Monday, June 27, 2016

Star Wars 1/12 Scale Models

I was never really into models when I was little - they always seemed excessively complicated and I couldn't wrap my head around the gluing and painting, etc. Over the last couple of years, however, I've started collecting 1/12 scale (6") Star Wars figures, which tend to be a nice step up over the 3.5" ones I collected in the 90's through high school. Enter a new interest in model kits.

Recently, there have been releases of several 1/12 scale Star Wars models - mostly notable characters like Darth Vader and stormtroopers, as well as various droids. For my birthday this year, I was given not one, but three models to build: C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8. 

The first one I built was C-3PO, mostly because I received him first. When I was first researching these kits, I also discovered that there was a guy in the UK who was making these delicate little electronics that would light up C-3PO's eyes. This seemed like a great way to mix some tech into the model building, so I went ahead and ordered that too. I should mention that these kits are all snap-together, so they typically wouldn't take more than about an hour to build, tops. Adding the electronics to C-3PO turned that into a 6+ hour ordeal, with me having to drill out sections of his body for running the hair-thickness wire down from his head to his foot. In the end though, he came out great, and the eyes really do bring another dimension to the already fantastic sculpt of the model.

R2-D2 and C-3PO

Next up were the R2-D2 and BB-8 kits. They came in a 2-pack, and were much faster to build, having no tiny wires to hook up. I did find a way to make them more complicated too, however. For these two, I decided that the finished models looked much too clean compared to how they're usually seen in the movies, and so I wanted to paint them with a more weathered look. I'm no painter, but I've seen enough examples and tips from my time reading threads on to know about doing washes and weathering. Using mixes of black, red, gold, and silver paint, I think I did a pretty good job of capturing the appearance of a droid that's been rolling around in the dessert or getting caught in the mud on a swampy planet. Again, the painting took much more time than the actual construction, but I think it paid off.

BB-8 giving his "thumbs-up"

One final addition was a tiny blue flame for BB-8, to match his "thumbs-up" scene in The Force Awakens. This was done with a little bit of hot glue and some blue paint.
I had a blast building these kits, and I can't say for sure if I'll do more, but I'm keeping an eye out on what kits are being released.

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