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Trade Federation Tank

By Jeff Soto

I recently decided to try my hand at model making again after never really finishing one completely as a kid. My brother Corey was interested too so we both set out to learn. Iım a profesional painter and illustrator so I donıt work in 3D too much, but building the Trade Federation Tank was fun and a welcome challenge. I thought it would make a great model to start with, it seemed simple enough plus Iım a big Star Wars fan.

Corey and I started out with the sanding, glueing and seam filling. Things sure have changed since I was a kid- no more cruddy orange smellin' goop for glue! The guy at our hobby shop showed us all the new tools of the trade. The tank went together pretty easily; we had to sand quite a bit and use some seam filler on some spots (in particular where the main 'wing' attaches to the body, and the big seam thru the center). The cannon that came with the model looked a little bent so I made a new barrel out of metal tubing and electric tape.

I wanted to do something different with the color scheme so it started out as snow camo, but when I airbrushed the colors they dried much darker (I should've known that since I'm a painter!), so we decided to make it urban camo. I used a combination of Krylon spray and Model masters paints. I added a few small decals from a Macross model since it didn't come with any.

For the weathering I used a technique I learned in school- painting over liquid latex, then peeling it up to simulte paint chipping. I went over everything with an airbrush to add some burn marks, dirt and grit. I hit some of the chipped paint with chrome silver, then tried a wash of oil paints mixed with plenty of turpentine to highlight panel lines and detail.

I learned that one of the best skills in model making is patience, as I put on the wash and it started taking off the airbrushing I did a half hour earlier!

All in all we were very happy with the way it turned out, especially since it's our first.

Image: Closer look

Image: Top view

Image: Left side

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