A beginner's shopping list for Bandai T-70 X-Wing

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Moose84

New Member
Hi all,

Pretty new here, and even more new to modelling in general. It's something I used to do with my older brother 20 or 30 years ago, but nothing since. As a huge Star Wars fan (4-9) I've bought a few Bandais and with plenty of time on my hands these days I thought I'd give it a go for the first time...

I'm going to start with the Last Jedi Blue Squadron X-Wing, and cobbled together a basic shopping list, for someone who doesn't have anything:

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Vallejo Acrylic Primer Black

Tamiya XF-66 Light Grey
Tamiya XF-2 White
Tamiya XF-53 Neutral Grey
Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black
Tamiya XF-86 Flat Clear

Tamiya X-20a Thinner

Vallejo Game Air 21 Magic blue
Vallejo Model Air Aluminium (Metallic)

Vallejo Model Wash – Grey
Vallejo Weathering Effects – Petrol Spills
Tamiya Weathering Sponge Brush
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Does all of that sound right? Do I need anything else (apart from tools I mean). I would really appreciate any tips or strategies to getting it looking decent. Doesn't need to be amazing, just something good enough for a first attempt :)

I'm sorry to sound like a complete idiot surrounded by pros! Any help would be great. For instance, I'm not sure if primer or a clear coat is necessary, or microsol for the decal-ing (don't want to use stickers)

Many thanks all, hope you're all keeping safe.
 
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Analyzer

Sr Member
MicroSo/MicroSet are very useful for decals, especially if they are going over surfaces that are not flat. I apply the decals first with just water, then using a brush dipped in the solution, dot the decal with it. I find if you add too much before the decals is set where you want it, the Bandai decals will tear if you try to move it after either solution is applied

The primer coat is not really necessary, but using a black primer does help create some natural shadows in areas where you spray less paint on when doing your base coat. This effect is where the airbrush shines compared to a spray can. It allows you to control the amount of paint better. This is a much smaller 1/112 Revell kit, but it shows the effect of the black primer with airbrushed base coat. Basically, many of the panel lines have become naturally shaded as well as details around the engines

IMG_2314.JPG



Also, for weathering, I personally like using pastels and oil washes/staining. There are lots of YouTube videos on the techniques. You should seal the model before those using a clear coat. Gloss works better for many of the oil paint effects, while matte works better for the pastel/powder effects

Cheap charcoals or pastel sticks from an art supply/craft store

For oil paints, I use Weber Odorless Turpenoid as a thinner as some other traditional oil paint thinners have been known to damage the Bandai plastic if left to pool too long in certain high stress areas

A great alternative is Water Mixable oils like Windsor Newton Artisan Oils (make sure it specifies "water mixable") since you get all the benefits and workability of oils, but you thin and clean with water vs solvents
 

Moose84

New Member
MicroSo/MicroSet are very useful for decals, especially if they are going over surfaces that are not flat. I apply the decals first with just water, then using a brush dipped in the solution, dot the decal with it. I find if you add too much before the decals is set where you want it, the Bandai decals will tear if you try to move it after either solution is applied

The primer coat is not really necessary, but using a black primer does help create some natural shadows in areas where you spray less paint on when doing your base coat. This effect is where the airbrush shines compared to a spray can. It allows you to control the amount of paint better. This is a much smaller 1/112 Revell kit, but it shows the effect of the black primer with airbrushed base coat. Basically, many of the panel lines have become naturally shaded as well as details around the engines

Also, for weathering, I personally like using pastels and oil washes/staining. There are lots of YouTube videos on the techniques. You should seal the model before those using a clear coat. Gloss works better for many of the oil paint effects, while matte works better for the pastel/powder effects

Cheap charcoals or pastel sticks from an art supply/craft store

For oil paints, I use Weber Odorless Turpenoid as a thinner as some other traditional oil paint thinners have been known to damage the Bandai plastic if left to pool too long in certain high stress areas

A great alternative is Water Mixable oils like Windsor Newton Artisan Oils (make sure it specifies "water mixable") since you get all the benefits and workability of oils, but you thin and clean with water vs solvents

Thanks very much for the reply! Very useful. I'll get some microsol and keep your tip in mind about when to use it. I'm going to assume the decals should be put on after the primer and base coats, otherwise it'll be a nightmare to mask it.

Sorry to sound dumb but do any of the coats need thinner or is it just the wash/weathering? I can just about wrap my head around the various coats, it's just the weathering I have no experience with. I never thought of using oil paints or charcoal, I'll have a look at those. Does the rest of the list of stuff I posted seem ok to make the model look decent? Am I missing anything? Thanks again
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
Thanks very much for the reply! Very useful. I'll get some microsol and keep your tip in mind about when to use it. I'm going to assume the decals should be put on after the primer and base coats, otherwise it'll be a nightmare to mask it.

Sorry to sound dumb but do any of the coats need thinner or is it just the wash/weathering? I can just about wrap my head around the various coats, it's just the weathering I have no experience with. I never thought of using oil paints or charcoal, I'll have a look at those. Does the rest of the list of stuff I posted seem ok to make the model look decent? Am I missing anything? Thanks again

In a very general sense, I prime, then do all the painting. Since you are using all acrylic based paints (Tamiya and Vallejo) you can pretty much layer them in any order without having to seal in between.

After painting, and before weathering, most people clear coat/seal the model at this point although it is not necessary. Many people like clear coating with a gloss coat because it helps washes settle down only into recessed areas. Also, if using solvent based washes this will protect your paint layer

With my style/techniques, I do not seal at this point because I like the staining that oils can do on the base coat and I also find the pastels stick better to the surface at this point. In addition, since I use water mixable oils instead of solvents, or at least very sparingly use Weber Odorless Turpenoid, it does not damage my paint layer

At this point, if you are going to do mist coating (to simulate a faded weathering or tone down colors with too much contrast) then you will need to seal the model

as far as applying decals, it is at this stage that I apply them. I brush on some Future Floor Polish and when it is dried, apply the decals. I hand brush it just on the spots I will be applying decals to, but you can also just gloss coat the whole model. Whichever works best

Decals work best over a gloss surface to avoid what is referred to as "silvering". i.e. on matte surfaces you can see the film even though it is transparent, where on gloss surfaces, it eliminates that problem

Many people will the decals before doing the main weathering steps. I do so afterwards to avoid damaging them, and will do some light weathering/fading of them if needed, but your mileage may vary

At this point, if you gloss coated the whole model, you want to apply a dull coat or matte coat to it. Something like Testors Dullcoat works nicely for this, but you can also use Vallejo stuff

Hopefully that explains it?

tl;dr;

prime

paint layers

seal (optional)

weather

seal (optional)

decals

seal (optional)

final weathering tweaks

dull coat
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
and again, this is what works for me. Others may find better ways that work for them. It is trial and error combined with what you prefer

I would suggest watching YouTube videos for techniques like "dot filters", washes, weathering with oils, weathering with powders, airbrushing techniques etc.. and try some thing you like
 

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skahtul

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Also, for weathering, I personally like using pastels and oil washes/staining. There are lots of YouTube videos on the techniques. You should seal the model before those using a clear coat. Gloss works better for many of the oil paint effects, while matte works better for the pastel/powder effects

I second that advice, it's exactly how I prepare, prep and finish all my star wars models. I do like to throw down a coat of Tamiya Fine surface primer. Then I hit the spots I want to highlight with some XF-1 flat black.

The oil paint really gives it character, it creates a very realistic grime/weathering look (better than the acrylic, in my opinion, the oil is more 'organic'). Plus, the oils take days to dry so you can mess around with it all day. I really like the Abteilung line of oil paints.

Here is kind of a 'before and after'. You can see all the black areas show up and help start the process of discoloring the panels and creating a shadowing effect on the rest.

Also, my advice is to snag a cheap kit and throw it together for testing. I always have some lame kit kicking around that I use to do paint testing on.
 

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Moose84

New Member
and again, this is what works for me. Others may find better ways that work for them. It is trial and error combined with what you prefer

I would suggest watching YouTube videos for techniques like "dot filters", washes, weathering with oils, weathering with powders, airbrushing techniques etc.. and try some thing you like

I second that advice, it's exactly how I prepare, prep and finish all my star wars models. I do like to throw down a coat of Tamiya Fine surface primer. Then I hit the spots I want to highlight with some XF-1 flat black.

The oil paint really gives it character, it creates a very realistic grime/weathering look (better than the acrylic, in my opinion, the oil is more 'organic'). Plus, the oils take days to dry so you can mess around with it all day. I really like the Abteilung line of oil paints.

Here is kind of a 'before and after'. You can see all the black areas show up and help start the process of discoloring the panels and creating a shadowing effect on the rest.

Also, my advice is to snag a cheap kit and throw it together for testing. I always have some lame kit kicking around that I use to do paint testing on.

Thanks again for the very helpful information guys, seriously very appreciated. Very useful pictures too. I had to Google or youtube a lot of the terms used but I think I'm getting there now! Lots of video research needed in the time it takes for all the kit to arrive.

Seems like it might be best to start painting and weathering before putting the whole thing together too from what I've seen.

One final question, is thinner necessary for the acrylic Tamiya XF's and if so this should be mixed before putting it into the airbrush I assume?

It's all pretty intimidating doing a first build and I'm sure it'll look terrible, but excited to get started nonetheless.
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
One final question, is thinner necessary for the acrylic Tamiya XF's and if so this should be mixed before putting it into the airbrush I assume?

Yeah, the Tamiya acrylic bottles need to be thinned in order to airbrush them. I thin them with isopropyl alcohol, usually at 50% thinner and 50% paint. You can also thin them with water. I just find that I like how the alcohol evaporates from the paint faster, leading to usually a faster drying time. Spray at just around 16-19 PSI, and you're gold. I know a lot of people who buy a new bottle of XF paint, and just fill the bottle to the brim with IPA, and then shake it to mix. That way the entire bottle is pre-mixed, so you don't have to mix it in the cup of your airbrush or use a separate bottle.

SB
 

skahtul

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Seems like it might be best to start painting and weathering before putting the whole thing together too from what I've seen.

I wouldn't worry about it, have to start somewhere!

Personally, I 'almost' always paint and weather after it's built, it's how ILM (from my understanding, I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong) typically did it :)

But it does depend on the kit. I will often get most of it done, lay down the primer, base coat and then shadowing if that's part of the build. I would however suggest weathering as a last step when it's all built. I feel it helps keep it consistent, at least that has been my experience.
 

Moose84

New Member
Yeah, the Tamiya acrylic bottles need to be thinned in order to airbrush them. I thin them with isopropyl alcohol, usually at 50% thinner and 50% paint. You can also thin them with water. I just find that I like how the alcohol evaporates from the paint faster, leading to usually a faster drying time. Spray at just around 16-19 PSI, and you're gold. I know a lot of people who buy a new bottle of XF paint, and just fill the bottle to the brim with IPA, and then shake it to mix. That way the entire bottle is pre-mixed, so you don't have to mix it in the cup of your airbrush or use a separate bottle.

SB

Good job I asked! I got myself one of these, so assume the same 50:50 mix? Might try the filling the bottle technique, if there's enough room in there haha.

sl640.jpg


I wouldn't worry about it, have to start somewhere!

Personally, I 'almost' always paint and weather after it's built, it's how ILM (from my understanding, I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong) typically did it :)

But it does depend on the kit. I will often get most of it done, lay down the primer, base coat and then shadowing if that's part of the build. I would however suggest weathering as a last step when it's all built. I feel it helps keep it consistent, at least that has been my experience.

Interesting thanks, I'll see how it goes and what the build is like!
 

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Moose84

New Member
Sorry guys one last question. As this is my first model I'm debating whether to go for the airbrush or the paintbrush route. I'm not too keen to spend a lot of money on a big bulky compressor, but then again I understand that priming, base and clear coats are very tough with paint brushing. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm tempted to go with paintbrushing but then again would a small compressor like this work?


Any advice would be really appreciated as ever!
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
Sorry guys one last question. As this is my first model I'm debating whether to go for the airbrush or the paintbrush route. I'm not too keen to spend a lot of money on a big bulky compressor, but then again I understand that priming, base and clear coats are very tough with paint brushing. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm tempted to go with paintbrushing but then again would a small compressor like this work?


Any advice would be really appreciated as ever!

If your not sold on an airbrush yet, you could always consider the spray paint route. Although after buying enough cans of spray paint you could have bought an airbrush set and if you are sticking in the hobby for a while, an airbrush is a good investment in the long run

A good base coat for X-Wings, Y-Wings etc.. is Tamiya AS-20
For the original x-wing canopy blueish color you can use Tamiya AS-5
A good one for Tie Fighters is Tamiya TS-32

then hand brush paint the markings or stick with the decals
 

ZOMBIEREPELLENT

Sr Member
Some might argue this, but I feel the biggest perk to an airbrush, is that the paints you use aren't nearly as volatile as the thinner in rattle cans. You sill need ventilation, but if you live in an apartment complex, none of your neighbors will complain about the smell.

don't worry about a formula for thinning paint. the ratio will change day to day, and on the paint brand and application. If you're brush painting it doesn't need to be as thin if you were airbrushing. Also, pick up some paint retarder, it extends the work time of your paint and has more time to lay flat and smooth out without compromising the paints integrity.

One last thing. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON TAMIYA THINNER! go to the store and get a bottle of rubbing alcohol. You'll literally get 30x more for half the price
 

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