by Petar Belic
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.