by: Jim Lewis [ ]
Bane of the Rebel Alliance, the bowtie-shaped TIE Fighter screamed across the silver screens over 25 years ago. For anxious modelers, the wait has been indeed this long for a quality model kit replicating this interesting Sci-Fi subject. A version did come from AMT/ERTL, that isn't too bad in its own right, but wasn't in scale with companion Star Wars model subjects. It is larger, closer to 1:48th scale, and not even compatible with this new model release. No doubt that after the excellent release of Fine Molds X-Wing Space Superiority Fighter (#SW-1) this new Fine Molds release had a high bar to be measured against. After tackling this one - I'd say Fine Molds did more than an admirable job. This model kit is downright a joy to construct and complete, even better than their earlier X-Wing Fighter miniature.
All Is Good Inside
The model kit assembles quickly. Above is part of the first assembly step. The TIE/Ln is 1:72nd scale - small is an understatement. The detail, however, isn't small. It is exquisitely rendered, without ejector pin marks neither marring delicate details nor flash on any parts. Simple cleanup is called for in constructing the model. All instructions are in Japanese, but the pictograms and painting instructions are simple enough to follow.
Fine Models #SW-2 represents the early model TIE Fighter commonplace in the end days of the Old Republic, up through the events described in SW-IV: ANH. It is a good representative of the Imperial Attackers in the Battle of Yavin.This model is equipped with laser cannons also used in the TIE X1 (Lord Darth Vader's ship) variant. The TIE Fighters that defended the first Death Star (SW-IV: ANH) were all equipped with this type of armament - dating the Fine Molds model kit.TIE Fighters appearing in SW-V: ESB and SW-VI: RTJ displayed plain, colorless, laser emitters and were much faster. The TIE/Ln Fighter variant also appeared whiter in color than the later TIE/In Fighters that appeared in Episodes V and VI. The TIE/In Fighters have darker, multi-hues due to different alloys used in their manufacture. Painting instructions in the Fine Molds model kit allow the modeler to represent these features. An easy way to visually represent the TIE/In completing this model kit would be to either not paint the tips of the emitters orange, or replace the laser cannons altogether.
Fine Molds includes painting masks to aid the modeler in finishing their kit. These have to be cut out yourself - it took me longer to do this than it did to cut out - and cleanup all the parts and complete basic assembly before painting. The masks are low-tack, and adhere best if the part is clean and has no finger oils present. I cleaned up the parts with a Q-Tip before putting the masks on. I've read other modelers complaints about using these masks, but I had no problem with airbrushing them. I don't use enamels, so bleed-under the edges weren't a problem for me. Tamiya acrylics were just fine.
Paint & Wrapping It Up
Painting this model called for everything to be painted before final assembly, then spot touch-ups along the way. No problem here, other than it's a whole lot smaller than a 1:35th scale tank. Small-scale AFV modelers will like building and finishing this model kit. I built and completed the TIE/Ln in a single weekend - haven't done that in years!
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Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Lewis [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.
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