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.
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.
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.
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…
I am going to put all my cards on the table right away and say that the 1/72 X-Wing Fighter kit by FineMolds is absolutely fantastic. I finally finished putting this one together even in the midst of the beginning of the school year and all of the chaos that goes along with preparing for that.
The X-Wing is both one of the most beloved vehicles in the Star Wars saga and also my absolute favorite ship in the Star Wars galaxy (many hours of playing Rogue Squadron for N64 and Gamecube cemented this snub fighter firmly in my consciousness). Because of this high standing, it was incredibly rewarding to construct this little thing of beauty.
I will begin with some very minimal negatives about the kit. The display stand is a little boring. It provides a good resting position for an in-flight look, but there is nothing particularly flashy or unique about it. As a result, however, I feel challenged to create a better stand, and I hope to do something that combines the X-Wing with the TIE Fighter in some sort of combat position.
One other suggestion that I think could be cool. FineMolds should produce a slightly higher priced set that includes enough for 2 full X-Wings. They already have all of the decals included for Red 1-5, and who wouldn’t want a Luke and Wedge, or Luke and Biggs flying in formation in their display cases?
Now, onto all of the really great things about this model kit. The detail is really superb for the small scale. Everything from R2’s dome to the small marks that cover the sides of the ship make for an incredibly realistic final product.
The overall build was appropriately challenging, with a few complex parts that required careful attention, but nothing that caused frustration or anger! The decals, on the other hand, were occasionally tedious, especially some of the small black marks that cover parts of the torpedo wells and the sides of the fuselage.
One of the biggest challenges of the kit was giving proper homage to the worn look of the X-Wing fighter. These guys have seen quite a bit of battle action, and they need to look the part. In the past, I have tended to over-weather some of my kits, so I tried to live by the mantra of “less is more” this time. I gave the whole kit a dark gray wash and then went in with some snow weathering powder for edges and soot for areas around the engines and exhaust. I think I struck a pretty decent balance this time around.
As I was reflecting on the kit, there were a few things I want to improve for the future. One, I wish I had done some more sanding and filling to take away some of the lines. Two, I would like to do some more experimenting with washes. I like what I have, but I would like to try some different mixes depending on the project and the story I want to tell with the kit.
This was a long post, but there are so many things to talk about with this kit. If you are considering buying this one, do it NOW! The retail cost is quite reasonable (~$30), and the overall quality of the kit is outstanding. Enjoy and May the Force be With You!
With school starting, I will be posting a lot less and spending less time working on kits. In addition, I plan to do less step-by-step updates on each kit; rather, I want to focus more on pre-build thoughts and a final kit review. I also may add some more editorial thoughts about the hobby on occasion.
I do, however, want to take a moment to brag a little about my latest painting adventure. I painted some more rebel pilots for this kit, which were even smaller than the Snowspeeder pilots from the 1/48 scale snowspeeder. The standing pilot in this kit was only an inch tall, and the sitting pilot was even smaller. I am really proud of how they turned out.
Look for the final review of the X-wing kit in a couple weeks.
As I began work on the fuselage, I realized that the original mold color was decent, but without some sort of paint coat, the finished kit would look too “plasticy.” So, I reverted to my favorite, reliable spaceship base color, flat gull gray. The paint coat will add a little extra time and work, but I think it will result in an overall more realistic-looking ship. Work is coming along well, so here are some pictures of the current status.
As usual with these model kits, the first steps involve painting figures and building the cockpit. I’m waiting to do the pilot figures until later, but I did build the droid figures. The first figure was the dome for R2-D2, which is attached to a portion of the ship. For the other figure I chose to build an R5 unit, which has a slightly different dome. Both required only a little painting, and the rest was decal.
Second, I began work on the cockpit. It was simple to build with a couple decals for the instrument panels. I didn’t paint a lot of detail, but I plan to go back later and add some more to the various panels.
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.
-The choices. See above for more detail on that.
-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.
Cons (as with most FineMolds kits I have encountered, there are very few of these)
-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.