Finishing up Gold Leader

Having lost my mojo for this project around December 2021, I decided it was time to get moving on this project and get it ready in time for Scalefest 2022. The first step was to get the main body primed, painted black and an overall coat of Reefer White to get this model moving

Painting Gray Primer

Once dry, the next step was laying down a few coats of flat black.

Flat Black applied

When I was satisfied with the black, next up was Reefer White

Reefer White on the main body

I decided after this initial coat, that it needed a bit more white applied. The domes were also painted and chipped up using Humbrol Mask applied at various stages of painting.

A little more white applied.

Gold Leader

Gold Leader in Work

I guess I love building Y-Wings! Truth be told, the Y-Wing is my favorite. Hot in the heels of my Red 4 build, I started work on Gold Leader.

Gold Leader is a bit different from the Red Jammer that I used for inspiration for Red 4. Overall, it’s the same, but the pipes are a bit different on the Gold ships.

For this build, I’m changing things up a bit. I’m adding all the pipes before I do any painting. This similar to the way ILM painted the filming models.

Adding pipes

The paint process is the same on this one as the previous build. I did learn something new, the yellow strip is a very specific yellow: Southern Pacific Armor Yellow. It’s spot on!

SP Armor Yellow

Lots more work to do on this one, but it’s coming together.

Wrapping up construction.

“Red 4”

After a bit of rework to the left nacelle dome, the red stripes were painted on and the after thrust vectors/baffles were painted and dry fitted to the T-bars.

Red 4 Side View

Next is the weathering process. This is point where I get worried about doing it right. It’s easy to go too far with weathering. I’ve heard there’s no wrong way to do it, but I think it can be overdone. I’ve seen too many bills with over the top weathering and I want to stay away from that.

3/4 Forward View

It now has a name: “Red Four”

I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves.


Laying down the overall white base coat prior to weathering.
Showing off the placard. AM Custom Plaques does an excellent job!
The red stripe on the right side nacelle dome.
T-bars are white and test fit of a thrust vector ring.

Starting to come together.

Top view of the “Red Jammer” Y-Wing

All the major assemblies are together. The main body, which is two pieces is together, primed with Mr. Surfacer 1000 and then sprayed with Flat Black. The nacelle radomes have their primer coat and are ready for a layer of flat black.

The nacelle radomes require an extra step prior to the black. Using the actual “Red Jammer” as my guide, I noticed that the gray is the color underneath the chipped away white.

The real Red Jammer.

This will require me to apply Maskol to the forward nacelles prior to applying the flat black. It will be important that I do my best not to inadvertently rub off the Masks prior to applying the white color.

I continued work on the forward section applying the red stripe. This was pretty difficult. In my onion, everything hinges on the stripe on the top and bottom of the head. Getting the curve right is the hardest, least favorite part of building a Y-Wing. But it’s so important that it be there.

Painting the forward section.

Right now, the colors are very bright. As one builder described it, “it’s in the clown car phase of painting”. It’s bright. All of this will get knocked back as other light coats of paint are applied.

Bottom of the forward section.

I was facing a dilemma when it came to deciding what droid I want to assisting my pilot. I had three styles to choose from: R2, R4 or R5 units. Initially, I was going to use an R2 unit, but I always keep swapping the head to an R5. For some reason, an R5 droid and Y-Wings go together Maybe it’s because as a kid, I remember seeing friends put R5-D4 in their Kenner Y-Wing toy. You know, because R2-D2 was always with Luke in his X-Wing!

R5 Unit.

So, I went with the R5 unit. I made up the paint job. His official name is R5-DE4. I went with a a green paint job to have him stand out. when sitting in the back of the ship. I was afraid that if I kept it overall white with green details, it would get lost with the rest of the ship. I think he turned out pretty good.

Until next update….MTFBY

Y-Wing: The Work Continues…

All major components printed and fit together

The forward domes and T-bar support greeblies where printed on my EPAX X1 printer using EPAX Hard Resin. They turned out very well considering the size of the parts.

The T-Bar is Plastruct T-8, 90086. For a 1/29 scale Y-Wing, the length of the T-Bar works out to about 11 inches. A notch needs to be cut in the forward end of the T-Bar to allow it to slide under the T-Bar supports.

Notch cut in T-Bar.
Fitting T-Bar under supports.

I started painting the pilot figure. Duplicating my effort from my Blue Leader build, I repositioned the figures arms to give it a more natural look.

The figure was primed with Tamiya White Primer. After drying for a few days, I began painting. The first color is Pure Orange thinned as to give an almost transparent orange tint to the figure. I let each layer fully dry between coats until the figure’s flight suit is a solid color. The shadows are accomplished by mixing a drop of black into the pure orange.

Once satisfied with the flight suit, I move one to the belts which are paint “gray”. I picked out some of the details with “light gray”.

The boots and gloves are flat black.

Once everything has dried, I sprayed the figure with a nice shiny layer of Glosscoat and set aside to dry. It’s important that you seal the figure. Handling the figure will rub the acrylic paint off.

I painted the visor Model Master Magnesium. It’s important to do this while the model has a gloss finish. The paint flows better.

Next up was adding some markings to the helmet. I went to the spares box and found what I felt were decals to make it look interesting.

One the decals were set and dry, I sealed everything with Dullcoat.

Completed pilot figure.
Sitting at the controls.

Sci-Fi Studio Scale Model-Y 3D Model kit

Y-Wing 3D SLA Printed Model Kit

I recently purchased and downloaded a 3D model from Sci-Fi Scale Models. What you see above is printed on both a Form3 and EPAX X1 SLA 3D printer.

Overall, the detail is very well represented. There are options to print the model as a blank canvas and print/attach all the greeblies similar to ILM or print each part as complete assemblies. I opted to print each part complete.

This is version 2 of the 3D model. A version 3 is in the works with changes in some detail parts and parts break down. When it arrives, I’ll will be purchasing the new version of the Model Y kit.

Version 3 Model Y

You can find the Model Y kit and others at:

Check them out!

Changing things up

My Blue Leader project was never intended to be any Blue Leader in particular. It’s a mix of Project 504, Red 2 and Blue Leader (Rogue One).

Blue Leader

With that, it was never my intention of using a Rebel pilot in this build. I wanted the ILM style pilot. Unfortunately, that pilot figure wasn’t available for the Revell kit.

That is until now. I found a 3D file of the ILM pilot that I could print on my SLA printer.

ILM style pilot figure

I didn’t like the position of the arms or the head. So, once the figure was printed, I cut off the arms and head. I repositioned them to a more natural position.

I primed the figure with Tamiya Gray Fine Surface Primer. Once dry, I painted the flightsuit Model Master Cobalt Blue. Using a custom mix of colors of lighter and darker shades for highlights and shadows. I painted the helmet white with gunmetal visor. The gloves and boots were painted flat black. The stairs and house are painted neutral gray.

The helmet was decorated with various decals from the spares box.

I sealed the figure with a light coat of dull coat.

ILM Pilot in his office
“Pickup your visual scanning”

Engines are on!

The engines are finally attached to Blue Leader! Now, it’s looking like an X-Wing. I still need to weather the engines to match the rest of the build, but this X-Wing is turning out better than I had expected.

It was totally worth the wait on these replacements. I want to send out a BIG thank you to the person who made these available to me.

Engines in place
It’s looking like an X-Wing!

I went back and forth on using the kit engines versus a replacement. I’m especially happy with these results. it really puts this build over the top.