Brand and Kit Number: Fine Molds
Media: Injection Plastic
The BTL-A4 Y-Wing Starfighter is a single-seat assault fighter-bomber. Heavily armed with laser cannons, ion cannons, proton torpedos and proton bombs, it was deployed by the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars and the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War.
The BTL-A4 traces its lineage to the BTL-B used during the Clone Wars which were crewed by a single pilot and a gunner in a domed turret behind the cockpit. By the time of the Galactic Civil War, most Y-wings had their engine nacelles and body panels stripped down to the bare minimum to ease maintenance. This resulted with them sporting a skeletal appearance. The gunner’s turret was also replaced with a pair of fixed forward firing ion cannons.
The BTL-A4 variant would see action in the Battle of Scarif, the Battle of Yavin, the Battle of Hoth, the Battle of Endor and the Battle of Jakku.
Y-wing info from Wikipedia
The kit comes with 5 trees molded in light gray and 1 small clear tree for the canopy. The only options provided are a pilot and landing gear in both up and down positions. The lowered landing gear are attached with polycaps. The base comes as 1 tree and is somewhat overly engineered for what it is.
Fine Molds has a reputation of very nicely done kits and this one is no different. Molding is very crisp for its vintage (2007) with barely any flash on the parts. There are however ejector pin marks on the support pylons and particular deep ones on the restractied landing gear pads. The pilot could be nicer but I think it looks fine once under the canopy. The breakdown of the parts seem to indicate that seamlines would either be hidden by other parts or wouldn’t be obvious.
Markings provided are for Gold Leader, Gold 2 and Gold 3 with the decals replicating the various wear and tear on them. The decals are printed well and in register although I can’t vouch for the quality due to its age.
So after the ‘fun’ that was the Alpha Jet, I decided I needed a sanity build. Something that fits well and I can bang it out in a much shorter time. Luckily this kit was easily reachable in my stack.
And per Fine Molds’ reputation, this kit came together very quickly and generally pain-free with the only fitting problems I have are attaching some of the piping and the retracted landing gear. The parts that cover around the nacelles also needed some adjustments to fit properly. All in all though, very much trouble-free and I was done in no time.
Colors & Markings
First up was a gray jumpsuit instead of the usual orange for the pilot. I decided to go with a custom color scheme instead of the usual (tragic) Gold Squadron Y-wing. I’ve always remembered the Y-wing to have orange markings so that’s what I went with. Then it’s a matter of masking the pattern on the nose and nacelles. I went with orange and a medium gray for the patterns and the result gave me a 1970s vibe.
I didn’t use the decals at all for this build.
The fun begins with an overall panel wash of Raw Umber oil paint. I tried to be more precise but with the Y-wing having so much gribble, the oil wash inevitably filtered some of the panels. The effect looks alright though.
Then I filtered some of the panels with red and blue oil paint to add some subtle discoloration. Lastly I added chipping over the whole kit with a sponge and some minor handpainting.
Overall and extremely trouble-free and enjoyable build. Given another go I would have made sure the orange was more discolored. But I’m moving on and calling this done.
Number 5 of 2018
Painting begins with my usual black base using Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black.
I’m trying a different marble coat this time with patches of various colors. I wanted to see these would have effect on the main colors.
The primary color for the Y-wing is thinned Game Color Dead White. The nice thing about priming in black is the spots that aren’t hit by the main color simply become shadows.
I’ve always remembered the Y-wing chevrons to be orange (in reality they are a faded yellow) so I’m going ahead with this color instead. Out come the masking tape. It took a while to get the tape to conform around the many gribbles on the nacelles.
The color scheme I’m going for is Game Color Fiery Orange and AMMO Medium Gunship Grey on the nose and nacelles. The result has an unexpected 1970s vibe to it. 😀
Weathering is next. The Astromech was handpainted and attached then everything was given a gloss coat. First up is panel washing with Raw Umber oil paint.
It was a bit hard to be precise about it on the gribble so I basically ended up with a filter on some of the areas.
Before proceeding with chipping, I added some red and blue filters to random spots. These are quite subtle and my camera couldn’t quite ‘see’ them. Not enough dynamic range I guess. They look OK in person though.
Anyway next was sponge chipping. I still find it a challenge to make the chipping totally random but this stage is quite fun. 😀
Some close-up shots of the chipping. I made it heavier on the port side since the pilot enters and exits the Y-wing from this side so there would be more scuff marks.
To add more subtle variation, I handpainted lightened orange and gray to the main colors.
I added more chipping to the landing skid since these would impact the ground and get scuffed. I also added soot stains to the proton torpedo launchers using Tamiya Weathering Master. Not quite sure what these weapons use for propulsion but hey… the stains add to the overall look.
And I’m more or less done. I’ll let the kit marinate overnight and see if it requires more chipping tomorrow. Then the canopy’s clear insert will go on last.
Time for a more stress-free build in the shape of this Star Wars kit from the folks at Fine Molds. As usual with anything that looks like an aircraft, the cockpit is built first. It’s on the simple side but once the pilot is in place, most the things here can’t be seen.
With some paint, wash and highlights, the cockpit looks quite good.
The pilot is decently detailed and I gave it my own color scheme instead of the usual orange jumpsuit.
The pilot leans somewhat back in the cockpit due to the low roofline.
The kit comes with an elaborate base so I decided to mount the kit my own way. There’s a circular shape on the bottom which I drilled out and inserted a piece of rod that’s wider than the one which will attach to the base. I hope this section will add some friction to the mounting rod and reduce the spinning that might occur.
The Y-wing is a huge starfighter.
4 curved plates and a round dome make up each nacelle. Where each plate connects the support pylon will cover the seamline.
Details are great. I’ll just take it at face value that Fine Molds got all the gribbles right. I think the newer Bandai kit will have sharper details but this one’s no slouch at all.
I’ve heard good things about Fine Molds and these seem to hold up: the kit fits very well for the most part even though there are ejection pin marks on the support pylons and the bottom of the landing skids that require filler.
Anyway, due to how well the kit fits, construction is done in no time at all.
Painting’s next. I’ll be going with a custom scheme instead of the usual Gold Squadron colors.