Media: Injection Plastic
The Imperial Stormtroopers are the elite shock troops of Emperor Palpatine’s Galactic Empire. They are the ultimate evolution of the clone troopers who fought for the Galactic Republic during the conflict that came to be known as the Clone Wars. By the time of the Galactic Civil War however, the clones have by and large been replaced by non-clone volunteers and conscripts.
Stormtroopers serve as ever present reminder of the Emperor’s absolute power and serve as the symbols of authority of the Empire. They are distinguished by their white armor covering a black body glove and ruthless execution of orders.
Info adapted from Wookieepedia
It’s a Bandai Star Wars kit so everything that can be said about a Bandai Star Wars kit applies here: multi-color injection molded sprues, near perfect snap-fit construction, insanely researched accurate details, almost no seamline construction, a simple base and option of using stickers or decals. Some unique features of this particular kit: 3 weapons provided (E-11 Blaster Rifle, SE-14r Light Repeating Blaster and the DLT-19 Heavy Blaster) and the option of having the E-11 holster on the left or right side of the belt (a callout to the films where almost all the Stormtroopers were left-handed).
The Stormtrooper went through design changes in the 3 films and if I had to guess, I would say the one you get in the box is closest to the one from A New Hope. Please do not quote me on that though.
As with the Snowspeeder and every Bandai kit I’ve assembled, everything snaps together almost perfectly. After that was done I quickly took a look at the whole assembled kit and ran Tamiya Extra Thin Cement through the areas that needed it as insurance. Happily there only 2 (hardly) major seamlines to fix: the back of the helmet and on the thermal detonator attached to the back of the armor. Articulation is good but the elbows and lower legs don’t swivel. A nice touch is that the ankle joints are quite a bit stiffer which helps with posing and balance. The neck joint is also looser than the others but I’m not sure it’s a common feature.
I decided to model this Stormtrooper as a righty for no particular reason. Maybe I hope it will help with his aim. My Stormtrooper would only be armed with the E-11 Blaster because I’m old school. During prep work I lost the right shoulder strap which I had to replace with the ones from the Sandtrooper boxing. Interestingly, the ones from that boxing are smooth instead of being ridged of this one. Yet another very minor detail that Bandai managed to replicate.
Painting and Markings
The figure was taken apart into major components and painted that way. Based on fitting issues with previous builds done this way, I masked all the joints with blutack before priming everything with Black Primer from AK Interactive. Stormtroopers are almost always shown to have gleaming armor but I figure the armor must get scuffed and dirty during any planetary action so I added salt chips at this stage. I tried not to overdo the salt this time.
To get the overall white to look ‘white’, I first base coated with US Grey and then Dead White on top. I sprayed these colors based on the theory of where the Sun will be: the parts that are lit by the Sun gets a thicker coat of paint. It’s a bit subtle but quite effective if you get it right.
To break up the monotony, I decided to add some color ID bands around the figure. I got this idea from Kunho Noh and is a very common feature on Ma.K power armor builds. I went with red color as Bloody Red was within reach. The areas were masked with Tamiya masking tape for curves (highly recommended) and quickly sprayed over.
After this was done, I then proceeded to remove the salt with a blunt toothpick. I then dotted US Grey and Dead White using a paintbrush to hopefully blend the chips more to the main color. I also added more chips with this method.
An overall gloss coat was then done to prepare for decals and weathering. For this build, I only used the decals for the helmet. The mouthpiece was also a decal but I managed to bork it so I ended up painting the gray areas by hand with Light Grey. After a day of curing, the decals were given a brush of Future. Weathering was next.
Before weathering began I decided to put the figure together and weather it as one. It was at this point that I find the chipping to be too random. Oh well, lesson learned and I will move on. I washed the figure with a mix of Raw Sienna and Blue Black oil paint. I kept the wash to a minimal and it’s on the whole, heavier on the lower half of the body. I then carefully airbrushed Flat Earth on the feet and an even lighter dusting on the lower legs to simulate dust and grime.
A thin flat coat was next resulting in a more satin finish. This was followed by drybrushing the black parts with US Grey. I also used a silver color pencil on the E-11 Blaster to highlight details. The last step involves brushing Future onto the eyelets to gloss them back up.
Bandai provides a simple base for the figure with a small removable square section with a mold on it to hold on to the foot. I decided to dress this up with some groundwork. I went with some gravel and dirt groundwork to match with the somewhat dirty Stormtrooper that I’ve modeled. To add a bit of dynamism to the final pose, I added a small pile of rubble for one foot to stand on. A detailed step by step can be seen on the right.
It’s always fun and trouble-free when it comes to Bandai’s Star Wars kits. I’m 2 for 2 so far. Needless to say I have more of these things in the stash.
Number 9 of 2016
Mild weathering done with a mixture of Blue Black + Burnt Umber oil paint mix. Mid-way through this I remembered that Bandai plastic has a tendency to crack from turpentine. Hopefully this one holds like my Snowspeeder. It’s also at this point that I think the paint chips look too random. Oh well, chalk it up to lesson learned and I’m moving on. A semi-gloss coat is next and then I’ll dirty up the boots and do some light drybrushing on the black areas and then I’ll call it done.
Work was also done on the base that came with the kit. I decided to simply added a pile of rubble for one of the figure’s foot to stand on. The ‘height’ of the rock pile was done by initially adding a few pieces of cork and then layering some broken cement pieces I found in my home with hot glue.. The groundwork is 2 grades of sand from Woodland Scenics which were glued to the base with white glue. Unfortunately the white glue was too thin so quite a few of the groundwork came off in patches during drybrushing so I had to re-do these. A plus of re-doing is now I can add some uneven-ness to the groundwork. Grasswork were then glued on with white glue.
The terrain colors are simply a base of dark gray, mid layer of dark brown for the dirt, a wash of dark gray, then drybrushing with a light brown for the dirt and light gray and white for the rocks. The patched up terrain was dark brown, dark gray wash and a drybrush of light brown. I did this to add some variance to the overall colors.
The finish line is in sight!
Most of the details on the helmet are available as decals so I went ahead and added them and then brushed Future over them. Weathering is next and I decided to put the whole figure together and go from there.
After that I’ll add a base of some sort. I already have a pose in mind. Let’s see how it turns out. On a sidenote, a pleasant surprise so far is that none of the acrylic paint has chipped due to all the handling and posing! Nice.
No, not quite the Ewok village but yes, Ewoks are a savage bunch. Do not f**k with them.
Anyway, painting stage involves a base of black primer. Then I sprayed US Grey so the top layer of Dead White doesn’t need to be too thick to look ‘white’. I also tried to get the upper regions of each part brighter to simulate the direction of the Sun hitting the figure. Not sure how effective it will be though. I also added some salt chipping during the priming stage.
To break up the somewhat monotonous color, I decided to add some color bands on the white armor. I masked using Tamiya Tape for Curves which work very well for this and sprayed Bloody Red for the bands. I then handpainted some of the details on the helmet and lower torso with Black Grey. After removing the dried salt, I blended the chipping by adding US Grey and Dead White with a handbrush. I hope I haven’t overdone the chipping. I know all these details aren’t canon, but I’ll live with the fanboy rage if any. 😀
After this is a gloss coat, some decals and panel lining/wash. I’m thinking I should drybrush the black areas too. Let’s see.
Time for a more relaxed build after the F-86 I think. As far as I know, Bandai has never had bad fitting kits, this one is no exception.
The neck is a bit loose and I messed up slightly on the right shoulder pad so now it falls off easily but all in all, very straightforward and really looks the part. They even made the ankle joints stiffer so it can stand easier. It’s small touches like that that I really like Bandai.