|Bandai 1/12 scale Darth Vader, work-in-progress with head and upper torso completed|
For the upper torso, I focused on Vader's chest armour with its alternating metallic gun metal and gloss black stripes, the chest panel controls, the inner/outer cloak, and his undergarments i.e. clothing with a horizontal crosshatch design. The chest armour was given a primer/basecoat of Citadel's Abaddon Black with Boltgun Metal used for the metallic stripes. Then the black stripes were glossed back up using Vallejo Gloss Varnish. Meanwhile, Vader's chest panel was painted using Citadel Skull White, Abaddon Black, Fortress Grey, Ultramarine Blue, Red Gore, Blood Red, Chainmail, Boltgun Metal, Warplock Bronze, Dwarf Bronze and Vallejo Gloss Varnish. So much paint for so little effect!
|Parts of the upper torso, after painting using Citadel and Vallejo acrylics|
|Originally, the breastplate had a shiny sheen on which black decals were supposed to be applied (top). Instead, I decided to basecoat it black, add metallic silver and then apply a gloss coat on the black stripes (bottom)|
|Details on the chest panel were also painted; no decals were used|
For the upper torso's non-shiny bits namely Vader's undergarments and cloak, I used a warm matte black (pure Abbadon Black) and an even warmer black (Abbadon Black plus Kommando Khaki) respectively. Bandai's colour guide had recommended a cool black i.e. black plus a pinch of blue for the undergarments. However based on my own research on the actual costume used on the set of Return of the Jedi, I found the blacks to be 'neutral warm' - somewhat less warm than the cloak.
|Barely half complete, Bandai's Vader would still look good as a bust|
|My empire for an arm ... or two|
|A nice silhouette for s stamp, don't you think so?|
|A clear view contrasting the glossy black of Vader's helmet and the warm matte blacks of his cloak|
Being used to some excellent detailed sculpts at way smaller scales I suppose I should be expecting great details from a 1/12 scale model kit. Nonetheless, I was still pleasantly surprised by the effort and attention Bandai's designers had put into making this one of the most, if not the most impressive Darth Vader figurine at this price range (roughly ¥2,592). Proportion-wise Bandai has nailed it!
|Back view of Vader's work-in-progress upper torso|
|Gloss and matte black look like two completely different colours|
|Proportions seen on this side view highlight just how right Bandai got this one|
From here on out, there will be four main considerations when painting Darth Vader: his belt; clothing (rest of the cloak, codpiece plus undergarments); appendages; and weapon (lightsaber handles). Seeing that Vader is in 1/12 scale which is rather large; the rest of the black to be painted can be done as a single flat coat because the clothing pieces are large enough to catch light and provide sufficient contrast without having to paint in the highlights. So things should speed up considerably with only the belt and lightsaber handle providing any real challenge. As such I should be able to put up another progress post before the week is out. Until then, it's bye for now.