|NOTES:||Easy kit except the weapons|
"A real stormtrooper has no room for sympathy. A real stormtrooper is the extension of the First Order, of Supreme Leader Snoke's will, nothing less."
Stormtroopers, also referred to as First Order stormtroopers, were the military infantry units of the First Order. With their stark white armor, inspired by older designs used by the clone troopers of the Galactic Republic and the stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire, this new generation of stormtroopers was one of many symbols that the First Order derived from the fallen Empire. Armed with powerful weapons such as the F-11D blaster rifle and SE-44C blaster pistol, they served as the enforcers of the First Order much like their predecessors had done under the Empire. Conscripted as soldiers, they were trained since birth, given unit designations instead of names, and subjected to years of propaganda to ensure their loyalty and obedience to the First Order and Supreme Leader Snoke.
Approximately thirty years after the Battle of Endor, stormtroopers fought for the First Order in a conflict against the Resistance. By then they served under the command of Captain Phasma, a veteran officer and member of the First Order's commanding triumvirate along with General Armitage Hux and Kylo Ren. The objective of Phasma's relentless training program was to produce the finest soldiers in the galaxy—promoting ruthlessness, yet also improvisation on the battlefield. As a result, the First Order stormtroopers were more dangerous than their Imperial precursors.
Bandai continues its tradition of making excellent figure kits. The helmeted and armoured stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire and First Order are among the many subjects. This is a completely new kit as the First Order Stormtrooper comes with a Picatinny rail equipped blaster, a riot baton and riot shield.
The kit has around 120 some odd parts (didn't get an exact count) on four sprues: two white ones, one common sprue based on material similar to styrene resistant poly cap material and one black one. One white sprue contains multicolor parts (for the clear lenses for the eyes and the riot shield.) It also includes stickers and waterslide decals.
The plastic is comes as white gloss and/or flat black which means that one can avoid painting the figure if so one chooses. No flash except minor mold markings that can be sanded down and polished. The detail is pretty good and it almost looks the part.
Only thing I was disappointed about was that the weapons come in black instead of black and white as per the instructions which meant a lot of masking required to make the First Order Stormtrooper blaster look like it did in the movie.
The Bandai Stormtrooper series has pretty much the same build process and parts breakdown as the other Stormtrooper kits. Unlike the earlier Stormtroopers, the First Order Stormtrooper head does not need filling/sanding or painting because all the seams are covered up. I followed the instructions and assembled the head pieces with some careful sprue stub trimming with a knife.
The arms and legs were done the same way, but I attached the elbow, knee and hip joints together with CA glue for seam filling and remove the possibility of phantom seams if I had used Tamiya Thin liquid glue instead.
Just as the other stormtrooper kits, the torso consists of the chest, torso and hips. These parts are easy to snap/glue together and any visible seams are hidden by the arms and legs. These parts were not painted aside from a gloss clear coat.
The weapons and various accessories were easy to snap together, but I hoped that they would be a mix of black and white parts like the pictures in the instructions. Unfortunately they are not as they are a solid black which meant a lot of masking/painting.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I opted to spray the stormtrooper's body parts with a couple of thin coats of Xtracrylix Clear Gloss. This was to provide a needed gloss coat for the few decals. That was pretty much it for the body.
The weapons and accessories on the other hand required a lot of seam work and paint with the stormtrooper's blaster requiring the most. The updated blaster paint scheme was based on screen shots of the movie. I kind of hoped that Bandai would provide white and black parts for the blaster as it appeared in the photos, but alas they didn't. It was the most complicated painted piece I've done in a while. The process can be summed up as 30 minutes of masking, five minutes of spraying black or white, one minute of removing masking and 10 minutes of yelling after noticing overspray then repeat. Once that was somewhat frustrating task was done then I hand painted the silver portions of the sight and gloss black for the lenses.
I also hand painted the silver areas of the shield and the helmet microphone/speaker located on the lower left hand jaw.
The Z6 Riot Control Baton proved to be not so easy to paint as the main body was originally black and most of it had to be painted flat white then gloss white. The actual batons were white and sprayed gloss white as in preparation for the decals. I hand painted the black portions (maybe easier to mask, but I discovered that masking really small areas was not really worth it so I went with my brush skills instead.)
I added the black decals to the thermal detonator (?)
mounted on the waist above the Stormtrooper's rear end.
For the Z6 Riot Control Baton I used the silver trim deals supplied with the kit for the silver trim sections instead of my brush painting skills.
Unlike previous Bandai Figure Models, I did not weather the First Order Stormtrooper and left him (probably) dirt free minus a gloss coat.
The excess decal solution was wiped off and a final thin coat of Xtracrylix Gloss coat was added.
The head, legs, arms and weapons were attached to the torso. The weapons were added next, mounted onto the stand and then the stormtrooper was put into a combat pose that ensured nothing fell off.
The Bandai Star Wars figure models are an excellent series of kits and the various stormtrooper kits are no exception. You can do as much as you like to them or build them as is and they won't disappoint. As mentioned in other reviews of this kit, I did notice an issue with the shoulders (too big) and the neck is a bit too short. Otherwise it is a very good kit.
The kit is easy to find online via various sellers despite the fact that Disney has tried to enforce the regional specific sales agreements (for the most part successfully) you can still find kits available via sellers online on various auction and retail sites.
1 May 2017
Thanks to me for picking this one up when it was on sale.
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