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.
Brand: Bandai 0191406
Media: Injection Plastic
The X-wing is a starfighter used by the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. It is so-named due to how it resembles an X when its S-foils are locked in attack position. It is armed with a laser cannon on each S-foil and proton torpedoes. X-wings are designed for dogfighting and long range missions and is capable of unassisted hyperspace jumps. Like most of the Rebel Alliance starships, the X-wing has deflector shields that greatly enhance its survivability in combat.
The X-wing starfighter is the backbone of the Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps and was prominently featured in the Battle of Scarif, Battle of Yavin and Battle of Endor.
Info from Wookieepedia
Bandai’s X-wing starfighter is fully snap fit and features:
Out of the box, the markings only builds into Luke Skywalker’s Red Five from the Battle of Yavin.
Well, it’s a Bandai kit, so it snaps together perfectly with only a few seamlines. The only part that doesn’t fit perfectly is the clear canopy: I had to trim a bit on both parts before they snapped together.
Colors & Markings
At first, I was going to model this as Red Five. Then I watched Rogue One and thought I’d do this up as one of the Blue Squadron X-wings. But in the end, I went with modeling this X-wing as Wedge Antilles’ Red Two instead. Wedge is a fascinating character:
And yet, he barely had 10 lines of dialogue in the whole trilogy. Before Walt Disney bought the Star Wars license, Wedge’s story was expanded greatly (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wedge_Antilles/Legends). Since the take over, he has been retconned as a young Imperial defector (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wedge_Antilles) in the early days of the Rebellion.
So decided, I went ahead to research the markings for his X-wing during the Battle of Yavin. The 2 sources that I relied heavily on were:
I also came across some interesting facts about Red Two and the X-wings in general while researching.
Armed with the reference photos, I went ahead and masked and sprayed all the markings. I also handpainted Wedge’s helmet and his R2-A3 astromech based on the references.
For the base, I only used the Death Star surface plate and this was quickly painted over a black base, washed and drybrushed.
Since trying to replicate all the chips and streaks is an exercise in futility, I decided to go my own way with weathering. I did follow 1 prominent detail of Red Two which is a clean panel on the port upper nacelle. Weathering was handpainted chipping followed by panel wash and streaking with oil paint. I tried to go easier on the chipping and it seems to work out better than my Snowspeeder build.
In actual time spent, this kit didn’t take long to finish, but it was and on and off build between other builds so time-wise, it took a while. As usual with Star Wars kits, this was an immensely fun build with minimal fuss. Highly recommended for any Star Wars or sci-fi fan.
Number 6 of 2017
The following is a general step-by-step on how I finish my model kits. First up is a primer base oF black. I prefer black now over other colors because if I miss some areas later with the main colors, it’s pretty much instant shadowing. The final tones definitely don’t look the same compared to painting over brighter primers but I’m not that hardcore about color accuracy nowadays.
Nowadays I also like to add some tonal variations to the color scheme and have been turning to using white for this purpose.
Then it was a thinned coat of the main color. In this case it was Insignia White which is a very very light gray. I would have stopped here if this was a 1/48 scale kit, but the patchiness look over-scaled for 1/72.
So I went over with an even thinner coat of Insignia White.
I’m modeling Wedge’s Red 2 and based on reference photos, it has beige color accents all around the X-wing. These were all masked and sprayed. Note the chipped paint on the inside of the bottom s-foil. Sure looks natural doesn’t it? 😀
Next are the red markings which I also masked and sprayed. I based the dimensions of the chevrons on the s-foils from the decal sheet, which cames with Red 5 markings only. Why didn’t I just use the decals and cut off 3 bars to make Red 2? It’s because I wanted the red color on the wings and the nose to match. The nose stripes on the decal sheet weren’t unbroken as needed for Red 2. Red 5 also didn’t have red accents on the engine nacelles.
Weathering is next and I begin with chipping. Ever in need of practicing making chipping look random, I went ahead with chipping by handpainting.
I used a 000 brush to do all the chipping.
I ended up using 5 different colors for my chipping do show various ‘ages’ of the paint chips.
Then it was my usual wash with a very diluted raw umber oil paint. I then added some black to the wash and added darker streaks.
One last detail I added was a clean panel on the top port engine nacelle. There are pictures on the Internet that shows the studio model of Red 2 having this particular detail. This was simply masked off and carefully sprayed white. I then added some light chipping with light gray. This replicates a newer replacement panel which I think adds more to the look of a heavily used machine.
Another thing I tried to replicate was the look of ignited thrusters with combinations of red, transparent red and white colors. I’m not sure I pulled it off that well though. Anyway, it’s all a learning experience.
In any case, I’m done.