Saturday, October 31, 2015

WIP: Bandai 1/72 X-wing (Red 6), Part 1

"I can hold it!"
I had some free time and an X-wing in pieces so I decided to do a quick build of the most endearing Rebel pilot from Star Wars: Jek Porkins!
His color scheme has always been among my favorites and I think it's because it has similar colors to my favorite American football team, the Washington Redskins. Since this model was already disassembled, I went ahead and primed everything with some Tamiya Surface Primer from a rattle can. I preshaded everything with Tamiya German Grey (XF-63) and then gave the model a base coat using the same color I mixed for Luke's X-wing.
His paneling isn't as varied as Luke's, but it is still rather interesting and the dark red color is unique to his ship. The yellow is Vallejo Model Air Ochre (71.033) and the dark red is a 4:1 mix of Vallejo Model Air Hull Red (71.039) and Fire Red (71.084). I used AK Interactive Heavy Chipping Fluid for the scuff marks on those colors. The lighter red is a 10:1 mix of Tamiya Flat Red (XF-7) and Hull Red (XF-9). I used some masking fluid applied with a piece of torn foam for the chipping effects.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Build Review: Bandai 1/72 X-wing

I had previously done a quick out-of-box review of this kit in December of last year, shortly after the kit was released to the public. To summarize it, I felt that this kit was vastly superior to the Fine Molds offering. Now to be fair, the Fine Molds kit is pretty old (at least ten years) and was previously the best and most accurate 1/72 scale model of the iconic X-wing. Now having built and painted both, I believe my initial reaction to this kit was well deserved. After the break, we'll dive into the good, the bad, and everything else with this stunning model kit.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Showcase: Bandai 1/72 X-wing

In a surprise move, I finished this model today. I didn't think I would be done with it already, but I was able to work on both the oils and the pigments without the two mixing. I'm not really "done" with the model because I need to get it a final coat of matte varnish to seal the pigments in, but I wanted to give the oil paint I applied a couple of days to dry. Truth be told, there are a couple of areas I need to touch up as well, but I'll get to that over the next couple of days. I will also write an end-of-build review to talk about the kit and the build process, so look forward to that shortly.

WIP: Bandai 1/72 X-wing, Part 8

I added the grey/black chipping on the S-foils and some other spots on the hull. I had forgotten to do this but luckily I caught it before I got any further on the weathering. It's a small detail but it's pretty distinctive and helps complete the model.
Working on some panel discoloration, primarily on the underside of the X-wing. I used some browns and greys to discolor a handful of panels using the studio model as a guide. The oil is very thin, almost a filter consistency, and will dry quickly. After it had dried, I'll protect it with a matte varnish and move on to some pigments.

This model is nearing completion and as soon as it's done, I'll begin working on the Death Star tiles for the the trench run. I have to buy a new workbench because my painting desk is nowhere larger enough to handle the volume of work that I will have making all of these tiles. Also, I have rather large model to work on, but what it is will be revealed shortly.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

WIP: Bandai 1/72 X-wing, Part 7

No computer can hit that!
Working on some simple panel discoloration. This is one of my favorite techniques and is pretty easy to achieve.

Starting on a matte surface, dampen the panel with white spirits (it doesn't need to be soaked, just a barely visible sheen is enough). On your palette, mix your preferred oil paint with some thinner into a thin slurry (I used 502 Abteilung Faded UN White, Engine Grease, Faded Grey, and Faded Navy Blue). Get a little of the slurry on a clean brush (soft small flats work best) and apply it to the panel, working it over the surface making sure to leave no brush marks. Go around and pick out different panels with different colors for a nice mottled effect!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

WIP: Bandai 1/72 Y-wing

Like a cat distracted by a laser pointer, sometimes I just can't help myself... While waiting for the oil paint to dry on the X-wing, I decided to crack open one of my Y-wing kits to have a look inside. Of course, one thing led to another and I built and painted the cockpit. I primed it with black Alclad II primer and gave it a base coat of Tamiya Rubber Black (XF-85). I gave it a dry brush of Flat Aluminum (XF-16) to give it a worn look and went through and picked out panels and knobs with various Vallejo greys. The instruments on the front panel were painted with Tamiya clear paints. I then gave everything a brown enamel wash. After it dried, I used a Tamiya gunmetal pigment bring some of the metallic sheen back that the wash darkened. There is a pilot but I did not paint him as this ship will be displayed landed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WIP: Bandai 1/72 X-wing, Part 6

I had my camera out to take glamour shots of the TIEs for the Star Wars commission so I decided to take a couple of nice pictures of the Luke for a before and after shot when the weathering is complete. The model is extra shiny because it has two coats of Future on it in preparation of oil paints. Personally, I think the model is gorgeous as is, but it would be an X-wing if it wasn't weathered to the nines!
I managed to disassemble the model even though I had originally intended on doing all of the weathering on the completed model. Taking it apart was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be and I'm happy I did it; it was a lot easier to work on without getting in my own way. I was planning on doing a panel line wash over the entire model, but I made a command decision to instead give the entire model a gunk wash. A gunk wash is a tried and true weathering technique that move model makes have relied on for years and I first learned about it after watching Adam Savage build models on the Tested YouTube channel. The process is very simple: put your desired oil color on a palette, apply generous amounts of oil paint on the model without thinning it, then wipe it off with a rag. This ends up discoloring the entire surface of the model and allows oil paint to build up in panel lines and recesses. This can be done over a matte or gloss varnish; matte leaves more oil on the surface compared to gloss, which may or may not be desired.
These models are fairly small.
Now the oil paint sit for a couple of days to dry completely before I begin to add more oils of various colors to give the model some tonal variations. After that oil has dried, the oil will be sealed with matte varnish and then I will apply pigments for the final stage of weathering.

Showcase: Bandai TIE Fighter & TIE/x1 Advanced

I finally got around to taking some showcase photos of the TIEs for the ongoing Star Wars commission. I wanted to play around with using a white backdrop instead of the black backdrop that I usually use. Overall, I like it; the pictures seem brighter (duh!) and more vivid. I forgot to adjust the white balance on my camera before I shot these so they're slightly off but not too bad. I also need to get a higher quality backdrop than the ones I currently have, so look for that in the future.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

WIP: Bandai 1/72 X-wing, Part 5

After I applied two coats of an ochre filter and allowed the model to dry for a couple of days, I went ahead and assembled the model completely. I was initially going to hold off on this step and weather each section of the model individually, but after some test fitting with another one of these models I have in pieces, I decided to go forward with assembly. I also think that it will be easier to get a more consistent finish in the weathering since I can do the entire model at once.
The next step is to give the model a couple of coats of Future before applying an oil panel line wash across the entire model and a gunk wash in some selected areas such as the engines and droid trench. After the oil dries for a couple of days, I will seal it with some matte varnish and begin applying pigments, using the studio model as a reference. I would also like to note that the ochre filter is much more noticeable in person than compared to these pictures I snapped with my iPhone camera.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

WIP: Bandai 1/72 X-wing, Part 4: The Turps Strike Back

After giving the entire model a rubdown with a 3200 grit sanding sponge, I applied a filter using 502 Abteilung German Ochre thinned excessively with odorless turpenoid. When I went to see if it was dried, I found this:
Other modelers have had issues with oil paint thinners reacting to Bandai plastic, specifically the AT-ST kit, but this is the first time I've seen it on an X-wing and the first time it's happened to me. While these few issues can be fixed with some cement and then hidden with weathering, it now has me worried that other areas of the model will be damaged by the turpenoid. Other than these issues, the filter worked great in toning the color down and warming the base color, so that's a positive.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WIP: Bandai 1/72 X-wing, Part 4

Paneling is complete on the top half! There is now eleven different colors on the top half of the fuselage, with the beige along the droid trench a different shade than the beige on the nose. I've also completed the few panels on bottom half of the fuselage, which can be seen in the lower picture. The color work is far less extensive on the bottom compared to the top, most likely because the bottom of the ship is rarely seen in the movie.
I moved on to painting the S-foils, which is the most complicated part of the painting due to the squadron markings. Again, the kit is supplied with high quality decals, but I much prefer the finish of paint an it's easier to weather compared to the decals. Luckily, this is not my first time trying to mask X-wing squadron markings so it went pretty well overall. The hardest part is getting the hash marks properly spaced, but after a little trial and error I think I got it. The decal sheet has a medium grey colored decal for the lower wing panel around the cutout. I decided to use Tamiya Cockpit Green (XF-71) instead because it appears to be greenish in the reference photos I have of the studio model. Above all, I just wanted a little splash of color on the wings. I also used this time to insert the engines that I had previously painted. They were done with a basecoat of Tamiya Gun Metal (X-10) over a black primer and then highlighted with a misting of Flat Aluminum (XF-16). They were then given a light drybrushing with some Tamiya metallic weathering powder.
Both sets of S-foils and laser cannons are complete. For the engine nozzles, I sprayed them with Tamiya Dark Iron (XF-84). During the weathering process, they will get multiple drybrushes of various metallic pigments. The brownish panel on the starboard engine was painted with Tamiya Medium Grey (XF-20) and the panel on the port wing by the squadron markings was painted with Tamiya Buff (XF-57). The black squares on the lower wing were painted with Tamiya NATO Black (XF-69) and the bluish panels were painted with Vallejo Model Air US Blue Grey (71.114). The barber shop stripe was painted with a mix of Vallejo Model Air blues: French Blue, Dark Sea Blue, and Intermediate Blue. I don't remember the mix ratio; I just added the different paints until I got a color I liked and that more or less matched the decal.

Now that all of the painting is complete, the next step will be to give the entire model a light rub with some high grit sandpaper to tone the boldness of the panels down, followed by an overall ocher filter to warm the entire model, and then begin work on the detailed weathering with oils and then pigments.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

WIP: Bandai 1/72 X-wing, Part 3

After the preshading was complete, I began laying down the base color. In the past, I have used a 1:1 mix of Tamiya Flat White (XF-2) and Medium Grey (XF-20), which I think makes a fine color for Rebellion ships. However, I wanted to try something different so I picked up a couple of Vallejo mixing bottles at my FLGS and set to work mixing up a custom color. I mixed one 10mL jar of Tamiya Flat White (XF-2), 2/3 of a jar of Tamiya White (X-2), twelve drops of Tamiya Flat Earth (XF-52), and four drops of Tamiya Neutral Grey (XF-53). The final result is a slightly warm off-white that I will probably warm further with an ocher filter.
Although there is an extensive decal sheet provided with the kit, none of the decals have any of the typical weathering found on so many Star Wars vehicles. As nice as Bandai decals are, I prefer to use paint wherever possible for the most consistent finish. A combination of Tamiya masking tape and Humbrol Maskol applied with a torn foam, trying to mimic the weathering on the filming miniature as best I can.
After an hour or so, I had handful of the panels painted. I used Tamiya Flat Yellow (XF-3) for the yellow areas, Medium Grey (XF-20) for the brownish panel, and a 10:1 mix of Flat Red (XF-7) and Hull Red (XF-9). In retrospect, the Medium Grey panel is a little too dark so I will repaint it with Buff (XF-57) to lighten it up. There are still a number of panels to paint and the cockpit frame before moving on to the bottom of the fuselage and the wings.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

WIP: Bandai 1/72 X-wing, Part 2

Working on preshading the hull and wings of the X-wing using Tamiya German Grey (XF-63). Given the number of panel lines on this model, this turned out to be a rather tedious job. This will be followed up with a basecoat of a custom mixed, slightly warm off-white. After that is on, I will begin the various colored panels found along the craft using both the supplied color guide and studio model reference pictures.