Written by 5:07 pm My Builds

Completed : Bandai 1/12 Imperial Stormtrooper

Kit Info
Brand: Bandai
Scale: 1/12
Media: Injection Plastic

The Subject
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 By the time of the Galactic Civil War however, the clones have by and large been replaced by non-clone volunteers and conscripts.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

The Kit
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 Please do not quote me on that though.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.

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Number 9 of 2016

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