30 September 2015

Y-Wing Fighter (1/72 scale model)

I've liked the design of the Y-Wing since I first saw it on Star Wars trading cards back in 1977 (true story: I didn't see Star Wars until years later; Empire was the first SW film I saw in theatres (twice)). I didn't exactly know why back then, but over the years I've felt increasingly that there's something classic about it; something timeless and somewhat obvious, yet still fresh and original (it's hard to explain...) so when I was getting back into modelling and saw Bandai's gorgeous kit of this ship, I knew I had to build one (this is a recurring theme).

I saw a couple of video reviews of this kit online and they reinforced my need to build this ship. The one that clinched the deal was a comparison that showed how the new Bandai kit was a great improvement in detail and accuracy over the earlier Fine Molds kit (which was already quite nice).

The ship, being a snap-together kit, came together rather quickly in just a few hours. I painted a few bits of piping (the orange "rusty" bits) before attaching them, and, despite being a snap kit, I glued some of the more delicate pieces, just to be sure.


Once it was all together, I used some Tamiya flat paint, thinned with water, to give it a dirty wash, then wiped away most of the excess with a tissue, leaving behind nice detail-defining grey all over the ship. My goal was to paint it as close as possible to the ILM models used during filming (within reason and my limited abilities; this ship is much tinier than ILM's hero versions) so I used as much photo reference as I could find (I've been collecting Star Wars art books for decades now, so I had tons of material to look at, including the movie itself).

I should have applied the decals before painting, but I got carried away with the weathering. Still, they went on well. Once the decals were dry (after about a day) I shot the whole model with a flat coat from a rattle can (also from Tamiya).

I had planned to install one of the two droids (one round headed (R2 style model), one flat-ish-headed (R5 style model)) included in the kit, but I assembled both of them out of order (the legs go between the body segments, not after they're assembled) and then I put the top plate over the droid slot on the hull before installing the droid...anyway, I kind of like the slot remaining empty (I painted it dark grey inside to emphasize the void).

There were two pilots included (one standing, one sitting), but I didn't plan on using either of them, and they're still unpainted and attached to the sprue. I did paint the cockpit instruments but you can't see them with the canopy on. There's an option to have the canopy open, but I didn't feel ready to try that yet (complicated decals). Still, it can pop off, so we'll see how I feel about that in the future.

Apart from the challenge of attaching super fine piping (the instructions, while in Japanese, were generally easy to follow, but many of these pieces were so tiny), I was overall very happy while building this kit, and I'm quite pleased with the results. Too bad the scale is 1/72 so it looks tiny next to my 1/48 scale A-Wing, but perhaps Bandai will issue a 1/72 A-Wing one day...

25 September 2015

Enterprising Casual Fridays #5

Not wanting to belabour the premise, I just figured Picard wouldn't object to Worf and Riker dressing formally on Fridays instead of dressing casually –such an ongoing conflict would become tedious, and I'm unable and unwilling to come up with a reason to continue Worf's silly storyline beyond this scene.

I did, however, do one final strip set aboard Deep Space Nine, to see how they'd deal with the concept of Casual Fridays...

Go boldly to PART SIX

23 September 2015

A-Wing Fighter (1/48 scale model)

I mention in this post how I was fascinated with models since I was a very young boy in the mid-'70s, but I didn't get around to actually building any until the '90s. This A-Wing wasn't the first model I ever built, but it's the only early one (circa late 1993) that I've photographed, so far. 

They're fairly easy to miss in Return of the Jedi, but I collected the trading cards and magazines so I was keenly aware of this new and interesting ship (the new B-Wing was okay, but I preferred the compact, yet sporty, look of this one). In 1993 I was playing the X-Wing video game where you can fly and X-Wing, Y-Wing, and an A-Wing, and while I very much liked the other two ships (I just finished building a 1/72 scale Y-Wing, in fact), I was impressed with the speed and agility of the mighty A-Wing

One night I was out with friends and we stepped into a hobby shop and, as soon as I saw this MPC kit I knew I had to build one, so I bought it then and there (for maybe about $15, IIRC).

(no, I didn't keep the box)

Although I had built an Enterprise refit in 1991 and some other Star Trek ships afterward (I don't remember the timeline or order of most of those other builds) my modeling and painting skills still had a long way to go. Studying this A-Wing before shooting it I noticed all kinds of things I'd be more careful with today, like filling seamlines and gaps, trimming the flash better, and doing a better paint job.

I painted the red, grey, and damaged areas with a brush using acrylics (I mixed that red myself!) and the hull is just the bare plastic of the model kit.

It's a simple enough model and I might try another one down the road using the skills and knowledge I've gained over the years (although the kit will likely cost me twice as much as I paid 23 years ago!). It'd be great if Bandai would make one in 1/72 scale to match my Y-Wing.


Bandai has, indeed, released an amazing new model kit of the A-wing and I bought two of them because I was so excited. I have an idea brewing about what to do with the second one, but you can read THIS POST to check out what I did with the first kit.

18 September 2015

Enterprising Casual Fridays #4

I had some fun portraying Worf behaving like an obstinate teenager in the presence of his adoptive parents. Sergey's advice is actually my own solution to Casual Fridays (recounted in my post for ECF #1).

Go boldly to PART FIVE

11 September 2015

Enterprising Casual Fridays #3

I figured of all the bridge crew, Lt. Worf would be most resistant to Casual Fridays, and, therefore, be my stand-in to express my own feelings about the concept (tediously comprehensively detailed in ECF #1). I didn't feel any need to do anything with Troi because I figured she was *always* in casual mode (until toward the end of the series).

Apologies for my inconsistent use of the capital I all over the place.

Go boldly to PART FOUR

04 September 2015

Enterprising Casual Fridays #2

In Enterprising Casual Fridays #1 I established a new custom onboard James T. Kirk's Enterprise as well as Jean-Luc Picard's Enterprise-D, but there was no story, just a silly non sequitur based on a somewhat flimsy concept. The "story" (such as it is) really begins here.

Go boldly to PART THREE