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Mike

Star Wars Gonk Droid & MSE Droid 1:12

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Star Wars Gonk Droid & MSE Droid

1:12 JPG Productions via Tirydium Models

 

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Star Wars – a little known film from the 70s that helped Harrison Ford make a name for himself as Indiana Jones.  Yeah, I know, but do I really need to tell you about Star Wars?  Didn't think so.  Anyway – what's a Gonk Droid?  During Star Wars, when Android Laurel & Hardy (Threepio & Artoo) are held captive by the Jawas, you see this weird Icebox on legs wandering about then and in other scenes later on, which makes an electronic sound that's reminiscent of the word "GONK!".  Even though it was a rather bit-part character without any other lines, it seems to have become a bit popular along with the little mouse-like droid that Chewie scares the bejeezuz out of when he's on the Death Star in binders, so why wouldn't we want a model of them both?

 

The Kit

This is a newly tooled resin kit by JPG Productions that is being imported by a friend of mine, and possibly yours to - Warren Monks of Tirydium Models fame, who creates lighting kits for Sci-Fi and other models, as well as parading about dressed like a Stormtrooper whenever he can find an excuse.  He looks quite normal in his civvies, if you can believe that!  Moving on… The kit(s) arrive in a cube of a box, with all the parts held safely in a couple of ziplok bags suspended in green foam S shaped snow, the result being a totally undamaged model, despite a trip across the Atlantic, and another by the Royal Mail.  Inside are just a few parts, but they're rather nicely moulded and free for the most part of any casting blocks – just a few remainders of the injection gates that will respond to clean up nicely.  As usual, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in.  Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them.

 

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The Gonk Droid is made up from top and bottom halves, with a central flange between the halves that is inscribed with BOTTOM on the lower side.  There is a recess in the bottom that accepts an insert with a pair of leg sockets cut into it.  The legs are one piece each with a nicely moulded corrugated pattern that hid the operator's legs (yes, they weren't real droids), terminating in a pair clumpy feet that have grooves cut around the outer edge, but not the inner.  Here the mould has worn a little and the groove is a little ragged, but that can be cleaned up with a razor saw or similar.  There are also a few bubbles in the legs, as you would probably expect, but they can be cleaned up by inserting some rod and trimming that back to flush.  A little bit of time that will be consumed, but the rest of the model won't take you long at all.  There are two resin hoses that come out of the rear of the feet and go up into the body, and that's everything.  Just add paint and weathering for effect.

 

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The MSE "Mouse" Droid is similarly simple, with one exception.  The body is one part, with two skateboard-like trucks that just glue underneath in a pair of recesses.  On top there are a number of short rods at the front and back of the horizontal deck, which are replicated by cutting 3mm lengths from the supplied metal rod.  This part is coated with green paint, but it quite strong, so make sure you use some appropriately tough cutters, and sand the ends flat after cutting.  Your other option would be to get some similar styrene rod and cut then fit the rod with CA, sanding the tops level when the gluer is set.  That's it!

 

Markings

No decals are provided, but there don't seem to be any on either vehicle.  The Gonk semes to be a grubby and chipped grey/brown, while the Mouse is a very dark grey and a lot cleaner.  Of course you can get creative with the colour scheme if you aren't modelling a film prop/suit, but keep a look out for their appearance in The Force Awakens, as they're still in service all those years later.

 

 

Conclusion

A cool and interesting model from the Star Wars background cast, and it should be a pretty quick build, with the painting taking the most time to get right.  It won't blow the bottom out of your wallet either, which is good news.

 

Extremely highly recommended to anyone with even a passing interest in Star Wars, and a must-have for any of us with some Bandai 1:12 figures in the cabinet or stash.

 

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Review sample courtesy of
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Thanks for the review Mike, I have emailed a link to Jimi at JPG Productions and he apologised for the bubbles in the leg, that would not normally get through quality control.  Might have been me pushing him to get them out to me quickly!

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Just opened mine to have a proper look and test fit and the main droid is very nice, some crips details and the fit is nice. The slightly ruff bits are the same as the reviewer has said with one leg having a few air bubble holes but these look like they can easily be filled but i do seem to have one foot quite a bit smaller than the other, could probably be sorted by sanding down the other foot. I plan on putting it together this week so will start a WIP with pictures. Over all very happy with my Gonk.

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