Aerial Hunter Killer

A very Big Thank You to Derek Ho of Neo-Plamo who kindly made sure I have this wonderful Pegasus model kit in my hands.

This is the very much sought after craft from the Terminator series, where it made a very brief appearance in the first Terminator Movie. The HK as it was normally called, was talked and discussed in Forums throughout the years. It was not until Horizon, in the 90’s came out with the Vinyl kit which was quite a handful. For a 1/35 scale, not only was the model’s size impressive, but because it is vinyl, sharp details were lost. It was also a challenge for me since Vinyl is not something I love to do and living in this hot and humid weather, eventually the model WILL become soft and sag.

Here is a video of the massive 1/35 HK model from Horizons by Eagle Models

So, when Pegasus Hobbies came out with their version, which was a 1/32 scale plastic injection, some actually sold off their huge Horizon models in anticipation of this new kit.

Boy, you can imagine the response when they got theirs. Me, I am happy because at this size, I want to think that its a manageable size for a flying drone (see the nuBSG Cylon Raider). Initially, I was not happy with the reduced size, but as time goes on, I just accepted it as it is (ie another Aerial HK version but smaller)


HK 001
This is the Box Art for the 1/32 Terminator Hunter Killer from Pegasus Models. It is also the first Pegasus model for me. I was saving up for their Martian War Machine but well, that’s another story.
HK 002
The contents of the box.
HK 003
So, this is how the 1/32 looks like, a big difference compared to the 1/35 vinyl version from Horizon. Call it 1/48 to 1/57 if you want to. When compared, a fully assembled Horizon model was between 15 to 16 inches in length.
HK 004
Here is the underside of the HK, where to me, looks good. Also, you can see the two holes for lights near the ‘+’ for the stand
HK 005
Here is a quick look at their wing tips. There is a lot of space in there but you need to use SMD LEDs. To be fast, all you need are some white ones, cut the clear pieces and paint them in clear reds and blues.
HK 006
There was a mention of making the turbines spin but because the twin thrusters are always in a vertical position, I don’t think anyone is going to bother looking at its bottom. Moreover, I do not have much experience in removing the blades as cleanly as possible.


I cannot remember where I got these images from but they are very good.

HK 022: Screen Used
HK 023: Screen Used
HK 024: Screen Used
HK 024: Screen Used
HK 025: Screen Used
HK 026: Screen Used
HK 027: Screen Used


HK 007
Last night, as I was assembling the model, I realised that there is a lot of gaps once I have glued the model up. When I test-fit them, it was more or less OK/ Only when I closed the top cover, did these gaps made themselves known.

The Red ones, which is hardest to fit and glue as you won’t know until you close the cover. I just know that I would need to fill the gaps later on.

But I won’t. I will spray the interior with Krylon Fusion Flat Black and leave it as it is. This will intentionally make the HK look hollow especially where the machine parts are showing…
HK 008
There are four spotlights under the HK but today, I am going to show you how to deal with the belly lights.

Notice that the two ‘holes’ alongside the cross for the stand? That’s the place for the belly lights. Use a 3mm drill bit (and not any larger) and open the hole all the way through. Bear in mind, you’re drilling straight through at 90ยบ angle. Now, using the same drill, move it up and down at an angle (without destroying the plastic lip or bezel on the other side), while twisting the drill bit to smoothen the angled internal walls of the new hole.

When you insert the 3mm LED into the hole, it will feel loose and can slant in an angle.
HK 009: Belly Spotlight alignment
Before you mount the 3mm LED, you need to make a simple test circuit so that it will light up momentarily. I did this by connecting to an actual LED tester, which gives it the essential 20mA. This is because we are going to align the angle of the LED’s hotspots permanently.

With the LEDs on, align them so that the belly lights are shining out of the body at a forward angle and not vertiacally below. Once you have the two angles right, hot-melt glue them in place.
HK 010: HK Twin Turbine Light Feasibility test
I like the construction of the HK’s twin turbines. This is because both top and bottom ‘covers’ are to be glued on the edges like covers to a bottle and not from the inside. This means you can potentially hollow them out and place a small fan/motor. But I am not going to do that.

What I am happy is that it has a hollow turning joint from the turbines and into the body. Normally, in such model configurations, most manufacturers just design a solid part which connects the twin turbines. But for this HK model, it’s hollow and can swing independently!

Here is a light test using a 3mm white LED onto the thrusters. I am counting on its hot-spot effect with a distance of about 7mm away. Yes, the plastic is soft and translucent. So, this means a lot of light-blocking on areas that well, do not need lights.
HK 011: HK Twin Thrusters LED
I tied a knot at the cables from the turbine side so that the hot-melted LED will not come off if I accidentally pulled it.

Before I leave for the day’s work, I have dipped the two 5mm LEDs with clear blue. Once they’re dry, I’ll open a small aperture. Right now, I can’t decide to leave the aperture clear (to show white through the plastic part) or yellow.
HK 012: Blue LED effect
I did my usual painting with the LEDs. On the left picture, you can see I have painted the middle of one of them with yellow. It looks good and bright!

But the image on the right is the result, which look horrible. The blue is making the LED look very dim; with the grey plastic filtering all the LED’s remaining lights, the result was bad. Just a bluish white dimple on the exhaust!
HK 013: Wide Angle LED vs 5mm Clear
So I removed the white LED and replaced with a wide-angle warm-white version which all of a sudden, made it look cool! Earlier on, I have tried with a pure white but it was not that satisfactory. In fact, it looked horribly normal. So, the choice is obvious!
HK 014: HK Front Spotlights
This is the front spotlights of the HK. One good thing about this is that Pegasus Models has designed the clear lens in such a way that you can actually plug in a 3mm LED and it will hold. But the cabling is a challenge since I do not want to remove the alignment pillars.

What I did was to shave the pillars slightly for the legs to go pass through. You do not need to push the lens in at first but leave it slightly outside while you glue the whole parts together. When all is done, push the lens in and it actually locks into place!
HK 015: HK Spotlight effect
This is how the lighting arrangement looks for the moment. Initially, I wanted to use the bright 3806 SMD LEDs but although it would achieve the brightness I was looking for, the soldering would be quite difficult and not only that, you would have alignment issues with the LEDs.
HK 016: HK Rear Wingtip Lighting
For the HK’s wing tip, there are a few ways to light it up. The first idea would be to use say, a thick 2mm fibre-optic but since I don’t have that, the idea is out. Plus, it would be very difficult for me to Dremel out the 2mm tunnels required to thread them through the wings.

So, the next idea would be to use LEDs. And mind you, because of the tight space in there, you need to use SMD LEDs. You can see how small the trench is (blue) when compared to a normal 3mm red LED.

The SMD LED I am going to use would be the 0805 since to me, the 0603 is a little bit too small and fragile. Any unintentional movement of the wires will tear the LED. (Speaking of wires, I am using a 7-core 30AWG aka Kynex wires.). Plus, they are not exactly bright either.
HK 017: HK Plasma Cannon
The HK’s Cannon is next and I plan to use a LED in there too. If you look carefully, it is possible to put a fibre-optic cable in there using the dotted yellow path (that is, if I can find mine which is about 2mm).

Drilling out the barrel is easy since its in one piece but please be careful as the neck is quite fragile (red arrows). When you HAND-DRILL, hold it by the barrel and not the body. Start with a 1mm bit and SLOWLY work your your way until it comes through the barrel. Next, close the other half piece of the plasma cannon and re-drill to create a symmetrical hole or tunnel for the wires.

Next, (if you want to, that is) use a bigger 1.5mm bit and slowly drill about 5mm deep into it. Do not drill through as this will snap the neck. But if you want to, you can actually remove the barrels and replace it with a brass tube which, to me, offers more space for the LED. But since I do not have extra brass tube or plastic ones to recreate the muzzle, I will not go this way. Tonight, I am going to continue with this gun. Then I can go on to the rear wing tips before I start programming the chip.

Although I hate machine gun effects, I am going to put this one in and with a bright LED as, um ‘Seen in the Movies’ 😛
HK 018: HK Plasma Cannon
Finally, the gun is done! It was quite difficult as the barrel was very thin. I actually broke it when I was widening the hole. Not only that, I had to use the thinnest wire I could find, barring the actual wire-wrapping wires which is not a great substitute. The interconnecting limb was also a problem as there is not much space for the wires to get through. In the end, I got a very wobbly but working plasma cannon.
HK 019
This is how I did the rear wing tips. I soldered the two white 0805 SMD LEDs together in parallel. Also, I had to carve out some excess plastics for the LED’s base to fit in. I broke two LEDs when I was trying to close it up.

Why am I using White LEDs? The RED led is bright enough but its the Blue LED. Not only does it give a deep blue colour which is not accurate, I am afraid that its not bright enough. But using white for all the four LEDs, the blue WILL be brighter and I also do not have to worry about different current limiting resistor values.
HK 020
Here is the shot of the gun temporarily placed under the HK. It’s bright (just like in the movie) and I am happy. Next would be to find out where the lower flashing beacon is and then the lighting part would be complete.
HK 021
So, after a night’s work of searching the Internet, the T2 HK does not have a rear strobe. Good or bad, I am not sure but this means I do not have to worry about making a circuit board. Now, I can consider if I want to put the batteries INSIDE the model or externally.

Although this is new to me, I would like to share with you the difference between the T1 HK and the T2 HK.

1. Although both T1 and T2 have a set of front spotlights, bottom spotlights and a pair of red/blue lights the at the tail’s wingtips, only T1 version has a white strobe near the tail.
2. T2 has two Rear legs
3. T2 has more details on the sides leading to the tail.
4. The silver paintjob for the T2 is dirtier and very, very weathered! This means I do not have to worry about getting a perfect chrome!
HK 028
My happiness (of not needing a circuit board) was short-lived because I just remembered that the HK has twin turbines and also a firing belly gun. This means, I would need to do some programing. 🙁

The image on the left is a prototype circuit for the HK. I only need the basic LEDs just enough to see the results of the programming.

On the right, Although in theory there is space for both the circuit board and the battery holder, I am so tempted to leave everything in and cut out the upper hull as a cover. But I cannot because, when it comes to shiny surfaces, when you touch it a lot, it will become dull. So, I will have to leave the batteries outside instead. This also creates another challenge for me as the base is too thin to hide the batteries…
HK 029
I have completed programming the circuit board for the HK. What took so long was to get the HK’s Belly gun to light up convincingly and not just some rigid on-off LED flashes. So, it has a single shot, multiple shot and also a kind of rapid-burst. What is am so happy was its muzzle flash which is very bright. I have take two shots, one with the flash and one with a pair of tweezers to block the flash (so you can see the effect bounced off on the HK’s hulls). More to follow soon.
HK 030
One thing I forgot to tell you guys is that at the front, you can actually glue the headlights assembly on the lower hull but just to make sure it fits, you might want to cover the upper hull first.

Once that is done, you need to carve out a small tunnel for the wires to go through. I forgot why I did it at this late stage but I think it has something to do with gluing B15 & B16 first, then followed with the sides (for alignment)

So, anyway, you need a sharp tool for this and I discovered that the acrylic scriber is better than a scalpel. Just press onto the plastic walls at a perpendicular angle to create the ends and then carve out the sides. (I don’t know how to describe this)
HK 031
The next thing is to drill out two 1.5mm holes exactly behind the stand’s round collar. I am using 1.5mm because of the power cables. Insert the cables, then tie a knot from the internal side. Don’t tie it too short because you still need to solder the cables to the circuit board.
HK 032
Here is a BEFORE & AFTER picture. The hot-melt glue gun does make a difference!

Anyway, once you have soldered all the cables, its now time to use the hot-melt glue. Put a generous (yet not melting) amount of hot-melt onto the power cable knot and also on the square platform behind. This is to secure the Circuit Board. Then, do dabs of glue to make sure all the wires (except the turbine wires) are secured.

Line the turbine wires behind or in front of the HK’s side mounting pillars and make sure they do not get trapped when you close the cover.
HK 033
Now, I want to show you the Lighting Effect!

The front spots are doing their jobs nicely and so are the side spots! Also, I am quite happy with the rear Wing tips too!
HK 034
Here is the finished model for the moment before I start to prime it for painting. I might need to do something with the Base. Since its an OoB build, I guess weathering is the most I can do.
HK 035
Using some Aves Apoxie, I tried to fill the gap at the Tail Lights and also the end pivot for the Belly Gun. Then, I masked the lit parts with Daler Rowney’s Art Masking Fluid. Now, all I have to do is to wait for tonight until the Aves is good and I’ll start sanding.

As for the four holes inside the tail-lights, I will stuff them with the tubes from the cotton bud. That is, once I have sanded the Aves.
HK 036
Just opened a fresh can of Krylon Fusion Flat Black! They are great for priming models! I can can cover about one huge 1/32 Moebius Models TOS Cylon Raider and one 1/144 Halycyon Narcissus.

This time, I am going to try to make it last, and I am actually following instructions *ahem* by spraying from about 12 inches away and in light coats…

And the details that still shows,… wow

(I know, I know, I’ve been doing it wrong)
HK 036
My main worry about the HK’s Chrome is still there but muted somewhat. I have two colours to choose from since ICW has ran out of chrome powder at the moment. This was because I wanted the chrome (mirror-like, if possible) to be protected by a layer of clear coat without breaking the bank. Yeah, alclad is out.

On the left is some Chinese silver paint just brought in by Hobby HQ (as was sold out on all colours) which everyone was eager to have a go at it. And on the right is the Gaia Notes Bright Silver. It was the only Silver left at ICW since the other metallics have all been snapped up due to the GBWC 2014 deadline in three week’s time.

I am using two spoons for this to highlight the two different paints:
1. Surfaces as it is by Krylon Fusion,
2. Surface with random rough sanding using 2000 sandpaper
3. Normal spraying and light spraying (if I know how to do this, that is)
4. The effects of Thinner based Clear Coat.

All this must be done as soon as possible if I can help it.
HK 038
I finally had the opportunity to give the HK the silver coating. The method I used was to sandpaper its surface with the 1200 grit flexible sponge-like sander which I got from ICW. I only managed to remove the coarseness of the Krylon but failed to get a perfect smooth surface with a 1200. Plus, the Tamiya compound wasn’t helping either. Maybe that or I am poor at using these tools at my disposal. And yes, I forgot to take pictures of the process…

What I did was to spray a very thin coat of the Yile SM07 followed by a few additional layers on the middle areas of each panel to create the shading effect. I know I will never get a great sheen out of this and so, I did what I could. As for the wordings on the base, it was OK since I sprayed directly out from the bottle. Only the rubber masking marred the experience a little when I peeled it off as I keep touching it.

Notice the picture on the right? I intentionally kept the clear pieces until the last moment. I’ll tell you why in the next photo and how I screwed it up with that Throne Game TV series playing in the background.

Anyway, this is as much as I can do with the base since I don’t have the correct colours but I am sure the Mysterious Person can do better when I pass it to her.

Did I mention Mystery Person?
HK 039
With the clear part, what I did was to cut them off about 8mm from the ends. Then, I test fit them and cut the parts little by little until I got a nice fit. I then used Humbrol Clearfix to secure the four clear parts in place.

The picture on the right looks really nice. And that’s when it all went downhill. The GAIA clear paints dries up very fast even with thinner added. I should have dipped them into the bottle instead of hand-brushing them as the result now looked very blotchy.

The reason I did not do that because these parts are easily lost and they jumped out from my fingers (then tweezers) and I managed to lose one. So, imagine if it were to fall into the bottle. I was also thinking of dipping a hollow tube into the paint, and it the accumulated paint to have the clear part ‘dipped’ into it. But I could not find any small straws and the styrene tubes I had were either too big or solid. Darn.
HK 040
Anyway, it’s all done now and here are the views of the HK.
HK 041
Overall, the Pegasus model of the Aerial HK is not bad at all. Experienced modelers would be able to fill the gaps and spray a better metallic coat than me with one of their arms tied behind their backs.

This is my first time playing with metallics and for a noob, its very unforgiving. I do know my severe limitations lies in doing showroom finish or ‘clean’ builds where every mistake is glaringly obvious and cannot be hidden. When it was completed this morning, I felt relieved more than satisfied. Give me a soldering iron and LED any time.
Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Derek Ho of Neo-Plamo for the experience working on this excellent 1/32 scale model.
Here is a YouTube video from Brad Hair on building the Pegasus 1/32 Aerial Hunter Killer


I have completed the 1/35 Pegasus Aerial Hunter Killer (courtesy of Derek from Neo-Plamo) last month and it debuted at the SFTPMS Roadshow at Teluk Intan. And once everything has more or less settled down, I did a quick shoot of the model.

Please forgive me if the shots are too dark of blurred as I only have about 30 minutes before dinner.

Completed Aerial HK 001
There is not much lighting on the Aerial HK apart from the front spotlights, the red & blue tail lights and the flicker of its belly plasma cannon So, I took some artistic (or is it technical?) liberty to do my own lighting.

The additional lighting are: a pair of angled belly spotlights and the twin turbines. If I placed this model on a piece of grayish paper, you can see the effect of the spotlights.
Completed Aerial HK 002
This is the victim’s POV looking up at the Aerial HK. I am sorry for the lighting which is starting to dim a little as I have not changed its batteries since its 7 hour display in Teluk Intan. Nevertheless, it is still quite bright.

Please do note that the twin turbines in the actual T2 movie does not light up but it was tempting not to!
Completed Aerial HK 003
If you observe the Aerial HK in the movies, there are not much lighting except on its bottom. And so, this is the bottom view of the model. This is almost the actual colours which I see with my own eye except that the image is a little darker.

From the top left to the bottom right:
1. The red/blue tail lights
2. The belly gun
3. The warm-white twin turbines
4. The belly spotlights
5. The front spotlights
Completed Aerial HK 004
For a 1/35 scale model, it is a little small compared to the Horizon Vinyl version but let’s just call this a drone or something. This is because IMHO, there is nothing to confirm the scale of the Aerial HK except for the Horizon Vinyl Model.
Completed Aerial HK 005
As you have already realised, I did a not so good job with the metallics. I was aiming for chrome effect but in the end, my using a matt primer and then sanding it smooth did not produce the effect I wanted. Luckily, the Chinese Yile SM07 silver paint more or less helped salvage my mistakes.
Completed Aerial HK 006
Here is the frontal view of the Aerial Hunter Killer. I left the base bare apart from the words, ‘T2’ so that the person whom I am going to give it to, can do something about it or, leave it as it is.
Completed Aerial HK 007
This is the rear view. I had to tone down the lighting as if I gave it a full shine from the bulb, it would be too bright. I just love the effect where both the red and blue tail lights can be seen in the dark.
Completed Aerial HK 008
This is a much clearer picture of the twin turbines.
Completed Aerial HK 009
Completed Aerial HK 010
One thing I hate was that the stand is blocking the belly gun and so, when it ‘fires’ most of the effect is being blocked, which is very annoying as the silver body reflects the light from the barrel just like in the movie.

However, you can just twist the gun a little and it should be OK. I just hate it because it is just there.
Completed Aerial HK 011
Completed Aerial HK 012