Saturday, 2 February 2019

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper - Bandai 1/12 Scale Model Kit [Unboxing and Pre-Assembly Review]

With three projects on my plate including a recent unboxing of the VW Beetle, I wasn't looking to add to the worktable let alone do another unboxing so soon. But with all said projects being long term ones, I just felt the need for a quick pick-me-up project that didn't require too much thought in the execution of its assembly and painting process. Cue entry of the Bandai Star Wars 1/12 scale First Order Stormtrooper model kit of an elite infantry soldier as seen in Episodes VII and VIII of the Disney/Lucasfilm mega-franchise i.e. The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi respectively.  

Bandai Star Wars 1/12 scale First Order Stormtrooper
Side box art of the Bandai First Order Stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

At a quick glance, this particular Bandai Star Wars scale model kit looks much less daunting than your average military armored fighting vehicle (AFV) or sci-fi Gundam equivalent. Parts count is fairly low, spread out over six sprues of varying sizes. Moreover, the instructions seem to point to a relatively straightforward build coupled with what I expect to be minimal painting requirements.

At a glance, this model kit doesn't look as daunting as say an AFV or Gundam kit
Pictures showing the potential of how the First Order Stormtrooper can or should look like
Assembly guide for the Bandai 1/12 scale First Order Stormtrooper

All parts come molded in only two colors - black and white. And with the exception of metallic grey, that's really all the colors the First Order Stormtrooper needs in its paint job. If one is not so inclined to paint the kit once it's build, there's always the alternative in the form of either metallic grey decals or stickers. Neither option appeals to me so any metal parts will be painted. The only other parts that I foresee will need painting would be the black ones to differentiate between glossy and matt surfaces.

Sprue A1: Weapons, interior armor, hands, soles of boot, etc.
Sprue A2: More weapons, interior armor, parts of display base, etc.

Meanwhile, the glossy white parts which largely constitute the First Order Stormtrooper's armor will be left in its original plastic state. The reason for this is two-fold. One, even left untouched the armor already looks a lot like its real life equivalent. And two, I do not intend to weather the armor with dirt, dust, mud or stains with the stormtrooper to be displayed with the armor in pristine condition. But an intention to weather the piece would necessitate the priming, painting and clear coating to protect the plastic from thinners that would likely render the plastic brittle and cause it to crack.  

Sprue B1: External armor pieces for the First Order Stormtrooper
Sprue B2: More external armor pieces and the shield

Parts count is completed by sprues for the base as well as polycaps and joint parts to facilitate appendage movement and articulation. Hopefully the First Order Stormtrooper can be posed just as well if not better than the original Stormtrooper I had built and painted earlier.

Sprue SWB3: Display base & Sprue PCF-6AC: Polycaps and joint parts for articulation

In keeping with Bandai's Star Wars product line, their scale model kits tend to come with a decal sheet as well as stickers (see below). These accessories are meant for modelers who haven't the time nor inclination to paint their scale model kits. Stickers are easier to apply but decals look more realistic. While I haven't ruled out using decals in certain areas, it's likely I will paint if I can.  

Water slide decals (above) and stickers (below) for the Bandai 1/12 scale First Order Stormtrooper

The design of the First Order Stormtrooper lends itself easily to a scale model kit version. So much so that this is one of few scale model kits which can be built sans any painting or weathering and still look good. Because of this, I frequently see modelers overcompensate by slopping on way too much weathering. Perhaps it's an artist's way to stamp his signature over a piece. I too am no stranger to such temptations. But certain pieces need to be left alone as much as possible in order to look .... well, right ... if that makes any sense. And Bandai's First Order Stormtrooper is one such piece.


  1. It looks promising. Whatever decision you make about it, I have no doubt it will look spectacular

    1. Bandai Star Wars kits are very kind to modelers of all skill levels so it will be quite hard to FUBAR this one.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks ... it should, theoretically speaking, be a quick project.

  3. Looks very nice...and may be complex?

    1. Most of Bandai Star Wars kits are pretty simple to assemble. It's the weathering and/or painting that differentiates between the levels of finish.

    2. Can a 12 year old build this figure with nippers and sandpaper?

    3. Hello DANGerousO ... yes definitely. It's a snap-fit kit so the parts come together rather well without any glue at all. I would recommend a hobby knife with a curved blade as well as it can get rid of nub marks efficiently.

  4. Great unboxing / review Kuan ! The kit looks real nice.
    I'm looking forward to see it finished !

    1. Thanks Mario. Bandai kits are always fun out of the box. And this one needs minimal painting so less headache on my part.

  5. This will be so cool when finished.

    1. Based on my past experience with Bandai's original trilogy Stormtrooper kit ... I'm inclined to agree :)


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