On The Bench 295: Scott Copeland’s Orion Shuttle


Here’s my Stargazer’s 2001 Orion. Always loved this sleek space plane since I first saw 2001 as a kid, and I’ve built several of the various kits of it beginning with the Aurora over the years since. This kit is probably my favorite so far, it’s big at 18″ long, and very detailed and accurate.

Assembly was pretty straightforward, the parts were well cast and only needed minimal clean-up and filling. The ol’ “tape on either side of long narrow gap” trick worked great for where the wings attached to the body.

I primered it with Duplicolor “Hot Rod Gray” primer and used Vallejo Model Air “White” as my basecoat. After fixing the mistakes primer and basecoat revealed and smoothing & blending those in with white, it was time to start paneling.

BP Taylor provided me with some great shots of his 4′ Orion that was at WonderFest last year, unless the original shooting miniature shows up, as far I’m concerned it’s the gold standard for Orion reference! I airbrushed the windshield, wing scoops, and insides of the engines with Vallejo “black”. Silly Putty really helped masking with these, especially wing scoops. Next came the tedious task of paneling. I used his pictures as a guide, I would mix a airbrush cup of about 10 drops of the Vallejo “White” and add 1-3 drops of various greys, tans,blues, and greens. I’d mask the panels I wanted to do with post-it notes, then mist the masked panels with the mixture. I was trying to keep the differences subtle, if I was too heavy handed with a color, I’d just re-mask the panel, mist it with the base white, and try again. It was labor intensive, but I was really happy with the results.

After glossing it, I applied the decals. The Jbot decals went on smoothly with some Micro-sol and really brought the model to life. After sealing them with gloss, I knocked the shine down with some really light coats of Dullcoat, attached the spikes to the engines, and mounted it on a simple Polar Lights “Large” base.

I put a lot of time into this one, but I’m really happy with the results!

Scott Copeland

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