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  1. Star Wars Hangar Crew (72006 & 72007) 1:72 GreenStrawberry You've probably heard of Star Wars just like you've also probably heard of Bandai, so if you put those two together you've probably also heard of GreenStrawberry and if you haven't you're about to, so prepare your wallet for a shock when you see all the lovely sets that are available. GS as I call them for my ease produce all sorts of accessories and detail upgrades for Sci-Fi subjects in general and Star Wars is one that features heavily on their menu. This latest batch of sets are great for the diorama builder that wants to put their ships into a human scale on the ground, and we reviewed the first issue here a while back, then more sets here, and now yet more to flesh out your collection. Each set arrives in a small rectangular box in their usual dark theme and white front, with the resin in a heat-sealed bag inside next to the folded instruction sheet that adds a little additional padding. Hangar Crew Vol.VI Mechanics (72006) Three figures are included, each on their own casting block. The guard has his hands on hips and is moulded in one piece, while the other two have separate arms. A mechanic carrying a large reel of cable with a separate arm swinging left arm to balance the extra weight, plus a mechanic standing there with his arms slightly wide that are moulded separately. Hangar Crew Vol.VII Guard & Pilot (72007) Another three figure set with two guards in their traditional rebel helmets and body=warmers, one with one hand by his side, the other on a holster, while the other is pointing with one hand. The A-Wing pilot is standing with folded arms and a wide stance with a posture that seems to indicate he’s a bit brassed off about something. Conclusion More grist for the hangar mill to add some human scale to your Star Wars dioramas, all dressed correctly with realistic poses. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. USS Defiant NX/NCC-74205 (FruitPACK FP08 for AMT) 1:420 GreenStrawberry It’s Star Trek time again, this time it’s the USS Defiant from Deep Space Nine, when they decided to give the crew of the space station a bit more robust mobility and add some greater breadth to the story-telling. The Defiant is a war ship plain and simple, and that’s all it was been designed for. As well as taking part in season 3 onwards and making an appearance in the Star Trek movie First Contact, it is a chunky little ship and has a bit of a “Voyager” look to some of her shapes, although all strapped to a saucer-style section and without any of the crew amenities that makes ships like the Voyager and Enterprise a home for her crew. The Set Designed to fit to the 1:420 AMT kit that was first released in the 1990s and has been rereleased a few times, the last time as recently as 2014, but they're a bit thin on the ground at time of writing. There are a lot out there in stashes of course, and GreenStrawberry have a pair of sets available to improve on the kit's simplified detail. The FruitPACK brings those together in a cost-effective and attractive box that contains a lot of resin, plus three sheets of Photo-Etch and a small sheet of decals. Inside the card box you get two sets that cover the Engines & Exterior in one, and Hangars in the other. Here’s what it all looks like in the heat-seal and ziplok bags: Engines & Exterior (08019-1/420) There are forty-two resin parts in grey, clear blue and clear red resin, plus two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) part and a thick instruction sheet, plus a load of tiny resin flakes from the moulding process. There will be a little plastic butchery involved to fit some parts, which is best done before you begin the build, especially as this set just begs to be lit thanks to the translucent resin parts. Initially this includes removing the circular shuttle-bay panel underneath, some small details, a pair of recessed bays under the nose and eight holes on the upper side. The bays are replaced by detailed inserts and eight translucent blue plugs fill the holes, while the shuttle bay is left until later. A few more small details are removed from the snout of the craft and filled with a translucent blue resin part with waffle texture moulded-in and a resin bracing part behind it. Next are a pair of louvered vents on the top of the ship, which are shaved off and replaced by a resin surround, translucent red centre and four resin inserts in the recesses, plus a set of folded up ladder shaped parts that fit into the area. In the engine nacelles new “intake” lips are temporarily fitted to act as a template to cut a hole through which the translucent red intake is passed, and the lip is then permanently attached around it. This is repeated on the other side and joined by a bunch of PE details on each side, and later on some resin parts are added to busy the area up. Under the rear of the nose there is a scoop-shaped area that is detailed with a new skin plus additional parts that replace all the simplified detail of the kit. The kit exhausts are excised and replaced by a sandwich of two bay halves with a translucent blue insert between them that acts as a diffuser for a light to tint the whole bay blue. This will also show up the moulded-in detail and the additional parts placed within the area before fitting. The aft of the Defiant is a bit of a beaver-tail that looks a little unfinished, and this section gets a thorough overhaul with new impulse engine tubes that are recessed, mesh vents and other details. The rest of the set is used in thoroughly upgrading the detail to the outer hull, with skins, grilles and other details that take up a substantial number of parts. more parts are added to the aft, and the upgrade is completed by replacing the shuttle-bay doors with a new more detailed assembly. Hangars (07919-1/420) This set consists of one fret of PE, a sheet of decals, plus seventeen resin parts in grey, and of course the instruction sheet. This details the area you might have just covered over with the new doors in the set above, as well as the smaller bays in the lower hull, so remember this and plan ahead. Construction begins with the main bay in the belly, which is made up in layers to give a thoroughly 3D look, which includes decals for display screens as you go. They both attach to a bulkhead that is also decked out with decals along with some PE parts and access ladders that are folded up and put in place. The bay doorway is lined with a PE lip and the doors are folded into shape and placed in the aperture, with a large decal on the inside “stand clear” written around the edge. The smaller bays are made inside the small resin boxes with one end left open while the other is closed up with some small windows left for lights to shine through, into which you fit the shuttle pads and a lot of decals. There is also a PE part that is added to the underside of the shuttle “tray” that will allow it to be slid in and out, or to fix them in the deployed or retracted positions at your whim. After cutting out the bays from the kit lower, the bay edges are tidied up by adding a PE surround, then apply the completed bay from behind and add extra detail parts to the surround. If you really must cover up all that nice detail, a set of finely grooved doors are also supplied, although you’d be mad to fit them unless you made a boo-boo. The final fun part of this set is a few different types of shuttle, including one larger Chaffee shuttle, two Work Bee Units, and two Type 18 shuttles with their weird hovercraft vibe. They all have decals for their windows, as well as codes and for the type 18s, pinstripes and door lines. Conclusion This is very involved and detailed set that is by no means cheap, but if you’re serious about your Defiant model it’s a must have, especially if you’re planning on lighting it, which is very common in Sci-Fi modelling these days. This provides you with the majority of the parts that will do it justice, needing just the lighting loom to finish off. Very highly recommended if you have or can get a kit for a sensible price. FruitPACK FP08 They’re also available separately if you only want one set Engines & Exterior Hangars (07919-1/420) Review sample courtesy of
  3. USS Discovery NCC-1031 FruitPACK (FP09) 1:2500 GreenStrawberry Star Trek fans will have heard of the latest show from the Star Trek universe, which ploughs an alternate timeline furrow with Captain Pike still in charge of the Enterprise and some rather weird looking Klingons. There’s also a view into the more sneaky side of Starfleet, Section 31, who don’t seem to share the higher moral standing of the previous incarnations of the United Federation of Planets. The Discovery, from the Crossfield Class of ships has some quite extraordinary propulsion systems that allow her to travel almost anywhere instantly, but with some complications that cause issues at times, and lead to some head-scratching plot points. I’m not entirely sold on the Spore-Drive myself, but that’s just me. The Discovery herself has had a new captain in each of the two seasons so far, and with season three in production we wonder if there’s another one waiting in the wings. The main protagonist is First Officer Michael Burnham, who grew up with Vulcan parents that gave her a stoical outlook and a tendency to whisper her lines, which irritates me a little. It’s an ensemble show and the special effects are excellent, with the Discovery sharing a roughly similar outline of the Enterprise from above, but having a more flattened side and front profile. I’ve also just learned that there’s going to be a spin-off show about Section 31, which is probably good news for Michelle Yeoh and another notch on her extensive CV. The Set This is a new tool from GreenStrawberry, who aim to improve the detail beyond the snap-together heritage of the recent kit from Polar Lights. In case you’re unfamiliar, their FruitPacks are supersets of their existing detail sets that offer a one-envelope solution to get your detail on! They arrive in card envelopes with the sets included within their individual wrappers for additional protection. This set includes the exterior detail set and the hangar bay set, so let’s see what’s in them. Detail Set (08319-1/2500) This is a two sheet set that is etched from a thinner gauge of brass so that the details don’t project too far from the surfaces, as it’s a small scale ship that would look out of place if they were of thicker stock. The two sheets contain mostly skin parts, but also have some additional details that aren’t included on the kit, and it should result in a much more detailed model once painted and decaled. The main hull is an arrow-head shape with the wide hangar bay in the rear. In the top of the nacelle supports or wings, there is a shallow recess that is removed and replaced by a deep part that is folded into a box insert that adds depth and a number of tiny window cut-outs. At the rear there are detail inserts in the back of the wings, with a choice of two types, so check your references and suit yourself. On the undersides there are more skins added to the hull, with slimmer inserts added to the leading edges of the wings where injection moulding was unable to provide sharp detail. The saucer section is given a highly detailed deflector where it joins the hull, with multiple parts forming the surround and a spoked representation of the dish itself. The neck is skinned, as are the sides of the inner saucer on both sides, the outer rim and the “bridge” that leads to the bridge dome. The sloped outer edges of the inner saucer is also skinned, as are the inner sloped edges of the outer saucer section, then the neck has another sliver covered up with some final parts. More raised detail is added to the top of the saucer where there are raised blocks, and yet more details are added to the roof of the route to the bridge. Given the slightly underwhelming surface detail of the ship out of the box that relies over-heavily on the decals to give the impression of more depth, this set should give it the massive boost that it needs, with the decals placed over the top treated with several coats of solution to settle them down into the recesses and add realism to the whole model. It’s a must-have if you want to turn it from an expensive toy into a model. Dare I say mandatory? Hangar Bay (08419-1/2500) Since the original 60s series got the budget for a shuttle to augment the cheaper effects of beaming down to every planet they visit, all the main ships have had shuttle bays from which to launch and retrieve these vessels. On the kit the bay is moulded closed, so the first task is to remove that part, plus six of the attachment lugs that make this a snap-fit kit. Then the bay is folded up with a number of simple straight folds forming the basis of the bay, which is then adorned with internal skins, a number of prominent ribs, a perforated roof section that is then closed in by folding down the remaining side after placing a stepped part into the centre back of the bay. The completed bay can then be slid into place within the hull, and has an optional two-part bay door if you want to hide away all your work. This set is etched from thicker gauge brass, so will be less flexible than the exterior set and therefore easier to handle when folding it to shape. Conclusion Having got one of these kits, they’re a little disappointing out of the box, relying too much on the large decal sheets to provide the detail. I’m not a fan of 2D detail, so these two sets in the one box not only save you a few credits, but also does the kit a huge favour in terms of detail. They’re an absolute necessity if you enjoy making detailed models. Extremely highly recommended. You can also buy them separately if you don’t want both Detail Set (08319-1/2500) Hangar Bay (08419-1/2500) Review sample courtesy of
  4. Star Wars BTL A-4 Y-Wing (VC03) 1:72 GreenStrawberry It's common knowledge that the new Bandai Star Wars model kits are pretty awesome, especially since they can be made without any paint or glue, but with this being a modelling forum there are likely to be a lot of us considering upgrades, because we just can't resist! GreenStrawberry have a raft of update sets for these kits that should satisfy most tastes, and they have now broadened their range by introducing a new range of vacform canopies, and with more planned and in progress. What does a vacform canopy do to improve your model? It gives you a more scale-accurate window pane to the full-size props, and it allows a greater view into the interior of the ship with less distortion. This is ideal if you're painting and/or detailing the area, or if you just want a more realistic looking canopy. The set arrives in a small box in the usual dark GS theme, with the two canopies inside protected by a ziplok bag, accompanied by an instruction sheet and a set of vinyl masks for good measure. The two canopies are different because one is moulded pre-cut into front and rear halves, while the other is moulded closed, allowing you to choose open or closed, or just build two and be done with it.  There's a lot of folks that are a bit wary of using vacform canopies, but they're actually not too difficult once you know how - if you do, skip to the next paragraph. If you fill the interior void with Blutak before you begin cutting, and use a brand new #11 blade, scoring round the cut mark lightly so that you don't drift away from the line. Once you've cut it out, offer it up to the model, and gently sand any uneven or proud areas with a sanding stick, being careful not to scuff the clear surfaces. When you're happy with the finish, peel off the Blutak and clean both sides, then dip it in your Klear/Future or whatever you use so that it's ready to use on your model. Conclusion A useful set that has been missing from the aftermarket scene until now, and they should hopefully sell well to anyone looking to add a bit more realism to their model. The range is continually expanding, so if your preferred topic isn't yet covered, keep checking back. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Star Wars Hangar Crew & Equipment Vo.IV (72004 & 07219-1/72) 1:72 Greenstrawberry You've probably heard of Star Wars just like you've also probably heard of Bandai, so if you put those two together you've probably also heard of GreenStrawberry and if you haven't you're about to, so prepare your wallet for a shock when you see all the lovely sets that are available. GS as I call them for my ease produce all sorts of accessories and detail upgrades for Sci-Fi subjects in general and Star Wars is one that features heavily on their menu. This latest batch of sets are great for the diorama builder that wants to put their ships into a human scale on the ground, and we reviewed the first issue here a while back, which is now augmented by these new sets. Each set arrives in a small black-themed card box with CGI rendered sticker on the front showing the contents. Inside the resin is ziplok bagged and has a small instruction sheet where appropriate. Hangar Crew Vol.IV (72004) Three figures are included in this set, each of them attached by the soles of their boots to their casting blocks and their arms standing up by their sides, all surrounded by wafer-thin supports to aid the ingress of resin and egress of bubbles. There are also some wisps of resin adhering to the parts where the moulds have been split, and these can be removed with your fingertip or a sharp blade. These folks are all pilots dashing to their ships, presumably during a squadron scramble, and are in action poses as befits the occasion. Two are running, one of which is adjusting his helmet as he goes, and the third figure is clambering up his boarding ladder with the usual butt-out pose adopted to balance while climbing aboard. Only the helmet-adjuster has his arms moulded in place, so there is some room for adaptation of their arms to suit your needs, which might be useful for the ladder climbing chap. Hangar Equipment Vo.IV (07219-1/72) Like the previous sets, this one includes a set of five boxes of various types and sizes and you will have seen a couple of those in previous sets if you've been paying attention. There are two rounded-edge boxes with horizontal lines engraved in their sides, a flat stackable box with an irregular outline, a box with fluted protective vanes all over it, and finally a pack of four cylinders on a palette. Very useful for background clutter that accumulates on even the most fastidiously clean hangar decks and gives a diorama that lived-in look. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Colonial Viper Mk.VII (FP06 for Moebius) 1:32 GreenStrawberry Battlestar Galactica was a firm favourite with kids in the 80s, and its reimagining in the early 2000s brought a whole new generation of fans into the mix, as well as some complex, exciting stories and a different organic Cylon than the shiny metal clankers we had become used to. The ships also received a make-over, although the Colonial Viper still showed its Aaron Spelling produced origins, retaining the same overall shape for the older Marks, and for the later Mk.VII a sleek, streamlined hull that still bore a family resemblance to the original. Its fatal flaw was its software that let the Cylons disable them when the time came for their invasion and attempted genocide of the colonies. Those that survived the initial onslaught were stripped of the virus that had disabled them, and were later increased in numbers after the Galactica encountered the Battlestar Pegasus, which had manufacturing capabilities that the older Galactica didn't possess. This FruitPACK allows the modeller to purchase the two Photo-Etch (PE) sets available for the 1:32 Moebius model of this sleek fighter, which includes both the Wheel Bay & Nozzles set (01215-1/32) and the Cockpit & Exterior set (01015-1/32) in one thick card envelope printed in the usual dark theme of all their boxes. Once the tape has been cut from the tongue, the resealable envelope divulges the two sets that are themselves wrapped in their individual foil packages in which they are sold separately. Cockpit & Exterior set (01015-1/32) This set consists of a single large fret of PE, a sheet of stickers for the instruments, a sheet of acetate with printed instrument for a lit model, and the instruction booklet. This is a complete replacement for almost the entire cockpit, and construction begins with the side consoles using your choice of stickers or acetate, with the completed sub-assemblies attached to the larger parts for later insertion into the new cockpit. The cockpit floor is next with foot plates and rudder pedals added before it too is put to one side. The seatbelts are a complex affair and have separate buckles that are fitted pretty much like the real thing and have the same four belts as a modern fighter pilot would have plus an extra central strap between the pilot's legs - probably to discourage hard deceleration! The cockpit tub is folded up from a large part with a few of the instrument screens added to the sides, and the consoles slipped in from the top. Here a number of small L-shaped parts can be used to assist in the strengthening of joins if you feel you need them, as attaching edges of PE is often tricky with small contact areas. The kit seat has its lower sides reduced in thickness to accommodate the new seatbelts and is then set aside while the instructions go off and detail the three fin-mounted guns, make up some very nice RBF tags printed double-sided in red, then add a launch hook to the front gear leg. The instrument panel is a complex affair with three main segments, all of which have large detailed screens that are represented by stickers or acetate again. There is also an angled keyboard at the front of the panel, which also has stickers or acetate, and folds around to give the impression of a three-dimensional part. The completed panel is inserted into the cockpit tub after the floor, completing the majority of the internal work. If you plan to pose the cockpit open with the canopy raised you will need to remove a small area behind the cockpit that is marked in red and apply a small PE insert to the hinge-point before making and installing the canopy. The kit's clear canopy is augmented by a panel that wraps around the rear and incorporates the new hinge as well as some internal details and rams that hold it open. These are left off the closed cockpit, which must have a tiny fillet removed around the sides to fit in the aperture after the alterations. The cockpit tub is inserted from below into the upper fuselage, and the final few parts are vents for the nose intake and the ancillary intake in front of the nose gear bay. Wheel Bay & Nozzles set (01215-1/32) The kit wheel bays have a little detail in the roof but are lacking around the walls, which is part of the main reason for this set. The simple kit bay doors are first relieved of their clunky hinges, then skinned inside with layered PE parts and more realistic hinges. The bays themselves have sidewall detail added and the nose gear bay also gets a roof insert that takes the detail up a level. The boxes in the rear bays are joined by additional wiring harnesses, then the bay doors are joined at the edges, having location points etched into the new sides. The three engine nozzles are hexagonal and have rough detail moulded inside them, which must first be removed to provide a good mating surface for the new parts that are folded up and fitted with a perforated backplate to facilitate lighting. The engines are each closed up around this new assembly, noting that the top engine has a smaller diameter than the bottom two and has a thin detail strip added at the front. Once glued together, small vanes are added to the very tip of each nozzle to give the impression of some kind of steering ability. Conclusion Yet another cracking set from GreenStrawberry, improving a kit that just lacks a little for those that like their detail sharp and adding a discount over buying them separately. Add this to your Viper and you'll stand out from the crowd. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. 2001: Discovery XD-1 FruitPACK (FP05) 1:144 GreenStrawberry 2001: Space Odyssey is possibly one of the most well-known, ground-breaking and most revered movies in Sci-Fi circles, filmed by genius director Stanley Kubrick, years before Star Wars re-broke the mould, with previously unseen quality of special effects and a grown-up story. The ships were believable both in their design and execution with a number of memorable craft that had a practical harshness to both the design and cinematography. The main ship that carried the crew to Jupiter to meet with the second monolith after discovering the little one on the moon was named Discovery and had a massive long hull to keep the atomic engines from irradiating the crew, who were located in the spherical module at the bow. In the middle was a huge dish to communicate with earth, with its troublesome EA35 unit that cost Frank Poole his life when his EVA pod went rogue. Released in 1968, it was initially greeted with a mixed reception partly due to the psychedelic ending and sparse use of dialogue, but over the years the fan base has solidified and turned its standing into that of a true classic. It is still occasionally shown in cinemas and has recently been remastered onto 4K UHD Blu-Ray so we can all enjoy it at the highest possible resolution and fidelity. It's well worth a watch, and the special effects still stand up to scrutiny although if you're expecting an all-action space opera you're looking in the wrong direction. This is more what's known now as Hard Sci-Fi that revolves around realism and takes physical constraints such as gravity and the fact that sound doesn't propagate in space into account. The Kit Moebius released their massive kit in 1:144 scale in 2017 to many a dropped-jaw, myself included. Measuring in at over 40", it is a stunning piece of plastic engineering that would be an awesome centre-piece to any collection, and deserves to be built and finished to the highest standard that we're capable of. GreenStrawberry love Sci-Fi as much as we do and have crafted a bunch of sets that can be used to detail and upgrade the kit to a higher level of crispness. They have three sets and have now brought them together in the FruitPack as a simple way of getting them all with a discount into the bargain. The set arrives in a printed box and has the three sets within, the corresponding instruction booklets with them alongside some decals, acetate sheet and paper consoles. In the box you get the following: 06819-1/144 EVA Pods 06919-1/144 Cockpit and exterior 07019-1/144 Hangar bay The focus of the set is the spherical crew compartment that really ramps up the realism and gives the module a very deep 3D look thanks to the Photo-Etch (PE) and resin parts used to create internal compartments that appear in the film. The external set also includes parts for the engine module and antenna, so it's not all up front. EVA Pods (06819-1/144) The EVA pods perform a pivotal role in the film, enabling the crew to repair the dubious antenna issue, then making off with Frank Poole when HAL 9000's psychosis overcomes him. It also features in the dramatic re-entry that gave us the immortal "Open the pod bay doors HAL" line from Keir Dullea playing Dave Bowman. This is the simplest set of the three with a trio of EVA pods in crisp grey resin that are completed by the addition of the manipulator arms and decals once painted, which even includes the red warning messages on the rear access door. The arms are folded-up from PE and can be cut short when they are stowed or left longer if you see fit with alternative splayed claws giving more flexibility – you could even use those with a separately sourced Frank figure if you are going for the slightly ghoulish look. Cockpit and exterior (06919-1/144) This set includes two PE sheets, a set of printed instrument panels and a clear sheet with windscreen (spacescreen?) facets printed upon them. Construction begins with the engines, which are skinned inside with detailed fluted interior wall and a louvered interior that has perpendicular rails added later on. This would look great with some LEDs behind them, and there are three pods so you'll need to perform the task three times in total. The smaller enginelets also get a detail part, and around the narrow rear of the pods which are actually further toward the front, the moulded in detail is removed to be replaced by small raised detail panels. Moving forward the antenna is raised slightly by the addition of an insert between the two base parts, details are added to the sides of the raised section and the supports for the dish, while the two ancillary dishes are detailed at the rear with support structure, and all three are given delicate cross-braces for the centre signal collectors. Moving inside the cockpit area and the corridor that leads back into the ship are made up from PE parts that are tailored to fit within the sphere, and instruments are provided that peel off their backing paper and are stuck down to give a huge detail uplift to the area. The two pilot couches are folded up and added into the assembly then the trunk back toward the access ladder corridor is fitted to the rear with a bulkhead preventing a see-through ending. The visor for the windscreen is made up with a frame to which the acetate sheet is added, then this is inserted into the detailed recess that slides into the kit visor part with vertical stiffeners inserted vertically between the three front panels. Finally, the cylindrical thruster-like protrusions at the rear of the crew orb receive optional detail skins with circular shapes in the recess, and the important emergency airlock on the lower portion of the crew module is detailed with new parts, just begging for an EVA pod to backed up against it. Hangar bay (07019-1/144) This is the largest and most complex of the sets with 38 resin parts, a sheet of PE, a sheet of self-adhesive instrument panels, a sheet of decals and finally the instructions. It recreates a substantial portion of the lower half of the command sphere, beginning with the hangar bay for the three EVA pods detailed above. The pods sit on retractable arms that transport them out through the circular bay doors, so construction begins with the floor some way below. The resin supports for the landing pads are fixed in place with PE braces, then the bay floor level is placed on top with the retractable beams inserted from behind so that they can be left to slide in and out if you wish. The pads are made up from resin bases with PE detail parts, then all three are placed on the rails and cemented in place with a lower PE skin hiding and strengthening the join. The three segments of back wall of the bay are then made up for later joining. The right panel has an octagonal recess made up from two halves with off-centre joins to cater for the shape, an end bulkhead, and a set of very well detailed PE skins to detail the walls plus an optional door that can be left open or off at your whim. Another shorter resin part depicts a doorway with access corridor leading to the location of the emergency airlock. The centre wall panel has a recess for two tanks and the left panel has a window and doorway with a small room behind it that has a computer console and storage/computer racks in the right portion. Another door can be fitted to the aperture unless you want everything to be seen, and throughout all this construction there are stickers and decals applied to improve the detail still further. The ceiling consists of a large fan-shaped part with six recesses and four detail parts added, and this is fixed to the top of the completed structure once it has been brought together and detailed to your liking. The kit parts for the bay doors are hollowed out into rings for later addition, and the main bay is assembled on the layered floor with neatly fitting location between the four assemblies. In the centre of the floor is the large waist-height console where the crew talk to HAL, and this too has stickers that include HAL's upstand, but not his glowing red eye. Perhaps you're expected to add an LED into the mix to give him the correct amount of malevolence, or you could source a small cabochon in the correct colour if you don't feel up to the task of lighting your model. The decal sheet contains a big black decal for the walkways, with extras for the leading edges of the landing pads. Three raised areas have additional PE edging strips fitted with stickers within them, and then the three space suits are fitted to their hanging poles with a small PE spacer between the neck and helmet, but don't forget to remove any that are going to be missing due to your particular posing of the EVA pods, or at a particular point in the ship's journey. Check your copy of the film for that sort of detail. With the suits in place, a ladder is added into the left ante-room and the bay roof it glued in place on top of the completed assembly. Preparation of the lower half of the orb involves removing a number of small protrusions around the edges and under the bay openings, then adding PE rings around the edges of the doors, as some element can be seen from opposing views. Conclusion This is an incredible set for what will likely be the build of your modelling "career", so it makes a lot of sense to push the boat out. As long as you're comfortable handling PE and resin, it's a bit of a must-have for owners of this kit, budget permitting of course. Detail is staggering, the assembly is sensibly documented in the instructions, and the potential finish replicates the detail incredibly well. Your main decision is how many bay doors do you pose open to make the most of all your work? Lastly, don't forget that you can purchase these sets separately if you or your budget don't feel up to the FruitPACK. Phew! I managed to get through the review without any 2001 puns Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. YT-1300 Millennium Falcon FruitPACK (FP-04) 1:144 GreenStrawberry We're back to Star Wars again! It's pretty certain that GreenStrawberry are clearly SW fans, as they have released a substantial number of sets for the various kits, including the big and the little Falcons. Now they're offering the little Falcon sets in a super-set, which gives you both sets and offers a discount on the individual purchase price. The set arrives in a thick card envelope with the details on the front on a white sticker. Inside are the two individual sets in the usual GS themed dark grey, green and red, each with a header card, the Photo-Etch (PE), instructions and any ancillary parts hidden within a resealable clear foil envelope. The following sets are included: Detail Set (01616-1/144) If you read my review of the FruitPACK for the big Falcon, you might be expecting a re-tread of that, but this one's a little different due to the way that Bandai engineered the kits separately to cater for the differences in scale. This is patterned on the Force Awakens Falcon, which has the new-style dish after its removal in ROTJ during the second Death Star battle. The set contains a large fret of Photo-Etch (PE) and a sheet of self-adhesive stickers, and construction begins with the dish, replacing the chunky kit mounting for a more accurate one. The central gun emplacements are also heavily modified, with new parts added to the cut-down seats, and a complete emplacement with self-adhesive printed details supplied for your ease. This is topped off with a bezel that attaches to the rear of the glazing so that it can be easily installed top and bottom, as the two emplacements are identical. The landing gear has a new set of scale-accurate doors, plus the "cuffs" that sit above the gear legs. The cockpit is also heavily augmented, with the kit instrument panel cleared of all the moulded-in detail, and the three joining studs removed to make room for the new detail. With that done, the glazing receives a quilted headliner, and a new ceiling is folded up with panels added, then more stickers added for detail. The rear seats get new headboxes to correct their inaccurate appearance, and the side consoles with sticker instruments are added, with a new bulkhead plus surround and door, and of course another sticker for the busy light infested detail. The new roof is added to the lower part of the cockpit, and faced off with a small faceted modesty panel before the glazing is put in place. The final few parts include an edge panel for the access walkway roof, and a blanking plate for the end of the walkway inside the hull. Grilles (01715-1/144) Two small frets with 32 circular parts that laminate up to make the six vents on the aft of the Falcon's deck. Each one is made up of four layers – a lower circle, the grill section, the raised divides, and a final detailed bezel that sits on the top. There are two types of grille, with the two on the left (looking from behind) differing slightly from the other four. Their location is shown clearly on the last diagrams, so there should be little room for confusion unless you try really, really hard! These will improve the detail on the aft deck immensely from the original kit parts. Conclusion Lots of extra detail to improve this gem of a kit and make it more impressive than it already is, with a modest discount on buying them separately thrown in as a bonus. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Star Wars Hangar Crew & Equipment 1:72 GreenStrawberry That low-budget cult classic from LucasFilm is back again, this time with accessories to liven up any diorama that you may wish to create with your massive stash of Bandai kits, or indeed any other 1:72 Star Wars kit. Thinking of it, they'd be pretty useful with any 1:72 Sci-Fi model, with maybe a little adjustment to remove any of the more obvious Star Wars design cues. Each set arrives in a small card box, with the figures in a tiny ziplok bag, a sheet of instructions where necessary doing the job of protecting them from rattling about too much too. The detail is good (remember that they're blown up to approx. 5x real size on my screen), with the casting blocks sensibly placed and a few wisps of flash from where the moulds have been cut to enable casting of parts with gaps, such as legs etc. The range is expanding as we speak (type?), and this is just the first of the range, as follows: Hangar Crew Vol.I (72001) Pilot with mechanics on inspection Containing three figures, two of which have one separate arm, and one having two separate arms, you get a rather heroic-looking moustachioed pilot figure with chest out and a wide stance, a chap with the SW equivalent of a clipboard perusing same, and the third chap is stooping whilst possibly leaning against something. Hangar Crew Vol.II (72002) A-Wing and Y-Wing pilots Three resin pilots discussing tactics or previous battles using the tried-and-tested method involving hands and the waving around thereof. One pilot is kneeling, and has a separate arm, while the others are standing and gesticulating in their flight gear. All three have the requisite helmets for their rides – two Y-wing jockeys and one A-Wing flier. Hangar Crew Vol.III (72003) mechanics and power droid A 1:72 Gonk droid! Sure, you get two mechanics, one striding toward something, the other kneeling to inspect something with his monster clipboard, but you also get a 1:72 Gonk Droid! He's made up of top and bottom halves, plus a pair of little short legs with tissuebox feet. Awesome! Hangar Equipment Vol.III (06718-1/72) This is a simple set that just requires the casting blocks sawing off and making good. It contains four items commonly found in hangars in the Star Wars universe. An inexpertly stacked block of those funny Holocron-shaped packing cubes, a large ribbed box, a smaller stackable "monitor stand" box, and a bundle of cylinders on a palette. Conclusion This will take much of the hard work out of building a layered diorama of a hangar bay, as it's usually the background objects and their candid nature that makes for a good diorama. There is also a Maintenance ramp that will look superb in the background, which we hope to review soon. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. YT-1300 Millennium Falcon Perfect Grade FruitPack (FP-03) 1:72 GreenStrawberry Bandai have had the license for all things styrene and Star Wars in the Far East since the reawakening of the franchise, and have produced some truly amazing snap-together kits that have more detail than many "proper" model kits, and these are now being licensed by Revell for wider distribution to us westerners. Their Perfect Grade Millennium Falcon is a tour-de-force in plastic engineering, offering a 1:72 dinner plate sized Millennium Falcon as it appears in the progenitor of the series, Star Wars A New Hope as it became known once it was joined by other entries in the original trilogy. GreenStrawberry are clearly SW fans, and have released a substantial number of sets for the various kits, including the big Falcon. Now they're offering the sets in a super-set, which gives you all three and offers a discount on the individual purchase price. If you're going to splash out on the big Falcon, you either go big or go home, so why not? The set arrives in a thick card envelope with the details on the front on a white sticker. Inside are the three individual sets in the usual GS themed dark grey, green and red, each with a header card, the Photo-Etch (PE), instructions and any ancillary parts hidden within a resealable clear foil envelope. The following sets are included: Exterior (06318-1/72) Contained on a single large fret, this set includes six double-layered grilles for the aft deck exhausts, plus detail parts for within the vents that can just be seen through the grilles. The two lateral docking bay tunnels have their vents augmented with new two-layer grilles, and the upper hatch that is used to retrieve Luke from under Cloud City on Bespin is given a new irising shutter, and two hand-holds to the sides. More vents and exhausts on these areas are also detailed with a covered fan and perforated panel beneath the grilles. On the margin between the cockpit glazing and tunnel, the prominent grating is replaced with a fine PE part; a curved part is added to the right mandible; the nav lights are drilled and given a surround on the tips of the mandibles and in the back of the space between them a pair of steering-wheel shaped parts replace the kit detail. Finally, the base of the dish is fitted with a new set of grab-handle shaped parts around its edges. Landing Gear (06418-1/72) Supplied on two sheets, this set replaces the styrene landing gear bay doors and those perforated "anklets" that each leg sports. It also includes bay door actuators, and details for inside the crew access ramp, plus a ceiling panel that is fitted after a hump inside that area is removed, and holes are drilled to accommodate the four pairs of ceiling lights in the panel. Cockpit & Gun Wells (06518-1/72) Consisting of a fret of PE plus a pre-printed self-adhesive representation of the rear of the cockpit, the upgrades begin with an overhead console attached to the canopy interior, with a number of those odd protractor-like controls you see Han and Chewie fiddling with, as well as more on the main console. The comfy front seats are given new PE tuck & roll panels in their centre, while the more Spartan rear seats are fitted with new details too. The rear bulkhead is a new PE part with a laminated door frame and a door fitted behind, plus the stick-on pre-printed detail for your use if you see fit. The bulkhead part is then attached to the rear of the cockpit area before it is inserted in the hull. The gun emplacements are given a fairly comprehensive refit, removing the seats from their inaccurate mountings and retaining the upper half, then putting a new four-part floor in the well, a raised gantry for the seat, which uses the previously removed seat base to prop it clear of the floor; new controls for the guns; cushion detail for the seat; foot pedals and control box below the controls; a hatch ring; access ladder disappearing into the ship; other controls on the wall and ceiling, and new ceiling panel insert to finish off the area. Conclusion Lots of goodies here for the detailer that takes an amazing kit and makes it even more amazing without any serious hacking away at the styrene, with a healthy discount on buying them separately thrown in for good measure. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Vacform Canopy (VC02 for Bandai) 1:72 GreenStrawberry It's common knowledge that the new Bandai Star Wars model kits are pretty awesome, especially since they can be made without any paint or glue, but with this being a modelling forum there are likely to be a lot of us considering upgrades, because we just can't resist! GreenStrawberry have a raft of update sets for these kits that should satisfy most tastes, and they have now broadened their range by introducing a new range of vacform canopies for the X-Wing initially, and with more planned and in progress. What does a vacform canopy do to improve your model? It gives you a more scale-accurate window pane to the full-size props, and it allows a greater view into the interior of the ship with less distortion. This is ideal if you're painting and/or detailing the area, or if you just want a more realistic looking canopy. The set arrives in a small box in the usual GS theme, with the two canopies inside protected by a ziplok bag, accompanied by an instruction sheet and a set of vinyl masks for good measure. The two canopies are different because one is moulded pre-cut into front and rear halves, while the other is moulded closed, allowing you to choose open or closed, or just build two and be done with it. There's a lot of folks that are a bit wary of using vacform canopies, but they're actually not too difficult once you know how - if you do, skip to the next paragraph. If you fill the void with Blutak before you begin cutting, and use a brand new #11 blade, scoring round the cut mark lightly so that you don't drift away from the line. Once you've cut it out, offer it up to the model, and gently sand any uneven or proud areas with a sanding stick, being careful not to scuff the clear surfaces. When you're happy with the finish, peel off the Blutak and clean both sides, then dip it in your Klear/Future or whatever you use so that it's ready to use on your model. Conclusion A useful set that has been missing from the aftermarket scene until now, and they should hopefully sell well to anyone looking to add a bit more realism to their model. The B-Wing canopy is available now, the T-70 set should be along shortly too, and I believe there are TIE fighter versions planned too. Happy days! Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Apparat Male Soldier (Sci-Fi Figure) 1:20 GreenStrawberry This lovely little(ish) figure is part of a fantasy/Sci-Fi universe that springs from the minds of the folks from GreenStrawberry, not the musician I'd never heard of until today! It arrives in a small black themed box in their usual Sci-Fi style, and inside you'll find three ziplok bags of resin parts, a sheet of masks for the included base, and a short instruction sheet that also includes some painting suggestions for your figure. There are ten resin parts in total, including individual legs, arms, lower and upper torso, head, data-link between the head and backpack, front "skirt" and an attractively styled base. He's decked out in some seriously high-tech gear, including a full-face helmet with lots of sensors dotted around it, and a faceted link to the back panel of his body-armour that bears a passing resemblance to the ammo feed for a modern gattling gun. He is stood in a manly pose with legs planted wide apart, and fists balled up as if he's a bit angry or posing manfully for his latest Instagram portrait. Under his body armour he's wearing a three-quarter length jacket with integral elbow pads, and close fitting trousers that also have knee pads and advanced looking boots. Hanging from belt-level is a length of cloth that tapers to a point between his knees, which is purely decorative, and cast as a separate part. This could be painted with a banner or slogan to show his allegiances if you are so minded. The base is a single piece of resin that is also suitably futuristic. A set of masks are included to detail the base with the triangular logo that is seen throughout the instructions. Speaking of instructions, there is a single page of build instructions showing the parts without casting stubs and how they fit together, and two pages of a finished figure that has been exceptionally well painted in a muted grey scheme, with parts of the base illuminated and with extremely nice detail painting, which suggests that it was originally sculpted larger and reduced for production. I may be wrong there, but that's the impression I get. I decided to quickly remove and prepare the parts roughly to get a feel for the size of this figure, so that's what I did. The casting blocks remove easily, and there is little clean-up needed, which is easily achieved with a sharp blade, being careful not to impale yourself. The parts mate cleanly, with short pegs making location a doddle, and very little in the way of gaps between parts, even with my hurried preparations. If I had more time I could have got the joints better I'm sure, but I think you get the gist. He stands around 110mm including the stand, and 100mm without. While you can paint the finished model any way you like, I suspect that subsequent releases will perhaps follow a theme, and would imagine that a female soldier will be along soon to complement chummy here. I look forward to seeing future releases, as I like the styling and casting is excellent with only a little clean up required. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Star Wars Name Placards (A-Wing, Slave 1, AT-ST) GreenStrawberry We've all had the situation where someone has extended a finger at one of our creations with a quizzical look on their face and uttered the immortal words "What's that then?". Forcing down the urge to roll your eyes and sigh, with some retort such as "Don't you know anything about Sci-Fi?", you dutifully explain what it is, which film it was in, and how many hours you put into its creation. Well now you don't even have to open that slot under your nose, as you can pop one of these rather attractive and "in theme" placards in front of your Star Wars models, and you're not just limited to the new Bandai kits, but any that you've made over the years, or even ones you have bought ready-made! I'll give you a moment to process that fact that some people buy things you don't have to build. Ok, now you've recovered from the shock, here are a selection of these handy, attractive and useful placards/name badges, call them what you will. They all follow the same format, have the same design cues etc., so will look rather splendid once you've been around putting them on all your bases, or in front of their stands. They arrive in a flat resealable package, with piece of card protecting the contents against bending, and the instructions sandwiched between. The two Photo-Etch (PE) sheets are of a thicker gauge for strength, and there are just three parts to each set. The placard itself, which has a fold-over edge all round that gives it a 3D latticework look, a flat base onto which is fixed the fold-up stand that the label can be glued to, soldered together or just stood on, holding it at an angle for ease of viewing without breaking your neck. Each one has the commonly used name of the model in large letters, with the technicalities and additional information in a smaller text above and below. The lattice-work structure around the edges gives it a bit of strength as well as making it look Sci-Fi like, as do the motifs found to the left of each one. With some careful painting, even a little weathering maybe, they should look rather nice. They are of course unconstrained by scale, but if you're displaying it in front of a 1:144 A-Wing, you may have trouble seeing the model behind it! I quickly knocked together one of them with super glue as a demonstration, and they're quite quick to build. Using the proper tools is important to fold the thick brass concisely at the bend-lines, and the upstand parts become delicate when you're midway through the folding, so take care not to twang one of the arms like I did. Splash some Star Wars appropriate paint on, put a contrasting colour in the low-spots of the letters and symbols, and it will look great. Jango Fett's Slave 1(04418-N/A) Boba Fett's Slave 1 (04518-N/A) AT-ST (04618-N/A) RZ1 A-Wing (04718-N/A) Conclusion A good idea well executed. You can lie them down, stand them up, but most importantly, people will know what your model is without having to ask and they add a certain something to your builds! Review sample courtesy of
  14. (Sci-Fi) Hangar Deck 04 (DP06) (No Scale) GreenStrawberry https://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/greenstrawberry/bases/dp04/boxtop.jpg Finding a display base for your latest creation can be a mite tricky, so it's often a case of building your own. No longer is that the case, as GreenStrawberry have come up with a new line of Display Pads that are available now, and able to be completed one of two ways, depending on how much effort you want to put into your base. The base arrives in a small black box with the usual GS styling, and a sticker featuring product details and a rendering of the finished article on the top. Inside is a section of thick plastic sheet, a glossy self-adhesive top surface that can be stuck to the base for a quick finish, a sheet of vinyl masking material and a clear sheet of transfer foil for those wanting to go the whole hog and paint up their own. The sheet measures 20cm x 13.5cm, and is just over 4.5mm thick, with a saw-cut texture to the edges that you might want to sand smooth before you begin peeling sticky things. It is white and really stiff, but as with all plastics, it can scratch quite easily, so keep it safe until you are ready to begin, as bad scratches might show through either paint or the stick-down cover. After handling it you may want to clean the top surface with some Isopropyl Alcohol before you start work to improve adhesion of whatever road you plan to travel toward its completion. All this is of course covered in the instruction sheet that accompanies the kit, as well as some inflated bags that hold everything safe for transport. The simplest method to complete the base involves the adhesive-backed paper, which has a glossy plastic cover on the surface to protect the printing. Lay it down carefully on the board and get rid of any bubbles or wrinkles before smoothing it down for the final time. Once it has adhered, cut the excess off with a new blade to prevent any stuttering or ripping. I'm going to try this method and overspray it with a coat of matt varnish to remove the sheen of the finish, as I prefer matt things. After taking the initial pictures I went ahead and put the sticker on the base, after first sanding away the saw-cut lines with a sheet of wet'n'dry taped to an old cutting mat, so that everything stayed square. A swipe with some IPA, and I began applying the sticker from the edge, removing one or two of the pre-cut sections of backing paper at a time. A quick tip here is ensure you don't end up creasing the paper, as it still shows through very slightly. Rubbing the sticker down as I went resulted in a good finish, which I burnished down after the initial adhesion, being careful not to ruck-up the edges. After that I flipped it over and sliced off the excess with a sharp blade, then burnished the edges down again. I think I'll leave the sides white, as they're a good counterpoint to the dark hangar bay. I'll report back after I've matt varnished the surface to let you know how that went. Meantime, here it is: The more time-consuming route involves the vinyl masks, which you use the clear transfer foil to move the relevant parts to your board, paint, remove, repeat as necessary until you are happy with it. You will have to make any of your own panels if you want to mimic the pre-printed finish, but you can also leave it bare, or increase the size of the panels at your whim to reduce or increase the perceived scale, so it offers plenty of freedom. Conclusion A neat and potentially quick Sci-Fi base that is suitable for smaller models, with the scope to add your own personalisations in between the masked areas. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Snowspeeder Update Set (05018-1/48) for Bandai 1:48 GreenStrawberry Star Wars and Bandai have become synonymous with each other this last few years with thousands of us importing these Far East only offerings, which are laden with detail despite their snap-together nature. GreenStrawberry have a habit of producing superb resin and Photo-Etch (PE) that takes these kits to the next level, and here's one right now! As usual with GreenStrawberry Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a black-themed backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between, showing off the contents at the front. This set is for the Spowspeeder, and includes a rather comprehensive update to both the cockpit and canopy, with additional parts used to upgrade the details of the flip-up spoilers, and finally the harpoon gun on the back deck. It starts with the shallow cockpit tub, removing the lugs for the pilots, and adding control details and a new skin for the ribbed seats, back and front. As well as two control sticks and a throttle in the forward cockpit, the pilot and gunner's seats are both fitted with a set of four-point crew belts, with a new set of rudder pedals being installed in the front foot well, although what they do is a mystery… and thinking about it, so is how the Snowspeeder flies! Regardless, his instrument panel is replaced with a new part and backed with a piece of the acetate to allow you to put some lights behind it is you feel like. The canopy is completely replaced by the set, which aims to improve the scale fidelity by using PE parts and acetate windows. The exterior is folded up from a single part, and has an internal skin added, plus various wiring and greeblies added to the roof. The internals of the windows are there to hide the acetate parts, which are cut from the printed sheet that's provided, and sandwiched between the outer skin and the internal frames. The same process is followed to make up the fixed rear canopy portion over Dak's head (if you know what I mean), using more acetate parts for the windscreens. A complex set of hinges are folded up and laminated, along with a set of rams, which link to the front and rear parts together, turning them into a single assembly. You can then pose it open or closed depending on your needs. A few more detail parts are added to the interior of the forward canopy, and at the exterior joint between the two parts, and Dak's gun controls see an upgrade to the central boss and control grips, while his harpoon gun is detailed with control wires and a new part under the muzzle. Externally (other than the canopy), there is a choice to two new mesh panels for the front of the ship, which depends on what version you're building (that research is up to you!), a set of new covers for the forward main cannon "supports", and a detailed set of hinges and supports for the prominent spoilers that are housed in the rear cannon supports, which are used in directional control. The sheet is crisp as you could want, and the attention to detail is typical of GreenStrawberry, as is the nod toward lighting your creation. The use of acetate should also improve the view into the canopy if you elect to pose it down, so while it seems a shame to hide it all away under the canopy, you can at least still see it all, whilst being able to vroom! Your creation around the room while no-one is looking. Good shot Jenson! I couldn't resist pinching one of their pictures to show the finished article, as it's excellent. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Colonial Viper Mk.II (04818-1/72 for Moebius) 1:72 GreenStrawberry I reviewed the GreenStrawberry set for the 1:32 Moebius Viper II a wee while back here, and now here comes one for the smaller 1:72 kit, again from Moebius. It's a different tack for obvious reasons, but as usual with GreenStrawberry Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, it arrives in a flat resealable package, with a black-themed backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between, showing off the contents at the front. The set concentrates heavily on the cockpit, with many of the parts devoted to bring the level of detail there up to the highest standard, and opening up the possibility of back-lighting the instrument panels, which are completely overhauled with new laminated panels (of early & late types), coaming, side consoles and even a pedal box in the footwell. A sheet of acetate prints are supplied for the screens in the panels, and a set of crew belts finish off the revamp. Moving outside, the exhausts are detailed with cog-like inserts and additional parts between the nozzles, including wirings for the nacelles. A new intake grille is supplied for the nose, and small detail parts are applied to the fuselage sides and behind pilot's head, with additional canopy frame details added to the exterior of the clear part. On the nose gear leg an additional skin and launch hook is fitted, and new set of gear bay doors are supplied all round, which have much better scale fidelity. As a nice bonus, a number of PE rings are included that can be used in conjunction with the colour printed red "remove before flight" tags that are cut from the paper sheet and placed around the airframe for a more convincing and technical look to the space-frame. Running a red pen around the cut edges will hide the white of the paper and improve the look. Conclusion A really nice upgrade to a pretty small model that will bring it to the next level, and as you may have noticed from the pictures, it will suffice to detail two of these kits, so you only need one set per box, as there's two kits in each one (just in case you hadn't noticed!). Review sample courtesy of
  17. Colonial Raptor Interior Set (04217-1/32 for Moebius) 1:32 GreenStrawberry The reboot of Battlestar Galactica in the noughgties gave us a collection of new Colonial and Cylon ships to lust after, and those kind folks over the ocean at Moebius soon acquired the rights to make models of the ships, with the Vipers and Raiders being accompanied by the Galactica and Pegasus, to name but a few. The smaller ships have been made in a consistent 1:32 scale, which has been a boon to us modellers. It has taken quite a few years for the Colonial Raptor to be kitted, and we have watched the saga unfold on Moebius' Facebook page and the forums until its recent release along with its separate weapons set, which has pleased many, including myself. The Raptor is the Colonial gunship and troop carrier, capable of fielding an arsenal of weapons as well as travelling long distance without an accompanying Battlestar. Moebius's kit was well received, but like most models it can be improved upon, and GreenStrawberry's designers must have been working from the moment the kit was released to come up with this comprehensive interior set. It arrives in standard GS packaging, with a central piece of hefty cardboard wrapped in a header card and a large Photo-Etch PE brass fret at the front, with two more separated by pieces of black paper to prevent chaffing. Inside are the instructions that gives you all the information you need to update your kit, plus a piece of acetate sheet printed with instruments, and a piece of thin paper that has the screen and instrument dials printed on it. The Raptor is well-appointed with sensors, with buttons, switches and large screens everywhere that are visible through both the fishbowl canopy and the large side door where the crew move in and out. Consequently, the sheets with the screens and such are quite large, and will make the displays come alive once installed. Construction begins with an upgrade to the pilot and co-pilot seats, which receive new side panels and a full set of crew belts that work just like the real things, with buckles that the belts feed through, so anneal the parts to save yourself some hassle when bending them. The flight crew consoles are next, with a trio of large displays and two addition screens mounted on arms over the main panel, all of which have card or acetate inserts to give them life. The side consoles are given the same treatment, and small areas of the cockpit must be stripped of detail to facilitate this. The centre console is shortened and a set of tread-plate skins are added to the floor of both the cockpit and the rear crew area, while a pair of rudder pedals are installed for the flight crew under their new consoles. The bulkheads between the cockpit and rear are skinned with new detail panels, with jump-seats added, and some minor changes to the shape of the bulkheads achieved in the process. Opposite the crew access there is a large console wall that an operator sits at for tactical, sensor and weapons work, which is strewn with screens. The kit parts must first be pared away before the new installation can be inserted after layering PE and acetate or paper screens, taking up a substantial part of the interior in the process. More screens are provided to the left, and the keyboard-centred instrument panel for the rear crew is built up and inserted later in the build once the rear bulkhead is first reduced and then rebuilt with more detail and a serious face-lift, which includes new instruments and another jump-seat, with an angled panel between the rear and side walls. The right bulkhead between the cockpit crew and the rear is then fabricated and installed between the two areas, which both sides having a loose "grapple net" hanging down. Finally, a set of roof parts are added to give more detail to that area. Conclusion When you look at the instructions it's not surprising that there are three large sheets of PE in the packet, as almost every area is treated to a highly detailed and comprehensive upgrade. Check your references for the colour scheme (any excuse to watch it again), and a superbly detailed interior can be constructed. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer Main Hangar Bay (03617-1/2700) 1:2700 GreenStrawberry Who can forget the imposing scene of the Star Destroyer looming overhead during the first few seconds of Star Wars (yes, yes – Episode IV a New Hope), chasing down the Blockade Runner Tantive IV and hauling it into the main hangar bay in order to board it in the search for the data tapes (ha, tapes!) containing the schematics for the Death Star that decades later/moments earlier Jyn Erso had successfully transmitted from Scarif. The Zvezda kit was eagerly awaited by Sci-Fi modellers everywhere, offering a scale previously unseen unless you paid for a massive resin kit with matching price-tag. Reboxed by Revell, it was also a bit scant in detail here and there, some of which has been addressed with 3D printed parts, which are themselves notoriously expensive. GreenStrawberry (I should ask them where that name came from) have already produced some great sets for replacing the engine bells for the sublight and hyperdrive engines, as well as a spruce-up Photo-Etch (PE) set for the exterior of the ship, which we reviewed here. Now they've turned their attention to the main hangar bay, which is the focal-point of the underside of the Star Destroyer, and sadly the designers at Zvezda didn't pay it the attention it richly deserves. As usual with their PE sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a dark backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Each of the three large frets of PE are separated by pieces of black card to prevent chaffing, which can be damaging to delicate PE parts, and one fret is etched from thicker gauge brass to give it strength and structural rigidity, Before you begin, you need to remove the moulded-in main bay, plus the tiny auxiliary bay that sits forward of it, and the bezels that surround them, as instructed in step 1. The smaller bay is first, and is built from a lamination of parts and includes the hangar bay that feeds the exit, where shuttles and TIE fighters are garaged. Even the latticework within the bay is depicted, and all you would need to do is fabricate some ships to put in there. With its outer-bezel in place, the bay drops into the slot left by the removal of the old bay. The main bay also has a pair of feeder bays for the smaller craft, which are fitted to the forward bulkhead of the bay once it has been started. The central grapple is also constructed, using the kit part as a base, although it isn't shown being added to the final model. The shell of the main bay is a simple topless box with bulkheads shaped to fit the contours of the underside, to which the additional parts are added in droves. A larger feeder hangar is also built up on the rear bulkhead and the bay control room is fitted above it, with the scalloped fittings and stiffeners lining the bay side walls. The roof is fitted with a criss-cross of parts in layers to give extra depth, with additional panels added here and there, and a network of conduits laid over the top. The big feeder-bay can either be attached or blanked off at your whim with a door, but it would be a shame to miss out on all that extra detail, but the option is present none-the-less. The bay is fitted from the inside again, and the new bezel is added around three of the edges, so be careful that you remove only the sections that you should. Slim upstands around the bay are also added last of all, and it might be as well to save those for just before main painting takes place so they don't get crushed during handling. Conclusion Another awesome upgrade from GreenStrawberry, and their attention to detail really shows through. While you're on their site, check out their lighting set for this kit, as it's a cool piece of hardware. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Snowspeeder & Millennium Falcon Masks (for Bandai & Revell/FineMolds) 1:48 & 1:144 GreenStrawberry The superb Star Wars Bandai kits are click together and don't need painting, but for extra realism and to achieve that beaten up Rebel/Resistance look, it's almost mandatory if you're going for accuracy. The Revell/Finemolds kits are designed for painting, however. The Falcon and the Snowspeeder are pretty liberal with their number of panes of glazing (I hesitate to use the term "glass", as it's Sci-Fi), with parallels able to be drawn between the Bf.109 and He.111 respectively for their canopy styles. Masks aren't provided in the kit, and with the number of panes to mask it can be a bit of a chore, especially if masking isn't your favourite modelling task. Those nice folks have GreenStrawberry have got you covered! Each set arrives in their familiar re-sealable packaging, with a printed black(ish) backing card, instructions folded up within the card, and the masks at the front on view through the transparent packet. The masks are a soft green matt vinyl-like material, and all the panes are pre-cut for your convenience, with a diagram in the instructions showing the associated number for each one. Rebel Snowspeeder (AM014-1/48) This is the larger of the sets, including glazing masks for the big canopy, but also supplying masks for the squadron markings, which adorn the nose, engine pods, and are repeated on the underside of the ship. This will mean spraying the squadron colours first, but it makes for a huge convenience to the modeller. Millennium Falcon (AM015-1/144) Patterned for the Revell/FineMolds kits, the former of which were released some years back and have more recebtly been reissued by Revell, this set provides a complete set of glazing masks for the iconic Flying Hamburger, including both the cockpit canopy and both of the cannon windows from which Luke and Han battle the TIE Fighters in the 1977 original that sparked a revolution in Sci-Fi. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Colonial Viper Mk.II (00917-1/32 for Moebius Kit) 1:32 GreenStrawberry Those industrious folks at GreenStrawberry just keep on bringing out new sets for all our favourite Sci-Fi models, and long may that continue! This time it's the Moebius Viper Mk.II from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, which is sometimes reboxed under the Revell brand, so if you have that kit, these will fit. A small but tough card box protects the contents, and inside the resin exhausts are bagged separately from the accompanying Photo-Etch (PE) sheet, with the instructions folded to keep everything stable in transit. You have to do a little surgery to the kit parts before you begin, starting with removing the kit engine bells from the endcap of the fuselage, plus the cowling flanges that this part would otherwise fit to, none of which should tax your average modeller. Construction of the three exhausts are functionally identical, but the top exhaust is slightly smaller, so has different part numbers. The aft of the exhaust is sanded flat to remove the flash over its end, and three layers of PE are inserted from the rear, stopping at the correct point inside the nozzle. Optionally you can install the bullets in the centre of the rearmost piece of PE, with the smaller top engine having a different part number and size. Casting is good, with just a few bubbles around the exhaust that should be pretty easy to remedy with some lengths of styrene rod super-glued in place and sanded flush. Once painted and maybe even lit with LEDs, they should vastly improve the look of the rear of the kit. Review sample courtesy of
  21. AT-ST Upgrade Set (04017-1/48 for Bandai) 1:48 GreenStrawberry The Imperial Scout Walker was introduced briefly (after a fashion) in the backdrop of Empire, but saw most action in Return of the Jedi, in which it played a large part in the Battle of Endor, receiving a drubbing from those cutesy, furry little tykes, the Ewoks while they assisted our Rebel friends in securing the screen generator complex. It is a 2-legged smaller armoured All-terrain Transport, mounting some decent firepower with a crew of two and little space for anyone else. Bandai's kit breaks the scale of their main thrust (1:72 for the most part), mainly due to the relatively small size of the subject matter. This set from our friends at GreenStrawberry is a comprehensive upgrade to the kit detail that will please anyone that's planning on building the kit with a little extra detail. Supplied in their usual resealable bag with black themed card back, the large Photo-Etch (PE) fret is held in the front, with printed acetate and paper instrument panel sheets sandwiched between the instruction, and a small bag containing short lengths of rod that are used in construction. You can't accuse them of not giving you everything you need! Updates begin with the box-like "hips" of the machine, adding a new rear and exhaust ports, with another port under the overhang. More detail is added on the sides, including replacement in-scale repurposed Flak44 splinter-shrouds, with more on the underside, and moving onto the cabin "head", a set of interior details for the front hatches that can either be seen outside if open, or if closed are visible through the top hatch. The nose cannons have new hollow muzzles rolled into shape and added instead of the solid styrene parts, and the interior of the roof is detailed with a ring and bezel to the circular top hatch, and faux quilted insulation in the roof area, to which some extra small details are added. On the roof's outer skin, there are four flanges added to the grab-rail that surrounds the hatch, and a new pair of hinges are fitted to the front vision ports in preparation for the upgraded covers. The top hatch itself is then skinned with more detail along with a new hinge mechanism, which is where the first piece of rod is used. The feet are given treaded skins for their undersides, and the side armament has a set of three circular detail parts added to the rear of the assembly. The interior of the cockpit is then the focus of the remaining parts, with a substantial overhaul being made to the instrument panels behind the drivers, which all have paper or acetate backed PE parts added. The consoles in front of the drivers have the same treatment, as do the monitors above the pilots' heads. The crew seats are removed and replaced by proper PE seats that are made up from a number of parts each, and have a gentle curve pushed into the backs and a set of seatbelts for your pilot's comfort. The floor in front of the seats is then partially removed and a pair of new foot wells are inserted with "rudder pedals" for each driver. You can still fit the kit crew members into the seats, but they will need gluing in place due to the prior removal of their mounting lugs. Conclusion The kit is excellent, but then so is this detail set. If you're serious about detail then get yourself one of these and you won't be disappointed. It's worth it just for the cockpit details alone! As usual with GreenStrawberry, if you follow the Available Here link, you can see some pictures of the brass in situ and unpainted on the model to give you a good idea of what's included. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. A-Wing Starfighter (01916-1/72 for Bandai) 1:72 GreenStrawberry The A-Wing popped up during the original Trilogy and although it didn't get much air-time, it does seem to have stuck in the Star Wars fan's memory, and has now seen a bit more action in the sequels, under the guiding hand of Disney. It's technical name is the RZ-1 A-Wing Starfighter, with both sublight and hyperdrive engines that see it zipping to and from adventure under its own power. It has twin laser cannons and a bunch of missiles to defend itself, with speed and agility being its primary ability. This set from GreenStawberry takes the new Bandai kit and gives it their treatment, adding detail where it is lacking due to the constraints of injection moulding and the snap-together nature of the kit. It arrives in standard GS packaging, with a central piece of hefty cardboard wrapped in a header card and the large Photo-Etch PE brass fret at the front. Inside are the instructions that gives you all the information you need to update your kit, plus a piece of acetate sheet printed with instruments, and a piece of thin paper that has the screen and instrument dials printed on it. Construction begins in the cockpit, with the kit instrument panel, which has its moulded-in detail removed and replaced by a paper/acetate/PE sandwich. A choice of white or yellow Death Star trench type displays are provided too, but I can't remember any A-Wings doing bombing runs on the original trench. Either side of the central console a pair of flight controls are added, and the pilot's seat has the pilot's rather painful-looking attachment peg removed so that the supplied seatbelts drape more realistically on the seat pan. The canopy is fitted with internal hinges and framing, which will look better regardless of whether you open the cockpit. The hoop will need to be rolled to shape, and can be fixed using some Klear, as it isn't structural. At the rear of the arrowhead the greeblies are updated with some extra parts, and underneath the gear bays are upgraded with interior skins, while the little equipment bay in the lower side of the fuselage/hull is completely decked out with equipment and background detail that suits a hangar diorama or similar. Gear bay doors detail and their hinges are also supplied, with internal framing laminated to the original parts and the original attachment points removed. Finally, the engines have new detailed "afterburner rings" added, which will look good if you are planning on lighting you’re a-Wing. As a bonus you get a nicely detailed access ladder for the aforementioned hangar dio, as well as a base-plate for the top of the kit included Imperial laser cannon turret (the A-Wing is small, so Bandai decided to include this as an extra), as well as a bunch of ladder rungs for access, presumably to apply space-grease to the big space-cogs that elevate the space-guns. Conclusion A super little update set that has plenty of detail included, especially if you're posing your model skids-down. The extra parts are very welcome, and the laser cannon should look a lot better for those few additions. As usual with GreenStrawberry, if you follow the Available Here link, you can see some pictures of the brass in situ and unpainted on the model to give you a good idea of what's included. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. TIE Fighter, TIE Fighter Advanced X1 & TIE Interceptor Updates (02016, 02116 & 02216) 1:72 GreenStrawberry It's Star Wars – nuff said. Bandai's new(ish) range of 1:72 kits have been wreaking havoc with the resale value of FineMolds kits for ages now, and despite the fact that we can't officially get them outside of the Far East due to licensing arrangements with the new owners Disney, there seem to be plenty finding their way into the hands of avid Star Wars modellers like myself. GreenStrawberry are similarly minded, and have made a number of excellent sets to improve on even the high levels of detail that Bandai cram into their snap-together kits. They also do Star Trek and many other brands too, so even if you're not a Star Wars fan, you're sure to find something they can help you with. The Evil Empire have Seinar Systems creating the iconic TIE Fighter series for them, with more than a few variants hitting our screens over the years. The original H-shaped TIE and Vader's TIE Advanced from the Titular film, and later in the trilogy the TIE Interceptor for a change of pace. All of these share a very similar central section, especially in their cockpit area, which is why I'm reviewing them all together. All three sets arrive in a resealable clear film package, with a central cardboard stiffener protecting the sheet of Photo-Etch, the header card, and the small resin parts at the back, which are bagged separately inside to save losing the parts. The final layer is a small but concise instruction booklet with sci-fi themed design and simple diagrams showing the way. All sets have a common core of components that are arranged differently on the sheets, but essentially the same up until step 6 on the instructions, and as you can imagine those parts are the cockpits. The initial stages have you building up the multi-layer coaming and controls that are seen in the hands of the pilot for the interior shots, with three layers joined to give them a degree of thickness, before they are attached to the back of the coaming. The kit seat pads are removed and replaced by new parts, and side details are added to the chair before the coaming is fitted into the open front of the floor. Inside the front of the cockpit a detail skin is added to the lower half, and a pair of faceted panels are glued to the "corners", to which the two resin clusters of round-ended tubes are fitted. The "visor" at the top front is removed from its mounting lug and given a new more detailed attachment point to the edge of the windscreen. Underneath the hull is a panel that has a hole in it for the stand, but in this instance if you are planning on using the next set of parts, you'll want to glue in the plug B4 to cover this up. The inner face of the panel is sanded flat, a skin with Star Wars gylphs etched into it, and a ring with extended legs is added. This then clipped inside the lip of the aperture so that the "luggage compartment" is depicted dropped to the floor, which although it might not appeal in all cases, it is a useful option to have on hand. The top hatch receives a partial lip in PE, and the hinge for the hatch is replaced by a new two-part boxed arrangement, with the Ion engine exhaust at the rear being fitted with a hexagonal grille. From here on in the sets diverge from each other slightly, as described below. TIE Fighter (02016-1/72) This seems to be the base set, so refer to the description above for what's included. TIE Advanced x1 (02116-1/72) As well as all the common parts listed in the top section of the review, the x1 also has a set of dual layered skins for the top/bottom of each of the "arms" that connect the ball to the panels. On the inside of each panel there are two small rectangular panels that are filed off and replaced by new PE parts. Two small parts are also inserted into the inner edges of the front cut-outs on the arms, and at the rear of the ball there are two small cranked panels which are skinned with a new detail part each. TIE Interceptor (02216-1/72) As well as the core components, there are three panels on the wing panels that are filed flat and replaced by new PE parts. Conclusion Three super little detail sets that are based around the common core that is the knot of the bow-tie, with subtle variations specific to the sub-type. If you'd like to see the details in situ, GreenStrawberry have helpfully included pictures of the bare parts built into the Bandai kits to show you how they should look, so have a click on the "available here" buttons to have a mooch. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Slave 1 Main Nozzles (01115-1/144) 1:144 GreenStrawberry Boba Fett's ship the Slave 1 is one of the memorable designs from the Original trilogy of Star Wars films, and even put in an appearance in the Prequels in a slightly better state of repair under the helm of Boba's dad Jango. The Bandai kit is an excellent rendition of this craft, and if you have both the Boba Fett and Jango Fett boxings, you're going to need two of these. The set arrives in a small cardboard box, with the three resin parts safely inside a small ziplok bag, surrounded by the short and mostly pictorial instruction sheet. The underside of Slave 1 becomes the rear when in flight, and shows three exhausts, one of which is elongated, the others round. The kit parts are probably adequate for a lot of folks, but for the detail hungry, these replacements will be just the job. Each one is covered in detail, especially within the round exhausts, which have exquisite interior ribbing that would be impossible for your average modeller to carry off. The modeller will have to ensure that any raised detail under the exhausts is removed from the base, and once the parts are cut from their bases, which is clear from the instructions, they can be glued in using Super Glue (CA), most likely after painting. If you want to see one solitary photo that will convince you, here it is – lifted from their site: Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. YT-1300 Millennium Falcon Upgrade Sets(for Bandai) 1:144 GreenStrawberry The Millennium Falcon is perhaps the best known and most recognised of any spacecraft real or imaginary, with a number of kits popping up over the years in different scales. Bandai's recent release of a raft of new kits has been great for anyone wanting to build a collection of Star Wars related models in a couple of consistent scales, rather than box-scale as seems to be the way with Revell, the main European license holder of late. The Bandai kits are snap-together, but don't let that fool you. They are the pinnacle of the injection-moulded art, and you'd wonder initially how they could get any better with the addition of Photo-Etch (PE) parts. These sets from GreenStrawberry are engineered to appeal to the more advanced modeller who will end up painting their creation, and you WILL need Super Glue (CA) to attach the parts to your model. The sets arrive in a flat re-sealable pack, with a black themed backing card, a chunk of thick cardboard to keep the PE safe, a set of instructions (both of which are hidden within), and the sheet of PE brass on display in the front. They are designed to improve both detail, accuracy to the scale/CGI models, and add a scale-thickness to otherwise over-scale parts. Millennium Falcon Upgrade Set (01616 for Bandai) The main set includes a large sheet of brass PE, plus a small set of instrument panel parts that are printed on sticky-backed paper, to give your interiors a huge lift in detail. It provides a welcome lift to the interior of the cockpit and the gun ports on the top and bottom, as well as some structural parts. It begins with a complex replacement of the mount for the prominent oblong dish that now adorns the Falcon's topside, replacing all the thick bracketry with more delicate parts instead. The base of the dish is also augmented, and the two assemblies are then brought together into one. The kit has a simple plug-in seat with controls for the gun turrets, which is slimmed down and has its lugs removed top accept a new control column/trigger, which is then placed inside the compartment that is folded up from brass parts, with stickers providing the instrument panel detail on the various facets of the walls. These are further enhanced by relief panels added within, and the finished assembly is fitted to the rear of the glazing with a flange around the outside. This is of course repeated for the other turret, giving you two in total. The main asymmetrical cockpit is also upgraded in a similar way, removing the kit instruments from the main panel and roof along with the three lugs that hold the top to the bottom. The canopy has a skin with insulation quilting etched into it, and all the panels are replaced with new ones that have stickers applied with instruments. The roof has a faceted liner folded up, with additional panels and stickers added, which is added to the lower cockpit along with the new replacement rear cockpit bulkhead that is so often visible in cockpit shots from the movie. This is a lamination of three parts onto which the appropriate stickers are fixed after painting, with two location holes included to register the part on the rear of the cockpit assembly. The rear seats are provided with headboxes that are missing from the kit parts, and the front of the cockpit roof is finished off with a "hoop" that bridges the space between the curved wall of the kit and the faceted inner skin. As a point of interest, you can see that all the instrument panels are perforated where there are usually lights on the various boards, which will show through the stickers if you position some LEDs behind them, making for easy lighting of the busy areas in the various cockpits. The landing gear for the SW:TFA Falcon has the now-standard five legs of two types, both of which get new scale-faithful doors to replace the chunky kit parts moulded into the legs, and the struts themselves are fitted with the perforated circular frames that can be only approximated in styrene. The final job is to fold up the insert that shows at the end of the entry ramp, requiring you to remove the blanking plate moulded into the lower hull. This and another part in the roof will add to the look of the area. Millennium Falcon Grilles (01715 for Bandai) The Falcon's prominent exhausts on the top deck are part of what makes it what it is, and this set provides six new mesh grilles to detail this area. Each circular grille is made up from a bottom hoop, a sheet of louvers, then a sheet of framework, with the top layer a frame around the outer edge with details etched in relief. Alignment is key, and there are two styles of top frame, with a distinct forward direction marked on the assembly diagrams. Four of the siz are identical, with the two leftmost (from behind) having a different pattern on the framing, all of which is explained on the last two instruction steps, as well as showing that "forward" in this context actually points toward the centre of the ship in a fan shape that matches the general shape of the engine deck area. Conclusion Another superb pair of sets to upgrade these Star Wars gems, just remember they're only suitable if you're planning on painting your model. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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