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MPC/ERTL Star Wars Shuttle Tydirium

The Tydirium was a Sienar Fleet Systems Imperial Lambda-class shuttle, which operated as a courier and a transport in the Prefsbelt system. It was later present at Outpost 327 over Zhar, where it was captured by General Crix Madine of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Madine hoped to use the shuttle and the clearance codes it carried to have a strike team infiltrate the Forest Moon of Endor, around which orbited a new Imperial battlestation, the second Death Star. The strike team would then, if all went as planned, deactivate the deflector shield protecting the still-under-construction Death Star.

MPC Star Wars Shuttle Tydirium

Despite this effort, the ship itself later fell into Imperial hands, and was held at the Prefsbelt Naval Academy on Prefsbelt IV. With Madine once again coordinating the operation, the shuttle was once again stolen, this time by pilot Wedge Antilles. The Tydirium was then used by General Han Solo and his strike team to infiltrate the moon of Endor, as planned.

The Kit:

Finally, after a year and a half, this Star Wars Shuttle Tydirium model comes together as one piece. The last time I built one of these was back in circa 2001. It was pretty much a straight out of the box build complete with flash and gaps.

For this one, I decided to put some more effort and improve it a little bit within my scratch building skills. Last year, I posted a few pictures of the work in progress here. The pre-assembled model ended up in a old 1/48 Trumpeter Mig 15 Fagot box and the darkest corner of my studio closet.

87VF

Watching Star Wars Episode VI a few weeks ago inspired me to go back and finish this project. Since I started this model, I wanted to illuminate the hyper-drive. I have seen in person the studio scale prop of the Shuttle Tydirium.  Although not as a straight tube, the light comes from a curved neon tube. A little bit of over-exposure, and the tube will disappear leaving only a white/bluish glow.

CHECK OUT!
Click here to see where the neon tube used on this Shuttle Tydirium model came from.

The cannons on the model are quite thick with strong moulding lines. I chopped those off and used aluminum tubes instead. The dorsal wing has some details on the canals. They look like the ridges on the cable zip ties. Who knows, maybe that’s what the model builder used. The chopped off cannons were trimmed and reused inside the canals as details.

The studio scale prop does have some plumbing there making the model look more detailed and functional.

The kit itself suffers from warped parts, especially the long wings. This warpage might differ from copy to copy. With some patience, it can be fixed easily during the cementing steps. The studio prop has some navigational lights on its belly. I did installed these, but unfortunately they decided not to work after sealing the fuselage halves 🙁

The clear canopy was painted using Testors Enamel Flat Black spray. Don’t worry, even if it is flat, the outer side will still look glossy.

OK, but what’s the model color?

This is the most debated part in the Sci-Fi community. Some good sources say that for many of the Star Wars vehicles, a mix of 50/50 Floquil Grimmy Black and Reefer White was used. Luckily these colors are still available in the Train department of your local hobby shop. What’s better yet, they are also available from Polly S for us acrylic users.

For the Shuttle Tydirium, I chose to use a mix of Tamiya XF-19 Light Gray (60%) and XF-2 Flat White (40%). The final color will be toned down with further washes and weathering. With my fingers crossed, I ventured with AK Interactive Gray Wash for Kriegsmarine Ships AK-303. Streaks were made with Grime for Light Gray ships AK-305. These 2 are available in the Naval Weathering sets 1 & 2 from AK Interactive. Some streaks was also achieved using black pastels and Tamiya ‘’Soot’’ from the Tamiya Weathering sets.

Like I said, I do have pictures of the studio prop. I took them in the 2001 Magic of Myth exhibit in the MN Science Museum and back again in 2007. It has been 30 years since Return of the Jedi did hit the movie theaters.  Do you think that after all this time those colors and the clear varnishes on them haven’t shifted?  Of course they have.

I bring this up this because with all my due respect, the Sci-Fi crowd is tough and often more intimidating than any rivet counter. Lets enjoy the hobby and our final personal output. Not that I don’t have any expectations from my subjects. But after all, this is a model of another model, unlike aircraft, autos of armor. I present you my humble rendering of the Shuttle Tydirium from Star Wars Episode VI.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
There are nice studio scale Shuttle Tydirium cast in resin and machined aluminum by very talented folks out there. These guys have gone the extra miles to produce the most exact replica of this ship. They are worth the $1,000+ price tag in my opinion as a model kit builder and as a Star Wars fan. For us mortals, there’s MPC which with a few hours of our time, will get us a nice looking model.

Happy Modelling!

PS,

If you’re into Sci-Fi and never seen this site, there are great talented folks here with very inspiring work.

Studio Scale Models (will pop a new window).

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George Collazo
George Collazo
George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.
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