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The Sentry Flies Again


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TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP writes:

I always thought the original Sentry (didn't know the new name) seemed to have a high TTA influence. ;->=

Now that you mentioned Free Trader, a number of old Trav ship minis joined SD ranks as well, right? Hardly surprising we get names confused.

Doug


Revision Log
18 June 2012page first published

4,402 hits since 18 Jun 2012
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

Last year, I had a lot of fun playing Silent Death at a local gaming convention. The "star of the game" as far as my fleet was concerned was a heavy fighter called the Sentry... and I resolved to paint up my own Sentry after the convention.

Digging into the dusty corners of my minis archive (ahem!), I found that I possessed not only one, but two models of this ship. These were wonderful old models, cast in the soft lead alloy of yesteryear.

The model from the game was painted red with some blackish/metallic trim (it's the ship in front):

Sentry in foreground

A Paint Scheme

Something about the rugged look of the design screams "locomotive" to me, and red seemed a great color. I decided to paint the lower portion to look metallic, almost as if the 'mechanical' portion of the fighter could be detached from the fighting compartment.

The plan was to prime the mini white, then use spray paint to give it the red basecoat. The upper hull would then receive orange highlights, followed by a red ink wash. The lower hull would then be painted gunmetal, highlighted with silver, and washed with black ink. I would then pick out the guns with black paint.

Painting

It was a good plan, but apparently my brush control needs improvement, because my upper hull and lower hull colors kept running into each other. I also tried to use a craft paint because it was the right shade of red, but the paint was too transparent and wouldn't cover up my errors! (Cheap red paints are often poor at coverage.)

I soldiered on until I got something close to what I wanted, and decided the paint flaws were 'realism'!

Flight Stands

Instead of using the clear plastic flight stands that came with the models, I decided to upgrade. I used clear acrylic stands from Litko, and magnetic adapters from Ninja Magic.

The Litko flight stands come in a variety of base sizes and a variety of altitude pegs. Here, I'm using the small hexagonal base with the short peg.

One stand I assembled in my normal way - I used a rat-tail file (small, round file) to enlarge the hole in the base until the peg fits, then glued the parts together with superglue.

For the other stand, I experimented with Craftics #33 - a cement designed for acrylic, which acts as a solvent to bond the parts together. This glue has a very runny consistency and tends to be stringy. I made the (incorrect) assumption that the glue would soften the acrylic pieces, so I tried putting the glue on the end of the flight peg and inserting it into the base (without prepping the hole). That didn't work, the glue got everywhere, and I threw that base away.

The second attempt worked much better (though I still got some stray glue on the middle of the flight peg!). Unlike superglue, the bond stays soft and flexible for some time - you can't glue the base up and expect to use it right away! Give it 24 hours, just like the instructions on the cement tube say.

Magnetic Adapters

Magnetic adapter set (photo courtesy of Ninja Magic)

Next, I wanted to use the magnetic adapters. The idea here is that the adapters come in pairs, each with an embedded magnet, with one end going on the model and the other end on the flight stand. This works better than simply using magnets alone, as the adapters have a "sawed tooth" fit to prevent the ships from spinning around. If you use the adapters, then you can easily shift ships between flight stands of different types and sizes, and can store the ships without the hassle of a large, cumbersome flight stand.

It's not required, but I chose to prime my adapters, then paint them gloss black.

The upper adapters were easily attached to the models by drilling a hole in the ships, and supergluing the adapter in place. The only trick here is that if you want the ships to be interchangeable on any flight stand, you need to get the adapter lined up properly (that is, with the teeth facing the right direction).

The lower adapter then can be glued to the top of the flight peg. The adapter is designed so that this attachment is primarily between the top of the peg and the top of the hole in the adapter. This caused a problem for one of my flight stands, where the peg's top wasn't perfectly horizontal, causing the adapter to sit a little crooked. I mounted one of the models on the adapter, so that I could make sure it faced properly relative to the hexagonal base.

(I wonder if a better design for the lower adapter would be to have a longer bottom hole, so that the gluing is primarily to the sides of the peg. While peg tops aren't always perfectly cut, the sides of the pegs are quite vertical...)

Oh... yes, as you can see from the pictures below, I got the alignment a bit wrong...)

Pictures

Sentries

Sentries

A good look at the adapters:

Sentry

Sentries

Sentries

More on the flight stands:

Sentries

Sentries

Flight stand bases