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Trade Federation Tank

[Proudly Sponsored by BLAP! Models]

by Roger Sorensen

Scale: 1/32 (ish)

This is a stock build of AMT/ERTL's Trade Federation Tank from SW Episode I, with a few corrections - boring out gun barrels and filling in some open areas that reference images show should be solid - such as the area under the main gun base's curved housing. I relocated the grab handles since some images show them in different positions from those given on the kit. I reworked the cylindrical side detail piece to correct detail omitted due to molding shortcuts. Other than the corrections, assembly was straightforward. The missile launchers required some re-shaping to remove an evident lip.

I matched colors and weathering patterns to photos I'd taken of a roughly half-scale tank that's part of the traveling Star Wars display. The true colors are different from those specified in the kit: I settled on two different mixes of Insignia Yellow, Afrika Brown, Wood, Desert Sand, and Radome Tan for the main colors and a dark tan and earth mix for the brown. Chrome silver and flat black were used on the gun and sensor barrels. All paints are Model Master enamels applied with airbrush and polished after they'd dried and cured to yield a semi-gloss luster.

And then the fun begins - really messing up a clean paint job. But, what would a Star Wars kit be without a heavy dose of grime and weather? The machinery under the turret is heavily dosed with flat black wash. Other areas have thin wash applied with a 10/0 brush. The bulk of the weathering is black and earth tone chalk dust applied with a variety of tools, including a furniture refinishing brush, "dead" paintbrush stubs, fine 5/0 and 10/0 brushes, and such. The bottom-side grime is chalk dust mixed with dullcote to make a gritty mud that I applied with a toothbrush. The silvery wear scuffs around the launchers, on handles and other edges are silver leaf Rub'n'Buff applied with an X-acto knife edge.

Image: Front view

Image: Top view

Image: Underneath

Image: Weathering

Image: Guns

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This page was last updated 8 March 2010. © 2010 Starship Modeler