Saturday, June 27, 2009

Scratch Built 1/60 SF-3A Lancer II

I know that I haven't been posting here lately, resulting in traffic to the site dropping dramatically. But there has been a reason for the lack of posts. Primarily because I've been working hard to transform this:

Plaster of Paris

To this:

Scratch Built SF-3A Lancer 2

I've always wanted to try building a model kit from scratch. So after much contemplation I've decided to finally pursue this dream after finding a worthy test subject.

Ever since I saw the first few episodes of Macross during the early eighties, I've been fascinated with the SF-3A Lancer 2 of the UN SPACY. Its supposed to be an orbital fighter launched from the ARMD. They formed the first line of defense when the Zentraidi first appeared. They of course got obliterated by the far superior weapons of the Zentraedi. Still they had put up a gallant fight and were first and last seen in the first episode of Macross SDF1. Update: just found out that the Lancer II actually appeared again in the epic battle scene between Boldoza's fleet and SDF-1 Macross. Not sure if it was the SDF-1 that was actually carrying the Lancers or another UN SPACY ARMD type ship. Then again it could have just been the producers recycling animation cells for the episode *snicker*.

macross sf-3a lancer-II.jpg

Not much data on this fighter though, so when building this model I had to rely on the few copies of line art in the early Macross books (which I had to hunt down) and screen captures from the series.

I'm using a small block of plaster of paris and carving the edges out of it to hopefully resemble the final product. Last week I got it down to this.

Scratch Built SF-3A Lancer 2

This week I already have it down to this:
Scratch Built SF-3A Lancer 2

I lopped off the cockpit because I was hoping to create a more detailed one, complete with ejection seat and pilot.

I got the idea to use plaster of paris from a friend who was in the fiberglass business. He said that they usually use either Styrofoam or plaster of paris to create models from. I tried Styrofoam and had a hard time carving it, then when I tried Plaster of Paris, I was smitten. I had to change the formulation of it though to make it easier to carve for my rough and cumbersome hands.

Thankfully, my engineering background gave me enough workshop experience in carving tools, although the stuff we built then weren't as small as this.

I also decided on the 1/60th scale because I wanted it to go with the Yamato VF-1S DYRL I recently bought.

Total cost so far of this project with the tools and materials I'm using.

1. Plaster of Paris : 5 kg = $2.20
2. Carving set from the local hardware store : $3.125
3. Sand Paper (400 and 1000 roughness) = $0.83
4. Hobby Knife - free, got it from a spare set of my wife
5. Mask - $3.125, although I think I have to replace this with something much better.
6. Measurement Caliper - $2.05

Although the material data sheet of plaster of paris states that it is a safe material to work with, carving plaster of paris generates a lot of residue which could be harmful to your lungs. Better to be safe than sorry.

I'm expecting the expenses to go up further once I finish because I'm planning to cast it in resin so that the final model will be in a more permanent material. Resin isn't really that expensive, but the RVT Silicone rubber is. Silicone Rubber is used to create the mold that the resin will be cast in.

God Willing I'll be able to accomplish this dream of mine.

  1. Part II of this project found here.

  2. Part III can be found here.

  3. Supplemental entry on how to repair scratches and nicks in the plaster of paris

  4. Have a partial mock-up already of the SF-3A Lancer II here.

  5. More mock-ups and updates of the Macross SF-3A Lancer II in Part V.

  6. Outsourced the Main Cannon of the Lancer II to a machine shop.

  7. Using Polymer Clay to make the top wing of the Lancer II.