For the past few months, companies have been cranking out “Star Wars” branded merchandise. While I am kinda by definition the target market for the new Star Wars movie, having seen the original Star Wars in the theater three times at the age of seven, the vast, vast bulk of the Star Wars merchandise means precisely *nothing* to me. Plates and dishes and underwear and cups and soap and sex toys and breakfast cereal and board games and pop-up books and hats and socks and napkins and posters and whatnot, all plastered with the image of Kylo Ren or Finn or any of the other characters I know squadoo about? Meh.
On the other hand… toy spaceships. Those occasionally cause me to pause and take note. Probably shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. As money-sucking vices go, I imagine picking up the odd five-dollar toy spaceship is pretty minor compared to getting regularly likkered up or smoking like a chimney. So… new Star Wars spaceships. Woo!
The spaceships for the new Star Wars movies look like they follow in the best Star Wars design tradition… they look cool and don’t make a lick of sense. One of the craft featured in several toy formats is the “Kylo Ren Command Shuttle,” which is apparently a personnel transport for the main bad guy. The Shuttle, like the Imperial Shuttle from Return of the Jedi, features inexplicably large wings (what does a spacecraft equipped with antigravity need with wings of *any* size?) that fold up vertically for landing (just when wings might be most useful). The oddity is that all of the Command Shuttle toys or models I’ve seen any reference to all feature the wings in the vertical, landed configuration. I’ve not seen any with the wings in the “flight” configuration, which you’d think would be most interesting to the kiddies.
The die cast Disney Store toy.
The Lego kit
The tiny Micromachines toy
The Revell model kit
And here’s the Hasbro “Titanium Series” toy. These are small, but reasonable quality part-die-cast, part-plastic toys:
Oddly, these are painted white, while every other available depiction of the ship shows it black. Hmmm.
Starting as a kid, I found enjoyment and even a little income making models; I have a little talent in that area. But in recent years I’d started ramping back on working on models of all kinds; hobbies are less important when you’re trying to figure out how to pay the mortgage. And at the end of 2013, an attack of bronchitis truly trashed my lungs for several months; chemicals and dust seemed like *really* bad things to be around. So for going on two years now I’ve not really spent any time working on something I’ve long loved to do.
Some time back I picked up one of the Hasbro Command Shuttle toys. I was disappointed at the fixed-landing-configuration, but it seemed to me that with some effort it could be modified to show the vehicle in flight configuration. So far, there have been few clear images of the shuttle, so it’s unclear just what angle the wings are at in flight. The best bit of video so far shows the wings already in the process of folding up, so all that can be said is that the wings fold down *at* *least* this far:
So, I thought I could replicate that at some point. Never had any hard plans… like many modelers, it was one of those “one of these days I’ll get around to it” sort of things. Well… then came this last Sunday and Monday.
Sunday Raedthinn was injured and taken to the vet. Didn’t get to sleep until ridiculously late that night, and woke up relatively early, so I was a tad tired Monday. I spent the day sort of puttering around waiting to hear something, trying to be productive. But creative writing proved impossible. CAD modeling proved disastrous. CAD diagram work proceeded with some success… couldn’t draw worth a damn, but some make-work projects of scaling up some images to go on 11X17 pages proceeded well, because it required no real thought. And at some point during the first part of the day, I converted one of the Command Shuttles into flight configuration.
The weird thing: I’ve no recollection of actually doing that. Later in the day Monday I picked up Raedthinn from the vet, brought him home, took care of him for a bit and then collapsed on the couch… to find the Shuttle sitting there, completed. Nothing magical about it; it was surrounded with the tools and epoxy and such I used to make the mods, I just somehow failed to install any of the relevant memories into long-term storage. It is, I suppose, a bit of artistic creativity, but it was clearly so straightforward that I did it without putting a great deal of hard thought into it.
A little odd. But… shrug.
I’ve a few more that I’ll convert the same way, and then likely paint black. Then… probably put ’em on ebay, I suppose. Anybody interested?