On The Bench 67b: Ward Shrake’s TIE Fighter

from 1999 – low res photo

Ward Shrake has this little project that he has been working on:

I’m working on scratch/bashing up a completely new interior for the standard TIE fighter (kit #8438) once made by AMT/ERTL. I scanned in a picture of the peices that I’ve come close to finishing up, so far


What is pictured here, starting top left, going clockwise… First up are the TIE’s twin laser cannons. I made these using the “Incredible Cross Sections” book as my main reference. (You would have to cut off the kit’s bottom hatch to view them, however.) On the flip side of this same part is the cockpit’s new floor. Almost all of this part is scratchbuilt, mostly using styrene sheet and putty, along with two hoses I made from thin solder.

Next there’s the improved front wall of the TIE cockpit, based on the kit part, but with some new details added to more closely match the TIE fighter computer game’s basic sensor layout. Next is a bottom hatch / “fuel tank cap” part. (To replace the one you have to cut off the kit, if you wanted the laser cannons to be visible.) I still have to add some ribbing to it.

Then the upper hatch; I glued in the kit’s glass, then began detailing the inner side of the hatch. (I’ll probably cast this part all in one peice, using clear resin.) Finally, there’s the cockpit’s rear wall. It is now one solid piece with the rear hatch, which has had those two incorrect “engine” thingies removed. If I cast this part in clear, the rear window seen in “A New Hope” will be an option; just mask off both sides before painting this part.

I still have the cockpit’s side walls to do, along with some other odds and ends, but things are going along pretty well so far. I’m generally happy with it. I’m using all the reference material I can find, comparing it all and doing the most accurate interior that I can make. (Keeping in mind the fact that some references strongly contradict others, etc.)

Once I’m done making up the pieces the way I want them, I plan to cast them all in resin, then use those resin pieces to build up a really nice kit or two. Assuming all goes well, and I really like the way the final result turns out, there is a fair chance that I might be interested in casting some extra sets for sale… but it is too early to say that for sure at this point. For now, this is just a fun project I’m doing for the enjoyment of doing it.

I actually just got side-tracked on this project; finding spare TIE kits has been rather difficult, so till I find more, I began work on scratch building a new cockpit for the Naboo Starfighter. (Not far enough along for pictures… when I have something more substantial I’ll say so!)