Category Archives: R.L. Bleecker

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Buck Rogers – Studio Scale “Traeger’s” Thunderfighter

This is a design worth drooling over. The standard studio scale Thunderfighter design was added to (by the model makers of Buck Rogers) in order to make what was considered to be an earlier version of the advanced Thunderfighter that were flown on screen by the Earth Directorate in Buck Rogers. This one was flown by Colonel Traeger. Often referred to as the “Happy Birthday Buck” fighter model, this is the world’s first known accurate replica ever produced of this model. We have seen many attempted before this that look quite amazing, but none that actually replicate it all… like artist Dan Gurmeretz did on this replica. Utilizing the damaged model of the studio scale Thunderfighter (SEEN HERE) that R.L. Bleecker built years ago (from a generational kit that was sold to me by Steve Neisen), we thought it best to use it for this design. The original Thunderfighter replica that R.L. Bleecker had built was badly in need of repair after being loaned to be shown, and shipped around with a company that would soon release the studio scale Thunderfighter replica. With that model ready to go, Dan set off with the additions needed to make it a true replica. It turned out beautifully.

ABOVE: Kurt Kuhn with the Studio Scale Traeger Thunderfighter Replica

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Pre-Peace Rendevous

During the building of Battlestar’s Atlantia, Galactica, and Pacifica, artist Dan Grumeretz took a few photos, one of which I used to create the Composite you see below. The Vipers are actually R.L. Bleecker builds from my own Collection and Blue Screen photos. If you look very closely, you will see three of those Vipers landing on Atlantia…. with two coming in further back. They nearly look like dots, don’t they? Also, much closer we see a set of three off the port side of Galactica, with two even more close toward Galactica’s aft area. I felt adding these elements gave it a more realistic feel.

Kurt Kuhn
Kuhn Global Inc.
Modeler’s Miniatures & Magic


Original photo…



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“Hot Dog Piloting” – Composite Art by Kurt Kuhn (Kuhn Global)

Being that the best experienced Colonial Pilots are spread thin these days, Captain Apollo rarely gets to share the skies with his best friend… Lt. Starbuck. Such was one of these days. A colony-type planet had been detected a few light years in front of the fleet and needed to have some recon done…. their names were first on the flight roster. Detecting no hostile presence, the two friends shoot for the deck of the planet to discover most of it covered with water. Alone, with beautiful skies above, deep blue oceans below…. and a whole world of freedom waiting to hear the screaming of Viper engines for the first time….. Apollo looks over at Starbuck… who just nods, and waves his hand as if to say “after you” while placing his cigar back in his mouth…. their hot dog piloting was about to begin.

Continuing as the second “atmospheric flight” composite collection piece suggested for me to do by master artist Ben Lim, while using my Blue Screen photos of the fantastic studio Viper builds done by R.L. Bleecker from the hyper accurate MSLZ22 Model kits, and using a few elements from various sources… I was able to create this scene as I viewed it in my head. What I found especially challenging was getting the reflections correct both on the Vipers themselves… as with the water beneath them. The angle of the sun made it very difficult to determine what was to be seen.


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ESB Sketchbook Inspired – Imperial Cutter INTRACTIBLE

About a decade ago, I tasked artist R.L. Bleecker with building this piece. It would be a larger version of a small model he scratch built while in a shop we had running at that time. This model design was inspired by the Joe Johnston and Nilo Rodis-Jamero’s 1980 released book…”The Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook”, and it was of the initial sketch for the Super Star Destroyer EXECUTOR. Being a Veteran of the United States Navy himself, Robert had classified what he built as a “Cutter”… an Imperial Cutter. When I saw what he had created in that smaller model, and he confirmed where his inspiration came from (as I recognized it as well), it was clear a larger version must be built…. and so he did. This one we would name the Imperial Cutter INTRACTIBLE. This model actually has parts used (the engine bells) that are from a real U.S. military aircraft. Robert used many recognizable items for the communications and jamming equipment on top of the model. This model represents what practical use may have been of this type of vessel in the Empire’s Imperial Fleet. As a back story, we developed this: Measuring slightly less long than the 752 meter ACCLAIMATOR Star Destroyer Class, the new 686 meter PERSISTANT Class Imperial Cutter INTRACTIBLE is the second version of this new Imperial weapon. This makes this vessel, if it were real, to be just over 1/3 the full length of the basic Imperial Star Destroyers we know (ie Devastator and Avenger). The model itself is 27 inches long which bring this piece to the 1:1000 scale exactly. Robert did a magnificent job creating this piece.

…The Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook and Sketch that inspired this build…

Model Information

Current Owner: Kurt Kuhn of Kuhn Global, Inc.

Scratch Build Artist: Robert L. Bleecker

~Hours Vested to Final Display:  400

Total Vested Cost: $12,500 USD

Current Estimated Value: $15,000 USD

Current Appraised Value: $16,000 USD

… and my Blue Screen Photos of the Intractible…


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Blue 7 Studio Scale (1/24) X-Wing

This beautiful piece was built from a cast kit that has original lineage back to the PYRO Models used in 1977’s STAR WARS. Cast obtained from Scott Alexander of Atomic City Models, this piece originally began life as a closed wing version of RED Leader, painted by Scott Alexander himself. I had not seen any closed wing X-Wings made before this time… though there may have been some somewhere. Sadly, Red Leader had a bit of an accident, and then was sent to artist R.L. Bleecker to re-build. Robert took this closed wing X-Wing and made it amazing as he changed the red stripes to blue… just as the original models began life as. We had yet to see anything past Red 6 in wing identification, so Robert came up with what you see here… a solid block to indicate up to 6, plus a single strip to make it Blue 7. Again, nobody had done anything past Red 6 at that time, which made this highly unique. Then there was the fact he made the stripes blue… which again nobody had been doing at that time. Soon after we found some photos of the Red 12 studio model, and it’s markings. Robert also made the R2 unit have a clear dome, with a Pilot at it’s stick that could possibly be Lando Calrissian? It is for you to decide!

Fantastic work all the way around. It was a blast to photograph back then (2008). Never the less… this stands on it’s own as a great display.

I would like to thank both Scott Alexander and Robert Bleecker for their excellence in bringing this to life. Especially R.L. Bleecker for his great imaginative skills.

Above: Kurt Kuhn with the Studio Scale BLUE 7 X-Wing


Model Information

Current Owner: Kurt Kuhn of Kuhn Global, Inc.

Build Artist: Re-Build by R.L. Bleecker

Cast Offered By: Atomic City Models

~Hours Vested to Final Display:  250

Total Vested Cost: $1,000 USD

Current Estimated Value: $2,000 USD

Current Appraised Value: $2,000 USD


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1/2 Studio Scale (22 Inch) SS Botany Bay

This beauty was patterned by Film Writer & Producer, artist Scott Alexander. Through his banner of Atomic City Models, Scott (also known as Captain Cardboard), made this a kit for all to enjoy! I had to have one being that I had just acquired TWO 1/2 studio scale USS Enterprise kits from artist Steve Neill, and this would be the perfect companion to one of them. I gave this project to artist R.L. Bleecker, and he made it come alive. Painting it as having panels, Robert made this piece resemble the digital model utilized in the HD re-make of Star Trek the Original Series for Blu-Ray viewers. What a beautiful piece this is!

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1:24 (15.25 Inch) Cylon Raider “SCAR” built by R.L. Bleecker

Killed many times in battle, then re-animated again… and again, SCAR the Cylon Raider was one of the oldest Raiders in Battlestar Galactica – The New Series. He was an ACE at shooting down Colonial Pilots until he was eventually killed outside the realm of a re-animation ship.

This fantastic JT Graphics model kit (Patterned by the artist Kip Hart of Howling Wold Models) was one of the first released, and it was built by artist R.L. Bleecker whom captured the essence of SCAR with every mark…including what he was named for… the major scar across his face.

Modeler Magic 2018 Gallery Appraisal of $1,500


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Studio Scale Cylon Raiders – “Pyro” and “Hero” Comparison

These two Raiders are beautiful. Both built by R.L. Bleecker, look closely and you will see the differences. I photographed them side by side for all to view for themselves.

2008-02-08_KG_TOS-RAIDER-V1-V2-001AB2016The photo above I did replicating two of the Raiders as we viewed flipping over during their classic attack scenes.


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Studio Scale “Hero” Cylon Raider

I had shown the studio scale Cylon Raider “Pyro” version that had become a kit soon after Jim Key and Mark Dickson had released it. This one shown here today was patterned by artist Mike Salzo to be more like the “Hero” model that we viewed in the series and film. There are differences that you will view in another post placing them side by side.
Artist R.L. Bleecker was again behind how this piece turned out. He did wonderful work.

This piece has a 2016 Modeler Magic appraised value of $2,500 USD

2008-02-08_KG_TOS-RAIDER-V2-022AB2016Kuhn Global “Hero” Cylon Raider Blue Screen Photos by Kurt Kuhn


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Studio Scale Cloud Car #1

This beautiful model was patterned by artist Tobias Rubom, then built by artist R.L. Bleecker, whom did a fantastic job. Every detail was carefully replicated. Artist Dan Grumeretz made the pilot figures exact to the originals used in filming.
As you can see I took as many angles and lighting effects as I thought would be good to allow for use. That stated, after I initially released these blue screen shots, Star Wars artist Chris Trevas contacted me to use them for a poster he was doing for Star Wars Celebration for Lucasfilm. I will show that poster soon in another posting. On the poster, it showed us looking over the shoulder of Boba Fett as the Millennium Falcon was escorted into Cloud City. The Cloud Cars seen in that official poster are taken from these photos.
The reason this Cloud Car is labeled #1 is due to this being the first we had shown, and the first that was ever known to have been replicated. There are now many that have these in their own collections, with kit makers making own releases from time to time in different sizes.
Pardon my look in this, I was taking blue screen photos of these models so much, that I decided never to wear the same hate twice, so I  wore my beanie I picked up in Scotland!
This piece would eventually be shown in the collection of Hector Rosales in the USA.

This piece has a 2016 Modeler Magic appraised value of $3,500 USD

2008-02-06_KG_CLOUD-CAR- 001B2016Kurt Kuhn with the Studio Scale Cloud Car #1

February 2019
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