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Mike

Star Wars: Solo - Millennium Falcon 1:164

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Star Wars: Solo Millennium Falcon

1:164 Revell

 

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Star Wars is back again after the disquiet caused by new sequel trilogy film The Last Jedi, this time with an origin story of possibly the saga's most popular character, Han Solo, smuggler, ladies' man and all-round scruffy lookin' nerfherder, this time played by some young gentleman for obvious reasons.  I've not seen Solo yet myself (things get in the way), but it's supposed to be another good film that's only occasionally corny, pleasing more of the fanbase than expected, especially after the negative press that it was receiving before release from the more vocal "fans".  I'll hold my opinion until after I've seen it, but the toughest part will be wraming to the new guy, as Han Solo is Harrison Ford for me (should that be the other way round?).  Some of the vehicles looked a bit odd when I first saw them, but this Lando Calrissian era Falcon kit has grown on me, and although I initially found it a bit weird-looking, I now quite like it.  The Falcon's loading mandibles finally make sense with the addition of the cargo pod, and where there are open panels and greeblies all over the Star Wars era Falcon, this newer Falcon has the majority of them still in place, giving it a sleeker look, which is accentuated by the cleaner paintwork that hasn't yet acquired that lived-in, bodged-together patchwork texture and battle damage that we all know so well.

 

 

The Kit

Revell have the license for Star Wars model kits in Europe and the West, and it's good to see them back in action after recent problems resulted in a new management as well as ownership of the company.  Solo's raft of new ship and vehicle designs have been committed to plastic in the Build & Play range, which my Son is very fond of and he can still be found playing with the originals a couple of years later, with their original batteries still going strong.  His eyes lit up when he saw these, so there's little doubt where they'll be going the minute I've finished with them.  All three of the kits in the initial launch have standard-sized boxes, with plenty of card inserts packing out the parts to prevent scuffs from rattling around, and parts bagged in small numbers where appropriate.  There are only 21 parts, but detail is pretty good considering, even within the single part cockpit that could be painted up before installation if you're so minded.  The scale is an odd one, but we have come to expect that from Revell who seem to have adopted the old "box scale" for these kits to an extent.  That said, there was plenty of space in the box for a larger scale (say 1:144), but I guess they're not aiming this kit at the purists and modellers, but as the range already makes clear, the kits are designed for kids to build up in a few minutes (it took me less than 5), then play with for months or years with little chance of it falling to bits.  When taken for what they are intended to be, I think they are awesome and my son would agree whole-heartedly!

 

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Building the kit is simple, and begins with the five gear legs that clip firmly into the lower hull along with the crew access ramp.  The central gun port is next, with an insert for the faceted glazing, and just one solitary cannon for the operator to pew-pew-pew with.  The cylindrical ports on the sides are fitted next, and the fun part that is the light and sound module slots into the aft portion of the lower hull, with perforations to allow the sounds to escape and two blue LEDs that light up the clear exhaust letterbox, which is fitted next after the cockpit part.  The other gun emplacement and close-fitting dish are installed in the top hull, which is then pressed into the lower, and the canopy added.  The cargo pod is two simple parts with nice detail in the rear, which clicks in and out of the mandibles with a friction fit holding it in place.  The landing gear can be posed up or down, with small finger notches either side of the bays to allow little fingers to pull them down from their retracted position just proud of the surface of the hull – not accurate to the original, but it's a concession to the play aspect and totally understandable, as is the choice of more sturdy and robust plastic, plus design tweaks such as the top and bottom cannons being captive to their ring to save them from being bent and broken off.

 

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The lights are quite effective, and there are four sounds that play in sequence whenever the rearmost middle exhaust port is pressed, which are roughly translated, start-up, firing weapons, light drive/leaving the atmosphere (I'm not sure which), and another more staccato round of cannon fire.  To the grown-up ear the cannon fire is obviously a short sample that is looped a few times, but kids just won't care and rightly so.

 

 

Conclusion

A cool addition to the Build & Play line-up, and one that will be popular with the kids, with enough detail to satisfy some modellers that can either live with the more play related features, or have the skills to make the alterations so it better reflects a model.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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

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