I keep coming back to these Bandai figure kits because they are just awesome. They are quick and make a great side project during a more prolonged or difficult model project.
One of the fun things about the Clone Trooper kit was that there were so many options for how to paint and weather this guy. Stormtroopers are fairly uniform, but thanks to the Clone Wars TV series and even some brief glimpses in the prequels, clone troopers had a lot of different markings, not to mention they weathered a lot more and their armor showed it.
When I first started assembling the clone trooper I was undecided about what sort of paint scheme I wanted to use, if any at all. Over the course of the build, I settled on the 212th Battalion color scheme because I have always loved Obi-Wan Kenobi and these were his troops on Utapau. I did a little googling to find a quality picture of the paint scheme and then jumped right in.
Two regrets about the way I went about painting this kit, which will influence future projects. First, I had already assembled the trooper so I had to do some difficult masking in hard to access places, which could have been eased by masking before I assembled. Second, because I did not want to mask the entire trooper, I hand painted the spots that needed markings. Both of these regrets left me wishing I had masked and airbrushed all the markings before assembling the parts. Lesson learned for next time.
Because I painted directly on the plastic, I was able to easily do some chipping with a toothpick and xacto knife. These gave a nice worn effect to the battalion markings. Then, to top the painting off, I did some panel line washing in a few spots and added some weathering pastels also. I finished the kit with a semi-gloss lacquer because the clone troopers were never quite as shiny as the stormtroopers.
Overall, I am pretty proud of my first real customized paint job, notwithstanding the usual weathering effects. I really like the result, and if I had endless supplies of money (haha!) I would probably try to customize several different clone varieties. Lessons learned and a good-looking figure make a great success. As a bonus, you can switch out the heads to be either a Phase 1 or Phase 2 trooper. As you can see from the photos, I preferred the Phase 2.
This is a great kit that will look even better when displayed next to my eventual Battle Droid and STAP kit.
Today I finally threaded the last fiber on the Republic Cruiser! There is still a lot of work to do, but it feels good to not have to drill anymore tiny holes or thread fiber through them. I also recently checked some of my LED connections and got the first glimpse of the lighted engines. Actually seeing some of the fruit of my work was encouraging and gave me hope that the final project will look really great. I can see the end of the project drawing near. Maybe I will at least finish within a year of starting it…
I was fortunate enough to squeeze in minutes of work here and there the last couple weekends and made some great progress on the top of the Republic Cruiser. I was back in my comfort zone of primarily paint work.
The instructions called for a lot more variation from the base color for some of the details. I just felt that it looks better with a more monochromatic look. I mostly used variations of light and dark ghost gray.
All of the lighting is done for the top and bottom halves, with the engines the only parts left. I am finally seeing the end on this kit, and I really hope that the final product looks as good as the hours invested in it.
What happened to the summer?! I had such great plans to finish my Star Destroyer kit, and here I am still chugging along with school about to start again.
Here is a brief look at what I did accomplish this summer:
Before doing any lighting I assembled and painted the ship’s belly. The red stripes were masked and the rest of the painting was a simple base coat with darker highlighted areas.
When it came time to start drilling holes for the fiber optics, I was pretty enthusiastic. A few holes in and a couple broken bits later, and I was ready to throw everything across the room. In the process so far, I have considered several times whether this lighting endeavor was going to be worth it. There is a lot of tedium and time investment involved, but I have committed and want to see it completed. So I truck along.
In the picture above I tried to show the initial placement of the fiber optics. Here, I have installed the larger diameter fibers. I followed these with a whole bunch of small fibers along all the sides of the ship. Finally, I attached LEDs to the fiber bundles and the side panel lighting is complete.
As of right now, I am working on the bridge and tower lighting, and I am getting more comfortable with the whole process. It is still tedious and time-consuming, but I have more hope that the end result will be worth it and that there actually will be an end result…sometime…