Bandai’s 1/72 A-Wing Starfighter: Getting The Paint On A Wing, And A Wing, And A Tail (Or Two)

After last week’s embarrassingly fan boi ode to all things Bandai, I decided to put it to the test, and paint the basic colors prior to assembly, snap it up, and see what happened. And I’m happy to report, it worked out pretty darn nicely.

I first removed all the parts from the sprues, and mounted them on my pterodactyl sticks, Gunpla style. The black parts received a coat of Badger’s Stynylrez Black primer, the white parts primed in gray from the same brand, and more of Badger’s oddly named primer was used for the crimson parts, those being done in white.

My purpose for the different colors was simple. Black was used because… well, it was black. I used it as primer and paint, knowing other colors and drybrushing would be applied over the top.

For the white parts, I primed in gray because I’ve found that using a slightly off white color works best for white. If I prime in white, I can’t see very well where I’ve painted and where it’s still primer. A light gray prime coat solves this, and can allow for some pre shading if you desire.

For the crimson parts, I used white as the primer coat because I wanted those to be a bit brighter, to really pop, even after applications of later weathering.

So it takes a little longer, but I think it’s helpful to use a multi color approach for priming.

For the paint, I used Vallejo Mecha Color’s Off White (69.003), and Dark Red (69.011). As I have previously mentioned in other blog posts, I’m quickly finding that the Vallejo Mecha line is my go-to choice, as it airbrushes well straight from the bottle, yet is thick enough to brush paint nicely also. It goes down in a nice, smooth, slightly satin coat, and is not finicky in the least in my experience. I still will make use of Tamiya and Ammo of course, but I have decided when those stocks run out, I will be replacing them with Vallejo Mecha Color where I can find matches.

The cockpit features a high contrast background, and plenty of bright blinky lights, all of which will hopefully show well through the canopy.

I gave the interior bits a dry brush of Vallejo Sky Gray (70.989), and then picked out details in some bright colors. I used the Sky Gray with purpose- because the canopy will be closed, I wanted a high contrast look between the edges of the cockpit details and the black interior. I thought such a sharp distinction would show up best. The use of bright colors for the various doodads on the panels was twofold. One, I wanted them to stand out. Two- and really primary in my mind- I think scifi cockpits work best with bright, blinky looking knobs and so forth. Watching all of those shows as a kid in the 70s really made an impression on me!

All the exterior parts were airbrushed in their respective colors, and after allowing for overnight drying, I snapped the kit together in about 20 minutes.

And it worked. (Mostly.)

The only place I should have been a little more careful with is the upper crimson and white parts boundary. If I’d have not pushed the parts tightly together, they would have lined up perfectly. As it is, there is a small step there, yet I don’t think it looks out of place. I did try to pull it apart, but the fit is so tight, I decided I’d leave it as is, and just work with it.

The kit supplies decals for a few of the shaded panels, but I decided to paint them, using Vallejo Sky Gray and Ammo of Mig Light Brown-Gray (AMIG0120).

Overall, I was very happy with the way it turned out.

Once snapped up, I applied a coat of Future, and added the few small decals. The decals in this kit aren’t great, having a bit of the “dot matrix” appearance, but by only using the small ones, it’s not too noticeable. If you do use the supplied decals for the colored panels, it will show up a little more on very close examination.

Of course, there is still quite a bit to go, with panel lining, weathering, etc. But I am really, really, really enjoying this kit. It’s an easy build, and I think the color scheme just looks cool. 

Try one yourself, and let me know what you think!

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