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Imperial TIE Interceptor
TIE One On

by Valentin E. Bueno


Imperial TIE Interceptor

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Sergeant Etal Nepo grimaced as his station on the production line shook and sparked. Another direct hit from the Rebel fighters sent smoke and shrapnel flying into the factory.

None of the production line robots took notice, but the skittish pilots waiting in line behind him for their fighters ducked for cover. The Imperial Air Arm sent their pilots directly from the Imperial Pilots School to the factory to pick up their new steeds. The situation was desperate and fighters often left the factory unpainted.



A loud zap caught Etal’s attention as TIE Interceptor Serial No 3553 got its last weld and was sent down the line to the his Imperial Fighter Production Acceptance Station. He gave it a cursory look, kicked the solar panel and gave the next pilot the nod.

The Imperial Youth pilot ran up and reported for duty. She was a young thing, barely over 17 and thrust into a fighter ship to defend the Empire. She eagerly jumped into the cockpit, strapped herself in. Etal closed the hatch, gave it two slaps with an open hand and off she went. He watched her smoothly guide the fighter out the production bay doors into the fight. TIE Interceptor Serial No 3554 arrived and Etal gave the next pilot the nod.




Fine Molds Has Done It Again

I was eagerly awaiting the release of Fine Molds’ Slave 1, when Hobby Link Japan announced the release of the TIE Interceptor. This is my favorite TIE fighter out of all the Star Wars vehicles, bar none. I hooped and hollered for a few minutes must to the consternation of my co-worker on the other side of the large format plotter. I promptly ordered several (X-mas was a few months away at the time of the announcement) and waited on pins and needles until its arrival. It arrived on New Years Eve, 2003 and I resolved that the TIE Interceptor would be the first kit I finish in 2004.


The parts for the central cockpit are the same as on the earlier TIE Fighter Kit. No surprises there. I didn’t plan on having the cockpit hatch open on this kit, so I assembled the cockpit stock sans the time consuming and not readily seen cockpit sidewall decals. I merely painted these parts Polly S Red Oxide, the floor and rear bulkhead F-15 Dark Gray and the hand grips and instrument panel RLM 66 Scale Black. The cockpit pod was assembled and set aside to cure.

The solar panels were designed in a completely different manner from before. Rather than having a central solar panel to glue the one piece frames onto as in the previous TIE Fighter kit, Fine Molds chose to mold the solar panels individually and the frame as one piece. At first I was confused as to how put all this together. After adding the first panel in place, it all became clear and adding the solar panels went quickly. I saved the little cannons for later, after I painted this “unpainted” TIE Interceptor.



Painting and Markings


Painting the Unpainted

I painted the frame of the solar panels with Metallizer Magnesium using a Tamiya ¼” wide brush. Since this model is so small and the flat areas are few and far between, I felt doing it by hand would save some time and effort. The solar panels themselves were painted Metallizer Titanium, the cockpit pod with Metallizer Aluminum Plate.

The pod had the largest “flat” areas and this required a little polishing with SNJ aluminum polishing powder to even out the brush strokes. Select details on the pod and solar panel frames were painted Metallizer Brass, Titanium and Steel.



Since this model was representing a fresh from the factory TIE Interceptor, I added no weathering.





And that’s all folks! I hope Fine Molds releases other TIE fighters from the movies in 2004, TIE Bombers, DV’s TIE Fighter and so on. Now back to my Airbus 380 with the badly warped wings...



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Valentin E. Bueno
Page Created 25 February, 2004
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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