Bandai Turbolaser Tower "Buzzing the Tower"

Bandai & Fantasy Flight Games 1/270-ish

The Build

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.


  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.

  3. Pingback: The Grey: a.k.a. Death Star Terrain – Friday Night X-Wing

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