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I recently picked up a boxed set container a Resistance U-Wing as well as a TIE Striker, both of which debuted in Rogue One. I have been itching to build some TIE fighters after seeing some of great builds on the forum. While I'm waiting for delivery of my TIE fighters and TIE Advanced models from Japan, I decided to try out some colors on the TIE Striker.

 

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After seeing the meticulous masking required for the TIE solar panels, I decided to try out a shortcut. So I pulled out an old flatbed scanner and scanned one of the wings at 600dpi, then pulled it into Affinity Designer and drew shapes to mask the panels. I then exported the mask as an SVG file and imported it into the software which drives my Silhouette Cameo 3 cutter.

 

TIE-Striker-Mask.jpg

 

I decided to use transfer tape as the mask material since it has a low-tack surface. I applied a base coat of Badger Stynylrez Black then sprayed a light coat of Vallejo Metal Steel (thanks for the tip to @AndyRM101) . Below you can see the masks applied. The fit was close to perfect although the central solar panel section was every so slightly narrower on the bottom side than the top.

 

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For the TIE hull color, there seemed to be significant variance between Episode IV (which featured light gray TIEs) and later episodes which had a pronounced bluish hue. At one point I came across explanations related to advances in blue screen technology which allowed ILM to use non-gray colors for the later movies. I liked the gray/blue tone and this seemed to be what was used in Rogue One so I followed instructions on a thread on theRPF which recommended a 1:1 mix of Tamiya XF-2 Flat White and XF-82 Ocean Gray 2 for the gray/blue color.

 

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I probably should have applied the Vallejo Steel a little more liberally, but it still has a subtle metallic sheen that reflects the light nicely.

 

The Bandai models are designed to not require glue, which means that test fitting parts can require some degree of force to pull apart. Unfortunately, while trying to remove the cockpit part from the fuselage, I snapped off one of the two tiny laser cannons underneath the cockpit window. This part is a fraction of a millimeter in diameter and while trying to glue it back on, the force of the tweezers  on the cylindrical shape caused it to fly off somewhere under my workbench. After crawling around and eyeballing every gray speck under my workbench (and there were MANY) I actually found it. Predictably (for me) the same exact thing happened again with the tweezers rocketing the fragment in a random direction not once, but twice. After the third launch, I couldn't locate the damned thing, so I threw in the towel and decided to try another approach.

 

So I cut off both laser cannons and drilled them out with a pin vise, then cut a couple of pieces of wire to appropriate lengths as replacements. I tried to smooth down the rough edges of the wire left by the snips using a Dremel rotary tool with limited success.

 

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The model also came with a black rectangular base which featured a multi-position tip that inserted into the bottom of the TIE Striker. When I took some of the test photos with the included base, the shape of the dual axis swivels was somewhat distracting, so I decided to create a custom base. I found an old jar lid in the garage and a piece of dowel which I used to bolster a length of 3mm tubing. Painted black with a white decal cut on my Cameo 3 cutter, it bears a striking resemblance to the base AndyRM101 created for his TIE Striker. I had asked my son if he thought white, gray or silver decal would look best and he suggested that I go with white.

 

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Edited by teddylindsey

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Great work so far. That's a neat idea with the masks, and also with the jar lid for the stand. I'm still trying to find some suitable replacements for the included stands for my box scale builds.

 

Andy:cat:

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14 hours ago, teddylindsey said:

600dpi, then pulled it into Affinity Designer and drew shapes to mask the panels. I then exported the mask as an SVG file and imported it into the software which drives my Silhouette Cameo 3 cutter.

I have no idea what that lot means. Way above my pay grade!

The result, however, looks great.

I like the lid base too.

 

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22 hours ago, AndyRM101 said:

Great work so far. That's a neat idea with the masks, and also with the jar lid for the stand. I'm still trying to find some suitable replacements for the included stands for my box scale builds.

 

Andy:cat:

Thanks, Andy! I was really pleased by how well the masks worked out. I'll have to do the same for my TIE/LN and TIE Advanced models I have on order. For the bases, I'd love to spend some time creating scenic diorama bases for my various models. The trick is going to be finding the time. ;)

 

11 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I have no idea what that lot means. Way above my pay grade!

The result, however, looks great.

I like the lid base too.

 

Thanks, Pete! I found the contrast between the high-tech approach for the masks and the discarded jar lid pretty amusing.

Edited by teddylindsey

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I wasn't able to take many in progress photos, but I do have some notes associated with the photos of the finished model.

 

I'm torn on the design of this ship. My initial reaction was that it looks like a potato-bat, but it's grown on me. From certain angles, like the first image below, it definitely gives off the "swooping bat" vibe in "attack mode" when the wings are lowered, although it does make photographing details of the central pod difficult because the wing/solar panels obscure it.

 

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As I noted above, I had to replace the upper set of laser cannons with lengths of metal wire since I busted one off during handling. Luckily, they turned out pretty well and look good from the front.

 

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It seems like my lightbox washes out the metallic sheen of the Vallejo Steel applied to the solar panels. It looks much better in normal lighting.

 

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I I used Flory Black wash for the panel lines as well as Dark Dirt and Grime washes on the hull. Unfortunately, the tips of the laser cannons don't look so great from an oblique angle like below. I think it's due to not being able to sand the tips of the wire down perfectly. Every inaccuracy is greatly magnified on these little 1/144 models. I may have to get something better than reading glasses to see the detail since my eyes are definitely not resolving the same level of detail as these macro shots.

 

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It was quick little build and a good exercise to prepare for the TIE/ln and TIE Advanced models I have on the way.

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The color I chose for the hull (1:1 mix of Tamiya XF-2 Flat White and XF-82 Ocean Gray 2) came out a bit too dark and not quite blue enough based on screencaps from Rogue One. The  Flory washes definitely contributed to darkening the color since the original color seemed quite close to the photos before the washes were applied. I sealed the base colors using Tamiya TS-79 Semi Gloss Clear but it seems to have been more absorbent than I expected. I have a can of TS-13 Clear, which I've yet to try out. Is TS-13 Clear glossier than TS-79 Semi-Gloss?

 

Suggestions for a more appropriate base color or how to better preserve the original color when applying washes would be appreciated.

 

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Edited by teddylindsey

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On 8/22/2018 at 9:09 PM, teddylindsey said:

Suggestions for a more appropriate base color or how to better preserve the original color when applying washes would be appreciated.

I would think a wash would be designed to darken the color up. Even if only by a fraction. If so i would think painting the model in a slightly lighter tone would/should get the results you're after. Lighter tone + wash = color desired ? Of course thats just my thoughts and opinions and Im by far no expert. 

 

Dennis

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On 8/25/2018 at 10:33 AM, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I would think a wash would be designed to darken the color up. Even if only by a fraction. If so i would think painting the model in a slightly lighter tone would/should get the results you're after. Lighter tone + wash = color desired ? Of course thats just my thoughts and opinions and Im by far no expert. 

 

Dennis

Thanks for the tips, Dennis! I can definitely go with a lighter base color to compensate although I'd prefer to avoid this if possible. It sounds like spray-on sealers can alter the amount of wash pigment that is absorbed depending on their glossiness. I understand that glossier coatings are generally less absorbent than flatter coatings. I'll have to experiment with the various clear coats that I have to better understand the relative absorbency of each.

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As for colour, I'd suggest FS. 36375 Light Ghost Grey as a good match. Gloss coat the model, then once dry apply the Flory wash with a very fine brush as opposed to an all over everything type of wash, then remove any excess with a fine brush dampened with water. Seal the wash in with semi-gloss varnish.

Richard.

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