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TIE Raptor
A Wild TIE Fighter (WTF) Conversion
Of The 1/72 Fine Molds Kit
By: Valentin Bueno

15 hours 32 minutes 18 seconds…
15 hours 32 minutes 19 seconds…
15 hours 32 minutes 20 seconds…

Seinar System’s new TIE Raptor looks sleek. It looks maneuverable. It looks like a god damn bug if you ask me. With its tiny solar panels attached directly to the fuselage, a lot of weight was saved and this thing flies like a hungry Gnargle at feeding time. (Don’t ask what a Gnargle is, I don’t know either, Ed) In addition to the two normal blasters under the cockpit, this thing is equipped with three impulse canons at the wing roots. I wish it had been equipped with a stinking CD player.

The new solar panels are supposed to be more efficient, allowing lightning speeds with lighter weight and a smaller stealthier cross section. But of course with all new technology, there are bugs to be fixed. Hence the 15 hour 32 minute, ..oops no now it’s 34 minutes and 22 second flight time from the recently overrun rebel base on Hoth to the Star Destroyer in orbit. This trip normally takes five minutes, but with the malfunctioning solar panels, it’s taking forever. Two of the solar panels are on the fritz and the service section of the Imperial Towing and Wrecking service is taking forever to get here. I’ll bet the bloody idiots are lost. Third generation clones are such idiots.

15 hours 34 minutes 25 seconds…
15 hours 34 minutes 26 seconds…

THE TIE RAPTOR

This conversion of the TIE Fighter to a TIE raptor is so easy, I couldn’t help myself. While building the damaged TIE Night fighter, I started working on this TIE Raptor. Using the standard FM cockpit, I assembled the TIE fuselage as usual with the usual RLM 66 Scale Black cockpit. The arms holding the solar panels on the regular TIE fighter were trimmed off and the resulting holes filled with scrap plastic and superglue filler. New solar X wings were cut from the kit’s solar panels. These were cut trapezoidal in shape. The support arm frame from the original solar panels were similarly cut up and used as center spar type support arms for the new solar panel wings. See the photo for a better idea of what I am trying and failing to explain in words.

A brass rod was used to pin the new wings to the fuselage ball and glued with Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. This was later reinforced with Zap-a-Gap CA glue. Gun barrels from Tasca’s 50 cal machine gun sets were used to arm this beast at the base of the wings. I was short one barrel and used a 2 meter whip antenna from Adler’s Nest instead. Plastic rod was used on the rear of the wings to give the wings continuity of design.

I glued the clear canopy on the top of the fuselage ball and masked off the areas to remain clear. I also masked off the front canopy opening with Tamiya Masking Tape and this bugger was ready for color.

TIE FIGHTER BLUES

I sprayed the TIE Raptor with Intermediate Blue from a Tamiya Rattle Can. When watching the movie, it never occurred to me just how blue the TIE fighters really looked. I have seen a test photo from the 70’s where Uncle George was experimenting with maroon colored TIE fighters! Someday I will build a TIE fighter in maroon, but not today.

Polly S Deck Blue was used to paint some panels and a wash of dirty thinner was flooded over the model. Chipping and mapping was done with Polly S RLM 76 Light Blue, RAF Interior Green and RLM 66 Scale Black. I then drybrushed the model with RLM 76.

Final weathering was done with pastel streaks of black and gray.

BASE TOWER

I built the regular base of the TIE fighter without the Y shaped yoke at the top. I snipped the top of the tower so that the round bottom of the fuselage could rest in it. I drilled a hole in the base bottom just behind the tower and ran a brass rod up from under the base. The rod would hold the fuselage ball fast onto the tower. The base was painted NATO black from a Tamiya Rattle can.

And That is That

Was it a waste of a Fine Molds TIE Fighter kit? I don’t think so. I have a model that was finished relatively quickly and looks very different when compared to my “canon” Star Wars models. Heck, it looks a lot better that anything George did after the first three movies……

Meanwhile above the ice planet Hoth..

17 hours 44 minutes 16 seconds…
17 hours 44 minutes 17 seconds…
17 hours 44 minutes 18 seconds…

To be continued. Look for more mad conversions in future issues of the club rag!

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