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Old 12-15-2015, 05:42 PM   #1
MULTIPLEX
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Thumbs up Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread

My Running List

Bandai 1/12 C-3P0
Bandai 1/12 First Order Stormtrooper
Bandai 1/12 R2-D2 & R5-D4 (with R2-KT custom)
Bandai 1/12 Darth Vader
Bandai 1/12 Sandtrooper
Bandai 1/12 Captain Phasma
Bandai 1/12 Kylo Ren


Hello All!

2015 was a great year for Star Wars action figure fans, but for me it was the introduction to a new, cool pastime of mine, kit building. Never in a million years did I think it would be fun, relaxing and in some cases be more satisfying than collecting the Hasbro Black Series line. These sets are extremely movie accurate and very detailed. But not many collectors know about them.

I have purchased almost every 1/12th scale (6") Bandai Star Wars figure kit so far and I wanted to document them and show some of my paint work and maybe answer any questions you might have about the sets. Please feel free to post your own Star Wars Bandai kit pics and thoughts as well.

I also wanted this to be a place we can share tips and tricks and our reviews for those that might be on the fence for purchasing any of the kits. So here we go...



What are Bandai kits?

They are plastic models that you build piece by piece. The parts are still on the racks straight from the factory mould which need to be cut off and trimmed. You assemble the kit by simply snapping the pieces together as indicated in the instructions sheet. No glue is required. Each set includes a sticker sheet (green background) and a water decal equivalent (blue background). Of the two, I prefer the water decals. Less noticeable. But actually my preference is to paint the detailing whenever possible.

Bandai kits are not toys like the Black Series line. They are beautiful model display pieces that can pose extremely well due to their lighter weight and superarticulation. Rough play is not recommended.




What tools do I need?


All you really need are...



Small, angled flush cutters - this will allow you to cut as close as possible to the part so as to leave only minimal flash (Here is the flush cutters I bought)...the flash can then be carefully removed with...





X-Acto knife - a good one used for crafts serves well. I got mine from the dollar store and it came with a lots of extra blades and a rubberized grip.

I've never had the need for any other tools. These kits literally just snap together.


What if I break a piece?

Some Bandai pieces can be thin and fragile. I've broken my share. Here are some modeling adhesives that might help that I've used before.




Painting

Painting is NOT necessary. But I do highly recommend it as it just takes the kits to another level of awesomeness. Painting seems intimidating but take it from me who has never had any experience painting a thing in my life. It's not that hard. It's actually quite relaxing and rewarding. If I can do it, anyone can.




Painting prep procedure

Before painting you should always submerge your racks/parts in soapy water. I use dish soap and gently rub the parts with a soft bristle children's tooth brush to get in all the grooves. This will remove the mould release chemicals, allowing for better adhesion of the paint (and stickers/decals too). I was shocked how oily the parts are if not washed. Before painting some people will also apply a primer.

I always decant my paints in a separate paint tray that has 6 mixing wells. I got them from the dollar store. My decanting and mixing is very unscientific. I literally take Popsicle sticks and scoop out a bit at a time.

Make sure you mix up the paints first though. Cause the acrylic and paint naturally separate when sitting idle. I use wooden shrimp forks I found at the chinese grocery store lol Lately I've just been using the cocktail forks to decant the paints. I only decant what I need which is usually very little, like four drops at a time.




Painting technique

My technique is not very sophisticated. I don't own an air brush set and I have zero previous experience. But I prefer to use Tamiya acrylic paints because they are normally self leveling and easy to work with.

I apply my paint with synthetic paint brushes. I prefer Taklon. They are golden/orange in colour, sometimes brown, very durable and have a natural feel to them while brushing. They are also cheap. Michaels has them, Walmart and dollar store too. I tried natural horse hair bristles and that was a terrible experience. Taklon brushes are available in varying sizes but make sure you get some extra fine tipped ones. A 20/0 brush works great for fine detailing.




My Toothpick Technique

When dealing with smaller detailed parts sometimes it's hard not to apply excess paint. This is ok. Just gently scrape off excess with a toothpick once dry or something that won't scratch the surface. You don't have to be so precise when painting.


Helpful Painting Agents

Apply thin layers if you are concerned about unevenness. Add Tamiya X-20A acrylic paint thinner to help you achieve this. The thinner also contains a paint retardant, causing it to not dry out as fast. Just add one drop at a time as needed until the consistency is to your desire. You don't need much. I use a needle-less syringe I got with a prescription for my child's antibiotic. I like to use the thinner once the paint starts to dry out in the paint well or starts getting thicker. It's a good paint salvaging agent.

Tamiya paints come in three finishes, flat (denoted by "F" on the paint colour code, semi-gloss (written on label) or gloss (default). Tamiya X-21 Flat Base can be sparingly added to any Tamiya glossy paints to flatten out the finish too. But if you use too much, your paint will frost up like wet icing sugar and you will not see any colour. You literally only need one or two drops. Test it out before applying. Make sure to let it dry fully. It looks glossy at first but then it flattens out real nice. This is a handy trick if you don't want to get three different versions of the each of the main colours. The reverse can be done using Tamiya Clear Gloss if you want to add a little more sheen.








What about weathering effects?

Many people create their own "washes" for that worn in look by just mixing a darker colour with water and then applying. There are also ready made products for this specific purpose. I like to use a thin coat of Tamiya Smoke X-19 mixed with X-21 Flat Base. This eliminates any reflection and really gives you a good effect (see Boba Fett kit pics). Another option which I am going to be experimenting with are weathering kits and panel line markers and dyes. Tamiya and Gundam have a range of products.

Edit: I recently tried the Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color product here and Weather Master kit here and they are great. The panel line accent uses capillary action to spread the wash along the grooves. whatever is extra can be easily removed with lighter fluid and a Q-tip. The Weather Master kit is applied like make up.








What if I really mess up?

If you mess up, just submerge your plastic model part in this for a bit. The paint just lifts off. Rinse with warm water and you're back to normal and can start again. No risk really. Just don't use the "D" version (degreaser).

Simple Green is non-toxic, eco-friendly and does not irritate your skin. I have used it plenty of times. Available at Canadian Tire.


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Old 12-15-2015, 05:42 PM   #2
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Re: Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread



Bandai 1/12 custom painted. C-3P0 is absolutely phenomenal. CHROME!!!! Makes my Revo 3P0 look like a KO.

Behold the chrome-a-licious parts!




One of the most satisfying aspects to this set are the abdominal wiring. I couldn't dare use the decals provided. Just a simple run a some gloss red and blue (royal blue/white mix), grey (black and white mix) and flat aluminum and black paint on the wires and it just looks so alive. The layering effect gives it a three dimensional look and feel.

The eyes I painted with Tamiya Gold Leaf and then used a black sharpie to mark the pupils. I tried to bad a bit of paint there but it kept running into the eye socket grooves. Painting it from the back didn't work either. It wasn't dark enough for me.

Other areas I painted with Gold Leaf are the palm detailing and the bicep pistons (for the movable arms) and some of the back panel detailing (when cover removed). Also the four gold wire couplers visible on the front and back of the abdominal area.

The restraining bolt I painted Gun Metal with Flat Aluminum accents. and I added a little white to the comlink.

Note: be very careful when cutting some of the pieces off the mould. A few of the sprues are exposed on the exterior of the parts, which are vac-metal, so if you do not do clean cuts, you will experience some unwanted peeling. If your flush cutters are a little dull, you should consider replacing them.

This set is a great medal ceremony 3P0. I'll have to remove the restraining bolt though. I have another set and I was thinking of adding a faint black wash to the chrome.

Verdict

This kit is honestly a near perfect model. If I had to rate this kit, I'd say it's 9.9 out of 10. THIS is the protocol droid you're looking for...

Here are some comparison and progress pics...









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Old 12-15-2015, 05:52 PM   #3
thepepperskull
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Re: Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread

I bought a boba fett one with the intention of building it and never have.

I actually really would like to assemble a few of the droid sets.

These are very similar (as they come from the same company) to Gundam model kits, which I used to put together as a kid. Those were FUN to put together and I suspect this will be much of the same.
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by thepepperskull View Post
I bought a boba fett one with the intention of building it and never have.

I actually really would like to assemble a few of the droid sets.

These are very similar (as they come from the same company) to Gundam model kits, which I used to put together as a kid. Those were FUN to put together and I suspect this will be much of the same.
I have the Boba set waiting to be made too. I'm going to be converting it into a ROTJ Boba instead of ESB Boba. This is where the customizability (if that's a word) of the Bandai kit really gives the owner the freedom to make the figure his/her own. That's one of the best parts of owning these kits

Edit: updated pics of C3P0 above
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:12 PM   #5
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Re: Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread

Wow! Multiplex, thanks for posting all this info! I actually just logged on right now to send you a PM basically asking you about everything you posted. I am totally stoked to get some of these sets - just got my shipping notice now for the ones I bought, they should arrive after the Christmas break.

It's been 15-20 years since I've touched a model kit - I used to do a lot of classic cars, painted up nice, got about 2 dozen on the shelf. My brother and I used to use the small cans of automotive spray paint for them, but that's definitely overkill for the Bandai stuff. Where do you buy your Tamiya products? Local hobby store, or is there a good online site?

You did a beautiful job on that 3PO!
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:52 PM   #6
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Re: Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread

Thank you, wedge! It's one of my favorites.

I buy my paints locally from a couple hobby shops. One is a military model shop. You don't really need much cause you can create many shades yourself. They are 3.50. To 3.99 a bottle. You really won't need much cause really all you are doing is touching up areas and adding extra detail. Just be aware there are three finishes to many of the colours, flat matte, semi-gloss and gloss.

Look forward to seeing your models.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:06 PM   #7
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Re: Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread

I love these kits. I'm just finishing up the R2 and R5 models.

I'm having a hard time with the keylines. I used to do gundam about 10 years ago, so I'm familiar with the markers. I tried using a fine brush and a wash, which for the most part has been working ok.

I got Boba next, want to get Phasma for sure. Where you guys ordering these?
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:48 PM   #8
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Re: Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread

The Boba kit is probably the only Bandai kit that absolutely needs some extra detailing. Boba has to have battle damage and worn in fatigues, for me anyways.

As you might know, Disney put the squeeze on Bandai for selling these kits outside of Japan. So unfortunately, the usual places like HLJ, AmiAmi, etc no longer ship these to international buyers. Which really sucks cause now we cant get these for the early bird discount price. Likely a licensing issue. Interesting thing is their Figuarts line is fair game.

So where do we get these now? Well as wedge mentioned in another thread, eBay is one source. Preordered my Phasma kit from CDJAPAN. Never used them before but I hear good things. I had to ensure I get one of her cause I'm sure it will not be cheap on eBay.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:28 PM   #9
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Re: Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread

Thank you for this informational and in-depth post! I've been meaning to try my hands on model kits and custom painting. Now I can buy everything all at once! YAY!
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:15 AM   #10
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Re: Star Wars Bandai Kit Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by migstr View Post
Thank you for this informational and in-depth post! I've been meaning to try my hands on model kits and custom painting. Now I can buy everything all at once! YAY!
Not a problem. I hope you try one out

Btw I added some extra info about paint brushes and a few more comments about the C3P0 which I think will be helpful.
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