Bandai’s 1/144 Star Wars Rogue One U-Wing Fighter

It took me a few years to get around to watching Star Wars: Rogue One. While I’ve always liked the Star Wars franchise, as I’ve gotten older, I find that I just don’t have the patience to sit and watch a movie. I rarely watch the television anyway, so carving out a couple of hours to do so is just not in my normal schedule.

However, when I’d visited my son back at Christmas, he assured me it would be worth the watching. Knowing my less than favorable view of some of the Star Wars episodes, he won me over by saying that it was as good as the Original Trilogy.

In my book, that is high praise. So watch it we did, and I quite enjoyed it.

One of the ships that was new to me from the movie was the U-Wing Fighter. Having already built all of Bandai’s other “Alphabet Soup” fighters (A,B, X, and Y-Wing), this one intrigued me. It was less of a fighter really, and more of a heavy assault craft, able to carry in troops, and fight its way in and out.

And as circumstances would have it, my wife had given me the kit for Christmas.

The U-Wing comes in a boxed set with the TIE Striker, plus two Occupier tanks, all from the Rogue One movie.

Easy Assembly

As with any Bandai kit, assembly is very easy. I did go ahead and paint the interior prior to assembly. I kept it simple, giving it all a coat of dark gray, and a drybrush with light gray. I painted the human pilot figure… I can’t even recall the characters name now. We’ll call him “Tiny Pilot”. Tiny Pilot received a few dots of color that ended up looking more like Han Solo, which was OK with me.

I made sure to paint every bit of the interior black, so none of the kit’s white plastic would show through the model’s windows when finished.

With that completed, I snapped up the rest of the kit.

Painting The Exterior

Star Wars Rebel fighters have a particular look. The base color is white, and then there’s usually some red, blue, or yellow, corresponding to red, blue, or gold squadron. (“Stay on target Red 5!” 😀 ) In addition to those colors, many of the panels across the craft are randomly painted in shades of red, blue, gray… you name it.

The kit came with really nice decals to represent the blue markings, so I decided to use those rather than attempt the delicate masking job this scale would require. For the other panels, I picked them out by hand brushing, using various primary colors desaturated with gray.

The various engine and mechanical sections were painted in dark gray, and then given a dry brush of light gray.

Weathering

For the weathering, I tried to give it a “canon” look. I wanted to replicate the general look of the original studio models, using the same simple techniques the ILM crew used so successfully.

A video of the weathering process is available on YouTube.

The procedure is really quite simply. All the panel lines were given a wash of medium gray, just to help them stand out a bit more. Chipping was then applied, but only to the various colored parts. As with the studio models, the white areas were not chipped.

The final step in this simple process was to add various streaks and stains using artists oils. These were applied heavier around the engine and mechanical parts, while other areas were given anything from barely visible streaks to quite distinct splotches, stains, and discolorations.

Conclusion

Overall I was very happy with how it turned out. I achieved what I was going for – a fairly canon Star Wars fighter look. While there are certainly more steps that could have been done from a “serious” modeling standpoint, I liked this minimalist approach. It just seemed to fit the genre.

I highly recommend this set from Bandai. It’s a fun build, and is especially great for parents and kids to enjoy together.

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