Star Wars Escape Pod by Matthew Nicholas June 12 2020
Matthew Nicholas has been an avid Star Wars fan since he was a kid, and he practically grew up building models from the movies. After his time in the United States Army, he has decided to follow his childhood passion for building film prop replicas and costumes.
"In the last twenty years, I have been building and selling costumes and props as an evening hobby, and this last year I finally decided to break away, follow my passion, and try to do this full time," he tells us.
The original Star Wars trilogy, Tron, and the Indiana Jones trilogy were some of the movies that formed Matthews's childhood and are something that he always fondly comes back to. After some consideration, Matthew has chosen the Star Wars: A New Hope Escape Pod model for his collaboration project with Fillamentum."I wanted to build a replica of the studio scale filming miniature. I knew exactly how I would display it, and knew that it would be an ideal project to showcase both my abilities as well as the quality of Fillamentum's filament," he says.
Every project is an opportunity to learn something as well as to practice and hone your skills and, most importantly, to have fun. Matthew has decided to add a little easter egg to his model, referencing the movies. R2 and C3-PO in their own little cockpit are looking out the window. His Father suggested finding images of a cockpit, printing them, and gluing them into the small enclosure to go on the inside of the window for an extra bit of detail.
"This thought had not occurred to me and truly ended up being that extra layer of subtle detail that just made the easter egg that much more neat," Matthew explains.
The whole escape pod was printed with ABS Extrafill "Metallic Grey". "I print mainly in ABS, out of personal preference. I have printers which print ABS extremely well, I like the end product durability, and I prefer how much easier it is to work with for post-processing," he tells us.
A little engineering was needed to figure out mounting points and the counterweight in the stand. He ended up having to put a 15 mm steel plate, which was cut to match the interior profile of the inverted star destroyer base.
Post-processing was fairly standard, after the printed pieces were sanded down the parts needed to be assembled with CA glue. After that, the glued seam was spot filled with 3M Bondo and sanded down again and then a few coats of sandable primer were applied before the final sanding session. After this, the model was ready for a paint job. An eight-hour session of airbrushing on the base using colors custom mixed to match the reference pictures as closely as possible, followed by hand painting the small details and wrapped up with a clear satin coat.
It's always a very gratifying feeling to hold the finished project in your hands. "I'm very happy with the final outcome. It's always a pleasure to have something you had inside your own head become a reality," says Matthew with excitement.
"I had heard a lot of good things about your filament but had never tried it—what a fantastic product. Your ABS Extrafill came out smooth like butter and printed so well. The pictures speak for themselves. I would not hesitate to use or recommend your product again in the future," Matthew says.
ABS Extrafill "Metallic Grey"
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