For anyone who regularly builds Bandai model kits, there has been a noticeable proliferation of droid kits, mostly of the astromech variety. This has been slightly frustrating for me because I miss the character kits and get a little tired of the same droid kit re-released in a different color scheme. Obviously, it is an easy cash grab for the company with little need for creating new kits, and I have backed off from buying many of the new releases for that reason. I have picked up a few, however, and will share some of my thoughts about each of them below.
First, the rocket booster version of R2-D2. I had already built an R2 kit a few years ago, but when I saw the rocket booster version I thought it would be a good chance to improve on what I did before, and I was a fan of the prequel-centric accessories. The biggest difference between this R2 and my previous R2 was that I painted all the silver myself instead of leaving the mold color. This meant that I had to do some filling and sanding on the head in particular, which I always dread. I was actually pretty happy with how it turned out, however. Also, if you look at the comparison shot above, the painted silver looks so much better than the plastic molded color. I went with the in-flight pose and the zapper on his head to give this R2 a more prequel style.
Finally, for a completely different kind of droid, I picked up the Star Wars Celebration exclusive 0-0-0 protocol droid from the Dr. Aphra comics when I attended Celebration last April (for my thoughts on that whole experience, check here). This kit was clearly just a re-boxed version of C-3PO molded in black with slightly different decals, but the final look is pretty cool. Of all of the droids in this post 0-0-0 was the easiest to build and paint. I put him together, dry brushed a few silver spots to show a little wear, and then gave him a semi-gloss top coat. Overall, a super simple and quick build that looks great.
The droids are fun, quick builds with a lot of room for customization, but I really miss the steady stream of non-droid character kits. I know a new Kylo Ren is out now, but I would love to see some more characters. I suppose the ships will have to keep my satisfied for now...
After my last Battle Droid build, I kept the prequel bug going and picked up this amazing General Grievous figure kit. I had seen many people build this on YouTube and Instagram and heard many good things about it. In addition, there was at that time a distinct lack of Grievous action figures on the market in this scale. Since then, several more have been released, but based on what I have seen, this figure beats them all by a mile.
My favorite display option, however, which you can probably tell from the number of pictures, is all four arms out, a lightsaber in each hand. This is Grievous' most intimidating and iconic pose in my opinion, plus it gives a great chance to showcase all four lightsabers that come with the kit. Be prepared to do a little paint work on the lightsabers if you want them to look authentic.
For weathering I used a combination of Gundam markers for the narrow cracks and an overall dark grey wash to dirty him up a bit. In addition I did some gunmetal drybrushing on the darker under parts. I was pretty happy with the results. Enjoy the slideshow of the rest of my pictures below! This has definitely been my favorite figure kit from Bandai so far!
Model builder, board gamer, and all around lover of small scale stuff.