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Bandai 1/48 Snowspeeder

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I can't believe I'm confessing to this, but I've just started yet another build! This one is a project I've entered into the SMS Star Wars Challenge on Facebook, kicking off, quite naturally, on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth). I'm hoping to race through this one pretty quickly, as the challenge only lasts until 13 June anyway. Here's the kit in question:










It's an amazing box of superbly moulded parts, though the instructions are mostly in Japanese. For the markings, you can choose between stickers and conventional waterslide decals. Most people seem to paint everything, however.


For anyone in the need, English instructions and colour guide can be found at the following link:




In the interests of getting off to a good start, I've been clipping, cleaning up, and assembling Snowspeeder parts most of the day, instead of working. Now I have a small collection of sub-assemblies waiting for paint. I did manage to screw up the orientation of a couple of parts, however, which is pretty true to form for me!




Hopefully I'll find some time to start painting the cockpit tomorrow.



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I'm happy to report that I've made some progress with this one, though at the expense of other things I really should have been doing. I also made a big boo-boo along the way, more of which in a moment.


Firstly, the major cockpit components, all painted up and ready for assembly:














Painting all that tiny detail was a humbling and somewhat demoralising experience, though I'm happy enough with how it all turned out, and it should look fine under the canopy at normal viewing distances.


While I had the paints and detail brushes out, I also painted these bays in the rear laser cannon housings:




You'll have to forgive that I didn't follow canon with any of this, and instead just used colours I thought would look realistic. I believe the filming cockpits were a bit more drab.


Now, my big screw-up! In my enthusiasm for progress, I attached the rear cockpit cowl too early, which prevented me from being able to fit the rear console into the cockpit. I had to saw the cowl off, fit the console, and then reattach the cowl - shown below clamped into position:




It'll require a bit of remedial work at the join, but at least the build feels normal now. See, I can screw up even a Bandai kit!



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it nice to know other people can make mistakes too!

I try to have at least one satisfying screw up per build, sometimes I overdo that and get a surprise like having glued on windshields un-masked after paint and finding no HUD on the instrument panel.


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2 minutes ago, Neo said:

Wow , did you brush paint those details or airbrushed? I love the finish has perfect weathering, could you elaborate on the steps you did?


Almost everything is brush painted except for the base coat, for which I used MRP RLM 66 as a scale black. I really struggled with brush painting all those tiny details, and to my eye, a lot of it still looks pretty sloppy. Washes and some dry-brushing helped tie everything together, though. I mostly used Vallejo, Tamiya, and Gunze acrylics, and many of the smaller details were picked out using a toothpick instead of a paint brush. Since I wasn't trying to reproduce anything that actually existed, I just went back and forth with various colours until I was satisfied that things looked busy enough, but also still plausible. I'm definitely going to order a new set of detail brushes, though!



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It happens, Kev. I recall one time working on an Airfix L-1011. Nose weight added, check. Windows blanked off, check. Glued the fuselage together, only to realize about an hour later that I had completely left out the main gear wells! Once I pried apart the goo that was the seams, a quick install and I was back in business and hopefully a bit wiser.

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Some good progress on this one today. I managed to tidy up the damage I did around the rear cowl with some heavy applications of Mr. Surfacer 500, followed by clean-up with some cotton buds moistened with Mr. Color Levelling Thinner. After that, I could assemble the rest of the cockpit components and join the two hull/fuselage halves:




I'm taking a lot of inspiration for my build from one that Jon Bius built on his YouTube channel. In that build, he describes how he left the black rear section off for the painting and weathering stages, and fitted it towards the end, so I'm taking a risk by doing the same:




It'll be a tight fit, but I've deliberately not glued the two halves together along the back, so I can potentially pry them apart sightly to facilitate the process.


Another tip I got from Jon's build is to use the 2-piece canopy solution (rather than the 2-piece all clear alternative), mask the inner clear piece, and then assemble them temporarily for painting and weathering:




This can be popped off at the end, so that the interior frames and roof can be painted, and the masking tape removed. Jon even left his clear piece out, just like with the filming miniatures. I'll decide on that when I get there.


Here are all the major assemblies after a couple of light coats of Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500:




The black areas were painted first with Tamiya Rubber Black. I've decided to keep the Mr. Surfacer as the base colour, as it's pretty close to what I was aiming for anyway, and will make a good base for the subsequent weathering. I've also decided to try the kit decals for all the panel variations, rather than mask and paint them, so the next step will be to give the relevant components a good gloss coat. But if you've built this model and used the kit decals before, and lived to regret it, please let me know!



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