Fine Molds 1/72 Y-Wing Fighter

KIT #: SW 8
PRICE: $36.00 from Starshipmodeler
DECALS: Three options


From Star Wars Databank

Growing increasingly outdated with the advent of sleeker, more powerful starfighters, the Y-wing nonetheless has a proud track record of service in the Rebel Alliance. The sturdy fighter-bomber gets its name from its shape: a reinforced central spar connects the cockpit to a cross-spar. At each end of the cross-spar rests a powerful engine nacelle, which houses the fighter's sublight and hyperdrive engines. Just aft of the cockpit module is the astromech droid socket.

 The Y-wing's primary weapons are twin forward-firing laser cannons, housed in a recessed slot in the front of the cockpit module. A secondary weapon is a turret-mounted paired set of cannons. Though many Y-wings fly as single-pilot fighters, some sport a two-seat configuration with a rear-facing tailgunner operating the turret cannons.

 The Y-wing also carries proton torpedo launchers. During the Battles of Yavin and Endor, Y-wing squadrons were influential in helping defeat the Death Star threats. A Y-wing brandishes its squadron colors and markings on its main cockpit module and the forward tips of the engine nacelles.


Star Wars has been a boon for model companies since moviegoers John William’s score first echoed thru the movie theatres.  Some 30 years (damn!) later, Fine Molds decided to add a 1/72 scale Y-Wing into its amazing catalog of Star Wars Models.

 The Y-Wing has not been widely released as a kit (although there was a 1/89 scale snaptite released for Return of the Jedi and a 1/48 scale resin release from SMT—which is no longer available thanks to George Lucas and his army of Ewok Laywers.)  

 Being a Star Wars geek, I jumped to order one when they became available (in July 2007.)  Like the rest of the kits, Fine Mold used the actual studio models to recreate the Y-Wing in 1/72 scale.

I was amazed when I opened up the kit.  It consists of 130 parts (2 clear) of very well molded light grey styrene.  The detail is very fine and crisp with a little flash on a couple of the parts.

 A quick review of the instructions shows that it is probably the most well engineered kit I’ve seen as it is designed to avoid sanding and filling (both tasks I dislike.)  I’m hoping that this will be my first ever filler free kit (but I doubt it.)

 The decal sheet is rather large, but only because it contains the markings for three Y-Wings (Gold Leader, Gold Two and Gold Three.)  However, it should be pointed out that Fine Molds may have made a boo boo here.  The only three Y-Wings that were highlighted in the original movie were Gold Leader, Two and Gold Five aka “Stay on Target.”


I basically ripped open the box as soon as I got home from the post office.  The parts were washed with dishsoap, warm water and a toothbrush.  Once dry, I airbrushed the cockpit tub flat black and the various interior bits with Gunze Light Ghost Grey.

 As for assembly, there is not much to say as one should just follow the instructions and you will do fine.  Fine Molds designed the Y-Wing so that all the seams are covered by various parts or a panel line so as minimize the sanding/filling and not lose the amazing detail (hint hint hint RM, Tamiya, Hase and the rest.)  Basically, I followed the instruction steps which made a lot of sense.  Just be careful to cut off the various piping bits from the part gates as they are rather fragile.  It only took about three hours of methodical and careful assembly to put the Y-Wing together.

 I did end up using a bit of Mr Surfacer to cover up a gap where the forward gun bay meets to the underside of the forward fuselage (excess removed with Acetone.)  The leading edges of the “wings” and sink marks on the surface of the closed landing gear door pieces required filler and involved a little sanding as well.

 As with all my Fine Molds Star Wars Vehicles, I posed it in flight and used the closed gear door pieces.

 Any build photos can be found in the WIP section of the MM Forums.


I first rewatched Star Wars (the original 1977 release that has Han Solo shooting Greedo first which came with the most recent “special” edition DVD) for the umpteenth time to get a feel for how dirty the Y-Wing should be.  A Y-Wing should be plenty dirty like all Rebel equipment.

 I preshaded via my airbrush along the panel lines of the Y-wing and in random places with leftover colors that I used to paint other models rather than waste the paint.  Among them were Khaki Green, Flat Black and Interior Green.

 The base color according to Fine Molds was FS36495 aka Light Grey.  I happened to have a bottle of the Gunze equivalent kicking around (used for another build) so I didn’t have to make a frantic run to the hobby store or close my eyes and pick a grey, any grey out of the Rubbermaid container which stores my paint.  I sprayed two very light coats that allowed the preshaded colors to show thru, but not too much.

 One thing I was happy to see is that Fine Molds didn’t use decals for the canopy (unlike the X-Wing which caused me no end of grief.)  Fine Molds actually uses a two piece canopy which has one grey styrene piece for the framing and the other for the glass like a car model which saves me masking the thing.  It is a nice idea, but I don’t think it would be practical for many aircraft canopies.

 The canopy is supposed to be mostly US Navy intermediate blue, but the color photos in the decal diagram show a lighter blue (almost similar to the blue used by the JSDF acrobatic team Blue Impulse.)  In the original Star Wars movie, it was hard to tell what the canopy was so I just stuck with the intermediate blue with some dark gray sprayed on the front (post decals.)  Anyway, I had to mask off the underside and the sides of the Y-Wing’s nose for Gold Five (not Three!) had patches of intermediate blue.  This was sprayed with little hassle.

 The last item to be painted is the pilot which was brush painted in international orange, flat white, buff, clear yellow, silver, flat black and olive drab.

 Fine Molds give you three decal options.  I selected Gold Five, er, Three (later known as Davish “Pops” Krail) despite being one of several Rebels who ended up as meat on the table for Darth Vader (actually, all of Gold squadron that had speaking roles died.)  I liked Gold Five’s calm demeanor and memorable “Stay on Target” line despite being hunted down by the Empire’s most ruthless henchman.

 The Gunze Light Grey is semi gloss so I dispensed with the standard pre decal gloss coat and applied the decals right on the paint.  I find that Fine Molds decals are better than Hasegawa’s or Tamiya’s as they are not all that thick and not prone to wrinkling or silvering.  However, I do find the smaller ones a bit stubborn so I used Solvaset for those instead of Micro Sol/Set.  The most painful decals were those for the Astromech droid aka R2 unit. 

Once dry, I washed off the excess solution and proceeded to use a water color wash of black, raw umber and burnt sienna with two drops of dish soap.  I wanted a dirty Y-Wing, but I didn’t want to over do it like I did with my Fine Molds X-wing which was built when I believed that there was no such thing as too much of a wash.  The excess was removed with slightly wet Q-Tips.  Additional weathering was done with Mig Red Earth Powders and charcoal.

 Gunze Flat coat was used as the final coat to seal up everything and remove any shine on the dingy Y-Wing.


The only pieces that were added in this phase were the canopy, top gun turret, Astromech droid and the pilot. 


I have to say that I am continued to be awed by Fine Molds’ Star Wars kits.  These kits raise the standard for any injection molded kit of any scale.  As I’ve said in earlier reviews, yes it is pricey, but you get an amazing kit for the price as this level of engineering and design does not come cheap.  Plus it happens to be the only available and “legit” Y-Wing in any scale on the market today.

 I think this kit is fine for any level of builder and a must for any Star Wars fan.

 For full disclosure, I have no financial ties to Fine Molds or Lucasfilm (I wish!) and bought this kit courtesy of my own wallet.

Dan Lee

September 2007

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