I thought at first to do something a little like the Guilmette Interceptor - You know, just a bunch of shapes - But this time with more weapons and some symmetry. Started with the nose of a T-33 glued to the front of the inside of a Sequest transport, both of which I got from the same estate sale as the Japal. To join them and add a place to put on two eye contact containers I made a box which would partially fit inside what was left of the T-33's cockpit. At that point I'd figured the nose would be the T-33 nose, just like on the Guilmette. What changed the direction was the micro-cassette case on the bottom. It facilitated adding stubby engines below the now ex-nose. Lastly, I added computer keyboard keys as shoulders, actually keeping the curved surface facing inward, instead of sanding them flat.
And, typically, that was the end of the fun part. The rest was detailing. And weapons.
I liked putting missile pods on the Dragonfire so I used some Klingon BoP shoulder facings as mounts, suitably thickened. I built missile pods out of plastic tubes filled with vinyl drinking straw sections, gaps filled with Bondo solidified with superglue. I didn't use them because I didn't have any solid plastic cylinders to put inside as missiles, and I doubted paint would stick to the vinyl straws. I used straws because they were thin-walled. Next time I'll try paper straws, if I can find them, or aluminum.
So, if I can't have clusters of missiles, how about a pair of capital-ship-killers, a la torpedoes? Rather than use off-the-shelf missile-shapes, I thought some off-center ones would be interesting, made from spray bottle caps and doll-eyes. Didn't use them, either. Anyway, here's everything I thought to use, and the torpedoes I used.
Painting was different. I tried a variation on pre-shading. Actually, the first part is the same - Paint everything black. In airbrushing the Armor Sand I tried to neglect edges. So, both panel edges and recessed areas and corners of things stayed mostly black. I thought it added a lot of depth. The torpedoes are Intermediate Blue because, like most military colors, the intensity is the same as the sand. The different hue, though, added a little variation. The large yellow panels, on the other hand, add contrast. The lettering, uncharacteristically, a. is english, and b. is not a high-contrast color. In fact, the light gray looks very similar to the blue. There is, still, a black wash, and a gentle dry-brushing to bring out the edges and details.
Normally, I'd stop here. See what it would have looked like wingless. Most of the time, that would be good enough. But early in construction I was lacking confidence that the design was going to stand by itself, that is, that it would be dynamic, etc., so I made ye olde fashioned triangular slabs of plasticard for wings, to go on the shoulders. Still, pathetically disinteresting! How to dress them up? Cut semi-circles out of them! Which I did, discovering afterwards that I had been channeling the Blighty Fighter from way back in 1999, a design inspired in turn by the Son'a Shuttle from Star Trek: Insurrection. Serendipitously, the oversize missiles fit in the "bites" of the leading edge of the wings.
In retrospect, I like adding a lot of different colors to a ship. Panels or sections, especially for small-scale vessels, looks more believable than camouflage. It is easier to apply, too, but only if I use light coats in support of the pre-shading technique. My next challenge is to do almost the same thing on the next ship without copying this one or, criminally, creating a disinteresting ship. Wish me luck.
Most ships don't get named until I put on the decals and can use the decal letters as the name. This one was unusual in that early on it had an informal name, based on the shape of the nose, but the decals suggested no formal name. Well, no interesting one. The small size and torpedo armament made the "PT boat" obvious, and I enjoyed quite some time researching them. I recommend the informative and engrossing Wikipedia entry.