1/72 Tie Fighters - Bandai vs Fine Molds

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Analyzer

Sr Member
I finished some of my Ties that had been in the stash forever. I held off so long since I wanted to get a uniform color for my Bandai ties as I would be mixing paint instead of using Tamiya TS-32 Haze Grey or the Testors grey I used on my very first Fine Molds tie many many years ago.

Tamiya Haze grey has always been touted as just about the best match you could get out of a can for the Tie color. I painted my Fine Molds tie with it and always felt it seemed to tad too dark. Plus it is in a spray can. I know I could have used Archive X paints if I wanted a more perfect match to the studio model, but I had been collecting Tamiya paints for a long time and had a bunch at hand.

I found Tamiya Ocean Grey XF-82 to be a very nice color, and when lightened with white, it looks pretty close to the Haze Grey color, but a bit more grey. I added just a very small bit of Tamiya XF-23 Light Blue to shift a little more blue.

At any rate, enough about color and onto the size comparisons and pics. Hopefully this helps anyone starting out who may not know what if any differences there are

The Fine Molds ties at 1/72 are noticeably smaller than the Bandai 1/72 versions. Which is correct then? the short answer is both. They each derived the scale based on different sources for how large a real world tie fighter would be. That "official" source number changed sometime between when Fine Molds had the license and Bandai had the license. So Fine Molds was correct for the time, but Bandai's reflects the current figures and also ties out with the Fantasy Flight games sources used for the X-Wing game.

Fine Molds on left, Bandai on the right

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Here we have the Fine Molds Tie Advanced on the left and Bandai on the right

Also, some of the details are a bit different. Like the shape of the greeblie parts on the back of the Fine Molds one seem a bit more compressed length wise compared to the what seems like a more proportionally narrower and longer area on the Bandai

Regarding color, Tamiya Haze Grey on the left and the XF-82 based mix on the right
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As for the regular tie

The Fine Molds one I painted a long time ago and was the 2nd or third model I painted after getting the Star Wars model bug. I had done very little research into things and just went with a gut color based on what I saw on screen in a New Hope. I used Testors grey primer and for a long time was satisfied with it until everyone started talking about Haze Grey being the color. At any rate, size difference here is even more pronounced than with the Tie Advanced

Fine Molds here on the left in the first pic, (and on the right in the others, sorry about the swap)

Another notable difference is the thickness of the wing supports on the Fine Molds tie compared to the Bandai. The Fine Molds wings are as thick or thicker that the larger Bandai one despite being smaller

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And the Tie Interceptor. Forgive me about the unfinished Bandai kit, but I forgot to paint the sprue for the outer wing supports and I have run out of thinner for the airbrush so it has not been weathered or finished yet in addition to not adding the wing supports. But for comparison purposes it will do.

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The most notable difference beyond size, is the absences of the Sherman tank part on the back of the Bandai kit.

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And speaking of that Sherman tank part for the back. It is on the regular Tie and the Vader tie. Since it is also on the Fine Molds Interceptor I was surpirsed to find it not on the Bandai Interceptor. The piece is actually on the sprue in the Bandai kit, but it does not have the slot on the model to add it. Also it includes the gun bits for the regular tie as well as the Interceptor specific ones

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And finally, a group shot with my Tie Striker since I finished it at the same time

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And one more point of interest. Seems like they reverted to the old numbers for Tie dimensions when doing the new trilogy design. The FIrst Order Tie seems very close to the original tie size

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edge10

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Very nice comparisons.

I finally broke down and bought the 1/72 Bandai TIE fighter and Vader's TIE. Seeing the size of Vader's made me want to cry, it is so small. I couldn't have dealt with FM's even smaller kit!
 

skahtul

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Those are some nice TIE's!! I really like your color scheme, I need to order a few more now just to attempt a new paint job.
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
Very nice comparisons.

I finally broke down and bought the 1/72 Bandai TIE fighter and Vader's TIE. Seeing the size of Vader's made me want to cry, it is so small. I couldn't have dealt with FM's even smaller kit!

It is small, but not that small really. And despite the size, both are very detailed

Great comparison! Nice work on the TIEs. Thanks for posting.

thanks, Hopefully it helps people looking for the differences between them

Those are some nice TIE's!! I really like your color scheme, I need to order a few more now just to attempt a new paint job.

I'm still not 100% sold. Sometimes it feels too dark, especially in low lighting, but then again, the studio models paint is supposedly similar in the way it can shift based on the lighting

Just for fun I snapped a few pics of the Bandai Tie with the Fine Molds Falcon. I wanted to see what the color might look like set up in a scene with a dark background. I did not get too much light on the Tie since it was farther back and I wanted to minimize the ability to see the stands holding it up


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INVAR

Sr Member
Very nice. I actually prefer the paint color in the Fine Mold's OT TIE you did - as that fits more with how I remember them onscreen back in '77. The darker blue hues just never sat all that well with me - even in ESB. The TIE Interceptors I was more forgiving of by the time Jedi rolled around in '83, ascribing that to technological advances and being a brand new ship. But I have always been partial to the lighter colored OT TIES.
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
Very nice. I actually prefer the paint color in the Fine Mold's OT TIE you did - as that fits more with how I remember them onscreen back in '77. The darker blue hues just never sat all that well with me - even in ESB. The TIE Interceptors I was more forgiving of by the time Jedi rolled around in '83, ascribing that to technological advances and being a brand new ship. But I have always been partial to the lighter colored OT TIES.

it's funny, because that was initially why I wanted to get away from Haze Grey. I wanted it to be lighter and more like the color on the Fine Molds tie, but maybe just a bit more blue. I actually did a test paint of the 1/144 Tie Striker using the mix, but I had more white in it, and I think I did more, or at least thicker layers. Unfortunately when mixing it for that, I kind of did a last minute change up directly in the airbrush adding more white and the Tie Striker color is closer to the Testors Grey of the original. I don't have any pictures on hand though

When I did a larger batch, I mixed what I thought was the same, and wet it did look the same. But over the black primer after it dried it was much closer to the darker Haze Grey. I actually wound up doing another layer with more white, and again, when wet, especially outdoors where I paint, it looked like I might have actually gone too light. But after fully drying they seemed darker again. it was still a bit lighter than the Haze Grey so I talked myself into leaving it.

In some light though I still get a nagging urge to go closer the the Testors Grey primer color. I just wish I wouldn't have to mask all those black panels or I probably would have already done another layer :lol:

it may be close to the studio color, especially when seeing pics like the ones below, but as you said, it's not the way it felt on screen in the original movie which is what I remember the most and has me torn. All those years of playing with the Kenner Tie, that was basically a white colored Tie Fighter, as a kid probably did not help

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INVAR

Sr Member
Yes, I've seen those ILM pics aplenty - but as you pointed out - what we saw onscreen - is more of what I always had in mind when thinking of an OT TIE fighter. And, hilariously - you are on point to note that the Kenner TIE vehicle with the one red light and 'whine sound' did have a subliminal impact on the onscreen 'off white' preference we have had in our mind's eye.
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
Yes, I've seen those ILM pics aplenty - but as you pointed out - what we saw onscreen - is more of what I always had in mind when thinking of an OT TIE fighter. And, hilariously - you are on point to note that the Kenner TIE vehicle with the one red light and 'whine sound' did have a subliminal impact on the onscreen 'off white' preference we have had in our mind's eye.

Embarrassing to admit, but I did not realize that Tie Fighter's did not have a rear "trunk/engine desk" like the Kenner tie until I got a Fine Molds tie (never had the AMT twin pack back in they day so my only real frame of reference was the old Kenner stuff). Even the original Kenner diecast Tie's were white and had that part

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I remember looking at the part wondering why it was missing from the Fine Molds tie. Oh how much I had to learn :lol:
 

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