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...

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