Y-Wing Fighter


Model by Stephen L.


Y-Wing Scratchbuilding Demo by Stephen L.



Sheet styrene, various kit parts, vaccuformed parts, custom resin cast pieces, and many plastic odds and ends

Model Specifications:
Scale = 1/24
Length = 68.2 cm
Width = 35.6 cm
Height = 9.6 cm

This 27" scratchbuilt Y-Wing Fighter was one of many Star Wars vehicles constructed for a movie theater display for the release of the Star Wars: Special Editions in 1997.

This model is the same scale as some of the filming miniatures of the Y-Wings used in Star Wars. It was also constructed using similar methods and has a few of the same pieces as the original miniatures had. 

The model, from blueprint to construction to finish took about five months.

The overall base color of the Y-Wing is Light Gray.
The entire model was built from the ground up from a sheet styrene base structure, to spare kit parts for detail. The detail pieces where the wings meet the main body and the back plate of the main body are actually the same pieces on the filming miniature for the Star Wars films.

The engines are composed of the Stage 1 segments from the 1/144 Saturn V rocket. We had only one rocket model and two Y-Wings were built, so we made a master shape from a hard compound and vaccuformed the parts needed. The caps on the engines were dome halves from a craft store. (I didn't have access to L'Eggs containers.) The aft exhaust deflectors are the other dome halves with the ends chopped off. The connecting rods are "T" bars from model railroad accessories. The engine thrusters are Alberto shampoo caps.
Most of the tubing is sprue from model trees. The shaped pipes were flame heated and bent to shape.

Flat Yellow was used as the Y-Wing marking stripes and several tube piece colors.

The Proton Torpedo tubes on the bottom of the front segment were holes cut with the Dremel into the plastic underbelly. The tubes themselves were made from nosecone halves from a  fighter plane kit.

Partially visible in this bottom view are the only two Star Wars kit pieces I used in the model. Look for C-3PO's back plate and the wing attachment piece of Darth Vader's TIE Fighter.

The small pairs of spikes in four quadrants around the engine domes are from a pack of Cribbage pegs from a department store.

There was some weathering on the model which was accomplished with washes and dry brushing techniques.

The cockpit segment was constructed from blueprints which detailed a front-on series of 'slices' of that section. Thin styrene was then skinned over the plastic skeleton after a 'U' shaped trench was cut from the slices so a scratchbuilt cockpit could be set into the front section.

This Y-Wing was built as a single-seater. The compartment behind the pilot was filled with sensor gear and had machinery connecting to the upper laser turret.
The Y-Wing pilot was modified from a Tamiya race car driver. The full-helmet driver had to have a significant portion of the lower helmet Dremeled away to sculpt a face with a small bit and the Dremel. The box on the chest was a small piece of styrene. The straps on the uniform were made with Flat Black painted thin strips of masking tape.

The instrumentation in the cockpit was detailed  as correctly as possible from screen captures from Star Wars. There is even the swivel Targeting Computer on the front right side of the cockpit.

The 'glass' enclosing the cockpit is made from the flimsy clear plastic film that is on window-boxed toys.
The R2 unit was used for my Y-Wing, another modeler's Y-Wing and two X-Wings used in the theatre display.

The R2 unit was a (coincidentally) 1/24 scaled die cast R2-D2 key chain, from which a rubber mould was made and resin casts produced. I painted my R2 unit Flat White with a Chrome Silver Head and Flat Red details. The 'eye' was painted Gloss Black.

Photos by Stephen L.