Bandai 1/72 Red Squadron

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Analyzer

Sr Member
I love your work on Red 6! Very nice!

I am enjoying the discussion about starfighter battles. My day job is heavily involved with military flying, and one of my hobbies is military (specifically aviation) history. For the last several years, I've been trying to come up with a narrative that describes the Battle of Yavin that coincides with what we see on screen, and yet makes sense of the things that seem not to make sense.

I haven't been successful.

The main problem is that the script of ANH for the battle used a lot of dialogue directly ripped from the WW2 movies that Lucas enjoyed. During the editing process, any sense of order was sacrificed for a narrative which flowed on screen without getting wrapped up in details. The same can be said for the Battle of Endor in RotJ. I recently discovered a youtube video showing the performances of three female pilots (all of which were cut). It shows all three reciting the same lines; lines we heard other pilots say in the version of the movie we ended up with.

For better of worse, I think we are all stuck with our individual head canon :)

If anyone is interested, PM me or reply here and we can discuss how we think it SHOULD have been. I've got pages of completely unimportant supposition that I'm willing to share :)

Share away!

I'd love to hear some theories
 

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thud83

New Member
Here goes...

Most (if not all) of my assumptions are based on the premise that aerial and space combat are similar to our earthly equivalent. I acknowledge that this is a big "IF". If you disagree with my assessment because your don't agree with this base assumption, I get it. No hard feelings. However, there is a tactically sound reason for organizing aircraft into squadrons of a certain size. And since the space battles in Star Wars are made to resemble WW2 dogfights, I would say that is reason enough to equate the two. It could be argued that maybe the Rebels aren't aware of this doctrine, but I argue against that since at least a few pilots were trained by the Empire before they defected. Sometimes the nomenclature is different, but it is coherent enough to make educated guesses as to the 20th/21st Century Earth Military versions.

Let's start with rebel squadron strength and composition. In our world, a squadron of fighter or attack aircraft usually consists of between 12 and 24 airframes. So how big is a Rebel squadron? The Imperials count 30 rebel ships, and we have no reason to doubt their sensors. In the approach to the Death Star, I think I can count thirty, both in the original and in the Special Edition. There are more Y-Wings than the three from Gold Squadron that get destroyed on the trench run; I count eight on screen. I assume that the other five are also from Gold Squadron. That leaves 22 X-Wings. From the check-in, we know that between nine and twelve are in Red Squadron. The roll call of Red Squadron gives us a lot of information: There are only nine X-Wings that check in from Red Squadron (eight plus the leader), but the callsign numbers go up to "Red 11". From this (and from the pictures of a Red 12 Pyro model), I infer that there are actually twelve fighters in a Rebel Squadron, at least on paper. I think it is likely that Red Squadron is at full strength, since Garven Dreis is the senior X-Wing Squadron Leader after General Merrick was killed at Scarif. Rebel Command would probably have wanted to fill out the squadron of the most experienced X-Wing leader.

This leaves ten X-Wings that are probably in another squadron. Given what we now know of the Battle of Scarif, I guess that the unacknowledged eight X-Wings are from the remnants of Blue Squadron, which was decimated there. It is also possible that some of the X-Wings are from Green Squadron, which was named in the novelization of ANH. We never hear from these pilots. I assume they were given feint missions.

Moving on...

Red Leader calls for a roll-call by ordering "All wings report in". As mentioned in a previous post, a Wing in our universe is usually a much larger organization, usually a parent to between one and four squadrons. In this instance, I believe that "wing" refers to individual fighter craft: X-"Wing". In our universe, post WW2, fighters usually carry at least two radios so that they can monitor two frequencies or channels at the same time. I think that Red Leader must have called for roll call on the Red Squadron frequency. This would account for why we didn't hear Gold Squadron or the other X-Wings check in.

Now to the order of check in. It is difficult to make sense of this. The primary reason that aircraft are assigned numbers is to enable a rapid sequential accounting of who is present and who isn't. The Red Squadron check-in is all over the map! In order, Red 10, Red 7, Red 3, Red 6, Red 9, Red 2, Red 11, Red 5. The most reasonable guess that I can make is that Red Squadron had also suffered casualties at Scarif, and the holes were filled with rookies. When asked to check in, the noobs jumped in while the vets waited a moment to speak. Three of them forgot to check in at all! Because the timeline was compressed and the Death Star was looming in their canopies, Red Leader didn't bother to correct anyone or find out where the missing four were, he just pressed on. There were bigger things on his mind at the moment.

How's this? Too much? I wouldn't blame you if you thought so. I can provide more with very little encouragement...
 
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Analyzer

Sr Member
Red 2 standing by...Red 12 standing by...

starting on Wedge Red(2) and Puck Naeco (Red 12)

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thud83

New Member
Beautiful work on your X-Wings! I look forward to what comes next.

There are two additional items with the Battle of Yavin that I feel need explanation. If you all have more, please post them!

First is the tactical formation that the rebels use: a flight of three fighters. From our own history, the RAF learned the hard way that fighting in three-ship flights was a good way to get pilots killed. The Luftwaffe pioneered the four-ship formation, which was a major breakthrough for fighter tactics. The name of the game is mutual support; two wingmen to support each other, two elements to support each other. This formation was soon adopted by nearly every air force in the world. I can only guess that the rebels had so few experienced leaders that they felt it was necessary to assign two rookies per veteran.

This leads to a few of Red Leader's decisions during that battle that might be questionable. These are harder to explain away in a logical manner, but what follows works for my head canon. First, Red Leader asks Red Six if he's seen Red Five. This is a few minutes after Red Six carved a divot into the surface of the Death Star. At this point in the battle, I believe that the battle had become so chaotic that Garven Dreis simply suffered a decease in Situational Awareness. SA is usually the second casualty in a battle, right after The Plan.

Why did Red Leader assign Luke to lead the last formation against the exhaust port? Luke was the newest member of the squadron, and had no combat experience prior to the battle. Maybe the other experienced pilots of Red Squadron had been killed at this point. Maybe the Force suggested to Dreis that Luke was the best choice. The basis for his decision is unknowable, but the results were good for the rebels.

Finally, to the survivors. Just before the destruction of the first Death Star, the rebels can be seen racing back to Yavin. Their numbers included a YT-1300, two X-Wings, and one Y-Wing. I personally believe that these were not the only survivors, as we see more than two rebel pilots (who appear as though they have just returned from a mission) greet Luke when lands at the base on Yavin. To be sure, Rebel losses where heavy, but I think that a few rebel fighters, damaged by flak or dogfights, were able to escape into hyperspace or back to the hidden fortress before the end of the battle.

Thanks for bearing with me.
 

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Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I love your analyses, Thud (by the way, is that a reference to the F-105?). I'd reached a lot of the points you had. Trying to reconcile Lucas' writing and editing choices makes for a headache, to be sure. And I dump the Special Editions and Rogue One, as they were made years after the fact, meaning more and more misinterpretations find ways to slip in -- as is the case in any project where more than one brain is involved. I don't know if you read all the way through this thread (and my mini-essays), but I think some of our speculation is along parallel tracks. To boil down:

I retain the implicit Gold-Red-Blue hierarchy that made it into the final film/trilogy/most of what followed in the EU and Prequels (all the way back to thousands of years before the films). I like that, as it'd conveniently give three squadrons to a Group, as we'd consider it. And twelve ships to a squadron fits three things: We had ships marked all the way up to Red 12, but no higher; a twelve-ship squadron can break down most flexibly, to two-, three-, and four-ship elements; "thirty Rebel ships" is too many for two full-strength squadrons, but works for three partial-strength squadrons (or a combination of full and partial).

Leaving aside terminology, since George used terms interchangeably and the same term for multiple things.

I feel that, while single-type squadrons are our norm out here in Reality-Land, and may have been the preference in the GFFA, the Rebellion tried when it could, but didn't get hung up on it. Leaving out the ship markings, as they'd built one red-marked X-Wing cockpit and one yellow-marked Y-Wing cockpit, we saw a bunch of pilots in clean, blue-marked helmets hopping into both fighter types. I feel like those were the rookies -- or, at least, the less-experienced pilots. That the Rebels were able to throw together a full squadron of somewhat raw pilots to fly high cover and get some combat time in on both craft types, while Gold led and Red covered them.

The call-in may not conform to our standards here, due to technology. If the squadron leaders have a display dedicated to squadron status, as each pilot called in, their ship tally would illuminate green, and the leader could see out of the corner of his eye when everyone had called in, as well as their craft condition during the battle. I feel Red was at nearly full strength -- but only nearly. While two pilots weren't in the call-in, we saw them in the battle (4 and 12), and Reds 7, 9, 10, and 11 called in or had lines. The only one that has neither fighter model nor script callout nor dialogue reference is Red 8, so I presume not present. I feel the call-in is in order of seniority, with Luke being last. Wedge is deputy squadron leader, hence his callsign, but hasn't been in the squadron as long as some. And Luke is filling a blank file -- piloting a ship that was flyable, but had no experienced pilot.

I feel Luke made it into Red on a combination of testing on the simulators, Biggs vouching for him, and Red Leader knowing his dad's piloting skill.

I also feel that the squadron broke down into four-ship elements, with a special proviso for the trench runs -- that being, three ships to make the run with one outside the trench as a spotter. Red Leader assigned Luke to make the run on the port after his because he had the best shot at making the shot, per the testing and Biggs -- and, possibly, because he knew his dad was a Jedi. Wedge and Biggs were assigned as his cover, specifically, ("Keep Reds Two and Three up here and wait for my signal to start your run."). The Y-Wing flying with Luke and Wedge at the end would be their spotter, for which I ended up nominating Red 7, and using the "Red Jammer" Y-Wing model, since the miniature in the film is seen front-on and its markings aren't visible. This, then, would be the Red 2 Y-Wing in ROTJ. He and Wedge got bumped up in the sequence, as the new squadron leader and deputy, while Luke became the new CAG and stayed at Red 5.

As soon as the hit was reported, any other remaining craft would already be on their way out, and from further out than the surface, where those three were (plus the Falcon).

Now, back to the models... As with the rest, I can't wait to see where you go with these, Analyzer. I'm still most impressed with your work on the droids, the pilots' helmets, and all the fiddly **** in the cockpits. Your research has been perfect and your execution brilliant. Would you ever want to re-do these at a larger scale, so you can do the markings and damage and weathering more easily/clearly? Or d'you think you're going to be 592% done with this by the time the squadron's finished? What ships are you still needing? I'd be glad to contribute.
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
Now, back to the models... As with the rest, I can't wait to see where you go with these, Analyzer. I'm still most impressed with your work on the droids, the pilots' helmets, and all the fiddly **** in the cockpits. Your research has been perfect and your execution brilliant. Would you ever want to re-do these at a larger scale, so you can do the markings and damage and weathering more easily/clearly? Or d'you think you're going to be 592% done with this by the time the squadron's finished? What ships are you still needing? I'd be glad to contribute.
Finally, to the survivors. Just before the destruction of the first Death Star, the rebels can be seen racing back to Yavin. Their numbers included a YT-1300, two X-Wings, and one Y-Wing. I personally believe that these were not the only survivors, as we see more than two rebel pilots (who appear as though they have just returned from a mission) greet Luke when lands at the base on Yavin. To be sure, Rebel losses where heavy, but I think that a few rebel fighters, damaged by flak or dogfights, were able to escape into hyperspace or back to the hidden fortress before the end of the battle.

Thanks for bearing with me.

thanks!

FIrst, that is some amazing analysis by thud83 and Inquisitor Peregrinus !

I love these kinds of discussions

Very interesting tidbits from both. Lucas had great ideas, but could have used someone to help him more with the structure of things. That is after all how we got into the whole Falcon "parsec" nonsense.

I agree there were a lot more survivors and fighters involved in the battle than we ever could have seen on screen.

We essentially focused on the one small part of it. I chalk much of that up to limitations and budget/time constraints as well as tightening up the story. For example people would probably not care what joe schmo from Blue squadron was doing on the other side of the Death Star and that would take away from the tenseness of the moment?
In addition ILM was under a certain budget and time constraint so creating all those other models and setting up those shots was just not economical. I am sure things would have been different if the movie had been made these days.
We would probably see more of the true scope of the battle as most of it would be digital assets that can be duplicated easily

Also, Inquisitor Peregrinus you have fully convinced me to paint up a Red Jammer as Red 7

As far as doing them in larger scale, yes!

I am hoping MPC repops their X-Wing, hopefully with a better pilot figure and maybe an updated cockpit interior. I am really not that bothered that it may not be 100% accurate like the Bandai ones are to the filming models. It looks like an X-Wing to me.
Plus I have a head start as I already one I started to paint up as Red 2 painted and another one in the box

And it is the right size between being too big vs too small and would look good with the Star Wars legion stuff I have

I would have loved to have done it with the Bandai or Fine Molds 1/48 kits, but the FM one is hard to find and is really expensive when you do find it. The Bandai one is easier to find, but is also too expensive mainly due to the electronic gimmick.

Painting the pilot helmets would be so much easier at larger scales and I would be able to get them to be more detailed than some suggestive blobs that look ok from a distance
 
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Analyzer

Sr Member
How about 1:18 scale?

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They're expensive on the secondary market, but Hasbro's Legacy series X-Wing seems a pretty nice place to start if one wants big.

Not bad, I never saw these before. I do have that huge true scale 1/18 X-Wing they did in that horrible plastics with wings fused togteher. I had always passed off other Hasbro/Kenner X-Wings as oddly proportioned toys, but that looks pretty decent, although still like they are cramming a 1/18 figure into something more like a 1/24 scale vehicle? Found a video that shows it along side a studio scale X-Wing and it is actually a little smaller despite fitting the 1/18 figures

Although really, if money I could spend and display space were unlimited, I would love a full studio scale display
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I mean, what the hell, build a bunch of 1:6 scale fighters to go with the Hot Toys figures. :lol: Or buy an old municipal airport and set up a display of 1:1 metal replicas. We've got people on here who could probably help with either. *chuckle*

I'm gonna have my hands full as it is with my 1:270 X-Wing game miniatures. Aiming to do some ambitious things that I don't think I'd have room for, even at 1:144, let alone 1:72. Since I'm pulling stuff we've gotten in newer canon back in line with stuff proximal to the OT... The fighters we saw in Star Wars were all already Rogue Group. I have Gold Squadron at seven ships (four BTL-A4 Y-Wings, a much-repaired ARC-170, and two BTL-B Y-Wings), Red at eleven (all but Red 8, ten X-Wings and a Y-Wing, as we've talked about here), and Blue at a full twelve (but an ad hoc collection of X-Wings, Y-Wings, and Z-95s). I have Merrick's ships from Rogue One as Renegade Group, first put in in Brian Daley's Empire Strikes Back radio drama. He's personally leading Blue Squadron as cover for the U-Wings of Gold, and I'm still figuring out that Group's Red Squadron. Then I'm also doing the Imperial 181st Interceptor Wing.

I don't think I'll ever field all of one group at once, but I want the freedom to pick and choose -- and be able to throw out a full Group if such a huge game ever does happen.

I've waded into symbology as part of all of this, too. The familiar "anchor" or "starbird" logos on many helmets' visor shields is the crest of Alderaan. Some loose notions, thanks to Rebels, that the Rebellion at this point is a loosely-connected collection of cells from various planets. Since the forces in Star Wars were associated with Leia (and, before her, her father), the majority displaying some variant of that sigil makes sense. The others are from other pre-Imperial units that got disbanded with the declaration of Empire (to generalize). The "comet fox" on Han's helmet (seen also in Empire and Jedi) is some other unit, that we don't see represented at Yavin. The one that's common among all the Rebel helmets is the "sliced onion":

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...So a nonzero number of us consider this either the sigil of the Republic (or, at least, its military) or the Rebellion to restore it.

What I've always found interesting is that neither Rebel nor Imperial ships display any affiliation insignia. Republic and CIS ships in the Prequels all do.
 

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Analyzer

Sr Member
I mean, what the hell, build a bunch of 1:6 scale fighters to go with the Hot Toys figures. :lol: Or buy an old municipal airport and set up a display of 1:1 metal replicas. We've got people on here who could probably help with either. *chuckle*
:lol:


That symbol is on lots of helmets. I was always curious what that was. I'd love to see that X-Wing collection. I have played the game and have some of the minis as well. That was actually my first thought for building the squadron. Plus the Death Start bases from the various kits and the Death Stat Attack set are actually closer in scale to those 1:270 scale fighters.
I still have plans to build a whole trench run dio at that scale as it would look better than the 1/144 scale stuff

..speaking of which, I do have a bunch of 1/144 X-Wings that I need to do something with. I have been buying the dual 1/72 1/144 Rogue One version of the kit as they have been readily available at Hobby Lobby for 40% off or on Amazon for a decent price.

I am considering branching out and doing Blue instead of doing yet another Red squadron.

There is not much in the way of reference though for Blue squadron. There is the original Blue Leader paint scheme as well as the Blue Leader seen in Rogue One. Unless I am mistaken, I think they used the same CGI asset for all the X-Wings? Or at least I did not notice any different markings

It really doesn't matter though as that gives me a chance to make it up as I go
 

Keiko

Sr Member
From my studies of screencaps, there are differences between the ships, but it seems they had a number of elements that they rearranged between the different computer assets, so there are similarities. Here are some shots of Blue 4, Blue 2 and Blue Leader. The yellow and a lot of the other random grey panels look to be reused between ships while the blue markings have variations.
 

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Analyzer

Sr Member
From my studies of screencaps, there are differences between the ships, but it seems they had a number of elements that they rearranged between the different computer assets, so there are similarities. Here are some shots of Blue 4, Blue 2 and Blue Leader. The yellow and a lot of the other random grey panels look to be reused between ships while the blue markings have variations.

Thanks for those!

I like the additional markings like the intake warnings etc...

Plus the yellow panels and stuff look like intentional color decorations that is part of the scheme vs replacement panels

The Bandai Rogue One kit has all those additional little surface markings and warning signs. In fact it looks like it really was intended to be Blue Leader if you just swap the Red striping for Blue and leave everything else as is
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
I did paint up the Revell "Pocket" X-Wing as my guess at Blue 3 (around 1/110 scale) since it as close in size to the Revell U-Wing as I had a planned dio at one point.

I picked Blue 3 simply because the kit had engraved lines for 3 of the 5 stripes for some inexplicable reason

They clearly based the kit on the MPC fuselage shape as it has the same angle up turn change on the bottom right behind the torpedo tubes like the MPC
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Analyzer

Sr Member
Not much of an update, but finally got around to finishing the astromech. R5 unit is now sitting proudly in position. Little does he know what fate awaits him...
although it looks like I have to fix that stripe as it has sagged sometime during drying. I hate doing decals
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thud83

New Member
Looks great! Thanks for sharing your build with us. I like your Blue 3 a lot. I also look forward to your Red 2 and Red 12.

I'm glad Inquisitor Peregrinus chimed in. I haven't ever met anyone who has obsessed about the Battle of Yavin the way I have. It is good to hear differing and valid explanations of what we saw. And yes, my screen name is to honor the rugged F-105.

I found an interesting interview with one of the actors that played a Red Squadron pilot in Rogue One. Here's the link: Richard Glover Interview – The Actor Behind X-Wing Pilot Red 12 in Rogue One.
I was particularly interested in finding out that an X-Wing manual exists for continuity. I need it!

IP, you should start a thread showing your 1/270 work.
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I plan to, once I've caught up a bit more on things I've neglected, and also have more to show for it than a bunch of stripped and re-primed minis.

Hey, Analyzer, get some of the 1:144 U-Wings and do RO Blue with them and the 1:144 X-Wings. :)
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
I plan to, once I've caught up a bit more on things I've neglected, and also have more to show for it than a bunch of stripped and re-primed minis.

Hey, Analyzer, get some of the 1:144 U-Wings and do RO Blue with them and the 1:144 X-Wings. :)

I do have the 1/144 U-Wing set so yeah, 1/44 Blue Squadron sounds like a plan for all the 1/144 I have

And I'll second I'd love to see what you have done with the 1/270 stuff
 

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