1/72 Bandai Y-Wing Fighter

Gallery Article by Andrew Desautels (a.k.a. "Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy") on Aug 30 2021

 

      

The machine
There is little I can add to the volumes that have been written about the venerable Rebel Y-Wing fighter, the slower yet steady and dependable weapons platform which enabled the early rebels to undertake guerilla-strike tactics against Imperial forces. 

It's now almost common knowledge that the ILM modelmakers (wouldn't you love that job??) started the Y-Wings by mounting part of a pantyhose egg container on top of sections of Airfix Saturn V rocket models. The rest of the fuselage was covered in an assortment of parts from existing model kits, especially tank kits. The result is an amazingly believable design of functional beauty. 

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The build
This is the Bandai kit which was a gift from a good friend (thanks Brian!). I found it to be a fantastic product; the only improvements I made were to replace the control vanes with scratchbuilt items. 

Model Master enamels were used throughout. I opted to paint the markings wherever feasible; 36237 Medium Gray was used for the blue-gray, then scuffed with steel wool or dry-brushed with light gray to achieve the worn look. Scorches were airbrushed instead of using the kit decals. A watercolor wash was essential to bring out all the surface detail, and really helps make the difference between toylike and realism.

The real effort in this build was not the Y-Wing, but the display base. The Death Star surface was made by kitbashing thousands of model kit parts together; I decided to do the same. It was quite a challenge, but the result is quite rewarding. Every kind of part I could find was used, including bits from battleships, military aircraft, ground equipment, X-Wing, automotive and railroad-specific materials. Even the unused landing gear from the Y-Wing itself found itself detailing the build. 

Enjoy the photos!

Andrew Desautels

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Photos and text by Andrew Desautels