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SC's Comet Miniatures Liberator refit project.
Space Chopper
As a few of you know, I managed to get my hands on a Comet Miniatures Liberator, which was in need of repair. Here are the pics from eBay of the model.

i.imgur.com/RN4pvPc.jpg

i.imgur.com/jTfccfu.jpg

I got hold of the model this morning, and now I've had a better look at it, I can begin work. The model came exactly as seen, no brass probes on either the main hull or the Neutron Blaster pods, and over half of the solar panels missing. Looking at the model, it seems to have been made soon after it was bought during the original production run, as the white paint has yellowed with age, and since the model was made in white plastic, not all of it was painted, so the contrast between paint and plastic is quite evident. Luckily, no surface detail was obscured, so only minimal sanding and cleaning up seems to be needed, and the only major sanding will be on the engine section where the white lines overlap on to the aft section of the main hull.

The solar panels will be replaced; I ordered a sheet of Evergreen styrene sheet, embossed with 3.2mm square tiles (Originally designed for model building interiors or diorama scenery), and the squares on the existing brasswork are pretty much exactly the same size. The panels will be cut from this sheet, and the gold colouring will be achieved by coating the panels with gold chrome foil, similar to the stuff used on custom cars. I also have 40 thou Slater's plastic rodding, which will be used to replace the missing probes- I will have to carefully mark out and drill holes to fit this, as from what I can see, there are no holes to affix the brass rods that came with the kit, and I'm not sure if there were caps on the ends of the blasters to facilitate this either, and the few photos I could see of built kits and plastic sprues from the same aren't clear enough for me to work this out. If anyone here has had experience with building this kit before, your insight will be very gratefully received.

The first order of proceedings was to carefully remove the Neutron Blaster nacelles with their pylons from the main hull, as they are so fragile they would snap if I breathed on them, and drill holes to insert small metal pins for a better join. These will then be re-attached using two-part epoxy resin for a stronger join, and any gaps filled with liquid greenstuff and primed. I'll post more with pictures of the completed Libby as soon as I've made more progress, but any info from other Libby owners as to how the probes attached to the pods would be most helpful for me to work out a solution for in the meantime.
funkyimg.com/i/2y558.jpg
Vila: "I plan to live forever- or die trying..."
 
littlesue
I'm just so glad that this model went to someone who loves it and knows what to do...I would have just looked in the box and cried help!!!
Please keep us up to dateGrin
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


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RB
I have a complete unmade one if you need any photos of any of the parts.
 
Joe Dredd
From memory the blasters had conical caps with holes/dimples for the brass rods to be glued into.
 
Space Chopper
Thanks Joe, I thought that was the case. The pylons have had small brass pins of about 1.5mm diameter inserted in, and they've been reattached to the main hull with the joins filled with green stuff. The join is now rigid, and can take handling quite well- this must be the first time this Liberator has been in one piece for over a decade! Excuse the poor quality of pics, as I'm having to use my cellphone- my camera has been borrowed by my daughter for her holiday!

i.imgur.com/mjHTyOI.jpg
All sanded down and ready for priming and painting.

The white lines have been sanded from the engine dome, and the whole ship is ready for priming. The Neutron Blaster caps have been made using wheel hubs from old model trucks- specifically the disc-brake parts from the chassis where the wheels attach. The locating pins for the wheels were kept on, and these will be used as locating pins for the blaster pods, which have had corresponding holes carefully drilled in the front. The back of the brake discs were carefully drilled, and 40 thou plastic rod was cut to length and cemented in place. These looked a bit clunky compared to the fine brass that came with the model, but once primed, they don't look too bad, and will look even better in situ.

i.imgur.com/6QmL3Ma.jpg
Here they are primed.

The solar panels were made by sticking gold chrome foil on to embossed plastic sheet with 3.2mm squares. The panels were then cut from the sheet, using 5x2 sections, with the exception of the centre one at the bottom, which was 5x3. This was done because the new panels are a tiny bit narrower than the originals, and cutting a hole for the display stand would have split one completely in two. Having a larger one at the bottom where it won't notice will also help to make the others fit more precisely by spacing. They are a bit thicker than the etched brass, but test fitted in situ, they look quite effective. I deliberately made tons, so there are plenty of spares in case of foul-ups when gluing them on.

i.imgur.com/WVfIWcm.jpg
Here are some of them.

So, the next part is the exciting bit, putting it all together, painting it and printing those transfers! (Thanks again, Joe!)
funkyimg.com/i/2y558.jpg
Vila: "I plan to live forever- or die trying..."
 
Space Chopper
+Information. Auto repair systems have completed their function. The Liberator is now functioning at optimum capacity+

So now I've completed my Libby at last. I decided to go for the weathered look when painting the ship, as I like vehicles to look used, and given the age and state of the model as I received it, a pristine finish would be very unforgiving and difficult to achieve- if it had been an unmade kit, I could probably try the pristine look.

After spraying the model matt white, and once dry, I gave it an all over wash with Games Workshop's Seraphim Sepia ink wash. I then gave the model a thorough dry-brushing over all in matt white. I then got out my trusty Vallejo acrylics, and picked out individual panels in white, off-white and white-grey, as well as masking and painting similar panels around the engine section. The engine dome was painted in Games Workshop's Warpstone Glow (Kind of appropriate really) before masking with flexible electrician's tape and painting the white stripes.

The next step was to print out the new transfer sheet (Thanks again, Joe Dredd!) and apply the decals, then give the model a coating in Army Painter matt varnish spray to fix them, then apply the solar panels once that was dry. The original kit came with a display base, but this wasn't included in the model, so I purchased an aircraft display base by Academy, which has a large hexagonal base. I disguised this with a small planetoid I made from Super Sculpey and painted. So now, Libby is space-borne, and flying past a small moon.

Here are a couple of pics...

i.imgur.com/lgBw8Qo.jpg

i.imgur.com/lV7oVMK.jpg
funkyimg.com/i/2y558.jpg
Vila: "I plan to live forever- or die trying..."
 
Space Chopper
A couple more pics to edit this duplicate post- the forum was having greeblies when I posted last night!

This pic shows the base off a bit better.

i.imgur.com/cYuZEXv.jpg

And this close-up shows the weathering in a bit more detail.

i.imgur.com/NhuqiOv.jpg

The solar panel substitutes seem to work quite well- I was pleasantly surprised at how effective they looked.
Edited by Space Chopper on 13 August 2014 06:51:05
funkyimg.com/i/2y558.jpg
Vila: "I plan to live forever- or die trying..."
 
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