A glimpse into my scale modeling hobby

A Cheap and Easy Weapon

One of the many benefits of building model kits based on movie props is the chance to get into the brain of the movie’s creator and special effects guru. The TIE Fighter kit I am working on has been an excellent example of this. In the original Star Wars trilogy, TIE Fighters were a cheap way to churn out spaceships with little regard for quality or safety. The TIEs had no shields, which made them, and their pilots, expendable. Because they were cheap and easy to produce, the Empire could just continuously build more and more with little to no negative effect.

This creative idea from George Lucas and his team played out well as I was building this TIE model kit. The simple design and ease of construction mirrored the “real” TIEs, and as a result I felt a greater appreciation for the Lucasarts special effects team and for the physical way George Lucas’ ideas manifest.

With that little bit of philosophizing, here are some photos of the final stages of construction on the 1/72 TIE Fighter.

The final build of the cockpit, which is essentially all the whole ship is. A cockpit with some arms attached to hold the wings on.

The paint for the wings. Simple colors, simple design, and the kit was designed to make construction and painting very easy. The wings are easily the most distinguishing part of the ship.

Fully constructed TIE in the top right, display stand without paint on the top left, and two small stormtroopers at the bottom right with initial coat of white paint.

The final build of the TIE with decals and paint touch-ups along the edges of the wings and on some small parts of the body.

Final paint on the stormtroopers. One shows the front, the other the back. These were very difficult to paint, but I think they turned out fairly decently.

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