A glimpse into my scale modeling hobby

Posts tagged “finemolds

Hello, FineMolds, My Old Friend…

img_1538…and hello, blogging, my old friend. It seems I am in the “complete a model every 3-4 months” phase of my life right now. The great thing about hobbies is how relaxing and rewarding they are, but with young children in your life, hobbies become a commodity. Still, a glorious, glorious commodity I relish whenever I have the chance.

If you follow my Instagram account, @lifetoscale, you will have seen a couple WIP pictures of the above Naboo Starfighter. Finally, the finished product gets its 15 minutes of fame. This kit has been sitting on my shelf for a couple years, but it has taken a back seat to many of the newer Bandai kits. But, Bandai had to take a break for a bit and give way to my 0ld favorite, the now discontinued line of FineMolds Star Wars models. The Naboo Starfighter is easily the most iconic ship of the Star Wars prequels, elegant in its simplicity and curved lines. Here are a few of my thoughts about the kit, in no particular order:

  • This is a tiny ship. Next to my other ships in the 1/72 scale, it is quite a bit smaller and looks much more cramped for the pilot.
  • Very simple assembly with few parts. Most of the seams were hidden, as FineMolds was pretty good at, but I needed to do a little filling on the front engines.
  • There were two pilot/droid options-Anakin and R2 or a Naboo pilot/generic R-series droid. I went with the Naboo pilot because the normal guy never gets much love.
  • I struggled with how much I wanted to weather this ship. In the movie, the ships looked very shiny and well-kept, but I can’t leave a Star Wars ship with no scratches or dings. I suppose that was one of the big critiques of the prequels. As a result, I used a little Tamiya panel line wash and added a few smudges here and there but tried to avoid getting too excessive.
  • Some of the waterslide decals were tiny! It took some deft fingers to get those in place.
  • I finished the kit with a couple coats of gloss varnish to maintain the shiny look seen in the movie.
  • I really liked the base for this kit. It is not the standard landing gear or in-flight display; rather, it accentuates some of the cool factor of how this fighter was docked in the movie.

img_1541If you can find one of these lurking around ebay, pick it up! It is a fast build (assuming you don’t have two small children and too many hobbies) and looks great next to the plethora of Star Wars ships in this scale. I imagine there are a lot of ways you could kit-bash or light the engines on this kit, but that is not for me right now. Maybe when the kids are in college…

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Gold Squadron Reporting

Y-Wing Overhead

I have been sitting on this finished Y-Wing for a while and have not had time to post. Baseball playoffs, grading, and general exhaustion after a long day of teaching have kept me from sitting down to write. Now, I finally have a few spare minutes to recap the Y-Wing build.

This is a great kit, as you would expect from FineMolds. I love that most of the greeblies are separate parts and not molded directly to the base. This provides a more detailed look to the finished build.

Overhead view of the finished build.

Overhead view of the finished build.

Most of my final thoughts center on my first time using an oil paint gunk wash. In my last post I mentioned that I wanted to try the gunk wash out, and overall I love the final look. I would not, however, suggest the Y-Wing as a great first kit to try this type of wash on. It took me hours with cotton swabs to wipe off the excess oil paint from all of the cracks and crevices. Even with all that work, the final result ended up a little darker than I intended. Despite a moderately difficult first experience, I am undoubtedly a convert to this type of wash. The details pop more than any other wash I have used.

A front detail shot

Front detail shot

Rear Detail Shot

Rear detail shot

I love trying new things out and learning more about the hobby to improve my final builds, and the gunk wash was another great tool to add to my repertoire. I was recently looking at my model display case and imagining what some of my early models would look like, if I knew then what I know now. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the hobby.

One final shot (with a couple Black Series action figures in the background)

One final shot (with a couple Black Series action figures in the background)

I would be curious to hear how this kit compares to the Bandai Y-Wing. I did not get a chance to pick that one up, and now it will be much harder (and more expensive) to find. Maybe it would make a good option to round out Gold Squadron. If not, this build looks great next to my FineMolds X-Wing, and I look forward to many more opportunities to try new things and build better models.


Embarking on an Adventure

Everything is ready for flight.

Everything is ready for flight.

Not much news on the FineMolds Y-Wing right now. You can see it in the background of the above picture, waiting for weathering effects. I tried Pledge floor wax as a clear coat this time in prep for an oil gunk wash. This will be the first time I try an oil gunk wash, but I am still waiting to get some oil paint thinner. Thanks to @modelmakingguru on Twitter for the video on doing an oil gunk wash! Check out his webpage.

The next adventure on my shelf will be quite the foray into customizing. I found an old Revell Ford Tri-Motor kit on eBay a while back and nabbed it on the cheap when I realized it was the same plane as appears in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Thanks to my great book resource on the Lucasfilm archives, From Star Wars to Indiana Jones, there is a great pic of the plane for reference. I am not worried about the special paint job, but I plan on trying to make my own decals for the Lao Che Freight logo around the door. This will be a new adventure for me, so if anyone has any suggestions or tips on making decals, let me know. I would appreciate the help! Fortunately, the kit looks like it will be an easy build. Hopefully I will get an update out soon! (that goes for the Y-Wing too…)


Gold Fever

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A full workbench!

My workbench has been a little full lately. I have been working on the FineMolds Y-Wing with most of my free time. There were a ton of small bits and pieces to attach to the main body, and the best part is that they wonderfully covered up almost all of the seams. I only had to fill two small seams where the top met the bottom in the front. All that is left to assemble is the landing gear.

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Starting on decals and small details.

I have been holding off on painting the cockpit so I can match the color to the decals because it is a unique shade of blue. I plan to paint the ship up in the guise of Gold Leader.

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Notice the silver leg!

My other project has been one of Bandai’s great little 1/12 figure kits, C-3P0. He will look great next to my astromech droids. I have come to think of these figure kits as a great diversion while I wait for paint to dry or don’t have a lot of time to work. So far, Threepio looks great, and I have only done a little bit of extra painting. Some of the wiring on his stomach needed to be a different color, but everything else has been molded to look great. I should be done with this guy soon and have all of my thoughts posted. Until then, summer is quickly coming to an end, and I am running out of valuable work time. Off to the workbench!


Tiny Cockpits

I love painting tiny little people and cockpits. Usually, on any sort of ship model, the cockpit and pilot is always the first step. This step involves lots of tiny detail painting and waiting for the paint to dry. I find a lot of satisfaction, however, in watching the progress as the mini figure comes to life. The process for the FineMolds Y-Wing has been no different.

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Gold Leader standing by

I chose to go with the Gold Leader scheme for this Y-Wing, so he had unique decals and a different paint scheme on his helmet. He still has the standard Rebel Orange uniform. Unlike some other FineMolds kits, this one came with no extra figures.

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Work moves ahead

After the cockpit, the rest of the build has commenced smoothly. There is not a lot of paint variation on the Y-Wing so it will be a straightforward build, prime, and paint. So far, it looks like this will be a great addition to my display shelves.


FineMolds TIE Interceptor

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Once again FineMolds produced a great little kit. Straightforward with no big surprises, the TIE Interceptor kit looks great on the shelf next to my FineMolds TIE Fighter.

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A close-up view of the front of the cockpit

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Some great detail all over this kit.

If you have assembled the standard TIE, this kit comes together in exactly the same way. The cockpit is the first assembly and then the wings come in two parts for easier painting. The black panels can be painted separately and then installed into the frames.

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What separates the Fighter from the Interceptor is the paint job. In the movies Interceptors had a bluish hue compared to the standard grey of the Fighter. I achieved this look by combining flat white with intermediate blue. I really like the result.

In addition, I only minimally weathered this kit with a wash and a few smudges here and there. Imperial fighters are just too replaceable to be around long enough to show a lot of wear.

Next up looks to be the FineMolds Y-Wing and finishing off some more of the Bandai figure kits.


Interceptor Time

I have fond memories of the TIE Intercepor from the first time it appeared in Return of the Jedi to spending hours playing Lucasarts’ TIE Fighter on my parents’ old PC. I even had the original Kenner TIE Interceptor, and it was one of my only Star Wars toys that still had a working noise maker. Something about the shape of the wings looked sleeker and better than the standard TIE Fighter.

So I bring all of that wonderful nostalgia into building this TIE Interceptor kit from the late Star Wars line of model kits from FineMolds. So far, no surprises. The basic ball cockpit assembly is exactly like the TIE Fighter. FineMolds usually does a pretty good job of covering up seams, but there are a couple I will have to fill.

I did change the color for the Interceptor because all of the resources I have and my memory from the movies skews to a bluer tint than the original TIE. I did a little experimenting with mixing Intermediate Blue and Flat White and finally got a mixture that I like. The pictures below show the first steps with this kit. I look forward to setting this TIE next to my other on the shelf.

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Standard cockpit design with my blue-gray paint mixture. I like how the tint turned out.

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An attempt to get a closer look inside the cockpit. The wall decals show up pretty well and you can see an outline of the TIE Pilot. Once the clear piece goes on the front it will be much harder to see inside.