1/72 Bandai A-Wing – The “Jakku Bandit”


If it seems like I’ve been somewhat quiet of late, well, I have been. In part thanks to a combination of work, travel, work travel, and being glued to the twists and turns in the Trump-Russia scandal. But also in part to behind the scenes work on a project for an upcoming issue of Weathering Aircraft magazine.

The theme of desert weathering happened to line up nicely with the release of the final novel in the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy. While not a particularly good book, it’s notion of a protracted Battle of Jakku gave me the idea of Rebel fighters forward-deployed planetside to cover ground forces. And Bandai’s A-Wing seemed like a fun subject to mess around with.

And, well, here it is:

The mental narrative I worked from is that a forward-deployed A-Wing squadron found it necessary to paint over the deeper red markings with something more suited to desert operations, inspired by the photo recon Spitfires the RAF flew in North Africa. At some point, a hit from a TIE fighter took out the starboard engine, necessitating a cobbled-together field replacement. And of course, grinding service in a hostile desert environment means sand, dust, and all that good, delicious weathering.

The blow-by-blow will have to wait until the article drops, but I will say two things.

First, I used plenty of enamel weathering products on the A-Wing and it did not explode.

Second, there are some tricks to building these Bandai kits that I frustratingly discovered too late in the game. While overall the A-Wing is an excellent kit, the press-fit nature of the assembly is problematic. It makes it very difficult to test fit. In several areas, like the central fuselage, the parts went in and there was just no going back. Toward the end, I started cutting off various lugs and found that this made test-fitting and removability of parts significantly easier. And the fit is still damn good. For example – the engine assemblies and rear bulkhead fit snug, but can be teased off with a small amount of wiggling. Next time I tackle a Bandai kit, I’ll be better prepared for sure.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. glongman says:

    Very nice outcome. I build Bandai Gundam kits which are also press-fit. Pretty well established in that community that cutting the pegs at a 45 degree angle ensures one can take them apart for paint.

  2. Valkyrie013 says:

    Hi Doog!
    Timely article, Just finished my A-wing a couple weeks ago, and look forward to how you tackled yours.

    And Yes.. I build alot of bandai kits (Gundam mostly, now there Star Wars kits) and there all designed to be snapped together, and what I do on All of mine, is thin down all the pegs on locator pieces.. just take a xacto and slice it in half, even trim the big lugs (But be aware that some pegs go in a hole that shows thru, and if you cut it.. well..) , even then, with the A wing i had to drill a hole to pop the top piece off when it had 1 coat of paint!


    If your interested in seeing what I did!

    Good to see you back!

  3. Z-M says:

    For their press fit ‘problem’, the easiest way for me is to drill the female pegs with drill bits. They have at least 1 flat side that grip the male plugs. Drilling them will loosen the fits but leave the alignments perfect. Note that they use millimetric measurements (1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm and so on).
    Happy building.

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