Backlot Studios
Imperial TIE Bomber


Stated scale:


Actual scale:



Overall length:

18.6 cm


resin, styrene, solder wire

Number of parts:

63 resin
1 vac-form clear
1 solder wire

Stand included?


Decals included?

no / none needed

My Source:

Rider's Hobby

Cost (w/o s&h):


This is an impressive piece of work created in "studio" scale, i.e. in the same scale as the studio filming mini. Since that model was built using parts from the MPC Darth Vader TIE fighter kit as the basis for the bomber's wings, one might think that makes this kit in the same scale as the Vader TIE - the 1/53 scale neighborhood. Not so, with a stated length of 7.8m it scales out to about 1/42.

Week of 1/1/06

TIEB_pilot_cleanup_tubes.jpg (50096 bytes) Pilot cleanup and installing helmet-to-chest package tubes. The solder wire included with the kit is to make the tubes which run between the TIE pilot's helmet and chest package. Using a pin vise and .05" drill bit, I drilled a hole across the chest package. I threaded the solder through the hole, trimmed it and bent it to connect to the helmet.
TIEB_pilot_armsurgery.jpg (56600 bytes)

The pilot's arms don't reach the console controls. I used a razor saw to open the arms' elbows. The right arm just needed a chip of styrene inserted to extend the reach. The left arm needed more extensive work. I cut the arm into two pieces and drilled holes to use extra solder wire as a temporary elbow joint. Once I got a good posture for the arm, I built it up with green putty. I also drilled out and wired the shoulder joint to make it easier to attach the arms.



TIEB_cockpit1.jpg (74855 bytes) TIEB_cockpit2.jpg (54966 bytes) TIEB_empty_pit.jpg (33311 bytes)

Above, the assembled cockpit pieces. But that cockpit interior looks awfully bare. May need to trick out those side walls with some TIE-ish details. 'Course, then I'd have to drop in some lighting to show it off. And then I may as well light the engines. And thus we go mad.

Week of 1/8/06

TIEB_wing_assembled.jpg (54467 bytes) TIEB_wing_detail.jpg (90505 bytes)

Wing panel details are attached to the insides of each wing panel. The wingward ends of the pieces attached to the T/B of the hub benefited from being sanded off at an angle and having a couple small notches filed in 'em.

TIEB_fuselage1.jpg (59585 bytes) TIEB_fuselage2.jpg (60240 bytes) TIEB_clips1.jpg (35682 bytes) TIEB_clips2.jpg (28173 bytes)

The first wave of detail pieces are attached to the fuselage (above left 2 shots), and the second wave (above right 2 shots).

Three of the clips surrounding the fore ordnance fuselage had to be trimmed to fit, per instructions. And all the while cleaning them up, not a one went diving for the floor. Nice, well-behaved parts.

Gave the model it's first round of puttying, sanding, and filing. Some mold mismatches in the fuselage needed to be puttied up. Otherwise, it's just filling gaps and a bubble here and there. There are some areas on the wing attachment arms with small piping detail - some of this peeled loose, so I'm taking off all the piping to replace. Or maybe I'll just decal it on since photos of the studio model pretty clearly show the "piping" to just be drawn-on pencil lines.

10/13/09 - Well, over 3 years later... superglued the pilot's arms in place, with hands positioned so they reach the control yoke in the cockpit. And madness struck in the form of drilling for LED lighting of the TIE engines. I cut off the molded engine nubs, drilled out holes that LED leads can fit through. 3mm LEDs fit suitably sizewise in place of the resin nubs. Now, I just need to scrounge up one more of those LEDs.

IMG_4033.jpg (81515 bytes) IMG_4032.jpg (86869 bytes) IMG_4034.jpg (84440 bytes) IMG_4035.jpg (87474 bytes)

10/17/09 - Installed 4 matching  LEDs in the engines, ran wiring, and attached the engine caps. And yes, tested the diodes and wiring before I closed it up.

And, it occurs to me... if this bomber has QUAD ion engines rather than TWINs, shouldn't it be a QIE Bomber, rather than a TIE Bomber?

IMG_4052.jpg (798151 bytes) IMG_4053.jpg (753501 bytes)

11/16/2009 - What would be the point of making a detailed cockpit if it only ended up looking like this?

IMG_4214.jpg (567998 bytes)

So, here's a quick lighting test with a small sheet of EL "lightsheet" material in the cockpit. Covered with some sort of spiffy printed transparency and scratch-built detail pieces... yeah, that'll work.

 IMG_4215.jpg (592269 bytes) IMG_4216.jpg (590229 bytes)