Star Wars TIE Fighters
Did you know that TIE stands for Twin Ion Engine? If you did, you’re a real geek. I found this kit in Salt Lake City. As I was collecting models anyway, I thought what the hell. I’m not a real Star Wars fan. I think after the first installment way back, it’s been nothing more than a George Lucas greed factory franchise.
Not having any particular love for Star Wars, I didn’t feel obliged to have plural copies of the kit as in the past and having just spent too damned long on the Enterprise-D, I wanted a quick kit.
The AMT/ERTL TIE Fighter kit comes with 2 TIE Fighters, which is cool. Two models for the price of two models. Unique. It came with an intricate Death Star Plain base, which I didn’t use.
I mixed my own colors for this kit as usual using Liquitex Basic Acrylics and airbrushed the blue/grey. I made a rather thin mixture and didn’t prime the kit (though I did wash it), so I hit it with half a dozen very light coats. Unlike previous kits, I painted the pieces before assembling them. The fit seemed tight enough and well hidden.
I spent some time on the cockpit, painting all the controls and the pilot. Not only is there the big front clear canopy you can look through, there’s also a clear top hatch which opens. The interior couldn’t be ignored. I’ve done enough figure painting that it was an easy task to paint it. However, I forgot to clear away the paint before gluing the pilot to the seat so had a bit of battle getting them to sit down right. It was easy to assemble the bodies with the interiors.
I did run into a problem on the solar panels. I tried painting the black by hand, but it didn’t look right. It came out blotchy and uneven. I thought it was because once again, my hand painting wasn’t consistently thinned. I then airbrushed black after masking the blue/gray areas. This didn’t fix the problem. I also found a place where the paint had dried in a clump eradicating the fine detail of the solar panels. I left the panels black and the mistake is hidden in the darkness.
The amount of detail on much of the ship was a surprise. I drybrushed the details over the entire model. The odd dark gray pieces were hand painted and dry brushed.
I was extraordinarily careful with the clear parts on this kit. I began by dipping them in Future floor wax, not once, not twice, but three times. I then used the smallest speck of superglue to connect the pieces. It worked. My experience was paying off. I didn’t seal the top hatch, so they open.
Although I still don’t like Star Wars and I’m not particularly fond of the TIE Fighter design, building these kits was satisifying and, for a change, quick.
I found a few pictures I took of my workbench while I was building this kit. If you'd like to see them, follow the link below.