These are not the Trains you are looking for (That’s No Train Part 5!!)

I have written in the past about my “non-railroad” modelling projects. This post is a grouping of projects, three I did some time ago, and one that I bought as part of my lock-down spending (and lets be honest here, yes, I have partaken in some retail therapy during lock-downs and stay at home orders and social distancing over the past 8 months!). You can read about previous “That’s No Train” projects here: 1, 2, 3, & 4.

So, if the title didn’t give it away, today I am talking about Droids, Star Wars droids to be exact, and the absolutely fantastic 1/12th scale droid figures from Bandai. For a number of years, Bandai has had a license for Star Wars models in Japan, and were able to have them imported into North America through a sub-licensee. It appears, that Bandai did not renew their license after 2019, as no new models have been announced.

My “Star Wars” shelf in my office, which has outgrown the shelf with the Lego Razor Crest on top of the case!

I had previously bought C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 kits for my shelf of Star Wars stuff in my office/layout room (what can I say, I have varied interests and I like to have stuff out on display!). Over the summer, I finally broke down and bought a fourth droid that I had wanted for a while, K-2SO from Rogue One, the best Star Wars movie (come at me, I’ll have that fight!). Maybe I’m just biased as its the first Star Wars movie I saw in theatres that blew me away. I was too young for the Original Trilogy, and, well, the less we say about Anakin and Podracing…the better.

Some construction shots of K-2SO. Adding two “z” sized LEDs from Evan Designs behind the clear eyes so his eyes can light up.

The Bandai kits are designed for the Japanese market, which is much more demanding in terms of quality than North American modellers are. The kits are “snap together”, but that description does not reflect the quality of fit and finish if you are thinking of a snap-together kit you would buy from a North American manufacturer for our market. The parts literally press together and you can’t find the seams sometimes to get them back apart from a test fit! You don’t “need” to paint them, and for my other droids, I didn’t, for K-2SO, he looked, plain compared to the movie where he had a sheen. So, in searching, I found that Vallejo sells a “metal medium” that you can add to any of their paints to make them metallic, this meant I could mix a variety of greys/gun metals/blacks until I got a shade I liked, then add metallic. It comes though a bit in the pictures, but he has a delightful sheen to the finished paint.

Similarly, in looking, I found people online selling pre-made lighting kits. I didn’t see the point in that vs buying my own LEDs and doing my own thing. I was placing an order in from Evan Design in September for layout use and for another non-train project, so four LEDs for his eyes (twice what I needed, good call, I broke one and still have a spare after finishing!). It was an interesting challenge threading the wire through the kit, not impossible, but one which required thought as i worked my way though it. When I got to his lower leg below the knee, there was no way to thread inside the leg that I could see (especially as that was where I needed to solder wire extensions onto the leads on the LEDs), so I used my standby magic adhesive Bondic to hold the wires in place behind his leg.

My collection of Bandai Star Wars droids. R2-D2 and C-3PO, BB-8, and now K-2SO. The last shot is K-2SO with a Black Series 6″ Jyn Erso.

I used a combination of the kit decals and sharpie gold, silver and copper red paint markers for K-2SO’s detailing. Where it made sense to use the decals, like the Imperial Crests on his shoulders, I did, where I could use paint, I used paint, it creates a more unique finish and makes my K-2SO mine, rather than buying a toy version or how anyone else finishes theirs.

Getting some use out of the photo soft box I bought a few weeks ago to take the photos of the finished droid models.

With that, I have two more non-train projects nearing completion on my workbench. As much as I like doing other things, I don’t have a lot of room to display more side projects, and I need the workbench space for large buildings I need to get building for the layout!

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