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Mike

Resistance & Poe's X-Wings 1:50

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Star Wars The Force Awakens X-Wings
Level 2 - 1:50 Revell


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Although we don't yet know the full story behind the new J.J.Abrams take on the Star Wars universe after the Emperor's demise, we know that the X-Wing is still one of the primary fighters in the galaxy, although it has been streamlined due to the march of imaginary technology. They appear to be in the service of both sides too, if the colours are true to the dark for bad guy, light for good guy, although Poe may well be the new anti-hero in a Han Solo style.

The Kits
These two are snap-together styrene kits in the Level 2 range, and as such are more detailed and larger than the lights & sound Level 1 kits (toys) I reviewed the other day here. They arrive in a bigger box, and both have four sprues in pale grey or black styrene, depending on which you get, plus one of clear parts. The details are painted at the factory, although there has been quite a bit of over-spray on my review samples, but that shouldn't be a major issue to the intended audience, and the Resistance as the Rebels are now known are more concerned with function over cleanliness.

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One kit is marked as a Resistance X-Wing, which seems suitably generic to pick it out as the mount of "those who also flew that mission", while the other darker kit is Poe's X-Wing, and we already know that Poe is one of the main characters of the film, so he's either an anti-hero, changes sides, or they just picked black to make him stand out from the crowd. I've built up Poe's ship and used the lighter kit for the sprue shots as the colour is more conducive to showing the detail. Both sprues are the same, and you can see the differences in the pre-painted markings in either state.

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Oddly, there aren't any pilots included in the kits, but a BB-8 Astrodroid is. The cockpit and rear glazing is dropped into the upper fuselage after the front windscreen is inserted, with the assembly holding the pivoting screen in place. The wings are full-width with the upper wing on one side linked to the lower on the other, so that the spoilers can be set to attack position, which gives rise to their name. The engines and cowlings snap together to form the Intake with linked exhaust, and a roof for the main gear bay on the lower wings, or just the intake and exhaust sections on the upper wings, both having intake inserts and linking pipework for added detail. The wing pairs slot together and are placed inside the lower fuselage along with the rear bulkhead, after which the upper fuselage is joined, trapping them in place, and allowing the wings to pivot. Exhaust tips and wingtip mounted cannons are added next, and then you have a choice of in-flight pose with closed gear bays, or landing configuration with the bay doors open and the gear skids deployed. Due to the snap-fit nature of the kit you could switch between modes, but it would just be a matter of time before the small parts got lost if my son is anything to go by!

BB-8 snaps together from two parts, and the four-part stand with an undulating drought-crazed surface moulded into it finishes the build. There are no decals due to them having been pre-painted, and you can leave the glue closed too, as everything is snap-together. It might be an idea to use a little if you don't want it disassembled by small fingers, but that's up to you and little Johnny!

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Build Notes
The kit is moulded in tougher ABS plastic, and sprue gates are consequentially tougher to cut off, so a sharp blade is of more use, and due to the pre-painted nature of the kit, there will be some small holes in the paint afterward. You can match some paint and make good if you're minded, and there are a couple of places where glue would be well-advised. Firstly, the wingtip mounted blasters are very prone to coming off, so glue these in place for your own sake. Secondly, there are pins on which main gear bay doors are supposed to flex-fit into recesses in the bay wall, but there is too little flex due to the thickness of both parts. This results in damage to the pins and subsequent loss of the parts if you don't glue them in. This last one could be down to my lack of strength, but be prepared. Everything else fits nicely, but there are little nubs that hold the wings in the closed position that are stiff to begin with, but might become slack later. In total it took me about 20 minutes to prepare and complete construction, with a little liquid glue added at the end to secure the aforementioned parts.



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Conclusion
This is a construction toy, and a pretty good one at that. It's a shame about the slightly fuzzy painting, but given the intended audience, it shouldn't be an issue, and if my son gets as much fun out of these bigger kits as he has done with the Level 1 kits, they'll be a great buy for any kids you know of any age.

Highly recommended.



Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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