Saturday, 15 April 2017

Star Wars R2-D2 - Bandai 1/12 Scale Plastic Model Kit [Completed]

It's hard to put my finger on why building the Bandai 1/12 scale model kit of R2-D2 was so much fun. If I had to hazard a guess it was the exaggerated sense of accomplishment in putting R2 together. Exaggerated in a good way. Because let's face it, the model kit is so well engineered and designed (apart from the seams on the domed head) that it doesn't take much skill to put together and have it look awesome even when unpainted. Of course going forward it's then up to the respective modeller to take it to another level with the appropriate painting and weathering effects.   

Bandai Star Wars 1/12 scale R2-D2 plastic model kit [Completed]
Weathering effects and panel lining on R2's main body helped to increase the astromech's level of realism
Painting R2's metal parts with blue, silver and gold metallic paint was essential in mitigating its toylike, plasticky look

Anyone researching a movie-accurate colour scheme (specifically A New Hope) of R2 would have noticed that the astromech's main body/chassis is actually ivory in colour. It's not, as many would believe, a hue arising from a weather-beaten white chassis. At least that's what I can gather from reference photos found in Star Wars Costumes, The Original Trilogy by Brandon Alinger.  

There is actually an option for R2's third (or centre) leg to be retracted into the main body
Painting R2's main body ivory is an option for future iterations but for now weathering on white will suffice
Back view of the completed 1/12 scale R2-D2 plastic model kit

So I had a choice. Either maintain an accurate colour scheme by repainting R2's main body in ivory or keep the whites and apply slightly heavier weathering effects all-around. Ultimately, I decided on the latter as the blues in this version of R2-D2 isn't exactly movie-accurate either. Coupled with my gamble on the unsightly seams backfiring, it seems silly to get only parts of R2 right. Moreover, I will likely attempt another more fully movie-accurate version of R2-D2 down the line anyway. 

It was tempting to over-weather R2's main body, something I resisted as best I could
Weathering was accomplished using Tamiya Weathering Master products

It's fitting that this model kit comprised two different droids in one set. When paired together for a photo shoot, they look simply adorable. Apart from the seams, another design decision I feel Tamiya should have taken with this model kit is to mould R2's main body in hues similar to BB-8. But as you can see from the photograph below, shortcomings aside, both look great details-wise.  

Bandai Star Wars 1/12 scale R2-D2 and BB-8

Finishing a project always fills me with optimism of what's to come. With new techniques and more experience under the belt, I tend to have an exaggerated sense of self-confidence in my hobby skills. While not necessarily a reflection of reality, it is nonetheless a feeling I should act upon or I won't ever dare attempt any of the projects I'm contemplating. This to-do-list comprises painting vehicles at various stages of decay - from weathered to rusted beyond repair; creating more intricately detailed paint designs for miniatures; as well as begin work on C-3PO who is a relatively harder droid to built and paint, amongst others. So I had better get started before this feeling of euphoria dissipates.


  1. What an absolute triumph! So very impressive!

    1. Thank you very much Michael ... much appreciated!

  2. Fantastic work on the R2 D2 !

  3. R2 D2 looks simply stunning. Kudos as ever. :)

  4. Brilliant work on your little astromech! I can almost hear him whistle ;-)

    1. Ha ha ... so kind of you to say so. Thank you! :)

  5. Seriously, I cannot believe what I'm seeing here. Incredible work! :O :O :O

    1. Thank you for your kind, kind words Suber! ^_^


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