A glimpse into my scale modeling hobby

Posts tagged “star wars universe

Hot Pursuit

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These two Bandai kits look great together. Watch your tail Blue Leader!

I briefly waffled on what to build after my Bandai Resistance X-Wing, but looking back it should have been a no-brainer. How can you follow up an X-Wing build with anything other than a TIE? I had both the standard First Order TIE and the Special Forces TIE in my stash, but I decided to start basic and come back to the Special Forces at a later date.

I really like the inverted color scheme of the new TIEs in The Force Awakens, and after spending some time with the ship, they look sturdier in comparison to the original TIEs. I still remember that first brief glimpse of the new TIEs in the original teaser as they were chasing the Millenium Falcon. I knew there was something different about them, but the shot was so fast it was too difficult to catch. Six months later, I am now considerably more familiar with the look.

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A good look at the TIE head-on. The wings look considerably sturdier than the OT version.

This model kit from Bandai was a fast and easy build. The parts are molded in a pretty decent color scheme, but most advanced modellers will want to add their own touches with preferred paints. I used a combo of sky grey and white for the wing panels and metallic black for the TIE frame and body. A couple of gloss coats, minimal weathering, and the desired pose on the base made for a nice finished product.

Closing in for the kill.

Finally, I decided to use the laser blasts provided by Bandai in order to display the TIE in pursuit of my T-70 X-wing. I intend to have some fun photographing these two kits together!

Check your rear stabilizer!


Blue Squadron, Still Reporting

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A man and his ship, unseparable

Finally! After a few months of silence and little work time, I have finished my Bandai T-70 Resistance X-Wing Fighter. As a little Father’s Day gift my wife took my 2-year-old and 2-month-old out for a little while, and I got a little work time to finish off my X-Wing.

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Top view in flight

I love the final kit! This was my first Bandai vehicle kit, and it definitely required more work than the figures, but it was well worth it. Lots of great detail, easy instructions and a great visual reference page for painting and decals. One of the most challenging parts of this kit was all of the tiny decals. When you are on a newborn schedule, there is very little time to dedicate to multitudes of miniscule decals.

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Try and catch me, TIE pilot

A few thoughts on finishing the kit. Instead of using the blue molded parts, I made a mixture of blue, white, and clear to match the decals as closely as possible. I used a light base color, knowing that I would be doing an oil gunk wash later and darkening the kit overall. After two gloss clear coats, I covered the ship in Starship filth oil paint, then wiped it all off, leaving the grime in the panel lines. I did have to re-scribe some of the panel lines where decals had covered them. Finally, I added a few dark soot spots around the engines, gave it two clear dull coats, and I was finished.

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Cockpit and BB-8 shot

I am very happy with the final results. I am really coming around to the snap kits, when they are made really well. There were only a couple spots I used a small amount of glue on to keep secure for the long haul. The Bandai kits can look great with minimal extra effort or a lot, which makes for a great product suitable for all ages and skill levels.

Next up, I am working on the Bandai First Order Stormtrooper and something as yet to be determined. I am leaning toward something not Star Wars. Perhaps the Battlestar Pegasus…


A Saturday Afternoon Diversion

The first snap kit I have done in ages

A couple weeks ago Amazon had a deal on select model kits, so I picked up a Republic Star Destroyer (the kit I most wanted) and this Republic Gunship Kit from Revell. I normally don’t snatch up pre-painted snap kits, but I had heard good things about this particular kit and the price was pretty good with the deal.

Surprising amount of parts and detail for a beginner snap kit

On a Saturday three or four weeks ago I wanted to work on a model kit, and I had just finished the Corporate Alliance Droid, but did not want to start a huge new project yet. Conveniently, I had this nice little kit sitting right on top of the pile and decided to go for it.

I will start with some general thoughts about the kit. The entire assembly took about 2-3 hours to completion. I debated doing some extra weathering or painting, but decided I didn’t want to invest that much in this particular kit. Maybe some day. The overall quality of the kit is pretty good. The parts are solid, and they fit snugly for the most part. The gun turrets were a little flimsy, and I had to glue one that was snapping, but otherwise there were no problems.

One of the cooler things about this kit is the sliding doors on the sides. I decided to leave one side closed and the other open in order to display the clone troopers standing inside. The clone troopers are made out of a different material, which is rubbery, and they slide into holes in the ships’ deck. The fit was a little loose for my liking so I glued the troopers in.

You can see a few of the troopers standing inside as well as two in the cockpit.

The pre-painted weathering effects are ok, but they do look pre-painted. Again, I just didn’t feel like investing more into this kit than the one day. I think there could be some great potential if you really wanted to accurize this ship to its fullest extent. There is no scale label on the box, but based on the size of the troopers, I would guess it is around 1/72. This is the perfect scale to fit with many of my other Star Wars ships from FineMolds.

Overall, this was a great minimal commitment, diversion kit. I do not feel nearly the sense of pride about this kit as I do about the others that I have assembled, painted, welded, and dedicated hours and weeks to building, but it’s a cool little display piece nonetheless. I don’t see myself picking up too many snap kits in the future, but since there wasn’t a regular kit for this ship, I decided it was worth a day’s work.

Here are a few more shots of the finished kit.

Side with doors closed


Corporate Alliance What??

I have been scouring Ebay for deals on old model kits. Mostly Star Wars, but I’m always on the lookout for other deals too. The Corporate Alliance Droid by AMT/Ertl was one of my first Ebay purchases, and I got it for about $10 with shipping. My first thought when I saw this kit on Ebay was, “They made a model kit of this?!” The kit came out back in 2005 for the release of Revenge of the Sith, which was during the time of my life where I hadn’t yet rediscovered my love (and time) for building model kits. Thus, I had no idea this kit had ever been made until I spotted it on Ebay a couple of months ago.

My surprise stemmed from the fact that there were so many cool looking ships in Revenge of the Sith, and the makers chose such an obscure one. Now, as a Star Wars supergeek, I have visions of Wookiees yelling and shaking crossbows as they jump on and off these droids, but the average person probably does not remember these one-shot vehicles. Then again, most average people probably aren’t building Star Wars models!

A few notes on my initial impressions of the kit.

-The build looks really easy. Very few parts and a decent fit. One issue I have noticed so far is that the parts have required some filling and quite a bit of sanding. Removing the parts from the sprues left quite a bit of rough edge.

-The quality of the plastic is only average. Compared to the FineMolds kits this one has a lot to live up to.

-No label of the scale, but my guess is about 1/32.

-No paint instructions! The directions come with a list of paint colors to use on the kit, but no instructions about where to use them.  Definitely a little frustrating, but this will be good practice for me in creating/trying paint colors that match the original.

-Because this will be such an easy build, I plan on trying out some new painting and weathering techniques. My main plan is to give the whole model a silver undercoat with enamel paint and then add a softer acrylic topcoat, which I can scratch off for the desired “chipped paint with metal showing through” look.


Choices, Choices

The FineMolds 1/72 X-Wing kit is the first model I have constructed with so many options for how to build it. For example, you can choose the color scheme of Red 1, 2, 3, or 5. You can choose what the droid will look like based upon whose ship you build. You can choose open or closed cockpit, landing gear up or down, and once construction is complete, you can pose it with wings closed or open. Each one of these details makes this an excellent kit.

I knew from the start that I wanted to make Luke’s X-Wing, Red 5. Luke has been my longtime favorite character, and his X-Wing ranks at the top, along with the Millenium Falcon, of my favorite Star Wars ships. As a result, I will use a specific set of decals and the droid will be painted and decaled to look like R2-D2. It would be an understatement to say that I am really excited to work on this kit, but to start off here are some initial pros and cons that I observed as I looked through the box.

Pros

-The choices. See above for more detail on that.

The top of the decal card has all the different options for Red 1, 2, 3, or 5

-The extra figures. In addition to the seated pilot and droid dome for the ship, there is also included a standing pilot figure and a full astromech droid, which you can paint in the style of an R2 unit or an R5 unit.

-The kit is molded in the basic X-Wing color. I will probably give it a coat of a flat base to make it easier to add decals and weathering effects.

-Lots of little detail parts. For a small scale, the detail is really incredible.

-The movable wings. I will count this as a positive now, in the hopes that it will work well. There is, however, the potential for this to add some serious problems and lead to the kit breaking.

In the top right you can see the extra pilot figure

Cons (as with most FineMolds kits I have encountered, there are very few of these)

These are all the little details that are added on to the fuselage and wings.

-The small scale. Even with the great effort by FineMolds I mentioned earlier, you still lose a little detail when you work with such a small scale.

-The Japanese instructions. The older FineMolds kits all come with Japanese instructions only. Fortunately, you can find an English translation of the instructions here.

-The stand is kind of boring. I am not sure I am ready to start customizing a brand new stand, but I would like to keep my options open for possibly building a hangar diorama someday.

Should be a fun build, and I look forward to sharing my progress.


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