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Fine Molds' 1/72 scale
X-Wing Fighter

by John Hoffman


X-Wing Fighter


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A long time ago, in a small town, far, far, away, a little kid wondered out of a movie theater stunned by what he had just witnessed. Witnessed twice, actually. When the first show ended I refused to leave, so my Father let me stay and watch it again. And with that a new shape and been burned into my brain, alongside all my other favorites. The X-Wing Fighter...



Construction and Painting


Fine Molds has produced a very nice little kit of this iconic Sci-Fi space fighter, and no real problems were encountered during it’s construction. The kit was built straight from the box, with the exception of shortening the Targeting Scope arm. I did alter the assemble sequence slightly so that I could paint and decal the model in subassemblies.


My one complaint about any of the Fine Molds Star Wars kits is that the bases are not very interesting. Maybe if they were transparent?

In any case, I decided to scratch build/Kit bash a new base for mine. I started with a piece of .040 Styrene cut to follow the top edge of a cheap pine base purchased at Michael’s. this was the scribed, at various distances for panel lines. To this different size and thickness Styrene bits were added to give some variation. The rest came from my bits box, including the Heat Sink. Just like the Studio models. I did use the upper part of the Fine Molds base, the cradle holds the model very well....I just wish it had been clear....... I positioned it so that the X-Wing Would appear to be climbing out of an attack run.


I chose “Red 3” because it is the most beat up of the four options. As with some of Fine Molds 1/72 aircraft, all of the markings are provided as decals.

These are “Pre weathered” but only so far as chips and scratches. Some of the colors seemed very bright, the green in particular. After reviewing my references, I decided to lose the green decals and mix a color that matched the photos. An extra incentive was that “Red 3” has a shorter Afterburner can on the upper right engine, according to Fine Molds. I could not find any reference to support this, but it looked cool and gave me an idea.......But first things first.

Painting the Pilot and Cockpit kicks off the build. The kit decals provide the main helmet markings for each of the different choices, but I wanted to go a little further, so I loaded the DVD and watched the various shots of Bigg’s Helmet and mustache..... You have to have that! Once I was satisfied I had seen the dogfight above the Death Star enough times I freeze framed a good shot showing the markings and copied them with Citadel acrylics. Citadel was also used for the bright orange flight suit.


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Now for the cockpit color. No color is listed. I found an English translation of the instructions, but it just says to use “Fuselage color.” Not much help. There is however a color equivalents chart which listed Gunze and Tamiya colors to use. I went with Tamiya. The Fuselage color is a mix of X-2 +XF-20, 1 to 1. This produced a medium grey, but still to dark in my opinion so I added more white until It looked right. Most X-Wings I have seen finished end up to dark, so I wanted to avoid that.

After a quick spray of “Fuselage” color I painted in the details and added the Instrument decals. Everything was sealed with Future and a wash was applied with lamp black oil paint to dirty things up. A little weathering was applied to the helmet as well.


After a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000, painting began, I used Testors' Interior black for presiding. Then applied my “Fuselage” color, leaving a little black peeking through here and there.

After the base color was on, I masked off areas to be lightened or darkened, to add some depth.

All of this was done using the base color, slightly tinted, so as not to be to stark. The entire model was sealed with future for decaling.


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The decals are very high quality and laid down very well with the help of Micro Set and Sol. I did not use all of the kit decals. There are some very tiny black “dots” that were just too much for me so I skipped them. The Canopy frames are also supplied as decals. I was not sure about the color, though, and the idea of masking around the decals later for the flat coat was not appealing....

As mentioned, Fine Molds provides decals for all the markings, plus additional color panels. These may represent replacement panels or repairs. My reference for “Red 3” showed that this was incomplete or, in the case of the lurid green, just wrong. I mixed Tamiya colors to match the decals, or photos as the case may be, and added these additional panels. Chipping was then added using the base color.



Once again every thing got a coat of Future in preparation for weathering. I used lamp black oil mixed with Turpenoid, applied in a fairly heavy wash.

This was then wiped off after a few minutes. Back to that Short AB engine. I decided that this would be a good opportunity to make my X-Wing a little different. The Yellow stripe on that nacelle is correct, so the whole thing may be meant to be a replacement. Maybe from an earlier Airframe? Thoughts of Pacific Corsair's, and Russian front 190’s...... Well, OK, I did not go that far but I did dirty it up a bit more. After all the washes, I went in with the air brush and added all the scorching and some subtle discoloration. The Afterburners were painted with Testers Burnt Iron. Once I was done “noodling” everything, Testers Flat lacquer was used to give it a nice uniform satin sheen.

The base was painted using the same techniques and materials as the X-Wing.



The greys are all variations of XF-63 German Grey. The color is intentionally dark, so that the X-Wing would stand out from it.

The photos were taken using an Olympus C-2100 UZ set to Aperture priority.

Now I need to build a Tie Fighter chasing it...



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2006 by John Hoffman
Page Created 07 October, 2006
Last Updated 21 February, 2007

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