Bandai: Star Wars Model Kits

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

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 :whistling:

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.


 
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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.
 
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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! :eek:




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...









 
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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.
 
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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.

 
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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.
 
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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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Here are some of my builds.

Luke's X-Wing Fighter
Darth Vader's Tie Fighter
SnowSpeeder

-Painted parts
-Detailed panel lines
-Painted figures
-Weathered


































































Next build will be the Tie Fighter (not the First Order), Slave 1 and the AT-ST. I hope Bandai would come up with the original trilogy Millennium Falcon.
 
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^this is seriously awesome stuff and what I hoped people would post cause I have none of the vehicles. Excellent work. I had no idea the X-Wing came with mini Astromechs and pilots.

Can I ask did you use the included stickers or is that all custom painted? And also, the weathering, can you comment on how you achieved that smokey exhaust fumes effect on the Tie Advanced and the proton torpedo target exhaust port. It is very well done.

Edit: one last question. Can you tell me your thoughts on the mini X-Wing. Are you satisfied with the level of detailing and quality at this small scale.
 
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^this is seriously awesome stuff and what I hoped people would post cause I have none of the vehicles. Excellent work. I had no idea the X-Wing came with mini Astromechs and pilots.

Can I ask did you use the included stickers or is that all custom painted? And also, the weathering, can you comment on how you achieved that smokey exhaust fumes effect on the Tie Advanced and the proton torpedo target exhaust port. It is very well done.

Edit: one last question. Can you tell me your thoughts on the mini X-Wing. Are you satisfied with the level of detailing and quality at this small scale.
The weathering is done by airbrush painting. I have used the decals supplied on the models. But some parts are painted because the stickers just don't lay well. Orange and dark grey accents on the snowspeeder are paint. Dark grey accents on the X-wing & tie fighter is also paint. All by airbrush. Panel lines are done with hand brush "000" (triple zero point).

Each X-Wing came with 2 pilots. One in sitting position for the cockpit and a standing one. It also came with 2 astromech droid. Can be built as two R2 units or one R2 and one R5. The SNowspeeder came with two pilots only. No extras. Tie fighter came with two Darth Vader figures. One sitting and one standing.

The mini X-wing is very nice for its details and price. Much better in terms of detail and function compared to its diecast metal counterparts from Hasbro and Hotwheels in my opinion. The wing also moves. It would be bettter to do a little of paint detailing and weathering during build though.

;)
 
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WOW! Looks great! And one question, after applying water slide decals is there something I should apply so they will not fad or fall off?
 
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Great thread idea Barf. Your 3P0 looks outstanding. I have that kit lying on the floor in the dinning room for the past week - opened the box late one night and said to myself "I'll need to set some time aside to do this right".

Nicadraus your pictures are amazing. Great actions shots, i love that stuff! Any thoughts of doing LED lights?
 
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Thanks guys! ;)

WOW! Looks great! And one question, after applying water slide decals is there something I should apply so they will not fad or fall off?
You can top it with clear coat in matte finish. First, step is misting. Do not do the actual painting because the thinner based paint will cook or warp the decals. Mist it with 2-3 coats at a proper distance if using a spray can or set the airbrush to mist spary. Once misting is done, you can proceed with the proper painting of the clear coat.

Nicadraus your pictures are amazing. Great actions shots, i love that stuff! Any thoughts of doing LED lights?
Actually, I've considered putting LED lights. I'm just too lazy now to do it. Maybe sometime... Hahaha!
 
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Bandai 1/12 Captain Phasma

I was really looking forward to this kit and it did not disappoint. This set can be summed up in one word, gorgeous!

Unboxing

Here are the box contents....



This was also the first time I have actually preferred using a sticker over the decal. Bandai actually included a silver foil sticker for one of her pouches. I thought that was a great touch.



The Build

This set is very similar to the FO Stormtrooper kit. The parts of the racks were logically placed and the cut points were not problematic. I didn’t find any of the parts fragile. It’s a good, solid build. Just seeing all that chrome reminded me of the C-3P0 kit and how beautifully shiny it was.

Some in progress pics…





 
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For the first time, Bandai included two options for a cape, a plastic one and a cloth one. I still have nightmares about the plastic Vader cape. But this cape is much better. Sure it limits articulation but it actually looks damn good.

The cloth cape is a felt type material. Yes, it's a bit stiff but at least they included an alternative. I actually like it better than the plastic cape. However, I did really like how they designed the front part of the plastic cape with the ribbon to simply rotate out of the way to make room for her arm to raise. I'll be making a custom cape of my own for sure now that I have a pattern to work with. I have to say the ribbon stickers are really high quality and have a fabric feel to them.






Paint

Hardly any paint is required for this set. Even less then the 3P0 kit. However, the blaster was incorrectly (in my mind) cast in silver chrome and that just won’t fly in my Star Wars universe. Phasma’s blaster has a slight gold tint to it so I had to try and replicate it. I used my TFA Visual Dictionary as a reference for the paint job.


Colour Palette (Tamiya Acrylic Paints)

All I did was add a few drops of X-20A Acrylic Thinner to some X-31 Titanium Gold. Applied the mixture to the entire blaster twice with thin coats and then added the black and red detailing. Pretty happy with it cause I was able to maintain the shininess factor.




Hasbro Black Series gun (top)


Hasbro Black Series gun (bottom)







 
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Impressions and Pics

I love it! Let the pictures speak for themselves. (These are pre-painting of the gun pics). Cloth cape would have been ideal.














And here she is with the Black Series cape.*Looks pretty damn good IMO. Might keep it this way until I make a cloth one.
 
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Verdict

If I had to say one thing it's Bandai did something that I think Hasbro BS Phasma could not do well and that is make me actually believe Phasma is female. It may not be to everyone's taste but I think it is more believable and still looks great. To me, BS Phasma looks like a football player. Her helmet is not supposed the same proportions as a FO Stormtrooper. It's narrower. This kit gets that right. BS Phasma is a nice figure but I have some issues with the proportions. I'm really interested to see how Mafex designs her but this Bandai kit is extremely well done. All I have to do is make a custom cape and it will be perfect. I’d rank this one 9.75 :D


 
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Nice build Barf! The Bandai is way much better than the Hasbro. I especially the wide helmet and fat thighs of the Hasbro. Hahaha!

I also like the felt cape.
 
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That BS cape looks pretty good on the Bandai Phasma Barf. If you get a chance I'd like to see a few shots of her from the back and sides with the BS cape. I don't have any Phasmas yet and that looks like it will be the route I go.

It looks like you got the gold on the gun perfect too. Nice!
 
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Thank you, both.

Gree, I will look into getting those pics for you.

In the meantime, check out this new mini model coming out. Looks like you get two for one in this set. And it also reveals on that there will be a mini Y-Wing model!


 
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I was just wondering, has anyone tried repainting a C-3PO yet? There are numerous multi-coloured protocol droids that could go with all of those repainted astromechs. Or would the chromed effect make it too difficult? Would be interesting to see if it's possible.
 
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I was just wondering, has anyone tried repainting a C-3PO yet? There are numerous multi-coloured protocol droids that could go with all of those repainted astromechs. Or would the chromed effect make it too difficult? Would be interesting to see if it's possible.
Funny you ask this. Did this last week. Removed the gold to create TC-14 or E-3P0 if you prefer. I'm thinking if I want to create some more colored protocol droids, I will repaint the Hasbro version instead if they don't need to be chromey. I got my eyes on creating more like K-3P0, R-3P0 and maybe a black death star protocol droid like included with the LEGO Death Star set 10188. I forget his name.

 
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Funny you ask this. Did this last week. Removed the gold to create TC-14 or E-3P0 if you prefer. I'm thinking if I want to create some more colored protocol droids, I will repaint the Hasbro version instead if they don't need to be chromey. I got my eyes on creating more like K-3P0, R-3P0 and maybe a black death star protocol droid like included with the LEGO Death Star set 10188. I forget his name.

Looking good, sir, as always. You've already inspired me to have a go at repainting the astromechs, I thought the next step might be to have a cracking at a protocol droids, but I wasn't sure how well it would work with the chrome. Can I ask how you removed gold? And did that reveal the silver or did you have to redo it? Thanks.
 
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That BS cape looks pretty good on the Bandai Phasma Barf. If you get a chance I'd like to see a few shots of her from the back and sides with the BS cape. I don't have any Phasmas yet and that looks like it will be the route I go.

It looks like you got the gold on the gun perfect too. Nice!
Here you go, Gree. Downsides are the head articulation is minimal and the cape makes it top heavy. But the proportions look pretty good all around IMO. What do you think?


 
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I was just wondering, has anyone tried repainting a C-3PO yet? There are numerous multi-coloured protocol droids that could go with all of those repainted astromechs. Or would the chromed effect make it too difficult? Would be interesting to see if it's possible.
I have read about people removing the chrome entirely with oven cleaner or methylated spirits. Then you can paint it like normal plastic. Always test on a piece of un-needed sprue first to make sure the chemicals you use won't damage the plastic! And of course, use gloves in a well ventilated area. If a chemical is strong enough to strip chrome then it's strong enough to cook your skin and lungs.

Here you go, Gree. Downsides are the head articulation is minimal and the cape makes it top heavy. But the proportions look pretty good all around IMO. What do you think?
That looks pretty sweet. Thank you for shooting those pics! That's probably the route I'll go since I have no sewing skills.

I'll probably fill the interior of her legs with a sculpting compound to add weight to the bottom of the figure and lower the center of gravity. I did it with Bandai C-3PO and I think it helps him balance better.
 
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Barf, you said the articulation is minimal. I can imagine there is no up/down but can she look side to side at all?

EDIT: I just saw in one of your previous pics she is looking to her left a bit!
 
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Looking good, sir, as always. You've already inspired me to have a go at repainting the astromechs, I thought the next step might be to have a cracking at a protocol droids, but I wasn't sure how well it would work with the chrome. Can I ask how you removed gold? And did that reveal the silver or did you have to redo it? Thanks.
Thank you. Removing the gold is quite easy. Submerge each piece in nail polish remover for 10 seconds and immediately wipe off with a soft cloth to avoid clouding. I used a cotton t-shirt. Buff till silver is shiny again. Nothing to redo.

Painting over top the chrome is not an issue. I did it with Phasma's back waist pack. Same with her gun. The paints sticks on nicely as long as you wash off the release chemicals. Washes also stick on nice too. I'm thinking of adding some colour washes to create some custom protocol chrome droids.
 
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I really like the pics of the Bandai Phasma kit, BARF. I always felt the Black Series Phasma, while a decent figure, wasn't shiny enough so I've been considering picking up the 1/12 Bandai Phasma. I'm not a painter, or much of a model builder (other than the recent Revell SnapTite X-Wing kits) so out of the box and assembled would I be happy with the figure? Or does it need some extra painting to really stand out?
 
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I really like the pics of the Bandai Phasma kit, BARF. I always felt the Black Series Phasma, while a decent figure, wasn't shiny enough so I've been considering picking up the 1/12 Bandai Phasma. I'm not a painter, or much of a model builder (other than the recent Revell SnapTite X-Wing kits) so out of the box and assembled would I be happy with the figure? Or does it need some extra painting to really stand out?
For the figure, you can easily get away with just using the included stickers. Check my original post above for a picture of the sticker sheet.

The only problem is the gun. There are no stickers for the gun expect the three red bars. Painting the gun would be your only hurdle since it's entirely cast in silver chrome out of box. If that is too much to deal with then you could always use the Habro gun on the Bandai kit. Same with the cape.

IMO the Phasma kit is a good starter kit. Might be worth a try.
 
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If this is half as good as the 1/72 version it will be amazing. I'm in for at least 5 since that's how many different Y-wings ILM built during production.
i just got in the mini Star Destroyer and the detail on it is insane. I have no doubt the Y-Wing will follow suit.
 
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As with the 3PO kit, there's probably one set of pre-posed arms, and one set of poseable arms. The pre-posed arms are probably just more aesthetically pleasing. At least, that seems to have been the reason in 3PO's case.
 
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