A glimpse into my scale modeling hobby

1/72 TIE Fighter

TIE-ing up Loose Ends

I have reached the end of the TIE Fighter kit, so I have several photos to share of the final build. First, however, I want to mention that I did not do a lot of weathering on this kit. In keeping with the spirit from my last post about the expendable nature of TIEs, I wanted to keep the final result looking fairly new and out of the shipyards. With no shields, there is very little chance for these ships to get much battle damage, so all I did was give the model a dark gray wash. This mainly helped bring out the details and shows that maybe this particular TIE saw a few more battles than his wingman.

On to the X-Wing next!

Advertisements

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.


Back at it

It has been a while since I last updated because I have been out of the country for the last 2 weeks. I did a little work on the TIE kit before vacation but did not get a chance to update before we left. I was able to make some good process on the kit, so here are some highlights of what I have finished.

First, I spray painted almost the entire kit with a coat of flat gull gray, which is the same base I have used for several other Star Wars kits.

20120708-112930.jpg

Once I finished that coat, I started working on the cockpit. The pilot just needed areas of flat black with gloss black details, and the detail of the inside of the cockpit was all decals. The scissors in the second photo show how small the scale is.

20120708-113149.jpg

20120708-113204.jpg

After the cockpit was finished, I started work on the mainframe. The frame was simple to construct, with two large pieces and a few small details to add on.

20120708-113446.jpg

20120708-113504.jpg

Finally, I had to paint the clear pieces without getting paint on the windows. Fortunately, the kit provided masks to fit the clear sections, but I was not able to get a tight seal on the edges and some of the paint bled onto the window panes. For now, here is a photo of the clear pieces with the masks.

20120708-113939.jpg

I do not yet have a picture of the completed body, but now that I am back from vacation, I can get back to work in full force.


Incoming TIEs

The box art for the kit

It’s a return to the Star Wars universe and my favorite brand of model kits, FineMolds, for the next kit in my queue. I had originally looked at their 1/48 scale TIE fighter, but I decided against it because 1) it was more expensive and 2) most of their other Star Wars kits are in the 1/72 scale, and I like the consistency of the same scale. So, the 1/72 TIE Fighter was the perfect next kit. It was a reasonable price, about $30, and a welcome addition to my Star Wars collection.

With that said, here are some of my first impressions of the kit with some photos.

Positives:

-Highly detailed molded parts, especially for a small scale

-Two bonus stormtroopers, who will look nice standing guard for the final display

Japanese instructions, decals, and the wing parts

-Masks for the clear parts. These stick on the clear parts and cover them while painting the details of the frames.

-The wings are molded in separate parts so you can paint each part their respective colors and then assemble. No time-consuming masking tape or paint mess-ups!

Negatives:

-All Japanese instructions, but the pictures are pretty self-explanatory

-Some really small pieces and tiny, tiny decals, but these are to be expected for such a small scale.

Main body and pieces for the display stand