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Mike

Star Wars AT-AT Detail Set (03117 for Bandai 1:144)

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Star Wars AT-AT Detail Set (03117 for Bandai)

1:144 GreenStrawberry

 

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Star Wars and AT-ATs are synonymous to a person of a certain age (self included), and 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.

 

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The kit cockpit is first to be upgraded, with controls, a central column and details within the cab that are missing on the kit, and should be visible through the visor once completed.  Staying with the head, the cheek cannons are fitted with curved "ammo feed" assemblies, and the visor/windscreen is upgraded with a frame to finish it off.  The rear of the walker shows off its kit-part heritage with a quartet of 20/40mm flak shields amongst the greeblies, which are all replaced by much more detailed and accurate PE parts that give it a scale thickness unachievable with injection styrene.  A raised panel that overhangs the back is also replaced with a thinner PE assembly too, and at the front of the "hump" a triple-layer of PE is inserted into the upstand to better reflect the intake that is present. 

 

Each of the feet has a PE skin applied to the curved back/forward pivot, and a curved triangular end cap added the lateral pivot points, while the last section gives a nod to the diorama potential of this awesome model.  The Bandai kit includes side access doors that cover up an entrance and plenty of greeblies, which are lost forever if you snap the covers in place.  With the removal of the internal fixtures, new frames and hinges are added, allowing the modeller to pose them open with convincing detail on display instead of blank plastic.  Anyone fancy building a screen projector on Endor?

 

 

Conclusion

While the snap-together nature of the kit does no justice to the level of detail included in the box, this small but useful set will improve the finished model no-end, as long as you're ready with the glue and paint to integrate and weather the finished article.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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