As an ultra-passionate fan of Star Wars, most of my time is consumed with my studies. That is, ship and weapon design. Being the not so casual autistic genius that I am, I spend hundreds of hours researching the technical stuff within the Star Wars universe. One of the things that fascinated me the most about Star Wars is that the ships are beat up, dirty, and greasy. They feel and look real. So when I began collecting Star Wars toys, the super bright plastics didn’t appeal to me, as they look anything, but realistic. I wanted my toys to resemble the ships that I had seen on screen, in books and video games.
It wasn’t until 2016 that I began customizing Star Wars toys, as my earlier attempts at it had mostly ended in disappointment. I read dozens of tutorials and watched YouTube videos, however I was missing something. As I already stated, I am autistic, so I tend to get upset easily when things don’t go as I want them to. That changed for me when a really great guy out in Southern California posted some pics of his Legacy Millennium Falcon. I am not kidding when I tell you that it looked better than the studio model that I had seen at Industrial Light and Magic. I was impressed, but immediately bummed out. I knew there was no way that I could replicate what he had done.
Out of curiosity I began talking with him about the types of paint and techniques that he used. I was shocked when he told me that he used craft paint, specifically Apple Barrel brand paint from Wal-Mart! Every “expert” that I had encountered, including those who offered customized toys on commission, swore by Model Masters and Tamiya paints, while scoffing at the craft products. And yet here was a guy as skilled as anyone I’ve seen at ILM, who was telling me just the opposite. There had to be a catch, so I began doing more research. It wasn’t long before I found others who used the same products. After about a week, I decided to experiment on my own. I used the First Order Snowspeeder as a starting point, as it would be easy to clean up, and if need be, not an expensive loss if I messed it up.
First I started off by washing the toy in warm, soapy water, and allowing it to dry. (I learned later on that a blow dryer will aide in drying the toy more quickly, however you want one dedicated to your use for customizing, so as not to have hairs and lint blown onto the toy). The first thing that I did was buy the Apple Barrel paints, as well as some of the nicer paint brushes from Wal-Mart on the craft aisle. I also purchased 90% Isopropyl alcohol for cleanup, though you can use tap water if you clean up any mistakes immediately. If you wait, you’ll only create a dark smear from the excess paint. I began by painting the panel lines on the vehicle. That’s right, no Gundam markers here, I started off with an advanced technique all by coincidence. After learning about the paint markers, I still paint all of my panel lines by hand.
Next, I painted the engine intake and exhaust, as well as the heavy blaster cannon. I also painted dirt and grime into the floor board of the speeder. I completed it by painting the landing skid and cooling grills. Once the paint had a chance to completely dry, I used a spray on clear coat manufactured by Plaid, which is the same manufacturer as the paint that I used. It actually turned out really nice, and next I moved on to the Resistance X-Wing. The rest, as they say, is history. I don’t own one vehicle from Star Wars that I haven’t repainted in some way, if it’s nothing more than adding muzzle blast to the cannons.
For those interested, I offer some advice on repaints, whether you’re a beginner like myself, or an expert model maker:
Prepping the toy is essential. Make certain that you disassemble it as much as possible, then wash the individual parts in warm, soapy water. I use a soft tooth brush to scrub the individual parts, to aide in removing any bonding agent that might be left on the plastic from the molding process at the factory.
When drying with a cloth, as well as cleaning up paint, I recommend using Scott Shop Towels as they have virtually zero paper dust on them, and are soft.
I use Q-Tips to aide in cleaning up excess paint as well, and there are also sponge tip applicators in the craft aisle at Wal-Mart, designed with different shaped tips, that can be used to reach areas inaccessible to a regular Q-Tip.
Apple Barrel brand paints are phenomenal, cost a fraction of what the mainlaine stuff does, but there are things to consider when using them. Dilution is the most important. Paints like Model Masters and Tamiya really don’t have to be diluted at all, and are fairly straight forward to use. Apple Barrel brand paints are virtually one hundred percent Pigment, with very little binder, and no solvent. If you’re going to use them, then I would suggest experimenting with them straight out of the bottle using a technique like dry brushing, then repeating the process with the paint diluted with water.
I paint each disassembled section, beginning with the panel lines, then moving on to details like engine intakes and exhaust, back blast from blaster fire, ext. Once all of the detailed work is complete, I will re assemble the toy, then weather it. Afterwards, I re-examine it for any corrections that need to be made before applying the top coat.
If you use the Apple Barrel brand paints, I recommend sticking with the Plaid brand clear coat, as it is especially formulated for those paints. I use Krylon Acrylic clear coat as well, but only when spray painting toys. Whichever brand you choose, be aware that it takes ten days for the clear coat to completely cure. Also be certain to keep the spray can at least twelve inches from the toy, and only spray very quick, short strokes side to side. On ships and vehicles I usually only apply two coats, three on larger stuff like the Falcon or a cruiser.
Vehicles and ships without panel lines look best with a wash, which takes multiple coats to get the right look.
So there you have my thoughts on repaints. If you guys have any questions, feel free to ask on the Outer Rim News social media sites, or message me on my Facebook page, Orion’s Belt Creations. If you haven’t already subscribed to Outer Rim News, please do so!
Update for Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Jabba’s Sail Barge
Measuring approximately 4ft long, this vast vehicle is a dream item for any Star Wars collection. Designed to captivate and inspire, The Vintage Collection Jabba’s Sail Barge (The Khetanna) features exquisitely detailed, fan accessible decks that complement 3.75-inch figures (not included) allowing fans and collectors to recreate intense battles in the Star Wars saga. Its removable side panels also offer a unique opportunity to pose and set up incredible dioramas. Complete with premium deco, vintage packaging, and soft cloth sails, this dream product offers Star Wars devotees the quality and realism they know and love. Included with the vehicle is Jabba the Hutt (3.75-inch scale figure).
- The Vintage Collection Jabba’s Sail Barge (The Khetanna) complete with exquisitely-detailed and fan accessible interior/exterior decks, two soft-cloth fabric sails, and other realistic features that mimic one of the most notorious vehicles in the Star Wars universe
- Jabba the Hutt 3.75-inch scale figure
- Classic Vintage Collection packaging with special limited edition HASLAB seal of authenticity
- Jabba’s Sail Barge (The Khetanna): Behind the Workbench, a premium, 64-page booklet, that goes behind the scenes of the design and development of the actual Sail Barge film set piece and Hasbro toy. Complete with set photos, product blueprints, interviews, and more.
- A dedicated, ongoing stream of behind-the-scenes development updates, keeping you informed as The Vintage Collection Jabba’s Sail Barge (The Khetanna) makes its way from a dream at Hasbro to a reality in your hands (subject to reaching the minimum backing goal).
If the minimum number of backers (5,000) is reached by 11:59 EST on April 3, 2018, The Vintage Collection Jabba’s Sail Barge (The Khetanna) estimated ship date is 2/28/2019 and Jabba’s Sail Barge (The Khetanna): Behind the Workbench booklet will start shipping on 4/4/2018.
You can place your order directly at the Haslab website!
HasLab is an extension of the longstanding collaboration between fans and the beloved toymaker Hasbro that has, over the years, helped to introduce new products and figures based on feedback and the results of fan polls.
Bandai Launching New Line of Star Wars Model Figure Kits
Bluefin is bringing the force to Star Wars fans and retailers as it announces the Star Wars Character Line of model kits from Bandai Hobby.
The kits in the Star Wars Character Line require no glue and color injection molding reduces or even eliminates the need for paint. The Bandai Hobby Star Wars Character Line features kits in 1/12, 1/6, and 1/2 scales. Initial characters to be released will be in the 1/12 scale and will have an MSRP range of $28.00 – $50.00.
Some of the kits, like the Han Solo and Luke Skywalker kits, feature a new technology that allows a digitally printed likeness to be rendered onto the facial components of the kit. Once completed, each Character Line model is fully articulated and capable of replicating numerous iconic poses.
Could this potentially be the Star Wars figure line that collector’s will flock to? Only time will tell, but from the looks of the kits below, these are looking fantastic!
The initial Bandai Hobby Star Wars Plastic Model Character Releases for North America will include:
- Darth Vader
- Boba Fett
- R2-D2 & R4-D5
- Han Solo Stormtrooper
- Luke Skywalker Stormtrooper
- Clone Trooper
- General Grievous
- Kylo Ren
- First Order Stormtrooper
Additional character releases will be announced throughout 2018.
There are quite a few images below, so sit back, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the photos of what’s to come!
Bandai has become the leading toy company of Japan. The company holds many popular toy licenses in Japan, including Godzilla, Ultraman, Kamen Rider, the Super Sentai series (which they took part in creating), Gundam, and many others. Bandai America is the manufacturer and master toy licensee of some of the most popular brands in children’s toys and entertainment today, including Power Rangers, Ben 10, Dragon Ball Z, Digimon, Tamagotchi, and Girlz Connect.
Star Wars Happy Meals Coming Soon to McDonald’s!
McDonald’s USA to bring the magic of characters from Disney films to updated Happy Meals with multi-year agreement
All McDonald’s Happy Meals Offered in U.S. will be in line with Disney’s Industry-Leading Nutrition Guidelines by June 2018
OAK BROOK, Ill. and BURBANK, Calif., Feb. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — McDonald’s USA and The Walt Disney Company today announced a promotional alliance driven by McDonald’s commitment to improve the nutritional standards of its Happy Meal menus. With this multi-year, non-exclusive agreement, Disney and McDonald’s will collaborate to add more fun to family mealtime with Happy Meal cross-promotional campaigns in the United States for select movies from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Live Action, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm. The promotional alliance will begin in June with Incredibles 2, which arrives in theaters on June 15, followed in the fall by Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, which debuts in theaters November 21.
McDonald’s recent “Commitment to Families” announcement is the latest in a series of customer-led changes that created new global nutrition criteria for Happy Meals, which will reduce calories, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar in many Happy Meal combinations. In June 2018, all Happy Meals offered on menu boards in the United States will be in line with Disney’s industry-leading nutrition guidelines.
“McDonald’s and Disney are two beloved family favorites and together with this alliance, we will create memorable moments for families,” said Morgan Flatley, McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer. “As we continue to build a better McDonald’s, this relationship combines ingenuity in food and entertainment to encourage more balanced meal selections in our Happy Meals and inspire families in fun and innovative ways.”
“McDonald’s commitment to balanced Happy Meals allows our two companies to collaborate on new ways to bring the magic of Disney to McDonald’s consumers,” said Tiffany Rende, Senior Vice President, Corporate Alliances, The Walt Disney Company.
In 2006, Disney became the first major media company to establish nutrition criteria, associating its brands and characters with more nutritionally balanced foods. The guidelines, developed with national nutrition authorities and aligned to federal standards, promote the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy while limiting calories, saturated fats, sugars and sodium. Disney expanded the initiative in 2012 by introducing new standards for food advertising on programming targeted to kids and families. All food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on Disney-owned TV channels where more than 25 percent of the audience is ages 12 and younger, and online platforms that are directed to children and families, are required to meet Disney’s nutrition guidelines.
In addition to McDonald’s recent nutrition enhancements, it has made ingredient improvements to popular children’s offerings, including removing artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets, serving chicken that is not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine and sourcing milk from cows not treated with rBST for milk jugs.
Several other markets which follow the U.S. Happy Meal program will also participate in the promotional alliance announced today, and will be in line with Disney’s nutrition guidelines, including: Puerto Rico, Aruba, Curacao, U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas and St. Croix), Samoa, Suriname, and the Caribbean Islands (Dominican Republic and Trinidad).
About McDonald’s USA
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook www.facebook.com/mcdonalds.
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, and Consumer Products & Interactive Media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $55.1 billion in its Fiscal Year 2017.
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