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SA-46 Silpheed - Lancer Type

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by Petar Belic

Scale: 1/100

Silpheed is a classic Japanese space shooter game, having gone through various incarnations. One of the mainstays however is the Silpheed fighter. This particular space superiority fighter is all about guns, guns and more guns! Recently, PLUM has started a line of model kits based on various computer games, and have already issued two versions of the Silpheed.

I have chosen to not only paint my Silpheed a substantially different colour scheme from the original but have also substantially modified the cockpit area. On the original model, the cockpit area is 'blind' - there is no transparent canopy. The pilot relies on external sensory input only. For a military ship this makes a lot of sense, sadly lacking in many starship fighter designs. However, perversely I decided I needed a transparent canopy on mine to add a sense of scale so I could expose the pilot.

Using the supplied blind canopy I created buck to vac-form over. Using PETG plastic, and a bit of patience I created a nice clear canopy. I also built the interior of the cockpit from various scraps from the odds and ends box, and a 1:100 scale pilot I had been hoarding from an old model. I'm not really a fan of this scale, but I could not fit in a 1:72 scale pilot.

The kit is nicely engineered, fitting is fantastic, but in the modern Bandai-style, not really made best for painting before assembly. For example, moving hinges were required to put it together. Normally I'd be very wary of this, as it would scratch the paintjob. And as this area I wanted to make metallic, it would be even more susceptible to showing up any issues. Luckily there were no problems - it's actually a wonderfully easy kit to put together, and apart from some unslightly gaps between the wing root and stabilisers that needed to be putty, practically fell together.

Tamiya acrylics were used for most colours.

All decals came from my spare decals box, and I can't blame anyone else either for the odd colour scheme... I just wanted an orange and grey ship! The metallic areas were all sprayed Tamiya Gloss Black Lacquer, and then over the top went the trusty old Alclad which for my money gives the best metallic finishes. Over these went washes and drybrushing for a few highlights.

Finally, I found a new style of mount from Italieri for the base. I did not like the one supplied - it seemed a little too overwhelming for this ship, which is much smaller than it looks!

I do wish PLUM had made this in 1:72 instead. But beggars can't be choosers and in the end I am just very happy to get a Silpheed on my deck.

Image: Head on

Image: Top/left view

Image: Right/front

Image: Right/rear

Image: Right side

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This page was last updated 1 February 2011. © 2011 Starship Modeler