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Thread: Bandai: Star Wars Model Kits

  1. #1

    Bandai: Star Wars Model Kits

    Please use this thread to discuss and showcase any of your Star Wars Bandai model kits

    Hello All! 2015 was a great year for Star Wars action figure fans, but for me it was the introduction to a new, cool pastime of mine, kit building. Never in a million years did I think it would be fun, relaxing and in some cases be more satisfying than collecting the Hasbro Black Series line. These sets are extremely movie accurate and very detailed. But not many collectors know about them. The Star Wars Bandai model kit line includes 1/12 (6") action figures, scaled vehicles and now mini (non-scaled) vehicles. So let's share our kit building experiences!

    In case you haven't figured it out, I have a little kit building problem

    I have purchased almost every 1/12th scale (6") Bandai Star Wars figure kit so far. I am also really into custom painting these models. I have recently joined this site and have found there are many people here who share the same passion for kit building. So I wanted to bring a thread over from another site that I created to maintain and update here since I am here more often. Hopefully we can all help each other and raise awareness of this amazing line. Please feel free to post your own Star Wars Bandai kit pics and thoughts as well.

    Anyone who might be on the fence about purchasing any of these kits, this is the thread you're looking for...so here we go...


    First a quick summary

    What are Bandai kits?

    They are plastic models that you build piece by piece. The parts are still on the racks straight from the factory mould which need to be cut off and trimmed. You assemble the kit by simply snapping the pieces together as indicated in the instructions sheet. No glue is required. Each set includes a sticker sheet (green background) and a water decal equivalent (blue background). Of the two, I prefer the water decals. Less noticeable. But actually my preference is to paint the detailing whenever possible.

    Bandai kits are not toys like the Black Series line. They are beautiful model display pieces that can pose extremely well due to their lighter weight and superarticulation. Rough play is not recommended.




    What tools do I need?


    All you really need are...



    Small, angled flush cutters - this will allow you to cut as close as possible to the part so as to leave only minimal flash (Here is the flush cutters I bought)...the flash can then be carefully removed with...





    X-Acto knife - a good one used for crafts serves well. I got mine from the dollar store and it came with a lots of extra blades and a rubberized grip.

    I've never had the need for any other tools. These kits literally just snap together.


    What if I break a piece?

    Some Bandai pieces can be thin and fragile. I've broken my share. Here are some modeling adhesives that might help that I've used before.




    Painting

    Painting is NOT necessary. But I do highly recommend it as it just takes the kits to another level of awesomeness. Painting seems intimidating but take it from me who has never had any experience painting a thing in my life. It's not that hard. It's actually quite relaxing and rewarding. If I can do it, anyone can.




    Painting prep procedure

    Before painting you should always submerge your racks/parts in soapy water. I use dish soap and gently rub the parts with a soft bristle children's tooth brush to get in all the grooves. This will remove the mould release chemicals, allowing for better adhesion of the paint (and stickers/decals too). I was shocked how oily the parts are if not washed. Before painting some people will also apply a primer.

    I always decant my paints in a separate paint tray that has 6 mixing wells. I got them from the dollar store. My decanting and mixing is very unscientific. I literally take Popsicle sticks and scoop out a bit at a time.

    Make sure you mix up the paints first though. Cause the acrylic and paint naturally separate when sitting idle. I use wooden shrimp forks I found at the chinese grocery store lol Lately I've just been using the cocktail forks to decant the paints. I only decant what I need which is usually very little, like four drops at a time.




    Painting technique

    My technique is not very sophisticated. I don't own an air brush set and I have zero previous experience. But I prefer to use Tamiya acrylic paints because they are normally self leveling and easy to work with.

    I apply my paint with synthetic paint brushes. I prefer Taklon. They are golden/orange in colour, sometimes brown, very durable and have a natural feel to them while brushing. They are also cheap. Michaels has them, Walmart and dollar store too. I tried natural horse hair bristles and that was a terrible experience. Taklon brushes are available in varying sizes but make sure you get some extra fine tipped ones. A 20/0 brush works great for fine detailing.




    My Toothpick Technique

    When dealing with smaller detailed parts sometimes it's hard not to apply excess paint. This is ok. Just gently scrape off excess with a toothpick once dry or something that won't scratch the surface. You don't have to be so precise when painting.


    Helpful Painting Agents

    Apply thin layers if you are concerned about unevenness. Add Tamiya X-20A acrylic paint thinner to help you achieve this. The thinner also contains a paint retardant, causing it to not dry out as fast. Just add one drop at a time as needed until the consistency is to your desire. You don't need much. I use a needle-less syringe I got with a prescription for my child's antibiotic. I like to use the thinner once the paint starts to dry out in the paint well or starts getting thicker. It's a good paint salvaging agent.

    Tamiya paints come in three finishes, flat (denoted by "F" on the paint colour code, semi-gloss (written on label) or gloss (default). Tamiya X-21 Flat Base can be sparingly added to any Tamiya glossy paints to flatten out the finish too. But if you use too much, your paint will frost up like wet icing sugar and you will not see any colour. You literally only need one or two drops. Test it out before applying. Make sure to let it dry fully. It looks glossy at first but then it flattens out real nice. This is a handy trick if you don't want to get three different versions of the each of the main colours. The reverse can be done using Tamiya Clear Gloss if you want to add a little more sheen.








    What about weathering effects?

    Many people create their own "washes" for that worn in look by just mixing a darker colour with water and then applying. There are also ready made products for this specific purpose. I like to use a thin coat of Tamiya Smoke X-19 mixed with X-21 Flat Base. This eliminates any reflection and really gives you a good effect (see Boba Fett kit pics). Another option which I am going to be experimenting with are weathering kits and panel line markers and dyes. Tamiya and Gundam have a range of products.

    Edit: I recently tried the Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color product here and Weather Master kit here and they are great. The panel line accent uses capillary action to spread the wash along the grooves. whatever is extra can be easily removed with lighter fluid and a Q-tip. The Weather Master kit is applied like make up.








    What if I really mess up?

    If you mess up, just submerge your plastic model part in this for a bit. The paint just lifts off. Rinse with warm water and you're back to normal and can start again. No risk really. Just don't use the "D" version (degreaser).

    Simple Green is non-toxic, eco-friendly and does not irritate your skin. I have used it plenty of times. Available at Canadian Tire here in Canada so probably somewhere similar in the US like Walmart or Home Depot.


    Full name: Barf-olemew ***Now Accepting Commissions***
    Check out my My 6" Astromech Customization Thread for more pics and info
    Also, check out my My Photo Album and Follow me on Instagram
    Star Wars Bandai Model Kit Discussion Thread BARF's Feedback Thread

  2. #2
    Holy smokes what an awesome resource! Subscribed!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TatooineSandworm View Post
    Holy smokes what an awesome resource! Subscribed!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks, dude. I got a lot of content to post so stay tuned...
    Full name: Barf-olemew ***Now Accepting Commissions***
    Check out my My 6" Astromech Customization Thread for more pics and info
    Also, check out my My Photo Album and Follow me on Instagram
    Star Wars Bandai Model Kit Discussion Thread BARF's Feedback Thread

  4. #4

  5. #5
    This is awesome stuff. Ive messed around with the Star Wars kits, but have always wanted to take that next step with painting/weathering. This is great info.

  6. #6


    Bandai 1/12 C-3P0

    This set is absolutely phenomenal. CHROME!!!! Makes my Revo 3P0 look like a KO.

    Behold the chrome-a-licious parts!




    One of the most satisfying aspects to this set are the abdominal wiring. I couldn't dare use the decals provided. Just a simple run of some gloss red and blue (royal blue/white mix), grey (black and white mix) and flat aluminum and black paint on the wires and it just looks so alive. The layering effect gives it a three dimensional look and feel.

    The eyes I painted with Tamiya Gold Leaf and then used a black sharpie to mark the pupils. I tried to put a bit of paint there but it kept running into the eye socket grooves. Painting it from the back didn't work either. It wasn't dark enough for me.

    Other areas I painted with Gold Leaf are the palm detailing and the bicep pistons (for the movable arms) and some of the back panel detailing (when cover removed). Also the four gold wire couplers visible on the front and back of the abdominal area.

    The restraining bolt I painted Gun Metal with Flat Aluminum accents. and I added a little white to the comlink.

    Note: be very careful when cutting some of the pieces off the mould. A few of the sprues are exposed on the exterior of the parts, which are vac-metal, so if you do not do clean cuts, you will experience some unwanted peeling. If your flush cutters are a little dull, you should consider replacing them.

    This set is a great medal ceremony 3P0. I'll have to remove the restraining bolt though. I have another set and I was thinking of adding a faint black wash to the chrome.

    Verdict

    This kit is honestly a near perfect model and is an excellent starter model formthe first timer. Even without paint, it's stellar. If I had to rate this kit, I'd say it's 9.9 out of 10. THIS is the protocol droid you're looking for...

    Here are some comparison and progress pics...









    Full name: Barf-olemew ***Now Accepting Commissions***
    Check out my My 6" Astromech Customization Thread for more pics and info
    Also, check out my My Photo Album and Follow me on Instagram
    Star Wars Bandai Model Kit Discussion Thread BARF's Feedback Thread

  7. #7
    Nice post. Looking forward to seeing more. Will you be collecting the Dragon model kits when they come out?

    I have the Bandai 1:144 Millennium Falcon kit (naturally), but I'm no modeller so I doubt if I'll build it. I also have the 1:144 Argonauts and Finemolds Chrome versions of the Falcon as well. Looking for the Anigrand version if anyone can help out.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodders View Post
    Nice post. Looking forward to seeing more. Will you be collecting the Dragon model kits when they come out?

    I have the Bandai 1:144 Millennium Falcon kit (naturally), but I'm no modeller so I doubt if I'll build it. I also have the 1:144 Argonauts and Finemolds Chrome versions of the Falcon as well. Looking for the Anigrand version if anyone can help out.
    I'm new to modelling and only have tried the Bandai offerings. I haven't jumped into the Bandai vehicle models yet due to space limitations in my display but they do look amazing. They do not currently offer a scaled AT-AT which is something I'd buy in a heartbeat. That Dragon AT-AT looks great but I assume they need to be glued? That's a deal breaker for me since I don't want the glue to effect my paint apps. Plus the strong glue fumes. That is why I prefer these new Bandai kits. No glue required.

    Having said that, I got this little mini Bandai model kit in this week. It's smaller than the palm of my hand and extremely detailed for its scale. This is exactly what I'm looking for. I could easily display these and custom paint and weather them.

    Last edited by BARF; 08-06-2016 at 09:47 AM. Reason: added image
    Full name: Barf-olemew ***Now Accepting Commissions***
    Check out my My 6" Astromech Customization Thread for more pics and info
    Also, check out my My Photo Album and Follow me on Instagram
    Star Wars Bandai Model Kit Discussion Thread BARF's Feedback Thread

  9. #9
    I am totally happy to see this thread. I use to build models as a kid and want to get back into it. Currently I have several revel kits that I am going to start working on to practice with and then move on to Bandai.

    I have my eyes on the OT x-wing, TFA X-wing, Tie Interceptor and possibly the A-wing. If they come out with a B-wing, that will be a definite buy for me. I am leaning towards getting the R2 and BB8 along with the R2 and R5 sets and may possibly grab the clone trooper to do some custom paint apps on it.

    I look forward to seeing your posts and reviews.

  10. #10
    Great thread BARF.

    Anyone who's complaining about there not being a decent C-3PO out there in this scale - the model kit is your answer. It's beautiful. Was the first model I've ever put together and I don't have any model kit tools. I just used a regular pair of tin snips I had and a toenail clipper for any excess parts. That's it. Maybe tweezers for the stickers/decals but to be honest, I only bothered with the eye stickers.

    One thing I highly recommend is get a lamp so you have a lot of light. Really helps.

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