Jim James’ Jedi Starfighter

FineMolds Jedi Starfighter Building Tips

by Jim James

I ran into a few problems building FineMolds Jedi Starfighter and I thought I bring them to your attention if you are about to dive into this little gem – and this is a great kit.

I’m sure most of these problems might have been avoided if I could read Japanese!

  • Small parts. Since this is a little model, there are itty bitty parts. Cut carefully and work in some sort of safety net (a clean box works well). I have no idea if these little parts are positioned correctly, I can hardly see them.
  • Build in subsections – Starfighter, engines, center wing, upper wing and lower. Part fit is good so a final assembly will not create additional challenges (seams, gaps, etc.)
  • Paint first. Study the decal placement – often the decal will frame the painted section and a little “painting outside the lines” will eliminate white gaps and difficult touch up later. Decal #86, for example, frames the black panel on the side of the engine.
  • Mix up paint to match the decals using Gunze Red Brown C-41(the color indicated in the instructions) with a little red and a little dark brown. Mix it in a jar so you can use it throughout the project.
  • Some areas of the model are covered by several decal panels. To avoid white line gaps, paint the areas where the decals join before applying decals. The edges surrounding decals #72 is a good example.
  • In some cases, you might want replace the decal with paint. Decal #59/61 is a ring decal that’s hard to apply and hard to get straight and smooth. You can paint the area where it goes (with a little overlap) and discard the decal. Decals #64 and #71 will frame the painted area. Another example in the underside of the stern of the Starfighter – the decals (#108 and #109) have a hard time fitting the contours of this part.
  • The carrier film is very thin and overreacts to MicroSet or MicroSol making the decal hard to manage. Use lots of water to help move the decal into position. Blot into position with a soft cloth and use drops of MicroSol to make the decal snuggle down after it’s in position.
  • Wherever possible, trim excess decal film from the edges – especially where the decal will butt up against another decal edge, a part edge or a part angle. These decals do not have a natural flexibility and will not wrap around contours without help (pressing down with a soft cloth works best – MicroSol is OK after the decal is in place).
  • Where several decals cover a part, apply one panel at a time and let it dry before applying the next. Otherwise you may find yourself juggling two or three panels to line up.

I still have a few decals left but have no idea where they go.

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