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QM-19 Vampire Bat

By Zachary Madere

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The QM-19, dubbed "Vampire Bat", is long-range recon jump-ship. Piloted by a crew of one and employing a centrifugal particle collector drive, it boasts significant useful range and autonomy. While unarmed, its multi-band sensor suite can detect and track targets as large as a baseball 40,000 miles away and it's speedy, nimble frame help it avoid most trouble it might encounter. A QM-19 was responsible for detecting a flanking Venus Combine fleet during the Ort offensive.

This is a scratchbuilt/kitbashed spaceship I created in my spare time in 2019. The whole thing started as sort of a challenge amongst friends to use a computer mouse in a build. I knew I wanted to make a spaceship and I knew I wanted it to have an asymmetrical layout as I'd been playing the video game Destiny and was inspired by the unique and creative jumpships in that game.

I started by experimenting with the large shapes that would make up the ship, the computer mouse for one, the fuselage from a Testors F19 kit, and an engine made of a deodorant stick, pill bottle, and eyedropper. I like to use household items in my scratchbuilds as, aside from being plentiful and cheap, usually the shapes don't resemble anything recognizable. Some other details in the ship are a coffee creamer lid the intake on the back, toothpaste lids for thrusters and a clear plastic ornament for the cockpit bubble, which I broke down and purchased.

This wasn't my first time using LED's in a build but because I knew I wanted it to be mounted on a stand it required a fair bit of planning. The cables had to be routed through the model and down to the base where the battery pack and on switch are housed. I used a piece of a milk bottle in the engine to diffuse the light because its relatively opaque, and it did a good job.

The paint scheme was inspired by Chris Foss paintings and originally I'd wanted to go with a real outlandish scheme seen in one of his paintings with tiger stripes but after experimenting with it in Photoshop over pictures of the model I wasn't sure. I put a few different schemes on social media to get feedback and the schemes I ended up with was the most popular one, inspired by another Chris Foss painting ("Ships of the Line"). Numbers and stripes were stenciled and decals were collected from kits I've scavenged for parts and weathering was done with oil paints.

I had a blast building this and I hope you've enjoyed the process!

More Images

Image: Early construction of the Engine, mocked out here with a small deodorant stick, a pill bottle and the top to some eyedrops.

Image: Port side with the coffee creamer lid and cockpit bubble.

Image: Starboard side with the engine suspended between the F19 fuselage and mouse.

Image: Blending the shapes for the cockpit bubble and the midship intake.

Image: Adding details to the mouse support module interior.

Image: More blending.

Image: Wiring and support.

Image: Cockpit roughed out.

Image: Adding details to the engine.

Image: Thrusters added.

Image: Roughing in the engine supports.

Image: Almost ready for paint.

Image: Alternate paint schemes.

Image: Components painted.

Image: ... and the other side.

Image: Port side view, completed model

Image: Overhead view

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Last updated on 13 May 2020.