This modification to a Wave AFS started out as an armed pilot for a Falke conversion. The Falke conversion went nowhere, but this little guy got the full treatment. The design takes basically the best elements from the Raptor and pairs them with a clunky looking AFS Mk1.
The Kestrel is a kit bash of a Wave AFS and some parts from the spares bin. I narrowed a Raptor hatch to fit the thinner torso. Sheet syrene was stuffed into the voids to fill up any large gaps and then Aves Apoxie Sculpt was used to blend it all in.
All gear and joint covers are sculpted from Milliput Yellow/Gray. I liked it this time as it set quicker for what I was doing, plus I had an unopened pack that I needed to use. I was very pleased by how well it behaved when sculpting the bed rolls and gear. The bent up frame is soldered brass and is the most complex part I have ever soldered. It represents the fact that I totally lost that hip armor piece and it needed something.
Paint and Finish
My color choice came from the Raptor camo card. There is a Gray/Dark Gray Raptor with Blue bands and the Falcon nose art. I've wanted to paint that one for a while. I was going to paint it tan and black like the Taco Beetle, but changed my mind at the last min. The actual camo pattern is derived from one of the vinyl SE "toys". I'm not sure what markings will be yet, but it really needs some yellow in there.
The final details added before paint were the tie down points, wire "rope" - though one is missing, fell off somewhere, and Archer Casting Numbers. They are a little small for the scale, but work.
Colors are Tamiya Sky Gray with a little White and Dark Gray with a few drops of RLM Gray mixed with Clear to improve the flow of the Flat paints. I accidentally put too much Clear in with the Dark Gray, so it took multiple coats (6-7) to begin to cover the pencil marks. Joint covers are planned to be Field Green which should work with the soft goods. I'm happy with the paint job and have no intent of over painting it by hand.
Most of the unique markins come from a couple of aftermarket decal sheets. I used Vallejo acrylics to hand paint the yellow and black eye as well as the yellow "cuffs". It's in that awful looking super gloss finish right now.
I used MIG Productions Washes and SIN filters, and washes made from 502 Abteilung Oil paints. Things were built up gradually with multiple layers over several days allowing the underlying oils to dry enough so the next round didn’t disturb what I had already done.
The base is a piece of acrylic tube cut to length. The notch out of the top where the rock protrudes into is a result of the acrylic tube cracking in that spot. It looked like a good place for the rock to rest. The groundwork was first built up with pink insulation foam. The rocks were glued with Matte Gel Medium and the groundwork is a mixture of MGM, sand, gravel, root litter. I spray painted the whole thing with Krylon Ultra Flat Black and applied a top coat of Krylon Gloss over the pedestal portion. The groundwork and rocks were first hand painted with Vallejo Model Colors and then Tamiya Flat Earth and Tamiya Buff were airbrushed to blend things in. Several filters of Windsor Newton oils were applied to tone down the contrast on the larger rocks.
The model was glued to the base with MGM. Final weathering began by airbrushing heavily thinned Tamiya Buff over the model an concentrating on the lower legs and feet. Dried mud was built up with W&N oil paints. A little bit was squeezed out onto a piece of cardboard to draw out the excess oils. The semi dry paints were applied with an old no2 brush and clumped and built up on the feet and lower legs. Additional earth tones were blended in as necessary to add additional built up dust. The final weathering was a bit of MIG Pigments Dried Mud, Light Dust, and Beach Sand applied dry and set with thinner.