So, this may look a little different than you expect. First of all, it’s the color version of the model that is only sold in Disney Parks. And second, the S-foils are in closed position, which I’ve been meaning to do with an X-Wing model for some time. But… I did it a little different than I had originally though to do it. Instead, it’s a convertible version that can be displayed with the S-foils in attack position as well, which you can see below.
I managed to pull this off by hiding some very strong magnets in the lower S-foils. Strong enough to hold the S-foils closed, but not to pull them closed when open. Though the magnets I had available were pretty close to being too strong, as you can see in the video below, where I lightly tap under the lower S-foil on one side and it snaps shut.
Anyways, I’ll give you more details about where exactly I stuck those magnets into the model later on. For now, let’s get back to the usual format of these posts. Which means that the next thing I need to share is the 360 video of my build. Of course, this being a rather unique build, I squeezed in a rotation with S-foils closed, as well as one with them in attack position.
Now, back to the topic of this being the Disney Parks exclusive version of the model, it’s not just the fact that it’s colored. In this version the cockpit canopy is not an open frame with a little metal man sitting in a cockpit seat. Instead, the canopy is solid (and colored). And, while I may miss the idea of the little metal man in the cockpit… he was kinda weird looking. And folding the middle of the super-thin frame sections of the canopy was super hard, so I don’t miss having to do that. Oh, and the paint job is great, with weathering and all that. Definitely worth adding to your collection.
Now, this is a version of the classic X-wing, from the original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI). Which means that it unfortunately maintains a lot of the more challenging build aspects that went with that design. In many ways, I like the construction and design of Poe’s X-Wing. That being said, I understand why they went with the original. I mean, it’s Luke’s X-Wing, right? But, like I said, at least the cockpit canopy is not as much of a nightmare.
One of the weirdest feeling things about the classic X-Wing model, at least to me, is that you actually start with the stand. In most other models that have stands, spaceships or planes, the stand is something you build much later in the process. But not this model. One thing that I really do like about this colored version – the stand is colored black, which helps to make it “disappear.” However, it is a stand that is permanently attached, which I know some people will be happy to hear, while other people might not be.
One of the most challenging parts of this build, at least for me, is forming the fuselage (body) and specifically the nose of the X-Wing. Much like many of the early aircraft models, there are some really long folds going down the length of the body. Long folds like that are hard to fold evenly, and it’s kinda hard to know how much to fold these long folds. However, you can “look ahead” to back panel of the craft, which is a section of part 6, to give you an idea of the amount to fold these super-long folds. As well as the short lengthwise folds.
But… despite that being the first thing that it seems to be indicated to fold, I would actually suggest starting with that nose cone section, at least getting it started. Because folding those side panels of it is frustrating when the sides of the main fuselage is folded up. Something I forgot about this time, so you can see me struggle with it in my build video (if you watch it). And you can pre-curve the top panel of the nose, but do not close it up until you have folded the side panels of the fuselage, cause that can make it hard to get those in place without bending stuff up.
And a final note about the fuselage / body construction… I chose not to fully secure the tabs holding the bottom of the fuselage in place until I had aligned all the tabs connecting the top of the fuselage (part 6) to the rest of the fuselage (part 1). I’m not entirely sure why, except that I think it was just easier, in general, to secure the tabs one the fuselage is more stabilized. Oh, and on the top section, don’t be a goob like me and forget to start shaping the cockpit canopy until after attaching the Artoo assembly to it (part 6).
This is one of the model that features the “P” call-out circle to indicate the Painted side. Which is kinda ironic, given that both sides of the model are coated in a base white paint. And that did not help when it came to figuring out how to align the S-foils (parts 11 & 12). However, I am fairly certain that the “painted” side means the side with both white base paint and color on top of it. I sat there, flipping the parts over, and looking closely at the product photo, and second-guessing myself. But I decided to just go with it, and I think I was right. Oh, and side-note: for my modification to allow the S-foils to be closed, it was important to fold the tabs that are attaching the s-foils to the body, despite the instructions suggesting to twist. Of course, I’ve always tried to fold those tabs on X-Wing builds, cause I don’t like having visible twisted tabs.
The rest of the build is quite repetitive feeling, as you build and attach the components of each of the four S-foils. But do not assume that the parts are all built the same and interchangeable, because they are most definitely not (except for part 22). Now some of them are interchangeable in pairs, effectively, but I would warn you not to play around with that. Keep everything sorted, and keep track of which part is for which S-foil. It will benefit you in the end, not matter how tempting it is to “factory-line” it.
The first component of the S-foils to be build are the engines. These are rather delicate and finicky components to build, and it’s also where I chose to hide my strong-magnets to enable the S-foils to be held in closed position. I would advise you to wait to fold the 90-degree side-flap on part 14 (or it’s mirror, part 18) until after attaching the cylindrical engine housing component to it. It’ll be a lot easier that way. In fact, go ahead and attach part 13 to it before folding the flap (that it attaches to) as well. Oh, and when attaching the little ring (part 17) to the large cylinder, make sure to fold one of the tabs outward from the ring, rather than towards the inside – specifically the one passing through thinner half of the ring. If you fold it towards the inside, it will collide with part 13 and knock it off-center.
And the most challenging (at least for me) part in these engine assemblies is part 16, the smaller cylinder. It’s both challenging to form, and to attach securely, and not knock loose while handling the model. First, let’s start with forming it. I found it worked best to first form the main cylindrical body of these parts, and get it nice and tight to what you want. Then, I would bend the tabs, the ones on the flaps at the “front” of the cylinder, out a little bit, before folding those flaps inwards. And then there’s the little circle that gets inserted inside the back end of the cylinder. I found this process to work best: (1) fold to 90-degrees at the joint between strip and circle; (2) fold at joint between strip and cylinder to about 45-degrees; (3) then use drill-bit or some other cylindrical object to fold strip+circle into the cylinder, making sure to keep the circle folded at 90-degrees to the strip. Finish by firmly flattening the strip to cylinder joint, if you can.
Finally, when attaching these cylinders to part 15 (or 19, 20, or 21), make sure to twist those tabs, and get it as tight as you can. It’s really annoying when those things are loose at the end (as they were the first time I built an X-Wing). Also, be mindful of these delicate cylinders as you handle the model for the rest of the build.
As I said earlier, I did insert some string magnets inside of the engine components on both lower S-foils. It was rather interesting, to be honest, trying to do that, as the magnets wanted to slide around, and made lining up the tabs to the slots somewhat difficult. And sometimes the magnet got in the way of the sides of the component, not allowing it to meet the S-foil. I had to fold most of the “vertical” tabs on the insides, as well, so I could fit the magnets in. Other fun complications: magnets like tweezers, magnets like to close the S-foils while you are attaching components and securing tabs. It kinda got annoying, but was definitely worth it (to me).
After you finish assembling and attaching all the engine components, make sure that you don’t miss attaching parts 22. It can be easy to miss that, as there is a big call-out build for the first laser cannon assembly. But you definitely want to attach them before you start attaching the laser cannons, cause those laser cannons are delicate. They’re also kinda a pain to build.
I love the X-Wing as an iconic star-fighter design. It’s amazing. And the laser cannons at the end of the S-foils… just wonderful. Forming them on this model (and the classic silver version) is infuriating. Possibly even more so in this build, as the thick coat of paint (which is quite resilient, amazingly) makes these parts more stiff and resistant to being rolled into a cylinder. And it’s a struggle, no way about it. Unless you’ve figured one out, and if so, I want to know! But for me, it’s just a frown-and-bear-it moment. Fighting to get it rounded smoothly, but also make sure that it’s straight. And that I don’t over-curve it. And the length of the underlying S-foil always makes me think I’ve over-curved it (because of the rectangular bit that sticks out once you’ve attached the laser cannon). It’s something that takes me a lot longer than it seems like it should.
And then there is attaching the laser emitter bars, or whatever you want to call them (part 25). Oh how this step confuses me. Because I want them to all line up, but it does not cooperate! It also doesn’t help that it uses the “NE” indicator on both of the first two uses, even though that side is actually the side with engraving. It really means “Not Painted.” The hard part is figuring out how to fold the little circle at the end so that the long part is as close to vertical as possible. The key is to keep the gap in the circle pointed away from the painted side, and towards the center of the craft (when attached to the S-foils). Even still, I doubt you’ll end up with it being aligned correctly, and it’s annoying as all get out.
But I found a solution with my modded build. After attaching them all, I used the magnets to hold the S-foils in closed position, and then used some pliers to pinch/twist the poles into a parallel-ish state while they were close together. I imagine that could be done, even without the magnets. Another thing I had to do was all a little bit of a bend to the S-foils so they would appear to meet in a parallel fashion when closed (because the tabs holding the S-foils on force a bit of a spreading gap). And with that, I was finished. Well, sorta finished. I sat there and tweaked the poles of the laser cannons over and over again, trying to get them to be parallel. And to make sure the rest of the cannon body sections were parallel. And that they were the rolled to the same distance in on the S-foils. Lots and lots of tweaking.
But all in all, I’m quite happy with the results. I did have to fix up the model after a bit of testing out the “snap-closed” function with the magnets – it bent the ring at the front of one of the engines into a banana shaped ring. But I still like it. It was completely worth the roughly 3.5 hours it took to build it. You can watch the process in the YouTube playlist below:
I just looked at the Fascinations and the ICONX painted versions and was very surprised that both have wings that fold up. They don’t stay, you have to hold them, but I guess a couple of magnets would take care of that. Love your build and notations.
Yep, a couple of magnets will do, indeed! The air-gap between the wings means they have to be pretty strong, though. And thank you! I try to make the write-ups useful.