Buck Rogers Starfighters

I was looking for some Buck Rogers Starfighters to go with my Battlestar Galactica Vipers and Cylons.

My first attempt was to get some of the old Corgi Thunderfighters and attached some self sticking rare earth magnets to them so I could put them on stands.

These would work okay, but there are some obvious problems with the colouring and the design. They also aren’t available anymore and the prices being asked on Ebay can be pretty steep.  I managed to get a few extras in addition to the one shown above that were a little beat up, but looked okay with a little repair work and paint.

As far as I’ve been able to find out, Corgi never made any of the Draconian Hatchet Fighters to go with Thunder Fighters, so I  took to Shapeways and did some searching around and found some similarly sized Thunderfighters, some smaller X-Wing scale Thunderfighters, and Hatchet Fighters. I did eventually find some larger Hatchet Fighters as well, shown a little further down in the post.

The clear fighter above was done in transparent, which is no longer available, although “Smooth Fine Detail” is close.
Space Race – #3 – Starfighter by MECHWORLD

I also ordered a slightly different style in what used to be called “Strong White Flexible’ but is now called “White Natural Versatile”
Thunderfighter 1/144 by StarCorp Shipyards

The two larger ones were a decent match size wise to the Corgi fighter and my Vipers, just a little bit smaller but not bad.

I then ordered an additional Thunderfighter, the same as the white one above but in transparent and a couple of Hatchet Fighters, because the good guys need someone to fight 🙂
Hatchet Fighter 1/144 by StarCorp Shipyards

Primed them up with white spray primer

I used a blend of paints to get a color I liked for the Hatchet Fighters.  I’m hoping I can match it in the future because I’d like to get a few more.

A base coat of gloss white paint on the Thunderfighters and the base coat on the Hatchet Fighters

Next, I had to figure out a good way to do the stripes on the Thunder Fighters, I decided to try some very thin Masking Tape from Tamiya

I taped off the sections that needed it and put down a base coat of yellow. Also did some initial painting on the engines and cockpit.

The “Space Race – #3 – Starfighter” model had a ridge near the back which meant that I didn’t need tape on it.

I then added the orange and red parts of the stripes, screwed up the order of the colours on one side of the one on the right though.  The tape is still on the other two which meant I didn’t have to be too careful in putting down the colours.

I did find that the masking tape did peel off a bit of the white paint, particularly on the model made with the high detail plastic, but it was relatively easy to fix that up.

Also, as can be seen in a later photo, the colours, particularly the yellow, bled out under the tape on the model made with the Strong White Flexible.

My painting skills aren’t good enough to do the little Earth logo that the Thunderfighters had, and I couldn’t find a set of decals for the them anywhere so I ended up using some decals I got from Jupiter IV Decals for the new Battlestar Galactica ships that worked out well.

Overall I was quite happy with the way they turned out.  I definitely think the more expensive detail plastic is the better choice, the cheaper White Flexible just doesn’t take paint as well, and it tends to bleed out and the detail just isn’t as good.  I’m also not particularly happy with the paint on the cockpits, I’ll have to figure out a better way of doing that if I do more of them.

The shot below really shows how the yellow on the Strong White Flexible model bled out.

I didn’t take many pictures of the work in progress of the Hatchet Fighters, but they just needed a few bits of red and white paint and a bit of a black wash to finish them off.  I will need to buy more at some point and maybe I’ll document what I did with the new batch.

And here is a couple shots of the finished products on the play mat:

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