Star fox arwing build (Satchmo III)

Discussion in 'Non-Halo Costumes and Props' started by Satchmo III, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Satchmo III

    Satchmo III Well-Known Member

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    Hail four-oh-five!

    This thread will document the making of a physical model arwing from the 3ds remake of Star Fox 64.

    Arwings from other Star Fox games may be added to the build as work progresses (likely the SNES and Star Fox 64 versions at minimum). I know this isn't Halo-related but I'm sure there are some Star Fox fans on the forums that may appreciate the build. I've been doing quite a bit of 3D modeling as of late but I haven't built anything for some I'm changing that.

    Thanks for your interest and please post any questions or comments. Wish me a (garbled) good luck!


    I've reserved the next post for finish photos.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    Sean Anwalt and TurboCharizard like this.
  2. Satchmo III

    Satchmo III Well-Known Member

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    (post reserved)
  3. Satchmo III

    Satchmo III Well-Known Member

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    The primary building material for this project is cardboard. I intend to wall mount the model once complete and may pursue molding/casting it. The wingspan of the model will be 38 inches.

    There's a lovely website called The Models Resource from which I was able to find a game asset for the 64-3ds arwing that was used in one of the smash bros games. I simplified the model in blender and modified it into a few distinct pieces to help me build it. The three main pieces include the fuselage with cockpit, the g-diffuser (the blue foil section), and the wing. There's an opening between the upper and lower g-diffuser sections for the wing to slide through and a peg at the inner end of the wing will insert into a sleeve that will be integrated into the fuselage. The individual parts will help the detailing process (by providing ease of access around the parts) and make it so the model can be broken down for any needed transportation in the future.

    3DS blender window 00.png 3DS blender window 01.png

    After the blender work I exported an OBJ file and used pepakura designer to scale the model and print paper parts templates. I used a plotter to print out on a 36in by 48in plan sheet.

    3DS pep window.png IMG_0547.JPG
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  4. Satchmo III

    Satchmo III Well-Known Member

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    Cardboard has sufficient thickness for gluing parts together so I had turned off the tabs (AKA flaps) in pepakura designer since they aren't needed. The unfold mostly consists of only one side of the model since the template pieces can be flipped over and traced around for the other side of the model. The paper template pieces were cut out using an exacto knife. I pinned these templates to cardboard (yay for stock-piled boxes) and traced them with a pencil before cutting them out of the cardboard with a box-cutter.

    IMG_0548.JPG IMG_0549.JPG IMG_0551.JPG IMG_0552.JPG IMG_0555.JPG
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  5. Satchmo III

    Satchmo III Well-Known Member

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    I haven't cut out everything just yet but have started assembly by test-fitting the cardboard parts together for the fuselage and one of the g-diffusers. I'm using painter's tape for the test-fitting since it won't peel up the cardboard when removed. I'll use the test-fitting to determine if there are any pieces for which I want to shave down cardboard thickness to help pieces join more closely.

    I began with the fuselage...

    IMG_0553.JPG IMG_0554.JPG

    ...and moved onto one of the g-diffusers. The first image below is of the cardboard pieces pre-assembly. In the second (assembled) photo you can see the area that the wing will slid through before being inserted into the fuselage.

    IMG_0560.JPG IMG_0556.JPG

    After these parts were assembled I placed them side by side to see what I had done and I also admired my growing refuse pile (there's negative space for a second g-diffuser in the pile).

    IMG_0557.JPG IMG_0558.JPG IMG_0559.JPG

    NEXT STEPS: Will cut out cardboard for wings and test-assemble one. Take care four-oh-five!
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  6. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO & BCO 405th Regiment Officer Community Staff

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    Dear Satchmo III,

    Thank you for adding even more nostalgia for me into this site. I played a lot of Star Fox as a kid and spent many hours behind the controls of an Arwing. I wish you all the best in this build and I can't wait to see the finished piece.

    Sean Anwalt and Dirtdives like this.
  7. Dirtdives

    Dirtdives RXO & Keeper of Con Lists 405th Regiment Officer Community Staff

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    Why was it so satisfying when Slippy bought the farm? I would even take a few shots at him myself.......
    Sean Anwalt likes this.
  8. Satchmo III

    Satchmo III Well-Known Member

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    A couple days back I cut out the cardboard wings and taped one together. I was able to slip it through the first g-diffuser.

    IMG_0566.JPG IMG_0567.JPG

    Yesterday I taped together the second g-diffuser and wing and cut the cardboard for and assembled the simple cockpit screen and trim. I haven't yet cut the fuselage and g-diffuser thrusters or the wing flaps, since these are a bit intricate I intend to finish them prior to incorporating them into the main body.

    IMG_0574.JPG IMG_0575.JPG IMG_0578.JPG IMG_0571.JPG

    It looks like an arwing...and so I'm eager to continue. Each wing fits through the space in the g-diffusers right now but there's a fair amount of give due to the temporary tape. That space might not be as forgiving as I start to glue things together so I may have to reassess how the main pieces get assembled.

    NEXT STEPS: Remove temporary tape and replace with hot-glue.

    Thank you for the well wishing. The Star Fox 64 cartridge probably spent the most time in my N64 (I wish it was still in my possession). I hope the finished piece will be worth seeing.

    I can't recall ever intentionally shooting at Slippy, but it's possible I've just completely blocked such actions from my memory.

    If you guys haven't yet seen A Fox In Space I highly recommend it.
  9. Satchmo III

    Satchmo III Well-Known Member

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    A pretty good day's worth of work today replacing temporary tape with permanent hot-glue starting with the fuselage (I got through the first g-diffuser/wing set). As I assemble, some of the cardboard pieces get beveled so they fit together tighter.

    IMG_0593.JPG IMG_0594.JPG

    I've also glued in some internal structure to minimize flex and in some cases help to eliminate skew. I didn't think about doing this until most of the fuselage was built but I wanted to add in some support to the middle which was already enclosed. To still accomplish this I cut a slit in the top and slipped in a shim of cardboard.

    IMG_0592.JPG IMG_0595.JPG IMG_0597.JPG

    The single plane shim wasn't very strong so I removed it, modified the slit into a triangle opening, and glued up a triangular post to slip in there. Applying glue to both ends of the post did the trick and ultimately the opening at the top got covered by the long cardboard strip on the "hood". I used more triangular posts near the back of the fuselage to beef up that section before closing it up with the thruster section.

    IMG_0598.JPG IMG_0599.JPG IMG_0603.JPG

    The first g-diffuser took some time to put together but the first wing went fairly quickly since it's simpler. Once the wing cardboard was beveled and tightened up, its base fit snugly through the g-diffuser opening. If I pursue molding/casting individual g-diffuser and wing parts I'll have to shave the cardboard down a little more so it's not quite so snug but it's perfect if I just leave everything as cardboard.

    IMG_0600.JPG IMG_0605.JPG IMG_0602.JPG

    One of my initial ideas was to integrate a peg into the base of the wing and slide it into the fuselage, so the horizontal structural post through the fuselage may double as a receiving shaft for the wing pegs. I'm leaning towards abandoning this idea but the internal fuselage structure is nice anyway.


    I enjoy using cardboard (making something out a what used to be a box) though the cardboard I'm using might not be the best building material at this scale (it's not terribly dense while still being slightly too thick). It's taking me longer than anticipated to assemble but I do like how it looks sans blue tape and gluing edges plus adding the internal structure has made it pretty sturdy.


    NEXT STEPS: Finish hot-gluing the second g-diffuser/wing set and decide how to address the thurster pieces and wing-flaps. Keep doing the work four-oh-five!

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