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Bandai X-Wing Complete

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  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Bandai X-Wing Complete
Posted by Aggieman on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 9:13 PM

I have put the finishing touches on what is quite likely my last build of the year, my all-time favorite science fiction subject, the X-Wing starfighter.  The kit is by Bandai in 1/48th scale and is the moving edition (which is quite likely what drew me to the kit in the first place).

Let me take everyone on a hopefully short history trip.  I was nine when Star Wars first hit the screens here in the States.  When I took one look at it, even at that age, I thought the movie would be utter dog doo and had zero interest in seeing it.  Then one day, after my tenth birthday, my dad came outside where I was farting around, probably with some dirt and mud and maybe a stray GI Joe action figure or two, and asked if I wanted to go to the movies to see Star Wars.  I really had no interest in it but what ten-year-old is turning down a trip to the movies with his dad?

To say that I was mesmerized is not even painting half the picture here.  I know that I am not alone in this given how successful this saga has been and given that new movies are still being made (and I already have tickets to see Rogue One on opening night). I recall coming home from that movie theater, a building that no longer exists in Sugar Land, Texas, and scrounging about for as much cardboard, tape, and markers that I could get my hands on.  When I had what I needed, as well as a trusty pair of scissors, I set to building from scratch a fleet of X-Wings and TIE Fighters.  They were crude, sure, but MPC had not yet kitted anything from the movie.

Once MPC came out with their X-Wing and TIE Advanced Fighter, I of course got those as birthday or Christmas presents.  If I had to ballpark it, I would say that by the release of Return of the Jedi six years later, I had built an entire squadron of those MPC X-Wings.  Of all of those, I still have two, one hanging in my attic and the other in pieces in a grave box of old destroyed kits.

I actually did another one of their X-Wings about a decade ago, a smaller scale version like the one I have hanging in my attic, and built it into a Return of the Jedi Death Star attack diorama.

When I saw this Bandai kit, I knew that I needed to get it even though I have a Fine Molds 1/72 kit in my stash.  It was the moving features plus the included lighting that did it for me.  I had acquired this kit right before The Force Awakens came out, and it looked like it would sit in my stash for years - that is until I saw one of the Rogue One previews that features X-Wings doing what they do, looking awesome while shooting things and blowing stuff up.  That prompted me to pull this kit out of the stash.

Now on to the kit.  It is a decent kit, but like other Bandai Star Wars kits that I have done this year (Sandtrooper and Boba Fett), it is actually a snap-together kit in reality.  It goes together all right but I think with these three kits there is something about them that I don't like.  Not sure what it is.  Perhaps it is the plastic.  Something that makes them feel a bit more toy-like than they should be.  But they are definitely not toys; they do make good display models, and this X-Wing is well detailed.

But my biggest complaint about the Bandai kits is the quality of the decals.  They give you traditional water-slide decals and a matching sheet of peel-off stickers.  The register is bad.  The printing is pixilated, not solid coloring, and therefore not usable in my opinion.  So I opted to mask the heck out of this thing and paint many of the panels that were intended to be depicted via these horrible decals.

Photos of the completed X-Wing

The engine lights are actually real bright as evidenced with this dark photo showing them against my back drop.

The other really cool thing about this kit is the moving wings that are accompanied by the sound effect from the movie.  As well as the sound effect of launching proton torpedoes.

So I did quite a bit of research before building this.  I looked for images on the net.  I have some books that helped as well.  The Art of Star Wars and Sculpting the Galaxy - Inside the Star Wars Model Shop.  And then, twist my arm, I watched the Death Star attack scenes from Star Wars.  

There is a good bit of debate as to what color an X-Wing actually is.  I think it is really in the eye of the beholder.  They are not white, nor are they gray.  The models used in the movies were painted in a shade of white named "Reefer White" - sounds like a '70s thing to me.  I could not find that paint anywhere, so I mixed up a custom mix of 90% Tamiya flat white, 2% Tamiya sky gray, 2% Vallejo flat brown, and 1% Tamiya flat black.  Again, eye of the beholder, nothing hard-and-fast as we would find on a British Mosquito bomber, for instance.  I used Tamiya medium sea gray, Tamiya dark gray, Tamiya insignia red, Model Master RLM 04 Gelb, Vallejo radome tan, and Vallejo blue gray to finish out all the painting.  The engines were painted with Tamiya sky gray, Model Master dark anadonic gray and Model Master burnt metal.  I then used a variety of Tamiya weathering compounds, mostly oil to effect a lot of the streaks and stuff, as well as burnt blue along the engine thrusters and the interior engine surfaces (these don't show up well).  I followed all of that with a generous use of ground black pastels and a coat of flat clear.

This will not be my last science fiction build.  I have all of Fine Molds' 1/72 scale Star Wars kits, including the Falcon, awaiting their time on my bench.  I also have a Revell Star Destroyer (from Attack of the Clones/Revenge of the Sith).  But I am returning to my forte, aircraft, next, with a couple of F-86 Sabres.  I don't expect to finish either prior to the end of the year.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, December 01, 2016 7:43 AM

Oh wow that's nice!!! Love the weathering and those lights are the ones that came in the kit? Pretty darn cool! 

Sorry to hear about the decals though. I just picked up the Bandai 1/72nd X & A-Wings and thought they looked pretty good in the box. So far I didn't pull the decals out of the protective paper. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Thursday, December 01, 2016 8:22 AM

Thanks!

Regarding the decals, I noticed the same pixilation on the decals included with their Boba Fett kit.  I'm not sure if that indicates a problem with their decals overall, but this has been my experience with them thus far.

  • Member since
    June, 2016
Posted by TxAggie05 on Saturday, December 03, 2016 9:19 AM

Nice build! I didn't realize they made a kit in that scale and that it has lights. I built the 1/48 at-st and my wife got me the boba fett slave 1 kit. I will be building it once I finish my jagdpanther that I have a thread going on in the armor forums.

I love how easy the bandai kits go together and their crisp detail with little flash or ejector markings. Nice job! 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, December 03, 2016 10:19 AM

TxAggie05

Nice build! I didn't realize they made a kit in that scale and that it has lights. I built the 1/48 at-st and my wife got me the boba fett slave 1 kit. I will be building it once I finish my jagdpanther that I have a thread going on in the armor forums.

I love how easy the bandai kits go together and their crisp detail with little flash or ejector markings. Nice job! 

 

Thanks to my fellow Ag.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • From: Streetsboro, Ohio
Posted by Toshi on Sunday, December 04, 2016 10:51 AM

From cardboard X-Wing fighters to cardboard Tie fighters, you've come long way.  This build is just fantastic.  I really love your story, it's a saga in itself! Thank you for sharing!

Toshi

On The Bench: Revell 1/48 B-25 Mitchell

 

Married to the most caring, loving, understanding, and beautiful wife in the world.  Mrs. Toshi

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2009
Posted by Cobra 427 on Saturday, February 03, 2018 9:04 PM

Aggieman

 

 

There is a good bit of debate as to what color an X-Wing actually is.  I think it is really in the eye of the beholder.  They are not white, nor are they gray.  The models used in the movies were painted in a shade of white named "Reefer White" - sounds like a '70s thing to me. 

They were never painted this color, nor did they ever use Tamiya paint. This was an automotive paint primer called "Platinum Gray" by KRYLON. It's a white with a slightly yellow/gray tint to it. ILM modelers used this to paint all of the rebel fleet. This paint is no longer made and hasn't been since the early 80's. This (Tamiya) color didn't exist until the 1990's. It isn't exactly the same, but close. This is something that most of the modelers on the forums used since this is what they thought was the closest to PLATINUM GRAY that they could find on the open market without having to mix it themselves. You now have to guess what paint colour is the closest to it as Tamiya quit making it about six, or seven years ago. The name reefer wasn't a drug reference, but rather named for "Reefer," or rather "Refer trucks" which are short are REFRIGERATOR TRUCKS which are most always white. My dad used to drive one before he died. I just use plain white, and paint shaders over it to get that dirty grimy colour that you see in the movies. I have actual production stills that I use to mix my paint with.

 

~ Cobra Chris

Maybe a picture of a squirrel playing a harmonica will make you feel better?

 

 

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