Erin Lantz reviews Nova Hobbies' Species 8472 Bioship .

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Species 8472 Bioship

By Erin Lantz - images & text © 2000

Scale: 1/1400 - about 4 ½ in/ 11.5cm long completed
Parts: 7 white resin + 1 resin base
Instructions: small simple text sheet describing construction
Decals: None
Molding Quality: 9- Pretty good, just one big bubble in the wing bottom, easily fixed
Accuracy: 9 - Pretty good from what I can tell from my few references
MSRP: I paid $25 USD at Wonderfest from Federation Models
Overall Rating: 7 - It's nice, but I would have liked it to be bigger!

[Click to enlarge larger than life!]

I know what a lot of my friends out there are saying; "Erin's built a Trek ship?" Well gang, guess what?

I did just that.

[Parts is parts]


Image: Here's a larger viewof the three hull "prongs".

Image: Hull parts as compared to a standard jar of Testors paint.

Image: The "wings", cleaned and ready for paint.

Image: Base and hull center piece.

[Clear coat on - click to enlarge]

^Clear coats added.

^ Grey highlights added.

[After the wash]

^ After a black wash

[Top view]

^ Finished ship, top view

I saw this little kit on Federation Models' table at Wonderfest and I just had to have it. While tiny - it's just 4.5" long and 2" tall - it is a nice representation of the Species 8472 favorite ride. Having just finished a HUGE 31" tall Minbari Cruiser model that took months, I decided to ease back in with an simple model built with little to no alterations. Here's how it went.

Of course, the first thing I did was clean up the parts. Resin always has seam lines and voids that have to be filled or scraped; it's the nature of the stuff. Also, there's a groove where the mold halves fit together, but I didn't bother filling it. Instead I utilized it as another groove in the surface of the ship for even more yummy surface detail! Next I wiped down the pieces with acetone to remove releasers and then primed with Painter's Choice White Primer.

Assembly was kinda tricky. The hull pieces are supposed to fit on these tiny raised areas of the centerpiece, but the raised areas are not the same size and not even to each other. Since it's so tiny, I decided it wasn't that big of a deal and I got out the gel CA. I then covered the raised areas one at a time and carefully placed the hull pieces on. After each one was glued to the centerpiece, they made a triangle shaped ship when looking down the nose. I wasn't too impressed by the limited curves of the hull pieces, they're supposed to not touch each other at either end, but bending them to shape would invite breakage. No chance of that, I don't mind how it looks and I really don't wish to break this kit!

Next up were the wings. One of them had a small bubble at the lower tip that left much of the end material missing. I filled with Gel CA and spritzed it with Accelerator, problem solved. Each wing was then glued into it's own little groove in the centerpiece and moved around till all wings were the same distance apart.

Painting is where this little kit gave me the most enjoyment. As you may have noticed by my previous articles, I LOVE bioships! Vorlons, Shadows, Minbari, Species 8472, all their ships are alive, and the paint schemes these ship's skins display are the most challenging to capture. I love the use of weird colors and textures on these ships, and they're surprisingly easy to paint!

I started by hunting down a few pictures of the ship for reference. This wasn't easy as there are not many shots out there, but I found one really good one that showed the colors of the ship and it was sufficient. I loaded my trusty Badger 150 up with some Testor MM Burnt Umber and sprayed it along the inside edges of the ship's hull pieces, then I sprayed small crossing lines along the various hull lines that go side to side. The result is a tiger stripe-looking design in a red/brown color. I waited for that to dry, clear coated with Krylon Acrylic sealer, then loaded up the airbrush with Tamiya Clear Orange. Using the orange I carefully went around the inside edges of the red brown color so that there was a small blotch of white primer left showing at the tops of all the bumps in the surface of the ship. Now the ship takes on a blended look, kind of like airplane camouflage stripes. Next I used Tamiya Clear Yellow in the airbrush to fill in all of the areas that were still primer white. Now it looked like alien skin!

After another layer of clear, I used a flat brush to pick out some details and the nose in Testor Gunship grey. Then I loaded the same paint into the airbrush and sprayed on some grey dots at points that were shown in my reference photo. Actually, the whole center hull is grey, but it's so small it doesn't show on this kit. I fix that later with a wash anyway. One more coat of clear coat was sprayed on and then I put the kit in my sculpy bake box to dry for a few hours. Yes, I built and painted this whole ship in one afternoon!

[Starboard side] After the paint was baked on nice and hard, I used Citadel Waterbased Wash Black to fill in all of the depressions and holes in the hull and wings. The tiny holes were hard to get the waterbased wash into, but with some slick brushwork it fell into place. After the wash dried for an hour or two, I used Q-tips dipped into alcohol to wipe off the excess wash stains, leaving a beautiful bioship hull behind!

While tiny at 1/1400, this little kit is a really cool and fairly accurate representation of the fluidic space creature's ships. Decent castings and great surface details are pluses for this one, only the one void was found in the whole kit! If you're looking for a quickie that comes out looking schweet, pick up one of these, it's sure to please both Trek and Non Trek Bioship fans everywhere!

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