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B-Wing Service Bay No. 41

[Proudly Sponsored by BLAP! Models]

by Wolfgang Bittermann

Scale: 1/72

This work was inspired by an image I saw in the Star Wars The Complete Cross-Sections Book . It is still available in many Amazon Online Stores.

Used kits (complete or partially):

  • 1:72 Blade Wing Fighter from Fantastic Plastic
  • 1:72 Hangar Equipment set from Triliance Germany
  • 1:72 Hangar Personnel set from Triliance Germany
  • 1:72 U.S. Pilot / Ground Crew Set from Hasegawa
  • 1:72 Nato Pilots and Ground Crew Set from Esci
  • 1:72 seating Pilots from Starforge Studios
  • Decals from JBOT and Starforge Studios
  • 12” x 16” Wooden Image Frame
  • Stryren Sheet from various thickness
  • Bits and Ends from Spare Part Box

I did not read many Star Wars novels or comics. But during the build of this diorama a few ideas came up my mind, of course. Although most of them are not based on any Star Wars facts I want to share them with you:

All the action in this diorama plays part in a non specific galaxy near the galaxy far, far away we all know so well. It shows a small segment from a great rental hangar complex (W & B Pimp your Fly Company) where freelance pilots and smugglers can do service and modifications to their vehicles and vessels. To provide safe development the whole hangar is subdivided in colored areas (see top view image).

Area with yellow markings is for space crafts, light blue area is for staff and equipment in use, black area is for storage and properties of renter, red area is for hangar traffic such as personnel/passenger and spare part transports. The hangar complex is located on the southern hemisphere of a planet called Akinom near the Inner Rom. The W & B Pimp your Fly Company also rents service bays to military and police forces as well. The shown service bay no. 41 here is a special service bay which is able to hold a Slayn & Korpil B-Wing Starfighter by using docking claws. The docking claws can also fully retract underneath the floor for standard use. Owner of this B-Wing is the freelance hot-shot pilot Nine Numb who bought this ship from his younger brother Ten Numb some years after the intergalactic war has ended. Nine Numb earns his upkeep by taking all kind of jobs like escort duties with a high risk of conflicts with other fractions as well as planetary surface scanning for geologic and cartographic recordings. His B-Wing Starfighter is the best choice when taking that various kind of jobs because of its ability to carry different equipment. Heavy ion canons can exchange with atmospheric measurement technique. Twin laser blasters can exchange with weather radars and so forth. Meanwhile Nine is a rich freelancer who has lots of gadgetry installed to his ship, just as the windscreen wiper which is very helpful for jobs in rainy atmospheres. The canopy is made from a special alloyed transparisteel with a self-tinting feature depending on sunlight solarisation and any other radiation. Guess what he all has in his containers placed in his storage area. This hangar complex is a high frequented place where many kinds of people can be met. Ocram Eksolehcs, the four-armed green dude, is the fastest technician on the deck in reconnecting disconnected multi-junction-connection cable-salad in any weapon system - and he always has a helping hand for his friends. His motto is: “If you can`t screw it: Just glue it!”. If you need some brand new advanced twin ion canons you have to talk to Nafets Rekcah the Aquilish. For cooler designed heavy ion canons in shiny brass Mot Reburg the Bith is your man. Nine dealed with both and is very satisfied. He is always looking for cool new equipment and flattens his wishlist with freelance dealers and supply officers. On the personnel transport you can see Hammy the Ithorian who usually stays at his house on Tatooine. But for this Starfighter contest he came out to view all the nice ships and chat with participants. Also on the transport this must be James Botatis itself delivering a big order to a costumer.

The B-Wing model is made from the Fantastic Plastic kit. Unfortunately it is no longer available. As a pattern I used pictures from the Star Wars Chronicles and from the Starship Modeler Hardware Reference site. Basically this is a nice kit but it needs some extra detailing work on some areas. I rescribed all lines on the fuselage and on the wing parts. Furtheron I drilled small holes to the edges of all armour plates which gives the model a much more detailed and sturdy look. All the laser barrels in the kit were warped and slant. I replaced the bigger ion canons at the end of the wings with brazen tubes and the smaller twin lasers at the top of the nose with injection tubes and other parts from the spare part box. The large weapon platform at the end of the large main wing got some extra tubing and more details. I had to scratchbuilt the upper half of the cockpit tube to make further works possible. The cockpit parts primary given to the kit was poorly detailed indeed. When I start building this model I knew the cockpit had to present in open position. In addition I used the more detailed after market cockpit from Triliance Germany which was available for a limited time only. Although this cockpit already was nicely detailed I invested more work and time to add excess detail. Additional cranks, hand gears, control stick, head cushion and ejector seat were installed. From time to time fiancé took a look over my shoulder saying that I will loose myself in detail someday. Which modeler would admit to that? … later on I found myself folding seat belts from kitchen foil!

A great disappointment in that kit was the cloudy appearance of the clear canopy. Even immersing that part in Future acrylic floor polish did not work. The smokey look of the canopy did not prevent me to make it a small eye-catcher as well - even when you tell a reasonable story about that. I painted the outer and inner canopy struts free hand with a small brush and glued some small cockpit instruments to the inner struts - I saw that on images of the studio model as well. I choosed Model Master Camouflage Grey as the overall color of the B-Wing. For the darker tone at the end of all three wings I used Revell colors. It is a mix of blue and grey. Same color was used for the markings at the aft cockpit tube and on some ion laser barrels. I wanted to have some heavy abrasive wear especially on the front parts of the ship. With a small brush and the new Revell Aqua Color acrylic paints I was able to realize this effect to my satisfaction. I added a dark wash all over the ship with thinned oil based color. The followed rusty work was done more heavily near the wing joints and very less to the rest of the fuselage. There are only a few small decals on this model. I did not used the red circle given to the kit but the ones I received from Starforge Studios some day. I don't know how I earned them, I guess Petar sent them along with his seating pilot set. I was happy to have them. After all decals were dried I applied a layer of dull coat to protect the model and to prevent the glossy appearance of some decals. Last working step on the B-Wing model was to glue the open canopy into position.

As said before I used lots of parts from various 1:72 hangar personnel sets from different manufacturers. The 1:72 scale hangar equipment set and personnel set from Triliance Germany are the best choice indeed for Sci-Fi related diorama building. It has alien pilots and technicians, great looking spaceship diagnostic equipment and a nice personnel transport. Both sets are (sometimes) available in the SSM store or from Triliance Germany. Together with parts and figures from other hangar crew sets I got a nice mix of staff which brings incredible life to this diorama. There is so much to explore, you can't keep off your eyes from it in real life. (I hope the images tie you to your monitor as well). Nine Numb the pilot is made from a figure from the Esci figure set and a head from a seating pilot from Starforge Studios. The four-armed dude is made from the esci set as well. The sitting Ithorian is taken from the old AMT/Ertl Cantina Action Scene kit which contains a few nice figures in nearly 1:72 scale. All figures were painted with water based acrylic colors from citadel and coat d`arms. The technique parts like personnel transport and diagnostic equipment were mainly painted with Revell email colors. I love the containers - a friend sent them to me a year or so ago. Since then I kept them well for a project like this. I loved the idea Nine Numb collected lots of usable component parts for his ship from well known manufacturers such as Incom and Koensayer. There is a Kuat Drive Yards container as well - they have great parts also. To honor the work of some of our favourite after market manufacturers I devoted containers to Starforge Studios and JBOT decals. All R2 units on this dio wear JBOT decals by the way. I regret I did not make more but I ran out of decals and containers.

I found that 12” x 16” wooden image frame for a few bucks in a sale - a good catch. After scribing all the lines the whole floor got few layers of Model Masters Camouflage Grey. With a light wash with thinned black all the floor plates came out nicely. I wanted to have a straight layout of areas on the hangar to ensure well-ordered operational sequences. Therefor the whole scene is installed a bit way-out into the frame. All the colored stripes are decals from my leftover decal sheet collection. The docking claws were made from military tank and AMT millennium falcon parts. Filling station and power points were made from styrene sheet and bits and ends from the spare part box.

Image: Overall, another look

Image: From behind

Image: Left side

Image: Fixing things

Image: Riders

Image: Busy

Further Images:

Image: Top view

Image: B-Wing cockpit

Image: Right side

Image: Pallets

Image: Discussion

Image: Ground level

Image: Rear

Image: Wepons pod, top view

Image: Fixing things

Image: Front view

Image: Closeup

Image: Riders, other side

Image: Group shot

Image: Plumbing

Image: Hoses

Image: Another look

Image: Closer

Image: Let me get that for you

Image: Weapons pod, in progress

Image: Cockpit

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This page was last updated 2 February 2011. © 2011 Starship Modeler