Ok, so… these repaints of the FFG X-Wing minis started as a “hey wouldn’t it be fun if…” sort of thing. I picked up a starter set and set to work on repainting the T-65 X-Wing that came with the set. After that – and leading up to the release of Rogue One – I went down the rabbit hole of hunting for LFL archive images, RPF articles, and the like for any and every reference of the hero models I could find of the original Red Squadron X-Wings from A New Hope.
From there, I discovered that not every fighter in Red Squadron had been created – as a matter of fact, for most of the shots in A New Hope, many of the X-Wings are duplicate shots of Reds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (poor Porkins…). With the notable exception of Red 12 – which gave some insight on how to handle the wing markings past Red 6.
(Note: while building the models, Red Squadron was actually going to be Blue Squadron, but was changed before filming due to the fact that the blue markings on the fighters would disappear in post)
While I was working on the squadron, I wasn’t terribly great at documenting the process of finishing one of these fighters off, but with the recent release of Rogue One – we get to see Blue Squadron in action. So, while I was initially showcasing the Reds (which I will include images of each one at the end of the walkthrough), I’ll document the process of painting Blue Leader (Blue 1) in this thread.
(Note: Blue 1 was the prototype model built in England during the pre-production work for ANH. Credits for the model pictured go to Marko Osterholz. Link for model reference: http://www.modelermagic.com/?p=64944)
First thing’s first with these builds – priming your mini. I know a fair bit of painters out there either don’t prime at all, or they soak their minis in a solvent bath of some sort and strip the “factory” paint off. I prefer to hit my minis with a base of white or medium grey plastic primer – I use Krylon, as it’s fairly inexpensive and performs well.
Because of the similar relative tonality, the first hull/detail parts to be painted on Blue 1 will be the yellow markings and the tan-ish hull “repairs” (see details from reference below).
Once the yellow and tan panels were set – with a bit of intentional unevenness of the panel coloring, to give a look of wear and tear – the squadron markings were next. The blue used on the original prop, as well as the replicas other modelers have built, is a very dark blue. This blue almost looks like a navy blue – but that’s up to individual interpretation – so I mixed a dark cobalt blue with a bit of black, until I was happy with the result (see picture below).
One thing to keep in mind while working with acrylic paint is that whatever you mix for a color will dry a semi-tone darker than what you mix. With that in mind, the blue looked a bit lighter when I was mixing it – which resulted in the shade of dark blue you see on the mini in the picture. Here are a few more pictures of the fighter – with some additional detail added (Astromech and such):
After the main hull and squadron markings were added and set, the next step is to add weathering to the fighter. This is done with dry pigment (basically, a black conte crayon shaved up a bit with an x-acto knife) and two brushes – one that is a medium sized round, and a tiny (000 cotman) round. The fantastic thing about this weathering technique is that the results are instant and deep. Check out the gallery below for the fighter and a picture of the dry pigment during use.
And one final picture of the fighter – after being lightly sprayed with dullcote (well… I use Krylon UV-Resistant Matte Clear).
Here is a gallery of the fighters that were painted from direct reference if the ILM filming props (Hero and Pyro builds).