U-wing & TIE Striker

Bandai Rogue One set (1/144)

♦ Custom scheme for the U-wing

♦ Chipped paint, differently painted panels, heavy weathering

♦ Grease near wing pivot points for both ships

Construction

As I was working on the Jedha Escalation diorama with the Occupier Assault Tanks, I was also playing around with the other 2 vehicles in the Rogue One set: the U-wing and TIE Striker.

For the Bandai U-wing, I started with a black base and slowly built up the white using Mr. Hobby's white lacquer paint. I did some salt chipping to create different shades of white. Then, I started painting the various panels. I mixed probably a dozen shades of yellow, grey, and brown. Immediately after painting a few of the panels, I gently sanded them creating a distressed look. For the black parts, I painted them in Tamiya Nato Black. Now, to create the chipping on the cockpit, I opted for hairspray and Nato Black again. I thinned it with lacquer thinner, but was still able to chip the paint quite well.

Now, for the deep blue marking, I opted for Nicholas Sagan's decal. His set also included the various red/yellow lines around the ship. Using Mr. Setter and Mr. Softer, the decals snuggled down well. I still had to slice a few on the wings to get them to settle.

For the TIE Striker, I primed in black and used Dannon Marsh's wing/canopy masks. These were nearly perfect and saved a lot of time masking.

For both ships, I used AK and Mig Ammo washes being careful to avoid the hinges on the wings. However, near those hinges, I used Wilder Aqualine fluids. These are similar to oils, but are completely water-based, so I could glob them on.

History

The U-wing is a unique craft that saw limited service with the Rebel Alliance. Senator Bail Organa carefully "lost" several of these craft from official records, and they fortunately turned up in Rebel hands.

Sporting only two laser cannons, the Rebels used these ships primarily for long-range reconnaissance and troop transport. Pilots liked the roomy cabin as well as the excellent field of view provided by both upper and lower windows.

The cargo compartment, however, was small, but the U-wings could land and deploy quickly before the Imperials retaliated. Rebels would also mount additional weapons inside the doors for cover fire.

On the Imperial side, the TIE Striker was an experimental air superiority fighter. It wasn't meant for space travel, but proved to be incredibly versatile in-atmosphere.

With 4 laser cannons, 2 heavy laser cannons, and a proton bomb chute, these "fighters" were better armed than anything the Imperials had at the time. Two pilots coordinated together to take out enemies quickly and effectively. Moreover, hinged wings could rotate upward for increased maneuverability.

However, the ship was costly, and at over twice the length of standard TIE Fighters, the Imperials thought it too irreplaceable should one be destroyed. As such, the Empire developed only a handful and deployed them at high-security installations.

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