Sunday, 8 October 2017

Star Wars Snowspeeder [WIP - Initial Dry Fitting of Parts Painted So Far]

When I first started out in this hobby I always grappled with the dilemma of either painting a fully assembled kit or painting individual parts before putting them all together. Of course I now know this to be a false dilemma. There is a third option that lies somewhere in between both extremes. And the Bandai 1/48 scale Star Wars Snowspeeder is a good example of this in which a few sub-assemblies can be build and painted before everything is put together. Using parts already painted so far, which incidentally is only up to Step 2 of 10, I carried out an initial dry fitting that you can see below.

Bandai Snowspeeder work-in-progress: initial dry fitting of parts painted so far
Many parts (e.g. repulsor/power system, air brakes, etc.) are still missing from this initial dry fitting exercise

In my earlier TIE Fighter builds, I had used canopy options sans any clear plastic coverings so as to allow better visual access to the cockpit area. A lack of lighting on the TIE pilots had necessitated my choice then. In contrast, numerous openings on the snowspeeder canopy meant I could now use the canopy option with a clear plastic covering. I'm fairly confident the visibility of the snowspeeder pilots will remain good even after the canopy is firmly attached to the ship's cockpit area.

Canopy openings have been installed with a clear plastic from the inside
Clear plastic on the canopy openings should prevent dust from getting to the pilots

Many parts are obviously still missing from this initial dry fitting exercise. Notably absent are the snowspeeder's repulsor/fuel/laser systems and air brakes. When these parts are attached, the upper hull will have a less monotone look as it receives more stripes of chipped orange paint. 

Upper hull of snowspeeder will eventually undergo weathering with pastels ...
... for the moment it's just basically panel lining on the basecoat ...
... and some chipped orange paint stripes

One key thing I wanted to find out from this exercise was to see how the pilots and cockpit area - as an integrated unit - would look like in relation to the upper hull. In any scale model kit, the focal point of one's eyes will more often than not rest on the accompanying figurines. It is more likely for a badly painted figurine to ruin a scale model rather than vice versa. Based on this early dry fitting, I'm completely satisfied with how Rebel pilots Wedge Antilles and Wes Janson has turned out.   

As of yet, the cockpit area has not been fixed with the canopy
Closeup of Rebel pilots Wes Janson (left) and Wedge Antilles (right) from the side
Getting 'metal' to show from 'scratches' gives the cooling fins a more 'weighty and solid' look 
Orange stripes on the forthcoming repulsor/fuel systems will add more colour to the whole scheme
Bright colour scheme allows the power generator/engine remains visible, albeit barely, through the cooling fins

Although this is only Step 2 of 10 of the build process, I fully expect things to gather pace after this. For one I've already determined which painting/weathering techniques to use in the subsequent steps. That means less time will be wasted on experimenting. Moreover I expect less paint-hours to be spent on the subsequent parts as none should be as time consuming as the two pilot figurines.    

Empty spaces at the bottom right and left corner is where the repulsor generators and fuel tanks will go
Overhead view of the work-in-progress snowspeeder
Bottom view of the work-in-progress snowspeeder
Its stating the obvious but things will look less empty once the repulsor/fuel systems are attached
Rear section of the snowspeeder is also missing its air brakes

Looking back at what has been done so far and what has yet to be done, it's becoming obvious to me that the snowspeeder is going to be a very easy build. It's the painting, weathering and decals that constitute the main challenges for this Bandai Star Wars scale model kit. 

Pilots add a badly needed injection of colours to the whole scheme
Closeup of both pilots from the reverse side angle

So the stage is now set for the final few sub-assemblies to be painted and put in place. Even once everything is in place there is still the weathering and decals to do. Best I get to it then. The weekend is almost over so I bid you au revoir and a pleasant week ahead.


  1. A wonderful model and paintjob!
    I agree about the need for weathering and other details to make this a great model. It would be a bit monotone without them.

    1. Thank you Wouter Wolput :) Weathering and decals maketh the model and there's a lot of that to do in the coming weeks.

  2. Oh, fantastic work! All is so perfect!

    1. Thank you Michał. It's early days yet and there is so much more to do.

  3. The project is really shaping up now - very well done! :)

  4. Your project goes more and more awesome indeed ^^

    Really can't wait to see it achieved my dear FeM ^^


    1. Thank you so much Mori kun. ^_^ I too can't wait and am impatient at my slow progress XD

  5. Nice, very very nice...the place to be!

  6. This is becoming one of my favourites. I love the way this is coming along, step by step. Great work!

    1. Thank you very much for your very kind words Suber. :)


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