Bandai Turbolaser Tower "Buzzing the Tower"

Bandai & Fantasy Flight Games 1/270-ish


I built this after discovering the Bandai A-wing is NOT to scale with the included diorama pieces. The Bandai Turbolaser Tower is closer to 1/270 or 1/350 with the Death Star tile being a bit bigger. Thus, I elected to use a Fantasy Flight Games B-wing miniature alongside the tower to show the scale.

I cemented the assemblies, except for the gun to prevent enamels from dissolving the snap-connections. Then, I added a few details to the Death Star tile, but the focus here wasn't the build. Lastly, I rotated the B-wing cockpit to represent how it gyroscopically keeps the pilot level.

It was the painting.

For that, I decided to try black-basing, which is a more streamlined and accurate pre-shading technique (see pictures). Essentially, I am priming the model in black (Mr. Finishing Surfacer). Then, I am spraying a marble coat using white squiggles and mottling over the various panels. Some of the panels had more or less mottling. Finally, I used an extremely thin basecoat, also called a blend coat, to "blend" the mottling and black base together. This creates a very interesting and randomly-faded finish. While this is most effective on aircraft, I think it works very effectively here. Moreover, I airbrushed lighter colors to some panels to highlight them.

Turning to brush-painting, I used a rust red for the primer color on the Death Star tile. Additionally, I also used more light and dark greys for the super-small panels. The goal here is tonal variation.

For weathering, I first went through some thinned Mig enamel blue-grey panel wash. I applied it sparingly and in a way to make it dry quickly (to keep from damaging the plastic). Lastly, I used a lot of different oil paints to create shadows, highlights, and a few scratches on the surface.

Now, Fantasy Flight loves their heavy black washes. So, I scraped off as much as could with an Xacto-blade. Then, I used Wilder Light Grey Mud to "lighten" or "soften" the weathering on the B-wing. I may repaint it at some point. But for now, I call it done.




  1. Great looking scene. All that grey was enlivened by your mottling. Thanks for sharing black basing. I’m not familiar with the technique (I’m a figure painter rather than a vehicle painter for the most part). I am about to start a Star Trek (boo hiss 😀 ) project so the aircraft styled hull finishing technique will help me a lot. I’m lloking forward to giving that a shot

    • Thank you for the kinds words. I hope the pics and links help if/when you try it out. I think it will look great on the smooth surfaces of most of the Trek ships. Feel free to email me any questions you have.


  2. I like how the technique breaks up the surface in a very subtle way…helps convey scale of very big objects.

    • Thanks. The technique is really easy to use, much easier than usual pre-shading to me. And it’s something that you can make as heavy or light as you wish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *