I have an x-wing problem...

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Zuiun

Sr Member
So after tackling the Buck Rogers Starfighter, I decided to go back to familiar territory and do a Star Wars kit. More to the point, I decided to FINALLY build an x-wing...See, here's the thing, I have a ton of x-wing kits. Collecting them is like an addiction...

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This isn't even all of them... I have at least 2 more MPC kits and a few other kits in a box.

And yet... I've never actually built one. I have no excuses and I will take all of the shame and ridicule you guys choose to inflict. ;)

All of these kits appeal to me -- yes, even the MPCs -- but in the end, I decided that I needed something that would require a bit less...work... to put together. Don't get me wrong, it was satisfying to get a decent model out of the endless filling and sanding I had to do on the Buck Rogers kit, but my real love is painting and weathering. So....

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There's been a billion build threads of X-wings here over the years, so I won't bore you guys with anything too in-depth. I'll mostly just highlight some of the painting choices I made along the way. So to that end, let's dive in...

First up, I wanted to pre-shade some of the elements of the inner wings, because I knew these would be difficult to get to once the model was assembled (I wanted to avoid disassembling for painting as much as possible). I let the paint get a little "splattery" (technical term) to help create a bit of a mottled appearance when the main base coat went on.

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As with all of the Bandai Star Wars kits, I'm continually amazed at how well these parts fit together and how little clean up they generally need. So here's the wing structure essentially finished. Notice the "appropriate" glass in the background for the whiskey I'm sipping on during the build... ;)

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Next up... painting the pilot. I was always a big miniature painter, but even these little 1/72 scale minis test my patience. But I think he turned out ok...It's not like he'll really be very well seen under the cockpit anyway.

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Once I had the x-wing completely assembled, it was time for primer, pre-shading, and the base coat (I chose Vallejo Insignia White for my main color).

I decided to use the "windowless" canopy. But since Bandai also included a clear piece for a canopy, it would be a perfect "mask" to protect the cockpit during the application of the base coat...

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And here we are with the base coat applied. It might be a little hard to see in the photo, but the pre-shading really created a nice finish to the base coat. So at this stage, I'm ready for the fun part...

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That's all for now. SPOILER ALERT: The model is already finished... but I'll break up the photo dumps a bit. Next up, adding some color and decals...
 

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George

Master Member
Notice the "appropriate" glass in the background for the whiskey I'm sipping on during the build
See now, that stuff might taste good, but you'll end up painting the ship orange and gluing the pilot to the landing gear...
Concentrate, young Padawan !

In any case: Thanks for sharing your project and keep building more!
 
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Zuiun

Sr Member
Of all those manufacturers, which one has the highest quality? Bandai?

I'd say Bandai easily has the best Star Wars kits across the board, right now. The Fine Molds kits are pretty decent, too (keep in mind I'm going just by examining the parts in the box, since as of now, the Bandai 1/72 us the only X-wing out of my stash that I've actually completely built). But the engineering of the Fine Molds kits, while good, isn't nearly as genius-level as Bandai.

The AMT Pro Shop is easily the worst of the bunch in terms of accuracy / detail, which is a shame, because it's a gigantic kit, so it's not like scale was preventing them from doing decent detail on the thing. Even the included decal sheet is next to useless.

The old MPC kits really aren't terrible, but are plagued by all of the issues of pretty much any 70's-80's era kits -- namely fit issues. I've actually started to build one of these and it's been sitting on the back burner for years because I just didn't want to get into all of the clean up work I'd need to do. BUT... these kits are also weird in that "technically," they are studio scale. It's my understanding that ILM built up a few of these kits and used them for background X-wings during the Death Star battle in Return of the Jedi.



See now, that stuff might taste good, but you'll end up painting the ship orange and gluing the pilot to the landing gear...
Concentrate, young Padawan !

Now why'd you have to go and spoil the final reveal images?!?!??? :lol:
 

Zuiun

Sr Member
With the base coat down, I had to make a decision: Which X-Wing do I paint?

Well, because I love doing things the easy way, I chose the original Luke's Red 5 from A New Hope. You know, the one with very few actual reference photos? Yeah, that one. Why not?

So first things first, I knew that some of the decals were going to be scrapped. Bandai is usually really great when it comes to accuracy, but I just really have no idea where they came up with the colors for the canopy -- the decals just look WAY too dark to me. Same with the spiral pattern on the blaster tubes, but we'll get to that later.

Since I wasn't going to use the canopy decals, I had to mix my own paint for it. A bit of grey (in this case Blue/Grey Mist) and some Turquoise...

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You guys tell me. How'd I do?

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The next thing I decided to paint was the yellow. Look, I know how much magic is contained within the bottles of Microset and Microsol, but even so, I just really wasn't confident I could get the yellow decal to fully sit down within the grooves of the engine cowling. Plus, the yellow was incredibly easy to mask off, so it really wasn't a big deal to airbrush it on...

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Then a gloss coat... and a couple of evenings of applying decals.

Again, after the torture of the Buck Rogers kit, in which a couple of my decals were literally trying to disintegrate on me as I applied them, it was really nice to have some relatively brand new Bandai decals that just really didn't fight me.

Now, I decided to straddle the line of accuracy here. I know that some of the Bandai decals aren't accurate (for example, there's a dark grey color decal for the bottom of the X-Wing that I'm pretty sure should be red - at least based on the Modeler Magic reference photos of the studio model).

x-wing-13.jpg


Previously I mentioned thinking the spiral pattern on the blaster tubes was too dark, as well as some of the other grey panels being too dark, too. Also, the red decals looked just too brand new.

So I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone....after using a toothpick to "paint chip" some of the decals, I airbrushed a misting of the Insignia White base coat, but very heavily thinned down. Like 60-70% thinner to 30-40% thinner. The result was the airbrushing almost going on and acting like a wash. It not only faded down all of the decals, but also gave an uneven "weathering" appearance to the otherwise bright colors...

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One thing I think I noticed from the few studio model pics I found was that it appeared that some of the red stripes seemed to be nearly at full color, while most of the rest was really faded and inconsistent in color. I feel like my choices here worked pretty well...

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It's worth pointing out that I had one more pretty major decision to make: To wash, or not to wash?

I know that a lot of people prefer to do either a full wash on this model or at least a panel line wash. However, the more I looked at the model, the more I liked how the LACK of the wash seemed to promote an accurate sense of scale. So no wash it is...

Here's R2 reporting for duty...

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And now here's all of the paint chipping put on. The final weathering will be streaking and any other details I might have missed....

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Ok, so the next post will be the final reveal, after using some pastel chalk to help accentuate some details. So stay tuned...
 

NeoMaximuz

New Member
Wow, that’s looking great! I’m just starting to build the same kit so I came here looking for ideas on the order of painting/assembling since it will be harder to paint between the wings if I assemble the whole thing first. So...

1) I love that whiskey glass! Where’d you get it and what are you sipping?

2) I love the tiny R2, where is that from? The set only comes with the dome, correct?

3) Not a question, just once more... looks great! Thanks for the inspiration.
 

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Zuiun

Sr Member
Wow, that’s looking great! I’m just starting to build the same kit so I came here looking for ideas on the order of painting/assembling since it will be harder to paint between the wings if I assemble the whole thing first. So...

1) I love that whiskey glass! Where’d you get it and what are you sipping?

I'm pretty sure I picked the set up from Think Geek years and years ago. There were 4 in the set, but sadly one was lost in a transporter accident.

That night I believe I was sipping on one of my Game of Thrones limited edition whiskeys. I think it was the House Tully Singleton Scotch.

2) I love the tiny R2, where is that from? The set only comes with the dome, correct?

Unless they've modified the kit since it was first released, mine came with two actual full R2 figures (one for mounting in the ship and one that can be built and displayed separate).

3) Not a question, just once more... looks great! Thanks for the inspiration.

Thanks! I wish it was easier to find good reference photos for the original Red 5. The best I've been able to find is what's on Modeler Magic, but even then, only the top, the left side, and *some* of the under belly are really decently represented. I may have missed something out there, but I couldn't find any really good reference shots of the right side of the ship.
 

Zuiun

Sr Member
Ok, so here's the "finished" X-Wing... it's in quotes because after I took these shots I realized that I forgot to add just a tiny bit of "blow back" soot behind the torpedo launch bays.

I took these shots quick and dirty out on my driveway because without pulling out all of my gear, I felt the harsh sunlight might be a simple analog for the harsh studio lights the filming models were shot under. One of these days I'll set up my photo booth and take some proper studio shots of my models...

I used Mig light rust wash for the rust areas. Grey and black pastels were used to create the streaking and dirty areas. I also "dry brushed" white pastel over a number of areas to give that faded, "dusty" ILM look -- particularly to the engines

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I don't know how fully "accurate" this turned out, but I'm pretty happy with it. This was a super fun kit to build and now I'm looking forward to the 1/48 Bandai kit in my stash...

First, though, I think I better build up one of the TIE Fighters in my stash so my model shelf isn't too dominated by Rebel scum...
 

NeoMaximuz

New Member
Looks great! I know it's hard when you want to make it as accurate as possible, but have a hard time finding good source material, but... this looks awesome!

I am currently working on this kit but it's the blue fin release, so maybe they omitted the full bodied R2 and stuck that weird 2-D pilot instead. It's ok, I have the original release in my stash (got a bunch of X-Wings in my stash too and this is the first one I'm working on).

Can't go wrong with a little scotch when modeling; my personal go-to is Laphroaig.
 

Zuiun

Sr Member
One final note: Those blaster tubes are definitely delicate, and probably the only part of the model that really does require glue to keep them in place. I can definitely see why people opt for brass tubing in the larger scale versions of the X-wing and I might try to go that route when I tackle one of my 1/48 scale (or even that Pro Shop) kits.
 

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Hagoth

Well-Known Member
Really nice job here! Looks fantastic. Painting and weathering are not my strong points so it's great to have good examples to follow.
I too am an X-Wing addict. :p
 

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