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Erasmus Designs Roger Young

I adore this ship. I’m not sure why. It’s really not all that interesting or eye catching. The movie it was in wasn’t the greatest piece of cinema ever made, but still I really dig it. I first saw the movie, Starship Troopers on my birthday with my wife. She hated it but I appreciated her sacrifice in sitting through the Sci-Fi bloodfest with me. I remember watching the big hulking Roger Young ships in fleet formations getting the hell blasted out of them by bugs below - great special effects.

At one point in my life, I considered making a garage kit of the ship for fun and profit, but then I found that it was available from people who knew what they were doing, kinda. I bought two different versions of this kit and wrote reviews of both of them:

What I probably love most about the kit is that it is a rare ship and model, not to be found on any but the most hard-core starship modeler’s shelf.

This is one of those kits that I wanted to wait to build until I felt I could do a good job, so it’s been a long standing part of my “unfinished model collection.” This ship would probably still be in a box on my shelf had it not been for a contest on Starship Modeler. It called for Capital Ships, big space battle wagons. I ignored the contest for weeks and then one weekend dove in with the better Erasmus kit just in time to enter the contest.

I managed to finish the kit in the nick of time for the contest, but unfortunately, my photography let me down and I couldn’t take new photos which would show that it was a good model until after the deadline. Nevertheless, the contest gave me a sorely needed kick in the rump to build a model I like. As you probably know if you’ve been reading Nugax at all, I have a problem working on projects I’m excited about. It’s a combination of intentional practice to hone my skills, blatant self denial, punishment and loathing.

Okay, so how did I do it? Well, I washed the pieces first in warm soapy water with a medium firmness brush to get all the mold release off. I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is in any model building.

Assembly was a straight forward. The problem was the sheer weight of the piece. I was working with over 3 pounds of resin. I pinned the exhaust stem to the aft hull with two brass rods. The real issue was connecting the front and aft hulls on either side of the mid-ship arch. Again I went to brass rods as support pins. Having the central arch made alignment pretty easy. I just stuck it to one of the hulls and drilled the holes through the arch and into the hull. I then held the arch section up to the other hull and drilled through the holes. I found that I hadn’t drilled the holes perpendicularly. So I had to slide the hulls together and then wrench it a bit to line up the hulls.

Because of the weight of the pieces, I painted the model without attaching the two hulls. Research showed me that like so many ships in the sci-fi world, the color of the model had little relation to the color the model appeared on the screen. I decided to paint mine like the blue models used in the film Starship Modeler’s resource page was most helpful in this.

I mixed the color with my trusty Liquitex Basic Acrylic paints. Ultramarine Blue, Titanium white and Neutral Gray mixed with love and care gave me just the right color. I airbrushed the ship with a base color of pale blue. I darkened the color a bit with more blue and using my wonderful Sotar 20/20 airbrush I shaded the model’s recesses. The Sotar allowed for great control and a very fine line. I mixed a lighter shade of the blue and added highlights. For added depth, I mixed up a think blue oil paint wash and went to town. After it had partially set, I wiped the model with paper towels to remove any excess wash. I was very pleased with the final effect.

I was surprised that the basically monochromatic paint scheme didn’t bore me, or seem overly simplistic. Instead, the colors effectively represented the vehicle’s great size and bulk.

I test fitted the two hulls with the three 4 inch support rods a thousand times and besides noting that I had to wrench it a bit to make the proper alignment, I became worried that all the rods were basically parallel and the weight of the piece could make it bend it in the middle. I figured it would be all right once I glued it.

So I glued it but I failed to wrench the model properly and it was turned to the port side. I didn’t think it was noticeable at first, but it taunted me so much, I finally just got mad and violently straightened it. I was shocked that I could reset the connection, but pleased when I saw the lines were straight. I did however bust the lattice gantry and had to repair it. I also found that the model did sag on the front and back. I figured the stand would support the ends and keep the ship horizontal.

So I built a stand. There’s a hole in the bottom to he ship which suggests placement for a quarter inch support rod, but I needed support on the front and rear to absorb the sag. I through together a base from a wood plaque and some dowels, added a bit foam padding so as not to scratch the model. The stand didn’t help - it sagged. Once again I dipped into my bag of desperate moves and drilled a diagonal hole through the arch (which had been attached to the forward hull for the gantry) and into the aft hull. I filled the hole with glue and slid in a brass rod. I must have done something good in a previous life, because the fix was perfect!

My luck ran out during the final steps of construction. I managed to mutilate the Roger Young decal. Since the Starship Modeler contest deadline was approaching quickly, I used the Valley Forge decal instead, thinking I’d get another set of decals after the contest.

Then came more Karmic payback, the photographs I took for the contest didn’t come out. You could see what it was, but the depths of color I had so painstakingly created were not seen in the photos. I couldn’t submit them and I didn’t have time to retake them before the deadline. I wasn’t too dismayed; I missed the contest, but I got a great model. The photographs I finally got still don’t do the colors justice, but they’re better.

I finally got the right decals for the model. Getting the new decals on was easy, but taking the old ones off was hell! I had to scrape most of the paint off to get them off. Of course, I had emptied the paint bottles I had used and so had to figure out the mix to repaint the panels. The shading too had to be redone. Ultimately, however, the paint was repaired and the decals went on. Now I have my own Roger Young and a new favorite model on my mantle

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