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Earthforce Mutt

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by Paul Mather

Scale: 1/200

When I heard about the Starship Modeler competition I was inspired to get back into scratch-building after a long break. I was thinking originally about something inspired by Gerry Anderson's UFO, but I ended up designing something that fitted in better with the Babylon 5 universe. My sketch was doodled at work during a lunch hour.

I started work that evening. The build was primarily done with sheet styrene (aka plasticard in the UK). I used a variety of thicknesses, but mainly worked with .5 mm to 2mm thicknesses. I started by laying out the main elements using simple shapes. I had to plenty of checking as I didn't want any elements to skew. I followed the gospel of "measure twice, cut once".

As is usual with these things, I tend to adjust the design as I go. Quite often seeing things in 3D gives you ideas. In this case I realised I wanted to add a few asymmetrical elements here and there. I also realised that, apart from the missile pods, the ship seemed under-armed for a gunship. I therefore added a 'pod' under the nose and off to one side where I places a whopping great weapon. In the B5 universe a lot of ships have a main forward firing main weapon; this would be mine.

Once I had the main hull forward section complete I worked on the two side pods. These again were fairly simple shapes, but I needed to think ahead, planning the inserts to the pods in advance and building in all the details before adding the panels into the pod shells.

The next stage was to build the rear half of the hull and the fusion drive unit. Again, I had to spend plenty of time measuring, cutting, shaving and sanding to get the cross section just right all the way down then hull. The rear fusion array was made in a similar manner to the side pods, creating the inserts and then adding into the shell. The eight field emitters were all built at the same time using identical components. If I had more time I might have tried to cast them, but in the end this worked out just fine.

Once I had the main structures complete I primed the whole model using Halfords' car primer. I cannot rate this stuff enough as it is so smooth, goes on great and shows up the slightest imperfections in the model. After each coat I sanded, filled, sanded again until I was completely happy.

Next began a careful, laborious process of panelling. I built this up in layers starting with larger panels, and then overlaying smaller, thinner panels. This was followed by layers of detailing using bits and bobs from my many spares boxes.

The model was underpainted in flat dark grey and then coated in a mid blue-grey (Tamiya acrylics XF-20 Medium Grey with a touch of XF-18 Medium Blue). I did a very light drybrush in a lighter shade (XF-12) to catch highlights on the raised panels. I then applied a variety of shading using various mixes of XK-24, XF-25, XF-65 and XF-70. To add some tonal interest I applied a few areas of XF-9 Hull Red. Details were added using citadel acrylics, mainly the metallic shades.

I created my own decals using photoshop and decal paper. This included copying the Earthforce logo. These were applied using decalset to ensure good adhesion. I dusted the whole thing in dullcote.

I weathered the model using grey, black and brown dry 'hard' pastels.

Background Information:

GS-11 Mitchell-Hyundyne Warhound affectionately called the Mutt

  • D-37 Mondhexe (Moonwitch)
  • Commissioned 2221
  • Assigned to 147 Squadron Lunar Defence Force
  • Commander Alexander Hastmann

  • Length 96.2 meters
  • Width: 42.5 meters
  • Height: 16.0 meters

  • Crew 24
  • 1 x Fusion reactor
  • Average 85cm armoured hull

Armaments:

  • 1 Particle Laser
  • 2 Fusion Missile clusters

In the early half of the 23rd century, Earthforce identified a need for a mid-sized, mid-range ship. Mitchell-Hyundyne won the contract to develop the GS-11 project designated 'Warhound'. The Warhound was designed to be a multi role ship capable of delivering heavy firepower at the expense of long range capability. The result was a beast of a ship. Tough, fast and with the firepower to do serious damage to larger ships.

The first Warhounds were rolled out in 2221. Its brutal weaponry and less than aesthetic appeal quickly earned it the nickname Mutt .

The Mutt 's first proved their worth during the Earth-Dilgar war. In 2231 Earth helped the League of Non-Aligned Worlds against the Dilgar invasion. When the Dilgar launched a huge assault on the Orion Colonies, the Mutt s, alongside Starfuries and other Earthforce warships, quickly fought off the Dilgar. D-37 took part in this action taking out two Dilgar ships and damaging a third. She was herself damaged and returned to Earth for repairs.

In the aftermath of the Dilgar war, D-37 was re-assigned to the Lunar Defence Group, where she served with honour for many years. Under the command of Alexander Hastmann, she was affectionately named 'Mondhexe' (Moon Witch).

The Moon Witch, now a venerable old lady, was destroyed at the 'Battle of the Line' during the Earth-Minbari war.

Image: Front view

Image: Starboard side

Image: Top view

Image: Left/rear

Image: Deck-level view

Image: Underneath

Image: Original sketch

Image: Getting started

Image: Basic shape

Image: Detailing

Image: Mostly there

Image: The eight field emitters

Image: Done

Image: Base coat

Image: Detail painting

Image: Decals

Image: Done


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This page was last updated 15 July 2009. © 2009 Starship Modeler