I was pretty pumped about building this K2-S0 kit from Bandai because he was an instant fan favorite and a classic contribution to the Star Wars universe. As usual with the Bandai kits, everything fit well and hid big seams. I was a little worried about K2’s stability because, as you can see in the pictures, his legs are pretty thin, but the joints are pretty solid and the variety of poses allow for flexible display options.
As I am finding more and more, these kits require a good paint job combined with some of the provided decals to look their best. The molded colors are often decent, but in the case of K2, I went with a full paint job for the weathering features I wanted to use. I started everything in a base coat of chrome silver enamel paint and then used a primarily flat black acrylic coat on top. The black acrylic was really easy to chip and reveal the silver underneath for a scratched look.
I used the decals on a few spots, namely the Imperial logo on the shoulder, the small details on the back, and the arm joints with the yellow band. The most difficult paint area was in the silver arm joints. The kit comes with a clear part to keep the thin arms and legs stable, so I had to do some tricky masking to keep all of those parts from being covered with the black top coat.
I love how lightweight this figure is, and I think it looks great compared to what you could get from the Hasbro Black Series line. The lightweight plastic allows K2 to be easily manipulated into many different display positions. My only complaint is that the neck has fairly limited movement, but overall that is a minor issue. If you can still find this kit lurking around the internet somewhere, get it! It was a blast to build and looks great!
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!
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.