|Star Wars TIE X1 Darth Vader's ship (1/72 scale)
To complete the ships for a Star Wars diorama, I needed to have Darth Vader's ship, known as the Advanced TIE X1. However, I
have not ever seen one in 1/72 scale and I used the old MPC kit, about 1/36 scale, as reference. In order to create this model, I
took a Fine Molds TIE Interceptor and converted it to Darth Vader's ship. There were a number of difficulties to overcome. Other
build notes are below the pictures. I have also prepared more detailed build notes in a PDF file, with a lot of construction photos.
Build Notes (1.3 MB PDF)
Links: This has also been featured as an online article on the website.
Jim Botaitis' (JBOT decals) pages about his TIE models
Base Kit(s): 1/72 scale Fine Molds TIE Interceptor
Finished: May 2005
Wings turned backwards and modified to with new, larger solar panels and details.
Modified arms connecting cockpit pod to wings to make bulkier and additional detail.
Added rear elongated section of body from sheet styrene.
Solar panels are Evergreen ''V-groove' sheet styrene.
Pilot converted to Dart Vader by making taller and adding helmet and cape detail from two part epoxy putty.
Two additional, resin cast ion engines added.
Resin cast copy of TIE Fighter panel detail for outer part of wing.
Stand modified with third arm to hold up back end of model, painted with bottle thinned semi-gloss black.
Tamiya XF-66 Light Gray was thinned and shot through an airbrush.
The solar panels are Tamiya X-18 semi-gloss black straight from the can.
Leftover decals placed on various spots on the body.
A thin, black enamel wash was added to bring out the details.
Also featured in Starship Modeler Star Wars Contest, click icon to see more.
The model didn't place in the very competitive scratchbuilt category.
CapCON 2005 Model Contest, Ottawa, ON Sept 2005, 2nd place, Sci-Fi/Space major conversion and scratchbuilt
London Model Show, London, Ontario, October 2005, 3rd place Sci-Fi vehicle
Ajax XXV model show, October 2005, 2nd place, space vehicle category
Special Theme Award - Best Star Wars subject
BuffCON 23, Buffalo, NY, April 2006, snd place, Sci-fi vehicles.
Click on Thumbnail to see detailed image. These images are 800 x 600 and should load reasonably quickly,
depending on your connection speed.
Other Build Notes:
one in that scale was to use a Fine Molds TIE Interceptor and do a lot of scratchbuilding and kitbashing. The old MPC Darth Vader TIE Fighter kit was
used for reference.
Wings and Solar Panels
The wings of the TIE Interceptor were turned backwards and new frames for the solar panels were built from the original wings. The details on the
inside of the wings were removed and styrene sheet, strip and rod were used to make new ones and add the smaller details. A mold was made of the
central part of a TIE Fighter panel and two pieces cast from resin. These were then cut to size and used on the outside of the wings. New solar panels
were cut form V-groove sheet styrene to give the panels some texture.
The Pod Arms:
The arms connecting the pod to the wings are bulkier than the TIE Fighter/Interceptor kits and are also at a different orientation with respect to the
cockpit - flat on top and bottom, whereas the TIE Fighter/Interceptor arms were pointed. In addition, there were some mechanical details sunk into the
arms that needed to be replicated.
The TIE Interceptor cockpit was assembled and then the arms were cut off with a razor saw, turned 30° and glued back on. Sheet styrene was used to
build new arms, including the smaller indents on the rear portion of the arms and the larger indents on the front. The details in the indents were built
using styrene rod, strip and a small part cut from the Interceptor blasters. Panel lines were scribed in the new arms.
The X1 has a thin elongated body section on the back, with a built up section in the middle. The large part of the body was built using sheet styrene,
with an internal bulkhead to give the body a curved profile. The middle section was built up using styrene sheet. Details were added using styrene
sheet, rod, strips and the details from some of the Interceptor panels. The details included adding the holes in the body and scribed panel lines, using
the MPC kit as a guide. The MPC kit shows that there are four ion engines on the back of the cockpit, compared to two on the TIE Fighter/Interceptor. A
mold of one of the engines was made and extra pieces cast for these details.
Darth Vader Figure:
Although difficult to see inside the cockpit, the pilot has been converted to look like Darth Vader. This included making him taller and fashioning a
helmet, mask and cape using a two part epoxy putty.
The TIE Interceptor was modified to add a third arm to hold up the back of the ship
The solar panels were painted Tamiya semi-gloss black directly from the can, the rest of the model was Tamiya XF-66 light gray using an airbrush, with
some smaller details brush painted. The Starship Modeller mask kit was used for painting the front canopy and the upper hatch on the cockpit. A light
enamel black wash was added to the entire model to bring out the details and some very slight weathering was applied. I figured this ship should
have a bit of damage from flying through the shrapnel of Rebel ships that Darth destroyed. The stand was painted Tamiya semi-gloss black thinned
from the bottle and airbrushed. This gives a satin sheen. The paint was sanded off the lettering and then the plastic was polished to give the letters