|By Tom Kowaliski|
Though it may look like some sort of green flying space cactus, the S-Wing is really a contrivance of “Quantum Displacement” physics tightly compacted around its pilot's small anatomy. Yoda, with his minimalist disposition, couldn't be happier with its Spartan package of basic elements and diminutive size. The model measures about 7-1/8th inches wide by 5 inches long in 1/18th scale. (???Hasbro Scale???) That makes Yoda's ship only about 11 feet wide at the beam by about 8 feet long fore and aft. This is a very small craft but just about right for its tiny green pilot. I figured if Yoda would've had his own personal skiff it might've looked something like this little pod saucer.
The inspiration for the ship's front grill came from my old 1950 Ford F-1 truck that I once owned, (had to sell my hot rod when I got married). The flying =S= designation (rotated 90 degrees) refers to the skewed, offset configuration of the “QD (all wheel) Drive” system in the ship and not the actual outside shape of the hull. I figure an “S” is a universal symbol, so it's appropriate as a reference marking on any vehicle, terran or alien.
The saucer shaped bases that come with the “AMT Trade Federation Droid Fighter” kit was used for the port side hull. The starboard domed section of the vessel was made from a four-inch gold plated plastic sphere from “Michael's Arts and Crafts.” One day I laid one half of the gold ball on top of the saucer section, contemplating a typical “Cartoonish” flying saucer. When it slid down to one side of the disk, it sort of looked cool in an obtuse fashion. So after the dome's gold plating was removed, I started drawing sketches of the dome and saucer in various configurations and came up with the “S-Wing.” Star Wars theologians will forgive me if there are any other canon references made to another S-Wing design somewhere?
Several specially made scribers were used to make the cockpit opening, as well as the accentuating lines around the canopy and the hull. Half of a medium sized plastic egg (cut lengthwise) was used as a “Tub” for the cockpit interior and all its goodies. The clear canopy was cut out of another four-inch (clear) sphere, heated and bent to contour better to the dome's inside radius. The top deck's vent duct was made by cutting the shape out along its front and side edges, and then just bending it down to the desired depth. The duct sides were then filled in with “Evergreen.”
For the belly of the S-Wing, I built up the surrounding edges of the ship using Evergreen sheet, leaving the center sections open where two belly plates would be installed with low tech “Grandtline” rivets. (I love rivets) I decided to go with a “Yoda Green” color scheme on the hull, of course, with two tones of green on top and three tones for the bottom sections. The paint is all “Testors” airbrushed enamel. Weathering was done using “Game Works” diluted washes and a little drybrushing.
The Yoda figure is the “Hasbro” twirling one. I chopped him up a bit to fit in a seated position with head staring forward. I had to give him a few painting touch ups, and I weathered his head and clothes to tone them down a bit. I know Yoda would just wave his hand to open the cockpit, but I made him a little round latch on the right side of the canopy anyways. This is a younger looking Yoda, by the way, with his noticeably thicker red hair. (OK, I took license with the red hair) He always seems to wear the same clothes though. He looks rather deep in thought sitting in the cockpit staring out into space, contemplating the task ahead. Either that or it's heartburn from Dex's Diner down on Coruscant.
There are forty-two LEDs that light up the ships two “Front Drive” intakes and dual “Rear Drive” nozzles that flicker in various annoying patterns. I installed a “Radio Shack” stereo mini jack (female) in the bottom of the ship's hull which conveniently acts as a support mounting hole. (The jack is cloned out in the photo for appearances) It also powers up the vessel and allows it to rotate in any direction when viewed on the base, which contains the male plug of course.
For the S-Wing's display base, I built up a rock formation that mimics the odd shape of the vessel for emphasis. It's meant to look like a crude pre-evolution of the ship in a heap of stones. Layered ceiling tile and “Insta-Rock” were used for the stone work. There's a 3-Volt D-Cell battery pack and two SPST switches in the bottom of the base, and one DPDT rocker switch in the back buried and painted into the rocks that makes everything work. The circuitry is designed to give the ship three different lighting effects.
The larger “Hoo Doo” base is constructed in much the same way, with the same circuitry. It's an eerier setting than the smaller “Morphed Stone” base, and will be used for another model project in the future, but the S-Wing connects to its mini jack the same way. I've been trying to make all my display bases interchangeable with the mounting jacks and circuitry of several different models, which allows for more photo ops.
Image: Right Front
Image: Top Rear
Image: Top Left Rear
Image: Top Left Front
Image: A Pea In A Pod
Image: In The Hoo Doos
Image: Left Rear