Tie Advanced X1 (Darth Vader's Tie Fighter)

Bandai 1/72 scale

The Bandai 1/72 scale Tie Advanced X1 starfighter was a fun weekend build.  And I actually built 2 at one time. I wanted to light them up with working engines, interior, and working lasers. So here's the full kit.

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The first thing I did was paint the Darth Vader figure.  Pretty straight forward, but VERY little.

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I then started by masking off the black portions of the wing (which were molded in black already) and I painted all the parts with black primer.  I then sprayed all the parts with Tamiya fine gray primer.  This was my base coat for the ship.   

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I then painted the interior with a darker gray primer and did a little detail painting on the controls for Vader.

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Decals were then added to the rear cockpit wall and a little detail painting with black wash and silver dry brush over the raised details was done.

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I then drilled out all 4 engines with a drill bit and then tested with a 0603 red SMD LED to see how it looked.

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Next up was to work on the lasers.  I had to drill out the area on the body where the laser canons attach to allow for fiber optic, and then drill out the center of the laser canon as well, using a .30mm drill bit.

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The cockpit frame was painted with a dark gray primer and attached to the front of the ship as well as attaching the 2 drilled out laser canons.

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The bodies were then sprayed with Tamiya clear coat so that I could apply a Vallejo German Gray wash to highlight the panel lines.  I applied the wash with a thin brush, allowed to dry and rubbed away with a Q-tip.  You can see the difference in the photo next to the unwashed body.

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I also went and painted the tips of the laser canons.  First with a coat of Tamiya chrome silver, then a coat of Tamiya clear orange over the silver.

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It may seem overkill, but I taped off three panels on the top panel and painted them with a bit of Tamiya medium gray and some decals added as well.

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The front portion of the cockpit was then attached to the front of the ship and I drilled out a hole to run a red 0603 SMD LED into the interior to light it up.

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And 4 red 0603 SMD LEDs were added to the rear body of the model.  They were glued in place with Elmer's Glue, then light blocked and sealed again with some liquid electrical tape.

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At this point it's time to put the pieces together and run the wires and fiber optics out the bottom panel and through my 1/8" aluminum tubing which will house the wires and support the model.

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So with the model assembled, it's time to start on the base to support and power everything.  I'm using the kit base, but cutting away at the underside to house an Adafruit Tinket, to control the laser fire, a DFplayer Mini to play the laser sound fx, a USB power board to power it all, a speaker for sound and a button to activate.

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You can see in this photo the areas I cut away for my electronics.

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Before finally attaching the model to the base, I also attached a block of wood I cut with a drilled out hole to better support my 1/8" aluminum tubing.

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Then a paint job of the top of the base, using a coat of dark primer, then a light mist of Tamiya fine gray primer.  A black wash was also added for detail and some rust pastels and dirt pastels for highlighting.

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The Tie Advanced X1 was then attached to the base and the wires soldered to the appropriate connections.  

To view the gallery of the finished Tie Advanced X1, click here.