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.
During the Battle of Endor, the B-wing proved to be invaluable to Rebel forces. As part of Blue Squadron and Blade Squadron, these new heavy fighters launched attacks against fighters and capital ships alike. B-wing successfully destroyed several Star Destroyers, as well as helping in the destruction of the Executor.
When approaching the second Death Star, B-wing strafed the surface, attacking turbolaser emplacements. The sleek profile of the B-wing made them more difficult to hit than bulkier Y-wings. Moreover, B-wings had an interesting gyroscopic cockpit. Pilots could rotate the hull around the cockpit, allowing pilots to dodge enemy fire and/or structures with ease.
However, B-wings were too large to fly into the superstructure of the Death Star. Thus, they remained outside to disable remaining destroyers and support Rebel capital ships.