

Image: Primed

Image: Right side, on stand

Image: Left/front view "on the set"

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This page was last updated 14 November 2007. © 2007 Starship Modeler